Irish Celtic symbols have many recurring themes and at the very core of them is this spirituality, this connection with the other world and and their observations on the world they lived in.
Water,Trees,Animals, the Sun and the Moon were all significant players in the life of the ancient Celts.
Below I will give a brief background on the most well known of these Celtic Irish symbolism
The Trefoil The issue of infinity is a recurring on in Celtic symbolism and the Trefoil is the most well known of these.
It is the symbol of Bridget, a triune goddess, wise woman, maiden and mother. Naturally since it represents infinity the line is unbroken, never-ending.
Spirals in Irish Celtic symbolism represent the the unleashing of power and the force of decreasing and increasing. Represented in 'real life' by the growth rings on trees, the spirals of fingerprints,etc.
Celtic and Irish symbols - Trees
The Oak Tree Many types of tree are represented in Irish Celtic symbolism but the Oak tree is the most sacred and also had connection with St.Bridget. In the Celtic calender it was the seventh month, a very important month, the Summer Solstice month.
The Oak, because of it's longevity, was a symbol of strength and continuum. It's fruit and bark were used to aid healing and its timber for spiritual rites.
The Hazel Tree was a symbol of wisdom. In the Celtic calender it was the ninth month, the time of the Bealtaine fires. A fork shaped hazel branch is still used in Ireland today for help in divining water, as is the Rowan tree. The Hazel tree was said to have been grown by the source of the two great rivers of old Erin , the Boyne and the Shannon.
The Rowan Tree was seen by the Irish celts as the symbol of life and as a protector and would be grown around settlements to protect them.
The Elder Tree was symbolic of death and rebirth and associated with fairies. It was placed at the end of the Celtic calender, the bridge between the death of one year and the birth of another. Its fruits were often used for medicinal purposes and wine making and its wood used for adornment on festive occasions.
Elder trees are still planted regularly around Irish graveyards.
Irish Celtic symbols - Birds and Animals
Salmon The Salmon was a symbol of Wisdom and Knowledge. In Irish Celtic mythology there is a very famous story of the Salmon of Knowledge.
Swans represented love, purity and compassion and the swans dying song symbolised the song of the poet.The Swan was said to possess the healing powers of the sun and the water. Swan is a central figure in that classic tale from Irish Celtic mythology The Children of Lir
Dogs symbolised war,healing,protection and companionship. Probably the most famous representation of this is in the legend of Fionn MacCumhall.
Of course there are many , many more Celtic-Irish symbols, indeed an entire world of them. I am not an expert in the area but I hope that what little I know has inspired you to further explore what I consider are the real Irish symbols.
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