An Analysis of the Signification of the Sun from Vettius Valens’ Anthology Part 2

Fig 1. I’m sure you already know what this is 😉

In the previous blog, I discussed many different archetypal ideas related to the Astrological Sol, including references from Ptolemy, the Qabalah, ceremonial magic and astronomical observation. Here I will discuss the individual significations outlined in Valens’ Anthology. Refer to the previous blog for images and information.

“The all-seeing sun”

This phrase is self-explanatory. The sun sees all! Even at night time the light from the sun is reflected off the moon (except at a lunar eclipse, which is another topic onto itself). It is also interesting to note that in the Qabalistic Tree of Life, there is a path connecting the Tiphareth (Sphere of the Sun) to every other planetary Sephirah. Also note how the glyph for the sun resembles an eye.

In the 31st path of the Golden Dawns’ Practicus Ritual relates a interesting dialogue between Kasmillos to the three Karbiri in Hellenistic Greece. The 1st Kabir, Axieros said

“I am the apex of the Pyramid of Flame. I am the Solar Fire pouring forth its beams upon the lower World – Life-giving, Light-producing.”

Fig 2 The Kibiri in Greek Mythology

This quote amongst the rest of the dialogues are taken from the “Zoroastrian Oracles” translated by Westcott.

This path from the Golden Dawn rituals is related to the card in the Tarot called “The Sun”.

“nature’s fire”

Of the four elements, the element of Fire is most fitting for the Sun. The element of fire is the most subtle element and can be associated with energy, life force, vitality and growth. The sun is the source of all life.

intellectual light”

As with that shown for the “all seeing eye”, Axieros continues on about the “intellectual fire”. I believe the topic of the Kabirs is a subject for a separate blog post in the near future!

However, read the entry on  “intellect, intelligence” below.

 “the organ of mental perception”

In Brennan’s book, the translation “the instrument of the perception of the soul” is used. It is interesting to note that in the Tree of Life Diagram, the middle pillar demonstrates this principle. Above the Sphere of the sun is the path leading to Kether, the sphere of the Higher Soul. In Qabalistic teaching, this is the only part of you that can say “I am” exemplified by the God name in Kether “Eheieh”.  In the Golden Dawn Neophyte ceremony, one is meant to make a connection with their “Higher self” who resides in Kether through their Tiphareth.

 “kingship, rule”

These significations obviously relate to the idea that the sun is the king of the planets and the connection with deities who were considered “Kings”. Furthermore, the sun is domiciled in Leo the Lion, the King of the Jungle. However, this can be thought of as anyone at the top of a command structure, a president, an emperor, etc. Contrast this with the signification Moon, the Queen. “rule” is a natural progression of this signification, leading to any form of leadership. 

“intellect, intelligence”

Intuitively, one would assume these significations to fall under the planet Mercury. However, closer study reveals that Mercury is the transmission of information in all manners. The actual seat of the intellect is the Sun. Brennan also includes the term “mind” here. This concept may be related to the idea of “the all-seeing sun”, not filtered by senses etc. 


In the Qabalistic Tree of Life, Tiphareth literally translates as “beauty”. In Brennan, this is quoted as “form”.


I relate this signification back to the fire element associated with the Sun. Fire is the source of energy and energy is the source of motion.

“loftiness of fortune”

In more material matters, the sun is associated with the metal Gold. Which symbolically at least, is the most valuable metal. Even in more material alchemy, it was the goal of the alchemist to transmute lead into gold.

the ordinance of the gods”

In Brennan, this is quoted as “dealings with the Gods”. Similar to what was said above about “intelligence, intellect” one might assume this is associated with Mercury. However, as Mercury was the transmission of information, it too could also represent the methods of which one has dealings with the Gods. Therefore, the Sun could signify one’s dealings with the Gods with out the use of an intermediary method such as astrology or mediumship. This is one of the goals connecting with the Higher Soul as mentioned earlier. Perhaps if the sun was well aspected with Mercury or one of Mercury’s houses, this could indicate one’s own use of a “Mercurial” method to deal with the Gods.

I will continue this list of significations  in Part 3.

Published by Manu Forti's Astrology Blog

The blog of a Hellenistic Astrologer in Ireland. I have a PhD in Physics and have 4 cats :)

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