Thesis Title

The Evolution of the Sun Symbol: Its Meaning and Signifigance in Beliefs of Cultures throughout History

Graduation Date

Summer 1998

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

Degree Granting Institution

Notre Dame de Namur University

Program Name

Art Therapy


This research paper investigates the historical meaning and significance of the sun as it relates to four specific cultures. Through gaining an understanding of the general meanings of the sun symbol in resources that have investigated the sun cross-culturally and mythologically, an enhanced view of the prevalence and significance of the sun symbol in the present is established. The research design encompasses an historical and cross cultural progression through the Aztec, Egyptian, Japanese, and Sioux Indian cultures. Each culture is discussed in terms of four specific areas including spirituality, myths, ritual, and art/architecture. The place of the sun in the work of Rhoda Kellogg and Carl Jung bridges the past to the present. Similarities and differences are compiled with several implications being discussed for present inferences and future investigations.