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Swastika Symbol Meaning From Around The World

swastika symbol meaning
Swastika symbol meaning is different around the world according to cultural views

Exploring Swastika Symbol Meaning From Around the World

Regrettably, swastika symbol meaning has been horribly marred due to the Nazi regime, when the symbol was the icon for the atrocities committed during WWII.

The goal of this article is to expose the swastika (also known as svastika or also a fylfot) in its many different forms and meanings around the world and throughout history.

Various cultures have their own term for their version of the swastika.  The term swastika is a blanket word for four-armed or four-angled symbols.

In the Hindu language, the term swastika means ‘well being.’  This is the first of many examples demonstrating this symbol as the complete opposite of evil connotations inherited by Nazi Germany.

Swastika symbol meaning varies according to era and culture. This symbol has been around for over 3,000 years.  It has made its appearance throughout the ages in China, Japan, India, Greece, as well as Celtic and Native American cultures. The swastika has also been featured in alchemy and even Christianity.





Swastika Symbol Meaning in Hinduism and Buddhism

swastika symbol meaning hindu

The swastika, also known as sauvastika is not only a religious symbol in this culture, it is also considered a lucky symbol.  It is said to bring about great prosperity and good fortune.  The symbol adorns statues, buildings, textiles, and it is even painted on bodies for various festivals. The swastika is commonly used in ceremonies.  For example, this symbol is strongly featured during weddings with Ganesh, the elephant god of luck placed in the center of the cross to insure blessings upon the marriage.

The arms of the sauvastika represent the directions and cycles of life. These extensions give a sense of motion, which symbolizes the forward motion of human life.  The four dots represent the four concepts of Karma: Right thought, right words, right actions, and right understanding.


Swastika Symbol Meaning – Greece

swastika symbol meaning greek

The above shown symbol is an artistic rendition of a tetraskelion, which is the Greek version of the swastika.  This symbol is also found in other regions of ancient Europe.  It’s not always in the form of horses, as show above.  Sometimes this ornate swastika was created with arms, wings, snakes or other features from nature.

In this symbol, the horse is symbolic of the chariot of the Greek titan Helios, who represented the sun.  In myth, the grand chariot of Helios was pulled by four horses:  Pyrois, Aeos, Aethon, and Phlegon.  The circle in the center is symbolic of the sun.


Swastika Symbol as a Swedish Rune

swastika symbol rune

This swastika symbol meaning deals with paths taken in the afterlife.  It was a symbol commonly found on Scandinavian grave sites. Notice all the lines connecting and crossing each other.  This is symbolic of the infinite nature of life – even in the afterlife.  The center cross has been known to symbolize the womb.  In Norse belief, the transition from physical to non-physical is all about returning to the source of life – the womb of the mother.  In essence, this Norse rune represents journey through afterlife with the goal of returning back to mother earth (or mother sea in some accounts).


Swastika Symbol in Native American Tradition

swastika symbol native american

This symbol can be seen carved upon numerous stone structures in New Mexico and Arizona.  This is where the Hopi hailed from and believed the swastika symbol meaning dealt with their origin and ultimate destination of their clans. The center cross is symbolic of TuwanasaviI, this is the center of the world.  It is also considered the center of the Hopi soul.

Legend states that the first Hopi clans were at the center of the world, and centered within their souls.  With assistance from Spirit, the four clans were guided in a certain direction: North, South, East, West. After traveling out (from the center cross) both physically and spiritually, each clan turned left, which is symbolic of turning towards the earth.  Other clans were guided to turn right, which was a migration towards the sun.


Swastika Symbol Meaning From Pagan Perspective

swastika symbol meaning

This version of the fylfot (or swastika) started its life as a Pagan sun wheel symbol. It represents the movement of the four seasons.  Each of the four arms of the symbol are also symbolic of the four elements: Fire, Earth, Air, Water.  Pagans assigned spiritual energy to all things in Nature.  Consequently, each arm of this symbol stands for the energy of each element: Salamander (fire), Gnome (earth), Sylph (air) and Undine (water).

Later, the symbol was adopted by Christians.  In the early days, being a Christian wasn’t the most popular choice.  There was a lot of controversy about the new religion. Early Christians used this symbol as a sign to other Christians that they were among fellow believers.  This symbol is also called crux dissimulata because it disguised the Christian cross, and helped believers avoid persecution.




Native American Version of the Swastika Symbol

swastika symbol meaning

This is an artistic rendition of swastika symbol from the Native American Ho-Chąąnk people (also known as Winnebago tribe).  Four birds in a four angled design have been located on Ho-Chąąnk burial grounds.  This is a nod to both creation and death.  One ancient Native creation myth describes four magical bird clans who came from the heavens to populate the earth.  In time, these clans evolved into different sects.  But the birds clans were the first. This bird motif on grave sites is symbolic of flying back to the great Spirit or Creator at the time of death.  The first four ancient bird clans are: Eagle, Dove, Vulture and Owl.

The eagle provided power and the courage of a warrior as a tribal member walked through the after life.  The vulture insured all physical remains of the body were removed so that the soul could be fully released to move through the after world.  The owl gave his eyesight and senses through the shadowy unknown of the after life.  And the dove gave the deceased  a calm, sweet countenance…a feeling of nurturing and peace throughout the after life journey.

The symbol in the middle is the union of all great spirits with the center of the crossing lines representing the ultimate Creator, as well as the ultimate destination of the soul.


Celtic Version of Swastika Symbol Meaning – Brigid’s Crossswastika symbol meaning brigid

In Celtic mythology Brigid was the goddess of the mighty Tuatha Dé Danann. These were four clans who were guided into Ireland to begin a new life.  As a powerful goddess of one of these clans, Brigid was celebrated during the time of Imbolc, a festival marking new beginnings, and Springtime.

Brigid’s cross, also known as a sun-wheel, was typically woven out of straw or rushes.  Once made during Imbolc, these ornaments were customarily hung in the home as a symbol of protection.

Each of the arms of Brigid’s cross represents the four Irish clans of the  Tuatha Dé Danann, ruled by individual deities who were: Lugh, Fal, Nuada and Dagda.


Meaning of the Directions of the Swastika Symbol

swastika symbol meaning of direction

Throughout most cultures, there is a sweeping consensus as to directional representation of the swastika.

If the symbol is turning clockwise (right), this is symbolic of opening up to sun energy.  Conversely, if turning counter-clockwise (left), this allows an opening to moon energy.  This is an age-old concept that attempts to define universal polarity.

For example, sun energy is symbolic of: Masculinity, Assertiveness, Passion, Truth.  On the other hand, moon energy is the opposite, symbolic of: Femininity, Restrained, Calm, Mystery.


Closing Thoughts on Swastika Symbol Meaning

I hope you enjoyed this article on the various meaning of the swastika.  It was my highest goal to shed new light on this symbol.  I think it also teaches a symbolic lesson that just because a symbol has gotten a bad reputation (such as Nazi German swastika), that doesn’t mean the symbol has always stood for a maligned concept.

Segments of populations have been adopting and changing the meaning of preexisting symbols for eons.  That means one symbol almost never has one single meaning.

Don’t let this be the end of your research on swastika symbol meaning.  In fact, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are lots more versions of these symbols, and with each version, there is are different meanings.

If you liked this article, you might enjoy the related links listed below.  As always, thanks for reading.

Swastika Meaning in Native American Hopi Tradition

Good Luck Symbol Meanings

 

Good Luck Bugs

good luck bugs
Bugs might not seem like good luck, but a closer look reveals a different view.

Good Luck Bugs – Finding Fortune in the Fields

I realize bugs aren’t everybody’s best friend.  That’s okay.  You don’t have to get all cuddly-wuddly with bugs to gain good luck from them.

A lot of symbolic meaning of good luck bugs comes from cultural perception.  For example, the spider might not seem a likely candidate for luck. In fact, they are villainized in some cultures. But spider’s were high-fortune bearers in Greco-Roman, Native American, African and other cultures.

Even if we leave cultural opinion out of the lucky mix, most bugs provide good luck simply by existing.  Bugs like butterflies and bees pollinate thousands of flowers. Dung beetles help cattle by removing feces, making things more hygienic. Earthworms aerate the soil, making it more viable for good things to grow.

You get my drift. Whether good luck bugs get their rap by nature, superstition or culture – they are indeed capable of being very lucky for humans.  The following are six examples of good luck bugs…



good luck bug butterfly
Butterflies spread luck by pollinating tons of flowers every season.

Butterfly:
These babies are so pretty, you can feel lucky just seeing one! As a matter of fact, in Christian lore, the butterfly is considered a blessing because it represents freedom of the flesh and opening to the spirit. This is symbolically demonstrated by the butterfly emerging from its cocoon.

In Japanese culture, the butterfly is considered lucky in love.  Butterflies are embroidered on matrimonial garments as a benediction for a long and happy marriage.

The Native American Hopi considered the butterfly to be one of the beings who created the world. I suppose this is very lucky, because without a world, none of us would be here!

The Maori of New Zealand believe the butterfly is good luck for a healthy, long life…even immortality.  It was also considered a symbol of freedom and lucky for advancing ourselves into better places in life.

Get More on Symbolic Meaning of the Butterfly Here


good luck bug crickets
Crickets are good luck in China, and often kept for pets for good blessings

Crickets:
You wouldn’t think this little guy would be among the good luck bugs, but you might be surprised. Case in point, both Chinese and Mediterranean cultures believed the cricket to be extremely lucky. It was thought their chirping was a song of blessing upon good crops, and protection of the home.

In early Europe, crickets were considered good omens, and protectors or hearth and home. It was considered bad luck to kill one when found in the home or garden.  In England there is a belief that crickets are a kind of guardian and watched over the family within the home, protecting them from evil spirits.

Some Native American legends honor the cricket because they are mostly nocturnal.  As such, their chirping is a loving song that protects the people of the tribe against bad dreams.

Learn More About Symbolic Meaning of Crickets Here.






good luck bug ladybug
Ladybugs are commonly considered lucky in love

Ladybugs:
By far, the ladybug is the luckiest in the garden.  Not only do they pollinate, they also gobble up 100’s of aphids a day and those suckers can be disastrous to plants and crops.

In America, the common cultural consensus about the ladybug is lucky. If one lands on you, it’s considered very fortuitous, and killing one is considered bad luck.  Making a wish on a ladybug in your hand will come true when the ladybug flies away.  According to lucky superstition, counting the spots on a ladybug indicates your lucky month. For example, if ladybug has four spots, in four months, expect a windfall of good luck (according to superstition that is).

There is an ancient Chinese legend that links the ladybug with luck in love. The story goes that when a ladybug comes to call, it is a sign that true love will also pay us a visit. Further renditions of the legend state the number of spots on the ladybug indicate the amount of months that will pass until we are united with our true love.

Learn More About Ladybug Meanings and Symbolism Here.


good luck bugs praying mantis
Praying mantis is lucky in achieving goals.

Praying Mantis:
These guys can win any bug-eating competition hands-down. That makes them very good luck bugs in the garden.

Shaolin monks in Asia closely observed the mantis, and revered it for its elegant movements.  From this intense observation, the monks created a meditative form of martial arts similar to Tai Chi.  This makes the mantis lucky in balancing peace with defense. Kung Fu is also based on the mantis movements.  The Chinese believed the mantis was lucky in achieving peace and resolving problems without violence, which is ironic, for sure.  But these fighting styles were created more for reverence and inner development than defense.

In Africa the mantis is lucky in dreams.  When we dream of a mantis, it is almost always followed with a solution to a problem we are struggling with.  It is believed the praying mantis whispers an answer to a conflict while we sleep. Upon waking up we must remember the message and that will help us through our troubles.

Learn More About Praying Mantis Meaning and Symbolism Here.


good luck bugs caterpillar
Caterpillars are considered good luck bugs in terms of rebirth and renewal

Caterpillar:
The caterpillar is good luck in old England if one pitter patters across your garden.  In this case, it’s tradition to gently take the caterpillar and toss it over your shoulder to solidify that good luck. I’m not sure how lucky it is for the caterpillar to be flung about, but there you go. Another English tradition is to take a caterpillar, put it in a bag, and if worn around the neck it can prevent respiratory ailments like whooping cough. Again, maybe not so lucky for the caterpillar.  Oh, and consult your physician before tying caterpillars around your neck.

The Indian Upanishads indicate the caterpillar among good luck bugs because of the way they progress through life. There is philosophical appreciation for the way the caterpillar gracefully moves from leaf to leaf – this is considered lucky in travel and moving forward in life.  Then, due to it’s transition from larva, chrysalis to butterfly it is thought to be lucky in transitions.  Whether changing jobs or moving into a new home, the caterpillar is believed to be an omen for luck in any change in life.

In Native American tradition, the caterpillar is believed to be lucky in love.  This is especially true with sex.  Yep, you read that right.  The caterpillar is considered a lucky charm for good sex and also successful conception of a child.

Learn More About Symbolic Caterpillar Meaning Here.


good luck bugs bee
Bees are good luck bugs due to their sweet gifts of honey

Bees:
In nature, bees are obviously top on the good luck bugs list.  They pollinate at mind-blowing rates.  They insure the continuation of countless plants and flowers.  Then there is their byproduct – honey. If you ask me and Pooh bear, we’re lucky just to have a pot of honey!

In ancient Egypt, the bee was a lucky emblem because it was believed to be the giver of life.  It represented life, birth, death and resurrection.  It was also a lucky symbol of strength and power. Apparently the Egyptians associated the bee with lightning and the sun. Bees were said to be born from the tears of the sun god Ra. This made encounters with bees a lucky sign of gaining strength and winning battles.

In Greek and Roman myth the bee is lucky in business.  You’ve heard the term ‘busy as a bee.’  Well, the Greco-Roman’s observed their industriousness and considered the bee as a symbol of success when hard work is applied to any endeavor.

Get More Information on Symbolic Meaning of Bees Here.


I hope you enjoyed this article on good luck bugs.  I further hope these insights might help bring about more acceptance of bugs for those of you who might be creeped out by them.

These are certainly not all the good luck bugs in the world.  There are tons of bugs, so there are tons of them that are considered highly fortuitous.  I’d encourage you to do further research on this topic, and embrace the lucky potential of the insect world.  Get buggy!

As always thanks for reading.  If you enjoyed this article, please check out these related links below:

More on Insect Meanings and Symbolism

Good Luck Symbols and Meanings

Lucky Animal Symbols

Symbolic Meaning of Today’s Holiday – March 3rd

symbolic meaning of today's holiday - Norse goddess
Today’s Holiday (March 3rd) celebrates the Norse sea goddess Ran, and her husband Aegir

Symbolic Meanings of Today’s Holiday March 3rd




There are several neat holidays around the world on this day.  Let’s start our journey into symbolic meaning of today’s holiday March 3rd in Scandinavia.

On this day, the Norse celebrated sea deities. Specifically, Aegir Norse god of the Teutonic sea, and his wife, Ran who was also a water-lover.

Aegir (which means ‘ocean’ in Norse) seems to be a pretty laid back dude in Norse mythology.  He is considered a kind a gracious host to all who enter his watery domain.

However, Ran (Norse for ‘robber’), is quite the opposite.  Legend has it that she would smash ships to bits – ruthlessly waiting until they sunk into the ocean’s abyss.  Apparently she got quite a kick out of this destruction.

But maybe Ran wasn’t all bad.  Myth states that Ran would also come to sunken sailor’s aid, taking care of them until they could get back on their feet after almost drowning.

In terms of symbolic meaning of today’s holiday March 3rd, we’ve got a lovely  do-si-do dance between the concept of creation vs destruction or kind vs cruel.

That’s good to keep in mind on this day, especially since this is the 3rd day of the 3rd month.  That kind of energy is all about polarity trying to stabilize and harmonize.  How so?  Well, consider a triangle. All sides must work together in order to keep its structure.  In symbolism, one side of the triangle represents concepts like: Light, Creation, Good.  The other side of the triangle represents opposite qualities like: Dark, Destruction, Bad. The horizontal side is the unifying factor.  It is the stabilizing energy that meshes dark and light together to bring about balance.

This is good to keep in mind, because this day has a strong triple energy.  Being aware of these influences can enhance your balance throughout the day and night.  To learn more about triple energy, check out my post on  Triple Symbolic Meanings here.

Symbolic meaning of today's holiday March 3rd in Japan
Today’s Holiday in Japan is called HinaMatsui.

Symbolic Meaning of Today’s Holiday, March 3rd

Visiting The Doll Festival in Japan

Next we travel to Japan, where today’s holiday is called Hinamatsui. This annual holiday on March 3rd is also known as the ‘Doll Festival’.  In ancient Japan, women would make paper dolls and rub them all over their bodies.  When the doll-scrubbing was done, the women would toss the paper dolls into the river.  Apparently, this ritual was symbolically intended to extract evil spirits hiding out in the mind, body and/or spirit.  Heck, I might try that myself! Then again, I’ll try anything once!

Later, around the 18th century the paper turned to clay.  These clay dolls were so intricate and lovely, that many women could not bring themselves to pitch them in the river.  Often, the clay dolls are kept and bequeathed to the first daughter born in the family.

The revised ritual goes a step further. These clay dolls are displayed on altars.  Hinamatsui displays consist of fifteen dolls, which includes empress, emperor, guards and attendants of the Imperial Castle.  It is tradition for young girls to visit each other’s uchi (house) to gander at these exquisite doll displays.

We could say the symbolic meaning of today’s holiday March 3rd in Japan is meant to honor our leaders.  This doesn’t have to be royalty for us…it can be giving credit and recognition to our personal leaders, such as teachers, mentors, parents, etc.

today's holiday and good luck symbol
Good luck symbolic meaning for today deals with Middle East magic.




Symbolic Meaning of Today’s Holiday March 3rd

In the Form of a Good Luck Symbol

Okay, you’ve got me…this isn’t really a holiday.  But I thought it would be nifty to mix it up a little and include a ‘good luck symbol of the day’ feature every once in awhile.

On this, the 62nd day of the year, the good luck symbol isn’t really a symbol, it is a word.  The word is  “Bedooh”.  It’s a Middle Eastern magical word and in Arab it means: “He has walked well.

This word is typically engraved on gems, helmets, and weapons. The word Bedooh is also used for seals. These are embossed emblems used to seal (usually with wax) important documents and letters.  When the recipient received the envelope and notices the Bedooh seal, he knows the sender has integrity and blessed with good fortune.

Sufi writer, Ahmad Ali al-Buni, mentions the Bedooh.  To quote Ahmad,  “He who carries the magical word Bedooh inscribed on a ruby mounted in gold is assured constant good fortune.” I say anybody who has a ruby mounted in gold is pretty lucky…just sayin’.


In closing, I hope you found this post on symbolic meaning of today’s holiday March 3rd interesting and inspiring.  I think it’s a great practice to investigate myths, symbols and holidays around the world.  Why?  This world is wicked-diverse.  If we only know the signs and symbols in our own corner of the world, we are only getting a fraction of the big pictures.  Learning symbolic meanings from other cultures enriches our lives and encourages fullness and wholeness in our understanding of this awesome planet we live upon.

As always, thanks so much for reading.

If you liked this post, you may also like:

Symbolic Meaning of Gods and Goddesses

Symbols and Holidays for the Month of March

Meaning of Days in Astrology

Angels and the Days of the Week

 

 

 

Elephant Trunk Up – Is That Good Luck?

elephant trunk up
What’s Up With Elephant Trunk Up?

Elephant Trunk Up – Is That A Thumbs Up for Good Luck?

A few weeks ago, I helped my dad move into his new home. First task: Tackle the kitchen. It became quickly apparent that dad had a lot of extra, unneeded stuff.  I mean three can openers and four corkscrews? C'mon dad!

So dad, mom, my niece and I started helping dad cull out the superfluous, and keep the essentials. The result of all this gleaning was my mom and niece inheriting a lot of stuff.  I got the super cool hand can opener I coveted! Lol.

Now understand. My needs are simple. I live in a tiny home - 300 sq ft. Talk about having to cull out the flotsam and jetsam!! I did a lot of eliminating to get the bare necessities in my small space!

But I digress. The reason I'm bringing this up has to do with elephant, trunk up. To explain, while sorting through dad's stuff, pops found two elephants. He asked me if I wanted them.  Well....like I said, I've got precious little room for anything - much less knick-knacks.   Moreover, elephants don't quite fit in with my decor.  Let's face it, an elephant trunk up doesn't quite mix with skulls and freaky looking gargoyles.  Lol!

Nevertheless, as dad was holding those two elephants, I recalled those pachyderms  on display in my childhood home.  Having been in the family for so long, it was hard to say 'no' to dad.

So I accepted dad's elephant offering, wondering where the heck I'm going to put them.  They're quite lovely, actually.  Here's a pic of these two elephants:

elephant trunk up good luck

It's  the only free space in my tiny home I could find.  I kept that space clear, because as you can see in the background, my a/c and heat unit is there.  Let's just say these elephants have some pretty frosty bums when the a/c kicks on. :o

So, with elephants in place, I started to wonder about which direction they should face.  It matters, you know.  I remember as a kid, mom told me they should face east.  So that's how I situated them.

But then I got curious. Why face east?  And is that really the elephant good luck law? Or is it just an old wives tale with nothing to back it up (no offence mom).  So I started doing some research.

Elephant trunk up = good luck, apparently.  Elephant with trunk down = not necessarily bad luck, just a different vibe, an introspective energy.

But what about the direction? The preponderance of data I collected was adamant that elephants sporting uplifted trunks should face the front door.  This, according sources such as Feng Shui expert, Lillian Too, and superstition connoisseur, David Pickering...front-door-facing is the rule concerning an elephant trunk up scenario.

Why?  Apparently it has to do with welcoming good chi, or positive energy into the home.  Door facing elephant ornaments are like a big "Howdy! C'mon in!" when it comes to invoking good luck, wealth, a happy family and healthy relationships.

Elephant Trunk Up, Facing East - Is That A Thumbs Up for Good Luck?

elephant trunk up meaning

Interestingly, elephants with their trunks up facing east is also a good idea. According to Feng Shui, east is an arousing energy. East positions tend to entice good luck, and facilitates the flood gates of prosperity.  Same with elephants facing the door - it opens the door to positive mojo.

You know...I'm not the most superstitious person...but if I have an invitation (real or imagined) to allow good juju in my life - you can bet I'm going to take advantage of it.

So I compromised. My two elephants - trunk up - are facing northeast. -North because that's where my front door is, and east because that's a positive position too.  Here are some other things I learned during my elephant placement research:


Elephant Trunk Up And The Real Symbolic Scuttlebutt:

No bums facing the door! Supposedly, this blocks good luck and is extraordinarily harmful to positive chi (energy).


Elephants with trunks up are symbolic of fierce protection to the owner of the pachyderm.


Elephants with trunks down have a bad rap for rotten luck. But this isn't true according my resources.  A downward trunk has an internalizing energy. It's about introspection, and internal growth. Quite literally, internal growth as in producing a baby. Feng Shui recommends a pair of trunk down elephant in the west quadrant of the bedroom if you want to conceive a child with your partner.


White elephants are supposedly the Grand Poobah of good luck.  Their beauty and rarity is considered the ultimate conjurer of good fortune.


Two elephant trunk up meaning: Well, my instinct on the meaning of this one is age old adage, "If one is good, more is better". Lol.  Seriously, double (two) elephants are good omens for partnerships - particularly  for married couples and/or partners living in the same home.


Three elephants together meaning: Three elephants have a 'triple luck' effect.  The number three is hugely lucky.  You ever heard of the idea that if you do something good, karma or the universe will deliver good back to you three times over?  Three elephants kinda emphasize that idea.  They encourage, and intensify what the elephant stands for: Protection, prosperity, luck, and successful relationships (especially with family).


Well, trust me, I haven't covered all the nuances and meanings of the elephant trunk up phenomenon.  But I covered the highlights.  I hope you found this article helpful, or at least entertaining. ;)

As always, thanks so much for reading.

Bright pachyderm prosperity to you,

Avia

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