In today’s post, we will be discussing the personification of the sun and how it was represented in many different cultures. Without further ado, here is the extensive list of sun gods and goddesses.
Ra, The Ancient Egyptian Sun God
Ra is the god of the sun in ancient Egyptian religion who was widely worshipped as one of the most powerful deities. He was seen as the creator of all life, both in human beings and in all other creatures by some people.
If you would like to read our article on one of the most important symbols in ancient Egyptian culture, the Eye of Ra, please kindly click here.
Helios, The Sun God in Ancient Greece
The son of Hyperion and Theia, Titan Helios is the Greek god of the sun. Described as a god who rode across the sky in a chariot drawn by four horses, Helios was sometimes identified with Apollo, the god of healing and light.
In ancient Greece, Helios was worshipped at dawn and dusk when he appeared at sunset and sunrise respectively.
Sol, The Norse Sun Goddess
Sol is the goddess of the sun in Norse mythology. She is the daughter of Mundilfari and the sister of Mani, the moon god. She was also believed to be a healer.
Sol was also known as Sunna, however, it is discussed by some that Sunna is actually the daughter of the goddess, rather than being an alternative name for her.
She was married to Glenr about whom there is not much information other than his name meaning “the opening in the clouds”.
Arinna, The Hittite Goddess of the Sun
Arinna/Arriniti is the Hittite goddess of the sun who was worshiped as a wife of the sky god, Teshub. She was also associated with fertility and abundance because the sun provides warmth and light to the earth.
The Hittites were an ancient people who lived in what is now Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. Arinna’s cult center was at the city of Arinna in north-central Anatolia (Corum province in modern Turkey).
Surya, The Hindu Personification of the Sun
The next item on our list of sun gods and goddesses is Surya. Surya is the Hindu god of the sun and one of the Adityas. He is also called Suryanarayana, which means “son of Surya” or “Surya’s son”.
In Hinduism, Surya is a part of a cosmic trinity as the god of energy, with Agni (the god of fire) and Vayu (the god of air). He is married to Saranyu.
Amaterasu, Japanese Goddess of The Sun
One of the most important deities in ancient Japanese culture, the goddess Amaterasu is believed to be born from the left eye of his father, Izanagi, who put her in charge of Takamagahara (the High Plain of Heaven).
Amaterasu is one of the most important gods in Shintoism whose legend has been passed down through oral tradition and handed down for centuries.
Her full name “Amaterasu-Ōmikami” means “the great divinity illuminating heaven”.
Inti, The Incan Sun God
Inti is the Incan sun god and the son of Viracocha and Mama Cocha. He is one of the most important deities in Inca mythology, if not the most important, and was worshiped as the central figure of their religion.
The name Inti means “sun” in Quechua. Inti’s wife was Mama Killa, the moon goddess, who is believed to be his older sister. In the Inca religion, Inti is often identified with Taita Inti, “the Father Sun”.
Kinich Ahau, Mayan Sun God
Kinich Ahau is the god of the sun in Mayan culture. Also being a god of healing and medicine, Kinich Ahau was sometimes called “the face of the sun”.
Huitzilopochtli, The Aztec God of the Sun
Huitzilopochtli was the Aztec sun god and a central figure in their pantheon. His name is derived from the Nahuatl words huitzilin (sparrow) and opochtli (left). The name refers to his left-handedness, which was seen as a sign of strength.
Huitzilopochtli was symbolized with a hummingbird or an eagle. He is also known as a god of war, human sacrifice, and the patron of the city of Tenochtitlan (modern-day Mexico City).
Lugh, The Sun God in Celtic Mythology
Being one of the most popular figures in Celtic mythology, Lugh is the Celtic sun god. He is the son of Cian and Ethniu and the grandson of Balor.
Lugh was also known as a great warrior, a trickster, and a fine craftsman. Often portrayed as a solar deity, his name has been interpreted to mean “shine”, “light”, or “radiant” and “the shining one”.
Mithra, Persian Sun God
Mithra is the ancient Indo-Iranian and Persian god of sun, light, truth, royalty, justice, war, and friendship. Known as “the god of the rising sun” he was worshipped among many cultures, not just in Persia.
The word “mithra” means “contract” or “covenant” in the Avestan language and his role as a protector led to him being seen as the patron of agreements, contracts, covenants, and treaties.
Being one of the most important deities in ancient Persia, Mithra became popular in Roman society when they came into contact with the Persians.
This wraps up our post on gods, goddesses, and the personifications of the sun, if you liked reading it, you might want to read our article on goddesses of fire here. Thanks for reading with us.