The sun is the star that allows us to live on our planet; the celestial body that allows us to grow the food that we eat; to keep warm enough for our bodies, and the thing which allows the weather patterns that maintain the life of everything on the planet. The sun, as a symbol, represents life, growth, rebirth and the continuation of life as we know it.
The sun symbolism has many connotations in art, literature, and everything else that makes us as human beings. Let’s delve a little deeper into the sun symbolism…
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What does the sun symbolize
For millennia, the sun has been heralded as a symbol of power, and something that is used as a symbol for growth, health and vitality. Because the sun is a giver of life and the thing that makes our planet habitable, it has often been worshiped and revered throughout time.
The sun is considered to have “masculine” properties in some cultures, whereas the moon is thought to be a “feminine” symbol. This imbues the sun with certain traits that the moon does not represent – aggression, power and great strength.
The sun is also seen as a metaphor for the cycle of life, as it is born in the morning, lives its life over 12 hours, then “dies” again at the end of the day. This can also make the sun a symbol for rebirth, for new beginnings and fresh chances.
Many cultures throughout the world, across many centuries, have worshiped the sun, and assigned it many different powers, from healing and health, to fertility , good luck, and various different gods.
Ancient Greeks associated the sun with Zeus, god of all gods, while Hindus believe it symbolized the divine Varuna. Ancient Egyptians assigned three gods to the sun – Osiris, Horus and Ra, while the ancient Chinese saw it as a mystical eye in the sky, as well as the ultimate yin yang symbol.
What does the sun symbolize in literature
In writings, the sun is a representation of a hero, or a powerful, strong character. It can also denote a forceful personality, and a warmth of character, when it is applied to a person in a book. As a symbol by itself, especially in poetry, the sun is used as a symbol for light and hope.
Because the sun shines a bright light physically, it is also shown as shining a bright light in the metaphorical world, meaning that a blazing sun can be used as a symbol for truth, honesty and a realization of something big, to a character or to the reader.
Sunrise and sunset can have different symbolism in literature; for example the sun may set on the end of a scene, a resolution or a tying up of lose ends. Sunrises symbolize a new start, so you may find that the plot takes a few twists and turns!
What does the sun symbolize in Christianity
The sun represents different things in different religions; in Christianity it is seen as the Gospel, with Christ at the center, and the idea of salvation and the love of God.
There is a section in Genesis, where it is written how god created the Earth, as well as two lights – one for the day and one for the night – to give light in the dark, and also to divide day from night., which is further removed from the realms of symbolism, but explains that, like everything, it was created and set into place by God.
If you delve back far into the realms of very early Christianity, you discover that the supposed birthday of Christ (25th December) was the date of the birth of Sol Invictus, the Sun God of the Roman empire, so it looks as though Christians have been worshiping the sun for centuries!
What does the rising sun symbolize
For a good few centuries, the rising sun has been used as a symbol for the military, particularly in Japanese culture.
The symbolism of the actual sun rising suggests feelings of hope, and a new start. The sunrise is literally the birth of an entirely new day, so its symbolism is definitely hope and rebirth. Dawn can symbolize a new start, a transformation in luck, and an entirely blank sheet on which to write the story of your life.
Hope is a very important thing in human life; it keeps us going, and keeps us getting up in the morning! A dawn symbol is one that brings hope, and peace, and even a bit of excitement.
What does the sun symbolize in a tattoo
Obviously, the significance of a tattoo will vary depending on who has got the tattoo, and what they are using it as a meaning for. In general, having the sun tattooed on your body is a symbol for light, hope, rebirth and strength.
The sun often also symbolizes truth, as it cannot dissemble, nor do anything other than rise and set. It is just there, every day (unless you live in the UK, in which case it is often hidden by murky clouds!) It can symbolize coming to the end of a dark period, which is often the reason why people have it tattooed on their bodies, as a reminder that the sun will rise again and the dark days will end.
The sun is often placed on a tattoo with a moon, to symbolize the yin and yang of everything in life, and the balance of everything in the universe. The sun is considered to be a masculine energy while the moon is feminine, so to place them together in a tattoo represents harmony.
The sun, although we take it completely for granted in our every day life, is actually the main thing that allows us to live and thrive on this planet. As such, it is hardly surprising that the sun symbolizes so much power and is the subject of so much poetry, significance and god-like status.