Today is the time for one of my favorite holidays- summer solstice, a day devoted to Saule and her daughters. I don’t really have much planned, but I’ve already left her the first cup of coffee of the day and given her an offering of water, and later I’ll be lighting candles to her and her daughters Zemyna and Ausrine. Truthfully, she has more children than that, but I only have so much room on my altar. I’ll probably light an extra candle that’ll be for her other daughters.
…Truthfully, she has more children than that, but I only have so much room on my altar, so I’ll probably light a fourth candle for the rest of her daughters.
Saule’s been with me for a good two or three years at this point. My relationship with her started… maybe two weeks after my relationship with the Norse gods ended? I didn’t really take my time in moving from one pantheon to another, which is something that I sometimes regret but mostly don’t.
In retrospect, it would have been nice to pick and choose more carefully where I wanted to go religiously. But I was sixteen or seventeen, and making slow careful decisions wasn’t a huge priority. It still isn’t, if I’m honest with myself.
In my experience with Saule, she’s a very energetic deity. She’s a very cheerful deity too; she’s very encouraging, but also very hands off. She doesn’t try to control anything about my life; she doesn’t really ask very much of me, to be quite honest. I’m more than a little grateful; I’m still struggling to be and act like an adult, and I appreciate the time to figure out where I’m at.
Anyway. Here are some of the traits of Saule that seem particularly important to me:
Saule is associated with apples. Apparently, this especially applies to yellow ones, but I associate her strongly with red ones, myself.
She also has a boat. So mythologically, after she gets over debeskalns, the heavenly mountain, she ends up sleeping on a boat that takes her under the earth, over the underground sea, and back to where she starts the day. Kinda like Ra’s barque, I guess, except with more sleeping and rest and less Constant Threat of Universal Destruction. This boat is piloted by Perkunatele, who is a goddess that we really don’t know much about.
…At least, those of us who speak English.
In Lithuanian mythology, Saule is the mother of the planets. I’ve said this before, but it just seems so COOL to me that I’m going to say it again. The sun is the mother of the planets? Doesn’t that just make all kinds of sense?
In Latvian mythology, she and her daughters court Deivs and his sons. In Latvian mythology, she has approximately two daughters (father unknown). Dievs, the god of the sky and (probable) creator of Everything has two sons (mother unknown). These families court each other, but to my knowledge, no one actually marries.
In Lithuanian mythology, she and Menuo (the god of the moon) are separated. However, because they both love Zemyna, the earth, they’ve split their time in the sky in half so that both get to see their daughter.
I’ve always been uncertain about Menuo and Saule’s marital status. So, the rundown is that Menuo cheated on Saule with her daughter Ausrine* (goddess of the morning star), Perkunas sliced him into pieces for his betrayal of Saule, and the two of them parted ways after that.
However, there’s some indication that the two of them are still, in some way, married. Menuo is described as continuing to cheat on Saule with Ausrine, causing Perkunas to perpetually cut him into pieces as punishment. (He’s put back together by Ausrine, by the way. This explains the phases of the moon.)
And there’s also a really cute myth that describes eclipses as being when Saule and Menuo kiss. See, it gets dark because they throw a blanket over themselves so that Zemyna, their daughter, doesn’t see.
…But there’s also the possibility that I’m mixing myths from different areas of Lithuania together. SO. Keep your salt with you, guys.
Saule really likes coffee and hot drinks. This is in no way supported by any mythology or archeology. It’s pure UPG. But in my experience, she likes tea, and I gather that she likes coffee as well, so.
Anyway. That’s my piece for today. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope that your solstice is beautiful and enchanting.
*For the record, I’ve never seen any indication that Ausrine was Menuo’s daughter, and I’ve seen a little indication that she’s Perkunas’s daughter. So. I don’t think incest has much to do with the story, though I could be mistaken.