THE MOST POPULAR CELTIC SYMBOLS AND WHAT THEY MEAN
QUATERNARY, OR FOUR CORNERED CELTIC KNOT:
The Quaternary knot symbol is called such because of their four corners and four distinct sections within the design. This celtic knot can take a variety of forms and, without a beginning or a end, it can represent cyclical paths. The number can be indicative of the four directions (north, south, east, west) or the four seasons, or the four elements.
The triquetra or Trinity knot is an important and the most famous Celtic symbol. This knot has many of symbolic meaning. The most frequently, it is used to symbolize the holy trinity or represents the Maiden, mother and wise woman of the neo-pagan triple goddess.
One of the most popular Celtic symbols. With no beginning and no ending, this knot is symbolic of eternity (the eternity of the world, of life, of love and friendships).
The Triskele is also known as the Triple Spiral or triskelion. In the pagan tradition, triskele represents the sun, triadic god, and the three realms of land, sea and sky. It can also represent the cycles of life and the Triple Goddess (maiden, mother and wise woman).
The heart knot is also known as love knot. As its name implies, it represents the unbreakable bond and eternal connection between two lovers. It also symbolizes eternal loyalty, faith and friendship.
According to legend, the cross was introduced by St Patrick when he was converting the pagans to Christianity. He would have drawn a cross through a Celtic circle symbolic of the moon Goddess while preaching.
The celtic cross has a few variations: the basic form of a Celtic cross is a simple cross with a circle around the intersection of the stem and arms. But there is also the Celtic Cross called the Irish High Cross, with a longer stem than the basic Celtic crosses.
The cross represents Christianity and the circle is both considered as a symbol of eternity (no beginning no end) and a representation of the Christ’s halo.
For some the Celtic Cross represents the four directions of north, south, est and west or the four elements, earth, fire, air and water.
In modern times, most of those who use the celtic cross are Christians. But the celtic cross is also a powerful symbol of irish cultural traditions, and it used as a symbol of national pride.
The Celtic Motherhood Knot is a knot depicting a mother and child's embrace. It is a variation on the more commonly known Trinity Knot and as such, it symbolizes the everlasting bond between a mother, her child, and their faith.
Also known as the Celtic Lovers' Knot, the Celtic Sailor's Knot is made of two intertwined ropes joined together as one.
In ancient times, Celtic sailors left for long months at sea, wove these knots to give to their loved ones when they returned.
In modern times, this knot represents harmony, friendship, affection and deep love.
It is one of the oldest motifs. The single spiral represents growth, birth, flowing of energy or an expansion of consciousness.
It represents The Equinox, when day and night are of equal length. It is also a symbol of balance.
TREE OF LIFE:
The Tree of life has a variety of meanings, crossing many cultures. For the Ancient Celts, Tree of Life was an very important symbol. Spiritually, it represented both harmony and balance. Many qualities was attributed to the tree of life symbol, like wisdom, strength and longevity. The Celts even believed trees were a connection to the world of the spirits and the ancestors, living entities, and doorways into other worlds.
Another meaning was one of rebirth: trees shed their leaves in the autumn, hibernate in the winter, the leaves grow back in the spring and the tree is full of life in the summer.
It is a pre-Christian symbol represented as a head made of foliage. In celtic traditions, the Green Man has often been used as a representation of shaman-god Cernunnos. It is interpreted as a symbol of rebirth, representing the cycle of growth each spring.The green man also symbolize the connection between humans and nature.
The claddagh is a traditional Irish ring made in Ireland for over 400 years. It symbolizes love, loyalty, and friendship. The hands represents friendship, the heart represents love, and the crown represents loyalty.
The Brigid's Cross is one of the major symbols of Ireland. It is considered as a Christian symbol, but the presence of Brigid's cross in Ireland is likely far older than Christianity. Typically it has four arms tied at the ends and a woven square in the middle.
For the Grand Sabbat of Imbolc - the Irish pagan festival of Imbolc marks the beginning of spring, midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox - it is customary to weave a Brigid's Cross, as a talisman of blessing. It is traditionally woven on St. Brigid’s Eve and placed in the home, usually over the door, to bless all who come in or go out, and to gain protection of the household from fire and disease.