Druid Symbols

Arguably, most early Celtic symbols could also be referred to as “Druid symbols“  In this section, however, we will describe those most commonly associated with the various branches of modern Druidry. These can be divided into two main areas: ancient Celtic symbols associated with Druids, and recently created emblems of modern Druid organizations. Some of the more well known symbols associated with Druidry include:

The Wreath and Staves, or Druidic sigil:

The so-called Druid sigil is the identifying symbol of one of the earliest Druid reconstruction organizations, Reformed Druids of North America. It is strictly a modern symbol, having no root in historic Druidry. It originated in the sixties, but the inspiration behind the design is unknown- the most likely origin is from heraldic designs, which often featured wreaths of oak leaves. The Awen, or ‘rays,’ is a glyph with three vertical lines or rays of light converging at the top:

Awen

The Awen is a not genuine symbol of ancient Druidry, but associated with several modern groups. The word Awen in the Gaelic language means means “inspiration,” or “essence,” and refers to to poetic inspiration (traditional) or spiritual illumination (modern). The three parts of the Awen symbol represent the harmony of opposites- the left and right rays symbolizing female and male energy; the center bar their harmonious balance (somewhat akin to the Taoist yin-yang symbol). The symbol is referred to as the “Bardic symbol” in Charlotte Guest’s translation of the Mabinogion, a collection of traditional Welsh Arthurian tales, where it is said to represent the entirety of the Celtic Ogham alphabet as discovered by the Welsh hero Menw.

In reality, the emblem was probably conceived by the eighteenth century poet Iolo Morganwg, and reproduced in his book of purported Druidic philosophy, which was later discovered to be spurious. An actual, recognizable symbol in ancient Druidry was the Sun wheel, or Wheel of Taranis, a Celtic sun/thunder God.

The sun wheel has six or eight spokes, patterned after the wheel of a wagon:

The wheel is identical to other solar wheels and represents the solar calendar, with points marking the position of the sun at the equinoxes and Solstices. The solar cross and Celtic cross motifs are derived from this symbol. The most recognizable symbol of modern Druidry is the Tree of Life, with branches and roots entwined. It is a motif common in Celtic art from pagan times, and adopted as well for Christian use, often identical with the biblical tree of life:

The world tree, like its Norse counterpart, represents man- the branches symbolize the cosmos, the roots the underworld, the tree their union in mankind. The Tree of Life is depicted in various ways, but most often as symmetrical vines emanating from a pot, or as a tall pillar of entwined branches. You can read more about the Celtic Tree, or about the Universal Tree of Life.

Related Symbols:
Triple hornTriquetaTriple crescent

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Religious Symbol Dictionary | symboldictionary.net
October 9, 2009 at 11:23 am

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Lucas McClain September 21, 2013 at 3:21 am

I’ve been having dreams since my cousin died a month ago. i have no idea what they mean.
she comes to me in one while othrs place me in a far north part of Ireland in a huge mansion. It’s raining and quite cold. i enter the house and go up the stairs. i am almost dragged to the room at the end of the hall on the right. i open the door and step in. there’s an elder lady sitting in a chair waiting for me with a novel on her lap and a candle on a table to her left. the novel has my name on it. and is entitled HEAVEN ETERNAL. her name i think is iris. once she hands me the book she takes a pen and drawa a symbol on my right leg. she tells me that’s a very old symbol and was the symbol of a very wise preist in an early druid society. also i should feel very honoured to adourn that symbol on medi?

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Il Duce June 15, 2013 at 5:30 pm

And what would you answer to having two sideways Y’s on my back facing opposite each other?

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TCRA April 17, 2013 at 12:48 am

i have a “y” on both my hand’s facing the same direction? i also have an “x” and a “c” and an “m” does any one know why i have the alphabet on my hands?

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Richard August 21, 2012 at 7:40 pm

The Awen is simply the Summer Triangle whose stars were used to mark the days of the Equinoxes and Solstices from prehistoric times

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James May 16, 2012 at 7:03 pm

I am also interested and can show you a picture of it! You can reach me on skaterfan221@aol.com. Any more information would help! Always fascinated by new information! Thanks

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James May 16, 2012 at 4:03 pm

I have a similar mark on right hand that is like a Y that is also sideways!

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Paul Edwards January 24, 2012 at 10:17 am

The Awen was used by a militant group in Cymru during the 1960′s called The Free Wales Army / Patriotic Front. The 3 rays are said to symbolize LOVE , TRUTH AND JUSTICE. My understanding it comes from Iolo Morganwg who created the Druid ceremony for the Welsh National Eisteddfod . T

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rick January 7, 2011 at 8:51 pm

I too have this “y” on my right hand. However, the base of the “Y” curves slightly toward the left, the middle where the two points begin curve and the two points point in the direction to my index finger while the other point aims at my middle. The point aimed at my middle finger has its own “Y” steming from it both points of this one point straight up prefect angles. My mother likes to talk about the Aztec heritage of us and also the cherokee tribe “we” were apart of. While I was never born to remember any of this, she tells me I have an atunement to the earth and the universe. My poor wife has witnessed this “bipolar” part of me, she did research and I’m not bipolar, but she wants me togo back to talking to my “crazy” mom. I’m torn, I usually don’t believe in higher powers or mystical things, but I’ve faced death and woke up from it. I don’t know where to go or which forums to read. please help me find some truth. I have much longer stories, but some even I can’t believe have happened.

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amity December 28, 2010 at 4:42 pm

i keep having the same dream over and over, i’m looking at a huge book and the pages are filled with symbols. is there a site i can look at that actually shows the symbols and their meanings clearly? i’d really like to know what it says.

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Em December 22, 2010 at 2:16 am

I too have the Druid symbol Y in the palm of my right hand, very prominent, with the open side of the Y facing 6 o’clock. Significance?

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Allan July 22, 2010 at 10:10 am

hello i stumbled across this this by accident and after going over the majority of the material i found myself intrigued. i am currently in iraq with a lot of time on my hands and little to do. i am a glyph geek , symbol chaser, and a million other names for but most of all i am an encryption nut. love to find written languages no matter how obscure and ble nd them into my own unique codes. i have only been able to find about 23 languages with which to play with off the top of my head i can think of theban, pheonician, and binary code. i would love to get my hands and brain on some more anything and e very thing that can be broken down into singgle alpebetic symbols so that no word would be entirely from one language. if you can give me any other good sites it would be greatly appreciated and sorry for the web page novel, i just really love this stuff. my wife says that i am obsessed lol ;)

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Jennifer July 23, 2010 at 3:27 am

I’ll see what I can do. :)

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ankor March 25, 2010 at 2:31 pm

i was wondering if i could email a picture of a symbol? i got as a gift years ago and i think i know what it means but i’m unsure. i have searched the net…no joy :(

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Jennifer March 26, 2010 at 12:18 am

No problem- just send it to jennifer@symboldictionary.net and I’ll have a look. :)

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greye October 9, 2009 at 11:07 pm

It’s interesting that Sara posted that image. I’ve been trying to discern a symbol that is in the palm of my hand. It’s not part of the normal lines that appear on one’s palm, but it looks more like a faint indentation. Kind of hard to explain, but it’s in my palm. The symbol that it most closely looks like in Sara’s picture is the moonstone that looks like the letter “y”.

I found a site regarding symbols a while back and contacted the owner of that site, which included my best description at the time:

“I don’t know what this symbol is or means, or if it is anything at all. It is near the center of my palm in my right hand. It looks like the letter ‘y’ but turned on its side, towards the right. Basically, the top, open part of the ‘y’ is turned to the right side, so that the opening looks like it is facing “3 o’clock” if you were to imagine a clock’s face. I could also say that it looks slightly like a ‘pitchfork’, but without the middle “fork” pole.”

She stated that she had meditated on my question about this symbol and had this to say:

“Hello Greye,
Thank you for sharing this with me.
My first response when i read the description you gave and looked at the image of a similar symbol was ‘key’.

To me, the symbol looks like a ‘key’ or similar.
I also think the way it branches out from the one straight line is signifigant- moving in two opposite directions.

My thoughts would be that you have struggled at times with finding balance in different aspects of your life.

I did a brief meditation of the symbol and was told

‘ the symbol is one to represent those who have chosen to carry the knowledge from the lost world forward into this. this was a task given to only most senior of druids, who together formed a group of advanced spiritual souls who had one way or the other worked out how to take certain memories with us after death. ‘

My feelings are that this pertains to the Atlantian/ Lemurian societies- maybe even YS.

I know this sounds way out but you asked ! lol

You are being guided very strongly to follow your instinct and reawaken a dormant power that lies with in you.

Do you do healing or psychic work?

If not i truly beleive a reiki attuement would be of benefit to help clear the palm chakras.

Try meditating on the symbol and see if you gain any clarity that way.

One thing for sure, you are special and different to many- in your whole lifetime you may never encounter another one like you, another part of ‘your group’-those senior druids would have be scattered through time and incarnations to keep the knowledge ‘secret’- this may explain alot of restlessness you feel- the ‘something out there’ idea.”

The funny thing is, I came across another individual with a similar looking symbol, which has the same faint indentation, but it’s near his mouth. I don’t know him personally and have attempted to reach out to him, but he has refused to answer my inquiries. You can see this video at: http://www.casttv.com/video/06s6o71/postsecret-video

If you’re interested in seeing this, I can take a picture of my palm to try and highlight symbol. Maybe this is really nothing at all, but every day, I’m piqued by it. I also have very strange, but strong dreams sometimes. Often times like I am away from myself, but cognizant of being asleep and knowing that I am dreaming. This but another site that I have come across with the hope of finding some answers…

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Sara July 2, 2009 at 10:29 pm

im tryin to figure out wut this one symbol means
it appeared to me in a dream and i have been lookng for the symbol since
http://www.castastone.com/Cast-a-Stone_files/witchsrunes_files/witchmoonstone.JPG
its the yellow mooonstone on the top that looks similar to a hook
it would help bunches
<3Sara

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Rae May 16, 2009 at 12:50 pm

I am trying to find out the significance of this symbol found on a grave stone in a Druid cemetery. Darn it won’t let me paste it here. One looks like an Urn with a robe draped over one side. Another has and upside down looking celtic vessel with what looks like a flame out the top. Wish I could send it to you.
Where might I go to find out what it means?
Thanks for any help.
RAe

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