The symbol of the Swastika and its 12,000-year-old history

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The swastika is a symbol used by of one of the most hated men on Earth, a symbol that represents the slaughter of millions of people and one of the most destructive wars on Earth.  But Adolf Hitler was not the first to use this symbol. In fact, it was used as a powerful symbol thousands of years before him, across many cultures and continents.

For the Hindus and Buddhists in India and other Asian countries, the swastika was an important symbol for many thousands of years and, to this day, the symbol can still be seen in abundance - on temples, buses, taxis, and on the cover of books. It was also used in Ancient Greece and can be found in the remains of the ancient city of Troy, which existed 4,000 years ago. The ancient Druids and the Celts also used the symbol, reflected in many artefacts that have been discovered. It was used by Nordic tribes and even early Christians used the Swastika as one of their symbols, including the Teutonic Knights, a German medieval military order, which became a purely religious Catholic Order. But why is this symbol so important and why did Adolf Hitler decide to use it?

The word ‘swastika’ is a Sanskrit word (‘svasktika’) meaning ‘It is’, ‘Well Being’, ‘Good Existence, and ‘Good Luck’. However, it is also known by different names in different countries - like ‘Wan’ in China, ‘Manji’ in Japan, ‘Fylfot’ in England, ‘Hakenkreuz’ in Germany and ‘Tetraskelion’ or ‘Tetragammadion’ in Greece.

Swastika - Positive and Negative ShapesA Sanskrit scholar P. R. Sarkar in 1979 said that the deeper meaning of the word is ‘Permanent Victory’. He also said that as any symbol it can have positive and negative meaning depending on how it is drawn. So in Hinduism, the right-hand swastika is a symbol of the God Vishnu and the Sun, while the left-hand swastika is a symbol of Kali and Magic. The double meaning of symbols is common in ancient traditions, like for example the symbol of the pentagram (five pointed star), which is viewed as negative when pointing downwards, and positive when pointing upwards.

Mezine SwastikaThe earliest swastika ever found was uncovered in Mezine, Ukraine, carved on an ivory figurine, which dates an incredible 12,000 years, and one of the earliest cultures that are known to have used the Swastika was a Neolithic culture in Southern Europe, in the area that is now Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, known as the Vinca Culture, which dates back around 8,000 years.

In Buddhism, the swastika is a symbol of good fortune, prosperity, abundance and eternity. It is directly related to Buddha and can be found carved on statues on the soles of his feet and on his heart.  It is said that it contains Buddha’s mind.

Lalibela SwastikaOn the walls of the Christian catacombs in Rome, the symbol of the Swastika appears next to the words “ZOTIKO ZOTIKO” which means “Life of Life”. It can also be found on the window openings of the mysterious Lalibela Rock churches of Ethiopia, and in various other churches around the world.


Navaho - SwastikaIn Nordic Myths , Odin is represented passing through space as a whirling disk or swastika looking down through all worlds. In North America, the swastika was used by the Navajos. In Ancient Greece, Pythagoras used the Swastika under the name ‘Tetraktys’ and it was a symbol linking heaven and earth, with the right arm pointing to heaven and its left arm pointing to Earth.

It has been used by the Phoenicians as a symbol of the Sun and it was a sacred symbol used by the priestesses.

Swastica - Phoenicians

The swastika, the Phoenician sun symbol, on the Phoenician Craig-Narget stone in Scotland, and on the robe of a Phoenician high priestess. ( Source)

How and why did so many diverse countries and cultures, across many eras, use the same symbol and apparently with the same meaning?   

It is ironic, and unfortunate, that a symbol of life and eternity that was considered sacred for thousands of years has become a symbol of hatred.

Featured Image: Ancient Roman Mosaics in Villa Romana La Olmeda (Wikipedia)

By John Black

Related Links

The History of the Swastika

Reclaim the Swastika

Nazi Swastika or Ancient Symbol? Time to Learn the Difference

About Swastika

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Many are re-learning and breaking free - even to reclaim the symbols and the positive teachings.

The father of lies tries to corrupt all good things.

Actually, if you do some research, you will find that Hitler was deeply interested in the occult, so to say that their purpose was to turn peoples hearts and minds from the truth of this symbol is incorrect. The association may have had that net result, but realise that the use of the "swastika" was chosen for the power of the symbol, not its disuse or destruction.
I am in no way condoning the atrocities perpetrated during WWII, but please remember that although the war has stopped, the propaganda may not have.
Keep an open mind, and question everything.

johnblack's picture

Exactly as you say Darren. And we shouldn't forget that the victors right history, so what we know about the Second World War is not exactly what happened ...

Good point Darren and mr black...Remember Hitler's allies were Japan and Tibetan monks were found dead in Berlin at the end of the war. As above so below, so I consider the war to be a war between two opposing forces not only in this world. In this dimension the black and white of the Tao becomes various shades of grey depending on how fast the symbol whirls. The black and white can not be discerned anymore in the chaos of this whirling.
The woman with the vase on her head is also a symbol that represents a Goddess by many names, Inanna, Kaun Yin, Aquarius..... When the disciples asked Jesus when the new age would come, he told them to watch for a man by the gate holding a water pitcher....but it is not a is a woman, as in the Star tarot. Jesus brought in the Piscean age, the fish, the age of sacrifice, the Pelican stage in alchemy. Inanna the water purifier, will bring in the Aquarian Age. The return of the out boys.


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