The Solar Wheel: Esoteric Symbol of the Fiery Sun

The sun wheel is a type of symbol found in the religious iconography of many cultures.

Already in prehistory, people from all over the world depicted them in their paintings and pottery.

Later, some religions made it a representation of the Sun, time or a whole bunch of other symbolic things. Truly, the interpretations of this symbol are numerous and all very interesting.

We also cannot talk about the sun wheel without mentioning its link with certain far-right ideologies (which we will also do in this article).

In short, our subject is vast, and today we will try to learn more about it together.

Contents :

Description of the sun wheel

History and origins of the solar wheel

Religious significance of this ancient symbol

The sun wheel in magic and witchcraft

A symbol of hatred?

For further

Sun wheel drawn in red, to evoke magic and mysteries.

Description of the sun wheel

Our symbol actually has many variations.

Already in terms of its name, we can draw up an impressive list of different names :

  • Solar cross
  • Wheel of the Sun
  • pagan cross
  • Wheel cross
  • Cross of Odin (for Nordics)
  • Woden's Cross (for the Germans)
  • Tengri cross (for the people of Central Asia)
  • Cross of Taranis (for the Celts)
  • Cross of Zeus (for Greeks and Hellenes)
  • Kutsuwa-mon (in Japan)

By the last names in this list, we see that the sun wheel seems to be linked to deities... and what deities!

Whether we are talking about Odin, Tengri of Zeus or Taranis, all are the "chiefs", the most important and powerful gods of their respective pantheon.

In its simplest conception, it is formed of a cross with arms of equal length placed in a circle.

Again, there are a whole bunch of variations. You will be able to find:

  • Several concentric circles, as if the sun wheel were made up of several layers
  • Eight branches instead of the usual four…
  • …or sometimes even twelve!
  • Crosses with stylized, wavy or angular arms

In short, we are here faced with a relatively simple symbol, and which has therefore undergone numerous variations throughout history.

More than its appearance and its name, its meaning is also multiple... but we will talk about that after a few words on its appearance.

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History and origins of the solar wheel

Whether or not the ancients realized that the sun was spherical (without modern instruments, it is difficult to observe it), a symmetrical circle is an excellent one to represent it. Just there, the sun wheel already carries a special sense of knowledge that can teach us more about its creation.

Throughout history, the Sun has always been revered and considered a being of superior power, capable of bringing life, energy and protection to men.

We now know: its action creates the movement of the planets and, to a large extent, the way our planet behaves in space.

Without having this knowledge (although...), the Ancients already knew that all the other constellations depended on the Sun.

By representing it, the symbol of the solar wheel therefore carried within it an immanent power, a bit as if each of its representations were a small ray of the Sun.

In ancient times, using it was not something trivial. This is why we find it mainly in religious or sacred sites, astrological monuments or even on certain objects linked to priests or death.

Woman in dress praying, hands towards the sky and the Sun.

Religious significance of this ancient symbol

In its essence, the solar wheel is therefore linked to the Sun. We could have suspected this given its name, the symbolic consequences of this association now seem clearer to us.

This interpretation, however, remains quite simple and, as we can well imagine, such an ancient symbol necessarily knows others.

Know that there are others than those which will now be presented to you... but that they nevertheless constitute the main ones.

An astrological emblem of the solstices and equinoxes

The solar wheel is a representation of the Sun, so… but what does the cross do there?

It which seems to divide the circle into four equal parts could in reality represent the four seasons of the year included between the astronomical “reference points” that the Ancients had, namely the equinoxes and the solstices.

We would therefore be faced here with a sort of “mini calendar”, then capable of serving as a sign of recognition to all the astrologers and wise men of the world

According to some esoterics, this would be precisely the main use of the solar wheel: to indicate to us that already thousands of years ago, scientists from all over the world exchanged, communicated and formed a sort of community larger than the peoples. and cultures.

A mark of blessing

This previous interpretation of the meaning of the solar wheel can put us on the trail of great secrets, but removes any notion of the transcendent and the sacred... In short, the complete opposite of this.

Basically, the sun wheel could have been used to invoke higher powers capable of bringing fertility, peace and prosperity to men.

Zeus, Odin, Taranis: we gave you a list earlier in this article of deities with which our symbol is associated and, yes, these are indeed the ones we are talking about.

A representation of the cosmos

Some also like to see through our symbol a representation of the four directions: North, West, South and East. According to this theory, the sun wheel would therefore be a sort of archaic compass rose.

Through its four directions, it would be the cosmos, the world in its entirety that would be indicated to us...

The sun wheel and quaternity

The sun wheel has the particularity of being divided into four equally important parts.

We have spoken to you about the notions of four directions and four seasons, but there are many other quaternities to which our symbol can be linked.

Here are some of the most notable:

  • The four primordial elements: earth, air, fire and water
  • The four stages of life: childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age
  • The four humors: yellow bile, lymph, blood and black bile
  • The four kingdoms of life: mineral, animal, plant and human

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The sun wheel in magic and witchcraft

The symbol that we have been talking to you about so far is old, very old...

Many groups claim its authorship, particularly that of witchcraft practitioners.

For them, the solar wheel (as well as the Sun which it therefore represents) is of capital importance.

It is he who dictates the succession of days, months and years.

It is based on him that the major holidays of the Wiccan calendar are decided.

It is one of the earliest sources of magical energy in existence, and is at the center of many spells.

Its symbols, like that of the sun wheel, carry within them a little of its power and magic.

In short, the Sun is of major importance for most occult or esoteric groups.

Already at the beginning of most mystery schools, the Sun was honored with particular caution, the sages being aware that its intense energy could burn and consume.

Another essential notion for Wiccan witches that the sun wheel carries is that of cycle.

Indeed, this symbol can very well be used to express something which would rotate, would be in constant evolution in a movement of revolution where what is driven out by the new will inexorably return one day.

Thus, the sun wheel also reminds us that everything is always changing, that nothing is permanent.

German soldier's helmet among military equipment from the Second World War.

A symbol of hatred?

To finish this article, we must focus on a particular question: is the sun wheel a symbol of hatred?

As you will have understood from reading this article, we are here faced with something that is thousands of years old, in a deep religious and spiritual sense, whose history is more linked to ancient deities than to any political movement.

However, it turns out that the Nazis (like most regimes of their time in reality) found values ​​that corresponded to them through the sun wheel, and decided to use it.

The swastika, for example, is a variation of the solar cross, with arms folded in a rotating movement. Long before Nazism used it, this symbol served as a good luck charm to many peoples, such as Asian Buddhists or American Indians.

Can we therefore see it as a symbol of hatred?

For some shapes of the sun wheel, the answer to this question is simpler.

The Black Sun, to name just one (in German: Schwarze Sonne) is a variation, yes, but which was created and used exclusively by the Nazi regime. In this case for example, the question does not really arise.

With the basic solar cross on the other hand, you will have understood: it is much more complicated.

Certain neo-Nazi groups use it, it is true, notably as a representation of ancient gods from traditional European pantheons.

However, is this a reason to ignore their true meaning, their history and the tons of secrets about the world that this symbol can reveal to us?

The answer to this question, ultimately, will be personal to you.

For further

If you enjoyed this article, you will also like some collections of lucky charms on our site:

Here are also some resources that will allow you to explore certain themes covered in this article:

author picture(Cyril Gendarme)

Discover the author: Cyril Gendarme

Cyril Gendarme is a writer whose website "The Lucky Door" ("La Porte Du Bonheur" in French, his native language) has become a reference in the field of esotericism. Born in Belgium, Cyril has been attracted to the mysteries of the world since he was a child. When his interest in occultism was awakened, a particular subject caught his attention: lucky charms.

After years of study and in-depth research on esoteric traditions from around the world, Cyril decided to share his knowledge with the public through the internet. In 2019, he launched "The Lucky Door," a website dedicated to exploring lucky charms, magical symbols, and esoteric arts.

The Lucky Door is much more than just a showcase for those curious about magic, divination, or tradition. It is the result of Cyril's passion for researching and understanding the mysteries of the universe. Every piece of information available on the site testifies to his dedication to sharing his knowledge of the most hidden symbols and their unique powers.

In addition to his online work, Cyril regularly organizes workshops and conferences in different countries. His presence on social media is also highly appreciated, where he offers personalized advice and happily answers questions from his community.