What are Celtic Symbols and their Significance

What are Celtic Symbols and their Significance

The world of Celtic symbols is mystical – ancient emblems that transcend time and carry profound meanings.  Celtic symbols are rich in cultural and historical significance, often reflecting the beliefs, traditions, and spirituality of the Celtic people.


Here are some notable Celtic symbols:

 1.⁠ ⁠Celtic Knots are Intricate, interwoven designs symbolising eternity, interconnectedness, and the cyclical nature of life. Different types of knots carry various meanings.  

The Dara Celtic knot as seen below on this gravestone, also known as the "Oak Knot" or "Tree of Life" knot, is a symbol associated with strength, wisdom, endurance, and leadership. The knot is inspired by the roots of the mighty oak tree, a prominent tree in Celtic culture.  


Wearing or displaying the Dara Celtic knot can be a personal affirmation of these qualities, serving as a reminder of the strength, wisdom, and resilience needed to navigate life's journey.




 2.⁠ ⁠The Triskelion is characterised by three interconnected spirals, representing life, death, and rebirth or the interconnectedness of land, sea, and sky or even mind, body and soul.  

The Triskelion is a versatile and ancient symbol that transcends Celtic culture, finding variations in other ancient civilisations as well.  As the Triskelion has numerous meanings, it is open to interpretation - find a meaning that resonates with you.



 3.⁠ ⁠The Celtic Cross is a cross with a circle, which blends Christian and Celtic symbolism. It also represents faith, heritage, and the eternal life.  

The circle can also represent the sun which was a very important element in Celtic culture - life, warmth and light.



4.⁠ ⁠The Claddagh is a symbol of love, loyalty, and friendship, often seen in rings with a heart, hands, and a crown.  

The two hands symbolise friendship, the heart symbolises love, and the crown symbolises loyalty.  For these reasons, the Claddagh ring is a popular gift to someone you love.






 5.⁠ ⁠The Celtic Tree of Life depicts a tree with branches reaching into the sky and roots into the earth, symbolising the interconnectedness of all life and the cyclical nature of existence.  

The Celtic Tree of Life is a significant and enduring emblem in Celtic art, mythology, and spirituality.



 6.⁠ ⁠Celtic Spirals represent growth, expansion, and the journey of life. They come in various forms and can have different meanings.  

The single spiral symbolises consciousness of nature and begins at the centre expanding outward: the path of all things, according to mystics. 



 7.⁠ ⁠Celtic animals like the stag, dragon, wolf and others hold symbolic meanings in Celtic culture, often representing strength, wisdom, and protection.  Here are some Celtic animal symbols and their meanings:-

* A Boar represents courage, fertility, and strength, often seen as a symbol of bravery in battle.

* A Raven is associated with knowledge, prophecy, and transformation.

* A Swan is symbolic of love, beauty, and transformation.

* An Owl symbolises wisdom, intuition, and the ability to see beyond illusions.

* A Butterfly represents transformation, change, and the soul's journey.




 8.⁠ ⁠Ogham is an ancient Celtic script, consisting of linear characters carved into stones or wood.

Each character represents a letter and has a corresponding tree, adding a connection to nature.  Ogham also provides a tangible link to ancient Celtic culture, individuals and communities.



9.⁠ ⁠Celtic Colours like green, red, and blue have symbolic significance in Celtic art, representing themes like nature, life, and the spiritual realm.  

The Celtic Trinity, Triquetra, like many knots it can be seen as a Celtic symbol for strength.  Read more about the Triquetra here.




These symbols are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also carry deep cultural and spiritual meanings. They have become enduring motifs in art, jewellery, and other forms of expression, connecting people to the rich history and traditions of the Celtic culture.



What are the Celtic Animal Zodiac signs and their meaning? Click here to find your Celtic Animal.