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

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

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I have seen almost identical symbol in Canyon de Shelly, in the Northern Arizona. That is pretty close Indian reservation, which difficult to visit without scheduling it before hands. It goes back over 1000 years,
to times of Anasazi Indians, who disappeared about 1000 years ago. The only Hopi Indians know what has happened then, but do not share much. I saw this Swastika up on the wall of this canyon, and I asked our guide about it, but he could not explain the origins of it. Mysteries, mysteries... they are all around us.

Probably this symbol could represent the 4 rivers as mentioned in the genesis about the eden? It could be the 4 stages of yugas as mentioned in vedas, the symbol can be placed on the image of our milkyway and youll find that the center point of intersection is where all suns are swallowed by the black hole, but the remaining 4 lines on that images you can presume to be 4 ages in one cycle. And it can also be a symbol of the first civilization who created earth? The actual knowledge of this symbol was already destroyed by the crusaders by burning books in 11th century. So all we can do is mear speculation and count all probabilities for our understanding purpose.

@Amjad Hussain,
I think you are quite right on this. The Milky Way is mythically mentioned as The Celestial River in the night Sky, and the Milky Way arms represents the celestial 4 rivers of creation, which are connected to the Milky Way center = The central Garden of Eden = The Creation.
From this center, everything in the MIlk yWay is created and pushed out in the galactic surroundings = The biblical Expulsion from the Eden center of Creation.
That is: Our Solar System was once created in the Milky Way center as one huge glowing and spinning sphere which divided out into planets from where the moons again divided out from their mother planets, hence their locked orbital motions. All this can be deduced from the numerous cultural Stories of Creation.

Bet Wishes
Ivar Nielsen
Natural Philosopher

I have been reading your work and am very curious if you are familiar with Dr Derek Cunningham's work? They appear to be along similar lines and you both have me intrigued. I would be very curious if you think it is possible that expansion could have taken place during any of the interglacials previous to the current "Last Ice age"? During the late lower to middle Pleistocene maybe?

Dr Cunningham's work...

The information you give is interesting but as a Reiki Master we call it the "Antahkarana". Its origins come from Tibet and China. Though the Tibetans admit it did not originate from them according to William Lee Rand's book, a clairvoyant named Michelle Griffith, according to her work it comes from Lemurian times over 100,000 years ago.

The "Antahkarana is a powerful symbol used in healing and meditation that has been used in Tibet and China for thousands of years.
The inverted symbol you refer to as negative and positive as we were taught (although I think you are referring to them as a magnet type energy or yin & Yang) are known as "male and female".

There are many history books that have occurred over time and often the information is changed with translations and time. I find that calling it a "Swastika" brings old fears for some of my clients and I will not show it when in a healing session. There is a time to reclaim our power back but it might be helpful if there is more of an expansive research as to the names of this symbol so that we do not connect the negative associations that go with the name "Swastika.



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