Celtic knot tattoos are evolved from the ancient Celts along with influence from Christian missionaries. They are symbolic of strong Celtic pride. Because the Celtic people did not leave a written record regarding their intricate art, it’s important to note that many symbolic meanings of Celtic knot tattoos are modern interpretations. That’s not to say that modern meaning is not valid. Many scholars have researched and written on the topic. They have attempted to interpret the meanings as concisely as possible.
Types of Celtic Knot Tattoos
There are many types of Celtic knot tattoos and a number of them go by several names. An attempt to clarify some the names, along with their contemporary meanings and modern symbolic significance will be presented below.
Eternity Knot – Any of the Celtic knot tattoos that have no beginning and no end fall into this category. The meaning of an eternity knot is symbolic of the never ending circle of life.
Lover’s Knot, also known as the Josephine’s Knot or Granny Knot – Most commonly known as the lover’s knot, the additional names for this same knot are listed above. A lover’s knot is two eternity knots intertwined. These Celtic knot tattoos are absolutely stunning, but you better have a good amount of skin available. The intricacies and detail of these tattoos require size. A back is the usual location for a lover’s knot on men and women; although it would present nicely as an armband as well. Love knots are very popular as jewelry, but what a great tat for couples to share who plan to spend eternity together. An additional idea would be to have the love knot designed in a circular pattern to symbolize the never ending circle of life.
Triquetra Knot also known as the Trinity Knot – This Celtic knot is seen everywhere in Celtic knot tattoos; sometimes used as space filler with or without meaning to the wearer. Like all Celtic art, the origins of the Triquetra knot are debated. Wandering Christian missionaries either borrowed it from the Celtic people or vice versa. Recent literature seems to agree that is originally Celtic. The meaning to the Christian is that of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. However to the Irish pagans, the triquetrum is believed to represent the water, earth and air. It can also mean the union of three separate individuals. Some people are inked with the triquetra by itself and/or with other symbolism or color surrounding it. The triquetra is a versatile knot because of its size. If you’re looking for smaller Celtic knot tattoos, this could be the one. Because of its shape it would wear well on almost any body part.
Other Celtic knot tattoos include the Quaternary Knot, Dara Celtic Knot, Spiral Knot, Oval Knot, and the Shield Knot. This will give you and your tattoo artist further designs to create your Celtic tattoo.
As a last note, Celtic knot tattoos are currently embellished with other symbolism included in the knot. Animals that are important to the Celtic culture are incorporated into the tat and of course have their own meaning. An interesting idea would be to use the symbols from the ancient language of the Celts known as Ogham. Each letter of the Ogham alphabet corresponds to a tree. How’s that for some meaning?
More Celtic Knot Tattoos & Tattoo Designs