Knot symbology has been around for thousands of years and can be dated back to the Roman empire. It can also be seen in both ancient and medieval art throughout different cultures and countries. Perhaps unexpectedly, knots can even be seen in early Christian art and scriptures. One culture which took a particular liking to knot symbology is the Celtic culture which many people now associate symbolic knots with intrinsically.
Celtic knots are a particular style of knot which originates from Celtic and Norse cultures, a majority symbolizing eternity, infinity and never-ending love. This idea of never-ending/infinity comes from the design feature of the Celtic knot which is continuous, having no beginning or end.
There are multiple types of Celtic knots, some of these include the Shield knot, Spiral knot, Trinity Knot (Triquetra), Celtic crosses, Sailor’s knot, and Love knot.
The shield knot is one of the variations of Celtic knots most don’t know of, however it is one that has a particularly interesting and important symbology. Much like its name suggests the shield knot is a symbol of protection said to ward away negativity and evil spirits, whether its in your home or out and about. Additionally, it’s seen as a symbol of strength.
The spiral knot is one of the oldest and most recognizable Celtic knots, this specific Celtic knot symbolizes the three forces of nature; fire, water and earth. It is characterized by three swirls all interconnected, these swirls made up by a single continuous string, representing spirit, with the gaps in the swirls representing the stages of life.
The Triquetra is one of the most well- known types of Celtic knots, it is characterized by three main sections, all connected through a continuous line. Three is an important number in Celtic culture as important things come in three, life, death and birth, pregnancy trimesters, the moon phases etc. This is why the Triquetra is a particularly important symbol in some Celtic cultures. Neo-paganism, a branch of modern paganism, has adapted this symbol to symbolize the thee faces of the goddess, the Mother, the Maiden and the Crone. Additionally, it is a symbol of the cycles of a woman.
The Celtic cross has a varied past, some from pre-Christian times and some in relation to Christianity. The Celtic cross is an ancient combination of a circle and a cross and from pre-Christian this symbol was used to represent the sun god, the sun and it being life giving. It was believed to bring strength, wisdom, protection, and inspiration. It is a beautiful representation of faith, as the Celtic Cross first emerged across the island of Ireland in the early Middle Ages.
The sailor’s knot is a very well-known type of Celtic knot, characterized by two ropes being intertwined. It is called the sailors knot as it is though to have been created by sailors when they had long sea voyages, it symbolized their loved ones in their thoughts. Due to the history of this knot the more modern meaning of this knot is that it’s a symbol of friendship and love.
The Celtic love knot is a simple yet meaningful kind of knot characterized by a heart intertwining with ovals or other hearts, again with no beginning or end. Due to this it’s said to symbolize the love people have, especially between two people. It is beloved that Celts would exchange these knots, much like how wedding rings are exchanged. When this Celtic love knot is represented on sting it may look like two knots, when in fact it is only one, bringing a beautiful meaning to becoming one.