The Celestial Origins of the Swastika


On this site, I have an article on the history of the Swastika and what it means spiritually, how it got hijacked by white nationalists and ultimately became a symbol of hate and bigotry, but I neglected to mention the celestial origins of this very unique symbol that can be found in just about every ancient culture on the planet.

After much digging and researching star patterns and their movements, I came across some research on Polaris, the North Star or Pole Star (the brightest star in the constellation Ursa Minor or the Little Bear) pertaining to constellations rotating around this immovable point in the heavens.  This article is really just the tip of the iceberg as far as information on how Polaris is interwoven in the Bible; I will have an article on that one soon for you but for now, let’s focus on this one.

If we are talking about the Swastika and why it looks the way it does, we need to observe Polaris and the constellations and stars that rotate around it.  One of those asterisms is the Big Dipper, which many of you are quite familiar with I’m sure.  Here is an image showing it as part of Ursa Major or the Big Bear.


Image via Night Sky Interlude.

Do you see how the stars Merak and Dubhe, also known as the “Pointer Stars”, point to Polaris?  That is the key to unlocking the image of the Swastika.

The Big Dipper is what is known as a “polar star/asterism” or simply near Polaris or the Polar Star.  This also means that these objects never set below the horizon, which made them constant and reliable celestial references for sailors to safely navigate the seas.

What is truly fascinating though, is what happens when we observe the Big Dipper, and Little Dipper for that matter, as they rotate around Polaris.  See the images below, which are a combination of the Little Dipper (the closest to Polaris) and Big Dipper (slightly further away).


big dipper at four cardinal points


lines connecting big dipper's stars at the four points

big dipper at four cardinal points

lines connecting big dipper's stars at the four pointsImages courtesy of

Do you see the rotation and how when viewed from Cardinal Directions (North, South, East and West) it strongly resembles the swastika?  Pretty fascinating, right?

This unmoving point in the sky was considered the “Throne of Heaven” by ancient cultures across the plant, hence its association with something divine or godlike.

Let’s take a moment to read some information from someone that had a true understanding of these topics.

Zelia Nuttall (09/06/1857 – 04/12/1933)
American archaeologist and anthropologist specialized in pre-Aztec Mexican cultures and pre-Columbian manuscripts. She discovered two forgotten manuscripts of this type in private collections, one of them being the Codex Zouche-Nuttall. She was one of the first to identify and recognize artifacts dating back to the pre-Aztec period.

Zelia Nuttall’s Theory – 1901

The following excerpt is from “The Journal of American Folk-Lore”, Volume XIV, Houghton, Mifflin and Company: London, Leipzig; 1901. Pages 217-218. It concerns a review of “The Fundamental Principles of New and Old World Civilizations” by Zelia Nuttall (Archaeological and Ethnological Papers of the Peabody Museum of Harvard University. Vol. ii.) Cambridge, Mass. 1901.

“We may accept the author’s explanation of the analogies which she points out, or we may explain them ourselves in another manner, but we can seldom, if ever, deny that they exist and are worthy of careful consideration. The work opens with an interesting study of the varieties and distribution of the svastika. The form of this symbol is believed to have originated in the revolution of the stars of Ursa Major about Polaris. This theory is both novel and plausible. In so far as it associates the svastika with celestial motion, it is in accord with the generally received opinion, and if there has been a tendency to connect that motion with the solar journey along the ecliptic, it must at least be admitted that a derivation from stellar rather than solar motion is more consistent with primitive conditions. There can be no doubt but that the svastika presents to the eye a faithful summary of the revolution of the stars of what we call the Dipper, nor is it doubtful that primitive peoples watched the movements of the stars with great care, and gained a surprisingly accurate knowledge of the apparent revolution of the heavens. The pole is a natural focus to which all celestial motion points. It must therefore have attracted the attention of the earliest star-gazers, who would soon learn the importance of knowing the only immovable point in their sky. Various tribes of North America, for example, who name but few constellations, seem to have been acquainted with the pole-star from pre-European times, and they relate an elaborate myth of the revolution of Ursa Major around it. Mrs. Nuttall describes numerous instances in which these stars play a conspicuous part in the Mexican ritual. She regards the god Tezcatlipoca as the personification of this asterism, and thinks that there existed in Peru a marked reverence for the north due to the memory of Polaris worship amongst emigrants from that direction. This reverence was, to some extent, transferred to the Southern Cross, which, as the writer has shown in his (sic) studies of the Salcamayhua chart, was distinctly associated with the south pole by the Peruvians.  But to return to the northern hemisphere, the curve of the stars of the Dipper is also connected with the symbols of the scorpion’s tail, while Cassiopeia becomes the serpent and the sacred bird with outspread wings, which figures in the contest with the ocelot, yet another symbol of Ursa Major. While we may not follow Mrs. Nuttall in all these identifications, those who deny them must possess no mediocre knowledge of the Nahuatl and Mayan glyphs to meet the arguments which she bases on a system of rebus reading that, to the writer at least, seems too consistent with the genius of the American peoples to be other than correct in principle. The svastika has been called by some writers the trademark of the Phoenicians. Placed in this light, its unquestionable appearance in America takes on additional interest. The late Dr. Brinton stated that the ignorance of the wheel on this continent is a fatal objection to the view of those who derive the svastika from this source. He seems not to have considered the possibility of such a simple derivation as is proposed by Mrs. Nuttall. The Anglo-Saxon fylfot or falling foot, a form of the svastika, clearly suggests the motion of revolution symbolized by a man running around a fixed object, and is a good companion for the Mexican gladiator tied to the sacrificial stone around which he moves, according to Mrs. Nuttall, in imitation of Ursa Major.”

There you have it, folks.  See you in the next article where we will continue looking at Polaris and its association, this time, with Adam & Eve, the “Serpent” & the Garden of Eden.  Like I keep saying, the entire Biblical narrative was taken from the observance of the heavens and this next article will drive that home with authority.

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