This should not be taken as an indication that it is a universal symbol held in common by all the peoples of the earth as many New Agers seeped in the politically correct mores of the day may assert but rather an indication as to how far and wide the Aryans in particular the Celto-Germanic peoples have wandered in their migrations and quest to discover new lands.
It is an impulse which is deep within the psyche of the Aryan peoples, the need to discover and explore and consequently to bring civilization and high culture to the four ends of the earth.
Thomas Wilson in his groundbreaking and comprehensive work Swastika the Earliest Known Symbol and its Migrations traces the migration of this symbol throughout Europe, China, Asia, Asia Minor and the Americas although he shies away from drawing any conclusions as to the origins, development and meaning of this symbol.
Max Mueller in "Illios" gives the etymology of Swastika:
"Ethnologically, svastika is derived from svasti, and svasti from su, "well", and as, "to be". Svasti occurs frequently in the Veda, both as a noun in a sense of happiness, and as an adverb in the sense of "well" or "hail!" The derivation Swasti-ka is of later date, and it always means an auspicious sign, such as are found most frequently among Buddhists and Jainas."
In Great Britain the common name for this sign in Anglo-Saxon times was Fylfot which is derived from fower fot meaning four-footed.
Some authors refer to it as Thor`s Hammer.
Wilson has this to say about the symbolism and interpretation of the Swastika:
"Many theories have been presented concerning the symbolism of the Swastika, its relation to ancient deities and its representation of certain qualities. In the estimation of certain writers it has been respectively the emblem of Zeus, of Baal, of the sun, of the sun-god, of the sun-chariot of Agni the fire-god, of Indra the rain-god, of the sky, the sky-god, and finally the deity of all deities, the great God, the Maker and Ruler of the Universe. It has been held to symbolize light or the god of light, of the forked lightning, and of water. It is believed by some to have been the oldest Aryan symbol. It is the estimation of others it represents Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, Creator, Preserver, Destroyer. It appears in the footprints of Buddha, engraved upon the solid rock on the mountains of India. It stood for the Jupiter Tonans and Pluvius of the Latins, and the Thor of the Scandinavians. In the latter case it has been considered-erroneously, however-a variety of the Thor hammer. In the opinion of at least one author it had an intimate relation to the Lotus sign of Egypt and Persia. Some authors have attributed a phallic meaning to it. Others have recognised it as representing the generative principle of mankind, making it the symbol of the female. Its appearance on the person of certain goddesses, Artemis, Hera, Demeter, Astarte, and the Chaldean Nana, the leaden goddess from Hissarlik, has caused it to be claimed as a sign of fecundity."
It has been conjectured that the Swastika developed from other more basic symbols such as the cross or the triskelion but Wilson goes on to say:
"Mr. R.P. Greg opposes this theory and expresses the opinion that the Swastika is far older and wider spread as a symbol than the triskelion, as well as being a more purely Aryan symbol."
George. W Cox in says The Mythology of the Aryan Nations:
"We recognise the male and female symbol in the trident of Poseidon, and in the fylfot or hammer of Thor, which assumes the form of a cross-pattee in the various legends which turn on the rings of Freya, Holda, Venus, or Aphrodite."
It is speculated that the Swastika has its origin in the use of fire sticks to generate fire in the myth of the Hindu fire god Agni.[Cognate with the Latin ignis, the English word to ignite].
Dr. H. Colley March in his paper Fylfot and the Futhorc Tir theorises that the Swastika has no relation to fire, the act of making fire or the fire god. He believed that it symbolized axial motion and not merely gyration; that it represented the celestial pole, the very axis of the heavens around which the stars revolve.
"This appearance of rotation is most impressive in the constellation of the Great Bear. About four thousand years ago the apparent pivot of rotation was at Draconis, much nearer the Great Bear than now, and at that time the rapid circular sweep must have been far more striking than at present."
Heinrich Schliemann writing in his Troy and its Remains states:
"All that can be said of the first settlers is that they belonged to the Aryan race, as is sufficiently proved by the Aryan religious symbols met with in the strata of their ruins[among which we find the Suastika], both upon the pieces of pottery and upon the small curious terra-cottas with a hole in the centre, which we have the form of the crater or a volcano or of a carrousel."
In addition to stating "The Swastika is persistently associated with the sacred fire-sticks. Agni was the god of the fire-stick[swastika].
"In Great Britain it was called fylfot from the Anglo-Saxon fower-fot-four footed or many footed." Elizabeth Goldsmith also adds:
"The Druids were said to have shaped their trees in the form of the swastika or fylfot cross."
[Ancient Pagan Symbols]
Lance Severn in his The Swastika: Lost Sign in Freemasonry explored the use of the Swastika in Freemasonry. This should not surprise us as Freemasonry preserves much esoteric Aryan lore which would otherwise have been lost to us.
He refers to JSM Ward`s reference to this symbol in Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods "In our lodges the Swastika is still remembered, but its presence is disguised."
This brings us to the Master himself Guido von List. Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke in his The Occult Roots of Nazism. Secret Aryan Cults and their Influence on Nazi Ideology refers to a solstice ceremony conducted by von List involving burying 8 wine bottles in the glowing embers of a solstice fire in the form of the Swastika.
Guido von List incorporated the Swastika into his 18 rune Armanen Futhorc as his 18th rune Gibor which is a development of the Swastika in form but whose meaning equates to that of the Gebo rune in the Common Germanic Futharc. He shows the fylfot as an alternative to the Gibor stave in his Das Geheimnis der Runen[The Secret of the Runes].
"However, certainly worthy of note is the fact that the eighteenth rune which is actually present is a-doubtlessly intentionally incomplete-fyrfos, and that it harkens back to this sign in both name and meaning-without, nevertheless, exhausting it. In this the intention of the skalds to guard vigilantly the fyrfos as their exclusive innermost secret, and as the sigil of that secret, can be seen. Only after yielding to certain pressures did they reveal another sign which partially replaced the fyrfos."
From the period of the adoption of the Swastika or Hakenkreuz by the National Socialist German Workers` Party this most holy Aryan sign became associated with a political movement, National Socialism.
"And a symbol it really is! Not only that the unique colours, which all of us so passionately love and which once won so much honour for the German people, attest our veneration for the past; they were also the embodiment of the movement`s will. As National Socialists, we see our programme 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......"
[Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf]