Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > Themes in History > Art and Cultural History
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

Art and Cultural History Art and Cultural History Forum - Music, Literature, Mythology, Visual Arts, Sports, Popular Culture


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old January 2nd, 2018, 12:30 PM   #1

Tammuz's Avatar
Citizen
 
Joined: Nov 2016
From: Munich
Posts: 48
Sun Deities


I would like to open a discussion on sun deities.

Why solar deities were invented in the Neolithic, can be explained by a changed world view, which had shifted its focus from the lunar cycle to the solar cycle due to the introduction of sedentariness and agriculture, the latter most probably invented by women on the basis of their botanic knowledge. The sun was now considered to be the cosmic clock for the fertility of nature. One can only chew over the gender of the first sun deities due to the lack of written evidence. The frequent appearances of sun goddesses and goddesses closely associated with the sun in historical mythologies suggest an originally female gender, since the introduction of a female sun deity after the establishment of the patriarchate is highly improbable. In case goddesses have an important function in patriarchal systems--such as, to name some examples, Hathor in Egypt, Inanna in Mesopotamia, Isis in the entire Roman Empire, sun goddess Sunna in Germanic culture, sun goddess Wurushemma in the Hittite empire, Anahita in Persia and Sarasvati in India--it's only because they are rooted in formerly dominating pre-patriarchal Neolithic goddesses.

Now let us look at a some historical remnants of the presumed prehistoric sun goddesses and at some results of the gender transformation into masculine which still show traces of the transformation process, especially in India. There the god Surya (Skt. for ´sun´) personifies the sun, or more precisely, the sun light. In Vedic mythology he belongs to a group of deities called 'Adityas'. The mother of these adityas is the unmarried heavenly goddess Aditi, whose name means ´unattached´,

In the mythology of the Rigveda, one of the oldest Vedic texts from before 2,000 BCE, Aditi is the most prominent manifestation of the Great Goddess (Skt. Devi) and has, though being mother of a dozen of deities, no association with a male partner, which is sufficient evidence of her rooting in the prehistoric idea of a monogenetic goddess. The ´Mahanirvanatantra´ says about the Devi that she is "the Great Mother sprung from the sacrificial hearth of the fire of the Grand Consciousness, decked with the Sun and Moon" and in another place with reference to this Devi: "The sun, the most glorious symbol in the physical world, is the mayik vesture of Her who is ´clothed with the sun´".

Hence the masculine sun god Surya has a mother who also is equipped with a solar competence as well as with the moon competence typical of the Great Goddess. As if that wasn´t enough, in the Rigveda the sun god is assigned a daughter with the name ´Surya´ (pronounced as opposed to the sun god with a prolonged ´a´) who acts as goddess of the dawn and driving force for the awakening sun.

In Sumer the gender transformation of the lunar deity was accomplished by a transfer of the lunar competence of goddess Inanna to a male god named Sin. A basically comparable process must have taken place in the case of Surya, what is twofold indicated:

Firstly, mythology connects him with a monogenetic mother in form of a heavenly goddess ´clothed with the sun´, what suggests that the sun was formerly personified by Aditi and only in the course of patriarchalization became associated with a male god, whom to separate completely from the original sun goddess the strength of the patriarchal ideology was however not sufficient because of the rooting of a large part of Hindu faith in the prehistoric matristic world.

Secondly, as father of the dawn goddess Surya, sun god Surya is comparable to the Sumerian god An, who was invented by priests in the first half of the 3rd millennium BCE to replace the much older goddess of heaven, Inanna, who, originally without any kinship, was assigned An as her father and later even as her grandfather.

Last edited by Tammuz; January 2nd, 2018 at 12:47 PM.
Tammuz is offline  
Remove Ads
Old January 2nd, 2018, 12:54 PM   #2

Todd Feinman's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Oct 2013
From: Planet Nine, Oregon
Posts: 3,169

Wow! I think you just had the discussion. That was nice.. Human female fertility was also important from the beginning, so she would have to have a relationship with the new sun gods, no?
Todd Feinman is online now  
Old January 4th, 2018, 10:38 AM   #3

David Vagamundo's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Jan 2010
From: Atlanta, Georgia USA
Posts: 3,136

While I'm so ignorant about this area that I cannot disagree with you, can you cite a source or sources for all of this?
David Vagamundo is offline  
Old January 4th, 2018, 07:29 PM   #4

Nickname's Avatar
Citizen
 
Joined: Nov 2017
From: New Jersey, USA
Posts: 37

I think this belongs in the "Speculative History" thread...
Nickname is offline  
Old January 9th, 2018, 11:50 AM   #5

Corvidius's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Jul 2017
From: Dinotopia
Posts: 1,036

In ancient Egypt, Ra, or Ra-Horakhty, is the sun god, and both are male and have no known female earlier form. In the old Slavic religion there is a rather similar situation with Dazhbog and Hors, in which Dazhbog is the Sun and Hors, who is also the same god as Dazhbog, represents aspects of the Sun. Dazhbog/Hors, while seeming to have Indo-Iranian origins, is male with no known female antecedent.

As an aside. In Egypt the rising Sun is Horus the younger, and the setting Sun is Horus the elder. In Slavic tradition, Hors is a youth as the rising Sun and an old man as the setting Sun. Coincidence of course.
Corvidius is offline  
Reply

  Historum > Themes in History > Art and Cultural History

Tags
deities, sun



Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Early depictions of Brahmanical deities Vajra Asian History 2 February 14th, 2015 10:55 AM
Carthaginian Religion and Deities M.E.T.H.O.D. Ancient History 17 April 22nd, 2013 03:29 PM
Deities with a hieroglyph AlpinLuke Ancient History 7 March 20th, 2013 06:17 AM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.