Amaterasu is the beautiful and brilliant Japanese Goddess of the Sun. She is looked up to by all the gods and goddesses. Of all the religions currently practiced, only the Shinto religion chief divinity is female – Amaterasu. In the Shinto religion, Amaterasu is honored as the ruler of all deities, as the guardian of the Japanese people, and as a symbol of Japanese culture unity. Her rising sun still flies on the Japanese flag. Until the end of World War II the Japanese Imperial family claimed they were descended from her.
Amaterasu gives us the gift of light. With this light she can watch over us, and keep us safe. Without her we would be living in a world of darkness, cruelty and uncertainty. She is the Goddess of the Sun, but also of the universe. The name Amaterasu derived from Amateru meaning “shining in heaven.” The meaning of her whole name, Amaterasu-Åmikami, is “the great God who shines in the heaven.”
There is a long-standing rivalry between Amaterasu and her brother, Susanoo the God of the Oceans. The myth tells us that when he was ordered to leave Heaven by Izanagi, he went to bid his sister goodbye. Somehow the two argued and got into a wager. The bet was who could make the most gods or goddesses. Amaterasu took Susanoo’s sword, and broke it and made three goddesses. Susanoo took her necklace and broke it and made five gods. Susanoo said he won because he made five gods. Amaterasu said she won because the five gods came from her necklace.
The two were content for a time, but her brother became restless and went on a rampage, destroying Amaterasu’s rice fields, hurling a horse at her loom, and killing one of her attendants in a fit of rage. Amaterasu, a bit afraid, hid in a cave, effectively hiding the sun for a long period of time. Though she was persuaded to leave the cave later, Susanoo was punished for bringing about the darkness by being banished from Heaven.
To bring the sun, and the energy of its light and warmth into your life, use beautiful golden minerals like Rutile, Gold, and Topaz. Wear them when you need some sunshine in your life – like when your brother is being a pain!
-article and art by Paige, Flagler Beach, Florida.