About Celtic Knots
decided to include this information here because like so many people before
me I wanted to find Celtic knots that have a specific meaning for a project.
I wanted knots which meant interdependence, togetherness, fidelity, and all
things "lovey-dovey" to use to scrapbook my wedding photographs. I sat down
at the computer and googgled "Celtic knots" and "love." This simple act began
a trip down a long path that has led to this website and business. What I
learned is that noone knows with any certainty what these ancient symbols
mean. We can make educated guesses, we can speculate based on the celts religious
beliefs but we do not know their intentions when they designed these simple
and beautiful symbols. Many modern Celtic knot artists attach meaning to their
peices and this is as it should be as this is still a living tradition. However,
do not be fooled to think this meaning is what the ancient Celts meant for
the design 1000s of years ago. Todays meanings are myth.
am most attracted to the modern Celtic knot heart. I don't know why. I just
am. So my advice to you is to find the Celtic knot design that appeals to
you. The ancient celts were fearcely individualists and would never submit
to wearing a knot to please anyone else so why should you bow to someone elses
determination of what a knot might mean. If you are into psychology, you might
say that drawing on the collective unconciousness of the human spirit you
are attracted to the true intent of the maker of the design as you appreciate
his work. For the children of the Celtic Diaspora, the Celtic knot is a link
to a distant past that we very much wish to embrace, understand, and preserve.
For this reason,I do want to share some of the more interesting tidbits I
have discovered about Celtic knotwork.
you must have a history lesson about "What is Celtic?" The name Celtic comes
from the Greek "keltoi", hidden people, refering to those peoples living north
of the Alps. In a true archialogic and historic sense, it is a misnomer but
today the term Celtic has come to mean having anything to do with the peoples
who descended from one of the seven Celtic Nations - Brittany, Cornwall, Galacia,
Ireland, Isle of Man, Scotland, and Wales. These peoples, both indiginous
and those fleeing the advance of others into eastern Europe, were linked by
shared cultures and language sources as well as Druidic religious customs.
Therefore, the term Celtic knot refers to an artform related to these peoples.
you must have a history lession about the evolution of this Celtic artform.
From 700 BC to 450 BC, the Hallstatt period, Celtic art was of a tribal geometric
nature consisting mostly of maze and labrynth components that eveolved into
step and key patterns. From, 450 BC until about 400AD, the La Tene period,
the native artwork of this area was dominated by spirals that also included
past designs as well as hidden faces and animals. Christianity arrive in the
British Isles around 450 AD and brought about an early medieval renaissance
called the Early Christian period. By the mid-600s, the unique plaitwork interlacing
was a defining characteristic for the area. In the monistery at Iona, at the
end of the 8th century, religion, scholarship, and artistry combined to acheive
a golden age, the Insular period. The resulting artform became an international
style of complex designs of animals mixed with spirals and knotwork. Unfortunately,
the Vikings invaded in the early 9th century and nothing was ever the same
again. By the 11th century, Celtic knotwork was considered old-fashined. By
the 12th century, this artform was religated mostly to the Scottish Highlands
and the Hebrides. These peoples were even then looking for links to the past.
The knotwork symbols were still being used on their weapons and brooches until
their use was made illegal in 1745 after the Jacobite Rebellion.
suddenly Celtic art came back big time and has not lost its popularity yet.
During the height of the Victorian era's romance with the mediveal period,
in 1850, a young Irish woman found what was refered to as the "Tara" brooch.
Applying modern production methods combined with modern marketing and advertising
techniques, this peice of jewlery and its knotwork style became a national
phenomena. The queen even bought one for herself and her prince. This event
combined with the blossoming of the art and craft movement, the upswing in
middle-class tourism, and the nationalistic and historic literary trend by
such writers as Sir Walter Scott resulted in the early 1900's Celtic Revival.This
modern Celtic Revival is typified by a desire for national identity, by ethnic
pride, and by a romantic and nostalgic quest for spiritual self-discovery.
This was your final history lession.
understanding of the symbolism of the Celtic knot whiether real or imagined
is based on our knowledge of the Druidic religion and its deep commitment
to nature and its love of life. Unfortunately, it is this same religion that
dictates that this symbolism and belief system, we think it represents, are
too sacred to be written down. The information was to be passed down generation
to generation and unfortunately was lost in the passing of the ages. Therefore,
all stated or implied meaning to old symbols are romanticized speculation.
However, I personally feel very safe in saying that Celtic knotwork was intended
to convey the celts feelings of continuity, connectedness, and interdependence
of people and their world. All else is simply a guess. It is enough for me
that these symbols honor the spirit of our Celtic heritage. However, it is
not necessary to have the least bit of Celtic blood in your viens to find
yourself drawn to these ancient symbols and their spiritual connotation.
what is this Celtic knot? There are two types of Celtic artwork. The first
is knotwork and the second is is zoomorphic interlace. Knotwork has two simple
rules. First, the weave is always over and then under. Second, the pattern
is always a single endless path. Zoomorphic interlace also has the over and
under weave but includes people with hands entwined and animals with tails
and tongues entwined or ending in curls or spirals. To determine if a design
is a Celtic knot or an interlace, cut a single cord of the design and pull
the two ends. If it tightens, it is a knot. If it unravels, it is interlace.
more important thing to note is that these Celtic knotwork symbols were seldom
used as isolated elements. This has lead many to specualte that these symbols
made up the words in druidic communication and the way they were used together
was their grammer. Once again, this is total speculation.
closing, I will try to provide general concepts about the designs I have as
examples for purchase. You may attribute whatever meaning you wish to your
knotwork. I will be utilizing both old designs obtained from many sources
but will also be designing new knots utilizing The
Celtic Knot Font. If you have an interest in purchasing The Celtic Knot
Font to design your own knots, please click here.
Scrapbooker? We customize embellishments perfect for preserving and complementing
your memories of Clan gatherings, Celtic festivals, Renaissance faires and
vacations or for adding flair to your genealogy projects.