Triskelion


The Triskelion, or Triskele, is a symbol composed of three repeating components giving the total image a threefold rotational symmetry. This design style has occurred in many early cultures. It has been suggested that this might be cultural transference from the wide spread Celtic peoples. Where this is plausible for most European examples of the triskelion, the two triskeles on the right, in the example above, most definitely do not concede to this premise. They both appear in Japan independent of Celtic influence; the second from the right is Buddhist or Shinto and the one on the far right is a house symbol. In addition some Irish examples, like those on the rock carvings at the entrance of Newgrange, are pre-Celtic in origin.

Spiral triskelions appear throughout the lands once occupied by Celtic nations. As a religious symbol it has been said to represent everything from the Celtic life cycle: life, death and rebirth, to druidic triads, and even various Celtic deities themselves. Because of the importance of this symbol to the early Celts it has become a symbol of Draoícht and Celtic Reconstructionism.

Triskelions in various forms have appeared on Norse rune stones. Where the spiral triskelion may be rare, the Triquetra appears much more often and the rune stone symbols of the Valknut and Triple Horn have become symbols of the Ásatrú, or Norse Reconstructionism. Both of which are technically triskelions but like the symbol of the Isle of Man, shown in the center of the example above, their design does not cause one to immediately think of them as such.

Though Wiccians and new age authors often try to link both the Triskelion and Triquetra to an ancient "Triple Goddess", there is absolutely no historical evidence that a triple goddess as described in Wicca even existed in early Celtic belief. Nonetheless, thanks to television show like "Charmed" this symbol has also been linked to Wicca in the modern mind.
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