Celtic Symbolism Part 1 – Swirls

I love making items for my Celtic Jewelry line, but have kept it small since to me it is so special.  I don’t have an extensive collection of pieces only due to the fact that when I do make a piece it holds a special place in my heart due to my own heritage and beliefs. 

My family lineage stems from Scots Irish and Welsh as well as Danish and Viking cultures.  I have the green eyes and strawberry blonde hair of my stereotypical ancestors.  I also have a belief in the earth, Mother Nature and the universe that my predecessors had.  Because of that belief, I only use components in my Celtic line that call to me when I see them.  I don’t just make things for that line because I need to fill some empty spaces on my website.  I do it because I want to. 

Celtic jewelry happens to be very popular even with non-Celtic buyers. 
claddagh.jpg

Everyone recognizes the Claddagh as a symbol from Ireland, but there are so many more Celtic symbols out there that people don’t know are traditional.  Celtic symbolism is everywhere.

One of my favorite symbols is the Celtic Swirl or Spiral.
spiral.jpg

To look at, the Celtic Spiral looks simply like a doodle in someone’s notebook or the way someone might test their pen to see whether it works, but according to traditional beliefs, the spiral is so much more than that. 

Meaning 1:  It is said to be life itself.  It is a tribute to the rising sun and therefore to Mother Nature and to the creation of life since without the sun no one could live. 
jodee-necklace.jpg

Meaning 2:  It is a representation of people and humanity.  The spiral sybol has been found along village sites and has recently been determined to possibly be a sign of community size.  Each spiral representing an individual person in the area.  Possibly this meaning is related to the first meaning I mentioned due to the fact that people and life are obviously so closely connected. 

genna-necklace.jpg

 Meaning 3:  It is thought to be representative of time, event, or cosmic matters.  Based on the number of lines in the spiral, the belief is that it relates to a specific idea.  If the spiral has three lines it is referring to the trinity (a common theme throughout many religious cultures and well known in Christianity).  If the spiral has four lines then it is a representative of the Four Directions (North, South, East, West and Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter are just two of the groups commonly found).  The spiral can show the passing of time though as related to when something happened or even age.  If the spiral is found on a tombstone and has many lines, then it is possible that it represents the age of the person buried there. 

cassie.gif

Now, as with everything else I have posted about symbolism, this is just a brief explanation of what is thought to be true about this topic.  I am not, in any way, an expert on symbolism and don’t claim to be.  I just like to share some of what I’ve learned or found with my readers and customers.  In the end, a piece of jewelry holds a special symbolism for the wearer, not because of what it is supposed to mean, but because of what it means to that person. 

Now, since I am a former English teacher, here are my sources:
About.com , Celtarts.com , 123 Celtic Irish Jewelry , Celtic Grounds

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4 Responses to “Celtic Symbolism Part 1 – Swirls”

  1. Kevyah Says:

    hi there..
    i know this is a strange question but for some reason i thought you may know…
    What is the symbolism of the igloo?

  2. Kevyah Says:

    Oh and beautiful jewelry by the way:)
    I especially love the autumn leaf necklace and bracelet!

  3. Bogmeenireeli Says:

    Stunning post, didn’t thought reading this was going to be so amazing when I klicked at your title!

  4. silver Jewellery cleaner Says:

    Thats a decent post and certainly served to clear my head a little
    bit


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