Ancient Celtic symbols have a deep meaning and symbolism. Since the Celts did not keep any record of the designs they created, it was left upon the scholars to interpret what these intricate symbols meant. The context of Celtic designs has been studied by the scholars to decode their meaning. Some of the Celtic symbols, such as knots, have been seen throughout the course of history, in religious art and manuscripts. These symbols have also been used to decorate clothing and jewelry and in the form of tattoos. However, there are only a few such symbols of the Celts with widely accepted meanings. Read the article to know about some of the major Celtic symbols and understand their meaning.
Meaning Of Ancient Celtic Symbols
‘Triskelion’ is a Greek term, which means "three-legged.” The sign looks as if three legs are running, which makes it appear in a constant forward motion. It stands for competition and progress by mankind. It also stands for a forward motion, aimed to reach understanding.
‘Triquetra’ is a Latin word meaning "three-cornered." It is a holy symbol with varied meanings. The symbol may stand for spirit, mind and body. It may also signify the solar and lunar phases. The Triquetra is often seen encircled and the circle signifies eternity and infinite. It also represents protection.
Triple Spiral represents the drawing of the three powers of the maiden, the mother and the crone. This symbol stands for female power and the power gained through transition and growth. Triple Spiral has a far reaching meaning. Spirals also stand for balance, progress and direction.
Arwen (Three Rays)
Arwen consists of three rays and the first and third rays in this symbol are representative of male and female energy, respectively. The middle ray in the symbol represents the balance between the two.
Single spiral signifies the ethereal energy radiating out or inward, depending on how one perceives it. It symbolizes growth, birth and expansion of consciousness. The spiral even stands for letting go, surrender and release. Single spirals are also symbolic of natural progress.
The five fold symbol is representative of balance. The four outer circles are symbolic of the four elements: earth, fire, water and air. The middle circle seeks to unite these elements with an aim to introduce a balance between these four energies. In this symbol, the fifth element, basically, plays the unifying power.
Any knot that has a closed path can be called eternity knot. The knot which has no beginning or end is symbolic of eternity or continuum. However, whether the ancient scribes meant to signify a continuum with the eternity knot is debatable. The meaning was suggested by George Bain, the great Scottish Celtic art teacher of the 20th century and has been accepted by many artists and craftsmen. As knotwork is used to signify heritage, the symbolism of "continuum" that reinforces the continuity of tradition.