Irish symbols for me are more than the normal images used to represent Ireland. I don't think of leprechauns or the Shamrock or Guinness. I think of our Celtic past and our Irish present and for me that is what comes to mind.
These images conjure up mysticism, poetry, gods and goddesses, battles, love, jealousy, connection with the elements of life. For me the real symbols of Ireland are our Irish Celtic symbols.
These images are representative of a famous race of people with a connection to their environment that was not recorded in writing but in symbolism and tales.
Irish symbols in Irish schools
All the classic Irish symbols were images that we absorbed in school. Stories of druids, of great battles, great love, great fires. Stories of the earth and of living.
Pupils and teachers were proud of our Celtic-Irish heritage. We were proud of famous treasures such as the Book of Kells and the Book of Durrow, the Tara Brooch and all those other wonderful images from our past.
We looked at those symbols of Ireland's past and we did not need to be told of how magnificent they were. We understood, even then, how magical these symbols were. We did not need to be told. The imagery spoke for itself. We knew, inside of us,that these were precious treasure links to our past.
I will attempt to provide a little background information on the Celtic people and the imagery used by them to represent their lives. However it is simply not possible for me to do them justice here. They need to be seen to be believed but hopefully you will get a taste of the power of these famous symbols of Ireland.
The Celtic Irish
When we think of Celts we think of Ireland,Scotland,Wales, Isle of Man and Brittany. However that was not always the case.
The original Celts were a fragmented group of tribes spread throughout Europe who shared similar beliefs. They had shared religious, material and burial customs. In Latin the Celtic tribes were referred to as Gauls.
Traces to their ancient culture in Europe before they spread westward are found in the name Paris, which is derived from the Celtic tribe known as Parisii, Bologna in Italy is derived from the Boii tribe as indeed is the name Bohemia. Celtic art work is to be found all over Europe.
The Celts migrated towards Britain and Ireland to be followed by the Romans. The Romans were to subdue the Celts but the Romans never made it to Ireland so the Celtic way of life was free to flourish.
As a result of this we have the pleasure of all these magnificent Irish symbols, not just in Irish Celtic paganism but also in Celtic Christian art like the Book of Kells and other beautiful symbolism.
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