Celtic Spirals


The spiral is a truly ancient symbol. It was the earliest decorative ornament to be used in Celtic art. Some suggest that the direction of the spiral is significant- clockwise represents the sun and its harmony with the Earth; counter-clockwise is the manipulation of nature in the form of spells. To some, the spiral is a reflection of the cosmos; after all, the Milky Way is a spiral galaxy. To others, it symbolizes harmony within  the cycles of life. Many modern  mystics  believe it symbolizes a journey inward into the unconscious mind. Some even speculate that if left alone in a cave  with  spiral wall carvings or drawings,  the person  will experience  hallucinations.

When a spiral has three arms, it's called a triple spiral, a triskele, or a triskellion.  All of the significance of a simple spiral can be associated with the triskele, but there are also some additional meanings. It is based around the powerful number 3, as many other Celtic symbols are.   It may symbolize  the Triple Goddess (Maiden, Mother and Crone) of ancient  times  which represents  the  stages of   female life and  the  phases of  the moon. To Christians,  the triskele is a symbol of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son  and Holy Spirit). Some believe that it represents the path of existence- life, death and rebirth, which is a constant theme in Celtic  myths  and legends.  Passing a spiral  barrier meant that you were crossing into the sacred realms, where Heaven and  Earth  are in  perfect balance. The  spirals'  mystical  powers  prevent  evil  from crossing. This is presumably  why  it  is  found  at  some of the oldest  and  most sacred  sites throughout  the Celtic world, most famously  Newgrange  in Ireland  which  dates back to 2500 BC.

Celtic Spiral

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