View Full Version : Sól/Sunna {Goddess of the Week}

July 31st, 2010, 05:22 AM
Sól (Old Norse "Sun"[1]) or Sunna (Old High German "Sun") is the Sun personified in Germanic mythology. One of the two Old High German Merseburg Incantations, written in the 9th or 10th century CE, attests that Sunna is the sister of Sinthgunt. In Norse mythology, Sól is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson.

In both the Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda she is described as the sister of the personified moon, Máni, is the daughter of Mundilfari, is at times referred to as Álfröđull, and is foretold to be killed by a monstrous wolf during the events of Ragnarök, though beforehand she will have given birth to a daughter who continues her mother's course through the heavens. In the Prose Edda, she is additionally described as the wife of Glenr. As a proper noun, Sól appears throughout Old Norse literature. Scholars have produced theories about the development of the goddess from potential Nordic Bronze Age and Proto-Indo-European roots.

Poetic Edda

In stanza 23 of the poem Vafţrúđnismál, the god Odin tasks the jötunn Vafţrúđnir with a question about the origins of the sun and the moon. Vafţrúđnir responds that Mundilfari is the father of both Sól and Máni, and that they must pass through the heavens every day to count the years for man:

Mundilfćri hight he, who the moon's father is,
and eke the sun's; round heaven journey each day they must,
to count years for men.[3]

In stanza 45 of Vafţrúđnismál, Odin asks Vafţrúđnir from where another sun will come from once Fenrir has assailed the current sun. Vafţrúđnir responds in stanza 46, stating that before Álfröđull (Sól) is assailed by Fenrir, she will bear a daughter who will ride on her mother's paths after the events of Ragnarök.[4]

In stanza 38 of the poem Grímnismál, Odin says that before the sun (referred to as "the shining god") is a shield named Svalinn, and if the shield were to fall from its frontal position, mountain and sea "would burn up". In stanza 39 Odin (disguised as Grimnir) says that both the sun and the moon are pursued through the heavens by wolves; the sun, referred to as the "bright bride" of the heavens, is pursued by Sköll, while the moon is pursued by Hati Hróđvitnisson.[5]

In stanza 15 of the poem Alvíssmál, the god Thor questions the dwarf Alvíss about the sun, asking him what the sun is called in each of the worlds. Alvíss responds that it is called "sun" by mankind, "sunshine" by the gods, "Dvalinn's deluder" by the dwarves, "everglow" by the jötnar, "the lovely wheel" by the elves, and "all-shining" by the "sons of the Ćsir".[6]

Prose Edda

Sól is referenced in the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning, where she is introduced in chapter 8 in a quote from stanza 5 of Völuspá. In chapter 11 of Gylfaginning, Gangleri (described as King Gylfi in disguise) asks the enthroned figure of High how the sun and moon are steered. High describes that Sól is one of the two children of Mundilfari, and states that the children were so beautiful they were named after the sun (Sól) and the moon (Máni). Mundilfari has Sól married to a man named Glenr.[7]

High says that the gods were "angered by this arrogance" and that the gods had the two placed in the heavens. There, the children were made to drive the horses Arvak and Alsvid that drew the chariot of the sun. High says that the gods had created the chariot to illuminate the worlds from burning embers flying from the fiery world of Muspelheim. In order to cool the horses, the gods placed two bellows beneath their shoulders, and that "according to the same lore" these bellows are called Ísarnkol.[8]

In chapter 12 of Gylfaginning, Gangleri tells High that the sun moves quickly, almost as if she were moving so quickly that she fears something, that she could not go faster even if she were afraid of her own death. High responds that "It is not surprising that she moves with such speed. The one chasing her comes close, and there is no escape for her except to run." Gangleri asks who chases her, to which High responds that two wolves give chase to Sól and Máni. The first wolf, Sköll, chases Sól, and despite her fear, Sköll will eventually catch her. Hati Hróđvitnisson, the second wolf, runs ahead of Sól to chase after Máni, whom Hati Hróđvitnisson will also catch.[8] In chapter 35, Sól's status as a goddess is stated by High, along with Bil.[9]

In chapter 53, High says that after the events of Ragnarök, Sól's legacy will be continued by a daughter that is no less beautiful than she, who will follow the path she once rode, and, in support, Vafţrúđnismál stanza 47 is then quoted.[10]

In the Prose Edda book Skáldskaparmál, Sól is first presented in chapter 93, where the kennings "daughter of Mundilfćri", "sister of Máni", "wife of Glen", "fire of sky and air" are given for her, followed by an excerpt of a work by the 11th century skald Skúli Ţórsteinsson:

God-blithe bedfellow of Glen
steps to her divine sanctuary
with brightness; then descends the good
light of grey-clad moon.[11]

In chapter 56, additional names for Sól are given; "day-star", "disc", "ever-glow", "all-bright seen", "fair-wheel", "grace-shine", "Dvalinn's toy", "elf-disc", "doubt-disc", and "ruddy".[12] In chapter 58, following a list of horses, the horses Arvakr and Alsviđr are listed as drawing the sun,[13] and, in chapter 75, Sól is again included in a list of goddesses.[14]

From: Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sol_%28goddess%29)
In Norse mythology, Sol is the sun goddess, daughter of Mundilfari. She is married to Glen. Sol rides through the sky in a chariot pulled by the horses Alsvid ("all swift") and Arvak ("early riser"). Below their shoulder-blades the gods inserted iron-cold bellows to keep them cool.

She is chased during the daytime by the wolf Skoll who tries to devour her, just like her brother Mani is chased by the wolf Hati at night. It was believed that during solar eclipses the sun was in danger of being eaten by Skoll. Both wolves are the offspring of the giantess Hrodvitnir who lives in the Iron Wood. Eventually, the wolf will catch her. The goddess Svalin stands in front of the sun and shields the earth from the full intensity of its heat.

From: Pantheon.org

Sól/Sunna Lore from Sólarljóđ
translated by Benjamin Thorpe
The Song of the Sun verses 38-45

I alone knew, how on all sides my pains increased.
The maids of Hel each eve with horror bade me to their home.
The sun I saw, true star of the day, sink in its roaring home;
but Hel's grated doors on the other side I heard heavily creaking.
The sun I saw with blood-red beams beset: (fast was I then
from this world declining) mightier she appeared, in many ways, than she was before.
The sun I saw, and it seemed to me as if I saw a glorious god;
I bowed before her, for the last time, in the world of men.
The sun I saw: she beamed forth with quivering eyes, appalled and shrinking;
for my heart in great measure was dissolved in languor.
The sun I saw seldom sadder; I had then almost from the world declined;
my tongue was as wood become, and all was cold without me.
The sun I saw never after, since that gloomy day;
for the mountain-waters closed over me, and I went called from torments.

From: here (http://www.wyrdwords.vispa.com/goddesses/sol/solarljodh.html)

Sunna is the Norse Goddess of the Sun, also known as Sól, though some hold that Sól is the mother and Sunna Her daughter. In Norse mythology, the Sun is female while the Moon is male. When the world was created from the body of the dead giant Ymir by the triad of Odin, Vili, and Ve, the Sun, Moon and Stars were made from the gathered sparks that shot forth from Muspellsheim, the Land of Fire.

Sól ("Mistress Sun"), drives the chariot of the Sun across the sky every day. Pulled by the horses Allsvinn ("Very Fast") and Arvak ("Early Rising"), the Sun-chariot is pursued by the wolf Skoll. It is said that sometimes he comes so close that he is able to take a bite out of the Sun, causing an eclipse. Sol's father is Mundilfari, and She is the sister of Mĺni, the Moon-god, and the wife of Glaur or Glen ("Shine"). As Sunna, She is a healer.

At Ragnarok, the foretold "Twilight of the Gods" or end of the world, it is believed the Sun will finally be swallowed by Skoll. When the world is destroyed, a new world shall be born, a world of peace and love, and the Sun's bright daughter shall outshine Her mother.

Alternate names: Sól, Sun, Sunnu, Gull ("Gold").

From: here (http://www.thaliatook.com/AMGG/sunna.html)

Other Sites:
Midsummer: A Celebration of the Goddess Sunna- Beliefnet.com (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CBcQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.beliefnet.com%2FFaiths%2FPagan-and-Earth-Based%2F2005%2F06%2FMidsummer-A-Celebration-Of-The-Goddess-Sunna.aspx&ei=COpTTN-5EoaksQPgoqzZAg&usg=AFQjCNFJomJNvTArH9e5SZg6RQSP7kDLkw)

Hailing the Sun--A Blot to Honor Sunna (http://www.ravenkindred.com/RBSunna.html)
Blessing to Sunna (http://www.goheathen.org/blessings/sunna.html)
Sunna Blot (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=27&ved=0CCcQFjAGOBQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.modernheathen.com%2Findex.php%3Foption%3Dcom_content%26view%3Darticle%26id%3D59 %3Asunna-blot%26catid%3D38%3Ablots%26Itemid%3D62&ei=i-pTTNHrDIXGsAO1qY3aAg&usg=AFQjCNHBnssagwrcvv0FfhvuXAXc2w2zIw)

Modern hymn/poem/blessing-
* (http://www.ravenkindred.com/RBSunna.html)Ode to Sunna (http://www.odins-gift.com/poth/L-Q/odetosunna.htm) Analemma McKee-Schwenke
* Prayer to Sol (http://www.odins-gift.com/poth/recent/prayertosol.htm) Haakon Donalson
* Oh Hail ! (Sunna passages) (http://www.odins-gift.com/poth/L-Q/ohhailsunna.htm) Crowfuzz
* Solar and Lunar Adorations (http://www.odins-gift.com/poth/recent/solarandlunaradorations.htm) Benedikt (Ben) Kolsson
* Sun Hail (http://www.odins-gift.com/poth/R-T/sunhail.htm) Alwynne
* Sunna, Bright (http://www.odins-gift.com/poth/R-T/sunnabright.htm) Crowfuzz
* Sunna (http://www.odins-gift.com/poth/R-T/sunna_remen.htm) Kimberley Remen
* The Chasing of Sol (http://www.odins-gift.com/poth/R-T/thechasingofsol.htm) Jim Davis
* Sunna-Rise (http://www.odins-gift.com/pown/sunna-rise.htm) Michaela Macha
* Sunna: Forgotten Goddess of the Sun (http://www.odins-gift.com/poth/R-T/sunnaforgottengoddess.htm) Sophie Oberlander
* The Death of Mundilfari´s Daughter (http://www.odins-gift.com/poth/R-T/thedeathofmundilfaris.htm) Richard A. Edwards
* Mundilfari´s Kin (http://www.odins-gift.com/poth/L-Q/mundilfariskin.htm) Crowfuzz
* Sunna´s Journey (http://www.odins-gift.com/poth/R-T/sunnasjourney.htm) Kim Thornton
* The Star (dedicated to Sunna) (http://www.odins-gift.com/poth/R-T/thestar.htm) Rob Crocker
* Sunna (http://www.odins-gift.com/poth/R-T/sunna_remen.htm) Kimberley Remen

On MW:
Sunna and Sol (http://mysticwicks.com/showthread.php?t=158764&highlight=sunna)
Sunna and Manni (http://mysticwicks.com/showthread.php?t=91276&highlight=sunna)

Solar Goddess and a male moon? (http://mysticwicks.com/showthread.php?t=104058&highlight=sunna)
Sun Gods And Goddesses (http://mysticwicks.com/showthread.php?t=18504&highlight=sunna)
(http://mysticwicks.com/showthread.php?t=18504&highlight=sunna) Sun goddess (http://mysticwicks.com/showthread.php?t=26827&highlight=sunna)

July 31st, 2010, 02:37 PM
It's lovely to see such a comprehensive list of sources on a goddess many don't recognise right away. :) She's one of the reasons why my nickname here is the way it is. Sól is a very subtle influence in my life at certain times. :) I can only hope she'll continue to be here with me in the future.

August 1st, 2010, 12:41 AM
I'm glad you enjoyed! If you have anything else to share, please feel free. :)

Woden's Spear
August 1st, 2010, 12:55 AM
Sunna has been parching us here on the East Coast! I'm not complaining, though. I bear her firey embrace with good humor.

August 2nd, 2010, 08:02 PM
Some of you may be interested in my write-up of Litha - Sunwheels Alight for Pantheon (http://www.patheos.com/community/paganportal/2010/06/14/wyrd-designs-litha-sunwheels-alight/), which stars Sunna as the ase du jour, and features both a great activity idea to be done in ritual in honor of Her, as well as a prayer and invocation one can use in ritual or as part of even their daily devotions.

There's also a devotional for both Sunna and her brother Mani edited by Galina Krasskova called Day Star and Whirling Wheel (http://www.amazon.com/Day-Star-Whirling-Wheel-Tradition/dp/0982579802/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1280793716&sr=8-1) available via Amazon and other book retailers. Which features ideas from many contributing authors on ones to connect and work with Her. :)

August 3rd, 2010, 04:01 AM
Beautiful thread.

I've read this book: "The Sun Goddess: Myth, Legend and History" by Sheena McGrath http://www.librarything.com/work/1025660

August 17th, 2010, 06:46 PM
Thank you for the information. I did not know Svalin existed until I read this post.