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Crossed circle.svg
The Irish high cross is said to fuse the symbolism of the sun cross with the Christian cross.[citation needed]

The sun cross or Bolgar cross, a cross inside a circle, is a common symbol in artefacts of Prehistoric Europe, particularly during the Neolithic to Bronze Age periods. Combining the cross and the circle, it is the simplest conceivable representation of the union of opposed polarities in the Western world[citation needed]. It often stood for the sun and for the tree of life.[citation needed] It may be compared to the yin-yang symbol of the Eastern world.[citation needed]

Contents

Stone Age

Crossed circles scratched on stones have been recovered from Paleolithic cave sites in the Pyrenees.[citation needed]

At the Callanish Stones in the Outer Hebrides, the most famous megalithic site in Scotland, crossing avenues of standing stones extend from a circle. Scratched into stone or painted on pottery, as on that of the Samara culture, the crossed-circle symbol appears in such diverse areas as the Pyrenees, Anatolia, Mesopotamia, the Iranian plateau, and the cities of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa in the Indus River valley.[citation needed]

Bronze Age Europe

In the prehistoric religion of Bronze Age Europe, crosses in circles appear frequently on artifacts identified as cult items, for example the "miniature standard" with an amber inlay that shows a cross shape when held against the light, dating to the Nordic Bronze Age, held at the National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen.[1] The Bronze Age symbol has also been connected with the spoked chariot wheel, which at the time was four-spoked (compare the Linear B ideogram 243 "wheel" 𐃏.) This technological innovation reached Europe in the mid-2nd millennium BC. In the context of a culture that celebrated the Sun chariot, it may also have had a "solar" connotation.

Modern symbolism

A Caddo solar cross, symbol to Southeastern Native Americans of both the sun and fire.
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Contemporary tribal cultures

Contemporary Amerindian and other indigenous peoples continued to use the sun cross in symbolic practice and decoration.

Astronomical

A similar astronomical symbol represents the Earth, while the Sun is symbolized by a circle with a central dot.

Neo-Paganism

Along with other ancient symbols, Pagans use the sun cross in practicing a reconstruction of ancient Celtic, Germanic and Slavic pre-Christian religion and culture.

Political symbolism

The de facto state emblem of the Nazi government of Norway 1942-1945, combining the sun cross symbol of Nasjonal Samling with an eagle, inspired by the German coat of arms during the Nazi period.

The Norwegian Nazi party Nasjonal Samling used a golden sun cross on a red background as its official symbol from 1933 until 1945. The cross within a circle was ascribed to Saint Olaf, the patron saint of Norway, and the colours were those of the coat of arms of Norway.

The Badge of the Ratniks, Bulgarian nationalist organization

Various extreme white nationalist and Neo-Nazi groups use the sun cross to represent the White race.

Wicca

Solstices and equinoxes

In Wicca the sun cross most commonly represents the sun and the four quadrants the wheel of the year, i.e. the four seasonal cycles of the year.

See also

References

  1. ^ entry at the Nebra sky disk exhibition site (landesmuseum-fuer-vorgeschichte-halle.de)

External links


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