The Magick of Celtic Symbols
The Celts transmitted their culture orally, never writing down history or facts. This accounts for the extreme lack of knowledge about them prior to their contact with the classical civilizations of Greece and Rome. They combined their religious beliefs with almost everything they did, which is what gave them their bravery, perseverance and strength to overcome and defeat their enemies. Finally, their ancient wisdom and understanding is thought, by many to be beyond other cultures, e that embraced religion, philosophy, geography and astronomy.
At one time all of Europe was Celtic. England was ruled entirely by Celts . Eventually the Romans, Angles and Saxons came and pushed the Celts to the north and west. One of the great Celtic events of history was the Fifth-Century battle between King Arthur and his Celtic army against the dark pagan hordes in England ( as the Celts termed the non-Celtic peoples ). The Celts considered King Arthurs loss to be the death of civilization. King Arthur himself remains an important figure in Celtic legend. The original historic story is now much embroidered with medieval knights and traditions.
The Celts were a culture that thrived and were able to dominate almost all of Europe, from the Bronze Age well into the early Christian period. The areas that remained Celtic after the Romans took over were the Isle of Man, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Brittany and Cornwall. The Celts were excellent artisans and warriors who were very creative. They invented the chariot and the idea of chariot warfare long before the Romans did. They were one of the first people to use the horse as a beast of burden and they also used the horse in warfare. They were inventive storytellers and poets.
The ancient Celtic Art was full of interlacing patterns, elaborate knotwork, spirals, animal forms and animal zoomorphics, and color. The early Celts displayed their art especially in metal: jewelry , weapons (they were fierce warriors ), figurines and pots are some of the many artifacts that come to light. Celtic knots are complete loops with no end or beginning. Celtic animal interlace is similar in construction but the cords terminate in feet, heads, tails ect. Pure knots should always be unending, unless the loose end of a strand is stylized into a zoomorphic element or a spiral.
Knotwork tradition in manuscript painting spread the style from Britain and Ireland to Scotland (in those days Pictland and Dalriada), Wales and Northumbria and with the travels of missionaries of the Celtic church to Europe. Viking raiders later appropriated many of the design concepts into their own personalized , more chaotic style of animal interlace.
Modern Celtic peoples have evolved symbols for themselves, and in the North American people of Celtic descent often wear these symbols to show that they are of Celtic descent. For instance, the most common Irish symbol is the three -leaved shamrock, although the Harp is often used as well. The harp has been the national instrument for all the Celtic people since the dawn of their history. The Scottish symbol is the Thistle, along with the wearing of tartans. The Welsh flag is a red dragon on a green and white background . They consider the red dragon as their most Welsh symbol, but along with the dragon they recognize the leek and the daffodil.
When Christianity came to the Celtic lands of Britain and Ireland, the monks of the seventh century adapted the ancient Celtic art forms to the new religion. The Celtic cross and the Tree of Life, for example came from this marriage. Writing also came to the Celts for the first time. The most famous manuscript by the monks is the beautiful Book of Kells, on display in the library of Trinity College in Dublin.