Triquetra Symbolism

When most people think about the triquetra design, they instantly think of the TV show “Charmed”. If not, they at least think about magick, witches, and Wiccans, and spells. But really, the triquetra was created by the Celts a long time ago and is now being used as a symbol by many. More on “Charmed”, magick, and Wiccans in a minute.

Hold your ponies; I can only spew words through my fingers so quickly, you know.

The Celts have a few different knots which resemble the triquetra. They have some intersecting meanings but each has its own purpose; its own base symbolism. For now, I’m strictly giving you information on the triquetra. Not anything that resembles it.

In Latin, triquetra means “three cornered”.

This symbol is also called the Trinity Knot or Celtic Triangle.

 

 

DESIGN

Three interlocked loops, creating the intersection of three circles. There is no beginning and no end to the knotwork. Sometimes a circle around the three loops is added.

WITH A CIRCLE

This is where the protection, infinite, and eternity theory comes into play. A circle is drawn around the triquetra to signify spiritual unity. This is a protection circle; something that cannot be broken.

 

MEANINGS/SYMBOLISM

There is certainly more than one meaning of the triquetra. Sometimes people believe it to mean more than one thing, others use it for only one purpose at a time, and some believe it to always and forever mean only one thing. It depends on the person and the purpose(s).

GODDESSES/GODS:

The Celts worshiped a moon goddess who was a trio goddess. She was associated with the lunar phases; when the moon was waxing, waning, and full.

Another trio goddess associated with the triquetra is the Celtic goddess Morrighan (who I can’t wait to write a novel based on!).

Symbol of Odin (a Celtic god).

Another possibility is a connection to the three Fates, of Greek Mythology.

TRIO MEANINGS:

  • mind, body, soul (spirit)
  • maiden, mother, crone
  • past, present, future
  • thought, feeling, emotion
  • Father, Son, Holy Ghost
  • creation, preservation, destruction
  • earth, air, water – three forces of nature
  • life, death, rebirth

ENCOMPASSING MEANINGS:

  • infinite and eternity
  • protection
  • equality
  • divine femininity

 

“CHARMED”

In the TV show, the triquetra represented the “Power of Three”. It was shown on the Halliwell’s Book of Shadows, the collar of their familiar cat, and their spirit board (Ouija board).

In the show, they used a triquetra with a circle around it. It was a pretty big part of the show’s symbolism, I do believe.

 

ORIGINS OF THE TRIQUETRA

The simple fact is this: no one can 100% know who created the triquetra, when, or for what purpose. We can’t even know for a surety what it meant to them.

Some Christian faiths claim that their monks created the triquetra to try and convert the Celts to Christianity.

The Celts claim to have created it themselves, for their own purposes. They also claim that the Christians of that time used it to their advantage, to try and make them see things their way.

Archeological digs are adding more insight into this mystery. Like the ones in Europe where the triquetra was carved into stones that dated back to 1,000 AD. The triquetra has been found carved onto rune stones in Europe and on German currency. Also, the triquetra is mentioned in the “Book of Kell”, created by the Scotts around 800 AD.

 

DISCRIMINATION

Here again, let it be known that I have nothing against Wiccans, Christians, or Pagans, I simply want to clarify something.

I have a triquetra pendant. When I wear it, people most often assume this means I’m Wiccan. I’m not. The triquetra is not a wiccan symbol. It is a symbol created by the Celts.

Used by first the Celts; then the Pagans, then the Christians, then the Wiccans, and now a whole slew of people.

Wiccans, Pagans, Christians, and all others use the triquetra as a symbol. I think that’s pretty cool, myself. But just because someone is wearing a triquetra pendant, doesn’t mean they’re Wiccan, doesn’t mean they’re Pagan, doesn’t mean they’re Christian. It doesn’t mean they’re going to go home and brew up a spell in a black cauldron or sacrifice your cat to the Goddess of Evilness (yes, I just made that up). It doesn’t mean they’re even Celtic. It doesn’t really mean anything really, they could have bought it because they liked the knotwork.

Never assume. You never know what meaning and/or purpose an object has for a person.

 

 

 

CONSPIRACY

Some conspiracy theorists have deemed the triquetra the physical manifestation of “666”, the symbol for the devil, also known as the number of the beasts’ brand. They claim those wearing the triquetra or those who like it are then Satanists, and they are bringing to life what is written in the Book of Revelations, in the Bible.

To this I say, for the love of all that is good, stop trying to look for evil and negativity so you can brand people minding their own business as evil.

 

BALANCE

The triquetra reminds me heavily of yin and yang. Balance. Eternity.

I often think of my stages of writing a manuscript as stages the triquetra represents: the beginning , the middle, and the end. When plotting, writing, and the experience as a whole.

I’ve always loved the triquetra as a symbol and hope its reputation doesn’t get tarnished just as the pentagram’s has. That particular issue really irks me.

But I digress…

 

CONCLUSION

Druid symbols often have translations about finding balance within oneself. Maybe you’re drawn to the triquetra for a reason.

Is there just one part to you? No.

Maybe there’s three parts to you that are at war and you need to find the balance between them to make peace with who you are. From there, you can find balance in the world you live in and hopefully in nature as well.

Really, no one knows for sure what the triquetra means. But you have the chance to take a Celtic knot and take it for what it’s worth; a symbol of something positive. I can’t give you all the answers. But what I can give you is the information I’ve found. And it’s some pretty cool information if you ask me. I love the triquetra and its symbolism; I’ve always been fascinated by Celtic knotwork and lore and that’s enough for me.

Find what it means to you. Personal translation and usage is what’s most important when concerned with symbols of every kind.

 

Do you like the triquetra?

Know of any meanings/symbols/purposes I left out?

 

*** I’ve run across SO many differences among all things Celtic. There are so many opposing facts and opinions and findings that it’s enough to make my head spin. I simply blogged on it because I find it interesting. I am by NO means an expert.

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166 Comments

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166 responses to “Triquetra Symbolism

  1. Angie Driscoll

    I’m Scotch-Irish. I have 3 kids. Triquetra means “3-cornered”.
    Without ever knowing its origins, any time I ever see the triquetra it just looks familiar. It speaks to me. I’ve always felt it reflected ME. I’ve never assigned a spiritual association to it. But it reflects ME, better than a monogram. I HATE monograms! THIS is my MONOGRAM!!

    • Anonymous

      To me the triquetra has (of course) three meanings that begin at the center (self) and progressing outward in concentric circles. First, it stands on point and represents a joyful power stance with arms outstretched (similar to a tree rooted with branches raised), Second, as reflecting the three ages of woman – the maid (youth), mother (nurturer), and crone (elder wisdom). Third, it represents our tripartitie home – the earth, sea, and sky (each with their own stories common to every culture).

      Of course this is how I see it and each has their own interpretation.

  2. 3 up 3 down☀☀☀🌞

  3. 3 moons in the sky 👍

  4. Your explanation of the triquetra is awesome! I love how you explain the different meanings that are associated with that particular symbol! You explain it with so much personality and non-discrimination. Very helpful and intuitive! Truly awesome descriptions and explanations! Love the way you write!

  5. I love symbols and think it’s a beautiful symbol ❤

  6. Andrew J. Reed

    I am astounded by this, I have a love for all things Celtic due to my ancestry and it’s good to know others have done their research. I grew up in a weird mix family, my father is Christian, my mother is Wiccan and they both argue about the Triquetra and it’s meaning. I bought a Triquetra pendant and had to explain to them the history behind it. The Triquetra, like the much known “Swastika” has been twisted along the ages. I applaud this.

    And I hope to read your Novel on Morrighan, a lot of people have butchered her ideology and her role in Celtic history. Do her some justice will you?

  7. This Guy

    Odin isn’t a “Celtic god” but the rest of the article was fun. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Pingback: 5 Things Blogging Has Taught Me | DaphneShadows

  9. Anonymous

    Hi, I’m a little bit worried, can the Triquetra sometimes be a malevolent omen? I found twigs in the shape of a Triquetra a few feet away from a grave of someone in my family that had passed. I’m not usually the superstitious type, but it kind of stood out. I wondering what it could mean. Do you have any ideas?

  10. Gina

    Hi could you help me , the Celtic eternal love knot offen made into rings to speak of eternal love , does it have a connection to anything bad ? Or evil / devil ?
    I guess intent is everything but if someone was to give me a eternal knot ring ment in kindness but it had sinister other meanings I would rather know.
    Any ideas appreciated thanx a lot .

    • This Guy

      Nothing bad/evil/malevolent is connected to the eternal knot. If someone is giving it with good intentions then there’s even less to worry about.

  11. Thank you Daphne,Your research on the triquetra has been very helpful and is much appreciated.I just bought myself a red Jasper triquetra pendant,which for me,is symbolic of Creator,Creation,Experience,which is how I personally view God,but as you wrote,every and all interpretation are valid.Blessings.

  12. Izzy

    I got my triquetra about 7 yrs ago & I researched the meaning of it before I did. I originally had seen it on Charmed & just liked the symbol. Once I decided I wanted it I decided to place my sons’ horoscope symbols around it with mine at the top. For me it has several meanings & when people ask me about it I am happy to share that w them. Thanks for writing about it & including the many meanings of this amazing symbol!

  13. Anna

    Yourlid, the knot is not only for females but also males. If you choose to have it represent family, I don’t see why you couldn’t. Like said earlier, no one really knows the true meaning of this knot. It is never ending, no beginning no ending.

    • Anna

      Yourlid, you could do something unique like ask your mother and father what their favorite color is and yours and have the artist color in just the tips of the knot with each color.

  14. yourIld

    I want a symbol tattoo that represents family. cuz I dont want to ink the usual ‘family’ word. so that brought me to triquetra. now I am not sure if I do this simbol it means family, my dad, mom and me ? and I am not sure if it is only for the girls this tattoo cuz it derives from goddesses. so pleasee help me figure it out!! or with other suggestions.

  15. Ana

    If there is a picture of a triquetra and the ines are wavy and not straight…what does that mean? Anyone know?

  16. Penelope

    Just got my triquetra tattoo. This reaffirms why. Thank you for writing this.

  17. Randy

    I have the Triquetra tattooed on my forearm, On the end of each ring I had a rose tattooed to symbolize father, son daughter eternal.

  18. Jennifer Jones

    I want to make a correction to this article before it is misread. Odin is not a Celtic God, Odin is a Norse God that is the All father to the halls of Valhalla and Asgard. Please, please make sure you do your research before you misrepresent.

    • Thank you for your input. A lot of things describe the Norse as being Celtic. I’ve run across SO many differences among all things Celtic. There are so many opposing facts and opinions and findings that it’s enough to make my head spin. I simply blogged on it because I find it interesting. I am by NO means an expert.

  19. Martin Luinigh

    I’m afraid there are a few errors in this post that might lead to some confusion:

    1.) The Celts didn’t worship a triune moon goddess. That was something Robert Graves came up with, and as much as I love “I, Claudius,” his writings on mythology, especially Celtic myth, are mostly baloney.

    2.) Odin is not a Celtic god, but a Norse/Germanic one. Despite some slight overlap and similarities between some of the deities (the Irish god Lugh, for example, shows a few Odin-like traits, like carrying a spear and hanging out with ravens), for the most part the Celtic and Germanic peoples had totally separate mythologies.

    3.) To say that the triquetra was “first used by the Celts, then the Pagans, then Christians, then Wiccans” makes no sense. The ancient Celts WERE pagans. So are modern Wiccans, come to think of it.

    • Anonymous

      I agree with you. But it’s a nice article none the less. It has character!

    • JoAnn

      The triquerta is first seen in old Norse writing. It is not symbolized with Odin however. It is a symbol of Freya. The Norse meaning behind this symbol is mother, children, faith. The Norse symbol for Odin is a Valknut. Three triangles intertwined, it is the mark of the warrior. It is said that this is how the Valkyre would lead the fallen warriors to Vahalla from a battle field.

    • Thank you for all your input. I’ve run across SO many differences among all things Celtic. There are so many opposing facts and opinions and findings that it’s enough to make my head spin. I simply blogged on it because I find it interesting. I am by NO means an expert.
      (so I’m not being a snot, I really am grateful for the input)

    • Anonymous

      And it’s The Book of Kells, and it’s Irish, not Scottish.

  20. Jamie

    I believe the trinity knot to be a representation of our sight both physical and spiritual. As one of the other guests had pointed out in your face, Daphne. Only it is not to be of the nose, the nose is the mirrored reflection of the third loop which encircles our “third eye” or psychic eye. I have noticed not only in myself but also in friends/family, that we tend to be a bit more intuitive or psychic when holding (wearing) a triquetra. The Trinity knot encircled also happens to resemble other ancient geometrical shapes known to us such as the “flower of life” (very closely resembling the triquetra itself) and fits right in with our known “tree of life” shape that also is found in odd places of our history. Perhaps the trinity knot is to represent the “fruit” from the flower off the tree of life? Nobody knows the answers. I personally wear mine proudly, a gift from my oldest when he visited the beautiful Ireland, and feel it is knot of love each loop representing he and his sisters encircled in my arms of love.. Brightest Blessings to you all and may peace find you. ❤

    • Ooo, flower of life. And now I have something new to research. Thanks. 😉 Yes, I love my triquetra pendant as well. Yours coming from Ireland and meaning what it does for you, makes it even better. 🙂

  21. taylor

    I would just like to add a little something in one wiccans don’t sacrifice animals or believe in Satan we believe in peace harmony and balance and The wiccan path is a path of ones spiritual journey to find oneself and if you are celtic you tend to incorporate items that’s mean things to you one of the main paths of wicca is celtic so they do correspond so it’s just a common mistake if someone asks if you’re wiccan and they don’t mean anything by it just trying to connect with people of like paths with love in their heart anyway that’s about it blessed be 🌜🌝🌛

    • Thanks. 🙂 Yes, I don’t like it when people associate “evil” things with beliefs they simply don’t understand or which have been given a bad reputation in the media.

  22. K

    Totally agree with Lee! Your nose represents the vertical part and your eyes represent the two side parts of the Triquerta. Pretty cool!

  23. Lee

    Hi Daphne, i noticed your face picture , upside down, at the top right of this page , as beautiful as it would be in any direction, i cant help but notice that the Triquetra symbol appears, to me, to be ” within your face” thats awesome! Has anyone else mentioned this? Does anyone else have this?
    Lee

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