The Black Sun Occult (Nazi symbol)

The Black Sun is a Nazi symbol, also known as sonnenrad in German, active in a post-Nazi Germany situation by neo-Nazis and some occult subgroups, such as Satanism.

The Black Sun (German: Schwarze Sonne), precisely comes from the bottom of the north tower of Wewelsburg Fort, which was renewed by SS-leader Heinrich Himmler.

The fort was an assembly place of only chief fellows of the SS, and Himmler considered it the axis mundi (centre of the world) for their dogma.

Meaning and Origin of Black Sun Symbol

The exact meaning of the sonnenrad symbol, if it even had one to Himmler, is unknown. There aren’t even histories of a name linked with this symbol. There is no proposal that he called it the Black Sun; that term was related to it afterwards.

Meaning and Origin of Black Sun Symbol
Meaning and Origin of Sonnenrad Symbol

Himmler was very attentive in Germanic legends and pagan faith and therefore seems to have accepted the mark from related old shapes.

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The historic variations of the Black Sun have shown a different number of radiating spokes. However, his Black shown had 12 arms. 

The ancient forms are reflected by many to be sun wheels, alike to sun crosses, which is why calling this sign a sun comes easily to most. (Though, one should note that the Wewelsburg mark is completed of greenstone, not black.)

The middle of the Wewelsburg symbol also first had a gold centre to it, which is a mutual solar symbol.

Sun symbols usually signify victory, life and blimey, and sun cyphers with central points to them often signify harmony and supremacy as well.

All of these senses fit well within Nazi philosophy and worldview: the harmony of a single race placed around an influential party and leader winning over lesser, cruel, evil races, approval the serenity of life and golly as clear by the Nazis.

Wewelsburg Mosaic

In 1933, Heinrich Himmler attained Wewelsburg, a fort near Paderborn, Germany.

Wewelsburg Mosaic
Wewelsburg Mosaic

Himmler envisioned to make the assembly into a centre for the SS, and between 1936 and 1942, he ordered the building extended and recreated for ritual purposes.

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As a creation of Himmler’s makeover, 12 dark-green outward overlaid sig runes, such as those active in the logo of the SS, appear on the white marble floor of the assembly’s north tower, the Obergruppenführersaal or “General’s Hall”.

The planned meaning of the image rests unknown, but the artist may have found spur from pretty Merovingian disks (Zierscheibe).

According to the historian Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke:

It has been advised that this 12 spoke sun wheel stems from pretty disks from the Merovingians of the early primitive period and are thought to signify the visible sun or its way through the months of the year.

These disks were debated in erudite books during the 3rd Reich and may well have aided the Wewelsburg artists as a model.

After the publication of very popular occult thriller novel Die Schwarze Sonne von Tashi Lhunpo (‘The Black Sun of Tashi Lhunpo’) by the pseudonymous author Russell McCloud, the name “Black Sun” gained a lot of popularity.

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The author linked the Wewelsburg mosaic with the neo-Nazi idea of the “Black Sun”, created by former SS officer Wilhelm Landig as a standby for the Nazi swastika and a sign for a mystic energy basis that was thought to restart the Aryan race.

Connotation of the Radiating Spokes

The design of the radiating spokes attracts a lot of connotations. Bent spokes are very common among the German Sun wheels.

Connotation of the Radiating Spokes
Connotation of the Radiating Spokes

For Himmler, the bent form was probable vital because each spoke denoted the Germanic sowilo rune of the Elder Futhark, which signified the sun.

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Himmler accepted a current rune system which called the symbol sig and had it signify triumph. His most known use of the sig rune is the emblem of the SS, which uses a dual sig rune.

The design shaped by the bent radiating spokes might also be taken as 3 overlaid swastikas. This reading has led some neo-Nazis to adopt the sign, mainly in places where the show of swastikas is banned.

Connotation in Neo-Nazism

The Nazi occult symbol is broadly related to neo-fascism and neo-Nazism. It is used by far-right neo-Nazis, neo-volkisch activities, and white separatists.

Connotation in Neo-Nazism
Connotation in Neo-Nazism

The symbol often seems on radical flags, t-shirts, prints, portals and in extremist books related to such groups. Current far-right sets often denote to the sign as the sun wheel or Sonnenrad.

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Numerous far-right clusters and folks have used the symbol in their publicity, such as the Christchurch mosque shooter, Australian neo-Nazi group Antipodean Resistance, and Ukrainian far-right National Guard regiment Azov Battalion.

The symbol was shown by followers of several radical groups tangled in the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Meaning of the Number Twelve

The chamber covering the Black Sun is identified as the Obergruppenführersaal, the Generals’ Hall.

Meaning of the Number Twelve
Meaning of the Number Twelve

In addition to the Black Sun having 12 arms, this chamber also has 12 columns and 12 niches along the wall. There were 12 branches of the SS, so that may have been the weight.

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Other have contrasted the 12 knights of the round table. Himmler was a great fan of folklore and legends, and 2 of the reading rooms within the castle were named Konig Artus (King Arthur) and Gral (Grail).

As chief of the SS, Himmler could have also used such metaphors informing the SS into 12 branches.

The number 12 also has relevance within Norse folklore. There are 12 Aesir gods, for example.

Significant sets of 12 can be found in other values as well, such as the 12 Olympic gods in Greek folklore and the 12 disciples who tailed Christ.

Under the Obergruppenführersaal is another chamber that became known as the crypt or vault. It holds 12 seats beside a wall nearby a depression in the floor.

The depression was meant to hold an undying flame, a light evolving from dark and growing up toward a swastika in the ceiling and then the Black Sun on the floor above.

Use in Satanism

The sonnenrad symbol is adopted by some supporters of Satanism along with other Nazi symbols such as the Wolfsangel, the sig rune, and the Totenkopf.

Use in Satanism
Use in Satanism

The specialist Chris Mathews states that “Of the many changes of the Wolfsangel, Satanists accept the symbol used by the SS and many fascist groups.

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Similarly, the Totenkopf used in the 19th century by the Prussian military was more cartoonish than the SS’s Death Head version, which is the version Church of Satan members use. The Black Sun motif is even less vague.

Yet based on medieval German cyphers, the Wewelsburg mosaic is an exclusive design ordered exactly for Himmler, and its main modern link is Nazi occultism, for which Nazi Satanic sets and esoteric neo-Nazis adopt it.”

Chris Mathews, Modern Satanism: Anatomy of a Radical Subculture (2009)

“Despite the systematic exploitation of ambiguity, any denial that Nazi symbols are being used as Nazi symbols is both disingenuous and unconvincing”.


The Black Sun symbol is occasionally used by a selection of Germanic sacred and cryptic groups, which may or may not endorse racist beliefs.

The symbol’s plan involves 12 radial sig runes, like the symbols engaged by the SS in their logo. Whether the symbol had a name or held any specific meaning among the SS remains indefinite.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

What does a black sun tattoo mean?

The term Black Sun (German Schwarze Sonne), also denoted to as the Sonnenrad (German for “Sun Wheel”), is a symbol of cryptic and occult implication. Its design is based on a sun wheel mosaic united into a floor of Wewelsburg Castle during the Nazi era.

What is the meaning of the sonnenrad symbol?

The sonnenrad symbol is an eminent alchemic and occult symbol. Alchemists used this term to specify the 1st phase in making of theorist’s stone: Nigredo or Blackness since the refining of the black matter, spreading into a new state (new life), a rebirth.

Where did the sonnenrad symbol come from?

The black sun (German: Schwarze Sonne) is a symbol, a type of sun wheel (German: Sonnenrad) active in a post-Nazi Germany situation by neo-Nazis and some occult subgroups, such as Satanism.

What does the sun cross mean?

A sun cross, solar cross, or wheel cross is a solar symbol consisting of an equilateral cross inside a circle. The same symbol is in use as a modern astronomical symbol representing the Earth rather than the Sun.

What symbol is a circle with a cross?

A sun cross, solar cross, or wheel cross is a solar symbol consisting of an equilateral cross inside a circle. The design is frequently found in the symbolism of prehistoric cultures, particularly during the Neolithic to Bronze Age periods of European prehistory.

What does the cross with a circle on top mean?

The ankh is an ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic symbol that was most commonly used in writing and in Egyptian art to represent the word for “life” and, by extension, as a symbol of life itself. The ankh has a cross shape but with an oval loop in place of an upper bar.