Almost all living things on this planet depend in one way or another on the sun. Flocks of birds migrate when triggered by shorter or longer days. Plants bloom and put out seeds in the spring, then fade in summer and autumn. Early man looked up to the rising and setting of the sun to know time and season.
In India, there is a sun temple, dedicated to the god Surya. Ornate and legendary, the temple served to establish the supremacy of a ruler now long dead. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yQf2EChaAI
Sun gods and goddesses have populated man’s beliefs across most cultures. And yes, there are sun goddesses. Females were not limited to the moon, but ruled the day as well. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_deity
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/24662369@N07/5584867286″>SDO Sees Spring Eclipse April, 3</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>
You no doubt are aware that the early Christian church sought to keep the congregations happy by celebrating key holidays overlaid on pagan holidays. The natural world played a huge part in the life of an early Celt, with the sun hanging around for fewer hours until mid-winter, then the celebration of the return of the light. Mid-spring, the light is stronger still, and mid-Summer we’re ready for a little cooler weather. So celebrating the birth of the Christ around the same time as the return of the light made a lot of sense. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_and_Paganism
In the Star Trek episode, Bread and Circuses, the native population worship the sun, or so it is thought. At the end of the episode (Spoiler alert!) it turns out they actually follow the Son of God. D.M. Murdoch suggests that signs and portents throughout history prophesied Jesus Christ’s coming, and that many writings about Christ refer to him as the sun. http://www.stellarhousepublishing.com/jesussunexcerpt.html
Jews and Christians have more common ground than they often realize. The days in the Jewish calendar start at sundown. Passover and Good Friday are nearly the same holy day. But the sun has a 28-year cycle, at the end of which the sun returns to the exact same position it was in on the first day of creation. And there is a rare blessing, Birkat Hachama, said every 28 years on the first day of the next cycle. The blessing is said to the maker of works of creation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birkat_Hachama
The Quran has many references to Heaven and Earth, mostly reflections on the glory that is the Creator. The sun figures mostly as a sign that will be recognized when the End Times come. http://www.islam-guide.com/bqs/17astronomy.htm
Now, this has been a very rambling post about a lot of things, but imagine you are world building for your novel. You must consider the beliefs of your various peoples. And you must consider how the lights in the night sky and the day sky impact those beliefs. Conflict drives most stories, the ones that are riveting and hard to put down. A classic conflict is a difference of beliefs, and science versus religion.
Your homework is to sketch out a plot beginning that illustrates this type of conflict. And please comment below if I missed a belief system that involves the sun. I know I must have. Happy Holy Days!
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Born and raised in Southern California, DL Hungerford began writing right about the time you would expect. She honed her skills through fanzines, epic letters, and minutes for various clubs. She also wrote newsletter submissions for clubs, as well as movie and book reviews.
She loves the world of fiction, especially Regency England, but hopes to explore other horizons as time permits. She still lives in Southern California with her husband, a spoiled cat, and a flock of parrots and other birds.