History of the Meaning of Celtic Symbols
Celtic Symbols each have their own unique meaning. In Medieval times almost everything seen by man had a meaning attached to it. Even numbers had meanings attached to them, the Creator's Star or Star of David has six points to represent the six days of the creation of the world. Some symbols seen on ancient manuscripts were for decorative purposes only such as the swirls and interlacing ribbon patterns used to decorate initial letters and section breaks in illuminated manuscripts. The Celtic Trinity Knot symbolised the trinity, each of the three sides representing one the three distinct persons, God the Father, his son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
Meaning of Celtic Animal Symbols
Many old Celtic manuscripts incorporated Celtic Zoomorphic designs and each one of the animals had a meaning attached to it. The Phoenix, a mythical bird represented the resurrection as it was believed that it could regenerate itself in its own funeral pyre. The Dove symbolises the holy spirit and was often carved onto Baptism fonts, usually seven doves were carved to represent the seven gifts of the holy spirit: Wisdom, Fear of the Lord, Understanding, Piety, Knowledge, Fortitude and Counsel. The Pelican bird was believed to pierce its own breast to feed its young, this symbol was used to represent holy communion and the sacrifice on the cross.
Meaning of Celtic Symbols - Images
The images below depict traditional Celtic symbols, the image on the left is an initial taken from the beautiful 'Book of Kells' and is known as a Celtic Zoomorphic design. The original letter would have been in color as the beautiful illuminated manuscript was colored in mainly gold and red. 'Zoomorphic' is due to the way that an animal form has been combined with a letter to produce an intricate design. The image in the centre is also a Zoomorphic pattern and was also taken from an ancient Celtic manuscript. The image on the right is of a Celtic Cross carved with beautiful Celtic patterns and designs. The Celtic cross is believed to have been invented by St Patrick as he attempted to convert the pagans who worshipped the sun god to Christianity by incorporating a cross with a circle, the circle is also meant to represent eternal life.
Facts about the Meaning of Celtic Symbols
Celtic symbols are inspired by designs that are hundreds of years old such as ancient Celtic manuscripts including the 9th century masterpiece of Irish art history, 'The Book of Kells'.
Celtic designs were also copied from Celtic and High Crosses that have survived wars, invasions and the weather and are still found all across Ireland hundreds of years after they were first carved!
The meaning of each individual Celtic symbol is unique, perhaps this is why they are such a popular choice? Regardless of a person's heritage, the symbols represent love, loyalty, friendship, religious belief to name just a few! They make perfect tattoo designs, pendants, rings, ornaments and so much more, after all a picture speaks a thousand words!
Celtic symbols are an extremely popular choice today for various gift items, Celtic wedding rings designed incorporating the symbolic Trinity Knot are purchased every day by couples of Celtic heritage or for couples who are looking for a unique wedding band
The Claddagh friendship ring first designed in the 17th century is an extremely popular choice and often given as a sign of commitment to a relationship or for engagement or wedding rings. The Claddagh symbol represents Love, Loyalty and Friendship