Saulė (Lithuanian: Saulė, Latvian: Saule) is a solar goddess, the common Baltic solar deity in the Lithuanian and Latvian mythologies. The noun Saulė/Saule in the Lithuanian and Latvian languages is also the conventional name for the Sun and originates from the Proto-Baltic name *Sauliā > *Saulē.
Saulė is one of the most powerful deities, the goddess of life and fertility, warmth and health. She is patroness of the unfortunate, especially orphans. The Lithuanian and Latvian words for "the world" (pasaulis and pasaule) are translated as "[a place] under the Sun".
Saulė is mentioned in one of the earliest written sources on Lithuanian mythology. According to Slavic translation of the Chronicle by John Malalas (1261), a powerful smith Teliavelis made the Sun and threw it into the sky. Missionary Jeronim Jan Silvanus Prazsky (ca. 1369–1440) spent three years attempting to Christianize Lithuania and later recounted a myth about kidnapped Saulė. She was held in a tower by powerful king and rescued by the zodiac using a giant sledgehammer. Jeronim Prazsky swore that he personally witnessed the hammer, venerated by the locals.
Saulė and Mėnuo/Mēness (the Moon) were wife and husband. Mėnuo fell in love with Aušrinė (the morning star or Venus). For his infidelity, Perkūnas (thunder god) punished Mėnuo. There are different accounts of the punishment. One version has it that Mėnuo was cut into two pieces, but he did not learn from his mistakes and thus the punishment is repeated every month. Another version claims that Mėnuo and Saulė divorced, but both wanted to see their daughter Žemyna (earth). That is why the Sun shines during the day, while the Moon visits at night. A third version claims that the face of Mėnuo was disfigured by either Dievas (the supreme god) or Saulė.