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this symbol with clockwise arms, officially adopted in 1935 as the emblem of Nazi Germany
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The word "swastika" is from the Sanscrit svastika, meaning "well-being" or "good luck." Based on a sun wheel, or Wheel of the Year, it has been found in many countries over many thousands of years, and is one of the most ancient and widespread of all decorative forms, appearing in both hemispheres.

In Buddhism, the clockwise form of the swastika represents cessation and the counterclockwise version genesis. The swastika is found among Native American tribes, such as the Navaho, and a swastika formed by four long-beaked birds has been found in Native American burial mounds. Ancient Greek and Aegean pottery has been found decorated with the symbol. It is also found in China, Persia, Asia Minor, Libya, Scandinavia, Britain, and Iceland.

In some examples the swastika is depicted as two S-curves intersecting at right angles at the center. A Solar Swastika is formed by an equal-armed cross with the ends forming into circles. This represents the four solar festivals: the solstices and equinoxes.

The swastika first appeared in Germany in the late ninteteenth century, associated with the völkisch movement's idealogy. Hitler's National Socialist German Workers' Party eventually adopted it as its symbol. It has thus become associated with the infamy of the Nazis during World War II but, in fact, like any other symbol, it is neither good nor evil in itself. It is merely a symbol and has meaning only to the person using it.

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a cross with the ends of the arms bent at right angles; one of the oldest decorative motifs found on works of art of ancient cultures of Europe and Asia, including ancient India, and, more rarely, of Africa and America. During classical Greek and Roman times, the swastika was occasionally used on Greek vases and Greek and Sicilian coins; later it was used by European medieval and folk artists. The symbolism of the swastika is unclear. It has been interpreted to represent, among other things, the sun, crossed bolts of lightning, and Thor’s hammer. The swastika is sometimes called gammadion (crux gammata) because it consists of four Greek capital letters gamma branching out from one point.

In more recent times, the swastika has been used as the central compositional element of the flag of fascist Germany and has come to symbolize barbarism and violence.


Jaeger, K. Zur Geschichte und Symbolik des Hakenkreuzes. Leipzig, 1921.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

What does it mean when you dream about a swastika?

The swastika is an ancient symbol of creative, life-giving power. The direction that it turns—clockwise being good, counterclockwise being destructive—are important in the religious traditions that utilize the swastika. The phenomenon of Nazism has imbued this symbol with evil associations, no matter which direction it turns.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


A plane curve whose equation in Cartesian coordinates x and y is y 4-x 4= xy.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


symbol of German anti-Semitism since 1918; became emblem of Nazi party. [Ger. Hist.: Collier’s, XVIII, 78]


ancient sign of good luck, often in the form of a charm or talisman. [Asiatic Culture: Brewer Dictionary, 1051]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Since GWU has taken the position that the motive for displaying a svastika is irrelevant, and the student's explanation that he brought it back from India on a recent trip in order to stimulate discussion with other members of his own largely Jewish fraternity (on whose bulletin board it was lawfully posted very briefly) is unchallenged and backed up by many Jewish witnesses including his rabbi, the university's action seems tantamount to banning at GWU a very sacred religious symbol.
Forbes also reported that "banning the Hindu svastika (the Hindu spelling) is one step away from banning the Star of David (or the Christian cross)," and "it is interesting that this banning received widespread attention in India, where some viewed it as an anti-Indian and anti-Hindu act."
The controversy has also spread to Canada where, as the Indian Diaspora put it in an article entitled "George Washington U's blinkered view of Swastika," "The religious symbol Svastika is at the centre of a row between students and the George Washington University .
Interestingly, also according to the Indian Diaspora, there was a similar episode in Canada recently when Mody "filed a complaint with the Ontario Press Council against the Toronto Star newspaper for asserting that the Jain/Hindu Svastika was akin to the Nazi symbol.
Ores from earth and rocks that have a yellow, copper, or coppery-yellow color; that contain blue streaks or have the color of Mudga bean, Masa bean, or Kisara porridge when they are split; that are speckled as if with drops or globs of curd; that have the color of turmeric, myrobalan, a lotus leaf, moss, liver, spleen, or saffron; (14) that contain lines, dots, or svastikas of fine sand when they are split; that have nodules and are lustrous; and that do not split but do produce a lot of foam and smoke when they are heated are the ones that are gold ore.