Meet the Gods: Sun gods
Cultures since the beginning of time have worshiped the sun. The importance of these solar deities appear to be of more importance the closer to the equator you get.
For instance, in Egypt, which extends south into the Tropic of Caccer, Ra the sun god was powerful. He was the creator of everything as well as king of all the gods. Ancient Egyptians honored Ra with solar temples open to the sky. He appears as a man with the head of a ram, and sometimes with the head of a beetle, above which is the sun disk he carries across the sky each day.
The Egyptians also had many other sun gods. Among them were Atum who represented the setting sun, Khrnum who was the god of the sunset, Khepri as the god of sunrise and rebirth, and Sopdu who was the god of the summer sun’s scorching heat as well as the god of war.
The Aztec and Hindu had three and four sun gods, respectively.
A little further north is Greece. Helios was the Titan god of the sun, said to drive a chariot pulled by four horses, sometimes winged, across the sky.
According to theoi.com, “Helios was depicted as a handsome, usually beardless, man clothed in purple robes and crowned with the shining aureole of the sun.”
Slowly over time, Helios became viewed as being Apollo, the Olympian sun god who is the son of Zeus. Most commonly associated as the god of healing and prophecy, the lute-playing Apollo was also the god of music. He was associated with poetry, art, archery and medicine. He was given the gift of prophecy and was known as the god of oracles. Apollo was a messenger to the gods. He fathered many children – by both mortals and goddesses.
In Roman mythology, Sol was the sun god. In fact, sol was Latin for sun. Sol Indiges, celebrated every year, was the Romans’ festival to their Sun God, asking for the sun and the rain needed to bring about a good harvest.
The Celts, who lived in central Europe, worshipped Lugh as their Sun god. Fulfilling a prophecy, he grew up to kill his grandfather, Balor, the god of the underworld. To this day, Lughnasadh is celebrated as the first harvest at the beginning of August by those who keep the tradition alive.
The Norse have sun goddesses, but no sun god.
On the Summer Solstice, the sun is at its peak, making it a good time to incorporate a sun god in magical work. Facing south and working with fire, offer gratitude for his gifts.
On the day with the most sunlight, honor a sun god, or the sun itself, perhaps by greeting it as it rises, and again at its highest point in the sky, and lastly, as it sets. Another way to acknowledge the sun’s light and power is by lighting a candle. You can then use it to light a candle for each of the ancient gods, arranging them in a circle around the main candle.