Animal Symbols

Book-Kells-bird

Celtic Bird Symbol

In Celtic animal symbols birds represented freedom and transcendence, having the power to soar up above the earth into the heavens, and return to bring messages from the gods. They were thus regarded as spiritual messengers and mediators between earth-bound mortals and the heavenly world. The symbolism of Celtic birds also varies according to the […]

Celtic-boar

Celtic Wild Boar

In Celtic mythology the wild boar was sacred to the goddess Arduinna (of the Ardennes Forest of Belgium and Luxembourg); in some Celtic myths it had the role of leading its hunters to the Otherworld. Considered the fiercest and most dangerous of the hunters’ prey, the wild boar symbolised fearlessness and strength. In the hunt the […]

Celtic-fish

Celtic Fish Symbol

In Celtic mythology the Salmon of Wisdom were the keepers of all knowledge, which they gained by eating the nuts of the sacred hazel trees. Salmon and trout were often linked to sacred wells and springs, which were places of physical healing and Celtic symbols of spiritual rebirth.

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Magical Creatures

goblin

Celtic Halloween Symbols

Today Celtic Halloween symbols have been eclipsed by the pure fun of Halloween, which is generally recognised as a festive date that marks the coming of the colder months and is, no more and no less, a great occasion for children and adults alike to have a good time. Ask any child what Halloween means […]

Mélusine

Melusine, the Celtic Mermaid

Melusine, the Celtic mermaid or serpent-woman,  was one of the daughters of Pressyne, another water-nymph, and Elynas, the king of Albany (Scotland). When Elynas came upon Pressyne in a forest by a sacred well one day he fell immediately in love with her. The fairy agreed to become his wife on condition that he promised […]

Unicorn

Unicorn

One of the most ancient mythological beasts, the Unicorn is a symbol of innocence, purity, healing, joy and life. Having the form of a horse and endowed with a horn, it is also a symbol of power and virility. Thus the Unicorn is the symbol of the union between masculine vitality and virility and feminine […]

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Other Celtic Symbols

trick-or-treat

Halloween trick-or-treat and pumpkins – a Celtic legacy?

Trick or Treat? This Halloween custom, popular with American and British children since fairly recent times, actually have their roots in ancient Celtic tradition. Halloween itself (or Hallow’s eve – the night before All Hallows or All Saints’ Day) can be traced back to pre-Christian Ireland and the Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced Sow-en), or […]

celtic-spiral-petroglyphs

The Spiral Symbol

One of the most important symbols used by the ancient Celtic peoples, the spiral is actually a universal symbol shared by many other primitive cultures worldwide. Both in Ireland and in China, for example, it was used as a symbol of the sun. The ancient Egyptians depicted their snake god Mehen (meaning ‘coil’) as a […]

riders-of-the-sidhe

Danu, Mother of the Leprechauns

To call the great Celtic goddess Danu mother of the leprechauns might sound strange. The legendary ‘little people’ generally depicted as tiny old men in green coats, in fact, are a far cry from the mysterious early Celtic races with their formidable and often scary deities. Yet in Irish mythology the now world-famous leprechauns are […]

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