The Black Sun is a symbol consisting of twelve mirrored Sowilo runes. This solar symbol is also a controversial symbol, because it has taken on a political connotation nowadays. The name of this symbol comes from the German "Schwarze Sonne".
The original sun wheels that inspired the Black Sun today date roughly between the 4th and 6th century A.D. and were particularly popular among the Germanic people of the Alemanni tribes.
The Black Sun is a solar symbol. It is composed of Sowilo runes. This rune is precisely that of the sun, which reinforces the solar symbolism. This kind of historical amulet is generally called "Zierscheibe" in German, which means "ornamental disc".
They can be found as far back as the proto-Germanic Bronze Age, when solar cults became very important, especially since the Indo-European influence in Northern Europe.
For a long time people thought that the version with 12 runes of the sun was a creation of the NS regime, in particular of the SS-Ahnenerbe (which means "heritage of the ancestors").
Indeed, it is necessary to know that this section of cultural and historical research of the SS, the Ahnenerbe, had made very good studies, and it is necessary to say it without any bias and far from any apology, because to deny this is a sign of dishonesty.
But the Ahnenerbe had also allowed itself to make serious mistakes in the interpretation of Germanic symbols, sometimes deliberate mistakes for obvious political reasons.
In the castle of Wewelsburg near Paderborn and the Externsteine, a place which was a high place of the SS-Ahnenerbe, the most famous representation of the Black Sun is on the floor of the main hall.
This Black Sun with 12 "rays" is in the center of a room surrounded by 12 columns. In the basement of the castle there is another room where the elite of the SS met on 12 respective pedestals surrounding a ceremonial fire.
The symbolism of the number 12 is related to the 12 months of the year in the annual rhythm of the solar cycles, which is also another interpretation of the 12 Knights of the Round Table, one of the myths dear to Himmler, the head of the SS.
The term "Black" in the case of this symbol refers to the occult aspect of knowledge related to the ancient solar cults.
This kind of symbolic explanation is of course only valid for a calendar with 12 months, which was not the case for the original Germanic culture.
Having said that, I had to note that this version of the Black Sun with twelve Sowilo runes was in fact not at all an invention of the SS-Ahnenerbe, because there is an archaeological original with 12 Sowilo runes.
So we can safely say that the Black Sun is an ancient historical symbol, even if nowadays it has been taken over by some identity or political movements, which is perfectly their right, as long as a certain spirit of the symbol is respected.
At this stage of our reflection, it is important to go a little deeper into the subject. When we look at the different archaeological models in the photo, we quickly realize that the number of Sowilo runes, the "rays" of the Black Sun, are not marked by a fixed number. There are Black Suns with 4, 5, 6, 7, or 12 runes.
The number of runes is therefore not a constant, which allows us to conclude that this number was not the center of the symbolism linked to this solar amulet.
The number of times the rune Sowilo was represented on an amulet is rather related to the runic magic that we know from historical inscriptions.
A certain number of times a particular rune was engraved in order to obtain a specific and desired result. Engraving the rune Fehu three times, for example, was a ritual operation of a magical nature whose goal was abundance and prosperity.
Using the rune Sowilo 4 times is totally in line with the cyclic rhythms linked to the 4 seasons of the year, which makes it a very special hymn dedicated to the Divinity of the sun. The symbolism of the number 4 is found perfectly in that of the solar wheel with its 4 spokes.
The number 12 is a multiple of 4, so we can analyze the number 12 as being what we saw above: a symbol in the rhythm of the solar cycles.
The fact that 4 must be multiplied by 3 to obtain 12, is another revealing element, because 3 has always been used in magic, whether runic or not.
The 3 allows to activate a summoning, and in this case to activate the power of the rune Sowilo. As for the other numbers used in the various amulets, they most certainly had a particular meaning for the creation of the object, even if in our time certain numerical symbolisms of the Germanic tradition sometimes escape us.
The model for the symbol is a similar floor ornament in the form of a sun wheel, which was embedded by the SS in the north tower of the Wewelsburg castle during the National Socialist era.
Wewelsburg Castle, built from 1603 to 1609, was rebuilt from 1934 on the orders of Reichsführer SS Himmler under the direction of architect Hermann Bartels.
It was to become an ideological center and meeting place for the SS; from 1935, the project was called SS-Schule Haus Wewelsburg. Originally, ideological training for SS leaders was planned there, a so-called "Reichsführerschule SS"; in fact, the castle was used for Germanic civilizations research.
Activities focused on archaeological excavations in the surrounding region and studies of Germanic prehistory and early history, medieval history, and folklore and kinship research.
The occultist and private mentor of Himmler, Karl Maria Wiligut, is said to have had an important influence on the design of the interior of the castle with its mostly Germanic signs, ornaments and decorations.
The northern tower of the castle was secured and expanded from 1938 to 1943. During this time, the so-called "Obergruppenführer Hall" was built on the first floor (the Obergruppenführer were originally the highest SS generals before the introduction of the rank of "Oberst-Gruppenführer") and below it the so-called "Gruft".
The Obergruppenführer Hall is a circular room with twelve columns and windows in between. In the center of the light gray marble floor is a dark green marble incrustation in the shape of a twelve-spoked sun wheel. Originally, there is said to have been a golden plate in the center of the ornament.
Whether the ornament originally had a special designation and whether a particular meaning was attached to it is unknown. The sun wheel may have had a symbolic meaning for the "Germanic light and sun mysticism" propagated by the SS.
This floor ornament in the Obergruppenführersaal is the model for the symbol known today as the Black Sun, even though it differs in shape and color from the original.
The crypt located below the upper group leader's room resembles a Mycenaean domed tomb in shape. The room, in the center of which the preparation for an eternal flame is still visible, was not completed.
The purpose of the two rooms is unknown. The floors of the tower located above the Obergruppenführer Hall were demolished.
Starting in 1941, plans were made to expand the entire Wewelsburg complex into a circular structure with a radius of 600 meters within 20 years.
The north tower, with an outer diameter of almost 21 meters the strongest of the three castle towers, was to become the center of the planned complex. The planned ring and spur roads, buildings and ring walls were aligned with it.
Thus, after the final victory, the Wewelsburg was to be developed into the central SS cult site and designed as the center of the new world and of a religion appropriate to the race.
It is likely that ceremonial acts of SS leaders took place at Wewelsburg three to four times a year. Contrary to widespread conjecture, the surviving documents do not prove an occult background.
Annual group leader meetings as well as oath-taking ceremonies were planned by Himmler. Towards the end of the war, he ordered that the Wewelsburg should become the "Reichshaus of the SS group leaders".
As early as the 1950s, the concept of the Black Sun was coined in an esoterically oriented nationalist circles around the former SS-Oberscharführer Wilhelm Landig as a substitute for the swastika and a symbol for a mystical energy source that was supposed to revive the Aryan race.
Since the 1970s, this idea has been disseminated as part of a right-wing esoteric transfiguration of National Socialism and, especially from the 1990s onward, has been further developed by a new generation of right-wing esoteric authors.
It was not until 1991 that this concept of the Black Sun was associated with the symbol in Wewelsburg Castle in the novel Die Schwarze Sonne (The Black Sun) by Tashi Lhunpo, written under the pseudonym Russell McCloud by the German author Stephan Mögle-Stadel and published by the far-right Arun-Verlag.
The Black Sun is used by parts of the neo-Nazi scene as an identifying symbol. The symbol is also used in right-wing parts of the neo-pagan scene. In right-wing parts of subcultures such as the neofolk or metal scene, the Black Sun is also frequently used.
The Black Sun was also used in the insignia of Azov Regiment, a Ukrainian militia founded in April/May 2014 that is highly controversial due to the openly far-right political positions of many of its leaders and members and the use of corresponding symbols. The Black Sun was depicted in white. It was overlaid with a wolf's rune, similar in design to an earlier emblem of the All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda.
The symbol also became the namesake of the mystery audio drama series Die Schwarze Sonne by Günter Merlau. The series combines historical elements with a fictional narrative about the detective duo Adam Salton and Nathaniel De Salis.
In a complex plot structure that spans several narrative threads set on different time levels from the 17th century to the era of German National Socialism, the series combines esoteric and mythical aspects of symbolic meaning with the theory of the hollow earth.
In the thriller The Genesis Plan (SIGMA Force) by James Rollins, Black Sun and Wewelsburg Castle play a central role.
In the movie Iron Sky, Black Sun is the name for the Nazi base they built on the far side of the moon.