The Triquetra, a powerful and enigmatic symbol
Today we meet again to decipher together a new Celtic symbol that you certainly all know so much the series Charmed made it famous!
Who hasn't been fascinated by this mythical series full of magic, humor and heartfelt stories?
Charmed is an American television series in 178 episodes and aired between 1998 and 2006.
The Triquetra, the symbol of the Halliwell sisters in Charmed
The series tells the story of three sisters who become witches by inheriting the powers passed on by their grandmothers. Each sister has a magical power of her own that evolves throughout her life. They live together in a manor. United by the "Power of Three," the Charmed Ones use their supernatural powers to fight witches, demons, and other evil forces that populate the city of San Francisco, California.
If you followed all the episodes like me, you undoubtedly remember this mysterious symbol that can be seen on the famous "book of shadows".
The Halliwell sisters possess a powerful and coveted book of witchcraft, The Book of Shadows, which has been passed down for generations. The book contains formulas, potions, and information about their enemies, mostly demons. The book was created in such a way that it could protect itself by moving if any demon tried to take it. The symbol of the Halliwell family adorns the cover of the book, the triquetra, symbolizing the Power of Three.
In reality, a Book of Shadows is a work that gathers various magical and religious texts, inspired by Wicca and neopaganist traditions. It contains the various rituals, magical practices, ethical and philosophical laws related to the practice of magic.
Even if you are not familiar with the Charmed series, I imagine you have seen this symbol somewhere. It is an intriguing symbol, somehow related to magic (but all symbols are related to the soul that acts, magic), it calls out and leaves no one indifferent.
Magic is not new, but its high knowledge has been lost. This knowledge does not come from humans and no man can discover and obtain it by himself. It is a knowledge that comes from the higher worlds and remains there. Some men have an idea of this magic and they want more than anything to possess it, but the real magic is beyond their knowledge.
So why are we so drawn to certain symbols like the Triquetra?
Perhaps because symbols unconsciously lead us back to a world that is pure and true and through them our soul seeks a path to rise.
So today I'm taking you to discover the Triquetra, a symbol that reminds us of its famous cousin the Triskel, both being among the most representative Celtic symbols.
What is a triquetra or trinity knot?
A triquetra is an ancient symbol consisting of three overlapping and interconnected arcs, sometimes known as Vesicae Piscis, which creates a three-pointed symbol
In symbology, the word triquetra comes from the Latin tri-, "three" and quetrus, "provided with corners".
Essentially, the symbol looks like a three-cornered knot, as all the internal arcs give the impression that there is no beginning or end. The name itself translates as "three-cornered", but the meaning is much deeper, going back to pre-Celtic origins. However, the concept of three, also known as the power of three, or the Holy Trinity, which is embedded in the name, is the most important aspect of the ancient symbol.
While the symbol is called a triquetra, it is also known as the Trinity Knot, the Celtic Trinity Knot and the Holy Trinity Knot. The meaning of the Celtic Trinity Knot and the meaning of the Trinity Knot are very different, as they stem from different cultural beliefs, but the concept of three is what ties the two meanings together. In some representations, the trinity knot is represented with a circle in the center of the triquetra shape.
A little history
The triquetra has been found on Northern European rune stones, and on ancient Germanic coins. It likely had a religious significance, related to Germanic paganism, and shows a resemblance to the Valknut, a symbol traditionally associated with Odin (the valknut, or "knot of the cloaked" is a figure composed of three intertwined triangles).
The triquetra is often found in Hiberno-Saxon art, especially in goldsmithing and in illuminated manuscripts, such as the Book of Kells
The Book of Kells is a manuscript illustrated with ornamental motifs made by monks of Celtic culture around 800 A.D. Considered a masterpiece of Irish Christianity and Irish-Saxon art, it is one of the most lavishly illuminated manuscripts to survive from the Middle Ages
The Triquetra is also found in similar ornaments on Celtic crosses and early Christian stones. The fact that the triquetra rarely appeared alone in Celtic art has led to doubts about its use as a primary religious symbol.
The symbol was later used (or reused) by Christians as a symbol of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). The Christian Triquetra is frequently accompanied by a circle that crosses the three loops, emphasizing the unity of the three elements.
And today the symbol is generally used by Wiccans to represent either the triple goddess of Neopaganism or the interconnected aspects of existence that are Spirit, Body and Soul.
Discover the meaning of the Triquetra
In the Wicca movement
While the symbol is the same in various cultures, the meaning changes. Since there is little written evidence surrounding pre-Celtic and Celtic life, scholars can only speculate on pagan tradition. However, by corroborating various references, they know that the concept of three was a central element of divine belief, signifying the Goddess of the Triple Moon (referring to the Wicca symbol) which encompasses the three phases of the moon but also the maiden, the mother and the elder and connects to female fertility.
- The Maiden: represents a young girl symbolizing youth, pleasure, innocence and new beginnings
- The Mother: represents love, fertility and maturity symbolizing the middle of a woman's life as she cares for others
- The Crone: represents facets of the other stages but focuses on the wisdom learned from a long life.
Together, the three women represent the cycle of life, evoking the innocence of a girl's youth, maturity as she ages, and the wisdom one gains throughout life.
When Christianity arrived in Ireland, most of the pagan traditions were modified to connect with the new monotheistic religion, and symbols, such as the triquetra, were reused. Irish Christians took the concept of the three interlocking forms and reused it to signify the holy trinity: the father, son and holy spirit. The endless loops themselves are said to refer to the concept of infinity, which is why the inner circle was later added to the symbol.
The triquetra has also been used to signify other meanings, such as :
- birth, life, death
- birth, death, rebirth
- earth, air, water
- land, sea, sky
- past present future
- father, mother, child
For Celtic druids, for example, the symbol was more associated with the elements earth, air, water.
Today, the symbol is still used, and depending on the culture or people, all the above mentioned meanings still ring true. However, the purpose of the triquetra is to emphasize the power of the three and the connectedness of all things. This concept is used in neo-pagan practices, witchcraft and Wicca to symbolize the power of combining elements and/or deities. It also anchors the practitioner to nature and the land they inhabit.
What is the difference between the Triskel and the Triquetra?
The Triskel and Triquetra have a structure based on the number 3.
The Triquetra is similar to the Triskel, although if the Triskel symbolizes the infinite in limits, the Triquetra is a more contained symbol, with its elements that intersect. It is more defensive than expansive, more protective than outward-looking. It contains all things within it, protecting them rather than freeing them to make their way. In the Triquetra, the center represents the heart.
What you need to know is thatalong with the point and the circle, the spiral, from which the Triskel is derived, is one of the oldest symbols of humanity. But before being a symbol, it responds to a reality, to an impulse that led man to take refuge in the circle. The spiral quickly became the representation of the energy of the circle, compared to the fixed point, which became symbolically in many traditions, the representation of God. This is why the spiral quickly became a magical emblem, because of its energy.
Life is only vibrations, it is only realized in movement. This is why man soon discovered the polarity of spiral energy.
In the Triquetra and the Triskel, the notion of energies is triple. We have a force of involution, a force of evolution and a third force which is stabilizing the two others. A bit like in the Yin and Yang with the curve that separates white from black.
Moreover, Aristotle said
"Among the sizes, one is divisible only in one direction, it is the line; the other is in two, it is the surface; the other is in three, it is the body. There are no other sizes than these, for three is everything and contains all possible dimensions.
The energy of the 3, as channeled in the form of the Triskel and the Triquetra, allows the primordial energy to descend into matter, as it works on the three levels of manifested consciousness: physical, energetic and spiritual planes. In other words, it is an energy that is capable of activating anything because it is the very principle of vital energy.
Unlike what I mentioned earlier, that is, the circle of the Triquetra is going to bring a more protective aspect. It is like a shield.
To take it a step further, if you look closely, the Triquetra fits into an equilateral triangle.
The triangle is the symbol of the cosmic hierarchy. Wherever it is present, there is celestial order, harmony, balance, freedom and a clear mind. You can visualize it on your forehead, or imagine the Triquetra directly, and you attract these qualities into your aura and they begin to work on you in the deep to straighten your life.
The symbol of the triangle also represents the man who is perfectly balanced in his mind, soul and body as well as in his thinking, feeling and will.
When a man succeeds in developing these three centers of intelligence of thought, feeling and will in a harmonious way and, in addition, unifies them, the omnipotence of clear mind and discernment appears in him.
And finally, the Triquetra speaks to us of unity as the fundamental law of life. Behind all forms of the organic world - plant and animal - is the great One Life. It creates the forms and expresses itself through them.
You can meditate with this symbol and be inspired by it.
Visualizing a Triquetra on your forehead, you can say the following invocation inwardly:
"By the invincible law of the triangle, I ask that luminous, harmonious, beneficial forces pour into me, nourish the sublime that dwells in the hidden and develop in balance my 3 centers of thought, feeling and will in order to unify them in the presence of the clear spirit I-Am."
The Triquetra of protection
The strength of this symbol is the circle. And it is the circle that gives it its protective power. You may have noticed that we tend to put a circle around our symbols, especially on the harmonizing discs. Apart from the purely aesthetic aspect, the circle has a real magical function.
The circle teaches us to be inward looking, to build and create a world within the world. It is a land that brings forth another land, another space, and that makes it possible for man to bring down the Light to the land or to bring darkness to it. This circle is like a body, a house, the whole earth. It calls for meditation, prayer, reflection. It represents the awakening consciousness, the whole path to the Light.
Entering the circle actually means entering the great protection. Each one awakens and becomes alive in the whole circle. Each one is a point in this circle and together we represent this circle, which is a community, a sharing, a communion, another way of being in the world. There is a space, the space of prayer, the space of protection, the space of blessing.
How to use the Triquetra?
● The Triquetra is a very effective symbol to rebalance your energy state.
● Placing a Triquetra under your food, drinks, seeds and food supplements will energize them.
● You can place your stones, minerals on this symbol to cleanse and recharge them.
● You can also hang a Triquetra on the wall to reharmonize certain rooms or protect your home.
The Triquetra tattoo : good or bad idea ?
Well, I say yes! It is a symbol that is pure, rather discreet but powerful at the same time. Be careful however to respect the structure and the perfect proportions of the symbol
How to make and draw a triquetra?
Get a ruler, a compass and a pencil. I sometimes see tutorials where you draw the symbol freehand. I don't recommend this. In sacred geometry proportions are really essential!
The word of conclusion
The Triquetra is certainly one of the most beautiful symbols representing the Holy Trinity. The three equal arcs of the circle denote the equality of the three Persons of the Divinity. The lines run continuously and thus express their eternal existence. They are intertwined, which expresses their unity. The center forms an equilateral triangle, itself a symbol of the Trinity. So here we have a complex expression of equality, eternity, unity and glory in what is essentially a simple form.
I hope you enjoyed this article.
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