The Two Sides of the Trinity Knot Meaning

trinity knot meaning
The trinity knot is significant in Celtic culture and is an integral part of Irish life. The trinity knot is also known as triquetra, a three-cornered design with closed loops. The design has three triangles interwoven to symbolize the sacred number three. 

The symbol has different meanings in different cultures. The Irish trinity knot signifies eternal love, protection, nature/life cycles, stages of a woman’s life, and so on. The modern-day use of the trinity knot is in wedding rings and other Celtic jewelry. 

What Does The Trinity Knot Represent?

The trinity knot has many representations depending on the culture it is used. For example, it symbolizes the different stages of life in one culture and nature’s elements in another. It also represents protection to the wearer. 

The trinity knot can represent abundance in material wealth and a union of the body, mind, and spirit. People say the trinity knot works on the emotional aspects of the person. It enhances emotional strength and boosts positive feelings like love, affection, etc. The design of the trinity symbol represents that life continues in a loop and has no beginning or end. 

trinity knot meaning
A depiction of the trinity knot carved into stone

Celtic History Of The Trinity Knot

Wiccans, Christians, and other religions and cultures use the trinity knot, which is a Celtic symbol. However, its roots can be traced back to the pagan era. According to John Romilly Allen, the trinity knot might have some affinity with the pagan Triskele. It was used by Wiccans, neopagans, pagans, Celts, Vikings, etc. 

The Move Toward Celtic Art

The design entered Celtic art during Ireland’s Insular Art movement in the 7th century. The Norman Invasions saw a decline in the use of the trinity knot. However, the Gaelic aristocrats kept it alive. Christians also used the symbol to represent the Holy Trinity. 

The Celtic knotwork and symbols became popular in the 15th century. The symbols were a cultural identity and were also used in politics. The trinity knot adorned the jewelry and weapons for two centuries but declined in the mid-18th century. The Celtic revival during the mid-19th century made the symbols famous once again. 

trinity knot meaning
The trinity knot was used in Celtic culture and in Christianity.

Norse Trinity Knot 

The trinity knot was found on Germanic coins and runestones in Northern Europe. Some say the symbol originated from Norse mythology. However, Vikings began using it after invading Ireland. The Book of Kells was created during the same period and sported the trinity symbol as a decorative design. 

Trinity Knot Wiccan Symbol

The trinity knot for pagans and Wiccans symbolizes the triple goddesses. It represents the maiden, mother, and crone.

The maiden is a sign of innocence and youth. The mother symbolizes love, fertility, and creativity. The crone signifies wisdom that comes with old age. The weaving of three cycles of a woman shows that one stage blends into another, and the cycle continues. 

The trinity knot’s three interlocking triangles symbolize fertility, and the forces of nature- earth, water, and fire, also known as the power of land, sea, and sky. Nature, magic, and feminine power are the core aspects of the Wiccan religion. The trinity knot symbolizes all three in the different interpretations followed by people. 

Is the Trinity Knot a Pagan Symbol?

Yes. Most Celtic knots were pagan symbols and existed before Christianity took over Ireland. The interwoven and blended lines with closed ends is a pagan design and represents nature in different forms. 

The trinity knot signifies three forces of nature- earth, wind, and water (land, sky, and sea). It can also denote life, death, and rebirth. The trinity knot or the triquetra symbol is used in Ireland, Scotland, and other parts of Europe. It’s also found in a couple of Indian heritage sites. 

Trinity Knot Christian Symbol

The trinity knot was adopted by Christians when they came to Ireland. It was presented as a Christian doctrine of the Holy Trinity- father, son, and Holy Spirit. Father is the creator, and the son is Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is the preserver and giver of life.  

The trinity doctrine was developed when Arians denied that Jesus Christ was God but considered him a subordinate. The Council of Nicaea recorded the Son (Christ) as an incarnation of the Father Creator). The Holy Spirit was added later to create the trinity factor. 

Other Examples of the Trinity Symbol

Many symbols were used to represent the Holy Trinity. The triangle, Borromean rings, the trinity shield, Trefoil Triangle, the three-leafed clover (Shamrock), the trinity knot, and fleur-de-lis are all used to the Holy Trinity in Christianity.

St. Patrick and Shamrock

The shamrock is attributed to St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Many portraits of St. Patrick show him holding a shamrock in one hand. 

Though Christians use the trinity knot, it continues to be popular as a Celtic and pagan symbol. Many people follow the original symbolism. The Christian trinity knot comes with a circle connecting the triangles. 

st patrick shamrock
St. Patrick is often shown with a shamrock, which is a trinity symbol.

Modern Uses of the Trinity Knot

The Celtic symbols were revived in the 1800s, which led to certain new developments. The trinity knot began to represent everlasting love.

The trinity knot was an unending Celtic love knot (the lover’s knot is another symbol). It was used on wedding rings, pendants, and other jewelry couples wore. 

The trinity knot symbol implies love, commitment, faith, and eternal life. It is also used to connect the couples’ past, present, and future and keep them together forever.

Claddagh Rings

A Claddagh ring is one of the Irish symbols of love. It has a heart with a crown and two hands holding the heart in the center. It’s worn by single, engaged, and married women but in different styles to indicate their relationship status. It symbolizes love, loyalty, and friendship. 

The trinity knot is also being added to Claddagh rings. 

trinity knot meaning
An example of a Claddagh ring

The Timelessness of the Trinity Knot

For generations, the trinity knot has been widely used in Ireland and is a favorite gift of the Irish. Many use trinity knot rings, pendants, carvings, tattoos, etc., to represent their beliefs.

Use the trinity knot for protection or to attract good luck and fortune. You can also use it to align your mind with the spiritual force or stay connected to nature. The trinity knot can symbolize what you want it to be based on your belief systems. 

If you’ve found this article helpful, check out this post on essential pagan symbols.


Vanessa's liberal arts background has prepared her well for Symbol Scholar. A self-proclaimed theology nerd, Vanessa has interests in world religions, Reformation theology, history, and more. When she's not working, Vanessa enjoys spending time with her family, reading, exercising, and watching professional basketball.

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