Animal Symbols

cernunnos

Celtic Stag Symbol

The most important and well-known  animal symbol of the ancient Celts, the Celtic stag symbol, is associated with Cernunnos, the horned (antlered) god of all wild animals, hunting and fertility and the consort of the Great Mother. Cernunnos represents the active side of nature; consequently, he is the god of sexuality (in the detail on 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-serpent-carving

Celtic Serpent Symbol

Due to its unique characteristic represented by the cyclical shedding of its skin, the serpent was the Celtic symbol of rebirth and was widely referred as an immortal creature that came to life each year after hibernation, complete with a new skin. The serpent is also both a phallic symbol (it is often seen depicted […]

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Magical Creatures

sheela-na-gig

Sheela-Na-Gig – Celtic Symbol of the Feminine

Sheela na Gig is the name given to a squat, ugly female figure found carved in Celtic stonework, and is most well-known for the fact that she is depicted with exposed and/or grotesquely large genitals, which are often held open with her hands. Throughout the ages Sheela-na-gigs have been a common figure in the stone […]

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 […]

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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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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