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Release time:2019-05-10
10 Irish Celtic Symbols Explained And Their Meanings (Updated 2019)

10 Irish Celtic Symbols Explained And Their Meanings (Updated 2019)


Share this post, I appreciate it! 34.6KsharesShare30.2KPin4.4KEmailFor centuries, Celtic symbols and signs held incredible power for the ancient Celts in every way of life. The word “Celtic” refers to people who lived in Britain and Western Europe from 500 BC and 400 AD. Celts were of the Iron Age and lived in small villages which were led by warrior chiefs. With its rich history and culture, Ireland has been home to various civilisations for thousands of years. These ancient communities used Celtic symbols that now have become part of the Irish identity and Irish heritage. Some of these Celtic symbols have even become symbols of Ireland itself. But did you know that these symbols have much deeper and surprising meanings?If you do wish to dig further into any of these Celtic symbols, I have written additional articles for the majority of them. I will get them completed soon.  Let’s take a look at some of the most popular Celtic symbols and what exactly they mean.   1. The Awen of the Three Rays of Light– Celtic Symbols This neo-Druid symbol, which is a popular design for tattoos, jewellery and artwork, is said to be invented by Iolo Morgannwg, an 18th-century Welsh poet. However, studies suggest that the symbol might be older than initially thought. The word “Awen” means inspiration or essence in the Celtic language and it first appeared in the 9th-century book “Historia Brittonum.” It was said that it represents the harmony of opposites in the universe. For instance, the two outer rays represent masculine and feminine energy, while the ray in the middle represents the balance between them. There are multiple meanings for the Awen Celtic symbol. One interpretation is main outside lines are symbolic of both man and women while the inside line represents balance. You can learn more about the Awen here. Recommended reading: The book of Celtic magic: Transformative Teachings from the Cauldron of Awen. View on Amazon here 2. Brigid’s Cross – Celtic Symbols  Widely believed to be a Christian symbol, Brigid’s Cross is tied to Brigid of the Tuatha de Danaan, which, in Irish Celtic Mythology, is known as a life-giving goddess. It is woven out of rushes and sometimes straw on the feast of Imbolc to mark the beginning of spring. When Christianity came to Ireland, the goddess Brigid became St Brigid of Kildare and many of the goddess’s attributes, including the symbol and her association with the destructive power and productive use of fire, were transferred to the latter. Hang this traditional St. Brigid’s Irish Crosson your wall for protection. St. Brigid, alongside St. Patrick, is one of the patron saints of Ireland.  3. The Celtic Cross– Celtic Symbols Like with the Brigid’s Cross, many people have come to associate the Celtic Crosswith Christianity. However, studies suggest this symbol predates Christianity by thousands of years. In fact, the symbol has appeared in many ancient cultures. According to one theory, the Celtic Crossrepresents the four cardinal directions. There’s also another theory saying that it represents the four elements of earth, fire, air, and water. The cross is rich in powerful representation and an ideal reflection of the hopes and ambitions of the Celts. While the Cross is certainly a Christian symbol, it has its roots in ancient pagan beliefs at the same time. It is a remarkable fact how widespread the distinct shape of the Irish Cross is in the modern era. You can learn more about the Celtic Cross here. Irish gift idea: Waterford Crystal Giftology Collection Celtic Cross 4. The Green Man– Celtic Symbols The Green Man is represented in many cultures as the head of a man that is made of foliage. Seen in many buildings and structures in Ireland and Britain, the Green Man is said to be a symbol of rebirth and the co-dependence between nature and man. He represents the lushness of vegetation and the arrival of spring and summer. The tradition of the Green Man is carved on to Christian churches exists across Europe, including examples such as the Seven Green Men of Nicosia in Cyprus, a series of seven green men carved in the thirteenth century on to the facade of St Nicholas Church in Nicosia. You can learn more about the Green Man here. Recommended: Cast Iron Hanging Bearded Leaf Man Garden Face 5. The Harp– Celtic Symbols The national emblem of Ireland, the Irish Harpis one of today’s most widely recognised Irish symbols apart from the Shamrock. It is on the Irish Euro coinsand is the logo for Guinness, which is considered by many as the country’s national drink. It is believed that the Phoenicians brought the harp to pre-Christian Europe from Egypt as one of their trading goods. Since the 10th century, it has been an important symbol for the Irish people, personifying the spirit of the country. In fact, the British Crown was so threatened by the harp that in the 16th century, the British ordered all harps to be burnt and all harpists executed. You can learn more about the Irish harp here. If you enjoy a good Irish joke you can read these 30 Irish jokesor these 15 more Irish jokes. Recommended: Irish Harp bone china mug– Irish gift designed in Galway Ireland. 6. The Shamrock – Celtic Symbols If there’s one symbol that is widely associated with the Irish, it’s got to be the shamrock. Now the national flower of Ireland.The shamrock is a small clover and was an important symbol to the ancient Irish druids because its three heart-shaped leaves represent the triad. The Celts believed that everything important in the world comes in threes. Like the three ages of man, the phases of the moon, and the three dominions of earth, sky, and sea. In the 19th century, the shamrock became a symbol of Irish nationalism and rebellion against the British Crown, and anyone caught wearing it was executed. If you are interested in tracing your Irish heritage I recommend 23andMe DNA kits or Ancestry DNA kits 7. The Celtic Tree of Life or Crann Bethadh– Celtic Symbols Often represented by a tree with branches reaching to the sky and the roots spreading into the earth. The Celtic Tree of Lifesymbolises the Druid belief in the connection between heaven and earth. The Celts believe that trees were the ancestors of man and had a connection to other worlds. Here are some interesting facts about the Celtic Tree of life:Trees were a connection to the world of the spirits and the ancestors, living entities, and doorways into other worlds.The most sacred tree of all was the Oak tree, which represented the axis mundi, the centre of the world.The Celtic name for oak, daur, is the origin of the word door– the root of the oak tree was literally the doorway to the Otherworld, the realm of Fairy.Countless Irish legends revolve around trees. One could fall asleep next to a particular tree and awake in the fairy realm.This is why the tree of life symbol itself relates qualities to it such as wisdom, strength & longevity.The Celts believed that their enemies would be rendered powerless if their sacred tree was cut down.The Celts derived the meaning of rebirth from the seasonal changes they would see each tree go through(Summer to Winter and so on).You can learn more about the Celtic Tree Of Life here.   8.The Triquetra or the Trinity Knot– Celtic Symbols Like all Celtic knots, the triquetra is made with one continuous line that interweaves around itself. It symbolises eternal spiritual life, one with no beginning and no end. Christians feel that it started with the Monks, who brought these designs along with their teachings of Christianity when attempting to convert the Celts of the day. However, the Triquetra has been speculated to be the oldest symbol of spirituality. It appears in the ninth century in the Book of Kells as a decoration, with no particular religious significance, and the symbol has been found in Norwegian churches dating to the 11th century. This symbol matches the Celtic belief that everything important in the world comes in threes.You might recognise it from Thor’s hammerin the modern day movie. You can learn more about the Triquetra here. Recommended purchase: 925 Sterling Silver Good Luck Vintage Irish Celtic Triquetra Knot Heart Pendant Necklace and Earrings Jewelry Set 9. The Triskele – Celtic Symbols Another Irish symbol that represents the Celtic belief of the triad is the triskele or the triskelion. The triskele is one of the oldest Irish symbols, and you can find many of them on the kerbstones of Newgrange. According to researchers these carvings were believed to be made during the Neolithic times or around 3200 BC. You can see evidence of this around the world as you can see from the image below from Athens, Greece: Beaked jug (ewer) decorated with triple spirals. Late Helladic III, 1400-1350 BCRecommended reading: Triskele: Book One of the Bwy Hir Trilogy 10. The Claddagh Ring – Celtic Symbols The Claddagh ring (Irish: fáinne Chladaigh) is a traditional Irish ring which represents love, loyalty, and friendship (the hands represent friendship, the heart represents love, and the crown represents loyalty). Claddagh Rings are widely known in Ireland as the symbol of union and loyalty. Claddagh comes from the Irish phrase, “An Cladch” which means “flat stony shore.” It was the name of the village on the coast of Ireland where the Claddagh design originated. The ‘GH’ ending is added for phonetic English speakers to create the guttural, phlegmy sound that doesn’t have a character in our language. It is believed that Richard Joyce, a fisherman from the village of Claddagh near Galway, made the ring for her lady love. The woman who eventually became his wife. Waited for him for years after Joyce was kidnapped by pirates, sold into slavery, and later regained his freedom. You might not know that there are a few ways to wear the Claddagh ring.  Below are the different ways the ring can be worn.  The Claddagh Ring RulesOn the right hand with the point of the heart toward the fingertips: the wearer is single and may be looking for love.On the right hand with the point of the heart toward the wrist: the wearer is in a relationship.On the left hand with the point of the heart toward the fingertips: the wearer is engaged.On the left hand with the point of the heart toward the wrist: the wearer is married.The women’s Claddagh ring is a beautiful part of the long tradition of Claddagh rings. The tradition of the Claddagh ring started in Galway, a western city that faces out towards the Atlantic Ocean. It was often used as a wedding ring, and the way one wears the ring- facing the heart towards the body or away from it designates whether their “heart is taken.” According to the story of the Claddagh ring, it is better to give the Claddagh as a gift than to buy one for oneself; so this Claddagh ring makes for a perfect gift! This particular Claddagh ring is made out of sterling silver, while the heart in the centre is made out of solid 10K gold. The ring measures ⅜” wide, and comes in a variety of sizes. This Claddagh ring was designed and crafted by Solvar in Co. Dublin, a company that crafts Irish jewellery from fine metals for the modern era. Buy this elegant Claddagh ringfor a loved one today! The Claddagh ring has been worn by some famous celebrities over the years. Including Julia Roberts, Walt Disney and Jennifer Aniston. Read the post on the celebrities wearing the Claddagh ring here. Recommended purchase:  We also made this video from the first five Celtic symbols in this article: What other Celtic symbols do you know about? Be sure to pin this Celtic Symbols image to your Pinterest board and if you enjoyed these be sure to browse some incredible Celtic Jewelry here: Pin meIf you enjoyed this article and are in the mood for some Irish humourI have 30 of the best Irish jokes for you to read hereor 15 more Irish jokes here. Thanks for reading, Stephen Palmer P.S Love all things, Irish? Get your weekly dose of Irish straight to your inbox here.      Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Share this post, I appreciate it! 34.6KsharesShare30.2KPin4.4K


Celtic Symbols from Ancient Times

The following Celtic Symbols are included in this section. The triquetra, The Sheela-Na-gig, The Celtic Cross, The Spiral, The Green Man, The Celtic Knot, Continuing looping symbol. There are very few written records of Celtic mythology. The little that can be surmised about the Celts and their religious beliefs and practices must be pieced together from the surviving mythology and from the abundance of icons and symbols they so generously left behind for us to decipher. Celtic iconography abounds with symbols of spirit, emblems of gods and goddesses, and images from mythological tales.


Celtic Triskele Triquetra Trinity Knot Viking Pendant For Men Women Necklace Antiqued 925 Sterling Silver

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Ancient Symbols

Ancient Symbols and their meaningsWelcome to Ancient-Symbols.com. We love the beauty, the meanings, and significations of many of the world’s most ancient symbols. As you can see on our menus, we have a wide range of symbols by subjects. Each page will give you the pictures of the symbols and their meanings. Browsing by SubjectsFrom Ancient Egyptian symbols


Celtic Symbols and Their Meanings

Celtic Symbols and Their MeaningsWelcome to our celtic symbols page. The celts had a lot of symbols in their lore, this page features some of the most popular knots, and symbols that the celtic people recognized and used in their symbolism. Included below are pictures along with the descriptions and meanings of the symbols.


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Symbols and Meanings

HomeSymbols and MeaningsSymbols and MeaningsSymbols and meanings section of Mythologian.Net was created to serve as a symbolism dictionary describing the historical transformation and different uses of various symbols since the early ages.Dedicated to symbols in different cultures throughout the world, this part of our site will feature detailed articles about ancient Egyptian symbols, Norse, Celtic, pagan and wiccan symbols along with many others used in far corners of the earth. From significant symbols like the ankh, the symbol of life, ouroboros the infinity symbol ("snake eating its tail") and the lotus flower to less common ones like Aegishjalmur, the helm of awe and terror, all symbols and their meanings are examined and explained here in detail.


Celtic Symbols

Celtic Symbols


Official DocumentsFlorida AOH ContactsFlorida LAOH ContactsNational AOH OfficersCeltic Symbols    Celtic Symbols:Little is known about the ancient and mysterious Celts, and one of the only things we have surviving of theirs are the symbols they used.  Nearly everyone the world over can recognize a Celtic cross or knot, but few know what they mean. Thankfully the mysteries that surround the Celts don’t surround their ancient symbols, and you can easily learn what they all mean.  Whether you’re interested to learn about a cross, knot, or spiral, knowing what each Celtic symbol means will give you a more meaningful understanding of these people and what they believed. It is important to note that Celtic symbols are often drawn around celtic knots to represent spiritual unity with the devine – a connection that cannot be broken. Triquetra:Originally referred to as simply a ‘triangle,’ the triquetra is now more aptly called a three-cornered shape.While the symbol was found in insular art and even showed up in the Book of Kells, it was almost never seen by itself alone in the medieval Celtic language.For the Druids, it represented the natural forces of earth, air, and waterOn a more spiritual level, it has been known to symbolize life, death, and rebirth..It meaning varies from aspects of spirit, nature, being-ness, and of the cosmos.The origin of this symbol has been an issue of controversy for centuries.Christians feel that it started with the Monks, who brought these designs along with their teachings of Christianity when attempting to convert the Celts of the day.However, it’s been common practice for Christianity to adopt ancient pagan symbols and rituals into its own belief system, making it a very good possibility that the original symbol was indeed Celtic to begin with.Trinity Knot: The Trinity Knot is also as a Triquetra symbol, but with Christian symbolism.For Christians, the three points represent the three elements of the trinity:  the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Single Spiral: One of the most common symbols of Celtic culture.The single spiral stood for the radiance of eternal or cosmic energy.It symbolizes growth, birth, expansion of consciousness, perseverance, and knowledge.It is truly a great symbol for those wanting to move forward.  Double Spiral: The Double Spiral is a sign of balance between two opposing spirals of contradicting activities.It represents that there are always two completely opposite activities going on in the universe at any given point in time..Related to Ying Yang, it also represents spiritual awakening and the combination of the worldly realm with the spiritual realm.Cycles such as birth and death, creation and distraction occur alongside each other and are thus, represented by the double spiral.  Triple Spiral: The Triple Spiral is also called a triskele.It is still found a several Megalithic and Neolithic sites.The symbol is thought to be so old that it may predate the Celts entirely.Many people around the world consider it a symbol of great beauty and mystery.The drawing represents the three powers of maiden, mother and crone.It is a sign of female power and especially power through transition and growth.  Celtic Knot: These seemingly endless knots are widely recognized.They have their earliest beginning in Celtic culture.They are also the most adapted symbols that translate into Celtic Christianity.These knots were used heavily on monuments as well as manuscripts, such as the 8th century Lindisfarne Gospels and the Book of Kells.Still, no religious or spiritual significance has ever been attached to the knots.  Circular Knot: While the Celtic knot looked endless, the circular knots actually are.They are meant to represent infinity or even eternity.The idea of lasting forever was very appealing, and still is to millions, and that’s why this design is still seen in the world today.  Three Rays (Arwen): The first and third rays in the symbol represent male and female energy (respectively).The middle ray represents the balance of both energies.Arwen is the 3rd symbol down.  Five-fold Knot: This pattern also represents balance.The four outer circles symbolize the four elements:  earth, fire, water, and air.The middle circle unites the elements in reaching a balance between all 4 elements or energies.  Triskelion: This symbol represented progress and completion, and was very prominent in Celtic culture.Looking like a wheel with three spokes sticking out.It represents actions, cycles, revolutions, completion, competition, or man’s progress.This symbol is shown on the flag representing the Isle of Man.  Celtic Cross: Associated with Celtic Christianity, this cross actually predates Jesus, long before his birth.Its roots dates back thousands of years and is thought to be a variation of the sun crosses.The center circle represents the Sun, with the extensions representing its rays.Among the Irish, it is believed it was St. Patrick who first introduced the symbol to the people.To enable to the pagan Irish to better understand and accept Christianity, St. Patrick superimposed the Christian symbol of the cross over the Druid symbol of the wheel of the Sun (representing the eternity of life with no beginning and no end).The purpose was to demonstrated the similarities between the Druid and Christian concepts on the eternity of life.In Christian Ireland, these symbols could be seen standing large on hills or is shaded forests, or even hanging about the neck of a Celtic priest.A standing cross is called a high cross or an Irish Cross.State ConventionFlorida State Events


Celtic Symbols & Meanings

Celtic Symbols & Meanings What is it about the Celtic culture and the symbolic meanings of their icons that, centuries later, still has us so enraptured? Of course wanting to know what’s under that Kilt is enticing enough stuff… But the sheer volume of Highland Games, SCA events, movies, music, etc. that today’s culture craves certainly speaks to the spellbinding power of the Celtic mystique. Additionally, Celtic symbols top the list of “most requested tattoo art” and that’s gotta say something, right? While we have no scientific data explaining the why’s of this phenomenon, we do know the world still cries at the end of the Braveheart and kids in the 2,000’s know what the “Quickening” is. We, also, know our Pagan predecessors were deeply spiritual, connected to the Earth and loved Mead and Ale as much as we do. For us, these are good enough reasons to love them still and so it naturally followed we would include an ever expanding list of Celtic symbols and their meanings.

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