ON THE SWASTICKA by "the Bard"
This is a precis of information found on the use and meaning of
the swasticka in various cultures and ideologies.
Swastica: Sanscrit "su" or "good" ; "asti" or "to be"
Pramantha: Brahmin (supposedly as some sort of fire-making tool, tho
never having seen one used as such I can't figure out how)
Gammadion: Greek, pertaining to the letter "G" or "gamma."
Hakenkreuz: German "hooked cross"
Fylfot: (Anglo-Saxon: "ftder-fote" or "four limbs"
Cross Cramponned: English heraldic term relating to angle-irons
Crux Dissimulata: Latin: "Cross Dissimulated" used as a Christian
symbol by the early Christians to avoid persecution.
The symbol is pretty much universal thruout the world. It is found
in such diverse cultures as:
Ancient Troy (level of excavation unknown)
Ancient Scotland (Picts)
Tennessee and Ohio Indian burial mounds (Hopewell mound)
Maya and Aztec
seen on a quilt pattern (age and pattern name unknown)
a variant with only three arms is used on the Isle of Man, and
is known as a "triskeleon." It is usually represented as
three -legs-, and thus suggests the act of running.
found in the Catacombs: see "Crux Dissimulata"
a coin of Ethelred of Northumbria (9th cent.)
embroidered on Christian vestments (8th and 9th cent)
English heraldry: CHAMBERLAYNE (Argent, a chevron between three
fylfots gules) circa 1394 CE.
German heraldry: VON TALE (Ecartele en equerre de gueules et d'argent)
(date unknown) (English blazon: Per fylfot gules and
argent) "Equerre" refers to the carpenter's square,
and may be a clue as to the usage of it by the early
Christians, due to Joseph's occupation as a carpenter.
NSDAP (Nazi Party) (Gules, on a roundel argent a
fylfot reversed in bend sable) circa 1920 -
note: many other combinations of designs were
used by the NSDAP, usually combining
gules, sable and argent.
Several medieval brasses (usage unknown)
MS Landsdowne, no. 874, circa 1480, uses the name "fylfot" to
describe a monogram of the initials "F.F."
Austria (an anti-Semetic emblem, used post WW-I)
Estonia (circa WW I and post-war)
Finland (circa WW I and post-war)
"There is no reason to suppose that all of these have been derived
from a common source...." (Gough & Parker)
The swasticka has appeared in different forms, in different
places and for different reasons, in human culture since pre-historic
times. The meaning has been a "Wheel of Life," a "Sun-Wheel," the four
points of the compass, the four winds, Man himself, a symbol of the Hopi
emergence into the current world, showing the directions taken by the
various tribes.in their wanderings.....many, many interpetations have
been given to this ancient symbol.
(It is the -opinion- of this author that it most likely is a
"fire" symbol, with connotations of a circular movement or dance.)
It can be found with both right-angled arms, and with curved
arms, rather like two letters "S" superimposed at right-angles to each
Its wide distribution in so many varying cultures proves quite
conclusively that it is neither an "Aryan" nor a non-"Aryan" symbol, the
pretentions of the NSDAP notwithstanding.
The Oriental interpetation of it has been that of the "Sun
Wheel," (China, India etc.) with the right-handed version being for
"life" or the Sun, and the left-handed version being for "death" or the
| | | |
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---> sunwise rotation <--- widdershins rotation
(Heraldic default position) (Heraldic reversed position)
It is interesting to note that the original designer of the
insignia of the NSDAP, Dr. Friedrich Krohn (see below), initially drew it
right-handed, but Hitler insisted on its being changed to the left-handed
The Old Norse -may- have used it as a symbol for Thor, i.e. for
the thunder and lightning, and this, if true, could very well the source
of its use in England, i.e. thru the Norse invasions of the 9th and 10th
centuries CE, and its use in the other Germanic countries, though the
trade contacts of the Vikings with Byzantium and China could be the place
that the Old Norse got it. (the Vikings tended to trade more than raid,
modern legends notwithstanding!) It is possible that the common Norse
shield decoration, called by heralds a "gyronny-arondee" may have evolved
from the crossed-"S" form. The "Hammer" symbol (an inverted "T") was the
most common symbol for Thor, however.
Most heralds regard it as just another Cross, though they will
actively discourage its usage, due to the connotations of shame and evil
that it has gathered from its most recent use by the NSDAP in Nazi
Nazi Germany's usage of it has an interesting history. The
initial association that the symbol seems to have had was that of extreme
nationalism, but not necessarily associated with the Nazi Party. It was
first used in this context about 1870 CE, by the Austrian Pan-German
followers of Scho"nerer.
Wilhelm Schwaner displayed a swasticka on the title page of his
"vo"lkish" periodical "Der Volkserzieher" in 1897, as a symbol of the
paper's "vo"lkish" sentiments, and this may be the first printed usage of
it in this context.
(nb: the German word "vo"lkish" is essentially untranslatable to
English. It means a "German-ness," a patriotism that transends national
boundaries and time, to include everything that is "truly Germanic," a
"cult of the race," if you will.)
By 1912, the swasticka was commonly seen in usage by many
"vo"lkish" groups, and the "vo"lkish" thought began to take on an anti-
Semitic cast. It was popular enough that the firm of Ecklo"h began
manufacturing badges, tie pins, buckles and other such artifacts
incorporating the device.
It was also used as a national emblem by Estonia and Finland in
this period, being most familiar in photos of the Finnish Air Force during
the Winter War with Russia.
The "Wandervo"gel" youth movement became very familiar with the
symbol, being very "vo"lkish" in nature, and thus, the soldiers of
Imperial Germany in WW I knew of the swasticka and associated it with
These "vo"lkish" sentiments included a reverence for the operatic
works of Wagner, an interest in the Grail Cycle of legends, the belief
that the "Aryan race" is the "Herrenvolk" or "Master Race" of humanity,
and a belief in an international Jewish conspiracy to control the world,
as outlined in the so-called "Protocols Of The Elders of Zion."
One can only imagine the consternation that may have resulted
when these soldiers of Germany saw the device being used as part of the
insignia of the famous "Lafayette Escadrille," the American pilots that
fought for the Allies before America's entry into the Great War.
After 1918, it was adopted by many of the "Freikorps" units,
being seen in photographs of the Erhardt Brigade in its liberation of
Munich from the Communists in April of 1919. Very soon after, the
Hakenkreuz was no longer a romantic "vo"lkish" symbol, but an expression
of right-wing opposition to the Weimar Republic.
In America, it remained an AmerIndian symbol, and was quite
commonly used in "Indian Lore" of the Boy Scouts, as evidenced by its
usage on the back cover of my copy (original) of William Tomkin's
"American Indian Sign Language." (circa 1928; currently in reprint from
Dover Publications). (The German fascination with "Cowboys and Indians"
("Alte Shatterhand") may have served to bring the symbol forward in the
minds of the people, though this is just speculation on my part, as (at
this time) I don't have any information on when this interest really grew
Therefore, when Hitler chose the swasticka as the symbol of the
NSDAP, he was quite probably conciously choosing an already familiar
symbol that already had the tenets of National Socialist ideology
attached to it in the minds of the German public. This act of adopting an
already familiar badge is just one more point of evidence that Hitler was
a canny and cunning man, and willing to steal and pervert whatever would
advance his program.
The badge of the NSDAP was designed by Dr. Friedrich Krohn, a
dentist who had belonged to several "vo"lkish" groups, including the
"Germanen Order" (membership in which, incidentally, precluded -any-
advancement in the NSDAP). As mentioned above, it was originally drawn
right-handed, and Adolph Hitler insisted on its being reversed. Many
occultists shook their heads at this, thinking (rightly) that it presaged
a bad end for Hitler's Germany.
The Nazis tended to extremes in their interpetations of the
meanings behind the swasticka, from Guido von List's insistence that it
was related to the Runic letter "G" and thus had meaning to ancient
Scandinavian scops (I have -never- found such in -my- reading....!!) to
Freidrich Dollenger's attempt to tie in the Cretans and others of the
Near East as Germanic peoples, to Ludwig Fahrenkrog's Buddhist-derived
Theosophic analysis that the right-handed form meant "to God" and the
left-handed meant "away from God."
Nazi Germany took an ancient symbol, and perverted it to such a
degree that it can -never- be used again without bringing up all the
associations of death, destruction, hatred and vileness that the NSDAP
perpetrated. This perversion of "right" may be the prime evil of the
Nazis; they took patriotism, hourable military service and its associated
ritual, chivalry, and the concept of "vo"lkishness", among -so- many
other things, and perverted them into something so bad, so evil and vile,
that to call a person a "Nazi" is one of the most terrible epithets a
human can use.
The "Aryan" "Herrenvolk" (Master Race) myth is still with us, in
the mythos of the "skinheads" and of the (pseudo) Christian "Identity"
church/movement in North America, not to mention the well known Ku Klux
Klan and its various offshoots. Some groups of the Odinist tradition tend
towards an "Aryan" Master Race attitude also, though this seems to be
dying out quickly. The "separate-but-equal" doctrine preached by some of
the "King James (Bible) Only" Christian Fundamentalist groups does NOT
(apparently) include a regard of non-white races as inferior, however.
An interesting -reversal- has been seen in the theory that the
"Aryans" are a "satanic" influenced "race," fathered by the "giants" of
Biblical reference (the basis here is the belief the giants mentioned in
the Bible were the offspring of angels that copulated with human women)
and that the "race" thus produced has been working -against- Christianity
for thousands of years, taking the widespread use of the swasticka and
taking this as evidence of sun-worship in any culture that uses/used it
(and taking sun-worship as "satanic..."), some rather strained linguistic
analysis, and the involvement of many leaders of the NSDAP with "occult"
groups in pre-WW II Germany as "hard" evidence.
(This last is a typical "World Conspiracy" theory, bringing in
everything from the ancient Druids, Theosophy, the World Bank, the
Council On Foreign Relations, the Rockefellers, the Illuminati, modern
neo-Pagans and the so-called "New Age" movement into a Great Conspiracy.
It is fascinating to watch the parallels in the rhetoric of these belief
systems with that of the Nazis.)
The "Black Muslim" theory of the "devil white-man" is another
example of the reversal of the "Herrenvolk" myth by an oppressed racial
minority. So far, I have not seen any such movement in the Hispanic
population of the USA, however.
Both the "Herrenvolk" myth, -and- its reversals, perpetuate the
cycle of hatred of those who are not "our kind of people;" the attitude
of "us against them," thus forwarding the Nazi mind-set into the modern
world, and encouraging division and suspicion in humanity. If Satan has a
program, this division and hatred certainly would suit him.
"A Glossary of the Terms Used In Heraldry"
Gough & Parker, Gale Research Co., 1966
"A Treasury Of American Superstitions"
Claudia De Lys, Philosphical Library, New York, MCMXLVIII
"A Dictionary of Heraldry"
Stephen Friar, Harmony Books, New York, 1987
"Woodward's A Treatise On Heraldry, British And Foreign"
John Woodward and Geo. Burnett, Charles E. Tuttle Co.
Rutland, Vermont 1969
"The Book of Signs"
Rudolph Koch, Dover Publications, 1955
"Man, Myth and Magic"
Marshall Cavendish Corporation, New York 1970
"The Holy Bible"
King James Version
"Dictionary of Pagan Religions"
H.E. Wedeck and Wade Baskin, Philosphical Library,
New York, 1971
"The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich"
Wm. L. Shirer, Simon And Shuster, NY 1960
"The Book Of The Hopi"
(my copy of this is currently mislaid, so no biblio info
at this time)
"The Spear Of Destiny"
Trevor Ravenscroft, G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1973
(note: most of this book's core concepts are -not- referenced,
being "written from memory" or "seen in visions" or "seen in
astral travel" and thus it must not be taken as hard information.)
Various conversations monitored on Computer Bulletin Board
OPEN_BIBLE : "Rick Savage" "Michael Haight" "Ralph Stokes"
CULT_WATCH "Robert Lee" et. al.
- end -
permission is granted for re-publication of this article, so long
as it is not edited nor changed. Send a copy of the publication
to "The Bard", c/o Deus Ex Machina BBS, PO Box 35190, Phoenix,
AZ 85069 (the SysOp will forward letters to me.)
Comments and further research are welcomed.