Tom: I have given a bit more thought to the subject of the solar female — particularly in light of the Shaivistic notion that Shakti is a supreme being, despite being female. Shakti is responsible for creation and is an agent of all change; both seem like quite solar roles. The Sun is an agent of the cycles of eternal recurrence in their sensory form as the days and the seasons, symbolic of the intellectual; that is esoteric meaning of eternal recurrence, which I take to be literally “eternal,” without measure, not simply the absence of defined limitations but literally without limit. The sun itself as symbol has other esoteric meanings too, namely “truth” (Guenon’s identification).
Anyway, the Hindu and Greek male Sun gods are still drawn by a solar chariot, as was the female solar goddess from which they were derived. I wonder if the chariot transporting the Sun reduces its movement to a symbolically passive form, being transported like a lady. Tacitus describes how the images of Germanic goddesses were transported in wagons around the land as part of festivals. this may have been a reflection of the passage of the Sun over the land, a female deity transported. What force then are the horses that transport her?
Adam: Hm. Really interesting. Do you think birth itself is also something to do with it? As for this cosmic force which moves the sun, that’s a fascinating question. Time? I’ll need to do some research on the matter.
Tom: Yes. I had also thought of Sun as male and the solar rays impregnating the earth, bringing forth harvest. In reflection this is quite a primitive view. The Sun gives birth to light and heat. As for time — not in a finite sense, but perhaps in the eternal sense of recurrence? Time implies a defined measure between points in our modern world.
Adam: Yes. The sense of motion, of becoming, I suppose. Time as it were didn’t exist to the ancients in the same way.
Tom: I don’t know whether any gender need be assigned to that force. And exactly.
Adam: Ah, okay — maybe it’s my inner Hermeticist looking for dualism in everything. An error on my part perhaps.
Tom: I think they would understand time of day and time of year but nothing else.
Adam: Indeed, it would be time as a moment, not measure.
Tom: Well, the horses that draw the solar chariots are described in some traditions.
Adam: Right? Is their gender defined? Names?
Tom: “In Norse mythology they are the horses of Dagr and Nótt. The names Skinfaxi and Hrímfaxi are bahuvrihis, meaning ‘shining mane’ and ‘rime mane,’ respectively. Skinfaxi pulled Dagr‘s chariot across the sky every day and his mane lit up the sky and the earth below.” Day is different from Sun, and Sun has horses with difference names: “Árvakr and Alsviðr — in Norse mythology they are the horses which pull the Sun, or Sól‘s chariot, across the sky each day. It is said that the gods fixed bellows underneath the two horses’ shoulders to help cool them off as they rode.”
Adam: Yes, just reading through all this and everything related. There’s a theme of sureness. “Mithra is the Zoroastrian angelic Divinity of Covenant and Oath. In addition to being the Divinity of Contracts, Mithra is also a judicial figure, an all-seeing Protector of Truth, and the Guardian of Cattle, the Harvest and of The Waters.” “Contracts” — so, the definite nature of the Sun moving through the heavens. Also connected is the Aztec sacrificial rite which was performed to make the Sun rise everyday. The idea that the Sun must be moved.
Tom: Yes, some Indian tribes did that even recently too (feathers not dots).
Adam. So we have this theme of the feminine Sun being as such due to its being moved by contract or will.
Tom: Mithras is associated with the solar chariot at an early stage in Indo-Aryan mythology — I think he is related to the Hindu solar god Surya.
Adam: For Helios: “The Greek ἥλιος is the inherited word for the Sun, from Proto-Indo-European sóh₂wl̥, cognate with Latin sol, Sanskrit surya, Old English swegl, Old Norse sól, Welsh haul, etc.”
Tom: Norse Sol is pursued in the sky, so there is an involuntary aspect, but we can’t be sure if that was a degenerated tradition. Her gender may be a preservation of the original solar myth, but perhaps not the wolves.
Adam: “Apollo also means ‘prophecy’ and ‘truth.’ The Greeks most often associated Apollo’s name with the Greek verb ἀπόλλυμι, ‘to destroy.'”
Tom: Ah, my mistake — day is pursued by a wolf, but not Sol. Sol will be consumed by the great wolf at the end of the current age.
Adam: “Plato in Cratylus connects the name with ἀπόλυσις, ‘redemption,’ with ἀπόλουσις, ‘purification,’ and with ἁπλοῦν, ‘simple,’ in particular in reference to the Thessalian form of the name, Ἄπλουν, and finally with Ἀειβάλλων, ‘ever-shooting.'”
Tom: Sol is sort of bound by a contract too.
Adam: So there’s this perennial idea of recurrence, of the event of the Sun’s motion being guaranteed — “Phanaios, literally ‘giving or bringing light.'”
Tom: Yes. I suppose in the Norse example this is inevitable because Sól is kidnapped by the gods and driven forth by the horses. She is not capable of stopping the chariot, but she will herself be destroyed inevitably at Ragnarok, which in a broadly Aryan sense can be seen not as a future event, but an eternally recurring one. Perhaps the shift to male solar deities indicates a different view of the contract, with an active sense of duty, rather than a passive involuntary one.
Adam: Yes, brilliant.
Tom: I suppose the shift in gender can be viewed from a perennial perspective as of secondary importance to the core notion of inevitable and perpetual motion/time symbolised in each case, either by contract or servitude.
Adam: And this differentiation is dependent upon what? The particular tradition and its leanings? The timeframe of religious expression?
Tom: I am not sure how important it is, but the greater cultures of the south all switched to male solar deities for some reason. It could be seen as a degeneration of a purer tradition but I am not convinced this was the case. The female form is preserved in more Northerly examples among Balts, Teutons and Celts. It may have to do with the latitude — the seasons are so clearly demarcated here, with the arctic midnight Sun of mid-Summer and the harsh darkness of Winter, perhaps this encourages a view of the Sun as reluctant in its passage. That is purely sensory though — perhaps the change does not effect the esoteric meaning as much as I thought it might?
Adam: No, I think you’re onto something there. There’s a fire which was manifest in the ancient south which existed as a glorious sort of force, where fire existed in the north as a sign of survival and perseverance. This dichotomy isn’t without importance. Everything has a symbolic meaning, especially this divide between the cold north and warm south.
Tom: Are you talking about the eternal flame in the Persian tradition?
Adam: Is this the flame mentioned in Revolt‘s earlier chapters? But no, I’m not knowingly.
Tom: I can’t remember, it’s the one Zoroastrians worship in temples.
Adam: Ah, yes, I’m thinking of the patriarchal fire.
Tom: What is that? The Persian temporal fire also represents the fire of creation and symbolises purity, I don’t think it’s the same as the solar symbol
Adam: From Evola’s Revolt Against the Modern World, chapter six:
This legacy, which emanated from the founding father, was represented by fire (for example, the thirty fires of the thirty families surrounding the central fire of Vesta, in Rome). This fire, which was fed with special substances and lit according to specific rituals and secret norms, was supposed to keep burning at all times by every family as the living and tangible witness of its divine legacy.
The idea of eternal fire, always burning, a constant source of light and warmth, is a microcosm of the Sun as power as opposed to the Sun as powered.
Tom: Ah, thanks for that.
Adam: It relates to family and ancestors and so forth, but it’s the metaphysics of fire which I’m looking at.
Tom: Hm. It would have an equivalence in the Sun as mother, but I don’t think the Sun was regarded that way. The Earth was, but not the Sun.
Adam: What about Sun as daughter?
Tom: Not that I’m aware, but the myths in the Baltic and Celtic examples are not preserved, only the Norse one, and that could be a distortion.
In Norse mythology Mundilfari or Mundilfäri is the father of Sól, goddess associated with the Sun, and Máni, associated with the Moon. Mundilfari is attested in the Poetic Edda poem Vafþrúðnismál stanza 23, and in chapter 11 of the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning.
Mundilferi is he who began the moon,
And fathered the flaming sun;
The round of heaven each day they run,
To tell the time for men.
There seem to be instances of the sun being created by a male force prior.