Celtic designs represent the eternal life as we contemplate the infinite cycles of birth and rebirth in both physical and ethereal realms.
|TRISKELION / triskele
Found inscribed on megalithic tombs in Ireland, the triskelion (also named triskele or Celtic spiral) is the emblem of Ireland’s ancient culture. The motif consisting of three interlocking spirals is considered sacred and is said to symbolize the elemental forces of Nature (earth, fire and water). The symbol is also used to illustrate motion: personal growth, evolution, progress, and spiritual expansion.
The 3 branch Spiral represents the triple goddess, three female figures, described as the maiden, the mother, and the crone, each of which symbolizes both a separate stage in the female life cycle (maiden: innocent and pure — mother: compassionate and nurturing — crone: experienced and wise)
Widely used as christian symbol, the Celtic cross has a history stretching further back than Christianity. According to legend, the ringed cross was introduced by St Patrick when he was converting pagans to Christianity. It has been said that St Patrick combined the Christian cross with the pagan sun to give the newly converted followers the idea of the importance of the cross by linking it with the symbolism of the life-giving properties of the sun. In the mid-19th century, a Celtic revival led to an increased use of the ringed cross in Ireland, and the Celtic Cross became not only a religious symbol but an emblem of Celtic identity.
|CELTIC KNOT / Infinity knot / Eternity knot
Celtic knots date back to the 3rd to 4th century B.C. Drawn in one continuous line, suggesting a continuous movement of time, they represent infinity and eternal life. They symbolize faith, declare love & unity between people, and even protect against evil spirits. Celtic knots are often associated with the root system of an oak tree. The Celts and especially the druids considered the oak tree sacred. They were a symbol of destiny, power, strength, wisdom, leadership, and endurance. Similarly, the roots of the oak tree are symbolic of the great source of inner strength or divine resources that each person possesses in their own roots.
TRIQUETRA / trinity knot
The iconic Triquetra (or Trinity knot) has a myriad of symbolic interpretations. Pagans cherish it as a representation of the forces of Nature, earth, fire and water. On a more spiritual level it is seen to symbolize life, death and rebirth. It was latterly adapted by Christians to represent the three elements of the holy Trinity.
The Irish harp, also called Celtic, Gaelic harp or Cláirseach in the modern Irish language has been the emblem of Ireland since medieval times. Wandering minstrels used to travel the country playing the harp, keeping Ireland’s legends alive. Although there are many aspects to Irish heritage, traditions and culture, music is a very important one and the beginning of Irish music as we know it today can be traced back to the arrival of the Celts.
TREE OF LIFE
For the Celts, trees were considered to be gods, the ancient ancestors of mankind and elder beings of wisdom. They were a connection to the world of the spirits and a doorway into the ‘Otherworld’. The tree also represented the soul of the community, their spiritual focus and source of well-being. Each community had their own sacred tree usually located near a well or a stream where assemblies and ceremonies were held. Also known as Crann Bethadh, the Celtic Tree of Life is an ancient symbol of Celtic Mythology. A stylized representation of an old Oak or Ash tree with deep roots and high branches forming a circle, often adorned with Celtic knotwork. Trees were held in such high regard in ancient Ireland that according to Brehon Law, unlawful felling of a “Chieftain Tree” carried the same sentence as the killing of a Human Chief! The reason the ancient Irish legal system held trees in such high regard was due to their enormous value to Irish society. Trees served as a multi-layered ecosystem which provided for every aspect of traditional life. They served as monuments, created sacred spaces & ceremonial center points. They gave shelter and protection, tools and weapons, provided sustenance and were a source of healing and medicine. They featured heavily in Irish myths and legends, such was their importance that to this day 13,000 Irish towns have trees within their names!