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Shine Bright: The Meaning of the Sun Symbol

Everyone knows that the sun provides the life-giving energy every living creature needs to thrive. Even ancient cultures made the connection between the sun and their survival. Because it’s such an ever-present part of every day, the sun’s significance throughout history has always been apparent. If you’re interested in learning about sun symbolism, read on for an overview from the symbol experts at ALEX AND ANI.

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Historic Significance in Different Cultures

From the ancient Greeks and Romans to the Egyptians and South American cultures, the sun has long been revered – sometimes even as a god. There was Ra, the Egyptian sun god and ruler of the heavens, Helios, the Greek god who literally drove a chariot dragging the sun across the sky, and even Huitzilopochtli, the Aztec sun god and a principal deity for their religion. From artwork and jewelry to shrines and sacrifices, the sun deities played a crucial role in ancient cultures across the entire world.

As a more modern world emerged and science explained the sun and other celestial bodies, the sun's meaning and importance have not changed.

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Sun Symbol Meaning in Different Cultures

Each culture has different interpretations of sun symbolism, but there are several common threads running throughout. The sun represents life but it’s also known to typify energy, power, positivity, and clarity. The sun is a natural force that’s outside of our control, but it also illuminates the world around us, helps living creatures navigate the planet, and sustains many essential ecosystems. While the sun can be a harsh master, beating down mercilessly in many areas and causing droughts, there is no living without it.

Aesthetic Variations of Sun Symbolism

As many aesthetic variations of the sun exist as there are ancient cultures with sun gods. You might see a half-domed rising sun to represent rebirth and new life, as well as a full circle with dazzling rays to constitute endless positivity. Some sun symbols are counterbalanced with the moon to showcase the duality of nature and man, while others are often found aligned with animals or plants to show how significant the sun is for our survival.

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What Does The Sun Mean to You?

At the end of the day, sun symbolism is personal. You might have your own associations and context for how you view the sun, which will inform your decisions when choosing jewelry, artwork, and decor that features this star.

If you’re curious about other symbols that play a major role in our lives, visit our symbol guide to learn more about the most popular designs. For the meaning behind religious symbols, please visit our holy guide for more information!

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