FYLFOT CROSS Aidan
Fig. 52: Fylfot Cross
Fylfot is the old English name for the bent-armed
cross, which is now usually described by a word derived from Sanskrit, Swastik,
meaning "sacred symbol". The modern meaning of the word is
historically unrelated to the meaning of the symbol as used in Celtic art,
so I suggest to use the term, "fylfot" to refer to the motif in Celtic art.
The fylfot is stock-in-trade in the iconography, sacred
imagery and symbolism of both pagan and early Christian art. It is a universal
symbol, like the chevron, or the double spiral and S-scroll spirals of the stone ages
throughout the planet. In Cro-magnon art, the fylfot is the basis of many
maze patterns inscribed on goddess figurines.
For example, in Asia, one of the marks of the Buddha is a fylfot formed from the lines in
the palm of the hand. In ancient America, the fylfot was also a sacred
symbol. The Hopis still have great veneration for the symbol: the fylfot
appears in petroglyphs that relate the myths of migrations of the first
people, who are said to have spread over the surface of the earth in this
pattern. These first migrants left
symbols, such as the fylfot, along their route, which is as good a way as
any to explain the global distribution of the fylfot throughout the
world fromvery early times.