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The Color of the Dark Age

by Savitri Devi

Extract from
The Lightning and the Sun (Calcutta: Savitri Devi Mukherji, 1958), pp. 402-405.
The title is editorial.

Edited by Arjuna

French Translation

Illustration : Waffen SS Recruitment Poster

[Hitler] has more than once compared the rise of the new Movement to that of the early Catholic Church, thereby recognising the solid worldly capabilities of its organisers and of his fighters—even of its spiritual fighters—as a sine qua non condition of its development and triumph, at once and in the long run. It may seem somewhat unexpected—not to say somewhat irrelevant, when not absurd—to mention in this connection such a thing as the immemorial symbolism of colours. Still in that most powerful Church of the Dark Age, that National Socialism is out to combat and to crush, but the long worldly experience of which it was—and is, now and in the future—to meditate upon and to make use of, every ritual colour has its meaning. The Pope, Head of the faithful, is clad in white, recalling thereby the spiritual purity and lucidity of the Initiate—the Man “above Time,” whose other-worldly truth has been distorted and exploited in historical Christianity. The scarlet, purple, and gold of the high Church Dignitaries also symbolise states of advanced spirituality—the ideal towards which the Church is supposed to aspire. But the Church is an organisation of this earth—an organisation in Time. It is the militant hierarchy acting under the inspiration and orders of Dostoyevsky’s “Grand Inquisitor” “for the greatest glory of Christ” but surely not according to Christ’s wisdom, which is “not of this earth.” And its actual fighting forces—all its priests and nearly all its monks and nuns, who are its strength in the day to day struggle against all contrary (or rival) powers and its obvious witnesses among the people—are clad in black, the colour of this Age; at the most (as in the case of the Dominicans) in black and white—the colour of this Dark Age and of Light “above Time.”

It strikes me as an extremely eloquent fact that the Swastika, Symbol of Life and Health (Swasti, in Sanskrit) and Symbol of the Sun, which Adolf Hitler chose to place at the centre of the German flag—not to say of the Pan-Aryan flag, for Germany is to remain, in the light of the Hitler faith, the head of a Pan-Aryan Movement—was back upon a white background, nay, black upon a white disk, amidst a further scarlet surface. And this is all the more remarkable if one assumes that the Führer took his decision intuitively, without being aware of its meaning (which I, personally, however, do not believe).

It is, also, remarkable that, although the exigencies of war imposed the unconspicuous greyish-green (feldgrau) uniform upon the Waffen S.S., the elder S.S. organisation—the “allgemeine” S.S, entrusted with the inner defence of the régime—wore black—black, I repeat, the colour symbolising par excellence the Dark Forces, which can be crushed only through forces of a similar nature; the colour symbolising the harsh qualities “in Time” that the S.S. men were to put to the service of an ideal of Golden Age perfection.

Far from considering the black Swastika and the black raiment of the Knights of the new Faith as a “mistake from the standpoint of the Invisible”—still less as a “proof” of “black magic”—I see in them signs of an unfailing knowledge of the laws of action in Time; a knowledge at least as sound as that of the builders of the Catholic Church; a recognition of the fact that alone through qualities “in Time”—through those “Lightning” qualities that carry all agents of the Dark forces to success and all great men “in Time” to greatness—can a Movement triumph here and now, in this Dark Age; especially near the end of it, and especially a Movement against the spirit of it.

And, I repeat—for one cannot repeat it enough—had those capabilities and tendencies symbolised in the black Swastika upon the German flag and in the black uniform of the toughest defenders of National Socialism been displayed to their full, from the beginning, by the Man “against Time,” Adolf Hitler . . . it is more than probable that the National Socialist State would be lasting still.

But that was not to be, for the simple reason that I have already given—the reason which Adolf Hitler himself expressed, in his own way, to Hans Grimm, in 1928—namely that he, the Leader of the National Socialist Movement, was not “the Leader Who is to come”—i.e., the last Man “against Time”—but only the One-before-the-last; the one who was to do “the preparatory work” (die Vorarbeit) for the One Who will come after him.