The Halo of the Sun is an important recurring image throughout the Silent Hill series. It is the insignia of the Order, the religious group behind much of the strangeness of Silent Hill, and it represents the aspects of God.
The lettering around its circumference is rovásírás, an old Hungarian alphabet. Many of the letters also contain characters of the Nordic alphabet from the Elder Futhark set. Some of these characters are "Tiwaz", which resembles an arrow, that symbolize the Norse god of war Týr and is meant to bring good fortune in battle. A symbol that looks like a letter "p" is "Wunjō" (or "Wynn"), which is supposed to bring joy, prosperity, and relief from troubles.
When translated, the runes describe the ordo manifesto of the Order. It says that gifts were given to the Sun, and God was born. It goes on to describe the deeds God did and what God wanted to achieve. Finally, it states the Order's goal of rebirthing God.
Many other symbols in the Halo of the Sun also appear in some native American alphabets, possibly a nod towards the natives having been subjugated by the European settlers of Silent Hill. It is probable that some of the native alphabet was adopted by the settlers.
The symbol's two outer circles represent charity (one of the Christian seven virtues) and resurrection, while the three inner circles represent present, past, and future. The symbol is drawn usually in red and occasionally in black, but blue and yellow reverses the meaning into a curse on God and is forbidden by the Order.
The Halo of the Sun's outer circles have circumferences lined with symbols related to one or more of a total of eight natural elements that constitute an integral part of the cosmology in the Order's religion: the three main elements of steel, blood and light; and the five lesser elements of fire, air, water, earth and wood.
The Halo of the Sun's center region has a symbol that is probably a crown symbol for the fire zodiac sign of Leo (the latter, also known as "the king of the zodiac", signifies a lion, also known as "the king of the beasts") representing God's "kingship" and omnipotence; Leo is ruled by the fiery Sun in astrology, a celestial body related in the same context to the circulatory system, and thus blood.
The Halo of the Sun's top region largely has symbols for blood and fire.
- Exterior ring: A large eye. Probably a variation of the Christian Eye of Providence symbol representing God's supreme sovereignty and omnipresence, as well as of a native American symbol for the planet Mars, a celestial body astrologically related to blood and also the ruling planet of the fire zodiac sign of Aries. It is also the symbol of the Fitch family, who serve as Shepherd's Glen's Performers of Rites that sacrificed their offspring to God through the bloody method of mutilation.
- Outside circumference: A symbol resembling an hourglass and an inverted Dagaz rune (the rune means "day"). Probably signifies the planet Saturn in an astrological context, in which the celestial body is related to time; the body is related to ancient Greek god of time Cronus who was historically identified with the mythological figure Molech to whom offspring were sacrificed through burning.
The left region largely has symbols for light and air.
- Interior ring: Rovásírás symbol TPRUS. Probably a combined symbol of the astrological symbols for the air zodiac signs of Gemini (♊) and Aquarius (♒); the astrological ruling planet of Gemini is Mercury which is known as the bright "morning star".
- Exterior ring: A set of scales with the two unknown symbols (the same as those left and right on the outside) beneath it. Probably a variation of the astrological symbol for the air zodiac sign of Libra (♎) and a variation of the symbol for the Holloway family who serve as Shepherd's Glen's Keepers of Lore that sacrificed their offspring to God via suffocation; the astrological ruling planet of Libra is Venus which is a very bright celestial body in the night sky and also known as the morning star.
- Outside circumference: Unknown.
The bottom region largely has aquatic symbols.
- Interior ring: Rovásírás symbol TPRU. Probably a crab symbol for the water zodiac sign of Cancer which signifies a crab; Cancer is astrologically ruled by the Moon which affects the tide.
- Exterior ring: Partly resembles a trident. Probably a combined symbol of the astrological symbols for the water-themed zodiac sign of Capricorn (♑; signifies a fish-tailed goat) and the water zodiac sign of Pisces (♓; signifies two fish), as well as a reference to the tridentine symbol of the Shepherd family who serve as Shepherd's Glen's Masters of Arms that sacrificed their offspring to God by drowning; the symbol is also similar to the signature of the demon Lucifer in demonology.
- Outside circumference: The astrological symbol for Libra.
The right region largely has steel, earthly and wood symbols.
- Interior ring: Rovásírás symbol AMB. Probably a combined symbol of the astrological symbols for the earth zodiac sign of Taurus (♉) and the zodiac sign of Aries (♈), the shield-and-arrows symbol of ancient Egyptian fertility goddess Neith and the religion of Wicca's symbol for its earth goddess named Triple Goddess, a deity identified with ancient Greek underworld goddess Hecate.
- Exterior ring: Unknown. Probably a variation of the astrological symbol for the zodiac sign of Sagittarius (♐) and an alternate version of the Bartlett family symbol, due to its resemblance to a spade; this family sacrificed their offspring to God by burial.
- Outside circumference: A symbol similar to Greek alphabet letter pi (π). Probably a combined symbol for the earth zodiac sign of Virgo (the ancient Greek word for the sign is παρθένος, which begins with pi) and the dwarf planet Pluto in an astrological context (the ancient Greek word for the celestial body is Πλούτων, beginning with the same letter); the sign represents a goddess holding crops and the heavenly body is named after the eponymous Greco-Roman underworld god and is also, in astrology, the ruling planet of the zodiac sign of Scorpio which, in the same context, is related to death.
- Top-right: Mirrored rovásírás letters for "Alizer".
- Top-left: Mirrored rovásírás letters for "Incubas". Probably a reference to Incubus, the final "boss" of Silent Hill). Incubas also means "illegitimate possessor" in Latin, a reference of Heather being the mother of God; Heather is represented by Aquarius which corresponds in occultism to The Fool tarot card of the Tarot Card Puzzle.
- Bottom-left: Mirrored rovásírás letters for "Dahlia"; the Order's priestess Dahlia Gillespie is represented by Cancer, as in the Zodiac Puzzle.
- Bottom-right: Mirrored rovásírás letters for "Alessa"; Alessa Gillespie who is venerated by the Order as "Saint Alessa" is represented by Taurus, as in the Zodiac Puzzle.
- Edge: A series of seemingly random symbols; including the alchemical symbols for Aqua Regia, glass, beeswax, borax, burned alum, "decompose", water, arsenic, lime, magnesium, steel, "sublimation", sugar, sulfur, autumn, cinnabar, cribbled ashes, "ferment", gold (at least three different symbols for it), hematite, magnesium, mercury, oil essence, "one dram", potash, salt, silver, soapstone, steel, "take", and wick. There are many other symbols that appear to be made up, derived of the zodiac.
When Travis Grady finds Alessa Gillespie in her burning residence, he sees her on the floor with a Halo of the Sun under her. When Travis interacts with it, he says, "A strange symbol. Looking at it makes my head hurt" — a similar response to what Heather Mason says in Silent Hill 3.
The Halo of the Sun appears again twice, extinguishing the flames. In the process, the Halo of the Sun will turn a faint greenish-blue.
Any time a piece of the Flauros is revealed, it is always sitting in the center of a glowing Halo of the Sun symbol.
In Green Lion Antiques, Travis finds himself standing inside the symbol before fighting the final boss while observing the Order engaging in their ritualistic activity. This may imply that the presence of the symbol during the Order's rituals is of some importance.
The Halo of the Sun also appears as one of the possible flashlight shapes.
The save point in Origins is shown as a red triangle, and drawn inside it is the upper part of the Halo of Sun (the large eye) and a word with four letters.
Silent Hill 3
The Halo of the Sun appears very often during Heather Mason's journey, as it acts as a save point for the player. Silent Hill 3 is also the game in which the player first learns of the meaning behind the symbol. It is also implied that each time Heather looks at a halo, she regains her memories of her past life.
Given that the crest of the religious organization symbolizes "resurrection" and "save and load", which are perceived as a "cycle of rebirth", it seems that a link to the real world is created. Before she understands the significance of the crest, she will state her confusion and displeasure at the halo's appearance, which also gives her a headache.
After she understands the significance of the crest, Heather remarks: "But you know... just the thought of it is starting to turn my stomach". The Book of Lost Memories, supplemental material to Silent Hill 3, describes this message as conveying that "as far as the player is concerned starting over again and again is convenient, but for Heather herself, this is painful".
The symbol is found on certain, important doors, in the Wish House Orphanage, and on the loading screen. It is also found on the Crested Medallion. The holes Henry Townshend travels through are Halos of the Sun.
The symbol appears in two different forms in a number of scenes and motifs. A giant version appears on the floor of the main hall of the Church of the Holy Way, in front of the door leading to Adam Shepherd. A simplified version with just the three inner circles also represents the game's save points, much like the original symbol in Silent Hill 3. This simpler form also appears on the inside of Joshua Shepherd's family ring. The first of the two door puzzles which lead to Amnion is also designed with the basic shape of the Halo of the Sun, with three circles in the middle and two outer circles. The symbols in this version, however, are completely different, instead presenting symbols related to the puzzle.
Another simplified version of the symbol appears several times in Murphy Pendleton's Otherworld. It is emblazoned on large switches that temporarily slow or deactivate dangerous blade traps, and on one of the three bells in the final puzzle at St. Maria's Monastery. In both instances, interaction with the symbol allows Murphy to progress through the Otherworld.
Also, Wall Corpses are impaled on circular, metallic contraptions that resemble the Halo of the Sun.
The player finds the symbol drawn in the orphanage's bathroom. It is used as a warp between the Otherworld and normal versions of the building, much like in Silent Hill: Origins, where mirrors allow the player to travel between both worlds.
The Halo of the Sun is the application icon for the Vita system, the map's symbol icon of the library, as well as the saving process function animation in-game.
It is also a collectible artifact, described as "a mysterious blood-red glyph burned into a flat stone."
The Halo of the Sun appears multiple times in Silent Hill: Revelation. It is the mark of the Order, the reigning cult of Silent Hill, West Virginia.
When Heather Mason returns home, she finds it written on the living room wall, along with a message telling her to come to Silent Hill. She locates a box with the Halo of the Sun on it, which contains information on the town's history.
Vincent Cooper has the Halo of the Sun carved onto his chest, allowing him to be brought over to reality so that he could locate Heather.
In the Order's sanctuary, an enormous Halo of the Sun is seen glowing on the floor.
- Main article: Brand of Samael
The Brand of Samael, with an appearance identical to that of the Halo of the Sun, is a symbol of importance in IDW Publishing's Silent Hill series of comics. As a brand, the symbol is used to identify those individuals who serve the will of the entity known as Samael.
- In Silent Hill 3, an image of Alessa in one of the Order's textbooks is seen with a halo around her head. It could be thought that halos are of deep meaning to the Order and may represent occultic sun worship, especially considering how the Order worships a sun deity.
- The Halo of the Sun in Origins is actually void of an original design on its right side; instead, the left side is mirrored.
- In Silent Hill 2, a similar symbol is seen in Toluca Prison, but it has four inner circles instead of 3.
- In the Silent Hill film, a symbol very similar to the Halo of the Sun can be seen within Midwich Elementary School when Dark Alessa appears. Circular symbols are also found on the stall doors inside Midwich's bathroom.
- In P.T., the symbol that appears whenever the game loads or autosaves resembles a very simplified version of the halo, with only the three inner circles being represented.
Silent Hill 3
Silent Hill 4: The Room
Silent Hill: Homecoming
Silent Hill: Downpour
Silent Hill: Revelation
|Heather Mason - Christopher Da Silva - Vincent Cooper - Claudia Wolf - Leonard Wolf - Dark Alessa - Douglas Cartland - Alessa Gillespie|
|Rose Da Silva - Dahlia Gillespie - Suki - Travis Grady - Order Soldier - Detective Santini - Mannequin Girl|
|Armless Man - Delusion - Leonard Wolf - Lobotomy - Mannequin Monster - Memory of Alessa - Missionary - Nurse - Pyramid Head - Valtiel|
|All Hallows High School - Brookhaven Asylum - Central Square Shopping Center - Jacks Inn - Sanctuary - Silent Hill, West Virginia - Lakeside Amusement Park|
|The Brethren - Halo of the Sun - Monster - Manifestation - Otherworld - Fog World - Real World - Robbie the Rabbit - Seal of Metatron - Siren - The Order - Great Knife - Welcome Sign|