Hate – but know why you hate

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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.

Cool.

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.

I rob Nazis

More from Scarlet Magdalene:

Ironically enough, his own signature was also removed for reasons just as serious and well before his blog posts I’m afraid.

1) You are lying. You removed my signature after the posts, because I checked as I was making them in case I needed to change the language.

2) Are you seriously claiming that wearing a Nazi necklace* is on the same level as raping a child? Fucking seriously?!?

I wonder how long it’ll take her to do anything about the second sexual predator she has on her list. I just checked, and yup, they’re still there.

I also love the dude who is white knighting for her.

“OMG, like, he’s cultural appropriating from Nazis!!!”

Yeah, buddy. Maybe I am.

I walked up, punched a Nazi right in the nose, stole all his symbols and now I’m gonna repurpose them for my queer, disabled, foreign God. Fight me if you want them back. 

Gods these people are ridiculous and have some truly fucked up priorities.  

* Which isn’t, but that’s irrelevant to the argument.

Don’t trust fake news

If you are seriously interested in learning about the history and meaning of the Sonnenrad I would recommend starting with James Pontolillo’s The Black Sun Unveiled: Genesis and Development of a Modern National Socialist Mythos and Stanton Marlan’s The Black Sun: The Alchemy and Art of Darkness. The first consists largely of primary source material (photographs as well as documents) much of which is obscure and difficult to track down elsewhere – and the second really delves into its esoteric significance. Both have some points I’d quibble with, but are infinitely to be preferred to the sort of info that’s likely circulating on Twitter. 

Why do I bother?

The Black Sun is a Nazi symbol!

What did it represent?

Nazism. Duh.

Then why wasn’t it in wider use?

Because the Swastika!

Right. So when they used it, it was for other purposes. What were they?

Nazis killed 6 million.

They did. In fact they were responsible for many more deaths than that. A lot of Nazis were very wicked men.

Nazi bad.

On that we can certainly agree.

Black Sun is Nazi.

Well, the symbol actually predates the–

Black Sun bad!

Some believe that symbols are neutral vessels into which we pour meaning and our assorted personal associations. I’m not sure I buy that, but–

NAZIS BAD. BLACK SUN BAD.

Now, now. Enough of that. We’re having a civil conversation here–

YOU BLACK SUN. YOU NAZI. YOU BAD!!! 

This is how stupid you sound!

Death Cab For Cutie is a Nazi band!

The Cult is a Nazi band!

Dead Can Dance is a Nazi band!

Kadavar is a Nazi band!

GUNSHIP is a Nazi band!

Arditi is a Nazi band!

(Ok, I’ll give ya that one.)

Carbon Airways is a Nazi band!

Soundgarden is a Nazi band, if you take out the hole!

Sorry Trent, but it’s true.

I find it very strange that Scarlet Magdalene and people like her insist on calling me a Nazi. When asked for evidence she posted links to 4 or 5 older pieces of mine – every one of which consisted of me not only denouncing Nazi ideology (beyond just “they killed a bunch of people” – like, even if that hadn’t happened I’d still oppose Nazis) but condemning all forms of racism, sexism, etc. When this was pointed out she doubled down with I hate Jews (curious, since three of my romantic partners have been of Jewish extraction; I’d say that rather proves the opposite, especially since I’m still on good terms with two of them) and then started ranting about the pics. Oh, the pics!

One of which was taken at a largely Black production of Euripides’ Bakchai by the historical Classical Theatre of Harlem and the other taken here in my office. In both I’m wearing a Sonnenrad necklace; in the second I’ve got on my SPQR t-shirt with the Roman eagle, and I’m flashing an “OK” hand sign. Plus my cool glow-in-the-dark vine bong is visible, though no one ever remarks on that even though it’s clearly proof that I’m a Nazi – Hitler was born on 4/20 after all!

Except, you know, it isn’t proof. None of it is.

Sure, the Nazis culturally appropriated the Roman eagle – but so did the United States of America before them, and the Russian Empire before them, and the Holy Roman Empire (which was neither holy, Roman nor an empire) before them, and the Byzantines before them, and probably a dozen other polities over the centuries I’m forgetting, all of whom wanted to foster some connection with my people, even if only on a symbolic level. Hell, truth be told, we weren’t even the first nation in antiquity to adopt the eagle but like Johnny Cash once we took something over ours became the definitive version everyone wants to emulate. (Sorry Trent, but it’s true.)

So yes, I wear my SPQR shirt as an expression of Italian pride and support for the values that made Rome such an exceptional world power. Our Imperium lasted more than a thousand years, and has cast a long shadow over subsequent European history. How long was the German Reich around for – a little more than a decade?

And you know what helped bring the fuckers down? My people.

Specifically, my grandfather and about five or six of his cousins – all of whom enlisted in the American Armed Forces even though they were first and second generation immigrants and treated like shit for it because America was pretty damn racist at the time. That didn’t matter, however, when their newly adopted country was attacked; all those boys went out to fight against their former homeland and its fascist allies, and several never returned. That’s one reason I wear the SPQR – to honor my ancestors and the hard sacrifices they made for the freedoms we all so casually enjoy – including your freedom to call me a Nazi.

And I’m sorry, I don’t care if the ADL and SPLC claim that the “OK” hand gesture is a White Supremacist symbol – it’s been around for decades in contexts as diverse as scuba-diving to baseball to rock’n’roll to American sign language. Just because some trolls at 4chan started a meme and the conspiratorial lefties went nuts over it does not change its fundamental meaning and history. When I flash it I am not signifying that I’m a racist – I’m mocking your gullibility, libtards. And that should be obvious from context, since it usually appears in posts where I am denouncing racism. Why the fuck would I do that if I’m a Nazi?

Now, the Black Sun.

This symbol and variations on it go back not only to migration-era Germany, but to pictographs and related imagery from the Neolithic found throughout continental Europe. True, for a few short years it was also employed by a select group of Nazis interested in the Occult; also true, the form I favor was designed by Himmler for the Wewelsburg castle – but do you know why they used it?

Yeah, I didn’t think so.

But I do, and that’s why I continue to even though I’ve gotten all kinds of shit for it. I’m not going to go into the historical, mythical, Occult and Runic significance of the Sonnenrad, nor what it means to us within the Starry Bull tradition. That’s a topic for another day. Instead I’m going to say one thing, and one thing only – my personal reason for wearing it.

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.

And you’re welcome to disagree all you want. You can run around calling me Nazi til you’re blue in the face. You can maintain that belief no matter how often folks point to my anti-racist writings, the fact that every ritual group I’ve been involved in since my Wiccan days has had members of color, that no one can point to any racist groups I’ve been a member of, no racist events I’ve attended, no racist activities I’ve engaged in, and so on and so forth until the cows come home.

Eventually people are going to see through your bullshit, that you’ve got nothing more than empty “Nazi!” and “Racist!” insults to lob.

And then what?

Will you reflect on all that time you’ve wasted hating on me instead of getting out there and fighting actual Nazis like my grandfather and his cousins did? Okay, technically most of them were deployed to the Pacific theater rather than Europe but Imperial Japan was no less evil than the Nazis, and in some respects much worse. Just ask the Chinese, Filipinos, POWs, etc. But my point stands – your keyboard crusades will accomplish nothing. They will consume everything decent, vital and meaningful about you until you die worthless and forgotten.

And I’ll still be over here, worshiping my Gods and making lasting friendships with interesting and diverse people who care more about my words and deeds than the necklaces and t-shirts I wear. (And if they have questions about my accessories we’ll have an honest conversation like human beings, not neurotic online twits.)

Incidentally, you may want to take another look at your Xenia Declaration, Scarlet Magdalene. While you’ve been trying to besmirch my reputation (something I do far better than you ever could) you let another sexual predator sign up. Wow, you have no knowledge of your so-called community and don’t do any sort of vetting, do you? Unless you do know and are actually ok with that sort of thing. Once is an accident, twice a coincidence – but any more and it will start to seem to like a pattern …

Damn, I am so glad you removed me because of my t-shirt and necklace, since I have zero desire to be associated with you people.

Anyway, it’s 11/11 now. Take a few moments to reflect on and honor those who were truly Anti-Fascist, and gave their lives up in the great fight against tyranny.

My political beliefs

There is a lot of curiosity about my political beliefs for some reason, so here’s where I’d come down on a number of issues if I was in charge. If you want to know my thoughts on other matters feel free to post your questions in the comments section below. 

Abortion: I do not believe that a pregnancy should be terminated unless the mother’s life is in danger or there are diseases or defects that will severely compromise the quality of life of the fetus. However I do not believe that it is the government’s place to restrict access to abortion. This inevitably makes the situation worse and more dangerous; it also violates the bodily autonomy of women. Instead of focusing on the ballot box and courts, I would direct efforts and resources towards decreasing the need for abortions. This means better sex ed, access to contraception, counseling and support not only during pregnancy but through childhood (including increased funding for healthcare, welfare, housing, childcare, education, etc.) streamlining adoption, and similar initiatives on both a private and governmental level. If life is truly precious then we as a society need to act accordingly. 

Citizenship: No distinction should be made based on ethnicity, gender or country of origin. Instead I would divide the population into two classes – metics (or resident aliens) and citizens. Metics do not enjoy the benefits of citizenship, nor the responsibilities. Citizenship is only granted after a period of two years’ service to the State. This could be in military, medical, engineering, education, agriculture, public works and infrastructure, as well as similar fields. In return the citizen will receive voting rights, access to free education and healthcare, etc. Although I would encourage social stigma towards metics, under the law they will be treated equally with citizens. Citizenship must be renewed every ten years, with another two year period of service.  

Drugs: By all metrics prohibition has not only proven ineffective, it has created untold problems which disproportionately affect minority and impoverished communities. I would legalize everything, tax and regulate the industry, and redirect funds towards education, rehabilitation, and facilities where addicts can get safe and clean fixes. 

Economy: I would like to see a mixed model. While capitalism and private enterprise will be encouraged, a number of industries and resources will be nationalized, and much will be handled through public service programs. Even when there is a government option private alternatives will be available to ensure healthy competition.  

Education: Provided free to all citizens. After basic education (which not only covers literacy, history and the humanities, STEM, essential life skills, etc. but is also designed to inculcate civic virtues) students will be tested to determine their aptitudes and then enrolled in trade schools which will also help with job placement upon graduation, should they so desire. Higher education will be cheaply available, but if debt is incurred they will have the option of enrolling in a public service program to pay it off. 

Environment: There is no nation without its land and resources. Conservation, responsible management, the development of clean and renewable energy sources, etc. will all be strongly encouraged, with various public service programs directed towards that end. Violators will be severely punished as traitors to the State.  

Guns: All citizens should be encouraged to carry, provided they’ve gone through thorough training and background checks. I do not believe that the government can be trusted with a monopoly on violence, especially since attempts to restrict access to firearms always target vulnerable, marginalized and minority communities. The epidemic of mass shootings we’ve experienced since the 1990s is the result of complex societal issues that need to be addressed and will not stop until they are. Besides, criminals by definition do not obey the law so how is a gun grab going to help? 

Healthcare: Provided free to all citizens. Metics should have access to cheap and quality medical care; if they incur debt as a consequence and cannot pay, they may enroll in a public service program where they can work it off.  

Marriage: I believe that the foundation of society is the family, but that it is not the government’s job to determine the makeup of individual family units. Furthermore it should not be in the business of sanctioning marriage, which is a religious institution and therefore should be left to individual religions to determine its nature and legitimacy. If same-sex couples, multiple partners, platonic friends or whatever wish to have their unions formalized that’s between them and their clergy. Likewise if religious institutions do not wish to recognize the legitimacy of such unions they should not be forced to. Matters of inheritance, medical advocacy, benefits, etc. should be disentangled from marriage and people permitted to come up with their own personal arrangements.  

Military: I am largely anti-interventionist and so would reduce the armed forces to just what is needed to protect our borders, scrapping the majority of our overseas bases. (While increasing funding for espionage, black ops, cyberterrorism, etc.)

Prisons: I would abolish for-profit prisons and mandatory minimum sentences, especially for non-violent offences. (Many of which would be decriminalized anyway.) I would place greater emphasis on reforming the character of criminals rather than simply punishing them. While incarcerated they would undergo therapy, education and for those who are eligible work-training, the latter under an apprenticeship program that would help them find employment upon release. Other programs would be in place to help them successfully reintegrate into society. Those with life sentences may volunteer to be the subjects of scientific experiments or dangerous and undesirable labor; if they happen to survive they may be eligible for parole. 

Prostitution: Essentially the same as my drug policy, however I would require the prostitutes be licensed and undergo regular medical check-ups, whether they work out of a state-run brothel or are private entrepreneurs. In the brothels they would receive the same benefits as other government employees.  

Religion: Although officially Polytheist with State-run temples and priesthoods, the population will enjoy the freedom to practice whatever religion they please, or none at all. However tax exemption will be given only to those religious institutions who help conduct the festivals and rites of the Gods of the State. We possess a very open pantheon; the requirements are to bless and protect the people and land of the State, and to do the opposite towards our enemies.