Triskele – From the Greek meaning ‘three-legged’

Triskele - Celtic symbol. Image copyright - Ireland CallingTriple spiral symbol
Triskele - Celtic symbol. Image copyright - Ireland Calling

One of the most ancient of Irish symbols, the triskele (or Triskelion) can be found on the kerbstones of Newgrange which date back to Neolithic times around 3200 BC.
Triple spiral symbol
They also appear on coins and pottery from Ancient Greece. The triskele is the symbol of Sicily, which in ancient times, used to be a Greek colony.

The Celts liked the symbol

The triskele is pre-Celtic in design, dating back to before the Celts settled in Ireland, but it was incorporated into Celtic culture and frequently appears in Celtic artwork. The symbol is thought to represent continuous movement or continuously moving forward.

The fact that the triskele consists of three spirals, or sometimes three legs, adheres to the Celtic belief in the triad, that everything happens in threes; past, present, future: mother, father, child; body, mind, spirit.

Newgrange kerbstone copyright Locutus Borg cc3

Newgrange kerbstone

Christians adopted the Triskele

This would have made it fascinating to the Celts and easy to adopt into their culture.

Similarly, when the Christian church came to Ireland during the 5th century, they also adopted the triskele symbol using it as a tool for teaching the Holy Trinity.

Wappen Fussen coat of arms.

Wappen Fussen coat of arms.

Variations of this symbol can be found on the national flags of The Isle of Man, Brittany and Sicily and on the coat of arms of Füssen in Germany. It is the basis for the badge of the Irish Air Corps and appears on the US Department of Transportation logo.

The wonderfully ornate illustrations and calligraphy in the Book of Kells has inspired artists for centuries and is still highly influential today. It’s now possible to have your name written in the style of the Book of Kells with ornate initial letters and calligraphy that are direct replicas of work created by the monks more than a thousand years ago.

See the Claddagh Ring design on numerous gifts in Bealtaine Fire

Do you qualify to become an Irish citizen?

There are three main ways for a person to qualify for Irish citizenship – through birth, through marriage or civil partnership or through naturalisation. Check if you qualify for Irish citizenship

Did you know?

An Irish schoolteacher has created a brilliant YouTube video explaining the history of Ireland in just six minutes. It’s brilliantly done and makes learning both fun and engaging for children and also adults. Find out more.

Have you heard about…

Are you a Celt? Or a Gael? Viking or British? Well it might depend on where you come from in Ireland according to a new study. A genetic map has been created by researchers that reveals the impact of immigration, invasion and plantation throughout Irish history. Find out more.

What about this…

The Incredible life of Irish American Molly Brown saw her labelled ‘The Unsinkable Molly Brown’ by the media after surviving several disasters including the sinking of the Titanic. Find out more.
Copy Protected by Chetan's WP-Copyprotect.