A triquetra is an ancient symbol that consists of three overlapping and interconnected arcs, sometimes known as a Vesica Pisces shape, that creates a tri-pointed symbol. While the symbol is called a triquetra, it’s also known as the trinity knot, the Celtic trinity knot, and the Holy Trinity. The Celtic trinity knot meaning, and the trinity knot meaning are vastly different, as they stem from different cultural beliefs, but the concept of three is what binds the two meanings together.
While the symbol is the same in various cultures, the meaning shifts. Since there is little written evidence surrounding pre-Celtic and Celtic life, scholars can only speculate regarding Pagan tradition. However, from corroborating various references, they know the concept of three was a linchpin of divine belief, signifying the Triple Moon Goddess which encompasses the maiden, the mother and the crone and connects to feminine fertility.
- The Maiden: represents a young girl symbolizing youth, pleasure, innocence, and new beginnings
- The Mother: represents love, fertility, and maturity symbolizing the middle of a woman’s life as she cares for others
- The Crone: represents the facets of the other stages but focuses on the wisdom learned from a long life
Together, the three females represent the life cycle, touching upon the innocence of a girl’s early life, the maturity as one ages, and the wisdom one gains throughout one’s existence.
When Christianity came to Ireland, most of the Pagan traditions were altered to connect with the new monotheistic religion, and symbols, such as the triquetra, were reused. Irish Christians took the concept of the three interlocking shapes and repurposed it to signify the holy trinity: the father, the son, and the holy spirit. The never-ending loops themselves are said to reference the concept of infinity which is why the inner circle was later added to the symbol.
The pentagram, a five-pointed star, usually drawn by using one continuous line of five straight segments. It has been used throughout history as a symbol, often in magic or the occult. Its meaning has varied wildly over time, and it has functioned as a symbol of protection, of perfection, of the Devil, and of humanity, among others. Mathematically, the segments of the pentagram exhibit the golden ratio, which perhaps makes the figure especially aesthetically pleasing.
The pentagram has been in use for thousands of years. In ancient times it was featured in tombs and seals of Egypt and Mesopotamia and coins of Greece. The pentagram was a symbol of the Greek mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras and his disciples, probably in part as a way for followers to recognize each other. Some sources say the Pythagoreans regarded it as a symbol of health and knowledge, and in some depictions the Greek letters for the word “health” are placed at its points. It may also have been used by the Greeks and others generally as a symbol to ward off evil, and it has been seen in pottery of the ancient kingdom of Judaea, maybe as a mark of tax collectors.