Tag Archives: triskelion

Triskele

The triskele, or triskelion, is an ancient symbol consisting of three interlocking spirals, or sometimes three bent human legs.  The name is Greek for ‘three legged’ or ‘three times’.  The triskele can be found at several Megalithic and Neolithic sites around Europe, and has strong connections to the pre-Celtic art of the La Tène culture.

File:Celtic Bronze Disc, Longban Island, Derry.jpg

The triskele can be found on a number of pre-Celtic megalithic sites, including Newgrange (Brú na Bóinne), the ancient astrological passage tomb dated to around 3,200 BCE.  Here, the triple spiral motif is found carved on the passage and entrance stones as well as several of its surrounding curbstones.

TripleSpiral_Newgrange

Later, the triple spiral was incorporated into the Insular art of illuminated manuscripts from Ireland, such as the Book of Kells, resulting in a connection with Celtic culture that still is still seen today.

The triskelion appears in many other cultures and regions, such as Sicily (called ‘trinacria’), the Isle of Man, Brittany, and some parts of Germany.  It is also found on Mycenaean vessels, Lycaean coins, and on warrior’s shields on Greek pottery.

File:Flag of Sicily.svg File:Flag of the Isle of Man.svg

The spiral triskele is also a symbol of several polytheistic reconstructionist and Neopagan groups.  Celtic Reconstructionists use the triskele to represent the triplicities in their cosmology and theology, such as the connection between Land, Sea and Sky.  The triskele is also associated with the Celtic sea god Manannán mac Lir and the triple goddess Brigid.

File:Triple-Spiral-Symbol-filled.svg

The triple spiral is also called the ‘spiral of life’, symbolizing life, death and afterlife.  The Celts believed that all things moved in eternal cycles, and the triskele reminds us of the cycle of life.

Wiki – Triskelion, Triple Spiral

© The Celtic Journey (2013)

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Spiral

The Spiral is known as a symbol of the goddess, a symbol of life.  A Spiral represents “death and rebirth as movement into the disappearing-point of formlessness, and out of it again, to a new world of form.” (The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets)

Spiral symbology is also present in the Double Spiral and Triple Spiral.  Double Spirals represent dual purpose in life, the inward journey and the outward journey.  A Double Spiral can also be seen in the yin-yang symbol.

The Triple Spiral is believed to be an ancient goddess symbol.  It can be thought to represent the Triple Goddess (maiden, mother, crone) or the goddess Brigid.  The Triple Spiral is also used to represent the three realms of land, sea, and sky.

File:Newgrange Entrance Stone.jpg

Also known as Triskele, the Triple Spiral is seen at many ancient Irish Megalithic and Neolithic sites, such as at the Newgrange monument.  Triskelions can also be seen in the flags of Sicily and the Isle of Man.

The Celts believed that all things moved in eternal cycles, and the triple spiral reminds us of the cycle of life.

Goddess Symbols
Wikipedia

© The Celtic Journey (2013)

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