Sol / Sun by Willian Lilly ancient Astrology

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The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. It is a nearly perfect sphere of hot plasma, with internal convective motion that generates a magnetic field via a dynamo process. It is by far the most important source of energy for life on Earth. Its diameter is about 109 times that of Earth, and its mass is about 330,000 times that of Earth, accounting for about 99.86% of the total mass of the Solar System. About three quarters of the Sun’s mass consists of hydrogen; the rest is mostly helium, with much smaller quantities of heavier elements, including oxygen, carbon, neon, and iron.


The Sun is the emblem of Wisdom. In him are the powers of all the planets united; in him are love, will, and intelligence combined into one; in the same sense as the four sides of a pyramid all culminate in one point. The Sun is the centre and source of all light and head, and of all power; not only the visible terrestrial light, but of the light of intelligence; not only of terrestrial head, but of the heat of live. He attracts by his power all the planets in space and keeps them within their orbits. Those in whom the sun principle is strong are capable of becoming wise, strong, and powerful. It is therefore said that the Sun is a planet governing the souls of kings and noblemen, and conferrinf honours, powers, and titles. Its influence is decisive in all important questions in human life. In the mineral kingdom it is represented by gold; in the animal kingdom by the Lion, in the spiritual kingdom as Sol-om-on, the divine Sun of Wisdom.


Sol was the solar deity in Ancient Roman religion. It was long thought that Rome actually had two different, consecutive sun gods. The first, Sol Indiges, was thought to have been unimportant, disappearing altogether at an early period. Only in the late Roman Empire, scholars argued, did solar cult re-appear with the arrival in Rome of the Syrian Sol Invictus, perhaps under the influence of the Mithraic mysteries. Recent publications have challenged the notion of two different sun gods in Rome, pointing to the abundant evidence for the continuity of the cult of Sol, and the lack of any clear differentiation - either in name or depiction - between the “early” and “late” Roman sun god.

Sol Invictus (“Unconquered Sun”) was the official sun god of the later Roman Empire and a patron of soldiers. In 274 AD the Roman emperor Aurelian made it an official cult alongside the traditional Roman cults. Scholars disagree about whether the new deity was a refoundation of the ancient Latin cult of Sol, a revival of the cult of Elagabalus or completely new. The god was favored by emperors after Aurelian and appeared on their coins until Constantine I. The last inscription referring to Sol Invictus dates to AD 387, and there were enough devotees in the 5th century that Augustine found it necessary to preach against them.

Helios was the personification of the Sun in Greek mythology. He is the son of the Titan Hyperion and the Titaness Theia (according to Hesiod), also known as Euryphaessa (in Homeric Hymn 31) and brother of the goddesses Selene, the moon, and Eos, the dawn.

Helios was described as a handsome titan crowned with the shining aureole of the Sun, who drove the chariot of the sun across the sky each day to earth-circling Oceanus and through the world-ocean returned to the East at night. In the Homeric hymn to Helios, Helios is said to drive a golden chariot drawn by steeds (HH 31.14–15); and Pindar speaks of Helios’s “fire-darting steeds” (Olympian Ode 7.71). Still later, the horses were given fiery names: Pyrois, Aeos, Aethon, and Phlegon.

As time passed, Helios was increasingly identified with the god of light, Apollo. However, in spite of their syncretism, they were also often viewed as two distinct gods/titan (Helios was a Titan, whereas Apollo was an Olympian). The equivalent of Helios in Roman mythology was Sol, specifically Sol Invictus.

Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in classical Greek and Roman religion and Greek and Roman mythology. The ideal of the kouros (a beardless, athletic youth), Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of music, truth and prophecy, healing, the sun and light, plague, poetry, and more. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, and has a twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis. Apollo is known in Greek-influenced Etruscan mythology as Apulu.

As the patron of Delphi (Pythian Apollo), Apollo was an oracular god—the prophetic deity of the Delphic Oracle. Medicine and healing are associated with Apollo, whether through the god himself or mediated through his son Asclepius, yet Apollo was also seen as a god who could bring ill-health and deadly plague. Amongst the god’s custodial charges, Apollo became associated with dominion over colonists, and as the patron defender of herds and flocks. As the leader of the Muses (Apollon Musegetes) and director of their choir, Apollo functioned as the patron god of music and poetry. Hermes created the lyre for him, and the instrument became a common attribute of Apollo. Hymns sung to Apollo were called paeans.

In Hellenistic times, especially during the 3rd century BCE, as Apollo Helios he became identified among Greeks with Helios, Titan god of the sun, and his sister Artemis similarly equated with Selene, Titan goddess of the moon. In Latin texts, on the other hand, Joseph Fontenrose declared himself unable to find any conflation of Apollo with Sol among the Augustan poets of the 1st century, not even in the conjurations of Aeneas and Latinus in Aeneid XII (161–215). Apollo and Helios/Sol remained separate beings in literary and mythological texts until the 3rd century CE.




HEAR golden Titan, whose eternal eye
With broad survey, illumines all the sky.
Self-born, unwearied in diffusing light,
And to all eyes the mirrour of delight:
Lord of the seasons, with thy fiery car
And leaping coursers, beaming light from far:
With thy right hand the source of morning light,[1]
And with thy left the father of the night.
Agile and vigorous, venerable Sun,
Fiery and bright around the heavens you run.
Foe to the wicked, but the good man’s guide,
Over all his steps propitious you preside:
With various founding, golden lyre, ’tis mine
To fill the world with harmony divine.
Father of ages, guide of prosporous deeds,
The world’s commander, borne by lucid steeds,
Immortal Jove, all-searching, bearing light,[2]
Source of existence, pure and fiery bright
Bearer of fruit, almighty lord of years,
Agil and warm, whom every power reveres.
Great eye of Nature and the starry skies,
Doomed with immortal flames to set and rise
Dispensing justice, lover of the stream,
The world’s great despot, and over all supreme.
Faithful defender, and the eye of right,[3]
Of steeds the ruler, and of life the light:
With founding whip four fiery steeds you guide,
When in the car of day you glorious ride.
Propitious on these mystic labours shine,
And bless thy suppliants with a life divine.



BLEST Pæan, come, propitious to my prayer,
Illustrious power, whom Memphian tribes revere,
Slayer of Tityus, and the God of health,
Lycorian Phœbus, fruitful source of wealth.
Spermatic, golden-lyred, the field from thee
Receives its constant, rich fertility.
Titanic, Grunian, Smynthian, thee I sing,[4]
Python-destroying, hallowed, Delphian king:
Rural, light-bearer, and the Muse’s head,
Noble and lovely, armed with arrows dread:
Far-darting, Bacchian, two-fold, and divine,[5]
Power far diffused, and course oblique is thine.
O, Delian king, whose light-producing eye
Views all within, and all beneath the sky:
Whose locks are gold, whose oracles are sure,
Who, omens good revealest, and precepts pure:
Hear me entreating for the human kind,
Hear, and be present with benignant mind;
For thou surveyest this boundless æther all,
And every part of this terrestrial ball
Abundant, blessed; and thy piercing sight,
Extends beneath the gloomy, silent night;
Beyond the darkness, starry-eyed, profound,
The stable roots, deep fixed by thee are found.
The world’s wide bounds, all-flourishing are thine,
Thyself all the source and end divine:
’Tis thine all Nature’s music to inspire,
With various-sounding, harmonising lyre;
Now the last string thou tunest[6] to sweet accord,[7]
Divinely warbling now the highest chord;
The immortal golden lyre, now touched by thee,
Responsive yields a Dorian melody.
All Nature’s tribes to thee their difference owe,
And changing seasons from thy music flow
Hence, mixed by thee in equal parts, advance
Summer and Winter in alternate dance;
This claims the highest, that the lowest string,
The Dorian measure tunes the lovely spring.
Hence by mankind, Pan-royal, two-horned named,[8]
Emitting whistling winds through Syrinx famed;[9]
Since to thy care, the figured seals consigned,[10]
Which stamps the world with forms of every kind.
Hear me, blest power, and in these rites rejoice,
And save thy mystics with a suppliant voice.



HEAR me, O Goddess! whose emerging ray
Leads on the broad refulgence of the day;
Blushing Aurora, whose celestial light
Beams on the world with redening splendours bright:
Angel of Titan, whom with constant round,
Thy orient beams recall from night profound:
Labour of every kind to lead is thine,
Of mortal life the minister divine.
Mankind in thee eternally delight,
And none presumes to shun thy beauteous sight.
Soon as thy splendours break the bands of rest,
And eyes unclose with pleasing sleep oppressed;
Men, reptiles, birds, and beasts, with general voice,
And all the nations of the deep, rejoice;
For all the culture of our life is thine.
Come, blessed power! and to these rites incline:
Thy holy light increase, and unconfined
Diffuse its radiance on thy mystic’s mind.


CHAP. XI. Of the SUN, his generall and particular significations.

In the twelve Signs he hath these degrees for his Decanate or Faces.
In ARIES, the 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.
In GEMINI, the 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30.
In VIRGO, the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.
In SCORPIO, the 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.
In CAPRICORN, the 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30.

The Sun is alwayes direct, and never can be said to be Retrograde, it’s true, he moveth more slowly at one time then another.



These pentacles are usually made of the metal the most suitable to the nature of the planet; and then there is no occasion to observe the rule of particular colours.
Saturn ruleth over lead;
Jupiter over tin;
Mars over iron;
the Sun over gold;
Venus over copper;
Mercury over the mixture of metals;
and the Moon over silver.

They may also be made with exorcised virgin paper writing thereon with the colours adopted for each planet, referring to the rules already laid down in the proper chapters, and according to the planet with which the pentacle is in sympathy.
Wherefore unto Saturn the colour of black is appropriated;
Jupiter ruleth over celestial blue;
Mars over red;
the Sun over gold, or the colour of yellow or citron;
Venus over green;
Mercury over mixed colours;
the Moon over silver, or the colour of argentine earth.


Bk. I Ch. XXIII How We Shall Know What Stars Natural Things Are Under, and What Things Are Under the Sun, Which Are Called Solary.

Now it is very hard to know what Star or Sign every thing is under; yet it is known through the imitation of their rays, or motion, or figure of the superiors. Also some of them are known by their colors and odors; also some by the effects of their operations, answering to some Stars.

So, then, Solary things, or things under the power of the Sun, are

Bk. I Ch. XXXI How Provinces, and Kingdoms are Distributed to Planets.

The Sun with Leo governs Italy, Apulia, Sicilia, Phencia, Chaldea and the Orchenians.

Bk. I Ch. XLIV The Composition of Some Fumes Appropriated to the Planets.
Bk. I Ch. XLVII What Places are Suitable to Every Star

To the Sun, light places, the serene air, kings’ palaces, and princes’ courts, pulpits, theaters, thrones and all kingly and magnificent places.

Bk. I Ch. XLIV Of Light, Colours, Candles, and Lamps, and to what Stars, Houses, and Elements severall colours are ascribed

Golden, Saffron, purple, and bright colours, resemble the Sun.

Bk. II Ch. XLI Of the Images of the Sun.

From the operations of the Sun,

Bk 2 Ch. LVIII Of the names of the Celestials, and their rule over this inferiour world, viz. Man.

The names of Celestiall souls are very many, and diverse according to their manifold power and vertue upon these inferior things, from whence they have received divers names, which the ancients in their hymnes and prayer made use of. Concerning which you must observe, that every one of these souls according to Orpheus’s Divinity, is said to have a double vertue; the one placed in knowing, the other in vivifying, and governing its body. Upon this account in the Celestiall spheres, Orpheus cals the former vertue Bacchus, the other a Muse. Hence he is not inebriated by any Bacchus, who hath not first been coupled to his Muse.

in the sphere of the Sun, Trietericus, and Melpemene

Bk 2 Ch. LIX Of the seven governers of the world, the Planets, and of their various names serving to Magicall speeches.

Moreover they did call those governors of the world, (as Hermes calls them) Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury, and the Moon, by many names, and epithites;

The Sun is called Phæbus, Dispater, Apollo, Titan, Paian, Phanes, Horus, Osiris, as it is in that Oracle,

    The Sun, Osiris, Dionysus gay,  
    Apollo, Horus, King ruling the day  
    Who changeth times, who giveth winds and rain,  
    The King of Stars, and the immortall flame.  

He is called also Arcitenens, burning fiery, golden flaming, radiating, of a fiery hair, of a golden hair, the eye of the world, Lucifer, seeing all things, ruling all things, the creator of light, the King of Stars, the great Lord, good, fortunate, honest, pure, prudent, intelligent, wise, shining over the whole world, governing, and vivifying all bodies that have a soul, the prince of the world keeping all the Stars under himself, the light of all the Stars, darkening, burning, overcoming their vertue by his approach, yet by his light and splendor giving light and splendor to all things: in the night he is called Dionysius, but in the day Apollo, as if driving away evill things. Therefore the Athenians called him Alexicacon, and Homer Vlion, i.e. the driver away of evil things. He is also called Phæbus from his beauty and brightness, and Vulcan from his fiery violence, because the force thereof consists of many fires. He is also called the Sun, because he contains the light of all the Stars: hence he is called by the Assyrians êàãà Adad, which signifies only, and by the Hebrews ùîù Schemesch, which signifies proper.

Bk. 4 Shapes familiar to the Spirits of the Sun

The Spirits of the Sun do for the most part appear in a large, full and great body sanguine and gross, in a gold colour, with the tincture of blood. Their motion is as the Lightning of Heaven; their signe is to move the person to sweat that calls them. But their particular forms are,

Additional Reading

  1. TT: Proclus in lib. vi. Theol. Plat. P, 380, says that those who are skilled in divine concerns, attribute two hands to the Sun; denominating one the right hand, the other the left.  ↩

  2. TT: According to the Orphic and Platonic philosophers, the Sun is the same in the sensible, as Apollo in the intellectual, and Good in the intelligible World. Hence Proclus in Theol. Plat. p. 289. from the occult union subsisting between Good, Apollo, and the Sun, calls the Sun βασιλεὺς τυ παντός, or king of the universe: and it is well known that Jupiter is the demiurgus of the world. So that the Sun in perfect conformity to this Theology is called immortal Jove.  ↩

  3. TT: Proclus, lib. v. in Timæum, informs us in the words of Orpheus ὅτι ἥλιον μὲν ἐπέστησε τοῖς ὅλιος, ὀ δημιυργος, και φύλακα ἀυτὸν ἔτευξε, κέλευσε τε πασιν ἀναάσσειν. “That the demiurgus placed the Sun in the universe, and fabricated him as its guardian, commanding him to govern all things.”  ↩

  4. TT: Grunian. According to Strabo, lib. xiii. Grynæus is a town of Myrinæus: likewise, a temple of Apollo, and a most ancient oracle and temple, sumptuously built of white stone. Gyrald. Syntag. p. 237.  ↩

  5. TT: Far-darting. ἑκατηϐελετησ Proclus, on Plato’s Cratylus, informs us he is so called, ὅτι χορηγὸσ ὤς, καὶ εξερομενοσ ἐπὶ παντασ ποιεῖ τας ενεργείας. i. e, “because since he is the choragus or leader of the choir of the Muses, he produces energies in all things.”  ↩

  6. tun’ft in the original; this is probably a case of the long s which was still quite common in the 18th century, and missed by whoever typed out the bulk of this material from whence I copied it.  ↩

  7. TT: Now the last string, &c. Gesner well observes, in his notes to this Hymn, that the comparison and conjunction of the musical and astronomical elements are most ancient; being derived from Orpheus and Pythagoras, to Plato. Now, according to the Orphic and Pythagoric doctrine, the lyre of Apollo is an image of the celestial harmony, or the melody caused by the orderly revolutions of thc celestial spheres. But I cannot believe that Orpheus and Pythagoras considered this harmony as attended with sensible sounds, according to the vulgar acceptation of the word: for it is surely more rational to suppose, that they meant nothing more by the music of the spheres, than their harmonical proportions to each other. Indeed these wise men, to whom metaphors were familiar, may be easily conceived by vulgar sound and vulgar harmony to insinuate internal sound, and harmony subsisting in its origin and cause. Hence we may consider the souls of the celestial spheres, together with the soul of the world, as composing the choir of the nine Muses; (who are called by the Platonists nine Syrens) and dancing in numerical order round Apollo the sun of the intellectual world. But these nine Muses are far different from the marine Syrens of the poets who, resident as it were in the sea of material delights, draw us aside by their alluring melody, from the paths of rectitude. For these are divine Syrens inviting us to the proper end of our nature; and forming from the eight tones of the eight spheres, one perfect and everlasting harmony. The following quotation from the Platonic Nichomachus, Harm. i. p. 6. illustrates the meaning of the Hypate and Nete, or the highest and lowest string. From the motion of Saturn, (says he) “The most remote of the planets, the appellation of the gravest sound, Hypate, is derived: but from the lunar motion, which is the lowest of all, the most acute sound is called νεάτη, Nete, or the lowest.” But Gesner observes, that a more ancient, and as it were archetypal appellation, is derived from the ancient triangular lyre, a copy of which was found among the pictures lately dug out of the ruins of Herculaneum; where the highest chord next to the chin of the musicians is the longest, and consequently (says he) the sound is the most grave. Gesner proceeds in observing, that the three seasons of the year are so compared together in a musical ratio, that Hypate signifies the Winter, Nete the Summer, and the Dorian measure represents the intermediate seasons, Spring and Autumn. Now the reason why the Dorian melody is assigned to the Spring, is because that measure wholly consists in temperament and moderation, as we learn from Plut. de Mus. p. 1136. E. and consequently is with great propriety attributed to the Spring, considered as placed between Summer and Winter; and gratefully tempering the fervent heat of the one, and the intense cold of the other.  ↩

  8. TT: Pan-royal. See the notes to the Hymn to Pan, to Hercules, and the Sun. [see or]  ↩

  9. TT: Emitting whistling winds. Johannes Diaconus, in Allegorcis Theogoniæ Hesiodi, quotes the following lines from Orpheus. Ζεὺς δέ τε πάντων ἐςὶ ϑεὸς, πάντων τε κεραςὴς Πνέυμασι συριζων, φωναῖσι τε ἀερομικτοις That is, “But Jupiter is the God of all, and the mingler of all things; whistling with the breathing winds and aerial voices.” And this perfectly agrees with Apollo, considered as Jupiter, or the sun of the intelligible world.·  ↩

  10. TT: The figured seal. Since Apollo in the intelligible world is the demiurgus of the universe, and consequently comprehends in his essence the archetypal ideas of all sensible forms, he may with great propriety be said to posses the figured seal, of which every visible species is nothing more than an impression. It is however necessary to observe, that in the great seal of ideas, all forms subsist in indivisible union and immaterial perfection: but in their imitative impressions in bodies, they are found full of boundless multitude, and material imperfection.  ↩

  11. Clypeum, probably clipeum, a round shield (especially of bronze) or the disk of the sun.  ↩

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