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Meanings of Symbols in Celtic Jewelry

Do You Know the Meanings of These Symbols in Celtic Jewelry?

If you are one of those people who want to know the meaning of each and everything in their lives, then this Historyplex article will help you in the jewelry section. Learn about the meaning and significance of Celtic symbols and know the story behind the existence of some brilliant work of art in the ornaments you adorn.
Shalu Bhatti
Last Updated: May 10, 2018
"We have no word for the man who is excessively fearless; perhaps one may call such a man mad or bereft of feeling, who fears nothing, neither earthquakes nor waves, as they say of the Celts."
We all are aware of the rich and varied culture of the Celts. From poems to literature, from legendary stories to artifacts, the modern world today is still intimidated by their culture and traditions. This is the reason why Celtic jewelry is gaining immense popularity in the market today.
Holding a piece of this jewelry always makes one admire its aesthetic beauty, which is so rich in culture and traditional values, that one would be inquisitive to know about its significance and meaning. So, let us trace the meaning and origin of these popular designs and patterns.
Celtic Knots
These were created back in the Polytheistic Celtic times, the evidences of which can also be traced in many Christian monuments and the Book of Kells, dating back to the 8th century. Even before that, their existence can be traced in regions of Europe and Italy in the 6th century. In fact, there was also a Gospel Book including these knots in Northern Britain which is traced back to the 7th century. If you look at the knot work carefully, they appear to be endless, meaning it is very difficult to identify the beginning and the end of these knots. It is because of this unique trait that these signify eternity or infinity. These are also believed to guard from evil spirits, and also symbolize the fact that everything from the beginning till the end, is interconnected with each other.
Celtic Triple Spiral
The existence of this ancient symbol can be traced down to 3200 BCE. The number 3 has always been associated with many mythological or religious beliefs. Take the Holy trinity―Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit―for example. This symbol is mainly associated with the Celtic Triple Goddess, and signifies her three forms―Maiden, Mother, and Crone. Apart from this, the way this spiral has been portrayed in the jewelry also matters. If your jewelry has a spiral that spins clockwise, it symbolizes that life started from winter season because the sun in winters is symbolized by a clockwise turn. Also, if your jewelry has spirals in opposite directions, it shows that there is a balance between good and evil.
Celtic Cross
It is more than just a Christian symbol. The four arms of the Celtic cross signify the four different elements of earth: Water, air, fire, and wind. It depicts an unbreakable connection between these four elements. You also might have seen the famous Celtic cross which has a circle surrounding it. This circle further emphasizes on this connection.
Claddagh Ring
It is ideal for an engagement or a wedding ring. If you look at its design, it consists of a heart―which depicts love, a crown―which depicts loyalty, and two hands holding the heart―which represents friendship. People who are in love and are married or engaged to the person they love, should wear this ring on the left ring finger, with the crown pointing away from the heart. A person who is not in love should wear it on the right hand with the crown pointing towards the heart. For people who are not married, but do love someone should wear the ring on the right hand with the crown pointing away from the heart.
Celtic Squares
Celtic squares in a jewelry symbolize a shield which helps to ward off evil intentions and forces around you, and is also one of the symbols for strength.
Celtic Circles
Celtic circles, on the other hand, symbolize the eternal cycle of life and death.
Trinity Knot
This knot has its own religious meaning. It was traced back in Germanic coins and was associated with the worship of Odin. Usually, a trinity knot consists of a circle which passes the three loops, which are interconnected with each other. This depicts the interconnection of the three elements which together make one whole element. This symbol also depicts the interconnection of the Holy trinity.
Isn't it amazing to hold a piece of Celtic jewelry after knowing its meaning? I don't know about you, but I am the kind of person who tries to find out the meaning behind each and everything that comes my way. And after knowing the meaning of the aforementioned symbols, every time I gift a piece of this jewelry to a dear one and tell them the meaning of it, my gift becomes all the more special, and after reading this, I know yours will too.