8x8 relief carved Sun man ceramic tile
Light, though it's essence can not be seen is everywhere, lifting our spirits, bringing richness to our experiences, sharpness to our observations and illumination to our soul. The nature of light and the discovery of the organic light given off by every living being is still a mystery that remains unravelled. Is it any wonder we've always had, and still do have such a strong reverence for light, most often in terms of the sun and have placed it at the center of virtually every religion ever known, from Stone Henge, where sunlight touches the healing Hele stone through the worship of Egyptian, Incan and Mayan sun gods to the beliefs of today where it remains a symbol of life and divine power. A halo of light around the head has been used in the art of many religions for over 2000 years to depict personal holiness. An example of this in ancient Greek mythology was Apollo "the shining one." One of the twelve great Olympian gods Apollo came to be seen as not only a sun god, but the god of music, healing and archery as well. The Phoenician people worshiped two sun deities, one representing the beneficial and the other the injurious powers of the sun. Many North American indigenous cultures still participate in the ancient sun dance ceremony to this day, also honoring both powerful aspects of the sun. The ancient Aztec civilization's sun god had many aspects and was so important that the Aztec people rarely ventured forth after it's disappearance at night unless they were brave trained priests and the moon was considered as the 'goddess of filthy things.' The planets to the Mayan people who practiced astronomy were considered deities with the sun being the supreme god and their rhythmic dance in the sky served as a guide for human conduct.