Celtic symbols and their meanings have influenced the thought process and lives of people living in central and western Europe. People from medieval-Europe made use of these symbols to seek inspiration in their lives. The different Celtic symbols and meanings associated with them makes their study an interesting one. Let us find more about these symbols.
Meanings of Celtic Symbols
There is a long tradition and history associated with Celtic symbols and their meanings. These symbols are associated with concepts/phenomena that have fundamental meanings associated with them. Understanding more about Celtic symbols and their meaning is possible with the information presented below.
Celtic Five-fold Symbol
The 'Celtic Five-fold Symbol' is formed of five rings. Four of these rings intersect (touch) at a single point. This intersection point forms the center of the fifth ring. The four rings of this symbol are associated with entities like the elements, seasons and directions. In terms of elements, the four rings represent air, water, fire and earth; the fifth ring is used to represent 'aether'. Directions, as we know, are the East, West, North and South. The fifth ring represents the center. The four seasons i.e. Summer, Winter, Spring and Fall are represented by four rings. Fifth ring is used to symbolize the process of transitioning (from one season to the other). Information about few other Celtic symbols and their meanings is presented in subsequent paragraphs.
Amongst the different Celtic symbols and meanings, trinity knot is the most important one. Many different meanings are associated with the symbol of trinity. The Spirit-Mind-Body is one such association, represented by trinity. The trinity Celtic symbol is also one of the eternity symbols; this is because, it is drawn as a knot which forms a continuous loop.
Wheel-headed Celtic Cross
Descriptions of Irish Celtic symbols and their meanings should be interesting to read about. Let us understand about one such Irish Celtic symbols, the 'Wheel-headed Celtic Cross'. The symbol is formed of twin circles and a cross. The twin circles symbolize Spirit and Earth, while the cross represents home of God.
V-rod and Z-rod Symbols
These symbols, as their name suggest, are named after the shapes. In the V-rod symbol, an arrow-shape over that of crescent can be seen. This symbol is used to represent the phenomenon of death. The Z-rod symbol has a shape of the letter 'Z'; the symbol includes features like serpent, double-disk, doorway, sun, tomb, etc. Various concepts/phenomenona like solar cycle, death, afterlife, etc. are depicted through these symbols. The Scottish Celtic symbols and their meanings should help in understanding more about symbols from the Celtic tradition.
Celtic Symbols for Strength
Different animal symbols were used to symbolize strength by Celtic warriors. Celtic bulls, bears, lion, dragon and the boar were few of these animals. The Celtic bull represents strong will power and also physical strength. Lion symbolizes nobility and strength, while the bear symbols depicts power. The boar represents ferocity and strength. Dragons symbolize mighty opponents who are difficult to overcome. The different Celtic symbols and meanings associated with animals make us aware of the warriors and their beliefs in Celtic tradition.
It is the most famous Celtic symbol from Ireland. The meaning associated with shamrock is that of luck. The three-lobed shamrock also represents the 'Father-Son-Holy Spirit' association. It was believed that the shamrock possessed mystic powers. If a storm was approaching a particular place, petals of this plant would stand upright; this would act as a warning against the storm.
I hope the Celtic symbols and their meanings presented in the article above, proved helpful in understanding more about them. The different Celtic symbols and meanings provide us with the knowledge of Celtic art and culture and various beliefs of the Celts.