In debates on the Sonnenrad the favorite rhetorical ploy of the detractors (after gaslighting and outright lying) is to move the goal posts.
First they start off by claiming the Black Sun is a Nazi symbol. When you point out that this is a very ancient symbol with roots in Greece, Rome, Egypt, Mesopotamia as well as Celtic and Germanic lands and further it has a long history in alchemy, Christian and Sufi mysticism, psychiatry, the Romantic and Symbolist art movements, and pop culture generally from the 1980s on – they shift position and say the Black Sun itself is fine, it’s just the particular form of it found at Wewelsburg castle that’s problematic, and then proceed to regurgitate bizarre conspiracy theories about Nazi occultism they learned from a Facebook meme some dude who watched Ancient Aliens or some other “History Chanel” documentary concocted.
Truth, as is so often the case with this ilk, is not on their side.
Consider the following:
ADL Hate on Display™ Hate Symbols Database / Sonnenrad
The sonnenrad or sunwheel is one of a number of ancient European symbols appropriated by the Nazis in their attempt to invent an idealized “Aryan/Norse” heritage. The sonnenrad appears in the traditional symbology of many countries and cultures, including Old Norse and Celtic cultures. […] Because sonnenrad imagery is used by many cultures around the world, one should not assume that most sonnenrad-like images necessarily denote racism or white supremacy; rather, they should be analyzed carefully in the context in which they appear.
Eva Kingsepp, Foreword to The Liber Nigri Solis
The swastika as a graphic symbol of the Sun (or Pole star) is of course interesting as compared to the Black Sun. Throughout history the latter has been depicted (especially in alchemy) most often as a blackened sun, sometimes carrying the corona of solar eclipses. Today this glyph is increasingly challenged by another: the sun wheel with twelve crooked rays, or Sig-runes, of the Wewelsburg Castle in Westphalia, Germany. The castle was the spiritual center of Heinrich Himmler’s SS during the Third Reich, and this striking floor mosaic in the North tower is nowadays supposed to carry esoteric meanings connected to the presumed occult teachings of the SS. In Germany it is used among right-wing groups as a visual substitute for the forbidden Hakenkreuz (the Nazi swastika). But the Schwarze Sonne of the Wewelsburg is today becoming increasingly popularized in mainstream popular culture, especially spawning from the US.
We find it almost every time when ‘Nazi occultism’ is a topic : in speculative popular history, sensationalistic cryptohistory, conspiracy theories, web chat rooms, movies, computer games … I will not go further into this, as the field is truly vast and in most cases historically thoroughly inaccurate. Suffice to say that this particular Black Sun, despite all the writings and all the more or less credible ‘documentary’ films on the History Channel, was not an esoteric symbol used by the Nazis. It was not even known as a ‘Black Sun,’ until post-war popular culture turned it into one.
However, this is certainly not without importance for those who today wish to use the Black Sun in a spiritual context. The popular associations with Nazism significantly add to the Otherness of it, underlining its previous cultural connotations to death, destruction and Evil. This also adds to the dimensions of taboo, ‘holy fear,’ already prevalent in much cultural imagery of the Black Sun. The result is that there is an immense amount of social energy invested in the symbol: if one chooses to use it for spiritual purposes, the whole legacy of cultural meanings associated with it is there as well and must be dealt with. In this respect it is quite fascinating to consider the use of the Black Sun in alchemy and in Jung’s psychoanalytical philosophy as a symbol for nigredo. As already indicated, Jung describes this stage in the process of development as “difficult and strewn with obstacles; the alchemical opus is dangerous. Right at the beginning you meet the ‘dragon,’ the chthonic spirit, the ‘devil’ or, as the alchemists called it, the ‘blackness,’ the nigredo, and this encounter produces suffering.” Already in this short quote from Jung there are obviously several interesting concepts. The fact that the repulsive Other is something that most people do not wish to encounter or deal with, but in fact need to if they are to develop as individuals, is very important.
Julian Strube, Nazism and the Occult
The Wewelsburg castle has been identiﬁed, within both popular literature and scholarly studies, as the location for a number of occult rituals performed by the SS, or even as the repository of the Holy Grail and the Holy Lance (Hüser 1987; Höhne 1967; Siepe 2009). Indeed, popular narratives about SS ‘rituals’ even found their way into the studies of esteemed experts (Fest 1963, 159-60; cf. Hüser 1987 68). Recent scholarship, however, has shown that no ‘cults’ or ‘rituals’ of any kind have ever been performed at the Wewelsburg (Schulte 2009). Himmler’s plans for turning the castle into a weltanschauliches Zentrum and an organizational base for the SS were never realized.
There is no historical evidence to suggest that there has been anything like a powerful ‘esoteric circle’ within the SS. It is clear that Himmler consistently had to hide his private esoteric interests from the public and other party elites like Hitler and Goebbels. His future plans for the SS, including the Wewelsburg or the Externsteine, never left the planning stage (Halle 2002; Schulte 2009). Those individuals within the SS who were following an esoteric agenda – notably Wiligut and Rahn – were pushed out of the organization and met tragic ends. Certainly, there is no evidence to indicate that those individuals interested in esotericism in the SS had the power to develop secret weapons or to build subterranean bases and worldwide networks.
The ofﬁcial stance of the state towards esoteric individuals and organizations became increasingly hostile after 1933. While there is evidence of continuities between esoterically inclined currents, such as Ariosophy, and National Socialism, those afﬁnities never resulted in ‘occult’ inﬂuences at a state level. Esoteric groups inﬂuenced by such movements as Theosophy, Anthroposophy, Rosicrucianism, Ariosophy, Mazdaznan, or New Thought were classiﬁed as ‘sects hostile to the state.’ In the view of state ofﬁcials, their unwillingness to adapt to the National Socialist Weltanschauung encouraged disunity amongst the Volksgemeinschaft. As Corinna Treitel (2004) suggests in her study of German occultism, two speciﬁc transgressions led to the persecution of esoteric groups by the authorities: the ﬁrst was the denial of rigid racial hierarchies that, for example, became evident in the Theosophical proclamation of a ‘brotherhood of humanity’; the second was the accusation of ‘superstition’ that would poison the minds of the German people. Hence, in July 1937, all Freemasonic lodges, Theosophical circles, and related groups were dissolved and okkultistische as well as spiritistische publications and activities were forbidden. The famous ﬂight by Rudolph Hess, who, in an attempt to bring an end to the war, had parachuted over Scotland in 1941, led to an increased suspicion of occult inﬂuence. It was, for example, claimed that the inﬂuence of astrologers and other ‘charlatans’ surrounding Hess had led to his ‘insanity.’ Hitler and, especially, Goebbels had always protested against ‘superstition’ and ‘mysticism,’ which now had to be ﬁnally eradicated. The resulting crackdown in June 1941 led to a brutal suppression of esoteric activity in Germany, to the interning of occultists and the forcing of many underground. Ironically, this purging of the occult and the sectarian took place under the aegis of the police chief, Himmler, who, while privately expressing an interest in esotericism, ofﬁcially supported the crackdown on superstition, which he perceived to be a threat to the unity of the German people (cf.Dierker, Staudenmaier, and Meyer in Puschner 2012).
So basically while this particular graphical representation of the Schwarze Sonne was found in a castle renovated by a Nazi it had almost no currency outside the Schutzstaffel (and very little within it) and Himmler’s esoteric interests brought him into conflict with the rest of the leadership of the Third Reich, which violently rejected such beliefs and persecuted those who held them.
And for this reason we should soundly reject the Sonnenrad (and all variations thereof) as well as demonize anyone who has the temerity not to.
How do y’all feel about NASA and the moon landing?
Ford, GM, BMW, and Audi?
Fanta soft drinks?
Cause all of them and many, many others have a much stronger Nazi pedigree than this poor, maligned symbol – and were directly involved in the atrocities of the regime whereas it, being a symbol, was not. At least be consistent – if you’re going to damn me for my usage of the Black Sun you better go after anyone who has ever patronized those companies too.
But you won’t, because it’s not really about the symbol, now is it?
After all, you never call me a Commie though I deeply reverence the Hammer of Thor and Saturn’s Sickle.