Triquetra (Triqueta, Trinity Knot)

The triquetra (sometimes, triqueta) is a tripartate symbol composed of three interlocked vesica pisces, marking the intersection of three circles. It is most commonly a symbol of the Holy Trinity (Father, son, Holy spirit) used by the Celtic Christian Church, sometimes stylized as three interlaced fish:

 

The triqueta symbol predates Christianity and was likely a Celtic symbol of the Goddess, and in the North, a symbol of the god Odin. Although it is often asserted that the triquetra is a symbol of a tripartite goddess, no such goddess has been identified with the symbol. Similar symbols do occur in some Norse and Celtic goddess imagery, but most likely represents the divisions of the animal kingdom and the three domains of earth mentioned above.

Triplicities were common symbols in Celtic myth and legend, one of the possible reasons Christian beliefs were so easily adopted by the Celtic people. The triqueta makes an ideal Christian symbol. It is a perfect representation of the concept of “three in one” in Christian trinity beliefs, and incorporates another popular Christian symbol, the fish, in its original form of the vesica pisces. It is sometimes enclosed within a circle to emphasize the unity aspect.

 

In Wiccan and Neopagan belief, the triqueta symbolizes the triple aspected goddess (maid, mother, and crone). Some Christians have protested this “appropriation” of the symbol…however, ironically enough, the original Christian fish symbol was derived from an early symbol of venus, one representing female generative organs- making the triquetra perfectly appropriate symbol for a Goddess revival. The triquetra is also considered to represent the triplicities of mind, body, and soul, as well as the three domains of earth according to Celtic mythology- earth, sea, and sky.

 

The triquetra also appears on the television series Charmed, probably as a less threatening alternative to the pentacle (the preferred emblem of witches real and imaginary). In the show, it represents the “power of three, acting as one,” which in turn represents the three sisters.Evangelical tract writers and conspiracy theorists like to label the triquetra a ‘satanic’ symbol, claiming it is a ‘stylized’ 666, an allusion to the ‘number of the beast’ in the Book of Revelation. This, however, is simply wishful thinking. The triquetra of interlaced fishes is one of the very earliest of Christian symbols, predating the crucifix by hundreds of years. The purported ‘satanic’ meaning of the symbol is a modern evangelical interpolation.

Triqueta of interlaced fish from the Roman Catacombs
Triqueta of fish from an Egyptian bowl
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Related Symbols:
Triple crescentTriple horntrincaria

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Tiffany May 15, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Hey there, I got a triquetra tattoo not long ago for reasons other than what this symbol is suppose to “do”. I went to the local wicca store cause we have some odd stuff going on in my house. So the sales rep was talking to me about wearing one made of silver on a chain for protection, and I told her I had it tattooed on me. She said that wasn’t good enough. I get that I am superstitious & a bit chicken, but I kind of feel like she was just trying to make more money off of me. Don’t symbols in general carry their “mystical properties” despite what their made of be it ink, or silver?

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Alex July 23, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Stylized in ink can have the same protection properties, but it is just ink. Many metals have warding powers over things that go bump in the night. Metals with those properties include silver and iron as popular choices. A silver triquetra would offer more protection, but i would suggest iron since its a cheaper, and more powerful/older metal.

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Lora August 16, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Symbols are meaningful as a badge of belonging and means of identifying someone who may have common interest. They can also have personal meaning to the wearer and although they could be used as a protective talisman, there are many methods to shield yourself which don’t involve expenditure. Frankly the saleswoman was simply trying to make a sale and was talking out of her rear end.

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Amber August 19, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Silver and gold are used very often for protection. So a silver necklace in the shape of the triquetra would be much more protective than a tattoo :)

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Tristin September 7, 2013 at 7:16 pm

Tiffany symbols and pendants only have power if you believe in them. Their power comes from the power that you give it, if you believe in your tattoo it will help you and you won’t need a pendant but if you feel an additional protection you can get the necklace. I have a pentacle tattooed on my wrist and so I don’t wear a pendant anymore because I know my tattoo protects me. All the best to you! -BB

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Richard September 22, 2013 at 1:39 pm

I live in Thailand – most men have tattoos and also wear amulets. The tattoos are by far considered more powerful (they must be done in the original way though for real power – not using modern tattoo machines, but bamboo or wooden needles and ink, punctured by hand, often done my Buddhist monks here, although it is an Animist practice, it remains a large part of life here – this is because the monks will chant and bless the tattoos as they are made). Tattoos are in the skin – there is no way of it being closer – positioning can be important too though. However, one must also think that metals themselves, like any other natural substance, carry their own energies and protections (especially iron and silver).

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greg November 7, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Mery Meet Tiffany,

Since the “true” meaning of this symbol may have quite possibly been lost to antiquity don’t fret about what it is supposed to “do”…or not do for that matter. Let it “do” for you what you feel in your heart,soul,gut,whatever the case may be what it was meant to “do” for you…whatever that may be!…thats the beauty of it! This symbol has touched you in some way for some reason so as it is good to research and learn about the symbol itself don’t forget to just let it “do” it’s thing. All of that being said I would like to mention that as far as FACTS concerning this symbol we DO know it pre-dates christianity and is NOT a christian symbol.

Brightest Blessings to You!

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Trinity O'Connor March 30, 2013 at 11:53 pm

My name is Trinity O’Connor I am Irish/Greek but my name comes from my Irish Side My Father is Pagan and has just got married to my stepmother who is also pagan so they had a awesome wedding My Dad is a druid my stepmother is also Druid but I am Wicca I have always loved witchcraft but I only started doing spells 5 years ago the first thing I read in a book was about familiars and being drawn to symbols. When I was watching charmed I found the Triquetra and I was immediately drawn to it and I already new it meant Trinity so it was perfect. Then when is came to familiars I had a hamster and I have a cat called Scoresby when Scoresby is around my magic energy feels stronger than ever he ran away a year ago but he recently came back after I cast a spell the night before St Patricks Day and he came back the next day. Now all the spells I have done recently have been very successful I even won a game of cluedo using physic abilities.

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sym October 17, 2012 at 12:19 am

I love reading this site

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Trevor August 30, 2012 at 9:11 am

This article is mostly right, except where it concerns Christianity. Evangelicals and conspiracy believers truly do label the triquetra as a satanic symbol, saying it is a stylized and veiled 666, an allusion to the number of the beast in the Book of Revelation. No other symbol in common use can be made by rearranging three 6′s, like the triquetra can.

It’s true that some Roman Catholics, during their early convert-and-conquer sprees, used the triquetra as a symbol of the trinity in an attempt to get more converts. The Roman Catholic church has always bent over backwards to heed the desires of pagans who won’t convert. These actions are remarkably anti-Christian, and no action of the Roman Catholic church should ever be construed as actions taken by true Christians. Roman Catholics don’t read the Bible, they read their catechisms. The bible was outlawed by Roman Catholics, so they’re clearly NOT true Christians. The differences between the two religions is brought to light in the documentary A Lamp in the Dark : The Untold History of the Bible, available on YouTube. True Christians do not use physical symbolism of any kind. I will prove this with the Holy Bible, which is the final authority for all true followers of Jesus Christ.

Exodus 20:4 (Part of the Ten Commandments) Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

Acts 17:22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. 23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. 24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; 26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: 28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. 29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. 30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

Please, do not be deceived by those who call themselves followers of Christ and walk not in the light, as He is in the light. True Christians don’t use symbols for our God, for He has made it completely and utterly forbidden.

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Richard September 22, 2013 at 1:23 pm

The number of the beast is actually 616, not 666. It was a miss-translation when Constantine had the bible built from the old testament books (some of) and the gospels – it was most likely an transliteration issue from Hebrew and Latin (and the number related to Nero – he being the beats!). The earliest found copies of Revelations (St John) states 616 – later copies state 666 (most likely due to the triangle number and the synergy with the opposite 888). That all relates to the first beats – the mark on the second beast – whose number will not be revealed until the end of days. Theologians are still arguing about it and always will I guess.

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Anonymous October 20, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Thank you for the Scriptures! Very helpful! May God bless you.

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Mary August 6, 2012 at 5:57 pm

@Storm.
Odin’s horn.

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Tommy August 5, 2012 at 6:54 am

The Bible warns that “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man” (Psalm 118:8). Thus, let the Word of God rather explains: “Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device” (Acts 17:29). You see, this symbol thus is of the occult because it is impossible to represent the Godhead through graven by art and man’s device!!!!

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Richard September 22, 2013 at 1:31 pm

And who is suggesting that “God” is being represented by any amulet? And why do Christians wear gold crosses and St Christopher’s? And why quote a book put together by a non-Christian (until his very death bed) Roman emperor as a way to try an reunite his people? Quote the original text from which the bible is built – that pre date it by millennia – before it was “Romanised” (e.g. “give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” ) and include the books that were left out because they didn’t fit with the Roman ideal – look to Ethiopia as the head of the church and not Rome (it is the oldest Christian country in the world).

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Storm July 14, 2012 at 5:29 am

Hi,I was wondering what the first symbol was under the related symbols, I don’t know if they are random, but it has the crescent moon looking things, one is facing to the right one to the left and one facing up, I would like to know because I dreamed of this symbol on red spiders. Please let me know! Blessed Be!

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PJ August 3, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Well, I’ve not tried it, but it is an equilateral triangle drawn with curved sides. The sum of inside angles of a triangle is always 180 – so each inside angle of a triquetra would probably be 60 degrees. I’m guessing if you drew a point and a vertical line through it, you could use a protractor to draw the curved lines that are 60 degrees out from the point you drew (the top point) and find the bottom right point and finally the bottom left point. I’m going to have to try this to see if it works.

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sophie xx June 14, 2010 at 4:06 pm

OMG i love this site!! How can u draw a triqueta? I try but it comes out… bad lol any advice?

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