Symbols have had a fascinating history. Since time immemorial, humans have tried to associate meaning with many figures and symbols. With the rise of new, highly codified faiths and persecution of the ancient way of doing things, many of these symbols and their significance have gotten lost in the sands of time, however many still endure.
The triquetra is among the few symbols of ancient mysticism and spirituality that still hold significance and commands a major following. Its origins and early history are not clear but there is no doubt that it appears in cultures across the globe.
The term “triquetra” is an ancient symbol with rich significance across cultures. It consists of three interconnected leaf-like shapes and derives its name from Latin,translating to mean three cornered. In some designs, it is placed inside a circle and that is intended to represent protection and spiritual unity.
The number three itself is steeped in spiritual significance. Christianity has the Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Hindu mythology has a triad of deities that are responsible for the functioning of the cosmic cycle, namely the Creator, the Preserver, and the Destroyer. This symbolism associated with the number three also extends to many other cultures.
The triquetra symbol represents a ‘group of three’, and has had a presence across the globe, including Europe and North America. Its usage goes far back in time and in fact, it has appeared in some Indian heritage sites that are dated to be from a period 5,000 years ago.
In addition to the Trinity in Christianity, the triquetra is also significant in many other cultures. In pagan and Wiccan cultures, it represents the elements air, water and earth as forces of nature. It has also been used to symbolize fertility and the triple Goddesses of maiden, mother, and crone, signifying the three stages of innocence, creation, and wisdom.
This idea of ‘threes’ has many other forms like mind, body, soul; past, present, future; and thought, feeling emotion. The triquetra also signifies idea of eternity, infinity, protection, and equality.
In modern times, it has become popular as artwork and is often seen on brand logos, games, music, and television. It is also known as the trinity knot and is a popular choice for pendant designs and rings. In fact, Ireland still has a tradition where a man gives his beloved a trinket with a triquetra symbol.
Even today, this symbol goes beyond being merely decorative and holds deep significance for many people and is seen as being more than just art. People, who identify with Celtic culture, use the triquetra to represent the magic of three in their cosmology and theology.
There are some who believe that the triquetra symbol is a manifestation of 666 and represents the devil. However, if you look at all the spiritual ideas that it is related to, you will see at as a beautiful symbol of positivity, nature and creation and striving for the right balance.
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