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The Celts use of spirals and
knotwork in their art and religion is a significant part of
their heritage. These designs were developed from nature.
Spirals unfold clockwise from their counterclockwise source and
represent the inner and outer evolution of the spirit. The dark
into light, winter into summer, the contraction and expansion of
the sun. This polarity also formed the basis of the Celtic
Knotwork is another significant aspect of
Celtic art and religion. These knots are generally endless and
signify the binding of the soul to the world and the spiritual
progress of humanity through endless lives in search of the
divine source, the sacred center.
The Celts believed in the "oneness"
of nature and that nature had the ability to transform itself on
all levels of existence. The shapes of their zoomorphic designs
signified this belief and also their understanding of the
seasonal and evolutionary changes of all creatures. Within their
the fish symbolized clairvoyance,
the serpent was divine wisdom,
the hare was good fortune,
the birds were spirits of prophesy,
the horse represented sovereignty,
the dragon was a guardian spirit.
Their ancient wisdom and understanding is thought, by many to be beyond other cultures.
- Celtic Knotwork is
probably the best known style of Celtic
design. The intertwined patterns of never-ending lines
appealed to the Celts, symbolizing their ideas of eternal
life and the intricate relationship of humanity with both
the divine and the natural worlds.
- The Celtic Spiral
symbolizes the continuity of life and spiritual growth.
Death was therefore also a rebirth, whether of a human life,
the seasons of the year, the astrological skies or anything
in the natural or supernatural world.
- The Cauldron Symbol or the
three spirals represent the Maiden, Mother and Crone aspect
of the Goddess. The Cauldron is under the power of the Earth
goddess Ceredwen the goddess of transformation.
Transformation or Shapeshifting was an integral part of Celtic
belief, this symbol is found all over Celtic
artifacts. In the Cauldron, divine knowledge and inspiration
- Celtic Crosses symbolizes
the bridge to the other world and to higher energy and
knowledge. The first Celtic crosses had
four equal points representing the four directions, and the
four elements enclosed by a circle representing the sun.
These early crosses were used to mark holy spots in
- The Claddagh A modern
addition to the various Celtic Symbols. This is not really a
Celtic symbol, but very beautiful and one to enjoy from the
homelands. The Irish symbol of love. The Claddagh is a heart
being held by a pair of hands with a crown above. A symbol
of love and friendship. The two hands represent friendship,
the crown-loyalty, the heart-love.
- The Shamrock
- Used as a floral emblem of the Irish. The Shamrock is also
considered the national emblem of Ireland. Several three
leafed plants are called shamrocks including Wood sorrel,
White clover and Black Medic. A hop clover (Trifolium
dubium) occurs naturally in Ireland and is often regarded as
the true or original shamrock. Again, this is not really a
Celtic symbol, but a very beautiful one and a favorite among
many Celtic jewelry lovers.