Sunna, or Sol, is the personification of the sun, and like Jord, and Mani, is sometimes forgotten about when speaking of the Gods. There are two different versions of how Sunna came to be. One version says Sunna, or Sol, is the Sun while the other says that Sunna ( Sol ) drives the carriage that pulls the sun that the Gods put in the heavens. The first comes from Snorri' s Gylfaginning :
" Sol drives those horses that pull the carriage of the sun that the Gods had created to light the worlds, out of that spark that flew from Muspelheim. Those horses are called Arvak, and Alsvin; and under those horses the Gods placed two bellows to cool them down. "
We are told that Sunna ( Sol ) is thrown into the sky along with Mani because Mundilafari allowed his daughter, Sunna, to marry a man named Glen, which angered the Gods. Whether this actually angered the Gods or not comes into question because the two thoughts, the Gods throwing Sunna into the sky, and Sunna marrying a man named Glen come on two seperate lines in Gylfaginning, and could actually be two seperate thoughts.
In Vathrudnismal Odin asks Vathrudnir about the sun and the moon, and receives this answer :
" Mundilifari he is called, the father of Mani,
and also of Sol the same;
Into heaven shall they turn each day,
So that people can reckon years. "
To me that is a much more reasonable reason for the Gods to have placed Sunna ( Sol ) and Mani into the heavens.
Sunna is chased by a wolf known as Skoll, which scares her very much, and makes her run through the sky as fast as she can. Sunna cannot run too fast however, because in front of her runs another wolf who is chasing her brother Mani, and its name is Hati Hrodvitnisson. At Raganarok the sun will turn black and will be eaten by the wolf. Before this happens, however, Sunna will give birth to a daughter who will take her place in the heavens once the fires of Surtr die down.
It is possible, I guess, that Sol and Sunna are seperate entities. Sunna is the radiant ball of fire that came from the spark out of Muspelheim and Sol merely drives the cart the pulls her along. I, however, believe that they are one and the same. The story of the sun turning black is interesting though because scientists say that what will " kill " our sun is when the core becomes iron and implodes ( in billions of years of course ). Scientists and Snorri aside, I believe that the Gods placed Sunna in the heavens to guide our way with her rays of beautiful light, and to warm our hearts as well as our bodies with the great radiant strength that she projects down upon the worlds. She is our great day beacon, and just as important as Mani our great night beacon.
Listed 11th in Snorri' s catalog Syn reminds me a little of Heimdall in that she is a silent sentinel. It is said about her that she guards the doors of the great hall, and closes the doors before those who are not allowed to go in. Like Heimdall, Syn, must be both admired and greatly trusted for her diligence and bravery by the Gods and Goddesses. The Gods also must feel that she is a strong and skilled warrior to be given such an important duty.
If this was all that Syn did she would be still be an admirable Goddess. But Syn has another important duty as well. She is empowered to defend those who she believes are innocent of the crimes they are accused. I see her sometimes in visions standing before the Gods at the Thing, putting forth a strong case for her defendants. Unlike todays lawyers Syn only defends those she knows to be innocent of the crime that they are accused.
Go with Odin' s wisdom, Freyja' s love, and Thor' s protection !