The Revelation of the Sonnenrad
Ink on watercolor paper
There is a persistent belief in alchemic and hermetic tradition in the existence of two suns: a hidden one of pure "philosophical gold," consisting of the essential Fire conjoined with aether, and the apparent one of profane "material gold." The "dark, consuming fire" of the material sun leads to its being called the "Dark" or "Black Sun."
It is possible that these teachings influenced Philolaus in the development of his groundbreaking theory of the Central Fire. This is supported by the fact that the various teachings regarding multiple suns are sometimes attributed to Empedocles, who was a contemporary of Philolaus, and his senior. However, this connection may be coincidental, and it is likely that the attribution of these ideas to Empedocles stems from an imperfect understanding of his cosmology in regard to the reflective nature of the Sun.
Sol niger (black sun) can also refer to the result of the first stage of the magnum opus in alchemy, the nigredo (blackening). The complete magnum opus (Great Work) ends with the production of gold. The magnum opus can also be understood in a mystic way.
Contemporary usage of the term "Black Sun" can be found in the works of esoteric musicians such as COIL and Boyd Rice, and occult groups such as Black Sun Rising (a Pylon of the Temple of Set).
The term Black Sun (German Schwarze Sonne), also referred to as the Sonnenrad (the German for "Sun Wheel"), is a symbol of esoteric or occult significance. Its design bases on a sun wheel incorporated in a floor of Wewelsburg Castle during the Nazi era. Today, it may also be used in occult currents of Germanic neopaganism, and in Irminenschaft or Armanenschaft-inspired esotericism - but not necessarily in a racial or neo-Nazi context.
The design has loose visual parallels in Migration Age Alemannic brooches (Zierscheiben), possibly a variation of the Roman swastika fibula, thought to have been worn on Frankish and Alemannic women's belts.Some Alemannic or Bavarian specimens incorporate a swastika symbol at the center. The number of rays in the brooches varies between five and twelve.
Goodrick-Clarke (2002) does connect the Wewelsburg design with the Early Medieval Germanic brooches, and does assume that the original artifacts had a solar significance, stating that "this twelve-spoke sun wheel derives from decorative disks of the Merovingians of the early medieval period and are supposed to represent the visible sun or its passage through the months of the year." He further refers to scholarly discussion of the brooches in Nazi Germany,allowing for the possibility that the designers of the Wewelsburg mosaic were indeed inspired by these historical precedents.
Black Sun Oasis, (located in Akron, Ohio), is a chartered local body of Ordo Templi Orientis.
The Black Sun Rising Pylon is a local body of the Temple of Set in New York, NY.
The symbol has been used by a variety of esotericists; for example, as the name of the well-known Black Sun Press of Mary Phelps Jacob, as well as the official symbol of the occult group Black Order of the Theozoa.
Occasionally, and unscientifically, black dwarfs are referred to as black suns. This is not entirely unrelated to the esoteric meaning, since ariosophy alleges a burnt out sun that was the source of power of the Aryans in some mystical past (see also Karl Maria Wiligut). Others[who?] regard the Black Sun as a black hole; before the term black hole was coined in 1967, black holes (then still theoretical) were sometimes called black stars or dark stars. Still others, such as Miguel Serrano, think of the Black Sun as a wormhole. Uses of the term in science fiction and fantasy literature are influenced by a combination of the esoteric and the astronomical meaning.
In Edmonton, Canada, there is a company called 'Black Sun Rising', a book and media store, which uses the 'Black Sun' as its logo, as well as selling T-shirts with the 'Black Sun' image and the words "Truth, Honour, Loyalty" and the company name encircled around it.
The Anti-Defamation League's position is interesting. They equate the Schwarze Sonne (Black sun) with the Sonnenrad (Sunwheel).
[Extremists] have appropriated many symbols from pre-Christian Europe for their own uses. They give such symbols a racist significance, even though the symbols did not originally have such meaning and are often used by nonracists today, especially practitioners of modern pagan religions.
The sunwheel is a traditional symbol representing the sun; variants of the sunwheel appear in many cultures today.
[The sunwheel] appears in the traditional symbology of many countries and cultures around the world […]
Because of the wide use of sunwheel imagery in many cultures around the world, one should not assume that a sunwheel image necessarily denotes racism or white supremacy, but should rather analyze the symbol in the context in which it appears.
The Black Sun in Mesoamerican mythology has many mystical meanings, among them it is connected to the god Quetzalcoatl and his penetration in the Underworld through the west door after his diurnal passage on the sky. Amidst the Mexicas there were two suns, the young day sun and the ancient sun, the dark sun. Some scholars regard the mythological black sun as the ancient female origin of all, it is both tomb and womb. This way, it is the oneness that uniformly integrates unawareness, death, and yet an expectation of fecundity.