You searched for:

spiral

Some caveats here.  Meanings are derived from Celtic mythology and folklore.

Spiral: life,  eternity, rebirth, walk of life

Tree: life, family/ancestors, shelter, sustenance, endurance, strength

Shield knot: Protection

Dragon/serpent: healing, wealth, authority

Salmon: wisdom, prophecy

Raven: death, afterlife, communication

Triskele/triskelion: rebirth, pregnancy

Bull: fertility, wealth

Deer: motherhood, lost love, transformation

Stag: Transformation, protection

Swan: love, hope

Dogs or hounds: friendship, loyalty, companionship, honor

Horses: parenthood, prophecy, clan or tribe

Boar: courage, cleverness, fearlessness, overcoming obstacles

Claddagh: friendship, loyalty, love

Bride’s cross: fertility, good fortune, new life, female strength or authority

Shamrock: luck, fortune, a charm against evil, the trinity, earth, sea, and sly

mermaid: vanity, femininity, dual nature

Celtic cross: Celtic heritage, time, the four corners of the earth

Cauldron or cup: fertility, wisdom, abundance, prophecy, happiness, artistic inspiration

{ 2 comments }

The Cornucopia (Latin, ‘horn of plenty’), a spiraling, woven basket overflowing with an abundance of produce, is an ever-present symbol of harvest prosperity. The symbol dates back to an ancient tale of the Nymph Amalthea,* who, as a reward from the infant Zeus for a meal of Goat’s milk, was given an enchanted goat’s horn which gave whatever one wished for.**

The cornucopia became a ubiquitous symbol of fortune and plenty, and was associated with many Goddesses, including Fortuna, the goddess of good fortune, and Ceres, Goddess of agriculture.

Amalthea feeds Zeus from the horn

*Sometimes, Amalthea herself is the goat.

**Similar tales include the Finnish Sampo and the Celtic legend of the Cauldron of Plenty.

Related Symbols:

Triple hornGorgon

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Sun wheels and solar disks

Cable Tow IHS Fravashi
Black Sun Solar cross IHS Zia sun Farohar Spiral
skolovrath Brigid's cross sborjgali2 Crescent moon Halo Assyrian winged solar disk
kolovrath Brigid’s cross Borjgali Sun Halo Assyrian sun
sccross Aten Lauburu Swastika Sign of Shamash
Taranis Wheel Celtic Cross Aten Lauburu Swastika Shamash seal
 Triskele  svergina
sun disk Triskele Vergina sun

 

Other solar symbols

Abraxas Chnoubis Scarab Eye of Horus Rx
Abraxas Chnoubis Scarab Eye of Ra Rx

 

Moon & Lunar symbols

Triple crescent Crescent and star Scarab Crescent moon Hecate's wheel Labrys, sacred axe
Triple crescent Star & Crescent Scarab Moon Hecate Labrys
Triple goddess  stanit
Triple Goddess Tanit

Also see tag=solar symbols

Related Symbol glossaries by subject:

{ 5 comments }

The labyrinth is a winding, maze-like path, often resembling a spiral. Labyrinths are found in many ancient cultures, and almost always have spiritual significance. Nearly identical labrynth patterns are found in neolithic art, on native American petroglyphs, and even in ancient Vedic sites. Ancient Minoan labyrinths were associated with the cult of the mother Goddess, and were possibly used in initiatory rituals.

Labyrinths carried into medieval times, where they were often laid on the floors of cathedrals. They were used as a sort of miniature pilgrimage- often, these ‘pilgrims’ traveled the path on their knees while praying continuously. Labyrinths have seen a kind of revival. They are common today both in churches and Neopagan sanctuaries. (It is estimated that there are now more than fifteen hundred labyrinths in churches in the US alone.)

Greek Labyrinth

 

Related Symbols:

Man in the Maze

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Please note: images and text found in this dictionary are copyrighted and may not be copied, posted, or reprinted electronically or in print without prior permission. (Contact me here for fee schedule)

Want everything on one page? (Caution: slow loading)

Music and Pop Culture Symbols:

“Questioning” The Artist Formerly Known as Prince “The Artist” Heartagram Heartagram Zoso Zoso Seal of Lucifer Lucifer Sigil
Triqueta Triquetra

 

Druid & Celtic Symbols

Triqueta Shield Knot Claddagh Triqueta Green man Celtic world tree
Triquetra Shield Knot Claddagh Triqueta Green man Tree of Life
Brigid's cross Triskele Shield Knot
Brighid’s cross Celtic Knot Druidry Triskele Shield Knot Shamrock
Cauldron Welsh Dragon Celtic Cross Druid Cernunnos, Herne
Cauldron Welsh Dragon Celtic Cross Awen Spiral Cernunnos

More Celtic Symbols

All images copyright Jennifer Emick/Symboldictionary.net, except where otherwise noted

Christian & Gnostic Symbols

Ankh Christian Ankh Jerusalem Cross Cross of Lorraine Cross Lorraine Vesica pisces Jesus Fish (Ichthus)

Trinity fish

Triqueta

Orthodox
Reverse cross Anchor Fish Anchor fish Alexamenos Serpent cross Sacred Heart Christogram
IHS IHS Alpha and Omega Alpha & Omega Chi-ro Chi Rho Crucifix Crucifix Messianic seal Messianic Halo Halo

More Christian & Gnostic Symbols

Magick, Occult, Satanic Symbols:

Baphomet Pentagram Necronomicon Chaos Chaos Mendes Goat Mendes Goat Hexagram Hexagram
Witch’s Knot Enneagram Hermetic Seal Unicursal hexagram Unicursal hexagram Ouroboros Ouroboros Sephirot Kabbalah
Mark of the Beast Mark of the Beast Hand of Glory Rose Cross Lamen GD Lamen Seal of Saturn Saturn Star of Babalon Babalon Seal Pentagram

More Occult Symbols

Wiccan/ Pagan Symbols:

Hecate's wheel Hecate’s Wheel Triqueta Triquetra Pentacle Pentacle Green man Green man Triple goddess Triple Goddess Pentacle Pentacle
Theban alphabet Witch’s runes Cauldron Horned God Triple crescent Triple crescent Elven star Athame Athame
Greenman Greenman Seax Seax Boline Besom Besom Witch's sign Witch’s Sign Pentacle Horned God

More Neopagan Symbols

All images/text copyright Jennifer Emick/Symboldictionary.net, except where otherwise noted

Norse, Asatru, Romuva, and Eastern Europe:

Romuva Romuva Triple horn Odin’s horn Valknut Thunder Cross Shield Knot Shield Knot Helm of awe Helm of Awe
Hugin and Munin Hugin and Munin Mjolnir- Thor's hammer Mjolnir Runes Runes Sleipnir Sleipnir Gungnir Gungnir Solar cross
Irminsul Irminsul Jumis Jumis Nidstang Nidstang Yggdrasil Yggdrasil Triceps Wolf's Cross Wolf’s Cross

More Norse Symbols

Egyptian & Egyptian Pagan Symbols:

Uraeus Uraeus Winged disk Ankh Ankh Isis throne Eye of Horus Eye of Ra/Horus Scarab Scarab
Lotus Uraeus Horus Lemniscate infinity Djed Feather of Ma'at Maat Sistrum Sistrum
Abraxas Abraxas Nuit Hathor Ba bird Akhet Coming soon! Flower of Life

More Egyptian Symbols

Ancient Greek, Roman Symbols:

Horned Hand Mano Fico Gorgon Gorgon Caduceus Labrys, sacred axe Labrys Minotaur Minotaur Venus of Willendorf Willendorf
Fasces Fasces Orphic egg Orphic egg labrynth Tetraktys Hygeia Lauburu Lauburu

More Greek & Roman Symbols

Assyrian/Babylonian, Phoenician, Syrian, and Zoroastrian:

Knot of Inanna Inanna’s Knot Assyrian winged solar disk Assyrian sun disk Star of Ishtar Ishtar seal Sign of Tanit Tanit Sign of Shamash Shamash seal Fravashi Farohar
“Dagon” Mesopotamian Tree of Life Mespotamia Simurgh Kerub Tetragrammaton Tiamat Tiamat

More Assyrian/Babylonian Symbols

Islam, Judaism, Sufism, & Baha’i:

Crescent and star Star & Crescent Magen David Magen David Hamsa Allah Allah Sufi winged heart Sufi YHVH YHVH
Druze star Druze Star Baha'i star Baha’i Menorah Menorah Baha'i ringstone Ringstone Messianic Star Messianic Nidstang Aaronic Blessing

More Middle Eastern Symbols

African, Rasta, Vodou & Santeria:

Akua’ba Veve Veve Eleggua fetish Eleggua Rastafarian lion of Judah Lion of Judah Veve, Agwe Agwe Chi-wara Chiwara
Exu; Candomble Riscados Rastafarian star of David Rasta Adinkra Gya Name Ethiopian Cross Ethiopian Cross Adinkra Adinkra

See more African Symbols

Taoist, Shinto, Buddhist, and Asian cultural symbols:

Maneki Neko Maneke Neko Buddha’s Eyes Torii Gate I Ching Endless knot Endless knot Om Mani Padme hum
Enso Enso Buddha's Foot Buddha’s feet Tomoe Tomoe Yin yang Yin Yang Manji Manji Dorje Dorje

See more Asian Symbols

Hindu, Jain, & Sikh Symbols:

Kalash Kalash Garuda Garuda Khanda Khanda Vel of Lord Murugan Vel Chakras Chakra Dharma wheel Dharma
Jain Hand Dancing Shiva Shiva Tattwas Tattwas Om Omkar Universal  Jain Jainism Sri Yantra Yantra

More Symbols of Eastern Religions

Alchemical & Astrological Symbols:

Scorpio Scorpio Venus Venus Mars Zodiac wheel Zodiac Greek Cross Water element Water
Salt Alchemical salt Fire element Fire Capricorn Capricornus Crescent moon Sun Red KingRed King Pluto

See more Astrological Symbols

Shamanic (Native American, Aboriginal, Neolithic):

Wasgo Dancing sorcerer Shaman Kokopelli Kokopelli Man in the MazeMan in the Maze Hunab Ku Zia sun

See more in this category

Masonic, Fraternal Organizations:

Skull and Bones (crossbones) Skull & bones Masonic square and compass Compass All seeing eye Eye Point in Circle Pillars Beehive
A.A. Cipher All Seeing Eye 47th Problem of Euclid 47th Proposition Eagle of Lagash Double Eagle Eastern Star Eastern Star

See more Masonic Symbols

Miscellaneous:


COST

Operating Thetan Op. Thetan Scientology cross Scientology Scientology Unity Cross Atlantis Cross
Raelian Church Raelian Mu Mu Raelian Church Raelian Choku Rei Choku Rei "Prioy of Sion" Priory of Sion Process Church
Swastika Swastika Cable Tow Black Sun Neo Nazi triskele Neo Nazi “Grail Cross” Sacred Chao Sacred Chao Unitarians
Romany Barbury Barbury Crop Circle Reiki Healer Chalice Well Glastonbury Unicorn Theosophy

Special: “Da Vinci Code” Symbols:

Vitruvian Man Fleur de Lis Rose of Venus "Prioy of Sion" Ankh Phi
Vitruvian Man Fleur de Lis Rose Priory of Sion Ankh Phi
Golden Rectangle Jumis Fire element Water element Hexagram
Greek Cross Golden Mean Jumis Fire Water Hexagram

Religious symbols glossary

Symbol glossaries by subject:

Adinkra Symbols

Astrological and Alchemical symbols

Crosses Druid/ Celtic symbols

Egyptian symbols

Hand Gestures

NeoPagan/ Wiccan Symbols

Norse/Asatru symbols

Star Symbols Symbols of Eastern religions- Jain, Sikh, and Hindu symbols

Symbols of Magick and the Occult

Symbols of the Middle East- Sumerian, Zoroastrian, Baha’i, and Islamic symbols

Taoist, Tibetan Buddhist, and Shinto symbols

Tattoo Symbols

Tribal and Shamanic symbols

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

The Greek mathematician Pythagoras is credited with the discovery of the Golden Rectangle. The Golden Rectangle is built on the “golden ratio” or “golden proportion,” which is determined by the irrational number known as Phi. (Symbolized by its namesake, the Greek letter phi:)

To put it simply, a golden rectangle is a rectangle divided in such a way as to create a square and a smaller rectangle that retains the same proportions as the original rectangle. To do this, one must create a rectangle based on the golden ratio.

To find the Golden Ratio, one must divide a line so that the ratio of the line to the larger segment is equal to the ratio of the larger segment to the smaller:

A is to B as B is to C

To get a golden rectangle, you simply turn the larger segment of the line into a square:

If you add a square to the long side of the “golden rectangle,” you’ll get a larger golden rectangle. If you continue to add squares in this way, you’ll see the basis for nature’s logarithmic spiral patterns.

The golden proportion appears in numerous places in nature and in art and architecture. It forms the basis for Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Divine Proportion,” the ideal illustrated in his drawing Vitruvian Man. The face of the Parthenon in Athens is a perfect golden rectangle. The shell of the nautilus is a famous example of a spiral based on the golden mean, as is the spiral of the human DNA molecule.

See also: Fibonacci Sequence and the Divine Proportion

Related Symbols:

Related Resources:

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Please note: images and text are copyrighted and may not be copied, posted, or reprinted electronically or in print without permission. (Contact me here for fee schedule)

Want everything on one page? (Caution: slow loading)

Music and Pop Culture Symbols:

“Questioning” The Artist Formerly Known as Prince “The Artist” Heartagram Heartagram Zoso Zoso EN
Triqueta Triquetra

 

Druid & Celtic Symbols

Triqueta Shield Knot Claddagh Triqueta Green man Celtic world tree
Triquetra Shield Knot Claddagh Triqueta Green man Tree of Life
Brigid's cross Triskele Shield Knot
Brighid’s cross Celtic Knot Druidry Triskele Shield Knot Shamrock
Cauldron Welsh Dragon Celtic Cross Druid Cernunnos, Herne
Cauldron Welsh Dragon Celtic Cross Awen Spiral Cernunnos

More Celtic Symbols

All images copyright Jennifer Emick/Symboldictionary.net, except where otherwise noted

Christian & Gnostic Symbols:

Ankh Christian Ankh Jerusalem Cross Cross of Lorraine Cross Lorraine Vesica pisces Jesus Fish (Ichthus) Trinity fishTriqueta Orthodox
Reverse cross Anchor Fish Anchor fish Alexamenos Serpent cross Sacred Heart Christogram
IHS IHS Alpha and Omega Alpha & Omega Chi-ro Chi Rho Crucifix Crucifix Messianic seal Messianic Halo Halo

More Christian & Gnostic Symbols

Magick, Occult, Satanic Symbols:

Baphomet Pentagram Necronomicon Chaos Chaos Mendes Goat Mendes Goat Hexagram Hexagram
Witch’s Knot Enneagram Hermetic Seal Unicursal hexagram Unicursal hexagram Ouroboros Ouroboros Sephirot Kabbalah
Mark of the Beast Mark of the Beast Hand of Glory Rose Cross Lamen GD Lamen Seal of Saturn Saturn Star of Babalon Babalon Seal Pentagram

More Occult Symbols

Wiccan/ Pagan Symbols:

Hecate's wheel Hecate’s Wheel Triqueta Triquetra Pentacle Pentacle Green man Green man Triple goddess Triple Goddess Pentacle Pentacle
Theban alphabet Witch’s runes Cauldron Horned God Triple crescent Triple crescent Elven star Athame Athame
Greenman Greenman Seax Seax Boline Besom Besom Witch's sign Witch’s Sign Pentacle Horned God

More Neopagan Symbols

All images/text copyright Jennifer Emick/Symboldictionary.net, except where otherwise noted

Norse, Asatru, Romuva, and Eastern Europe:

Romuva Romuva Triple horn Odin’s horn Valknut Thunder Cross Shield Knot Shield Knot Helm of awe Helm of Awe
Hugin and Munin Hugin and Munin Mjolnir- Thor's hammer Mjolnir Runes Runes Sleipnir Sleipnir Gungnir Gungnir Solar cross
Irminsul Irminsul Jumis Jumis Nidstang Nidstang Yggdrasil Yggdrasil Triceps Wolf's Cross Wolf’s Cross

More Norse Symbols

Egyptian & Egyptian Pagan Symbols:

Uraeus Uraeus Winged disk Ankh Ankh Isis throne Eye of Horus Eye of Ra/Horus Scarab Scarab
Lotus Uraeus Horus Lemniscate infinity Djed Feather of Ma'at Maat Sistrum Sistrum
Abraxas Abraxas Nuit Hathor Ba bird Akhet Coming soon! Flower of Life

More Egyptian Symbols

Ancient Greek, Roman Symbols:

Horned Hand Mano Fico Gorgon Gorgon Caduceus Labrys, sacred axe Labrys Minotaur Minotaur Venus of Willendorf Willendorf
Fasces Fasces Orphic egg Orphic egg labrynth Tetraktys Hygeia Lauburu Lauburu

More Greek & Roman Symbols

Assyrian/Babylonian, Phoenician, Syrian, and Zoroastrian:

Knot of Inanna Inanna’s Knot Assyrian winged solar disk Assyrian sun disk Star of Ishtar Ishtar seal Sign of Tanit Tanit Sign of Shamash Shamash seal Fravashi Farohar
“Dagon” Mesopotamian Tree of Life Mespotamia Simurgh Kerub Tetragrammaton Tiamat Tiamat

More Assyrian/Babylonian Symbols

Islam, Judaism, Sufism, & Baha’i:

Crescent and star Star & Crescent Magen David Magen David Hamsa Allah Allah Sufi winged heart Sufi YHVH YHVH
Druze star Druze Star Baha'i star Baha’i Menorah Menorah Baha'i ringstone Ringstone Messianic Star Messianic Nidstang Aaronic Blessing

More Middle Eastern Symbols

African, Rasta, Vodou & Santeria:

Akua’ba Veve Veve Eleggua fetish Eleggua Rastafarian lion of Judah Lion of Judah Veve, Agwe Agwe Chi-wara Chiwara
Exu; Candomble Riscados Rastafarian star of David Rasta Adinkra Gya Name Ethiopian Cross Ethiopian Cross Adinkra Adinkra

See more African Symbols

Taoist, Shinto, Buddhist, and Asian cultural symbols:

Maneki Neko Maneke Neko Buddha’s Eyes Torii Gate I Ching Endless knot Endless knot Om Mani Padme hum
Enso Enso Buddha's Foot Buddha’s feet Tomoe Tomoe Yin yang Yin Yang Manji Manji Dorje Dorje

See more Asian Symbols

Hindu, Jain, & Sikh Symbols:

Kalash Kalash Garuda Garuda Khanda Khanda Vel of Lord Murugan Vel Chakras Chakra Dharma wheel Dharma
Jain Hand Dancing Shiva Shiva Tattwas Tattwas Om Omkar Universal  Jain Jainism Sri Yantra Yantra

More Symbols of Eastern Religions

Alchemical & Astrological Symbols:

Scorpio Scorpio Venus Venus Mars Zodiac wheel Zodiac Greek Cross Water element Water
Salt Alchemical salt Fire element Fire Capricorn Capricornus Crescent moon Sun Red KingRed King Pluto

See more Astrological Symbols

Shamanic (Native American, Aboriginal, Neolithic):

Wasgo Dancing sorcerer Shaman Kokopelli Kokopelli Man in the MazeMan in the Maze Hunab Ku Zia sun

See more in this category

Masonic, Fraternal Organizations:

Skull and Bones (crossbones) Skull & bones Masonic square and compass Compass All seeing eye Eye Point in Circle Pillars Beehive
A.A. Cipher All Seeing Eye 47th Problem of Euclid 47th Proposition Eagle of Lagash Double Eagle Eastern Star Eastern Star

See more Masonic Symbols

Miscellaneous:


COST

Operating Thetan Op. Thetan Scientology cross Scientology Scientology Unity Cross Atlantis Cross
Raelian Church Raelian Mu Mu Raelian Church Raelian Choku Rei Choku Rei "Prioy of Sion" Priory of Sion Process Church
Swastika Swastika Cable Tow Black Sun Neo Nazi triskele Neo Nazi “Grail Cross” Sacred Chao Sacred Chao Unitarians
Romany Barbury Barbury Crop Circle Reiki Healer Chalice Well Glastonbury Unicorn Theosophy

 

Special: “Da Vinci Code” Symbols:

Vitruvian Man Fleur de Lis Rose of Venus "Prioy of Sion" Ankh Phi
Vitruvian Man Fleur de Lis Rose Priory of Sion Ankh Phi
Golden Rectangle Jumis Fire element Water element Hexagram
Greek Cross Golden Mean Jumis Fire Water Hexagram

Religious symbols glossary

Symbol glossaries by subject:

Adinkra Symbols

Astrological and Alchemical symbols

Crosses Druid/ Celtic symbols

Egyptian symbols

Hand Gestures

NeoPagan/ Wiccan Symbols

Norse/Asatru symbols

Star Symbols Symbols of Eastern religions- Jain, Sikh, and Hindu symbols

Symbols of Magick and the Occult

Symbols of the Middle East- Sumerian, Zoroastrian, Baha’i, and Islamic symbols

Taoist, Tibetan Buddhist, and Shinto symbols

Tattoo Symbols

Tribal and Shamanic symbols

{ 58 comments }

Celtic Knots Image Gallery

Click for full size image

Spirals, Triskeles, and Triquetas Spirals, Triskeles, and Triquetas Spirals, Triskeles, and Triquetas
Spirals, Triskeles, and Triquetas Spirals, Triskeles, and Triquetas Spirals, Triskeles, and Triquetas
Spirals, Triskeles, and Triquetas Spirals, Triskeles, and Triquetas Spirals, Triskeles, and Triquetas
Spirals, Triskeles, and Triquetas

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

The Strophalos, or Hecate’s wheel is an ancient Greek symbol, and is an emblem of the initiatory lunar Goddess Hecate (Diana Lucifera), and her triple aspect. Only one ancient source remains to shed any light on the emblem’s meaning.

The second century Alexandrian text known as the Chaldean oracle describes the emblem as a labyrinthine serpent (emblematic of rebirth) surrounding a spiral, symbolic of the Iynges- “whirlings” or emanations of divine thought. Today, it is generally used by practitioners of Hellenic Recon or Dianic Traditions of Wicca as an emblem of religious identification. Other emblems of Hecate include torches, dogs (generally female), keys, serpents, and of course, the crossroads.

 

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

ConchThe shankha or conch-shell is a traditional Vedic instrument. Like the shofar of Judaism, it is used originally as a war-horn, and later, as a ritual sounding-instrument. Its sound is believed to banish fear and evil spirits, and causes enemies to tremble. In Vedic belief, it is an attribute of Vishnu and a number of other deities.

In Tibetan Buddhism, the conch is one of the eight Auspicious Symbols (Ashtamangala) representing the paths of Buddhism, and represents the voice of the Buddha and the truth of the dharma. Both Vedic and Buddhist tradition differentiates between shells whose spirals turn clockwise (in the direction of the sun) and counter-clockwise; the “right-turning” conch being more auspicious.

 

Related Symbols:

tomoe

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

ReikiThis is a fairly well known image, borrowed from Native American solar pictographs. It is used most often today to symbolize the energy-emitting hand of a Reiki or other spiritual healer. Reiki is a New Age healing practice that involves the manipulation of energy by initiates through symbols, which are created by moving the hands in specified patterns over the body. The meaning of the pictographic form, which is found in many places in the southwestern US, is unknown, but with its solar spiral likely represents a Shaman’s powers.

Related Symbols:

Enso

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

The Celtic Knot is one of the best known motifs in Celtic jewelry and art. The delicate twists and turns are found in ancient stone art and tattoos, in illuminated manuscripts- in fact, just about anywhere the Celtic people have traveled. Similar designs exist in Norse culture, and as far as China. While there are many Celtic symbol guides available, especially those that list every variation of celtic knot, many of the purported meanings of the symbols are usually simply made up (most often to sell trinkets and jewelry).

There are no known authentic knotwork designs meaning love or loyalty or sisterhood or an of the other common meanings ascribed to the designs. While many of the ancient designs certainly had some spiritually significant meaning, these have largely been lost to the ages, and can only be guessed at. The continual looping of the designs suggests themes of eternity and interconnectedness, and knots may have been made at one time to foil evil spirits.

Interwoven figures of people and animals may have represented the interdependent nature of life-two or more knots laced together symbolize lovers, hunters and their prey, God and man, etc. Some knots were used as magical talismans for protection. The more modern designs, such as those found in decorated Christian scriptures, were mainly decorative designs used for ornamentation. Other relatively modern designs include linked hearts and other “love knots,” Christian crosses, harps, shamrocks, and other folk symbols, and so on.

A shield knot The Celts themselves left very little in the way of records, and most symbols are interpreted by archaeologists and other scholars who study the symbols in context. Some ancient Celtic symbols have changed in meaning over time, having been influenced by the introduction of Christianity and the influence of other cultures. A general rule of thumb is: the shape of the design often determines the “meaning” of a knotwork design- triskele and trefoil shapes should be regarded as triskeles, bird, fish, and animal designs represent the attributes of the animal, etc. Circles represent unity or eternity, spirals reincarnation or cycles of life and rebirth, triangles and trefoils the threefold dominions of earth, sea, and sky. Squares or four-fold shapes are shield knots, symbols of protection from spirits or malevolent influence. Interlaced animals and men usually represent relationships, or emphasize the interdependence of mankind and nature.

To see a Gallery of Celtic Knots, Click here.

 

Important note on Celtic symbols: There are no authentic Celtic symbols for brothers, sisters, family, motherhood, etc. The ancient Celts simply didn’t think in these terms. If you are looking for something along these lines for a tattoo or similar, you are best off adapting a pre-existing symbol than looking for something “genuine” which doesn’t exist, or worse, accepting a bill of goods from a less than ethical artist, of which there are plenty.

 

Celtic Knot
A Sheela. To see a gallery of Sheelas: Sheela-na-gig
space
Related Symbols:
Green manOrmgudinnaVenus of Willendorf

 

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

The spiral is probably the oldest known symbol of human spirituality. The spiral has been in rock carvings thousands of years old, on every continent in the world. The religious significance can only be guessed at, but it has been found on tombs, and almost certainly has a connection with the sun, which traces a spiral shape every three months in its travels. The double spiral found in neolithic Celtic stone art also follows the path of the sun, describing the movements of the heavenly body over the course of a solar year.

A triple spiral motif found on Celtic tombs is drawn unicursally (that is, in one continuous line), suggesting a cycle of rebirth or resurrection. (this hypothesis is bolstered by the fact that many of these appear to be deliberately placed where they catch the first rays of the sun on the solstice). The sun, dying and rising every day, is a natural symbol of rebirth, and the triple spiral gives an obvious connection between the solar symbolism and the nine months of human gestation. In modern times, the spiral is still spiritually significant. The spiral is the symbol of spirit in Wicca, an emblem of the Goddess.

Related Symbols:

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

The Irish Claddagh Symbol is named for the Irish coastal town of Claddagh (pronounced “clawh-dah”), where the ring design is attributed to an ancient local legend. The now famous tale, about a townsman kidnapped into slavery, who returns to present a ring to his true love, is one of the most popular romantic tales of Ireland. Despite the romantic story, Claddagh rings are a traditional token of loyalty and friendship as well as romantic love.

The Claddagh design usually appears on rings, but is now used on all sorts of items, from jewelry to napkins to family crests. The hands in the design represent friendship, the heart, love, and the crown, loyalty. Various traditions ascribe different meanings to the ring, depending on how it is worn- as a wedding ring, it is worn on the left hand, with the heart pointed inward. As an engagement ring, it is worn on the right hand, with the heart pointing inward; for friendship, it is worn on the right hand, heart turned outward.

There is probably some relation between the claddagh and Norse “fede” (engagement/betrothal) rings, which sometimes depicted hands clasped around a heart.

Related Symbols:

Related:

  • Celtic Knot Gallery
  • The Tree of Life The Tree of life is a universal motif, found in every ancient culture- a symbol of the uniting of heaven and earth, spiritual nourishment, and even enlightenment.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

The triskele, or triple spiral, a symbol closely related to the triquetra, is a tripartite symbol composed of three interlocked spirals.

The triple spiral is an ancient Celtic symbol related to the sun, afterlife and reincarnation. The example above comes from the Neolithic “tomb” at Newgrange, where it is supposed by some to be a symbol of pregnancy (the sun describes a spiral in its movements every three months; a triple spiral represents nine months), an idea reinforced by the womb like nature of the structure. The symbol also suggests reincarnation- it is drawn in one continuous line, suggesting a continuous movement of time.

Triskeles are one of the most common elements of Celtic art; they are found in a variety of styles in both ancient and modern Celtic art, especially in relation to depictions of the Mother Goddess. They also evoke the Celtic concept of the domains of material existence- earth, water, and sky, and their interrelations.

Triskele found on an early bronze mirror

 

 

Related Symbols:
Odin's horn

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Index of Celtic and pseudo-Celtic symbols, including Druid symbols, Irish and Scottish cultural images, Celtic knots, and more.

 

Triqueta Sheela-na-gig Cernunnos Triqueta Green man Celtic world tree
Triquetra Sheela Cernunnos Triqueta Green man Tree of Life
Uffington Horse Cerne Abbas giant Shield Knot Triskele Shield Knot
Chalk Horse Rude Man Shield Knot Triskele Shield Knot Taranis
Pictish symbol Pictish Mermaid Pictish symbol
Z-Rod Pictish “V-Rod” Druidry Celtic Knot Celtic knot
Brigid's cross Welsh Dragon Celtic Cross Druid
Brighid’s cross Welsh Dragon Celtic Cross Awen Spiral Shamrock
Ogham Claddagh Deer Deer sccross
Ogham Evangelists Claddagh Cauldron Mistletoe Celtic Cross

 

Celtic Animals:

Celtic Bull Celtic Boar Pictish symbol Dragon Deer Crane
Bull Boar Serpent Dragon Deer Crane
Celtic Horse raven
Horse Dog Raven Salmon

 

Looking for the “celtic symbol” of motherhood, brotherhood, courage, etc?

{ 221 comments }