What Is A Sun Dog? Spiritual Meaning Explained
Sunset over a temple in Bagan, Myanmar.
Photo by Jesse Schoff on Unsplash

What Is A Sun Dog? Spiritual Meaning Explained

Jasmyne Jeffery February 24, 2023

February has certainly been a month to look to the skies. Now the weather is improving, it’s likely we’ll see more blue skies and with that, an increased chance of seeing a sun dog. But is the natural phenomenon rare and what is its spiritual meaning?

For those who believe, finding the spiritual meaning in natural occurrences is important. It can be a message from the universe or offer guidance for lots of aspects of your life. Often, messages come from astrology, and there’s nothing quite like the sun to give you a message. Let’s take a look at the sun dog’s spiritual meaning and other facts about the occurrence.

What Is It When The Sun Has A Ring With Bright Dots?

This natural phenomenon is called a sun dog or a mock son colloquially. In meteorology, it’s referred to as a parhelion.

A sun dog is when the sun has a ring or a halo around it. It will also have two bright spots on either side. According to Britannica, the natural sight occurs when the sun shines through a thin cloud that’s full of hexagonal ice crystals. Parts of its makeup have to be in a certain vertical position for it to occur. This is different to when the sun just has a halo around it; it takes a little extra to produce the bright spots.

You’re best chances of seeing one are during the winter months when the sun is in the middle of the sky. As we come towards the end of the colder spell, keep an eye out on a sunny day to see if you can spot one.

Photo by Jesse Schoff on Unsplash

Why Is It Called A Sun Dog?

Looking at Greek legend, the phenomenon gets its name from the belief that Zeus used to walk his two dogs across the skies. The two ‘mock suns’ then represent the two animals! Mythology states that seeing the two bright spots meant that Zeus was about and pacing the Earth.

Because of this, it’s now called a sun dog!

How Rare Is A Sun Dog?

A sun dog is actually quite common, you just have to be looking out for it!

Often, they are mistaken for small rainbows as they share the same colours. However, a sun dog will have a completely different shape.

Typically, they’re visible multiple times throughout the year. So, if the weather is a little chilly and the sun is shining, the chances are that a sun dog will be out!

The Sun Dog Spiritual Meaning And What It Symbolises

As Out Of Stress reports, the sun dog has multiple spiritual meanings! What’s good to know is that it is almost always a positive sign from the universe.

Photo by Grooveland Designs on Unsplash

A sun dog symbolises unification and harmony, represented by the three ‘suns’ appearing together. It can also mean transformation and a positive shift in your life. Literally, this is because the occurrence typically signals that rain is on the way, symbolising bounty, refreshment and the washing away of negativity.

The sun dog symbol also represents motivation or the need to take action. It can be seen as a sign from the universe that you may need to repeat tasks to achieve a goal. This is because the sun is ‘repeating’ itself to appear three times in the sky. If you are close to giving up on something, the sun dog is a sign to persevere and to keep trying.

As rain is often seen as a symbol of abundance and prosperity, the sun dog’s spiritual meaning means that these things are coming to you. As rain brings crops, nourishment and more, the phenomenon can be a sign of new growth in your personal or work life!

A sun dog can also just be a message from the universe that you have constant guidance and support. The three dots are a symbol that divine intervention is giving your good luck and protection wherever your journey takes you.

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Jasmyne Jeffery is a full-time Entertainment and News Writer on university-themed website Freshered and HITC, and joined the company having previously worked in a freelance role. She attended the University of South Wales where she was also a student blogger and graduated in 2022 with a first-class honours degree in English and Creative Writing. Now, she puts her creativity to use reviewing university bars, Love Island episodes and the latest apps any 18-25-year-old is using.