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A Bard's Tale: Part VI - The Rotating Wheel

The rotating wheel is the oldest religious symbol in Europe, and is found in rock carvings from as far back in time as the Stone Age. It symbolizes the circular motion of everything in our universe.

The four spokes of the wheel represent the most important high festivals (winter solstice, vernal equinox, summer solstice and autumnal equinox), the seasons (winter, spring, summer and autumn), the phases of life (reincarnation, birth, life and death), the phases of the day (night, morning, day and evening), the elements (air, fire, water and earth), the faces of the Moon (lunar eclipse, waxing, full and waning), the human bodies (hugr, hamr, vörðr and lík), the main heavenly directions (north, east, south and west), and so forth, all rotating around an axis (the wyrd, the world tree, the spirit, ånd, the centre), like the wheel on top of the Maypole.

The rotating wheel can be constructive, life-giving and creative as well as destructive, life-taking and protective. When rotating clockwise it's a Sun-wheel that sends powers into the world from the wyrd. When rotating counter-clockwise it's a Þórr's hammer, that sends powers into the wyrd from the world. The wheel is the warming fire of the Sun, that can also burn us; it's the life-giving water, that can also drown us. It creates life, but also takes life away.

When used in religious contexts the Sun-wheel speeds up processes and the hammer of Þórr slows them down or reverses them. Both symbols can in any case be both positive and negative, creative and destructive, depending on the situation.

The purpose of the cyclic existence is to improve, to be lifted up to the gods. Eventually, after going through an indefinite number of cycles, we will be sufficiently improved to be able to return to Ásgárðr, to the centre of the Sun-wheel; the elven realm.

The rotating wheel represents the most essential part of our belief-system, the foundation of our religion, and everything in our universe should be seen in the light of this.

Varg Vikernes
25.09.2006 (Tromsø, Norway)



"Leaves fall when the breeze blow
in springtime others grow,
as they go and come again
so upon the Earth do men."
(Glaucos, in the Story of Achilles)


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