Animal Symbols

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.

Celtic-horse

Celtic Horse Symbol

The Celtic horse symbol was associated with victory in war. The Celtic horse-goddess Epona (from epos, the Gaulish word for ‘horse’), or the ‘Great Mare’, was worshipped by the Gauls and was so popular that the Romans adopted her cult and built a temple to her. The horse goddess Epona was believed to accompany the […]

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 […]

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Magical Creatures

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 […]

rackham-fairies

The Faerie Folk

The Faerie Folk, by whatever name and in whatever form they may be known – fairies, elves, pixies, sprites, fawns, banshees, leprechauns, little people, etc. – can be said to be symbols, ‘manifestations’, of the profound Celtic bond with the natural and the supernatural world (these two worlds being inextricably inter-connected). Fairies were (and still […]

Celtic medieval mermaid

Mermaid

The mermaid, half-woman, half-fish, is a powerful archetypal figure common to the mythologies and folk legends of many parts of the world. While the various sacred inland springs and wells were believed to be ruled and inhabited by water deities, water sprites and nymphs, the Celtic sea-faring and fishing populations associated the mermaid with the […]

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Other Celtic Symbols

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 […]

Celtic-head

The Celtic Symbol Of The Head

The Celtic symbol of the head was of central importance among the ancient Celtic tribes.  It was believed, in fact, to be the seat of the soul, the spirit and the power of the human being. Celtic art expert Paul Jacobsthal wrote that “Amongst the Celts the human head was venerated above all else, since […]

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