- Why "Black Sun"? -
We sometimes get asked about our name.
- Do y’all like that band Coil?
- Is that from Arcanorum?
- Is that the alchemical Black Sun?
- Do you know about [name other instance here]?
(additional link to Wikipedia disambiguation)
Do y’all like that band Coil?
Due to the popularity of the band Coil amongst many people interested in the esoteric and occult, the single most common question we get asked about our lodge's name is whether we picked the name "Black Sun" based on their 1984 song "Solar Lodge".
Indeed, it is documented in places such as Thelemapedia that Hymenaeus Beta, the current Outer Head of the Order, played electric viola with Coil from 1997-2004, but Black Sun Lodge was chartered in March 1991, six years prior to his stead in the band.
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Is that from Arcanorum?
The Black Sun glyph we use is taken from the same source that Coil referenced, one of the Holy Books of Thelema, received by Aleister Crowley in 1907, commonly called Liber Arcanorum or Liber 231. The full title is:
Liber Arcanorum τών ATU τού TAHUTI QUAS VIDIT ASAR IN AMENNTI sub figurâ CCXXXI
Liber Carcerorum τών QLIPHOTH cum suis Geniis.
Adduntur Sigilla et Nomina Eorum.
Is that the alchemical Black Sun?
One of our members who joined Black Sun Lodge in 1996 has written an article covering the qabalistic correspondences and alchemical meanings attributed to the glyph in Liber 231, the events of 1985 that led to our founders' choice of this glyph, and a critical examination of concept of the black sun / Sol Niger from historic alchemical sources. We highly encourage anyone who is interested to peruse this paper: “On The Meaning of the Black Sun"
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Do you know about [name other instance here]?
Once in a while, we do get asked about other meanings and uses of the "Black Sun" name and imagery. Between films, music, ballet, sculpture, publishers, graphic novels, and others -- there are many.
A few examples follow:
• films - Black Sun - a documentary on artist Hugues de Montalembert
• music - A Black Sun - a song by Gary Numan
• ballet - Black Sun - a ballet choreographed by Gregory Maqoma; performed by Ballet Black
• sculpture - The Black Sun sculpted by Isamu Noguchi
• publishers - Black Sun Press - a press founded by Harry Crosby and Caresse Crosby
• graphic novels - Black Sun - an Afrofuturist story by Kelvin Nyeusi Mawazo
One very concerning use among the many stems from 1991 occult thriller novel, Die Schwarze Sonne von Tashi Lhunpo (English translation: The Black Sun by Tashi Lhunpo). This book links the Wewelsburg Sonnenrad mosaic adopted by Nazis with the name "Black Sun". This is not the glyph we use, nor is that use aligned in any way with our ideology. We will not provide a link, as we do not wish to give that any promotion.
Are there non-hate based uses of the Sonnenrad? The Anti-Defamation League - a world renowned authority on antisemitism - concludes this:
"Because sonnenrad imagery is used by many cultures around the world, one should not assume that most sonnenrad-like images necessarily denote racism or white supremacy; rather, they should be analyzed carefully in the context in which they appear."
If you are looking for an organization that tolerates racism or antisemitism, take note of the Black Sun Lodge anti-discrimination policy which clearly states:
"If it is not your Will to welcome ALL and to return the warm welcome that awaits you inside with courtesy, you are welcome to find your enlightenment elsewhere. Prejudice and ignorance have no place within these walls."
If you are interested in what Ordo Templi Orientis, USA is doing to educate its members about marginalized communities, and how we can each help overcome the oppression of and discrimination toward them, we encourage you to contact your nearest local body about the Thelema For All education series.
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For more information about the many uses of the name "Black Sun", we suggest you check out the Wikipedia "Black Sun" Disambiguation Page. As of 29 October 2022, this page lists 48 separate instances.
(archived 14 November 2022 - https://archive.ph/HkuF1)