Celtic Symbols

This page lists all the various symbols in the Celtic Symbols category.

The Celts (usually pronounced pron.: /ˈkɛlts/ but sometimes /ˈsɛlts/, see pronunciation of Celtic) or Kelts were an ethno-linguistic group of tribal societies in Iron Age and Medieval Europe who spoke Celtic languages and had a similar culture, although the relationship between the ethnic, linguistic and cultural elements remains uncertain and controversial.

Symbols in this category:

Apple

One of the most symbolic of all fruits, apples have held a central place in the traditions of many different cultures.

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Bear

Even if they’ve never seen one in person, most people are probably familiar with the bear. In modern times, some of this familiarity doubtless comes from, shall we say “juvenile” sources; i.e. stuffed teddy bears, children’s literary characters and perhaps movies/nature documentaries. On the other hand, the human fascination with this animal is by no means a modern phenomenon. The symbolic importance of the bear is extremely widespread, encompassing the traditions of many different cultures over the course of thousands of years.

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Boar

When it comes to symbolic meaning, the boar can be distinctly different from the “pig”, so in this article we will only be addressing the former. While there are some general connotations to the boar that are fairly easy to understand, there are also innumerable cultural associations that follow in the tracks of this animal, wherever it happens to reside.

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Celtic Cross

Celtic cross (Irish: cros Cheilteach, Scottish Gaelic: crois Cheilteach, Manx: crosh Cheltiagh, Welsh: croes Geltaidd, Cornish: krows geltek, Breton: kroaz geltek) is a symbol that combines a cross with a ring surrounding the intersection.

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Celtic knot

Celtic knots are a variety of knots and stylized graphical representations of knots used for decoration, used extensively in the Celtic style of Insular art. These knots are most known for their adaptation for use in the ornamentation of Christian monuments and manuscripts, such as the 8th-century St. Teilo Gospels, the Book of Kells and the Lindisfarne Gospels. Most are endless knots, and many are varieties of basket weave knots.

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Claddagh

Often seen as a decorative element in jewelry, this familiar symbol embodies several values that have long been key components of human culture.

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Oak

In many parts of ancient Europe, the Oak tree was a revered symbol. Besides the tree itself, individual components such as acorns and leaves held their own unique significance, and oaks were also associated with numerous deities.

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Raven

Although the raven has a widespread reputation for ill fortune, this is not the case everywhere you go, and even where it is, there are subtle layers of meaning assigned to this bird that some may not be aware of.

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Stag

When it comes to symbolic meaning, the stag can be distinctly different from the “deer”, so in this article we will only be addressing the former. While there are some general connotations to the stag that are fairly easy to understand, there are also innumerable cultural associations that follow in the tracks of this animal, wherever it happens to reside.

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The Celtic Shield

The Celtic shield is often used to ward off evil spirits, and also for protection.

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Triple spiral

The triple spiral or triskele is a Celtic and pre-Celtic symbol found on a number of Irish Megalithic and Neolithic sites, most notably inside the Newgrange passage tomb, on the entrance stone, and on some of the curbstones surrounding the mound.

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Triquetra

Triquetra originally meant "triangle" and was used to refer to various three-cornered shapes. Nowadays, it has come to refer exclusively to a particular more complicated shape formed of three vesicae piscis, sometimes with an added circle in or around it. Also known as a "trinity knot," the design is used as a religious symbol by both Christians and polytheists.

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Triskelion

A triskelion or triskele is a motif consisting of three interlocked spirals, or three bent human legs. Both words are from Greek "τρισκέλιον" (triskelion) or "τρισκελής" (triskeles), "three-legged", from prefix "τρι-" (tri-), "three times" + "σκέλος" (skelos), "leg". Although it appears in many places and periods, it is especially characteristic of the Celtic art of the La Tène culture of the European Iron Age.

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"Celtic Symbols." Symbols.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 31 Oct. 2014. <http://www.symbols.com/category/22>.

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