Celtic Symbol for Friendship

Written by avenefica on October 26th, 2007


I often am asked for a quick/easy/single Celtic symbol for one concept.  For example, I am frequently asked for the Celtic symbol for Friendship.  As much as I wish I could spit out one ancient symbol for each human emotion like a gumball machine dispensing instant sugary highs – it just isn’t that easy (or simple). 

Here is one attempt to address my reader’s quest to obtain “the” Celtic symbol for friendship:

Dear BFF:

It’s difficult to gather accurate information on Celtic symbols and their meanings due to lack or circumspect sources.

However, there are a few Celtic Symbols for Friendship that you may want to consider researching to satisfy your own personal satisfaction.

Primarily…any Celtic knot is said to harbor the essence of friendship simply due to their implied symbolic meanings:  Unity, union, partnering, joining, eternity, connectedness, unbreakable, strength, and a host of like attributes.

According to George Bain, a 20th century Scottish Celtic art professor,  Celtic knots that have a closed path, (no end or beginning), are considered to be a symbol of eternity, eternal connectedness, or symbolic of the infinite.

Another option for a Celtic symbol of friendship would be the symbol of the Claddagh.

Claddagh (pronounced klä dä) is an ancient village just outside Galway City in Ireland.

The symbol gets its origin from Richard Joyce. Captured and taken from his homeland, Joyce was held as a slave in the West Indies. Eventually, he was sold to a Moorish goldsmith, where Joyce learned the art of jewelry making. Joyce eventually gained his freedom, and upon doing so, immediately went back to his homeland and settled down in the village of Claddagh.

Here he continued his goldsmith practice by making Celtic jewelry – specifically producing the Claddagh to celebrate his return home and to have a symbol for his love of kin and country. As seen today, the Claddagh has become quite popular as a sign of friendship and love.

A quick look at the symbols of the Claddagh:

  • The heart of the Claddagh is a symbol for love
  • The crown is symbolic of loyalty
  • The hands represent friendship

I always encourage people to meditate upon the symbols they are wanting clarification about.  Sit quietly in the presence of the Celtic Elders – ask them for knowledge you seek. 

Often I find that the best (and most personal) indentifiation of symbols are derived from our ancestors in spirit.

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