Sauil

Meaning of Name

Sauil is the Gothic word for “sun.”

Also Known As

Sunno

Pronunciation

IPA: /sɔː.il/ (“SAW-eel”)

Function

The associations listed below are only the primary domains of the deity. Others may be revealed in time to different worshipers.

TUTELARY DEITY: As Sauil is the namesake of the Sidjus Reidarje Sauilis, She is viewed by SRS as the tutelary deity of all Reidarjos.

THE SUN, SUNLIGHT, DAYTIME: Because She is the personification of the sun, Sauil is linked to sunlight and governs the daytime hours.

HAPPINESS, JOY: SRS associates Sauil with emotions of joy and happiness, and with any activities that bring about revelry, rejoicing, and gladness. SRS myth reflects this using Sauil’s cycle of departure and return every year. This is comparative with the Latvian sun Goddess Saule, whose associations with joy and rejoicing result from the happy betrothal of Her daughters [1].

HEALTH, HEALING: Due to scientific studies linking moderate exposure to sunlight with improved physical and mental health, Sauil has links with health (both physical and mental), healing, and medicine.

PROTECTION: Through comparison with the Roman God Sol Invictus, Sauil is associated with the preservation of peoples, governments, nations, and the world through victorious action [2].

AGRICULTURE, FERTILITY, WEALTH: Sauil is linked to agriculture, fertility, and wealth by comparison with the Latvian Saule. Agricultural myths related to the sun are common in Latvian songs and folklore [3]; in particular, a plentiful harvest follows when Saule walks across a field [4].

VICTORY: As previously mentioned, comparison with Sol Invictus lends Sauil associations with victory. Historically, these victories were achieved through military action, but in modern times, SRS identifies Sauil as receiving petitions and thanks for victories of any kind.

Iconography

None known historically.

Within SRS, Sauil is depicted wearing a radiate (reverse) crown on Her head, inspired by depictions of Sol Invictus [5], or a halo of sun rays. Her hair is flame, and Her clothing — which is usually depicted as a Roman woman’s stola and palla — is white, gold, or occasionally red. She often carries a wreath of golden wheat, inspired by Saule [6], or a bouquet of red flowers [7].

Attested Sources

Sauil as a Goddess is not attested. Reconstruction of Her worship is based on a reasonable assumption that the ancient Goths may have worshiped a sun Goddess, similar to how the ancient Norse worshiped Sól / Sunna and the ancient Anglo-Saxons worshiped Sunne.

Epithets and Bynames

There are no attested bynames for Sauil. Listed below are some modern ones gifted to Her by Her worshipers.

  • Aþalastains Himinis (“Jewel of the Sky”)
  • Dauhtar Walisei (“Treasured Daughter”)
  • Farareis (“Traveler”)
  • Fragibareis Audageins (“Bringer of Joy”)
  • Fragibareis Sigisis (“Bestower of Victory”)
  • Fon Himine (“Fire of the Heavens”)
  • Hailareis (“Healer”)
  • Qens Gaptis (“Wife of Gapt”)
  • Skildus Liude (“Shield of the People”)
  • Unjiukabers (“Unconquerable”)
An illustration of Sauil.

NOTES

  1. “Baltic Religion,” 758.
  2. Yarza, “Apollo as a Precedent,” 380.
  3. Vaitkevičeniė, “The Rose and the Blood,” 22.
  4. “Baltic Religion,” 759.
  5. Migotti, “The Cult of Sol Invictus,” 143.
  6. “Baltic Religion,” 758.
  7. Vaitkevičeniė, “The Rose and the Blood,” 23.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

“Baltic Religion.” In Encyclopedia of Religion, Second Edition, edited by Lindsay Jones, 756-762. Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2005.

Migotti, Branka. “The Cult of Sol Invictus and Early Christianity in Aquae Iasae.” In Pagans and Christians in the Late Roman Empire: New Evidence, New Approaches (4th–8th centuries), edited by Marianne Sághy and Edward M. Schoolman, 133-149. Plymouth: Central European University Press, 2017.

Vaitkevičeniė, Daiva. “The Rose and the Blood: Images of Fire in Baltic Mythology.” Cosmos: The Journal of the Traditional Cosmology Society 19, no. 1 (2003), 21-42. http://tautosmenta.lt/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Vaitkeviciene_Daiva/Vaitkeviciene_Cosmos_2006_19_1.pdf

Yarza, Lorenzo Pérez. “Apollo as a Precedent to the Coinage of Sol Invictus.” Acta Antiqua Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 58, issue 1-4 (December 2018): 377-397. https://doi.org/10.1556/068.2018.58.1-4.22