The Celtic Love Knot isn’t one of the ancient Celtic Symbol.
It’s a modern take on one of the original Celtic Knots and, while it wasn’t created by the Celts, it’s still steeped in meaning.
Below, you’ll find some warnings, the Celtic Love Knot meaning and several design variations.
Some quick need-to-knows about the Celtic Love Knot
Before you scroll down to the Celtic Love Knot meaning, take 15 seconds to read the points below, as they’ll get you up-to-speed quickly:
1. It’s not an authentic Celtic Symbol
First things first, this isn’t an authentic Celtic symbol. It’s more of a combination of an ancient Celtic Knot and the more modern element of the love heart. The Celtic Love Knot features the authentic Trinity Knot intertwined with a love heart symbol.
So, while parts of it do go back hundreds of years, if you’re looking for truly authentic Celtic symbols for love, this isn’t it. Having said that, it’s a good design and makes for an accessible and relatable symbol, with deep Celtic undertones.
2. Many love knots are recent inventions
You’ll find plenty of Celtic Heart Knot designs, many claiming to be ancient Celtic symbols. However, most of these will feature a love heart. Now, the love heart only really became a romantic symbol around the 13th century, long after the Celts had died out. So the chances of any knot that features a love heart being an authentic Celtic symbol is pretty low.
3. There are some more authentic symbols for love
If you are looking for an authentic Celtic Love Knot that truly does date back hundreds of years, you have a few choices. Many of the classic Celtic Knots do symbolise all the things we might associate with love, including an unbreakable bond, endless devotion, and the binding of two souls (see below).
About the Celtic Heart Knot
All Celtic Knots feature an endless intertwining of lines, or threads, that are said to represent eternity. They have no beginning and no end, and cannot be broken.
Their design draws a parallel to the spirituality of the Celts, suggesting the unending circle of life, death, and rebirth. Knots were an incredibly strong symbol in Celtic culture, and their various designs have been carved into solid rock, melded into precious jewellery, and scribed onto ancient manuscripts.
While the Celtic Heart Knot isn’t an authentic Celtic design, it more or less stays true to the original concepts. The two elements—the love heart and the Trinity Knot—are interwoven in the classic style.
They’re linked together in a bond that cannot be broken or undone, making it a great symbol for anyone looking to prove their unending love.
The design is new and really became popular within the last 50 years or so, though where it originates from is difficult to ascertain.
Nowadays, you’ll often find earrings, rings, bracelets, necklaces, and other pieces of jewellery featuring the design. It’s also a very popular choice for tattoos and it’s not uncommon to see two lovers each getting one each.
The Celtic Love Knot Meaning
The Celtic Love Knot meaning is pretty straightforward. On the face of it, the Celtic Heart Knot simply symbolises a display of love. It can be given to family members, romantic partners, or even just friends.
The love heart is fairly self-explanatory, whereas the Trinity Knot that it’s woven around has a deeper, more complex meaning. Celts revered the number three and believed that all of the most important things came in three.
Therefore, it can be interpreted to mean anything from the holy trinity to the three domains of the earth; land, sea, and sky. It really is open to interpretation, and the three points mean many different things to many different people.
However, the endlessness of the Trinity knot, and in turn the Love Knot, represents eternity. It suggests an unending love and unbreakable bond between the two people who share the knot.
Their spirits are essentially tied. The modern addition of the love heart simply makes this concept more accessible to people who aren’t so into Celtic culture.
Other Celtic Love Knots
The modern iteration of a Celtic Love Knot is a popular symbol that does a great job of blending ancient Celt symbolism with more modern concepts of love.
But, if you’re looking for a more authentic Celtic symbol for love, here are a few options.
1. The Trinity Knot
The Trinity Knot forms the basis of the Love Knot that we’ve been discussing so far. However, it’s a wonderfully powerful symbol on its own, and can be interpreted to symbolise the love two people have for each other.
With its endlessly flowing design, the Trinity, or the Triquetra, Knot is said to represent the soul as it cycles endlessly through life, death, and rebirth.
By gifting your loved one a Trinity Knot, it could be argued that you are giving them your very soul. Trinity Knot designs that are bound by a circle or ring take the concept further, by suggesting your soul is bound to your loved one.
2. The Celtic Tree of Life
The Celtic Tree of Life may not seem like the obvious choice to show your love for someone, but have a look at what it represents. With a typically symmetrical design, it symbolises eternity, but also strength.
In particular, the deep, hidden roots of the tree are shown to provide as much strength and support as the visible branches. As a symbol of love, you could interpret the Celtic Tree of Life as a sign of a strong relationship and the desire to put down roots with the one you love.
Trees also had huge spiritual importance to the Celts. They were gateways to the Otherworld and played host to the spirits of Gods and ancestors.
Celtic settlements generally revolved around a sacred tree, typically an oak or ash tree, around which meetings would take place, sacrifices would be made, and rituals would be carried out. This is also a popular Celtic family symbol.
3. Serch Bythol
For us, the Serch Bythol is perhaps the very best Celtic symbol of love. It’s formed by placing two Trinity Knots next to each other, their points becoming joined in an eternal circle.
As we’ve seen, a Trinity Knot can be seen to represent the soul of an individual. By placing two together and connecting them, there’s no better way to say that two become one in an unbreakable bond.
Indeed, Serch Bythol translates to everlasting love. Some consider the three points of each Trinity Knot in the Serch Bythol symbol to represent mind, body, and spirit.
This shows that while two individuals do exist, they’re now linked for eternity, represented by the circle formed by the joining of the two Triquetras.
FAQs about the meaning of Celtic Heart Knots
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘What Celtic Heart Knot is the most accurate?’ to ‘Which makes a good tattoo?’.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
What is the Celtic Love Knot meaning?
The meaning of the Celtic Heart Knot is simple – everlasting love. But please do note that it is a recent invention and not an ancient symbol.
What are the various Celtic Love Knots?
Some of the other Love Knots are the Serch Bythol, the Celtic Tree of Life and the Trinity Knot.
Keith O’Hara has lived in Ireland for 34 years and has spent most of the last 10 years creating what is now The Irish Road Trip guide. Over the years, the website has published thousands of meticulously researched Ireland travel guides, welcoming 30 million+ visitors along the way. In 2022, the Irish Road Trip team published the world’s largest collection of Irish Road Trip itineraries. Keith lives in Dublin with his dog Toby and finds writing in the 3rd person minus craic altogether.