The Sun in Latvian Mythology

A Benevolent Mother

Winter sun reflected on ice, Snake Lake.

The sun, Saule, in Latvian mythology is a female. A mother goddess. Her husband is the moon. Their children are the stars. She is reborn on the 22 of December. 

Saule has the attributes of a mother, a protector, a comforter, someone who warms you. She ensures the fertility of the earth and the humans who dwell on it.. Not surprisingly, considering the duties of mothers, she is the symbol of perpetual motion. Saule symbolizes honesty, compassion, inner strength, and vitality. She is the guardian of the helpless and unfortunate, especially orphans and young shepherds (in Latvia the duties of shepherds fell to children)

Those of us who live on Earth live under the sun. The souls of the deceased pass beyond the sun.

Sun symbols appear on all sorts of Latvian objects–clothing, jewelry, ceramics, wood engravings, and on the tools used by women. When a young woman marries she is supposed to present her groom with a pair of mittens, which she has knit, that incorporate the sun symbol.

The simplest of the sun symbols is a circle. Because of the sun’s importance, there are many variations of her symbol, each more ornate than the other. Some are so fancy that it can be hard to recognize them for what they are.

Saules zīme — teorija. Vizuālā māksla (Skola2030), 1. klase.
These are all sun symbols
The eight rays of the sun symbol represent the annual holidays: the summer and winter solstices at the top and bottom, the equinoxes from left to right, and in between the cross-quarter days which fall midway between an equinox and a solstice. February 2, Candlemas, is an example of a cross-quarter day.
These are sun symbols, in white, on a weaving I got in Latvia
The sun symbol on a sash that goes with a Latvian folk costume, like the ones in the Solstice video and also in my blog’s logo.
This is the photo from my laissez-passer, a passport issued by the UN to stateless persons. I am wearing a sun brooch made by my father in the DP camp where we lived.