Ancient Wiccan Symbols

Celtic people lived in Western Europe and the British Isles from 500 B. C to 400 A.D. As written records are limited, it is not easy to determine which symbols actually originated from the Celtic culture. Also, the church has taken over many of these pagan symbols including the Symbol of the Cross.

Wiccan symbols are derived from various signs used by multiple cultures and they include the Triskelion, Triquetra, the three hares and the triple Moon Goddess symbol that signifies the three phases of Moon.

The Green Man, who is universally found in many ancient sites, is believed to signify Nature. In Celtic mythology, the Green Man is a God of spring and summer. Sometimes he represents death and resurrection or the ebb and flow of life.

Most of these symbols were used by the early Pagans. Many are linked to mathematically precise formulae. Many of these symbols were later taken over and re-designed to align with the newer religions.

A Celtic cross is a symbol that combines a cross with a ring at the center.
The symbol created when a Triquetra is interlaced with a circle is called a “Trinity Knot”. It is believed to represent the aspects of Spirit, nature and existence in this Cosmos. The Triquetra is also used interlaced with other symbols and four Triquetra may also be combined to form a Carolingian Cross.

There are many types of Celtic knots which are graphical representations of animals, plants and even humans. Although interlaced patterns are believed to have originated from the late Roman Empire, they have been found not only in Celtic art but also in Coptic Art, Islamic Art, Ethiopian Art and European Art.

Spirals on the other hand, did emerge earlier and were seen in Celtic Art as early as 450 A.D. Interwoven cords or plaits can be found in many areas of Europe and is believed to have originated from Northern Italy and Southern Gaul. Celtic art is now associated with the countries Ireland, Scotland and UK.

The Triple spiral also represents the Moon in its three phases: New Moon, Crescent Moon and Full Moon as the three powers of maiden, mother and crone.

Celtic knots that have a closed path with no beginning and no end, are considered to be a symbol of eternity. Knots which have open paths are believed to signify a journey; a spiritual or physical one.

Some styles of knot work are actually a means of displaying the heritage of a certain family or clan. Sometimes these spirals or knots indicate the four direction, four seasons, four elements, Celtic fire festivals or an emblem of Brigid with its four branches – hand, hearth, head and heart. The four cornered Celtic knot design is also believed to by a Druidic symbol of protection.

The Triskelion is a Celtic symbol which denotes progress of human beings. It looks like a three-legged man running toward a destination.

There is another symbol called the Three Rays or Arwen. This symbol has three rays two of which symbolizes feminine energy, and masculine energy. The middle ray is believed to symbolize the balance of energies.

As evident, there are many shared symbols used all over the world. Few people have taken the time over history to write about the significance of these symbols and the way they evolved. As human beings, we should be capable of taking each symbol that crosses our path so that we can learn all about it and create an encyclopedia for future generations.

Rose Ariadne: Providing “Magickal” answers to your Pagan, Wiccan, Witchcraft spell casting questions since 2006.

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