Celtic Pagan Symbols

Celtic culture evolved in Ireland and the Celtic Islands many centuries ago. As a result of the rich history and legends of the land, Celtic designs which use knot work, nature and spirituality themes have become very popular mainstream these days. It is believed that most of these Celtic designs may have evolved from the “Book of Kells” which is believed to have been created around ca 800.
Celtic Cross – The symbol of the Celtic Cross is one of the most favored of all Irish symbols. It is seen throughout Ireland, Scotland and England. The Druids are believed to have created stones with elaborate designs on them to mark the terrain. There are many such crosses in Ireland which are believed to be a combination of the original Druidic Celtic cross with a St Patrick improvisation on it as well. The circle on this cross symbol signifies a continual cycle with no beginning or end. The Celtic cross is also believed to symbolize the crossing or a connection between paradise and earth. The cross-shaped original symbol pre-dates Christianity and goes back to a much earlier period in time. Also, some people believe that the ancient symbol called “Ankh” could have been a predecessor of the original cross. This Celtic cross symbol is extremely sacred to most Wiccans who may wear it in the form of a pendant, earrings or other forms of jewelry.
Double spiral – Spirals are parts of the natural world and we see them everywhere including growing plant vines, tree growth rings, twirling water rushing down a drain, tendrils of plants and in natural phenomena such as a tornado or a dust storm. Spirals usually may be found on animals such as snails, snakes, and shells that protect smaller animals such as oysters and turtles. As part of nature, the different types of spirals have been noticed and studied by many naturalists. The beauty of the world is indeed indescribable and very mysterious indeed!
In many parts of the world, people mimic animals for protection. They paint themselves with various animal patterns so that they get the ferocity of the animals or in the least, look like them so that they may repel evil while traveling or engaged in battles. The double spiral that has Celtic origins probably began in the early ages of civilization as they observed the beauty of the natural world. These spirals are evident in many artifacts in places such as Newgrange, Ireland where it may have been revered by Pagan cultures as the designs mimic the path of the celestial bodies or life on Earth. Although the meaning of the symbol is not clearly known, we surmise that is may be representing the path of the Sun. the planetary objects such as the Sun, Moon and the planets which can be seen by the naked eye were very much venerated by all.
The single spiral – It is believed to reproduce the path made by the sun as it goes around. However, current belief is that it represents life as the concept of life, death and rebirth as we move through eternity. It could also denote our sense of growth and awareness of self developing outwardly. The single spiral is believed to be a representation of the growth and expansion of consciousness in humans. It is associated with power, independence and in some ways may symbolize migration of tribes. Although it is believed to have been used 25,000 years ago, its prevalence is believed to have increased around 5000 years ago. Similar spirals have been found in Nepal as well as in rock carvings in Utah.
Triple Spiral – This type of spiral symbol is believed to represent the three stages of the Triple Goddess manifestation or the feminine which is represented by the three stages of the Moon, namely, the Maiden, Mother and Crone. It may also have been symbolic of the three realms that people accepted in those times: land, sea and sky.
Five fold Spiral – This mesmerizing pagan symbol is also called the quintuple spiral or a pentaskelion. The outer circles represent the various elements of Fire, Water, Earth and Air. The spirit is represented by the fifth element and it is a part of the other four elements. Other five-fold representations include East-South-West-North-Center, Air-Fire-Water-Earth-Aether, Spring-Summer-Fall-Winter-Transitions, Nuada-Lugh-Dagda-Fal-Danu etc.
Three Rays (Arwen) or Awen symbol which is sometimes referred to as “the Three rays”, is believed to symbolize male, female and balance of nature. The first ray on the right side is believed to indicate male forces while the left side, it denotes female forces. The ray in the center may represent the balance between the male and female forces of nature.

Triquetra -
This is a three-cornered symbol that upholds the power of the number three which was believed to be a magickal number in the early ages. Later, this symbol was adopted by the Christians to symbolize the holy trinity.

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

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