Very varied, Celtic motifs are found on tattoos, on decorative objects, on stationery, on clothing, necklaces , on pendants, etc. They may be beautiful to behold, but they are one of the few remnants of Celtic culture.
They therefore had a very deep spiritual and symbolic value . Today, you can wear any Celtic pattern on yourself for fun. We can even draw inspiration from these patterns to create personalized patterns. But do you know the Celtic patterns that exist? We present them to you here.
The Celtic Cross
The Celtic cross is made up of two eternally powerful emblems symbolizing sacred existential realities among the Celts. It is in the form of a cross united with a circle at its intersection. The circle and the cross represent the sun and the moon, two deities worshiped by the Celtic Druids. For them, the cross united to the circle was:
- The four cardinal directions and the four gods who inhabited them;
- The four seasons of the Celtic year;
- The intersection between the path of the living and that of the dead;
- Union through the central circle of air, water, fire and earth.
The Celtic cross was therefore the symbol of the meeting of divine energies.
Also called " trisquel " or " Celtic triskelion " or "triple spiral", the triskele is a design made up of three arms representing spirals winding in the same direction and connected to each other at a central point. Among the Celts, it was a sacred symbol, because the number 3 - the three arms - is the number of divinity, of perfection, of the balance between soul, body and spirit.
It was the symbol of eternal evolution and learning, the symbol of the interconnection between present , past and future , of the union of earth, water and air. He was also associated with the three social classes that made up Celtic society namely workers, druids and warriors.
The infinite spiral
The infinite spiral is one of the oldest Celtic patterns and one of the most common. They have been found carved in stone and more than 12,000 years old. After the knotted patterns, this is the second . Without beginning or end, it evokes infinite and immortal cycles, the balance between inner and outer consciousness.
When it turns to the right, it represents the winter solstice and the summer solstice when it turns to the left. On the symbolism side, it is linked to spiritual growth, the cycle of the sun, the life force, reincarnation. This explains why a large number of these objects have been found in burial mounds.
It should also be noted that the spiral has a strongly feminine connotation . It can refer to fertility, intuition and various other concepts associated with the female gender.
The tree of Life
As a sacred element of nature, the tree of life had a very high value in the eyes of the Celts. If they had a strong link with the forests because they find refuge, food, and fire there, beyond this consideration, the tree of life is one of the central elements of the mythology of the Celts. For them, it symbolized the gods, the force, the life of nature, the union between heaven and earth, between the dead and the living.
The Awen, the three rays
Among the Celts, Awen referred to inspiration. This Celtic symbol is made up of three concentric circles inside which 3 rays point to a vertex where there are three round dots. The rays represent the rays of light or the three entities forming man.
Celtic knot patterns
Celtic knots are complete loops with no beginning and no end made with a single thread. Infinite, closed and unable to collapse, they therefore symbolize eternity , continuity, and therefore can be applied to love, faith, friendship, etc. And even if they are used to decorate jewelry, utensils, their meaning is not always perceived.
To John R. Allen again, the Celtic knot-based patterns come in 8 different versions, including for example:
- The Celtic trinity knot or “trinity knot” or “Triquetra” which symbolizes the Holy Trinity;
- The Celtic Love Knot;
- The sailor's knot consisting of two intertwined ropes;
- The Dara knot, a symbol of personal and spiritual strength;
- The shield knot, used as protection against dangers, diseases and evil spirits;
- The tracery;
- The wyvern;
- The Celtic sigil;
There are many other Celtic symbols like:
- the Celtic runes which are also a very popular alphabet whose letters were associated with concepts and gods of Celtic mythology.
- The Claddah ring, represented by a heart surmounted by a crown and representing love and loyalty.
- The sitrel or Celtic double spiral, often used by the Celts to represent the equinoxes and equivalent to Ying and Yan in Eastern culture.