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-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-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 […]

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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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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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