see it clearly
Learn more

Celtic Symbols of Strength

The Celtic symbols for strength are a type of ancient branding, used to convey a message of bravery, valor, and power. They also denoted the rank of the individual. These symbols played a dominant role in family crests as a statement of past and future glories.

Celtic Symbols of Strength

Deciphering Celtic Symbols

Clear records of the symbolism behind different design elements in Celtic art is spotty at best. When considering the meaning of different symbols, much is inferred from the collective understanding of the meanings of certain symbols.

What is known is that today, just as in the time of the Celts, the Celtic symbols for strength are desirable whether it be for the creation of a modern-day family crest or even a tattoo. The idea of conveying superior warring ability is viewed as a status symbol.

Many Celtic symbols reached a new plateau in terms of their artistic quality. The intricate designs and patterns are objects of beauty unto themselves, regardless of their meaning.

Celtic Motifs

An overview of common Celtic motifs reveals some symbols can be interpreted as a sign of strength. The sword, for example, was the weapon of battle in ancient days. Other weapons such as the battle-axe, lance, or halberd have a similar aura about them. Likewise, the shield is a message of strength.

You can also find strength in other realms outside of the battlefield. The oak, for example, represents not only strength but antiquity and longevity. In terms of showing strength, the association of its endurance can certainly be interpreted as a sign of true strength. The Dara Celtic knot is a classic example.

Animals as Celtic Symbols for Strength

Nature provided other ways to convey a message of strength through simple observation. The prowess of the great carnivores was the source of many ways to express a superior warrior. Big cats such as the lion and tiger are extensively used in family crests and heraldry.

Other animals denoted strength by other physical characteristics such as the tough hide of the rhinoceros, the sheer size of the elephant, and the ferocity of the wild boar. Other predators such as the bear and wolf also are used extensively in armory.

Mythical Creatures

The Celtic symbols were not limited to animals of the real world. A host of mythical creatures act as symbols of strength in several ways. The centaur is a fantastic creature composed of half man and half horse, combining the best features of both. Its disturbing image was meant to provoke horror in the enemy.

The griffin is another odd yet powerful mythical creature. The creature is half lion and half eagle, another recombinant symbol of two fierce warriors. Legend has it that a full-grown griffin will never be taken alive, a symbol of a savage fighter until the bitter end.

The dragon and the wyvern perhaps are some of the most symbols of strength. The wyvern is a winged reptile with two legs and a barbed tail. These creatures represent nightmarish images of strength and viciousness beyond all compare.

Not as well known, the cockatrice is like a cross between a rooster and a reptile with a snake-like tail. This creature's power is in its look or breath, both believed to be poison. This image, like the other fantastic mythical creatures, was meant to terrorize an enemy.

Purpose of the Symbols

The Celtic symbols of strength served two important functions. First, they gave a message that the warrior was fierce in battle, warning of a bitter and vicious fight. This warning was meant to deter possible enemies from battle.

Second, the function of symbols, especially those of mythical creatures, was to invoke terror in the enemy with a message that supernatural forces were behind their strength. The underlying meaning was that battle with this warrior was an impossible victory. The defeat was sure to be horrific.

In ancient times, the unknown fueled these messages and the meanings behind the symbols. While today's people don't view these symbols quite as terrifying, they still have power in the shroud of mystery that enfolds them.