Irish Symbols – each with their own fascinating origins and still relevant today

Irish Symbols

Irish symbols are widely used around the world by all sorts of organisations and individuals to show their pride in their Celtic roots.

Ireland is an ancient country and has been home to several civilisations over thousands of years.

Some of the important symbols used by these ancient communities have come to be symbols of Ireland itself and mean a great deal to many people who are proud of their Irish heritage. They are also numerous pieces of Celtic jewelry that use the ancient symbols as part of their design.

Celtic symbols copyright Ireland Calling

Ogham, the mysterious language of the trees The Origins of the Ogham alphabet are still a mystery for many historians, but it is primarily thought to be an early form of the Irish written Language. Bealtaine Fire

In this section we look at the origins of some of the most famous Celtic symbols.

Click on the icons on the left in the list below to get more information about each symbol.

Celtic symbols - The Awen copyright Ireland CallingThe Awen is a Celtic word meaning inspiration or essence. The Awen symbol represents inspiration or divine illumination and it is one of the lesser known Celtic symbols. More here

Brigid's Cross copyright Ireland CallingBrigid’s Cross has come to be known as the cross of St Brigid but is actually much older than Christianity. More here

Celtic Cross copyright Ireland CallingCeltic Cross is an Irish symbol of both culture and faith that has inspired many legends. More here

Claddagh Ring copyright Ireland CallingCladdagh Ring – symbolises love, loyalty and friendship. Possibly the most well-known Irish symbol. More here

Easter LilyEaster Lily – a mark of respect for Irish nationalists who have died in battle, and a symbol of hope and peace for the future. More here

The Green Man copyright Ireland CallingThe Green Man is an ancient Celtic symbol that symbolises the coming of Spring and represents rebirth and vegetation. More here

Celtic symbols, harp copyright Ireland CallingHarp – ancient instrument and a national emblem of Ireland. More here

Shamrock copyright Ireland CallingShamrock – national flower of Ireland that has had significance in the country since the days of the Druids. More here

Celtic symbol - Spiral copyright Ireland CallingSpiral – common natural pattern and to the Celts it represents the sun or the radiation of ethereal energy. More here

Tree of Life copyright Ireland CallingTree of Life symbolises a connection to the other world. More here

Triquetra copyright Ireland CallingTriquetra – also known as the Trinity Knot, it symbolises an eternal spiritual life. More here

Triskele copyright Ireland CallingTriskele – one of the most ancient Irish symbols, over 5,000 years old. Represents the Celtic belief that everything happen in threes. More here

More on Irish Celtic Symbols

Celtic jewelry – symbols of love and friendship

Celtic festivals

Celtic Cross

Brigid’s Cross

How Ireland protects its harp and shamrock emblems…take care if using them

Why the Guinness harp faces the opposite way to the official Irish harp

Yule – ancient festival pre-dating Christmas

Easter Lily – sign of peace and hope for the future

St Patrick myths and legends

Irish Art – clues to ancient Irish cultures and beliefs

The Green Man – symbol of rebirth in Celtic Culture

The Awen (The Three Rays of Light)

Celtic Tree of Life (Crann Bethadh)

Triskele – From the Greek meaning ‘three-legged’

Celtic Cross – symbol of faith and culture

Celebrating the rich diversity of Irish culture

Irish Art – pre-dating the Pyramids