Multiple sun goddesses can be found throughout Asia, including, Xihe, from Chinese mythology and, Hae-nim, from Korea. The Western world replaced the sun goddess with male versions like Apollo, Lugh, and Ra, but that was a trick of Greek scholars, who wanted to normalize male-ownership of the feminine sun. That's when Diana became synonymous with the "horned" moon--a male symbol. Men were in charge of women, and women, in charge of men...but only in the dark. However, long before the Greeks began to interfere with the history of our gods, the sun--and fire in general--was considered female.
I wear an ankh around my neck nearly every day. The ankh is mainly associated with the Egyptian gods, all of whom are depicted with an ankh in one hand. The ankh was a symbol of immortal life. Gods were immortal, so naturally, they all had an ankh. But before the ankh was in the hands of the Egyptian gods, it was portrayed in the center of the sun on a cave wall in Southern Africa, thousands of years older than the oldest artifact from Egypt. The African cave was a place of worship. And the ankh? Not an ankh at all, but a mother-goddess.
The Sun gives life...that is why she is a woman.
Was my mother aware that when she gave me my name, the first and last letters would spell "Ra"? Did she think about how the first initial of my first and middle names--the names that will never change for me--also spell "Ra"? Did she recognize that conceiving me on Samhain, one of four Celtic fire festivals, was a symbol of the sun-god, Lugh, going "under ground" (or into the womb) to be reborn again on his birthday--also my birthday--known as the fire festival, Lughnasadh???
I'm born under the fire-sign, Leo. The sun is my ruling planet. Interesting to note that the name "Leo" sounds similar to the Gaeilge pronunciation of "Lugh." The French city of Lyon is named for Lugh. Why? Because what is now France today was once part of what the Romans named Gaul. But before Romans renamed Gaul in the same way they renamed the gods, Gaul was Celtica. And, the Celts from Celtica sailed away from the invading Romans, landing on the shores of Wales, Ireland. Scotland, and the Isle of Man. The Celts influenced other places, too. And, so did their sun god, as evidenced by cities like Lugo in Spain.
Einstein said there were no coincidences in the physical universe. I think he might have been right....
Durga is a mother-goddess from Hindu mythology. She rides a lion--like the zodiac sign for Leo. She is a many-armed goddess. When her arms are fanned out, she resembles the sun. My brother once told me of a dream he had where I was a many-armed goddess. We don't live near one another but often think/do similar things simultaneously without being aware of it, like watching the same shows at the same time on Netflix, only to learn months later of our shared activities. When my brother told me of his divine dream, I'd been working on a new canvas...guess what I was painting? Kali, a many-armed goddess--and, one of the faces of Durga.
Sun-goddess worship was discouraged by Buddhism and Taoism--apparently, no woman should ever outshine a man. That is why "The Sun" became synonymous with not only the son of the god, Zeus, but later, with "The Son" in Christianity, too. It was only on the island of Japan that Amaterasu, and what she represented, survived. Amaterasu-omikami means "the great august deity who shines in heaven." Amateru is Japanese for "shining in heaven." Kami is Japanese for "god" or "goddess."
In Australia, the Aborginal sun goddess is named Wala. Wala is responsible for creating day and night, Fearing she made the Earth too hot by keeping the sun out all the time, Wala would hide it when the moon appeared to cool off the Earth--a fitting myth for a country that is mainly desert.
Brigid, a pre-Christian Celtic goddess, was associated with fire and the dawn--eerily similar to traits connected to the sun. She is recognized during Imbolc, one of four fire festivals still celebrated in Ireland, and the official start of spring. My very first trip to Ireland was inspired by St. Brigid's well. There are lots of them all over the island, but only one has a trail of megalithic stones marking an underwater spring. That's what I saw in a dream the night before Imbolc. And, that's where I went three months later. Brigid is a triple deity in the same way that Ra is--there are three aspects to her like there are three aspects of the day marked by the sun: Morning, noon, and night. Makes one wonder if Brigid and Lugh are more connected than (his)story recalls.
I like how Amaterasu was empowered enough to divorce her husband after he behaved badly. She kicked him out of heaven, labeling him as "evil." Amaterasu created night-time when she did that. It's interesting how the story of Amaterasu mimics that of Adam and Lilith. Except, Lilith is the one dubbed "evil," kicked out of heaven, and forced to inhabit the night as a "demon," while Adam remained glorified as a child of God in paradise.
Which story do you think is older, Amaterasu or Adam?
If you guessed the story of Amaterasu, you'd be right. She pre-dates Jewish mythology by a good one-thousand years. Of course, Durga predates Amaterasu by another three-thousand years. Before that? Likely whatever early humans named the ankh-goddess painted in the center of the sun in that African cave.
Nearly every human mythology has a connection to a solar-deity. The arch-angel, Michael, is associated with the sun as well. By no small coincidence, so is (Ra)ziel. Michael is also linked to #twinflames, or the monomyth of human love and loss. I have a beloved friend in Ireland with a tattoo of Michael on his arm. At first, I thought Michael an angelic Joan of Arc. I was not surprised to later learn that the artist who depicted a rather androgynous Michael was a woman. The tattoo is part of an overall sleeve-design and the tangle of images matches the tangle of sinew and bone beneath, leading to a creature I initially translated as Vashti. Vashti is a horned female-villain from the story of Purim. But, who I saw as Vashti was actually Lucifer. Even more interesting? The person wearing these images etched into his skin was born on Purim--it fell on his birthday that year. Purim coincides with the lunar calendar so does not always match up with solar dates. I did not know it when I met him and only learned of the connection months after we met. I very much doubt he knows of it either. Although, if he's reading this essay, he'll know it now. His right arm also has another intricate sleeve; it ends with a tattoo that resembles Amaterasu. And, like me, he's a fire-sign connected to the sun, and all the solar deities therein.
Just can't make this stuff up....
I'm currently one of the candidates for a joint NASA project with scientists in Moscow. Researchers will study the psychological effects of deep-space travel, beginning in January 2019. There are only two spots for two PhD's who speak both Russian and English, have 20/20 vision or better, and who are willing (and able) to go into deep isolation for four months. It's hard for me to imagine that a woman without any connections will be chosen, but just having the opportunity to be considered is quite an honor. My future niece was born in Moscow; we had dinner together last night. She is marrying one of my nephews and did not know that I had a grandmother from Russia.
Small world, isn't it???
My tattooed Irishman once called me a "real American" when he learned of the different DNA strands that make up my human programming. By the way, Dazbog (or Dabog) was a solar diety from parts of Russia. His name derives from the noun for "god" and the verb "to give." I first read about him as a Medievalist at Rochester in the Russian epic poem, "The Tale of Igor's Campaign." Dazbog is also called Dazdbog from the Russian word dozhd, which means "rain." That might sound odd for a solar deity, but Dazbog was the god of life and ruled everything that helped to sustain it, including rain.
When it rains, it pours...until the sun comes out and all the water returns to the sky in the form of fluffy, white clouds against an azure backdrop. The bluest of blue skies reflected as the bluest of blue eyes--even when they're green and brown, like mine.