|Name||Nationality/Religion||God or Goddess?||Notes|
|Amaterasu||Japan||Sun Goddess||Major deity of the Shinto religion.|
|Arinna (Hebat)||Hittite (Syrian)||Sun Goddess||The most important of three Hittite major solar deities|
|Apollo||Greece and Rome||Sun God|
|Freyr||Norse||Sun God||Not the main Norse sun god, but a fertility god associated with the sun.|
|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|
|Inti||Inca||Sun God||The national patron of the Inca state.|
|Liza||West African||Sun God|
|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.|
|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.|
|Utu (Shamash)||Mesopotamia||Sun God|
Egyptian Gods & Goddesses
Ra is the Egyptian god of the Sun. He was also the predominant creator god in ancient Egyptian religion. He was the most powerful and most worshiped of all Egyptian gods. The sun, and therefore Ra, represented life, warmth, and growth to ancient Egyptians. He was so important that he earned the status of King of the Gods, with the Egyptian kings or pharaohs holding the title “sons of Ra.”
Reference to Ra was first made during the Second Dynasty of ancient Egypt (c. 2890 – c. 2686 BC), also known as the Old Kingdom. His stature grew to that of a major god by the Fifth Dynasty (c. 2494 – c. 2345 BC).
The eye of Ra is an extension of Ra’s power and is the feminine counterpart to the sun god in Egyptian mythology. His daughters Bastet, Sekhmet, and Hathor were all considered to be “eyes of Ra” and instruments of his vengeance.
Together with Atum, Ra also fathered Shu, the god of wind, and Tefnut, the goddess of rain. Tefnut gave birth to Nut and Geb, who in turn were the parents of Osiris, Isis, Set, and Nephthys. These nine make up the Heliopolitan Ennead.
Ra is pictured and represented in many pieces of ancient Egyptian art found in temples, tombs, hieroglyphics, relics, and other relics. He was generally depicted in human form, most notably with a falcon head crowned with a sun disc; a sacred cobra called Uraeus encircled the disc. Sometimes his head also took the form of a ram or a beetle, depending on the deity with whom he merged.
Powers & Duties
The ancient Egyptians believed Ra created all forms of life by calling them into existence using their secret names. Alternatively, some narratives also stated that man was created from Ra’s tears and sweat.
The sun god was believed to travel across the sky in a solar bark with the sun on his head. He traveled through the underworld in a bark called Sektet (meaning “growing weaker”) during the night, defending himself against and overcoming monsters such as the serpent Apophis. The prayers and the blessings of the living supposedly accompanied him together with the souls of the dead. In the morning he traveled in a bark called Matet (meaning “becoming stronger”).
Egyptian pharaohs spent most of their money on sun temples during the Fifth Dynasty. They were specially aligned in Ra’s honor. By the time the New Kingdom arrived (c. 1550 BC), the worship became more elaborate. Detailed texts describing Ra’s journey on the sun boats were written on tomb walls, while hymns, prayers, and spells were created in acts of worship.
Heliopolis, meaning sun city in Greek, was the principal seat of worship of Ra. It was known as Iunu or “place of the pillars” in ancient Egypt. Its remains can still be seen today in the Cairo suburb of Al-Matariyyah.
Facts About Ra
Many solar temples were built in honor of Ra, but none featured a statue of him. Instead, he was represented by the sunlight openly flowing into the temple, which had an obelisk and altar at its center.
A scarab beetle called Khepri who rolled up the sun at sunrise was seen as Ra’s morning manifestation;
At sunset Ra manifested in Khnum, another creator god, normally depicted with a ram’s head;
At noon, when the sun was most powerful, the sun god was just Ra;
Apep, the god of chaos, was Ra’s greatest enemy. He supposedly tried to swallowed Ra as the sun god entered the underworld, causing the sun to set. When he spat Ra out after not succeeding in his quest, the sun rose again;
Egyptian mythology links Ra to the Tree of Life, a sacred symbol in the solar temple at Heliopolis. The fruit of the Tree of Life gave eternal life, although it was only available to the gods and aging pharaohs;
The Tree of Life was seat to Bennu, the mythological phoenix that represented Ra’s soul;
The worship of Ra began to fade with the rise of Christianity after the Romans conquered Egypt around 30 BC.
Ra: https://www.gods-and-goddesses.com – Gods & Goddesses, January 25, 2021
Thoth is the Egyptian god of Knowledge. He was widely worshiped as inventor of the written word and credited with the creation of different branches of knowledge.
Thoth is a central figure in ancient Egyptian religion, filling various important roles in the mythological world. However, the worship of Thoth lasted only until the dynastic era. Regardless, the Egyptians and Greeks alike credit him as the inventor of all knowledge.
Egyptian myth told that Thoth was self-created, while at least two alternate stories claim he was either born from the sun god Ra’s lips or from the war god Set’s forehead after Set swallowed the semen of his brother Horus.
He is associated with different consorts or wives, most notably with Ma’at, goddess of truth; Seshat, goddess of writing; and Nehemetawy, a protector goddess. Thoth and Ma’at are believed to have stood on either side of Ra’s boat while he traveled across the sky as the sun. Thoth and Ma’at had eight children, the most well-known being Amon.
He is commonly depicted in human form with the head of an Ibis, a sacred bird associated with wisdom. The name Thoth is the Greek version of the Egyptian name Djehuti, which means “He Who is Like the Ibis.” Sometimes he is pictured holding an ankh, a famous hieroglyph resembling a cross, and scepter; other times, he is pictured holding a scribe’s palette and stylus. He is also seen wearing the Atef crown usually worn by Osiris. When he took the form of A’an, god of equilibrium, he was depicted with the head of a baboon.
Powers & Duties
Considered to be the author of the Book of the Dead, Thoth also acted as scribe to the gods and of the underworld. In this capacity, he stood by during the weighing of the hearts of deceased persons. Hearts lighter or equal to the weight of a feather could move on to a heavenly existence. Thoth’s just decisions in these and other matters made him a respected judge.
Appropriately, one epithet given to Thoth is “The Reckoner of Time and of Seasons.” He possesses the gift of measuring and recording time. In one popular myth, he added an extra five days to add to the 360 day calendar. This was to enable Nut, the sky goddess, to have a child on each of these days after Ra issued a decree that she was to have no children on any day of the original year.
Thoth was first worshiped as a moon god. The moon’s cycles played an important role in Egyptian life. The crescent moon resembled an ibis, the bird associated with Thoth.
Thoth’s main temple is at Khmun. Here he led the Ogdoad pantheon, the four gods and four goddesses who made up the principal deities before creation. He has shrines in numerous other cities.
A festival of Thoth was held at Khmun, where his worshipers buried mummified baboons and ibises as votive offerings. Evidence of these have been found by archaeologists at the necropolis of Tuna el-Gebel.
Facts About Thoth
When Set killed Osiris, Thoth helped Isis to resurrect him and assisted Anubis with the first act of mummification;
Invoked in many spells used in popular magic, Thoth is also seen as a god of magic;
Thoth remains a well-known god in popular culture. In modern literature, for example, he is the character Mr. Ibis in Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. He is also featured on his throne on the logo of the University of Cairo;
Thoth was associated with Hermes, the messenger god, by the Greeks. They were combined to form Hermes Trismegistus. Thereafter, Khmun became Hermopolis;
According to myth, Thoth wrote 42 books containing all the knowledge humanity needs. He was given the title of “Author of Every Work on Every Branch of Knowledge, Both Human and Divine.” Some of this knowledge was so powerful that it could not be revealed to everyone;
The Mansion of Thoth was his home in the afterlife. Souls found a safe place to rest here, where they received magic spells to protect them from demons;
Some of the disciplines the Greeks credit Thoth for include mathematics, astrology, geometry, botany, and land surveying;
Djehuti, an Egyptian pharaoh of the Sixteenth dynasty, was named after Thoth. He ruled for three years.
Thoth: https://www.gods-and-goddesses.com – Gods & Goddesses, January 25, 2021
Norse Goddess – Freya
Freya is the Norse goddess of everything feminine: love, beauty, sex, fertility, and gold. However, she was also at times associated with war and death. Her name translates to “(the) Lady.”
The daughter of Njord, the sea god, and an unnamed mother, Freya was born into the Vanir tribe of gods, but she later became an honorary member of the Aesir gods. Her brother was Freyr and her husband Odr, with whom she had two daughters, Hnoss and Gersemi. Her brother Freyr, is associated with fine weather and good fortune, and also said to be an ancestor of Swedish royalty.
In late Old Norse literature, Odr and Odin, the father of the gods, are most likely the same person. Many theories supported by literary sources would, therefore, also have it that Freya and Frigg, Odin’s wife, are ultimately identical.
The most common symbol associated with Freya is the Brisingamen Necklace – a necklace that sparkled and shined so beautiful that Freya was willing to go to extreme lengths to have it.
Legend states that one night, Freya wandered into the land of the Dwarfs. There, she saw four of them making the most beautiful golden necklace. She told them that she would pay them any amount of gold and silver for it.
However, the Dwarfs were not interested in money. They told Freya that the only way they would give her the Brisingamen was if she would sleep with each one of them. Freya loathed the idea of sleeping with the hideous Dwarfs, but her desire burned so strongly for the Brisingamen that she agreed to their demands. After four nights of sleeping with each one, they made good on their deal, and gave it to her.
Another symbol Freya is associated with is her golden chariot pulled by two blue cats, a gift from Thor. Sometimes she also rode the boar Hildisvini, who was her faithful companion.
Powers & Duties
Freya is the Norse goddess of love, sex and fertility. As the goddess of love and sex, Freya was sought after by prominent Jotnar, the giant gods who were constantly at war with the Aesir. The Jotnar wanted her hand in marriage.
It is also believed that Freya was the first to bring the art of seidr, a type of sorcery practiced during the Late Scandinavian Iron Age, to the gods. She had the knowledge and power to control others’ good fortune and desires.
Another privilege Freya had was that she chose the first half of the warriors killed in battle to stay in her afterlife realm Folkvang. Odin received the other half in Valhalla, his palatial home.
The similarities between Freya and Frigg run deep. Both were accused of infidelity by Loki, the trickster god. In a poem in the Poetic Edda, he even accused Freya of sleeping with her brother. Similarly, legend has it that Frigg slept with Odin’s brothers, Vili and Ve.
The infidelity supposedly took place when Odin or Odr was away. Odin was known to travel far and wide within the Nine Worlds of Norse cosmology. Freya is said to have cried tears of red gold over her husband’s absence. Despite her infidelity, she searched for him wearing her magical feathered cloak, which allowed her to cover big distances quickly in the air.
Facts About Freya
The Brisingamen was also later stolen by Loki and recovered by Heimdall, watchman of the gods;
It is unclear whether the weekday Friday was named after Freya or Frigg. One theory has it that the word for “Friday” in Germanic languages comes from Frija, a Proto-Germanic goddess who was the foremother of Freya and Frigg;
Freya had four nicknames: Hörn, Syr, Gefn, and Mardöll;
Freya allowed other gods to borrow her magical feathered cloak;
In Old Norse literature, Freya is mentioned in the Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda;
Freya’s brother Freyr is associated with fine weather and good fortune. He is also said to be an ancestor of Swedish royalty;
In her role as sorcerer or shaman practicing pre-Christian Norse magic, Freya’s social status changed dramatically depending on where she was and whom she was with;
In rural Scandinavia, Freya was thought to be a supernatural figure until the 19th century;
Freya, or a variant of the name, is still a popular name for girls in Scandinavian countries. Alone in Norway around 500 women have the first name Frøya;
Numerous places in Sweden bear Freya’s name. Many of them, including Freyjulundr, which refers to her sacred grove, are in Uppland;
In Denmark, Freya is mentioned in the first stanza of the national anthem. The line goes like this: “… it is called old Denmark and it is Freja’s hall”;
Various plants were named after Freya, including Freya’s hair (Polygala vulgaris). However, most were replaced with the name of the Virgin Mary during the process of Christianization;
Freya has been compared with the Egyptian goddess Isis and the Greek goddesses Aphrodite and Venus;
Wagner included Freya in his famous opera cycle The Ring;
Freya has been depicted in several famous works of art, including the statue Freyja by H.E. Freund (1821-1822) and the painting Freyja and the Brisingamen by J. Doyle Penrose (1862-1932).
Freya: https://www.gods-and-goddesses.com – Gods & Goddesses, January 25, 2021
More info on Moon Gods and Goddesses: https://www.thoughtco.com/moon-gods-and-moon-goddesses-120395
More info on Sun Gods and Goddesses: https://www.thoughtco.com/sun-gods-and-sun-goddesses-121167