Meaning of Triskele Symbol

The History and Meaning of the Celtic Triskele Symbol Also Triple Goddess, Triple Spiral

by Gaelyn Larrick

w4227_e_triskele_200The Triskele symbol, or triple spiral - three spirals radiating from a common center - is one of the most popular, and ancient symbols of our time. It has been found in the traditional form, or slight variations, in a number of cultures throughout the world. Greece, the Hopi of North America, and in pre-Columbian artifacts in Central America.

The earliest Celtic Triskele was found in the ruins of a Bronze Age temple in Ireland, and is believed by some scholars to have evolved from the triskellion, which looks like three legs from a common center.

w8396_lg_rnd_triskele_200The triskele has also come to be associated with the Triple Goddess going back to pre-Christian times, but has also been found in illuminated Manuscripts created by early Christian monks. The Triple Goddess symbolism, maiden-mother-crone, is also represented as a moon in three phases.

Judging from early Celtic symbols, the Celts gave great significance to things coming in threes: earth, water, sky; body, mind, spirit; birth, death, rebirth, past, present, future; these all have been attributed to the Celtic symbols with three elements.

w1412_e_200Some of our modern interpretations of the meaning of the triskele are that it symbolizes the cycles of life in one form or another.

Because the triskele is often drawn using one continuous line, it has come to represent the unending and continuous movement of life.

The spiral has always captivated our imagination, the triskele with its three spirals remains among the most popular Celtic symbols probably for the same reason.

This article is one in a series on Celtic Symbol meanings at uniquecelticjewelry.com.


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