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The Triquetra is an interesting trinity knot style Celtic symbol in the shape of a triangle. It is extremely popular as a design element for everything from custom pillows, to clothing designs, to tattoos. In detail it consists of three interlocking loops, which may or may not be accompanied by a geometric circle. It has three sharp points on it reminiscent of a trinity symbol in Christianity or nearly any three concepts in most religions or paganism.
The Triquetra is an ancient symbol found on many things such as stones in northern Europe, the Book of Kells in Ireland and old Germanic coins. The interlocking knot designs of the Celtic world are really not that accurately datable. The Triquetra can only be dated as far back as the Seventh Century A.D. with any accuracy.
Perhaps the Triquetra was first developed for Christian use by monks, to symbolize the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, the holy Trinity. Since the symbol is not datable to before Christianity this is a real possibility. Pagan groups also like to claim it as their own. For them it represents the three stages of the Triple Goddess (virgin, mother, and old woman). But modern pagans like to use this symbol to mean other things related to nature. German pagans believe the symbol is very old and perhaps of Norse or old German origins. They like to believe it stands for land, sea and sky. Neo-Wiccans also like to use the Triquetra for the earth, sea and sky symbolism or to stand for father, mother and child. Still other pagans claim this old Celtic symbol stands for life, death and rebirth. If there is a circle accompanying the three interlocking loops it could have another meaning, such as eternity or the infinite. The Triquetra was found carved on rocks that also had carvings for the lunar phases. Maybe it is related to those phases in some way, but now the meaning has been lost.
In the art world the Triquetra is used in Celtic metalwork, fabrics or illuminated manuscripts, especially Irish ones. It can also be seen on tombstones or other stone carvings. It likely was not a primary symbol as it is rarely used as a stand alone device in the old world. Only in the past two centuries has it been used as such. This popular symbol can be seen in the movies, “National Treasure”, “Safe Haven” and “Thor”. Look for it in these movies. It is poplar on several music group’s album covers and some books are embellished with the Triquetra.
In modern times the Triquetra symbol is very popular for Celtic necklaces. A man may give this ancient symbol to his woman to signify love, honor and protection. It is common also to find wall hangings and T-shirts displaying this symbol. It happens to be one of the most recognizable of all the Celtic or Irish symbols.
You can see how this symbol can come to mean any series of three things! Perhaps you would like to give a Celtic Triquetra necklace or ring to your loved one and make a claim as to its meaning. Your idea will be just as valid as the old traditional ones.
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write by Kerenza