The Swastika Was Once a Symbol of Good Luck

October 18, 2010 at 2:00 am 10 comments

By Chad Upton | Editor

Today, the swastika is frequently associated with one of the most horrible and unfortunate times in human history — it was the symbol of Nazi Germany (1933-1945).

Because its recent history is awful, the swastika is nearly taboo in many cultures. But, the symbol has been around for thousands of years, most of those years as a very peaceful symbol.

The name “swastika” comes from the Sanskrit word svastika, meaning “lucky” or “well being.” It is generally used on people and things to denote good luck or wish well being. It goes by many names in many different places: hook cross, crooked cross, angled cross, sun cross, sun wheel, hakenkreuz (German), among others.

The swastika can be traced back about 11,500 years, to the Neolithic period. It’s past and present are deeply rooted primarily in Eastern religions although there are many examples of it in other religions. Long before it had any negative connotation, it was popular in religions and cultures including: Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Chinese and Japanese art and many others.

Many people are unfamiliar with the swastika’s relationship to Christianity. They used it to symbolize Christ’s victory over death. Some cathedrals built during the Romanesque and Gothic eras are decorated with swastikas, including the tile floor of this Roman Catholic Church in France (Amiens Cathedral).

Matilde Moisant, the second woman to get her pilot’s license, wore a swastika pendant on her 1912 uniform for good luck. This was a common practice among early aviators and test pilots.

Although the swastika is generally associated with an awful time, its original meaning is still an important symbol in many cultures, so it’s important to understand that it was a positive symbol for most of its life.

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Sources: About, Wikipedia (Swastika, Matilde Moisant, Amiens Cathedral)

Entry filed under: Demystified, Despite Popular Belief. Tags: , , , .

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10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Indian Bazaars  |  October 18, 2010 at 3:53 am

    Quite liked the concept of your blog!

    Reply
  • 2. ctd  |  October 18, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    The Nazi swastika is rotated 45 deg from the Hindu one – note that in the basketball team, the swastika arms are parallel to horizontal/vertical; the Nazi ones are at 45 deg from parallel. Not knowing the church, but I imagine that the symbol is not rotated when you walk into the church and from the door down to the alter

    Reply
  • 3. asg  |  October 18, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    Rotated or not, it’s pretty much the same thing. Amazing how history can destroy such a wonderful symbol.

    Reply
    • 4. fastfood  |  August 16, 2017 at 9:40 pm

      History destroys nothing. People however, do.

      Reply
  • 5. Amit  |  October 21, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Swastika ‘was’ popular in Hinduism? Swastika IS a big part of Hinduism as we speak, and is likely to remain so. It is used in nearly 100% of the religious rituals in most Indian religions. Till the onset of the internet, most Indians had little clue about Nazis or WW2, so it is not a matter of racism.

    Reply
    • 6. Chad Upton  |  October 21, 2010 at 11:13 pm

      I agree. Just because it was popular back then, doesn’t mean it isn’t popular today.

      Reply
  • 7. Gary  |  February 22, 2011 at 11:07 am

    The Nazi’s took a symbol of good luck and used it for evil.. There could only be one ending for Nazi Germany: total defeat.

    Reply
    • 8. Charles  |  April 17, 2015 at 10:01 pm

      The symbol was the runic symbol of happiness and prosperity with Germanic tribes that’s why it was used. And also why its at 45 degrees.

      Reply
  • 9. The Brain is an Advanced Fractal Antenna - Page 155  |  July 1, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    […] we already discussed Swastika previously : Google The Swastika Was Once a Symbol of Good Luck | Broken Secrets […]

    Reply
  • 10. srihela  |  April 25, 2014 at 7:22 am

    swasthika is our the grate king ravana symbol he is first king of my country “srilanka” its not hindus symbol

    Reply

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