Die Okkulten Hakenkreuz - The Occult Swastika

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
The swastika is an ancient symbol that has been used for over 3,000 years. 
That even pre-dates the ancient Egyptian symbol, the Ankh !
Artifacts such as pottery and coins from ancient Troy (see below) show that the swastika was a commonly used symbol as far back as 1000 BCE.
The symbol of the 4-sided swastika is an archetype for the rotations of time and consciousness - moving clockwise and counterwise - in upward or downward spirals - allowing souls to experience many levels of reality simultaneously.
The completed symbol of the swastika denotes a world in itself, a spatial order of power with elements equidistant from the centre.
It is the dual glyph of the cosmic and microcosmic, the configuration of movement divided into four parts.
The solar swastika represents the eternal round of season.
The circle represents the Unknown One; the point in the circle signifies the Logos.
the light of the Logos, becomes Fohat, the link between spirit and matter.

H.P. Blavatsky
 'Die Geheimlehre'

Fohat appears in 'Die Geheimlehre' (the Secret Doctrine) by H.P. Blavatsky – and especially in the first volume titled “Cosmogenesis”. Fohat is one of the keys in Occultism which opens up the multiform symbols and respective allegories in mythology. Fohat is always spoken of in terms of cosmic or universal electricity, vitality, energy, and life force. The universe itself is animated, vitalised, and powered on the macrocosmic level by Fohat.

The point becomes a horizontal diameter.
This initial, passive duality becomes a conscious activation of duality through human life, symbolized by a vertical diameter cutting across the horizontal, balancing heaven and earth and penetrating both.
The swastika is taken from the circumscribed cross; its hooks are portions of the circle now rendered directional.
The Logoic point, expanding toward the four cardinal points, has set the wheel in motion.
In alchemy, the swastika was used to symbolise the four cardinal corners of the world and the guardianship of this world.
Greek Silver Stater of Corinth

Also in the 'Die Geheimlehre' (the Secret Doctrine)  the swastika is a summary in a few lines of the whole work of creation or evolution . . . from cosmo-theogony to anthropogony.
It is the worker’s hammer “which striketh sparks from flint,” - flint symbolizing space while the sparks symbolize worlds.
It is Thor’s hammer brought to consecrate the New Heaven and New Earth.

Borjgala Sun Symbol
The four-footed cross, which Thor uses to smite the head of the serpent of evil passions, becomes the root power of the macrocosm and the microcosm.
The swastika, symbolizing the work of creation, also symbolizes the Great Architect
In the Pythagorean tradition, the swastika stood for the tetraktys, the double symbol.
It is the link between heaven and earth, its right arm pointing to heaven, its left arm pointing to earth.
The Alchemists labelled the heavenward arm “solve” and the earthward arm “coagula,” while man stands at the axis, his spiritual nature resolving all form.
Like the swastika, he represents the alpha and omega of Universal Creative Force.
The central point is not limited to one perfect being, but is God in humanity, the four arms emanating from pure spirit, losing themselves infinitely in matter.
Only the balanced cross of spirit-matter fits within the spherical pattern of evolution, exalting the mysteries of each and squaring the circle.
The swastika itself is symbolized by the number six which signifies the four points - North, South, East and West - and the poles, or Zenith and Nadir, which coincide with the mystic center and represent the origin of the universe.

The swastika is an equilateral cross with its arms bent at right angles either clockwise or anticlockwise.
It is traditionally oriented so that a main line is horizontal, though it is occasionally rotated at forty-five degrees, and the Hindu version often has a dot in each quadrant.

Ancient Greek Swastika
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
The swastika has not always been used as a völkisch occult symbol, and was in fact borrowed from Eastern cultures.
It seems to have first been used by early inhabitants of Eurasia.
It is an important symbol in Eastern religions, notably Hinduism and Buddhism, among others, and was also used in Native American faiths.
The ancient Greeks and Romans also extensively used the swastika (see left).
The swastika, also known as the fylfot in northwestern Europe, appears on many pre-Christian artefacts, within a circle or in a swirling form.
The Greek goddess Athena was sometimes portrayed as wearing robes covered with swastikas.
The "Ogham stone" found in County Kerry, Ireland is inscribed with several swastikas dating to the fifth century AD, and is believed to have been an altar stone of the Druids.
The pre-Christian Anglo-Saxon ship burial at Sutton Hoo, England, contains gold cups and shields bearing swastikas.
Today it is used as a symbol for Asatru, the reconstructed religion of Northern Europe.
By the early twentieth century it was regarded worldwide as a symbol of good luck and auspiciousness.

Swastikas appeared on the spines of books by the Anglo-Indian writer Rudyard Kipling (see right), and the symbol was used by Robert Baden-Powell's Boy Scout movement (see left). 
The use made of the swastika by the NSDAP derived from earlier German völkisch nationalist movements, for which the swastika was a symbol of "Aryan" identity, a concept that came to be equated by theorists like Alfred Rosenberg with a Nordic master race originating in northern Europe.

The word swastika is derived from the Sanskrit svastika, meaning any lucky or auspicious object, and in particular a mark made on persons and things to denote good luck.
It is composed of su- (cognate with Greek e?-), meaning "good, well" and asti a verbal abstract to the root as "to be"; svasti thus means "well-being".
The suffix -ka forms a diminutive, and svastika might thus be translated literally as "little thing associated with well-being", corresponding roughly to "lucky charm", or "thing that is auspicious".
The word first appears in the Classical Sanskrit (in the Ramayana and Mahabharata epics).
Alternative historical English spellings of the Sanskrit word include suastika and svastica.

Alternative names for the shape are:

Crooked cross
Cross cramponned - in heraldry, as each arm resembles a crampon or angle-iron
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
Cross gammadion (see left) - tetragammadion or just gammadion, as each arm resembles the Greek letter (gamma)
Fylfot - meaning "four feet", chiefly in heraldry and architecture
Sun wheel - German Sonnenrad (see right) - a name also used as a synonym for the sun cross
Tetraskelion - Greek "four legged", especially when composed of four conjoined legs

Thor's hammer (see right) - from its supposed association with Thor, the Norse god of thunder, but this may be a misappropriation of a name that properly belongs to a Y-shaped or T-shaped symbol. - The Swastika shape appears in an 8th century Icelandic grimoire where in it is named Þurs Hamar

In Norse mythology, Mjölnir (also Mjǫlnir, Mjollnir, Mjölner or Mjølner) is the hammer of Thor, the Norse god of thunder. Mjölnir is depicted in Norse mythology as one of the most fearsome weapons, capable of levelling mountains.

In his account of Norse mythology Snorri Sturluson relates how the hammer was made by the dwarven brothers Sindri and Brokkr, and how its characteristically short handle was due to a mishap during its manufacture. According to some scholars, the swastika shape may have been a variant popular in Anglo-Saxon England prior to Christianization, especially in East Anglia and Kent. Wilson (1894) points out that while the swastika had been "vulgarly called in Scandinavia the hammer of Thor" (in Icelandic: Thorshamarmerki, mark of Thor's hammer ) , the symbol properly so called had a Y or T shape.

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
Hooked cross - (Dutch: hakenkruis, Icelandic Hakakross, German: Hakenkreuz, Finnish: hakaristi, Norwegian: Hakekors, Italian: croce uncinata and Swedish: Hakkors)

The swastika appears in art and design from pre-history symbolizing, in various contexts: luck, the sun, Brahma, or the Hindu concept of samsara.
In antiquity, the swastika was used extensively by Hittites, Celts and Greeks, among others.
It occurs in other Asian, European, African and Native American cultures ­ sometimes as a geometrical motif, sometimes as a religious symbol.
Today, the swastika is a common symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, among others. The ubiquity of the swastika has been explained by three main theories: independent development, cultural diffusion, and external event.

Carl Jung
The first theory is that the swastika's symmetry and simplicity led to its independent development everywhere, along the lines of Carl Jung's collective unconscious.Another explanation is suggested by Carl Sagan in his book 'Comet'.
Sagan reproduces an ancient Chinese manuscript that shows comet tail varieties: most are variations on simple comet tails, but the last shows the comet nucleus with four bent arms extending from it, recalling a swastika.
Sagan suggests that in antiquity a comet could have approached so close to Earth that the jets of gas streaming from it, bent by the comet's rotation, became visible, leading to the adoption of the swastika as a symbol across the world. 
Theories of single origin as a sacred prehistorical symbol point to the Proto-Indo-Europeans, noting that the swastika was not adopted by Sumer in Mesopotamia, which was established no later than 3500 BC, and the Old Kingdom of Egypt, beginning in 2630 BC, arguing that these were already well-established and codified at the time of the symbol's diffusion.
As an argument ex silentio, this point has little value as a positive proof.
The swastika symbol is prominent in Hinduism, which is considered the parent religion of Buddhism and Jainism, both dating from about the sixth century BC, and both borrowing the swastika from their parent.
Buddhism in particular enjoyed great success, spreading eastward and taking hold in southeast Asia, China, Korea and Japan by the end of the first millennium.
The use of the swastika by the indigenous Bön faith of Tibet, as well as syncretic religions, such as Cao Dai of Vietnam and Falun Gong of China, is thought to be borrowed from Buddhism as well.
Similarly, the existence of the swastika as a solar symbol among the Akan civilization of south-west Africa may have been the result of cultural transfer along the African slave routes around 1500 AD. 
Regardless of origins, the swastika had generally positive connotations from early in human history, with the exceptions being most of Africa and South America.

The swastika has also appeared in most other ancient cultures of the world.
For example, the counter-clockwise variant of it, adopted by the National Socialists, is also the letter “G” in the medieval Northern European Runic Script.

The medieval runes, or the futhork, was a Scandinavian 27 letter runic alphabet that evolved from the Younger Futhark after the introduction of dotted runes at the end of the Viking Age and it was fully formed in the early 13th century. Due to the expansion, each rune corresponded to only one phoneme, whereas the runes in the preceding Younger Futhark could correspond to several.The medieval runes were in use throughout Scandinavia during the Middle Ages, and provided the basis for the appearance of runology in the 16th century.

The Freemasons took the letter as an important symbol, since “G” could stand for God, the Great Architect of the Universe, or Geometry.
The swastika is also a traditional symbol of the Old Norse God of Thunder and Might (Scandinavian Thor, German Donner, Baltic Perkunas).

In Norse mythology, Thor (from Old Norse Þórr) is a hammer-wielding god associated with thunder, lightning, storms, oak trees, strength, the protection of mankind, and also hallowing, healing and fertility. The cognate deity in wider Germanic mythology and paganism was known in Old English as Þunor and in Old High German as Donar, stemming from a Common Germanic *Þunraz (meaning "thunder").

Thor is a prominently mentioned god throughout the recorded history of the Germanic peoples, from the Roman occupation of regions of Germania, to the tribal expansions of the Migration Period, to his high popularity during the Viking Age, when, in the face of the process of the Christianization of Scandinavia, emblems of his hammer, Mjölnir, were worn in defiance and Norse pagan personal names containing the name of the god bear witness to his popularity. Into the modern period, Thor continued to be acknowledged in rural folklore throughout Germanic regions. Thor is frequently referred to in place names, the day of the week Thursday ("Thor's day") bears his name, and names stemming from the pagan period containing his own continue to be used today.
Latvian Swastikas

Because of this association with the God of Thunder, the Latvians  and Finnish both took the swastika as the insignia for their air forces when they gained independence after the First World War.

The word Swastika also  means 'source', and was seen by occultists as representing 'eternal cause' or the 'fountain of creation'.

The völkisch philosophers believed that the mighty Æons were the creators of the Forms - the blueprint of creation - the greatest Æons creating the highest 'Forms', and the lesser being responsible for the lesser Forms.
From the secret patterns of the 'Forms' the creation of the material universe was set in motion by the will of the all highest - and the motion of creation was in the form of a spiralling circle - which even now is echoed, in the microcosm, in the forms of the basic particles of matter, and in the macrocosm, by the forms of the galaxies.

And now the symbol of creation is represented by the Swastika - the 'Sigil of Creation' which is an archetype for the rotations of time and human consciousness, spiralling and allowing souls to experience many levels of reality at the same time.

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
The Swastika, therefore, is undoubtedly one of the most effective symbols ever devised, and it has a profound power that penetrates deep into the human psyche.
Accordingly, the Thule Society used the Swastika - with curved arms - which is a symbol of the Vril - the power of creation itself - as their symbol.

Heinrich Schliemann 

Heinrich Schliemann discovered the symbol of the Swastika in the site of ancient Troy and associated it with the ancient migrations of Proto-Indo-Europeans.
He connected it with similar shapes found on ancient pots in Germany, and theorized that the swastika was a "significant religious symbol of our remote ancestors", linking Germanic, Greek and Indo-Iranian cultures.
The work of Schliemann soon became intertwined with the völkisch movements, for which the swastika was a symbol of the "Aryan race", a concept that came to be equated by theorists such as Alfred Rosenberg with a Nordic master race originating in northern Europe.

By a strange coincidence - or maybe not -  Hitler's first contact with the swastika was while he was a young boy with the Benedictines at the Abbey of Lambach-am-Traum, in upper Austria.
At Lambach Hitler saw the swastika engraved on the four corners of the monastery, where it had been sculpted several years before, following orders of the abbot, Theodorich Hagen.
A most erudite ecclesiastic, Father Hagen had a considerable knowledge of astrology, and of the occult sciences.
He was also an specialist on the New Testament Apocalypse of Saint John.

Abbey of Lambach-am-Traum
In 1856 Father Hagen made a long trip to the Near East visiting, among other places, Persia, Arabia, Turkey, and the Caucasus.
Upon his return to Lambach in 1868 he immediately hired workers and cabinet makers, whom he ordered to sculpt the swastika (on stone and wood) on the four corners of the building, and even on some religious objects.
Hagen was reputed to be an expert on the Cathars, and several other medieval heresies including the Bogomils
When young Adolf became a student at Lambach Father Hagen had already died, but the swastikas he ordered to be carved were still there.
While Hitler was a at the abbey, a Cistercian monk, named Adolf Joseph Lanz (Liebenfels), made a stay at Lambach.
He stayed for several weeks, shut up in the monastery library, thoroughly researching and studying Hagen's personal papers.
The monks affirm that during his research he evidenced the signs of great agitation, like of a person who had made a great discovery.
After his visit to Abbey, Lanz returned to Vienna, where the following year (1900) he founded the Order of the New Templars raising a swastika flag over the Templar castle he chose to be the centre of the Order.
At a later date, when Hitler was a young man, he and Liebenfels met in Vienna.

The origin of the Lambach swwastik was to be found in the personal coat of arms of Abbot Theoderich Hagen, which bore a golden swastika with slanted points on a blue field.
The Lambach swastika is probably of Medieval origin.
The swastika flag adopted by the NSDAP was the brain-child of a member of the Thulist Gesellschaft, a dentist from Sternberg called Dr Krohn.
His design was subsequently modified by Hitler to the version seen on the left.
The flag was also used as the national flag for Germany from 1933 until 1945

The Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP) formally adopted the swastika (in German: Hakenkreuz (hook-cross)) in 1920.

This was used on the party's flag, badge, and armband.
In his 1925 work Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler wrote that:
'I myself, meanwhile, after innumerable attempts, had laid down a final form; a flag with a red background, a white disk, and a black swastika in the middle. After long trials I also found a definite proportion between the size of the flag and the size of the white disk, as well as the shape and thickness of the swastika'.

When Hitler created a flag for the NSDAP, he sought to incorporate both the swastika and
"those revered colors expressive of our homage to the glorious past and which once brought so much honor to the German nation." (Red, white, and black were the colours of the flag of the old German Empire.)
He also stated:
"As National Socialists, we see our program in our flag. In red, we see the social idea of the movement; in white, the nationalistic idea; in the swastika, the mission of the struggle for the victory of the Aryan man, and, by the same token, the victory of the idea of creative work."
The swastika was also understood as
"the symbol of the creating, effecting life" (das Symbol des schaffenden, wirkenden Lebens) and as
"race emblem of the Aryans" (Rasseabzeichen der Arier).
Interestingly, Hitler makes no mention of the swastikas at Lambach.
Before the National Socialists, the swastika was already in use as a symbol of German völkisch nationalist movements (Völkische Bewegung).
The use of the swastika was incorporated by Völkisch theorists with their conjecture of Aryan cultural descent of the German people.

Guido von List
The use of the swastika as a symbol of the Aryan race dates back to writings of Emile Burnouf.

Émile-Louis Burnouf (26 August 1821, in Valognes – January 1907, in Paris) was a leading nineteenth-century Orientalist and racialist whose ideas influenced the development of theosophy and Aryanism.
He was a professor at the faculté de lettres at Nancy University, then principal of the French School at Athens from 1867 to 1875.
He was also the author of a Sanskrit-French dictionary.
Burnouf believed that only Aryan and Semitic peoples were truly religious in temperament. Science has proved that the original tendency of the Aryan peoples is pantheism, while monotheism proper is the constant doctrine of Semitic populations. These are surely the two great beds in which flow the sacred stream of humanity. But the facts show is, in the West, peoples of Aryan origin in some sort Semiticised in Christianity. The whole of Europe is at once Aryan and Christian; that is to say pantheistic by its origin and natural dispositions, but accustomed to admit the dogma of creation from a Semitic influence.
Burnouf's work takes for granted a racial hierarchy that places Aryans at the top as a master race.

Following many other writers, the German nationalist poet Guido von List believed it to be a uniquely Aryan symbol.

Thule Gesellschaft
What inspired Hitler to use the swastika as a symbol for the NSDAP, apart from its use at Lambach and its use by Liebenfels and the New Templars, was its use by the Thule-Gesellschaft, since there were many connections between the Thulists and the DAP.

Tegernsee - 1920

From 1919 until the summer of 1921 Hitler used the special Nationalsozialistische library of Dr. Friedrich Krohn, a very active member of the Thule-Gesellschaft.
Dr. Krohn was also the dentist from Sternberg who was named by Hitler in 'Mein Kampf' as the designer of a flag very similar to one that Hitler designed in 1920
During the summer of 1920, the first party flag was shown at Tegernsee.
These home-made early flags were not preserved.
The Ortsgruppe München (Munich Local Group) flag was generally regarded as the first flag of the Party.

New Templar Swastika Flag
Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels
The first time the swastika was used with an "Aryan" meaning, however, was on December 25, 1907, when the self-named Order of the New Templars, a secret society founded by Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels, hoisted at Werfenstein Castle (Austria) a yellow flag with a swastika and four fleurs-de-lys.

However, Liebenfels was drawing on an already established use of the symbol.
On March 14, 1933, shortly after Hitler's appointment as Chancellor of Germany, the NSDAP flag was hoisted alongside Germany's national colours.
It was adopted as the sole national flag on September 15, 1935.

A right-facing swastika may be described as "clockwise"...... or "counter-clockwise".
A swastika composed of 17 squares in a 5x5 grid. 
Geometrically, the swastika can be regarded as an irregular icosagon or 20-sided polygon.
The proportions of the NSDAP swastika were fixed based on a 5 × 5 diagonal grid.
Characteristic is the 90° rotational symmetry and chirality, hence the absence of reflectional symmetry, and the existence of two versions of swastikas that are each other'smirror image.

A right-facing swastika might be described as "clockwise" or "counter-clockwise".

The mirror-image forms are often described as:
clockwise and anti-clockwise;
left-facing and right-facing;
left-hand and right-hand.

"Left-facing" and "right-facing" are used mostly consistently referring to the upper arm of an upright swastika facing either to the viewer's left (卍) or right (卐). The other two descriptions are ambiguous as it is unclear whether they refer to the arms as leading or being dragged or whether their bending is viewed outward or inward. However, "clockwise" usually refers to the "right-facing" swastika. The terms are used inconsistently in modern times, which is confusing and may obfuscate an important point, that the rotation of the swastika may have symbolic relevance, although ancient vedic scripts describe the symbolic relevance of clock motion and counter clock motion. Less ambiguous terms might be "clockwise-pointing" and "counterclockwise-pointing."

Third Reich ensigns had a through and through image, so both versions were present, one on each side, but the Third Reich flag on land was right-facing on both sides and at a 45° rotation.

1 comment:

  1. Your writing is so informative and enchanting, it must have taken you tremendous amounts of research! Kudos to you