She rises proudly in the East as her warm rays mark the arrival of yet another victorious day.
Who is Amaterasu
She is the supreme deity of the Shinto faith and one of its most recognizable gods. She is considered the celestial grandmother to the island and its people. This is Amaterasu-Ōmikami the Japanese goddess of the sun, whose name means “The Great Deity who Shines in the Heavens”. She is the precious daughter of the Creator gods Izanagi and his wife Izanami, and she is seen as the matriarch of Japan itself.
Amaterasu’s presence is felt throughout so much so that she is in her own way a part of the national flag of Japan which represents the rising sun. It is also in her honor that the Japanese refer to their land as Nihon (日本) “Origins of the Sun”.
Amaterasu is a weaver, a master archer, and the foremother of agriculture itself. She brings luck and prosperity to her land and it is her light that drives away evil spirits which prowl in the night.
Amaterasu in Japanese Myths
Amaterasu appears in many Japanese myths either directly or indirectly but her most famous tale is that of her in the Heavenly Rock Cave or Ama-no-Iwato. In this famous myth Amaterasu's boorish and uncouth brother the storm god Susanoo betrays and humiliates the sun goddess causing her to withdraw and isolate in a cave that she tightly seals shut.
Without Amaterasu’s light the world grew cold, dark, and sick and all were lost without her brilliance. The gods, fearing what would become of the world if this went on, threw an extravagant party in hopes to rouse Amaterasu’s interest and lure her out of her confinement.
Amaterasu heard the gods' laughter and mirth and wondered what all the fuss could be about, and promptly decided to take just a “small” peek. Opening the cave door just a smidge the goddess was met by the reflection of the most brilliant being in an octagonal mirror the gods had placed outside.
Enamored by her own forgotten brilliance Amaterasu stepped out of the cave which shut quickly behind her and light flooded the world once more Because of this octagonal mirrors or mirrors made from copper became sacred to her and are used in many practices that honor the goddess today.
Offerings to Amaterasu include clean washed rice, sake, silk and fine fabric, yellow chrysanthemums, mirrors and incense. If you find that you are interested or feel called to work with this solar deity our shop has an Amaterasu Manifestation Oil that is stocked and ready for your purposes.
Simple Ways to Connect with Amaterasu
- Basking in the sun and overall soaking up that vitamin D
- Taking up hobbies such as knitting or sewing
- Lighting incense
- Preparing a bowl of rice in her honor to be placed on a dedicated shrine
- Invest in solar/fire powered stones and crystals such as sunstone, carnelian, fire agate, red jasper, etc…
- Use reflective objects like suncatchers and mirrors to let her light into a space
- Celebrate your reflection in the mirror
- If you find that you are in Japan for whatever reason visit her Grand Shrine in Ise, which is considered one of the holiest sites in all of Japan
Working with Amaterasu ensures light and protection even in the darkest times and she is there to help us heal a wounded sense of self, and it is her influence that instills positivity and strength through trial and tribulation. Amaterasu’s goal is to share her light with the world and to make sure that we do not forget our own. In the simplest words Amaterasu is there to remind us of the light at the end of the tunnel and that life can return to joy even after periods of darkness.