You’ve seen Irish Celtic knots on everything from fine china, to tatoos on non-Celtic bikers and Christmas ornaments, and those who practice new-age spirituality. Jewelry. Celtic Knots are certainly favored by jewelers. Why does this symbol move us, and what did the original Celts want to say?
The Celts lived in a pre-Christian Ireland, and it just might be that they were in love with a symbol that had passed from the mists of time down to them. (Wait a minute? Pre-Christian? Yes indeed. The ancient Celtic crosses in Ireland were simply elongated to represent a Christian cross when the Celts were left behind.) Those ancient Celts, as with many people during the same era, were just not into recording every impulse they had.
Some historians believe, that like many old religions, the Celts were forbidden to draw realistic pictures of living creatures. In the eastern world this gave rise to extraordinary Arabic Calligraphy. There’s a good chance that it also produced the complex Irish knots which often represent running deer, wolves, etc.
There are four types of Celtic Knots. We’ve all seen them, and we all love them. From how these symbols are used now in areas of Ireland that are closest to their heritage, this is what we believe:
1) Triskele Designs: These are triangles–we are in love with the number three and with triangles.
2) Animals Interlaces: Men and animals entertwined, these represent men and women’s relationships and a sympathetic relationship between hunters and their prey.
3) Circular Knots: Life, eternity, unity. A symbol of life and time without end.
4) Squares: Called ‘Shield Knots’, these offer protection from evil spirits. They were, and still are, given to people who were ill or placed on warriors’ shields.
Go find the magic!
Featured writers — Meredith and Win Blevins, www.BlevinsWordworx.com