Solis Orbis Alis

winged sun disk

Winged Sun Disk / Solis Orbis Alis

Do you recognise this symbol of the ‘Winged Sun Disk’. Because it has been used throughout world history and is imbued with symbolism.

Tenuous boundaries of the pathless forest
Yet beyond the realms of consciousness
The sun
The light of consciousness
And enlightenment
The abeyant wholeness of the psyche
The owls wings
Moving between light and dark
At will
Carrying this sun
Down form its overview
To our earthly perspective
Beware of imprudence
For this orb
Carried upon the owls wings
Can be the bringer of destruction
From the dark
To burn all in its path
With an atrocious heat.
With prudence
To all that face it
A maternal gaze
Bringing the spark of creativity
The potential of fecundity
And regenerative healing 
Choose well.

This is my digital collage / photomontage – ‘Winged Sun Disk’. I printed it on textured ‘fine art’ paper and edged it with gold leaf. Because it is not framed I finished it with print sealer.

I stuck the print down using wheat starch paste. Which is pH neutral and removable, onto unbleached cotton calico fabric. Firstly I have used this process because it references the preservation of historical works on paper. Secondly I find it makes the print more robust. Thirdly it also causes the paper to warp. Therefore giving the effect of making something 2D more 3D, or object like.

Title Language and Origins

My artwork has accrued several titles along the way. Firstly ‘The Winged Truth of Consciousness’. Along with its Latin translation ‘Ales Veritatis Conscientia’.

Then simply its historical name ‘Winged Sun Disk’. In this post I have used the Latin translation. Which is ‘Solis Orbis Alis’.

The Sun is sometimes referred to by its Latin name Sol or by its Greek name Helios. Whilst the English word sun stems from Proto-Germanic sunnǭ.

Why did I choose Latin? Because it is an old language tracing its roots to the Phonetician Alphabet, which in turn is derived from the Proto-Canaanite alphabet. This is the oldest fully matured alphabet, and ultimately derived from Egyptian hieroglyphs.

Also, Latin roots are used in English descriptions of theology, the sciences, and medicine to name a few.

Historical Use

This is also found in ancient Egypt, Sumerian, Mesopotamian, Hittite, Anatolian, and Persian (Zoroastrian) civilisations. It is also found in the South American and Australian symbolism of remote cultures. It was also adopted by the Christian church in the Victorian era, who used it to symbolise the life-giving power of God. Because of this it is clearly a widely used symbolic theme. Albeit with many variations of presentation.

Winged Sun Disk – Origins and Meaning

There are many theories as to its origins. Because I’m not here to speculate on their veracity, I’ve simply listed several below;

  1. A representation of the sun at the time of eclipse. Because the wings (and sometimes tail) of the bird display elements of the solar corona. Because it is visible at the moment of total eclipse.
  2. Another version, says the disk depicts a mythical celestial body of Nibiru which is described in Sumerian mythology.
  3. Because of the symbols context, placement and similarity across the globe. The plasma physicist Anthony Peratt has carried out laboratory experiments and a survey of petroglyphs. This has led him to conclude that the past has witnessed the formation of a heaven-reaching plasma discharge tube, precipitated by a large influx of charged particles from space and an increased solar wind
  4. The more frequent interpretation of this symbol is its comparison with the sky, the sun, solar power and renewal of life or divinity, majesty, power and eternity of the spirit.

The early use of the Winged Sun Disk in Egypt is on the 4th dynasty coffin of Queen Hetepheres – 2500BC. From the 8th Century BC it was found on Hebrew seals. As well as in ancient Greece as the knob of the Staff of Hermes.

Other Versions

The winged sun disk is similar to another ancient symbol the Zoroastrian ‘fravahar’ found in Persia, latterly Iran. Another version of the Winged Sun Disk is the Winged Scarab with a sun above its head. This symbol was associated with Egyptian ancient god of the rising sun, Khepri (“He who is Coming into Being”) who is associated with rebirth, resurrection and new life as a winged scarab.

The astonishing aspect of this variant of the symbol is its discovery in 2018, amongst hundreds of petroglyphs (rock carvings). These were found in the Ratnagiri and Rajapur area of the state of Maharashtra in western India. The petroglyphs have been etched on the rusty-red coloured laterite rocks that dominate the flat hilltops of the Konkan coastline.

Director of the Maharashtra State Archaeology Department, Tejas Garge, is quoted as saying; “Our first deduction from examining these petroglyphs is that they were created around 10,000 BC,” Source

So its origins appear to lie in a far earlier epoch than we would dare to have imagined.

Winged Sun Disk – Latter Day Use

In his book ‘Symbolism of the Gods of the Egyptians and the Light They Throw on Freemasonry’, the neurologist and oculist Thomas Milton Stewart wrote; that the winged sun disk denoted “’to become – to be – to create’, and that it was a part of symbolical ornamentation of every temple, displayed over every gate and doorway,”

This books demonstrates the symbol has a more contemporary history as well. Through its use by the Freemasons. As well as Rosicrucianism, Thelema, Theosophy and the Unity Church.

Its adoption doesn’t stop with spiritual organisations ether. The corporate world sees value in it too. Because variations of the symbol are used as a trademark logo on vehicles produced by the Chrysler Corporation, Mini, Bentley Motors, Lagonda (Aston Martin) and Harley Davidson (Source Wikipedia).

Furthermore it is seen in popular culture. For instance; Kubrick’s ‘2001 A Space Odyssey’ – 1968. ‘Alien’ – 1979. It is the ‘Golden Snitch’ in Harry Potter – 2001/2010. As well as too many others to mention here.

Symbols help elucidate our psyche. They do this through our responses to them.

I will be posting more content related to this in the future. As well as making versions of this available to buy. So please contact me or come back for more interesting stuff.

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