If you’re looking to love yourself and develop confidence, look no further. From the Celtic Ailm symbol of inner strength, to the Tree of Life, these are some of the most powerful symbols you can use to remind yourself of who you really are.
This list of meaningful ancient symbols can help you find ways to connect with your inner beauty, your true power and your authentic self.
Choosing symbols for your Spiritual Self Love Journey
If you have Irish background, you may feel a connection to symbols deriving from the ancient Celts. We will walk you through popular Celtic symbols and explain the meanings and connection for spirituality and self love.
Each one has a special meaning, and you may feel a connection to one ancient symbol in particular, more than the others.
Is there a Celtic symbol for self love?
Although the ancient celtic symbols have specific meanings and associations, these can be interpreted for our own experiences in the modern world, to represent something meaningful on a personal level.
You may want to take a combination of symbols for example a celtic symbol of inner strength, and a celtic symbol of unconditional love and together these become meaningful as celtic self love symbols.
Are Celtic Symbols Pagan or Christian?
Celtic culture has a rich history, dating back as far as 1200BC with the legacy still strong in modern day Ireland. The ancient celtic culture is an integral part of Irish history.
The origins of the ancient pagan symbols are pagan, with roots in ancient Irish folklore and mythology but many were adopted and adapted by early Christians so now these celtic symbols have roots and history in both cultures and belief systems.
Celtic mythology also has links to ancient norse mythology. Just like our world today, many of these ancient cultures are interconnected.
We will walk you through some of the most famous Irish symbols, each one has symbolic meaning and a rich history that we can associate with it’s design.
Guide to Celtic Symbols and their Meanings
Do you know your Celtic Symbols? We have the full list here.
Whether you are looking for meaningful tattoo ideas, or want to feel more connected to your Irish roots –
Learn the meanings and significance behind the most commonly seen Irish symbols, to understand which ones resonnate the most for you.
The Ailm is a Celtic symbol for inner strength.
Ailm is the letter A in Ogham, a Medieval writing system also known as the Celtic Tree Alphabet or Irish Tree Alphabet. It has 20 characters each made up of parallel strokes on either side or across a continuous line.
The Ailm symbol looks like a symmetrical cross, and represents all three of Elm, Fir and Pine trees.
Ailm represents strength, endurance, resilience and healing. This is a very powerful self love and self reliance symbol!
The Trisklele (similar to a Triskelion) is a triple spiral. The name actually derives from a Greek word, but it has a longstanding history in Celtic culture.
According to understanding of the ancient Celts, the meaning of this spiral symbol actually changes depending on the direction the triskele faces.
If the triskele spirals in a clockwise direction, it is said to represent the quiver of the internal energy in its expansion towards outside.
If the triskele spirals counter-clockwise, then it symbolizes the descent into the underworld, which is much more of an introspective and inward energy.
You may feel instantly that one of these resonates with you more than the other. And these subtleties are definitely something to consider if getting a triskelion tattoo.
The triskele is also known as the Celtic spiral, and this is considered the oldest Celtic symbol.
The word serch bythol is Celtic with a Welsh origin and it means everlasting love.
This meaningful symbol is made from two trinity knots (aka two triquetras) together to form a new shape, and this resulting design symbolises ever lasting love between two people.
It is not necessarily a romantic love symbol, the concept of the serch bythol has a stronger association with family bonds.
This can relate to self love, celebrating our place within our family and community as we love ourselves within the context of our existing relationships, not in isolation. Allowing ourselves to love and be loved is one of the greatest acts of self love.
The claddagh ring is a popular wedding ring design, and is unmistakably Irish.
The claddagh symbol is a love symbol, made up of a heart, with a crown on top and a pair of hands holding the heart, symbolising love, loyalty and friendship. The combination of these three things is much deeper than just a basic romantic love.
You might notice, the concept of threes is extremely strong in Celtic symbolism, and the claddagh is another symbol which brings together three elements.
There was a fishing village of Claddagh, on the shore of Galway (the name comes from an cladach meaning on the shore)
The Celtic cross is a Christian cross with a nimbus ring in the middle, which differentiates it from a standard Christian cross.
Although this Celtic symbol also has Pagan roots, nowadays it is more closely tied to Christianity and may be a symbol that resonates with you as a way to tie together pride in Irish heritage, with a strong connection to the Christian religion.
The central ring is said to symbolise a compass, and the concepts of unity, wholeness and inclusion.
Trinity Knot / Triquetra
The trinity knot, also known as a Triquetra is a symbol for unconditional love, and is a form of Celtic knot.
Celtic knots have no beginning and no end, with the endless knots symbolising endless love and eternity. This can also symbolise the endless personal journey and spiritual growth.
The Trinity knot is originally a Celtic pagan symbol but was adopted by Christians in the 4th century to represent the Christian Holy trinity of the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit.
The Dara knot is a type of Celtic knot which is often used as a symbol of strength. The name Dara comes from comes from the word Doire meaning oak tree and the knot represents the tree and the root system, hence strength and grounding.
The symbolism of the Dara knot, and the oak tree can remind us of the vast resources we have under the surface, of inner strength, just like the roots of a tree.
Irish harp national emblem of Ireland, this one is not a Celtic symbol it came later but is one of the most seen symbols of Ireland in modern times.
Red roses are a universal symbol of love, specifically romantic love. Although red roses alone are not a Celtic symbol, some people chose to combine this with a Celtic knot for a more feminine symbol.
Celtic Tree of Life
The tree of life is a deeply spiritual symbol, linking into the concepts of wisdom, longevity and strength.
It is also said to represent our uniqueness and individual beauty, which is perfect as a self love symbol.
Flower of Life
Similar to the meaning of the Tree of Life, there is the Celtic flower of life.
The Celtic flower of life symbol is made up of 19 circles of the same size, interconnected into a beautiful geometric design.
You can also incorporate symbolism from outside of the Celtic origin, I have seen designs which combine with the Padme lotus flower which is symbolic in Buddhism for rising from the dirt.
This symbol, combined with the meaning of the tree of life, puts together a deep meaning about rising from struggles and celebrating your individual journey, and inner strength.
Best custom companion on your self-love journey:
Having gotten quite a lot of meanings of the traditional Celtic symbols for self-love, how do you keep things positive and be advocates of self-love in real life?
Check out these soft enamel pins relating to self-love and strong individual affirmation, which not only add flairs and instant diversity to your outfits but speak out proudly about your inner personality and attitude.
With raised metal and full color on the surface, any symbols and patterns are more easily to be highlighted.
Go to GS-JJ with their free and endless templates or let your imagination do its work. Design your daily reminder of self-love and never forget to love yourself first!
different types of Celtic knots include the Celtic motherhood knot, which represents a parent and child intertwined
And the Celtic shield knot which is a symbol of protection.
All forms of the celtic knot symbol are at their core a symbol of everlasting love, and eternal love as represented by the continuous line which is unbroken.
Celtic knot work is some of the most beautiful intricate Celtic symbolism. The Dara knot, and the triquetra are both forms of the celtic knot design.
A Shillelagh is a traditional Celtic wooden walking stick made from blackthorn. This was used as a weapon to settle disputes, so it can imply the meaning of self defence, resolution, and a strong Celtic warrior woman.
Four Leaf Clover
The four leaf clover, along with the shamrock are unmistakable symbols of Irish culture known across the world. This symbol is linked with good luck, and with the Irish patron Saint, St. Patrick.
The meaning of the four leaf clover also has a connection with nature, and the color green has a strong association with Ireland.
St Brigid’s Cross
This is another uniquely Irish cross symbol, which symbolises peace, goodwill and protection.
St Brigid herself is the patron saint of life and death, and she is also associated with wisdom, poetry and healing.
Celtic Goddess of Self Love
There is actually more than one mythological Goddess who can fall under this title.
Rhiannon is a welsh Celtic goddess of love and sacred sexuality
Áine is the Irish Celtic goddess of love.
Irish words with Deep Meaning
The written word itself can be a powerful form of symbolism, as well as a powerful way to connect us to our roots or to as culture.
Irish Gaelic words with spiritual meanings include
- Síocháin – Peace
- Suaimhneas – Peace
- Grá – Love
- Seoighe – Joy
- Draíocht – Magic
- Saoirse – Freedom
A symbol is a powerful image or pattern which represents an idea, concept, or object. We have shown you 16 symbolic Celtic runes and designs that can be used to empower yourself via connection to your Irish heritage and culture, and to increase self-love.
These symbols can be used to remind yourself of your worth, your beauty, and your power, as well as your strengths and your roots.
In conclusion, there are a wide variety of symbols you can use to represent the power of self love. Whether you are looking to empower yourself, or want to send someone you care about strength and courage.
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Anna is a Wales-based writer and graduate from SOAS University of London.
As the voice behind On Your Journey, she empowers women to embrace holistic well-being and spiritual growth through her expert insights into wellness and symbolism.
When she isn't writing thought-provoking articles, you'll find her busy crafting and raising her 4 children.