Sun Gods and Myths

Sun Gods and Myths

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For Mythology I

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  • APOLLO Egyptian god of light, the sun, music, archery, and prophecy. One of the few sun gods associated with multiple things, as opposed to the sun and little else. His twin sister is Artemis, goddess of the hunt and the moon.
  • LIZA From the Fon People of West Africa, Liza is the god of the sun, heat, working, and strength. Like Apollo, he also has a sister, Mawu, goddess of the Moon. Unlike Apollo, Liza is said to have created the world with his sister and a serpent of the cosmos named Da. Liza and Mawu had children together, and among them was the god Du, who shaped the world.
  • TONATIUH Aztec god of the 5th sun (it was the Aztec belief that there were different ages of the Earth, and the sun of each age died at the end of it). He was believed to have supported the universe, and Aztecs would perform human sacrifices to keep him strong. He also was said to have ruled over Tollan, which was Aztec heaven. Only warriors and women who had died during childbirth were allowed into Tollan.
  • RE (or "RA") Egyptian sun god, most often depicted as a man with a falcon's head, holding a sun disk on his head. Re was the most powerful god. His full name was Re-Atum-Khepri, with each part of his name standing for the 3 stages of the sun. Re- sun at its highest Atum- setting sun Khepri- rising sun His children and grandchildren made up the earth, atmosphere, and stars. Humans were said to be his tears,, made in his image. Many pharoahs claimed to be related to him.
  • HOU YI The Chinese myth surrounding Hou Yi is that there were once ten suns, as opposed to one (as in all other mentioned myths). They didn't synchronize for some reason, so nothing ever grew. Hou Yi was tasked with shooting down the suns with a bow and arrow. He fell all but one. The spirits of these falling suns transformed into huge ravens with three legs as they hit the ground. The fireballs that fell with the spirits fell into the ocean, forming the "Wo Jiao", or "fertile scorch", which vaporized any water that touched it immediately. This explains why, even though all rivers and streams empty into the sea, it never overflows.
  • REFLECTION Sun gods hold a prevalence in the mythologies of most cultures, the reason for this being that the sun itself is also present - in all cultures - and requires some sort of an explanation. This also explains the sun god’s association with strength - the sun is always there - thus it perpetuates continuity, or a society’s ability to continue forwards in the face of hardship. Thus, the sun represents strength to and of the society as a whole. This inspires them to continue on the traditions of their society in the hopes of gaining the strength of their respective sun god. For instance, the Aztecs would have hoped to have become warriors, parents, or both, as only their warriors and mothers who died in childbirth would make it into Tollan, or the Aztec heaven.
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