Triskele: The Celtic Symbol of Constant Motion

Sicily flag. Image courtesy of Jwell Blog

Triskele is derived from the Greek meaning “three-legged”. The Triskele, or Triskelion is a motif comprised of a triple spiral. The spiral design can resemble interlocking Archimediean spirals, or three bent human legs. The Sicily flag includes a Triskele symbol since 1285.

The Triskele can also be found throughout the ancient megalithic tomb of Newgrange, built around 3200 BC. Newgrange is a passage tomb located in the Boyne Valley at the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East. It includes 97 large stones called kerbstones some of which are engraved with megalithic art. The entrance stone is etched with a Triskele. The spiral symbol is thought to represent the concept of continuous movement. This idea of constant motion adheres to the Celtic belief in the triad, that everything happens in threes.

 

Entrance stone at Newgrange depicting Triskele. Image courtesy of Newgrange.com.

The Number 3

Ancient vessel with Triskele symbol. Image courtesy of Greenwomenstore.com.

The Triskele, or triple spiral is an ancient symbol of Celtic beliefs. The Celts believed that life moved in everlasting cycles, transforming at each point. Celts also believed that all important things came in three phases. Some common representations include:

  • mind, body, spirit
  • past, present, future
  • earth, sea, sky
  • mother, father, child (fertility)
  • life, death, rebirth (major stages of life)
  • spiritual, intellectual, emotional (three worlds)
  • father, son, holy spirit (Christianity)
  • plant, animal, mineral (three Kingdoms)
  • Faith, hope, charity (theological virtues)
  • see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil (three wise monkeys)

 

Our Favorite Triskele Jewelry

1. Triskele Brooch

2. Sterling Silver Celtic Spiral Pendant

3. Sterling Silver Triskele Earrings Encrusted With Swarovski Crystals

Shop Celtic Triskele Jewelry

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