Discover 8 Animals that Represent and Are Associated With the Sun - A-Z Animals
Most cultures have a way of explaining the existence of the Sun. In some cultures, this understanding is achieved through anthropomorphic representation and association. What real-world animals are associated with the star at the center of our Solar System? Discover 8 animals that represent and are associated with the Sun now.
8. Jaguar: Representing the Personality of a Sun God
In the pre-Columbian mythology in South and Central America, jaguars represented Tezcatlipoca. This god was the ruler of the first of 5 suns that dominated different eras of civilization. Because he is at the beginning of a long tradition of creation myths, he originated with the Olmec and Toltecs.
Tezcatlipoca was a major god to the Aztecs and represented royalty. His personality was the embodiment of a jaguar’s spirit. Because of this, when the ruler of the Second Sun Era Quetzalcoatl conquered Tezcatlipoca, jaguars ate the world.
7. Eagle: Associated With the Sun Around the World
The Babylonians associated the eagle with the sun, and the Assyrians used the eagle as a representation of their sun god Ashur. The eagle also took on solar associations in Greek, Polynesian, and Melanesian myths.
Throughout history, a story about the eagle and the Sun has permeated many cultures. In the variations of this story, the eagle makes its children fly toward the Sun. While they doing are so, the little ones have to stare at the Sun without flinching.
This tale of the eagle heading toward the Sun in a bout of strength and courage started in Egypt and then entered Western thought through Aristotle to Pliny before making it into Christian stories. Shakespeare also references this tale in one of his works.
In India’s Rigveda, a sun god named Surya is represented by an eagle. Garuda is also a divine eagle sunbird acknowledged in some form in Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism. In this line of thinking, the sun eagles are a symbol of dharma which is the idea of inherent cosmic reality and universal truth.
6. Ram: Representative of Strength and Fire
In Ancient Egypt, the ram represented Amun-Re, an important sun god. This god was associated with strength and power, and ram symbology was used by twenty-fifth-dynasty pharaohs. Specifically, a pharaoh named Taharqa is often represented with amulets or earrings depicting a sun disc and a ram head.
In Western systems of astrology, the ram is associated with Aries and with fire. This association reinforces the idea that the ram is a symbol of strength, courage, and power. Aries is also at the beginning of the Zodiac, and the Sun is in Aries from March 20 to April 20.
5. Coyote: A Trickster Associated With the Sun
In Crow belief systems from North America, Coyote is associated with the sun as a creator. He steals the Sun from other beings who were hoarding it for their own good and gives it to humanity. In Shasta traditions from California, Coyote uses the sun to save the Earth from 10 malevolent moons causing an unending winter.
In most indigenous tales associating Coyote with the Sun, and in tales where Coyote is not associated with the Sun, he is almost always shown as a trickster. While he is a creator, he does so through trickery and not merely for the sake of doing good. He is almost always seeking something else which means that doing the right thing is a result of an ulterior motive.
4. Scarlet Macaw: Representing the South and the Sun in America
In the Southwestern United States, the scarlet macaw is associated with the sun. Indigenous Pueblo groups today see this macaw as representative of both the south and the Sun. They are sometimes also used in association with rainbows, agriculture, and salt.
What’s interesting about this macaw’s use in the Southwest is that their natural range is almost 1000 miles away in Mexico. This explains their association with a southern direction, and it also highlights the historical importance of trade with specific cultures. Macaws were often obtained by trading turquoise with Mesoamericans, and some form of trade involving these birds has existed for a thousand years.
3. Lion: Associated with the Sun of Summer
From Ancient Mesopotamia through the history of Islamic astrology, the lion of the zodiac was associated with the Sun. In ancient astrological systems outside of Abrahamic monotheism, the lion was often associated with the gods of the sun in the zodiac. In Iran, there is a long and complicated history of the lion and sun being representations of cultural pride and national identity that has changed its nuance throughout the last couple of millennia.
Western astrology also associates lions with the Sun. That’s because the sign of Leo, from July 23 to August 22, is the sunniest time of the year. As a national symbol and a zodiac character, the lion represents mightiness, strength, justice, and courage.
2. Rooster: Representative of Timekeeping
Helios, an Ancient Greek god of the sun, thought roosters were sacred since they announced dawn. This association is common in many other cultures around the globe to this day as roosters tend to crow at daybreak. A rooster’s crest also looks like flames which deepened its connection to the Sun.
Before modern clocks, roosters were used as an alarm to signal the start of the day. When roosters making a fuss woke everyone up, daily chores began. This made them respected timekeepers, and they were considered a valuable asset in farming communities.
This idea of roosters as timekeepers because they announce sunrise is also found in the New Testament of the Bible. Jesus tells the apostle Peter that he will deny him three times before the rooster crows in Matthew 26:75.
The association of roosters with the Sun in Eastern Europe is as old as the cultures of the Eurasian nomads on the steppes. It trickled into Ancient Scythia, and today still influences the superstitions of people living in Ukraine.
1. Raven: Associated With Creation Via the Sun
While most Western traditions see the raven as an animal that portends darker energies because of its color, the Tlingit of Alaska sees the raven as a creator associated with the sun. Clans were named after Raven because it was responsible for the way things are on Earth today.
Raven stole a box from the sun chief with the Sun in it and tried to trade it with humans for food. Nobody believed Raven, so it opened the box and the Sun roared out. The advent of daylight from this release changed all living things.
Anyone wearing an animal’s skin turned into that animal. For example, someone donning an otter pelt became an otter. Only naked people stayed on Earth as humans. In honor of this tradition, hunters tried not to kill ravens as they were seen as heroes.
A Summary of Animals that Represent and Are Associated With the Sun
|Animal Name||What This Animal Has to Do With the Sun|
|1||Raven||Associated With Creation Via the Sun|
|2||Rooster||Representative of Timekeeping|
|3||Lion||Associated With the Sun of Summer|
|4||Scarlet Macaw||Representing the South and the Sun in America|
|5||Coyote||A Trickster Associated With the Sun|
|6||Ram||Representative of Strength and Fire|
|7||Eagle||Associated With the Sun Around the World|
|8||Jaguar||Representing the Personality of a Sun God|
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