Dies Natalis Solis Invicti (Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun) is a winter solstice holiday celebrated on December 25th, in dedication to King Helios. It is observed as the point when the sun renews itself, the cold winter is defeated, and the sun is born once more. It also commemorates the Temple of the Sun, a temple which was built by Emperor Aurelian that was consecrated on December 25, 274. A celebration to Mithras also takes place on the same day.
Awake early around 5:15 AM to mindfully watch the sunrise (Which typically rises at 5:38 AM)
- You may light a bonfire if you wish, which is traditional.
Provide an offering:
- Incense is an excellent offering. Seven sticks/cones of incense is a good number, thanks to the number 7’s association with King Helios as an association of the sun’s seven rays.
- An animal sacrifice is another good choice, as long as it is not cattle, the sacred animal of Helios.
A feast in honor of the sun is called for:
- Good to eat:
- Sun-dried foods might be an idea
- Crops, as they are sun-born, except for mushrooms.
- Avoid eating:
- Do not eat the flesh of animals that spent most of their lives in feedlots (and thus away from the sun)
- Do not eat the meat of cows, for there are many myths where the cows are represented as sacred to King Helios (with both Hermes and the friends of Odysseus infamously stealing from His herd).
Some may wish to decorate their homes. If so, use decorations that invoke the sun to bring you closer to the light of the King of the Gods. Gold is a great color to use in decorations, along with other colors such as orange and red. Horses, wheels, and chariots are also good to use in decoration, as they tend to be symbolic of the sun.
Figula, M. Sentia Figula (aka. “Neo polytheist.” A Pagan Christmas in High Summer. November 21, 2012. Accessed September 26, 2017. http://romanpagan.blogspot.ca/2012/11/a-pagan-christmas-in-high-summer.html.
Figula, M. Sentia Figula (aka. “Neo polytheist.” The Invincible Sun – Sol Invictus) December 21, 2013. Accessed September 26, 2017. http://romanpagan.blogspot.ca/2013/12/the-unconquered-sun-sol-invictus.html.
R MacMullen, Christianity and Paganism in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries, Yale University Press, 1997, citing comments by a 12th century scribe
Clauss, Manfred. The Roman cult of Mithras: the god and his mysteries. New York: Routledge, 2001.