A close crop of the surface of the sun with a solar flare.

Worship the sun

It's traditional, it's natural, and it's reasonable

by AK Krajewska

If you're going to worship something, the sun is a reasonable choice, and quite possibly the most reasonable choice. From the perspective of a person living on earth, the sun possesses all the important qualities of a god. Ancient people thought so, and some religions still hold the sun sacred. Modern scientific understanding of the sun only makes its god-like qualities more apparent.

Let me explain. But first, let me disclaim.


I assume a polytheistic view of godhood, so I will not attempt to defend that the sun has the qualities of an abstract monotheistic god.

Out of scope:

The god-like qualities of the sun #

With that out of the way, let's get into some specifics about the sun.

The sun is the source of all life on earth.

The sun is the parent of the material of the earth.

The substance of the earth formed from the same accretion disk that formed the sun and the solar system so in a way the substance of the earth itself is a gift of the sun. In as far as we may think of the earth as metaphorically our mother, we must acknowledge the sun as the parent of the earth.

The sun brings order to our world.

The sun's power is so vastly beyond us it may as well be all-powerful.

The sun is too powerful to approach or even view directly. If we got too close physically its gravity would draw us in and crush us, but first its heat would incinerate us. Even from earth, its light is so strong that if we look at it directly it blinds us. We can only endure to see a tiny portion of its light, such as during a solar eclipse.

The sun is incomprehensible to mere mortals.

The process of fusion that powers the sun is difficult to apprehend and requires deep knowledge of physics and math, and is beyond understanding for most people. It is so vast, massive, and ancient compared to our lifespans that people can't really comprehend it without recourse to abstractions.

The sun's longevity so far exceeds ours that it may as well be immortal.

The sun is mindbogglingly ancient and will outlive not only our species but also our planet.

The sun can destroy us all.

One day the sun will destroy the earth and there is nothing we can do about that. The sun regularly throws off solar flares that disrupt radio and electronics, just to remind us that it can. One day it could produce a flare powerful enough to destroy all our electronics and bring our whole civilization down a notch. And on an individual scale, its life giving rays can also kill us by giving us cancer if we over-indulge.

Give me that old time religion #

The sun is the source of great and necessary goodness, giving life, substance and order. At the same time it is also (in comparison to humans) all-powerful, immortal, and incomprehensible. While it is the source of so much goodness, it also can, and eventually will, destroy us, and we know it. Beautiful and terrible, life-giving and incomprehensible--if that's not a god, I don't know what is.

As to how you worship the sun, I think I'd prefer to leave that to the individual conscience. I do like those black mirrors people have been sticking on their roofs to bring the blessing and power of the sun into their lives. Or you could just take a hint from cats, ancient in their wisdom, and bask appreciatively in a warm patch, thinking thankful thoughts.

A photo of the sun with a solar fare.

An excellent view of solar flare Sun taken by Skylab III ATM Apollo Telescope Mount. Photo taken on December 19, 1973. NASA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons