Triquetra

January 25, 2022 7 min read

Triquetra: The Trinity Knot in Detail | Viking Heritage

Triquetra: the Trinity Knot in detail!

In the Nordic mythology, many symbols could make their appearance. Indeed, whether it is the Valknut, the Triquetra or the Triskel, a wide choice is offered to you! But each symbol has its meaning and its origins.

As you can see, the Triquetra is a very similar symbol to the Valknut, but is it really the same meaning? Do they have the same origins? You can imagine that they are not! The Triquetra is a symbol in its own right that amazes many. Owning an object with this symbol and knowing its origin are two very different things.

Get ready to travel through time! The Triquetra symbol has traveled through time, eras, but also civilizations! Legendary symbol, you will notice that it is easily found in popular culture too! Ready to start your journey with us? It's over here!

Triquetra: a little history on this Viking symbol!

Triquetra: The Trinity Knot in Detail | Viking Heritage


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Like all Viking symbols, the Triquetra also has a history and meaning. But after much research and hours of trying to understand what it could mean, historians do not know many things about this symbol. If its origin is still unclear, it is a popular symbol since it can be found in various places and on various objects!

Origins still uncertain!

The Triquetra is a Viking symbol that we know rather well. You should know that its name comes directly from Latin. Indeed, in this ancient language, this term simply means "three corners". Nevertheless, it is impossible at present to say where this symbol can come from. Indeed, even today, its origin is a mystery to all historians, but also to those who are very focused on Viking culture.

However, we can tell you perfectly well that it is more than 5,000 years since we know its existence. We have discovered this symbol in two different places: on Indian territories, but also engraved on some stones that can be seen in Northern Europe.

It is a symbol that can also be found on the Book of Kells. The latter is a manuscript that was created during the Middle Ages. In other words, it is a book that is almost 800 years old. Nowadays, we strongly believe that the Triquetra had a religious consonance. Indeed, it is a symbol very much used in the pagan culture. Note also that it strongly resembles the symbol of Valknut, which we have discovered in another article. The latter was associated with Odin, and therefore with a religion as well.

The Triquetra is a symbol that can be easily found among the Celts. Nevertheless, we lack information about its appearance in this civilization. According to our few sources, it could be a symbol that appeared during the movement of the island air of Ireland.

The Triquetra at the Vikings

The Triquetra did exist among the Vikings. Indeed, it represents a Celtic knot, which had a great significance for them. Although it is very old and we don't really have any information about its origin, it can be found on many Viking objects, such as combs or saddles, for example.

According to the Celts, they would have created it. But, at the moment, we are not sure of anything. According to the legend and what the Celts could tell, it would be even the Christians who would have tried to move them away from their ideology, because of this symbolism.

But after many archaeological excavations, the mystery remains.

Many traces of the Triquetra throughout the world

But this symbol does not only belong to the Vikings. Indeed, throughout Europe, it has been shown that the Triquetra was found in various places. Obviously, the symbol does not necessarily date from the same periods. Nevertheless, during the various excavations carried out on this subject, different geographical areas have emerged:

  • Some stones in Europe may have been engraved, as we mentioned above.
  • It is a symbol that could be seen on rune stones in Europe, but also on German coins.
  • Similarly, as we have mentioned, the book of Kells, also had its Triquetra.

As you can see, it is rather difficult to have an idea of its origin. Did the Celts? The Vikings? Or another people that we would not dare to imagine? It's hard to answer these questions! But we don't despair of finding the answers to them, one day!

What are the various meanings of the Triquetra?

Triquetra: The Trinity Knot in Detail | Viking Heritage

 

Although it is still a mysterious symbol, at the present time, it does not prevent that meanings could be born. Whether it is from a religious point of view or rather at the level of civilization, you will be surprised to see that a simple symbol could represent a lot for certain civilizations and certain believers.

The symbol of Triquetra

The Triquetra simply represents a Celtic knot. Indeed, it is three triangles that intersect and are surrounded by a circle. It has an uncanny resemblance to the Valknut, but it is much simpler than the latter.

It should be noted that sometimes the Triquetra was drawn without a circle. When it has one, the symbol represents protection. In other words, when an object, a stone or a place has a Triquetra with a circle, it is supposed to be protected. Moreover, it is a circle of protection which cannot, under any circumstances, be broken.

The meanings related to this symbol

Like all Viking signs, the Triquetra is no exception to the rule! Indeed, it has its own meaning too. You must certainly know some of them, but it would surprise us greatly if you knew all the meanings of the Triquetra!

  • The first meaning concerning the gods and goddesses. It is necessary to know that the Celts worshipped the goddess Danu (who was none other than the goddess of the moon). It is important to know that she was a goddess of three. In other words, she was associated with the different phases of the moon: when it is increasing, decreasing and when it is full moon. Among the Celts, another goddess of "three" was also recognized: it was Morrigan. She was one of the three goddesses of war, along with Badb and Macha. As you can see, like the Valknut, the three has a very important meaning in this symbol.
  • Among Christians, it was also possible to find a meaning to this symbol. Once again, you can see the presence of the "three" because, for them, it represented the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). Note also that the Christians really saw in it a sign of unity, but also of eternity.
  • Among the Wiccans and Neopagans: among the pagans, it is also possible to find the number "three" again in the meaning of the Triquetra symbol. Indeed, it represented the goddess in three different forms: mother, maiden and knight. The mother as goddess represents creation and procreation, the maiden represents innocence, but also wisdom.
  • At the moment, it is a symbol that can be found in a certain well-known television series, released in the late 1990s. It is simply Charmed, which is also three. Even in modern times, this mysterious symbol keeps its meaning of "three".

Whether in ancient times or in modern times, it is a symbol that is much talked about. Nevertheless, the number "three" remains stuck to it in any case.

What are the different uses of Triquetra?

Triquetra: The Trinity Knot in Detail | Viking Heritage

After having tried to understand the origins of this symbol and to have studied its different meanings, it would be interesting now to see what could be the uses of the Triquetra. Of course, we will give you details on the ancient uses of this symbol, but also on more contemporary uses. You thought it was a forgotten symbol? Well, think again! Even today, it is still a very popular symbol!

Diverse and varied ancient uses

Throughout history, it has been possible to see that the Triquetra is a symbol that was used a lot. Indeed, at the time religion took a considerable place. Everything or almost everything was attached to it. This is why this symbol could not escape the rule:

  • Germanic paganism: this is simply the Germanic religion that was in force at the time. It should be known that the Triquetra was present on many runic stones, certainly to protect them.
  • Celtic art: it also has a number of objects bearing the Triquetra symbol. Indeed, it is mainly on books and manuscripts that this symbol has been found over the years. It is also possible to see this symbol on Celtic crosses and stones from the beginning of Christianity. Moreover, the fact that it is rarely alone on objects has led historians to doubt its religious implication, at least among the Celts.
  • Among Christians, it was the symbol of the Trinity. Moreover, in the Christian world, the circle is always omnipresent on this symbol.

Even today, it is difficult to know if it was really a religious symbol or not. It is likely to be different from one belief to another, but also from one civilization to another. The different eras can also lead historians to question whether or not this symbol is present on objects, for example.

But also rather contemporary uses!

In popular culture, it is possible to find this symbol in a fairly common way. Some of the references we will mention in this article are already known to you. Nevertheless, you will see that the Triquetra still has a strong impact, even today:

  • It is a symbol that appears strongly in Celtic interlacing. These are Celtic sculptures, which can still be admired today. It is enough to observe them well to realize their presence.
  • The Charmed series, as we have mentioned, also has a book with the symbol of the Triquetra. Moreover, it is a manuscript very similar to the Book of Kells, in its aesthetics, but also its colors.
  • Some rock bands, like Led Zeppelin, for example, have used this symbol on some of their record covers.
  • In the movie Constantine, a necklace with a Triquetra pendant is also visible.
  • For video game fans, it is possible to see a symbol of the Triquetra on the floor of the laboratory at the end of Assassin's Creed.
  • The clothing brand TNA has three small Triquetra as a logo for its clothing.
  • In the Vampire Diaries series, the witch Tessa also creates a Triquetra.
  • It is possible to see this symbol in the game Overwatch too.
  • The German series Dark also has some Triquetra symbols visible through the episodes.

Although the origins of this symbol are not known, it has managed to cross the ages and to develop in popular culture. Indeed, whether in video games, television, movies and even in the world of music, it is widely used. Each person will be able to give the meaning he wishes to this symbol. Protection? Unity? Trinity? Let your imagination run wild!