Popular Celtic Symbols

The Shamrock

The shamrock could be the most widely recognized Irish symbol before the Claddagh. Modern day views of this symbol are associated with St. Patrick’s Day every March or symbols of good luck or good luck charms. Most people confuse the four leaf clover with the shamrock. The shamrock has three leaves and is an ancient symbol in Celtic design. Scholars have found in studying Celtic history the shamrock was indeed a charm to ward away evil. It is speculated that the Druids in ancient times used the shamrock as a symbol of earth, air, and water. In more recent times St. Patrick used the shamrock to teach the concept of the Holy Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

What does the Triquetra symbol stand for?

The Triquetra, more commonly known as the Trinity Knot, is a Celtic symbol of ancient origin and one of the earliest symbols of Christianity predating the crucifix by hundreds of years. The triquetra is most simply represented by three interlocking circles. Often the triquetra is found illustrated with three fish in a similar shape. This symbol is theorized to represent a three in one concept similar in concept to the triple spiral. The triquetra could have symbolized earth, air, and water. Another theory is the triquetra symbolized mind, body, and soul. Because we cannot with certainty know the ancient Celt’s views on a soul we can speculate about their views on rebirth. So using the modern day connotation of soul we can conceptually understand the Celtic intention to represent interconnectedness of three parts in one.

Triskele [Spiral]

The single spiral and the triskele, or triple spiral has been speculated to be the oldest symbol of spirituality. Archaeologists can date these symbols found on rocks and scratched on rudimentary tombs to be thousands of years old. Some scholars have suggested that the spiral is representative of the sun. The sun in ancient times could have been viewed as a celestial body with spiritual meaning. The spirals found on ancient tombs have been drawn in one continuous line. When the triple spirals are drawn in this way it has been speculated that this represents life and death.

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