Strength, love, and family are deeply connected to Celtic symbols. That explains why they have held incredible meaning and power since the times of the ancient Celts, permeating every aspect of life. Starting with the traditional Celtic knot and its intricately intertwined arms that symbolize eternity and the way life is interconnected with family and its values, Celtic symbols connect to family in many different ways.
The Importance of Family in Celtic Symbols
Traditionally, the Celts believed that their symbols represented who a person was within their family and the values they embraced. All Celtic knots and even the shamrock have always held special meaning to families that passed them from generation to generation. Let’s have a look at some of them:
The Irish Harp
Being on the official Irish state seal, the Irish harp is believed to symbolize the immortality of the soul since life does not end on Earth but continues after departing from this world into eternal life. As a symbol of Irish resistance to English rule, the harp became a significant representation of Celtic heritage with importance to every family, representing national pride.
The Claddagh Ring
This ring is believed to have first appeared in the village of Claddagh in Galway and consists of a central heart representing love. The heart is held in place by two adjoining hands that represent friendship and topped by a crown that stands for loyalty. Traditionally, these rings have been given as a token for friendship or as wedding or engagement rings. Their attributes have been adopted by families and the rings have become important family heirlooms.
The Celtic Cross
Originally, it is believed that the Celtic Cross was designed as a way for Druids to worship deities such as Taranis, a sun god. In its initial conception, this cross had a solar wheel at its center and, when Christianity became more pervasive, a cross was added to the central image to reflect these new beliefs. For Christian Celtic families, this symbol represents not only their religion but their heritage.
The Family Crest
Often featuring animals in their center, family crests represented the family name and were generally worn by men. It represented what the family was known for, where they came from, and the animal they cherished.
The Celtic Torc
Symbolizing family and rank, the Celtic torc is a necklace made from twisted gold and worn as a choker. Since it is believed to represent strength and an individual’s rank within their clan and the clan’s position within the higher-order, it was common to see warriors wearing these pieces of jewelry into battle. The torc could also be fashioned into a bracelet to show which family one belonged to and their position within the family or the clan.
The Celtic Knot
The Celtic knot has been represented through a wide variety of designs, and a different meaning has been attached to each. Stories regarding their origin and traditions have been passed through generations over the years, making it difficult to extract their precise meaning. It is believed that each design has a certain meaning for each family.
No doubt about it, when you are looking for a specific piece of Celtic design jewelry to represent your family, you have plenty of inspiration to choose from.