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  • Triquetra, The Trinity Knot: Origin And Meaning Of The Symbol

    February 13, 2019 3 min read

    Triquetra, Le Nud De La Trinité : Origine Et Signification Du Symbole.

    There are several symbols from Norse mythology that are still present and represented in our time. You are certainly familiar with the triskele, the Irish Trinity, the trees of life and the pentagram. On the diagram of the Irish trinity, very represented in the cult series of the 90s “Charmed” and on certain traditional tattoos, we can distinguish knots similar to those of Celtic motifs. This trinity knot is called "the symbol of the triquetra", created by the Celts. What is its real meaning?


    Triquetra: Celtic Knots

    In Celtic culture, there are several kinds of knots which all represent continuous ribbons. These knots left by the Celts have symbolic meanings that allude to the Celtic spirit and the mythology of the Druids. The knots have one thing in common: the intertwining knot which is a symbol of anchoring and the braid pattern with 8 patterns with triple chords or even four.


    triquetra ring


    Here are the 3 main Celtic knots:

     The Celtic Love Knot
     The Celtic Spiral
     The Triquetra


    Triquetra: its characteristics

    Triquetra or the trinity knot is also reputed to be the Celtic triangle. In Latin, the name "triquetra" means "with three corners". We can find on this symbol, three interlocking loops which embodies the three forces of nature which are: earth, water and fire. Around these three loops, one can often distinguish a circle. Once the latter is represented around our three elements: it represents both protection, infinity and eternity. In other words, the circle represents spiritual unity that cannot be broken.


    Triquetra: meaning

    Triquetra is widely used for making sterling silver necklaces, lockets, charms and other ring-shaped jewelry. For some, the triquetra has only one and its own meaning while for others it has several meanings and can even play several roles at the same time.


       gods and goddesses

    The true meaning of this starry symbol may come from the history of deities in Celtic mythology. One of the "three" goddesses who was none other than Dana (goddess of the moon) was worshiped by the Celts. It was related to the different phases of the moon: waxing, waning and full. There is also the Celtic Goddess Morrigan, a Goddess of "Three" who is also one of the Three Goddesses of War.


       neo-pagan culture

    The element "tri" in the name of this symbol from the Viking Age refers to the geometric shape of the triangle with three angles. In the pagan universe, the number three can represent: the young girl, the mother and the old woman.

    Pagans also linked the triquetra symbol to protection from darkness as the ancient Celts believed. However, different peoples have each assigned a role and meaning to this symbol, according to their cultures and beliefs.


       modern culture

    Over time, the triquetra became more and more represented, used and supported by research and archaeological studies by the Irish and the British. The triquetra symbol now takes on an important and significant place in Ireland. The Irish inspire interest in Celtic culture and past. Nowadays, the triquetra has become a decorative element: talisman, logos, tattoos, art, printing and many more. It does have several meanings.


    triquetra necklace


    Triquetra: its origin

    Like many Viking symbols, the triquetra remains a symbol shrouded in mystery and an unknown past. Its true meaning and who created it still remain unknown, as several theories circulate about it. Indeed, the triquetra is a symbol dating back to 500 years before our era. Some claim that it is directly linked to Celtic culture while others have managed to discover this symbol in Norse Viking images, on artifacts and on some rune stones.

    Christians claim that the triquetra was designed by monks to entice Celts to convert to Christianity. But for others, it remains vaguely the symbol of the trinity (the idea of ​​three persons in one): God the father, God the son and the Holy Spirit. The Celts claimed that the symbol was created by their peoples and was exploited by Christians to alienate them from their ideology.

    The triquetra has been found on certain stones dating from the year 1000 of our era, in Europe during archaeological excavations. It is also engraved on rune stones and on German currency. Some books of Norse mythology, and old books dating from the year 800 like the "book of Kell" evokes the triquetra.

    To sum up, the triquetra is a symbol whose exact meaning remains unknown, but which is today used and evoked in several areas.

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