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Celtic Symbolism : The Spiral

As posted on Love of the Goddess, all rights reserved by the author.


The spiral is an ancient symbol that has been used since the beginning of time in many different cultures around the world. Different variations of the spiral, have been found in the British Isles, Europe, Scandinavia, Greece and even in the America's.

The meaning of this ancient symbol has been up for debate, and while each definition is a little different, the core meaning of this symbol remains the same. Basically representing the spiral of life, the cycles of nature, the cycles of life, and so on.

The triple spiral pictured here, was found carved on the stones of Newgrange, a neolithic passage tomb in Ireland. This particular spiral is said to represent the threefold Goddess and the cycles of life. Another similar triple spiral called the triskele, was used in Europe as well as in the America's by the Hopi Indians. This spiral represents the cycles of life within the three fold, or the three spheres of the material world, such as land, sky and sea.

While in Ireland, I got the pleasure of seeing these beautiful triple spirals carved on the walls of Newgrange. At the entrance to this massive passage tomb, lie three huge smoothed rocks, each of these have triple spirals carved all over them. Some of these carvings are starting to fade sadly. Inside the tomb, they are carved randomly throughout, there are not as many inside as there are on the rocks out front. I also saw some spirals carved in a few other ancient places throughout Ireland.

What I find most interesting about this sacred symbol, is that many different cultures around the world used it. How did all of these ancient cultures use an very similar symbol with almost the same meaning? Could it be possible that the Hopi Indians in North American came into contact with the neolitic Europeans? I would tend to think not, but anything is ultimately possible. I guess we will leave that up to the archaeologists and anthropologists among us to figure out.
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