Solar symbol

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A solar symbol is a symbol which symbolises the Sun. Solar symbols can have significance in psychoanalysis, symbolism, semiotics, astrology, religion, mythology, mysticism, divination, heraldry, and vexillology, among other fields.

Some solar symbols include:

Circular symmetry[edit]

Circle[edit]

A simple circle or circular disk can be a solar symbol, as in the flag of Japan, the flag of Bangladesh, and the Australian Aboriginal flag, or in three-dimensional form as part of the Trundholm sun chariot.

Circle with a point at its center[edit]

Circumpunct.png

This is an ancient solar symbol featuring a circle with its center marked with a dot (Unicode U+2609 ☉ preferably or U+2299 ⊙). It is the astronomical and astrological symbol for the Sun, and the ancient Egyptian sign for "sun" or "Ra" in the hieroglyphic writing system (U+131F3, 𓇳). The character for "sun" or "day" in early Chinese script was similar, but it has become square in modern script: 日 (ri).

(See Circled dot for non-solar meanings.)

Four-fold symmetry[edit]

Sun cross[edit]

Main article: Sun cross
Earth symbol.svg

The "sun cross" or "solar wheel" (⊕) is often considered to represent the four seasons and the tropical year, and therefore the sun (though as an astronomical symbol it means "earth").

Swastika[edit]

Broken crossed circle.svg

The swastika can be derived from the sun cross,[1] and is another solar symbol in some contexts.[2] It is used (not necessarily as a solar symbol) among Buddhists (see manji), Jains, and Hindus; and many other cultures. Also see Malkh-Festival.

Arevakhach[edit]

ArmenianEternity.svg

Arevakhach (literal translation: "Solar Cross") is one of the ancient Armenian symbols of eternity and light.[3] It is often used as decoration on pagan monuments and Armenian cross-stones. Variants with different numbers of petals and directions of rotation are used in Armenia. In 2013 both leftward and rightward rotating symbols were included into Unicode character set standard.[4] Arevakhach is to date in popular use in Armenia.[5]

Zia Sun Symbol[edit]

Flag of New Mexico.svg

The Zia people of New Mexico regard the sun as a sacred symbol. Their symbol, a red circle with four groups of four rays pointing in four directions, is painted on ceremonial vases, drawn on the ground around campfires, and used to introduce newborns to the sun. The red symbol is shown here on the Flag of New Mexico.

Eight-pointed star[edit]

eight-pointed star on the flag of Udmurtia

Varying forms of an eight-pointed star (but usually having only fourfold symmetry) with solar meaning appear on the flags of several Russian subdivisions – such as Udmurtia, Mordovia, Mari El, and Chuvashia – and had a similar meaning on the 1959–1963 flag of Iraq. It is an ancient symbol of Uralic tribes. An example of a sixteen-fold symmetric star can be seen in the flag of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.

Doubled sun cross[edit]

Solar cross

Other version of the "sun cross", in the form of an eight-spoked wheel (nothing to do with many wheel symbols used at the time in heraldry). This can be understood as a marking of cross-quarter days (midpoints between seasons) along with the four spokes of the equinoxes and solstices.

Polish solar symbol[edit]

RKPsolarsymbol03.png

A Polish neopagan solar symbol similar to the tomoe or the swastika.

Threefold symmetry[edit]

Triskelion[edit]

"Wheeled" form of Triple Spiral or Triskelion symbol

Some forms of the triple spiral or triskelion signs are considered to be solar symbols.

Vainakh solar symbol[edit]

Flag of Ingushetia.svg

The Flag of Ingushetia depicting the solar symbol of the Vainakhs, a variant of the triskelion consisting of a closed circle at the center with three attached arcs bending outwards.

Six-fold symmetry[edit]

Rosette[edit]

"Rosette"

Slavic – the Sign of Perun (Slavic Jupiter), Slavic solar symbol and popular decoration element (a rosette resembling the "flower of life" pattern).[citation needed]

Sun circle[edit]

"Svantevit"

Slavic solar symbol found on the Zbruch Idol as a symbol of Svantevit, the Slavic God of war.

Rayed depictions[edit]

Sun portrayed in a French painting

A circular disk with alternating triangular and wavy rays emanating from it is a frequent symbol or artistic depiction of the sun. Minimally, there are four straight rays and four wavy rays (as in the ancient Mesopotamian symbol of the sun-god Shamash), but there can be a higher number. The Jesuit emblem, the flag of Uruguay, the flag of Kiribati, some versions of the flag of Argentina, the Irish Defence Forces cap badge, and the 1959–1965 coat of arms of Iraq are official insignia which incorporate such symbolism.

The depictions of the sun on the flag of the Republic of China (Taiwan), the flag of Kazakhstan, the flag of Kurdistan, and the flag of Nepal have only straight (triangular) rays, while that on the flag of Kyrgyzstan has only curvy rays. The flag of the Philippines has short diverging rays grouped into threes.

Another form of rayed depiction of the sun is with simple radial lines dividing the field into two colors, as in the military flags of Japan and the current Flag of the Republic of Macedonia, and in the top parts of the flag of Tibet and the flag of Arizona.

Smiling Sun[edit]

Smiling Sun - English.jpg

The Smiling Sun logo has been used by the anti-nuclear movement worldwide since the 1970s, symbolizing positive power and the use of solar energy and other renewable energies instead of nuclear power.

Shamanism[edit]

Beivve Sun symbol.png

Some Sami shaman drums have the Beaivi Sami sun symbol that resembles a sun cross.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Book of Signs by Rudolf Koch, p. 18 (1930, Dover reprint 1955).
  2. ^ Heraldry: Sources, Symbols, and Meaning by Ottfried Neubecker, p. 142 (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1976).
  3. ^ Айк Демоян «Армянские национальные символы» = «Հայկական ազգային խորհրդանշաններ». — Ереван: «Пюник», 2013. — 476 с. — ISBN 978-9939-0-0282-8
  4. ^ http://std.dkuug.dk/jtc1/sc2/wg2/docs/n4387.pdf
  5. ^

External links[edit]