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The Celtic Triquetra Symbol

Posted by on November 16, 2011

Triquetra

Try meditatine with this image and see what comes up for you

In order to understand the Celtic knots in the triquetra symbol you have to backup a little bit. Before you can understand the triple celtic patterns you have to understand the one universal thing and how energy moves.

 

The one; that is where it all starts.  It’s the everything, the omniscient and omnipresent being all things at once; which is where it starts, that one first cell in the universe that somehow became animated and started to split to create life.  The Triquetra meaning is intertwined with many irish symbols and meanings.  curves and things that intertwine are among the very ancient celtic symbols.

 

Any one can be divided and made two which leads us to duality. Western thought dwells very heavily in duality; us or them mentalities lead to war because if you are not us you’ve  got to be with them. Then we have to kill you. Celtic symbology offers a smoother path.

 

Duality is an illusion and that leads to strife it leads us to create shadow selves for those part of ourselves we don’t approve of.  So ultimately we wind up at war with ourselves and the outside is just a manifestation of the inside.  Druid symbols are often about finding balance in nature and balancing out your own internal nature.

 

Now we can talk about three.  Chinese taoism and the Tao is said not to manifest the intention of yin, negative, passive or female energy and yang positive, active and male energy in the Tao teaching Lau Tsu wrote, “The Tao gave birth to the one who wanted to the 2 to and was unified by the 3 which carried all the myriad things which carry the yen and embrace the yang harmoniously intermingled.”

 

For the chinese, the interesting part of the yin, yang symbol we are so familiar with is not the white or the black but the curvy line which implies motion between them.

 

I think the Irish who were so agrarian understood this organic rhythm as well.  We certainly see similar images in the irish celtic symbols. For a gardener the year is circular not linear.  There is always some connection between the beginning and the end.  Of course celtic symbols meaning is open to interpretation just like art.  Some people have taken it as a symbol to be internalized as a challenge to embrace the major archetypal roles we play in life.  They consider the triquetra symbol meaning to be Maiden, Mother, Crone.

 

Which leads us to the three. In the middle ages Irish priests single-handedly saved civilization by falling in love with the written word. They developed something called their green martyrdom. That martyrdom was when someone was horrendously disfigured or killed for the faith, green martyrdom was when someone took a book out into the woods or to hermatage and remove dthemselves from society to just sit and copy the sacred books, so where there was one that would now be two.

brown_leafy_yin_yang

Organic motion, always changing from one state to the next

 

Then there were four and eight became the libraries and the hermitages that Irish priests developed in the Middle Ages became huge and places of learning that has survived down even to today. Trinity college for example. Celtic wicca made its contribution even to the illuminated the manuscripts the christians produced were the symbols impressed upon the subconscious minds of the Irish friars came to fruition.  Even with out knowing the celtic symbol meanings the lovely book of Kells preserves the celtic symbolism that was prevalent in the celtic pagan community.

 

Everything the Irish priest did they did well and with relish. I think the Irish and always poets at heart. And so they created not just Bibles or sacred works but gorgeous pieces of art like the Book of Kells. It became fashionable to create illuminated manuscripts and many of these manuscripts while they were created by the Irish being absorbed by another culture where a lasting testimony to the Irish culture they came through on the page.

 

Art critics say that the art is always a reflection of the artist. That is certainly true in the case of the illuminated manuscripts. And that’s where we get a lot of the patterns for the Celtic knot work that we see the stores when we celtic shop.  These manuscripts kept the celtic symbols  preserved because they were written in sacred books that Christianity approved of.

 

That makes the Irish much luckier than the Mayans who have most of their sacred works burned.

 

Some of the things ascribed to the celtic druid triple symbol are correspondences to the moon goddess. Instead in Celtic magic anything done three times under the light of the moon is considered an invocation of the goddess and it indicates your acceptance of her lifecycle of maiden mother and Crone.

 

It may be a reference to the phases of the moon which is waxing waning and full. In a time when people couldn’t buy a new calendar every year keeping track of time was a matter of paying attention to the world around you. The passage of the Moon phase was something that was hard to miss and easy to calculate.  Druid symbols and meanings often point to natural processes that are going on around us so this is not out af the question.

 

The triquetra is Latin for three cornered, so is three circles intermingled with the corners pulled out rather sharply that is seen worldwide today. Celtic people have taken it as their symbol. Wiccans use it regularly. I’ve seen it on a few Christian rock albums. Christian Rock Is an oxymoron for confused if you ask me but that’s a subject for another post.

 

If the symbol intrigues you I sugest you print it out and meditate on it.  Take a ride on its curves and see where it takes you.  The celtic circle meaning may take you to a whole new level.  Celtic symbolism is very subjective and like art each view brings something new to it.

Last modified on December 4, 2011

Categories: Magic
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