The Sun is Male

Naw, that's foolishness. As far back in recorded history as you care to go, you'll find people who worshiped the sun as a male god or female goddess. But we know now that our Sun is simply the nearest star, and not a magical figure with any gender.

Still, even today, some people think of the rays of sunlight in a sunset as "Gods' blessing." But if that's true, which of the 113 sun gods is making it happen?

Because I grew up in Guatemala I like the idea that the Quiché Indian's (Mayan) god Ahau-Kin ("lord of the sun face") is at work. Akin to the Christian 3-in-1 Trinity, he was four gods in one: the sun god, moon god, a jaguar god, and lord of the underworld (not hell, but the center of creation where you go when you die and are reborn).

I also lived in Japan, though, and Amaterasu is a sun goddess, and perhaps the most important Shinto deity. She became the ruler of the Higher Celestial Plane (Takamagahara) and is also considered to be directly linked in lineage to the Imperial Household of Japan and the Emperor, who were considered Descendants of the Kami themselves. The Pope of the Roman Catholic church claims a similar link to the Christian god through St. Peter and Jesus.

Before we had a clear understanding of the world around us, we explained things that seem to move in the sky and related phenomena by believing they were mystical gods. Now sunsets, in a very real way, are even more beautiful because we know what makes the sun shine, how sunlight is affected by moisture in clouds, and how the atmosphere absorbs sunlight to make the warm and beautiful colors we all enjoy.



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