Celtic Symbolism For Warrior
As we know, the symbols of the ancient Celtic tradition are sometimes challenging to identify accurately because of the lack of written records left behind by those people. Stories, thoughts, beliefs, and interpretations of symbols were passed down orally or depicted on stones. Thus, much of what we have come to know about the symbolic values in Celtic culture comes from archaeological digs and other findings.
Additionally, other ancient cultures were fascinated by the diversity of the Celtic symbols and noted much information about them in their own records, as they were quite organized when concerning written records. Combining astute records with a little intuition, we are able to connect with this ancient culture and its traditions.
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One crucial element of Celtic culture is the high value and respect granted on those who went to battle. Warriors were highly regarded in Celtic culture for their bravery and intimidation tactics. They were known to don intricate tattoos (applied using the woad plant) and have spiked hair capable of taking an eye out, but it is difficult to narrow down the exact symbols used to represent them.
Due to the diversity of warrior-like symbols, we can assume that most Celtic clans would have created personalized symbols. These would be used as tattoos, depicted on attire, and/or exhibited in everyday artistic works. Like other Celtic symbols, signs of the warrior consisted of all sorts of images and patterns.
Knot designs were particularly common, as were skills, which were obviously a bit intimidating. Other popular imagery included animal totems, sacred trees (which the Celts held in high regard), flowers and plants, and personalized clan emblems. Each symbol was also created with unique colors and tones to show both the bearer’s individuality as well as his devotion to his clan. However, the Celtic warriors also respected their ancestry with the Tuatha de Danann and often donned symbols of this element of their heritage.
Symbolism Of Warrior Symbols
Warrior emblems were considered to be extremely artistic, with each curve and corner being carefully thought out. The Celts were frequently warring, and being a warrior was considered to be a huge part of a man’s identity. With this in mind, warrior symbols were designed to exude pride and promote courage on the battlefield.
As mentioned above, tattoos were an integral part of a warrior’s physique. They were intricately designed and applied in a free-flowing manner. Men would typically get them in bodily locations that would be visible to the enemy. However, they were also known to print them in sexual energy points, called meridians, along the body. These meridians were considered primal power centers, which they believed would enhance their masculine performance in battle.
Celtic Warrior Symbol Meanings
There are some specific examples of objects and designs that were popularly used as symbols for a warrior. The most fitting, though, comes in the form of one of the weapons of choice for a warrior: a sword. The size and make of a warrior’s sword was indicative of his status, meaning the artistic depiction of it was of equal importance.
Other weapon-themed images also made for appropriate symbols. For example, the Ken rune was considered a Celtic symbol for flames. However, it visually appears to be an arrowhead, pointing left. The Ken rune is thus multifaceted in its symbolic meaning, but all are completely understandable for warriors. In addition to representing a type of weapon for the warrior, this symbol also speaks of masculine forces: sex, heroism, and action. Celtic warriors usually chose to wear this symbol around their necks to invoke the protection and ferocity of the gods during battle.
Celtic Ogham – Duir
The Celtic Ogham presents another set of symbols that could convey strength to the Celts. This was an ancient alphabet consisting of various symbols. They were depicted as series of lines and were thought to be descriptive of the Celts’ wisdom and connection with nature, especially with Celtic trees, which all Celts held in very high regard. The strong and mighty oak tree was perhaps the grandest of all and conveyed power and stability. In symbolism, it was referred to as the Duir, a vertical line with two horizontals stretching out on the left side. The Druids considered this oak-like symbol to contain immense amounts of forceful energy. Thus, the Duir was invoked by warriors who wished to absorb its energy and release it on the battlefield.