Saulė is one of the most powerful deities, the goddess of life and fertility, and the provider of the warmth of nature. She is patroness of the unfortunate, especially orphans, since she is the only substitute of a mother’s warmth, and because of this, she is known as the Universal Mother. The Lithuanian word for "the world", pasaulis, respectively Latvian pasaule, is translated as "the place under the Sun". Souls of the dead travelled with Saulė to the underworld, which people believed was behind the horizon. It was considered an offense to point at the Sun or Moon because of their association with the God and Goddess. It was said that bad spirits sleep when Saulė is shining in the sky.
Saulė and Mėnuo/Meness (the Moon) were husband and wife. The two were divorced, over the Moon’s continual infidelity. Mėnuo fell in love with the daughter of Saulė and Perkūnas—Aušrinė. This is why the Sun shines during the day, and the Moon at night. Though divorced, both want to see their daughter.
Saulė's daughter Aušrinė (the Morning star) who burnt the fire for Saulė and made her ready for another day's journey was a maiden of remarkable beauty with golden hair and an image of the sun on her crown. She wore a starry mantle with a moon-shaped brooch on her shoulder and was often considered to be even more beautiful than the Sun herself. Other daughters in Lithuanian mythology were Vakarinė (the evening Venus), Indraja (Jupiter), Sėlija (Saturn), Žiezdrė (Mars), Vaivora (Mercury), Vakarinė (who makes the bed for Saulė). There were 6 eldest daughters; three of them lived between people, and three were shining in the sky (see Žvaigždės).
In folk songs, Saulė is associated with a stag that has nine horns, and this motif is frequently portrayed in folk art, clothing and ornamentation.
Alternative names: Saulužė motinėlė, Saulelė, Saulytė, Saulutė, Motė Saulė.
Aside from Lithuaninan mythology, Saule is also a traditional Kazakh and Central Asian female name. The meaning of the name is interpreted as a sunlight or Sun. The history of the name goes back to the history of Zoroastrianism. Although the majority of modern Kazakhs have adopted Islam, Saule is still a very common female name. Due to its religious roots, the name Saule is common in a number of cultures such as Kazakh, Afghan, Kyrgyz, and other ethnic groups living in the region.