The Celtic Cross symbol, with its characteristic circle, is believed to be a Christian adaptation of the far more ancient Celtic symbol sometimes known as the Sun Wheel, Solar Wheel or Sun Disc, representing the Wheel of Taranis, the Celtic god of thunder (see Fig. 1 below), who is likened to the Viking god Thor and the Roman god Jupiter.
The Wheel of Taranis
In various ancient cultures the wheel is associated with lightning. Some experts suggest that the wheel of Taranis may originate from the ancient Indian belief that the thunderbolt was a disc with a hole in the centre that spun round when thrown, shooting lightning in all directions. In China also lightning was said the proceed from a hole in the centre of a huge disc. At the same time, the wheel, like the spinning disc of Vishnu, may be associated with to the idea of the universe revolving on its axis.
The representation of the sun as a simple circle enclosing a four-armed cross (symbolising the shadows cast by the rising and setting sun at the summer and winter solstices) or a six-armed cross (which includes also the shadows of the equinox) dates as far back as 5000 years B.C.
A very different but equally interesting theory was presented in 1997 by Crichton E. M. Miller – inventor, researcher, navigator, lecturer and author – who believes his discovery to be the most significant in modern times. Miller has given convincing evidence, in fact, to support his theory that the Celtic Cross was not merely a symbol but actually a working instrument, in which the circle was a moving part, for measuring, surveying and astronomical/astrological purposes.
Handcrafted Celtic Cross Jewelry by Toulhoat