Recently a group of my friends and I were talking about getting a matching tattoo. So I started doing some research on different symbols. I stumbled across some Celtic symbols for love, friendship, empowerment, and got curious about which Celtic symbol would best represent “Self Love.”
Self-love for me is an extremely empowering concept. I have found when you love yourself, especially the worst parts of yourself, you not only discover amazing things about yourself, you discover a new kind of love for the people around you. Life shifts.
I’m not talking about some twisted narcissistic value system. I’m talking about self love in the sense that you won’t put up with others treating you poorly, and you are free to speak your mind regardless of what others think.
The more I researched the ancient Celts, the more I’m not sure that the Celtic culture had an ancient symbol specifically for self love. I considered that in ancient times, in the absence of smart tech’s chirps, pings, whistles the like, that there may have been fewer distractions to make you completely ignore how you relate with yourself.
But I believe humanity itself has most likely changed very little. As with everything, the ancient Celtic symbol road map isn’t linear.
Over the centuries, you can see Celtic tradition has become influenced by roman mythology from the early Christians, Greek mythology, and even Norse mythology.
I couldn’t find the perfect Celtic mythology symbol for self love, so I started with the traditional Celtic symbols for everlasting love.
The most widely accepted Celtic symbol for love is the claddagh ring, which inspired this one.
The claddagh ring is thought to represent eternal love, unending love, never-ending love, or love that endures. The symbol is also associated with unity and togetherness.
While there are many tales about the rings origin, the most widely accepted history is that Richard Joyce created the ring for his true love after being separated from her. He was enslaved and spent time working for a goldsmith where he learned the craft.
This popular wedding ring is named after the city it is from, Claddagh (County Galeway). It is consider as one of the main symbols of Ireland and is these wedding rings are quite common.
The Claddagh symbolism features two hands, a heart and a crown. The heart represents love. The hands represent friendship. The crown represents loyalty.
Depending on how someone wears the ring signals different relationship status: left hand, right hand, crown towards the heart or away from the heart. Each position indicates something different.
The infinity knots are another celtic symbol associated with self love. They represent the endless cycle of life and love. The endless knots play an important role in Irish history.
According to Irish culture, they are said to be a reminder that love never ends, and that we can always find our way back to happiness. They are often worn as a symbol of love ,hope and resilience.
If you are looking for a celtic symbol to represent self love, the claddagh ring or the infinity knots could be a good choice. They both represent the endless cycle of life and love. But, I believe that you may want to lean more towards an infinity knot.
The Irish wedding ring is more suited for love between two people, romance and higher levels of friendship that are typical in the courting process.
Something that would be more representative of self love could be the following:
-An infinity knot with a smaller heart in the center
-The unbroken spiral or double spiral
-The Celtic love knot (3 interlocking loops)
These symbols could represent that you are always moving forward, that life and love are endless, and that you are always inclusive of others. They could also represent the different aspects of self love such as resilience, hope, and being open to love.
You’ll notice that as in the triskelion tattoo, there are often 3 components in the different types of Celtic knots and love symbols.
Triskelion is has 3 legs originating from a single point in the center. Some of its symbolic meanings include:
-It correlates with birth, life, death (or rebirth).
-Others consider it similar to the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit). The sacred three shows up in Christian symbols spanning from King David to modern times.
In Biblical scriptures, there is a reference to a chord of three strands is not easily broken. The specific meanings to this is often used in a association with a married couple integrating a relationship with God at the center of their relationship.
-Past, present and future.
-The three stages of maiden, mother and crone.
-Mind, body and spirit.
-Creator, destroyer, preserver.
This could be a message to you that self love is not a finite thing, but an ever growing process. That you are always in the process of traversing new areas on your journey to your destiny.
Celtic Knot Work
Celtic knots were sewn with a continuous line. What makes them unique is that you can’t find an end or beginning. It represents the truest form of Celtic symbols.
The Celtic Cross
You might have seen a Celtic cross with the neverending knot – it has great spiritual significance. If you look at famous Celtic symbols, you will notice that Christian symbols were integrated at one point.
The neverending Celtic knot designs are representative of the never ending cycle of life, and how love is a part of that cycle. It’s also symbolic of the druidic belief in reincarnation.
They have many different variations, are used in popular Celtic jewelry and often intertwine complex geometric patterns.
When looking for a Celtic symbol to represent self love, you might want to consider the neverending knot.
Whatever Celtic symbol you choose to represent self love, make sure it holds personal meaning for you.
Here are examples of other Celtic symbols, different types of Celtic knots and their meanings:
- Trinity Knot
- Dara Celtic Knot
- Celtic Tree
- Celtic Spiral
- Celtic Triple Spiral
- Celtic Maple Leaf
- Celtic Lotus Flower