Threesology Research Journal
Solar Mythology Revisited...
page 1

(The Study of Threes)

When "Solar Mythology" is mentioned, far too many people focus most of their attention on the "Mythology" portion and adapt it into some form of currently-in-use literature (some of which are "read" by watching dramatised representations). For example:

  • Book (mystery, history, anthology, etc.).
  • Journalism (based on believed-in actual social events).
  • Theatre/screen (fiction-alized or fact-ionalized)
  • Televised weekly sitcom (situation comedy) (alternatively defined by some viewers as "My show, My program").
  • Televised daily soap opera (With a following of viewers affectionately claiming some ownership by saying: "I can't miss My story").

Necessarily so, this singularly-centric suffix-like approach needs to be analytically divested of its traditionalized role as being most purposeful when a review of history is taken by way of examining mythologically-related solar influenced sources. The Sun must be seen in a new light.

I have been wrestling with the idea of writing on this topic for years... for more than a decade in fact. However, a few (three in fact) days after placing the title I realized it might more appropriately be entitled "Solar Mythology Revised". In this revision I want to additionally assert that I think all of humanity is a solar myth, in that humanity's existence is owed to the influence of the Sun. As we walk along the corridors of this revision our efforts will be required to re-invest the word "myth" with the notion of illusion defined as a metaphor that may take on allegorical dimensions; which are all artificial in terms of a reproduced simile... however close the resemblance may be. (The word "artificial" is being used to describe an "other-than" representation and not necessarily a non-living facsimile such as a photographic reproduction of a person, animal or other living thing.) In other words, if we don't have a camera and are asked to provide an illustration, each of us would submit a variation according to the available instrumentation or tools at hand, as well as our abilities. (The same can be said for those whose chosen predominant medium of expression is words or numbers.)

In the foregoing sense, we might want to use a word such as "artifactual" in that it is both real and not real. For example, a Teddy bear is a real (toy) object but it is an artificial bear... a metaphor, a replication (of sorts) that sprang up from different influences such as toy bears, Teddy Roosevelt (1882-1945), and accompanying social events reported on by journalists; (it is said he refused to shoot a bear on one hunting expedition)... and that, some readers might agree with, grew into a "transmutated" allegorical representation when adopted by the U.S. Forestry service as an advertisement against forest fires to which was applied the moniker "Smokey The Bear". However, the old U.S. cartoon featuring the three main characters of Yogi Bear, Boo Boo Bear and a Forest Ranger might also serve as an additional example thereof.

The present page is an initial attempt at a long overdue topic; with an underlying purpose of relating the information to my "Threes Phenomena Research" which is oriented at describing what may have provided the schematic for later developed patterns-of-three such as the idea (and representation) of a triple coding system in DNA and RNA as well as the idea (and representation) of their being three families of (Stable, Unstable, Very unstable) fundamental atomic particles. Of course there are other pattern-of-three examples that might be offered.

When I say "relating the information" (associated with solar mythology), to my efforts in "Threes Phenomena" research, I don't mean a simple re-cataloguing of characters identified by others as representing the role the Sun (or aspects thereof) as anthropomorphized ("anthropomorphocised") personifications. (In other words, giving the Sun and its attributes human names or qualities.) While providing such a list is of some value, as I will do so further on, the main intent is to introduce (or re-introduce) the reader to the acknowledgment that the Sun has not only played a large role in the life of humanity, but still does... even when its effects are largely overlooked, misidentified, or taken for granted.

I will eventually get around to making a case that modern humans are using solar-fashioned gods/goddesses in various subject areas, (like the comic book character Superman who got his "power" due to a yellow Sun), and these will one day prove to be examples of the solar mythology we engage in; but in many cases would swear up and down that our beliefs... our views are real, true, and coherently viable... just as did those living in the past who claimed their solar gods/goddesses as reality. Many of our ancestors (and their ancestors) beliefs were metaphors for Solar, Lunar and other celestial events, and so are our beliefs today.

Though we of today label many past beliefs as myths, they were nonetheless once viewed as being very real, as real and true as the One God many people believe in today; even when some people practice a belief in a personal, family, or Ethno-centered god. Regardless if you agree with this assessment or not, it is quite easy to understand how primitive peoples living in small clans or tribes as well as later arriving peoples living in larger groups defined as civilization, would interpret and define celestial objects such as the Stars, Moon and Sun as being a god or at least command respect for displaying some desirable characteristic beyond the ability of the common person. Celestial objects and events were quite often interpreted to be a "sign" of that, them, or those thought to possess power beyond the capabilities of a common ("normal") person, but was intended to assist the typical person in their day-to-day efforts.

  1. The stars could provide direction (North Star) and a (long interval of) seasonal/yearly time designation (Equinoxes/Solstices), even if the idea of a "year" or "season" had not been developed, defined and labeled as it is today.)

  2. The moon could provide direction (rising/setting) and an indication of a shorter interval of time, even if the idea of a "month" had not been developed, defined and labeled as it is today.

  3. The sun could provide direction (rising/setting) as well as well as designating a short interval of time, even if the idea of a "day" had not been developed, defined and labeled as it is today.

No doubt some of the beliefs held in respect by ancestors was passed on from one generation to the next, though the names and attributes of a celestial event were correlated to the interests of a particular social order. In as much as the reader may have knowledge or be interested in all three of the aforementioned celestial phenomena, this page primarily is focused on that related to the Sun, even though the daily passage of the Moon can be correlated with similarities such as the triangular passage from Dusk to Midnight to Dawn. While I am not specifically trying to detail characteristics of the Moon, the reader might want to keep them in mind as supportive material that repeats the events of the Sun in a diminished but nonetheless repetitive motion. In other words, the intensity of the Sun during the day is repeated at night with the Moon's lesser intensity due to its reflective characteristics.

In short, not only is the human mind affected by the Sun to the extent we humans have created a multitude of ideas related to the Sun or aspects thereof, but other life forms are affected as well. Though other life forms, as far as we know have not or do not create Sun-related gods or other "ideas" because they do not have a brain nor think according to what we consider to be intelligence, all life forms are affected in one way or another such as plants converting sunlight into chlorophyll. Some plants, such as the Sunflower follow the path of the Sun, while other flowers are affected by what appears to be varying sunlight intensities which cause them to open up. Because there are different flowers recognized by we humans as being responsive to the Sun at varying intervals, the idea of a flower clock was developed as is illustrated by the following image:


The Flower Clock provided an ingenious and decorative means of telling time in the formal gardens of 19th century Europe.  A series of flower beds was laid out to form the clock "face," with each bed representing a daytime hour. The beds were then filled with flowers known either to open or to close at the prescribed hours. On a sunny day, the time could be determined to within a half hour by this method. Flower clocks are rare today because of the difficulty in finding and cultivating flowers that will "keep time" in various seasons and localities. The examples shown here are selected from flowers common in England and the United States. The times will vary somewhat according to the location of the garden, but the actions of the flowers will always occur at intervals of about an hour.

Here's another style of flower clock:

Linnaeus Flower clock
--- Flowers: A Floral clock in your garden ---

Another source for a larger view:

--- Flower Clock ---

Granted that most of us today may not label the Sun as a god, it is used as a major source of light and heat. We have even developed a technology called solar panels that convert the Sun's light into direct electrical energy or is stored in batteries whose Direct Current (DC) form of energy is transformed into Alternating Current (AC).

While very primitive humans did not leave a readily discernible account of their beliefs, even if some anthropologists try to make a case for such when interpreting one or another artifact, historians of later ages have been able to put together some solar-related ideas such as Sun gods that can be used as a cross-cultural comparison:

Name Nationality
— or —
God or Goddess or ? Notes
Amaterasu Japan Sun Goddess
Arinna (Hebat) Hittite (Syrian) Sun Goddess The Iconography of Religion in the Hittite, Luwian, and Aramaean Kingdoms PDF
Apollo Greece and Rome Sun God
Freyr Norse Sun God Not the main Norse sun god, but a fertility god associated with the sun.
Garuda Hindu Bird God
Helios (Helius) Greece Sun God Before Apollo was the Greek sun god, Helios held that position.
Hepa Hittite Sun Goddess The consort of a weather god, she was assimilated with the sun goddess Arinna.
Huitzilopochtli (Uitzilopochtli) Aztec Sun God
Hvar Khshaita Iranian/Persian Sun God Earlier than Mithras.
Inti Inca Sun God
Liza West African Sun God
Lugh Celtic Sun God
Mithras Iranian/Persian Sun God "Mit(h)ra(s) and the Myths of the Sun" David H. Sick. Numen (2004).
Re (Ra) Egypt Mid-day Sun God An Egyptian god shown with a solar disk. Center of worship was Heliopolis. Later associated with Horus as Re-Horakhty. Also combined with Amun as Amun-Ra, a solar creator god.
Shemesh/Shepesh Ugarit Sun goddess Female solar deities (Jürg Eggler) PDF
Sol (Sunna) Norse Sun Goddess She rides in a horse-drawn solar chariot.
Sol Invictus Roman Sun God The unconquered sun. A late Roman sun god. The title was also used of Mithras.
Surya Hindu Sun God Rides the sky in a horse-drawn chariot.
Tonatiuh Aztec Sun God
Utu (Shamash) Mesopotamia Sun God

--- Sun Gods and Goddesses ---

Here's another list from a Wikipedia source:

A solar deity is a god or goddess in mythology who represents the Sun, or an aspect of it, usually by its perceived power and strength. Solar deities and sun worship can be found throughout most of recorded history in various forms. The following is a list of solar deities. All such lists remind me of reading a list of characters in a play, credits given to those in a motion picture production, or a catalogue of cited references.

African mythology

Australian Aboriginal mythology

  • Gnowee, solar goddess who searches daily for her lost son; the light of her torch is the sun.
  • Wala, solar goddess.
  • Wuriupranili, solar goddess whose torch is the sun.
  • Yhi, Karraur, goddess of the sun, light and creation.

Ainu mythology

  • Chup Kamui, a lunar goddess who switched places with her brother to become goddess of the sun.

Arabian mythology

Aztec mythology

Baltic mythology

  • Saule, goddess of the sun and fertility.

Basque mythology

  • Ekhi, goddess of the sun and protector of humanity.

Brazilian mythology


  • Marici, goddess of the heavens, sun and light.

Canaanite mythology

Celtic mythology

  • Áine, Irish goddess of love, summer, wealth and sovereignty, associated with the sun and midsummer.
  • Alaunus, Gaulish god of the sun, healing and prophecy
  • Belenos, Gaulish god of the sun
  • Étaín, Irish sun goddess.
  • Grannus, god associated with spas, healing thermal and mineral springs, and the sun.
  • Lugh, Irish deity sometimes regarded as a sun god.
  • Mug Ruith, Irish deity sometimes regarded as a sun or storm god.

Xihe (35K)

Chinese mythology

  • Xihe, sun goddess and mother of the ten suns. (See image at right.)
  • Zhulong, dragon deity of daylight.

Egyptian mythology

  • Bast, cat goddess associated with the sun.
  • Horus, god of the sky whose right eye was considered to be the sun and his left the moon.
  • Amun, creator deity sometimes identified as a sun god.
  • Atum, the "finisher of the world" who represents the sun as it sets.
  • Aten, god of the sun, the visible disc of the sun.
  • Khepri, god of rebirth and the sunrise.
  • Nefertem, god of healing and beauty, who represents the first sunlight.
  • Ra, god of the sun.
  • Sekhmet, goddess of war and of the sun, and sometimes plagues and creator of the desert.
  • Sopdu, god of war and the scorching heat of the summer sun.
  • Ptah, god of craftsmanship, the arts and fertility, sometimes said to represent the sun at night.
  • Khnum, god of sunset.

Etruscan mythology

  • Albina, goddess of the dawn and protector of ill-fated lovers.
  • Thesan, goddess of the dawn, associated with new life.
  • Usil, etruscan equivalent of Helios.

Germanic mythology

Greek mythology

Apollo (64K)
  • Apollo, Olympian god of light, the sun, prophecy, healing, plague, archery, music and poetry. (See image at right.)
  • Helios, Titan god of the sun.
  • Heracles, the "solar hero", whose entire story has been interpreted as a sun myth, and whose labors are often associated with the Zodiac. signs.
  • Hyperion, Titan god of light.
  • Alectrona, goddess of the sun, morning and waking up.
  • Eos, Titan goddess of the dawn.
  • Phanes, protogenoi of light and life, described with "golden wings", sorrounded by the signs of the Zodiac and equated with Mithras.


Surya (67K)
  • Agni, god of fire, associated with the sun.
  • Aryaman, god of the sun.
  • Mitra, god of honesty, friendship, contracts, meetings and the morning sun.
  • Ravi, god of the sun.
  • Saranyu, goddess of the dawn and clouds.
  • Savitr, god of the sun at sunrise and sunset.
  • Surya, god of the sun. (See image at right.)

Hittite mythology

  • Arinna, goddess of the sun.
  • Istanu, god of the sun and judgment.

Incan mythology

Inuit mythology

Japanese mythology

Lusitanian mythology

  • Endovelicus, god of health and safety. Worshipped both as a solar deity and a chthonic one.
  • Neto, claimed to be both a solar and war deity.

Maori mythology

Maya mythology

  • Ah Kin, god of the sun, bringer of doubt and protector against the evils associated with darkness.
  • Kinich Ahau, god of the sun.
  • Hunahpu, one of the Maya Hero Twins; he transformed into the sun while his brother transformed into the moon.
  • Tohil, god associated with thunder, lightning and sunrise.

Mesopotamian mythology

  • Shamash, Akkadian god of the sun and justice.
  • Utu, Sumerian god of the sun and justice.

Native American mythology

Norse mythology

  • Baldr, god associated with light, beauty, love and happiness.
  • Dagr, personification of the daytime.
  • Freyr, god of fertility, sexuality, peace and sunlight.

Persian mythology

Polynesian mythology

Roman mythology

Sami mythology

  • Beiwe, goddess of the sun, spring, fertility and sanity

Slavic mythology

  • Belobog, reconstructed deity of light and the sun who may or may not have been worshipped by pagan Slavs.
  • Dažbog, god of the sun.
  • Hors, god of the sun.
  • Radegast, god of hospitality, fertility and crops, associated with war and the sun, who may or may not have been worshipped by pagan Slavs.
  • Zorya, two daughters of Dažbog
    • Zorya Utrennyaya, the morning star, who openes the palace gates each dawn for the sun-chariot's departure.
    • Zorya Vechernyaya, the evening star, who closes the palace gates each night after the sun-chariot's.

Turkic mythology

--- Wikipedia: List of Solar Deities ---

Typically, those espousing some interest in Solar mythology limit themselves in their exploration by reiterating information that others have provided about the subject. They do not attempt an exploration beyond the typical confines as outlined by those they feel are in some way or another to be authoritative on the subject. While they may sparsely insert their own view with respect to singular points, the bulk of their information is just a recital of what others have said. They bring to the fore no knew considerations to be pondered. Their imaginations are limited by what is said about beliefs once held as factual, but are now considered to be myth, and the word "myth" becomes synonymously viewed as little more than a fanciful notion akin to some comic book character.

In many cases Mythology should be be viewed as little more than a collection of fanciful notions about Persons, Places or Things. However, that which influenced the origination thereof might very well be a reality. In the present discussion, that influence is the Sun, but this doesn't mean we are entirely excluding our thoughts from considering inter-mixed sources such as the Moon and Stars... as well as non-celestial influences. Just because we are trying to be specific doesn't mean we have to be tunnel-visioned. While representations of the Sun or some attribute thereof can take different forms, the Sun and its attributes remain real... but they can change over time just as our human physiology and mentality can change. Yet, the Sun and its attributes can be misidentified, misunderstood, and even overlooked, though they remain influential. Just because no one in the past (and very few in the present) can see the triangular path of the Sun's (and Moon's) daily trek, does not mean this event was/is not influential. No less, just because no one in the past understood (and only a few in the present acknowledge) that the influences of the Sun are changing due to its expansion and the slowing of the Earth's rotation, does not mean humans are not affected nor that expressions thereof are non-existent. For example, to give an analogy, just because people in the past did not know of and only a few people in the present acknowledge Germ theory, doesn't mean people are not affected by germs nor that varying "expressions" thereof do not occur, such as death, disease, disfigurement, immunity, etc.

Likewise, in-line with unseen effects, let us momentarily consider that the Sun influences indistinctly interpreted and described after-image effects. Coupled with the indistinction, or at least made more difficult because of, is the possibility that a word for or even the idea of an "after-image" has had no previous occurrence in a particular language. For example, imagine having no word or symbol to describe an experience and when trying to make one up, others around you either say you're crazy or that you've made a mistake due to some drug, drink (alcohol, coffee, tea, etc.,) or lack of sleep. With respect to the topic of after-images, in terms of the human psyche, an example of a present day typical after-image would be like a square or rectangle-shaped light source seen when a television is turned off in a darkened room after being viewed for awhile. For me, I see the image of a dark/grey triangle being emitted from street lights shortly after they've been turned off while taking a walk in the early morning. Looking momentarily into the Sun produces a circular after-image. However, the foregoing examples are not meant to describe the only form of "after-image" since a similar type of effect may occur on other parts of the physiology and "replicated" according to the available processes of a given physiology. For example, one type of after-image might be similar to a memory paired with a muscle twitch thereby requiring either a twitch to evoke the memory or vice-versa. Such pairings are well known with respect to smells, sounds or other sensations.

But please don't discard representative "after-image" effects occurring in other life forms relative to another life-form's chemistry and physiology or the time and place of occurrence. Obviously, a dimmer light source (such as the Moon) or effects of intermittency (such as interrupting clouds or other types of distraction), will have an effect on the duration and intensity of that which influences the after-image effect. The resulting "mythological" expression will be altered accordingly.

Simple lists of Solar-related Gods and Goddesses do not often entail an analysis of the characters nor give some impression of the author's motives for making one or another point when they are courageous enough to venture an opinion. For example, let me provide a correlation between the Lusitanian god Neto (who is claimed to be both a solar and war deity), and the Greek God Heracles (the "solar hero", whose entire story has been interpreted as a sun myth.)

While at a superficial glance the two don't seem to be related, a case for such a connection could be ushered in for discussion by noticing that the name "Heracles" (a.k.a. Herakles) might well be interpreted as a masculine form of the name "Hera", which has been linked with the opiate Heroin from which the words "Hero" and "Heroin" are said to be derived. As one story goes, Greek warriors sometimes used the narcotic heroin to make them fierce fighters on the battlefield. (If not "fierce" in terms of being frenzied maniacs with abilities heightened, then because they didn't stop fighting due to not feeling a battle wound.) While the reader might want to claim that the correlation between Neto and Heracles is a stretch of imagination, and that other similar stretches could be made amongst other gods and goddesses, the point is that your imagination is being permitted to stroll in unconventional areas of consideration. While not all the correlations may be valid, they are useful in pointing out characteristics that may be useful elsewhere.... if nothing else, it can make some researchers (who take every word of themselves too seriously), at least take a moment to laugh.

Modernized forms of Sun-influenced ideas and activities are suppressed even though there are ancient Sun-oriented practices being portrayed such as in the Muslim ritual of praying towards the (rising sun) East. No doubt Muslim space travelers might well adopt the practice of praying towards an artificial East since the typical Earth-born directions (North, South, East, West) will be absent.

Let us continue our exploration into Solar "Mythology" on page two, being mindful that the use of the word "mythology" does not always equate with non-used fanciful allusions of the past. For example, there are many people who are "bright" and some that are even "brilliant", but the shining light (overhead light bulb) effect of their intelligence is considerably dimmed by the present practices of their current lifestyle. Their true intelligence is buried in a mythology, so to speak and is being eclipsed by too many clouds, moons and other shadowy forms of irrelevance.

Your Questions, Comments or Additional Information are welcomed:
Herb O. Buckland