Triquetra Symbols | Meaning of Triquetra Learn the various meanings of triquetra art.
Triquetra is a Latin word that means "three cornered". Originally, it simply meant "triangle" and used to refer to various three-cornered shapes. In ancient times, the #3 was sacred and revered as an extremely powerful number. Today the symbol is often a more complicated design with a circle that weaves through the three interconnected loops of the Triquetra. The circle emphasizes the unity of the whole combination of the three elements. The symbol is also known as the Trinity Knot.
A widely recognized knot for the past two centuries, the Triquetra has been used as a sign of special things and persons that are threefold, such as Mother, Daughter, and Grandmother - Past, Present and Future - the Trinity of soul, physical, mental and spiritual – and especially the Holy Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is uncertain what the symbol truly meant to the ancient Celts.
In Celtic art the Triquetra has three distinct, yet interlocked points and is often found in Insular art, most notably in metalwork and in illuminated manuscripts (e.g. The Book of Kells). The Triquetra rarely stood alone in medieval Celtic art. It was more widely used as space filler or a design element in larger, more complex compositions.
The symbol meaning of the Triquetra typically represents the three stages of the feminine life cycle, the maiden (the young virgin), the mother (pregnancy and motherhood), and the crone (old age and wisdom). It can also represent the threefold of nature, earth, water, and sky or it can represent three fishes ("Pisces"). During the persecution of the Christians, the fish was a valuable and secret symbol. When two people of the Christian faith came together one would draw half the fish in the sand, and if the other drew the other half of the fish symbol in the sand, they knew it was ok to talk. The Circle represents unending love for and from the creator, and unending love for man and woman.
To Modern Pagans, the Triquetra symbolize a variety of concepts and mythological figures. Celtic Redonstructionist Pagans use it either to represent one of the various triplicities in their cosmology and theology (such as the division of the world into the three realms of Land, Sea and Sky), or as a symbol of one of the specific triple Goddesses.
The symbol is sometimes used by Wiccans to symbolize either the Wiccan triple goddess, the interconnected parts of our existence (Mind, Body, and Soul), or other concepts that seem to fit the idea of a unity.
In popular culture, the TV series Charmed identified the symbol to mean "The Power of Three Acting as one". During the first season, the Triquetra appeared on the cover of the sisters’ Book of Shadows, as well as on their cat. The premise of the show was that the three sisters must act as one to be truly powerful and effective.
Some believe that Triquetra originated from a Greek word meaning three legged. It is associated with progress and compensation and found on the coat of arms of the Isle of Man.