The responses to my explanation for why I use the Sonnenrad have been rather interesting. There has been concern that I’m trying to force others to use it, tirades about UPG and going beyond the sources, worry about blindly accepting whatever a God happens to tell us, theoreticals about all the horrible things a God might command one to do, whether it’s even possible for the Gods to act contrary to the good, etc.
I really wonder how many of these people even bothered to read my explanation before weighing in. If you need a refresher, here you go:
This image was given to me in a dream by Dionysos. Initially I was uncomfortable with that since I was aware of its Nazi associations. But it kept showing up in visions and meditations over the course of a couple months. And then the God showed me what it means, how it’s one of the symbols of his mysteries and more importantly what can be done with it. And that’s all I needed. I will never stop wearing it, talking about it, or using it.
The first thing you’ll notice is that at no point was there discussion about other people using this symbol or not. Not in the account, and not in any of the subsequent posts I’ve made. Not only have I not encouraged others to adopt it, I haven’t attempted to argue anyone down from their positions.
Look, I get it. Nazis bad. Anything they touched is going to be forever stained for you. Not only can’t these symbols ever be redeemed, but anyone who uses them is a jerk or worse, and you want to stay as far away from that as possible.
You can stop reading now.
I’m not going to try to convince you of anything, but I’m also not going to engage with your kneejerk arguments because they aren’t based in anything other than emotion. May you lead a happy and fulfilled life – preferably as far away from me and mine as possible.
Now on to the theological points.
I didn’t take on the Sonnenrad because Dionysos told me to. There was no blind acceptance of anything, no threats or compulsion.
It began simply with a dream in which I was given the symbol. He didn’t explain anything, including why he wanted me to have it. We were just hanging out in the Labyrinth talking and suddenly he extended his hand and there was a black disc with moving tendrils resembling Sig-runes around the circumference. I held it in my hands and felt this vibrating power that made me kind of dizzy and the next thing I knew I was awake.
I felt disoriented, but got up and went to my lap-top to confirm that he had indeed given me what I thought he had. I spent a half hour or so checking out a smattering of sites, most of which repeated the same bare bones information. I said, “Hmm, that’s weird. Wonder if it means anything.” And then I went back to bed.
A couple days later my mind returned to the symbol. It made me really uncomfortable because of its Nazi associations. Why had he given it to me? What did he intend for me to do with it? How did I personally feel about it, for that matter.
Mostly it made me uncomfortable. It’s not just that I don’t like Nazis and anything associated with them was tainted – but as someone who had already gotten plenty of flak for my conservative and Right-leaning views, well, adopting this symbol would have some pretty severe ramifications. To the point that it could destroy all of my community-building efforts which I had undertaken expressly for him.
So I filed it away in the back of my mind, and went about organizing the Polytheist Leadership Conference. And for the next six months or so, that was that. There were no further dreams, no whispered messages or visions, I was swamped with work both during the Conference and in its immediate aftermath, and I got involved in some esoteric work involving next level stuff with the Toys, opening up the Green Way thread of the tradition, working more closely with Orpheus, Medeia and Melampous, and generally growing the Starry Bull community with close to a dozen initiates made over the next couple years.
Then the Sonnenrad started showing up more and more for me. People would mention it in books and articles I was reading, it’d pop up in videos and movies, I began seeing it in dreams and visions, it filtered subconsciously into my writing and then David Bowie released his final album ★ and went to join the heroes. At this point I felt I needed to understand the symbol and its occult significance better so I hit the books. Most writings were either full of incomprehensible jargon, or veered off into crazy land often with heaping helpings of delusional racism, antisemitism and messianiac Hitlerism. The alchemical literature proved more useful – and overlapped significantly with what I had been calling the Bull-Wolf ritual combat strain of the tradition – but a lot of it was also unproductive or way over my head, since my knowledge of the subject is fairly minimal. Nevertheless I was able to piece together some significant stuff from these disparate sources but also felt that I had taken things as far as I could through the research route.
So I went back and prayed for Dionysos to send me another dream, perhaps one with a little more clarity. And I got zilch. Nada. Nothingburger. A couple weeks straight of prayer, bedtime ritual, entheogens, etc. netted the same results. So I figured that was that, and it would remain a closed mystery to me. I’ve encountered plenty of other strains within the Starry Bull that were like that, so it didn’t surprise me overmuch.
Then, as I prepared to take another class through the Toys course the Sonnenrad started aggressively showing up again – not just via the exercises, but whenever I’d meditate and occasionally in dreams too. I begged Dionysos to reveal its meaning, and though he communicated very little to me directly more and more of it started opening up for me until I had a pretty good sense of what it was, what processes it oversaw, and once mastered how its energy could be utilized.
At which point Dionysos and I needed to have another heart-to-heart because I was very uncomfortable making what amounted to Nazi spiritual tech part of the Starry Bull tradition. I knew enough by then that I was convinced it was so much more than that and the Nazis and related Occultists had only scratched the surface – but it’d be a really fucking hard sell for others. The couple of times I’d brought it up in the group people freaked and threatened to leave. These were my people, who trusted and spent years working with me. If they had that reaction, I could just imagine how others would take this.
So Dionysos and I talked. He didn’t try to convince me of anything, beyond the fact that I was on the right track and if I could get over my inhibitions I would make some serious breakthroughs. He assured me that although I would one day share this with others, that was a ways off and I needed to spend time learning and mastering it just for myself. He gave me glimpses of how he’d come by it, what it meant to him beyond the extensive lore surrounding it, and what I might one day be able to do with it – including stuff none of the literature had touched on.
And that’s where things have remained the last couple years. It’s only been twelve months or so since I’ve felt comfortable and confident enough to begin wearing it around or using it in ritual.
No divine commandments. No bullying, intimidation or danger of him retreating. No grand mission. No problem with my hesitancy and oodles of questions, which were all handled by him with patience and grace. No grand conversations about morality, cosmology and the place of man and the Gods in such things. I was merely presented with options and choices, and what follows naturally from them.
Your experience with your Gods may be different than this, leading to the anxieties inherent in your question – but this is Dionysos we’re talking about, and one of the things he values above nearly all else in his interactions with humans is consent and things happening in the right way, in the right place, at the right time.
And for that I am infinitely grateful.