If you’re looking for a Celtic symbol for unconditional love, proceed with caution.
As is the case with many Celtic symbols that you see online, a large portion of Celtic love symbols are recent inventions.
However, there are several symbols that hold a deep connection to love, as you’ll discover below.
Some quick need-to-knows about the Celtic Symbol for Love
The more you look into Celtic symbols and insular art, the more you realise just how difficult it is to separate the wheat from the chaff. With that in mind, it’s important to go over the essentials before making a choice when choosing a Celtic symbol for love:
1. Be cautious about what you see online
The Celts haven’t been around for a very long time. There are only a finite number of authentic Celtic symbols in existence. Alas, over the last 50 years or so, jewellery makers and tattoo designers, in particular, have capitalised on the love of all things Celtic, by passing off new Celtic symbols for love as authentic, ancient designs.
2. Celtic vs Irish symbols for love
Many people tend to use the terms Irish and Celtic interchangeably. However, the Celts were a widespread tribe, who had settlements all over Europe long before they arrived on Ireland’s shores. In fact, they died out almost 2,000 years ago, though that’s a long story for another time.
The point is, there’s a big difference between Celtic and Irish symbols for love. While there are countless Irish symbols, e.g. the Claddagh, that fall into the ‘love’ category, these aren’t actually Celtic designs.
3. Interpretation is everything
Since there’s very little recorded evidence of what each Celtic Symbol meant, much of what we “know” about them today is based on scraps of evidence and a lot of speculation. A lot is left to interpretation, but that’s not a bad thing really. We can’t know for sure if there’s a specific Celtic symbol for unconditional love, but we can hazard a fairly accurate guess, as you’ll see below.
4 Celtic symbol for unconditional Love
Below, you’ll find what we believe is the most accurate Celtic symbol for unconditional love.
There’s a mix of well known Celtic love symbols, like the Trinity Knot, to lesser-known symbols, like Serch Bythol.
1. The Trinity Knot
The Trinity Knot, also known as the Triquetra, is the most accurate Celtic symbol for unconditional love, in our opinion.
This one of the most iconic Celtic Knots for good reason. Examples of it can be found on stone carvings and crosses, ancient jewellery, and illuminated manuscripts, such as the Book of Kells.
It features three points, flowing with no start or end, and is said to represent eternity. Celt Druids believed everything of relevance came in threes, and there are many schools of thought as to what the three points symbolise.
Popular theories say they represent; the maiden, the mother, and the crone; the holy trinity; and past, present, and future to name a few.
Some romantics believe the Trinity Knot represents the soul. The three points are the mind, body, and spirit, while the unending pattern symbolises eternity; life, death, and rebirth.
From this viewpoint, giving someone the Trinity Knot is like giving them your soul, an eternal gift to show eternal love.
2. The Altered Triquetra
Now, to be clear, this one isn’t quite an authentic ancient Celtic symbol – it is one of several Celtic love knots that have appeared in recent years.
It’s based on the Trinity Knot but is actually a relatively modern design that has the Triquetra entwined with a love heart.
It blends old and new to bring a bit of familiarity to ancient Celtic art—ideal for those who aren’t fully-fledged Celtophiles! This is often known as the Celtic Love Knot, and you’ll frequently find this design in tattoos and jewellery.
It might not be authentic, but it captures the spirit of Celtic Knot design very well, an entwining of various elements to suggest eternal love and an unbreakable bond.
If you’re looking for an aesthetically pleasing Celtic symbol for love and you don’t mind it not being an ‘original’ symbol, this is a good option.
3. Serch Bythol
Another popular Celtic symbol for everlasting love is the Serch Bythol symbol. Take a close look at the symbol, and you’ll see that it is actually made up of two Trinity Knots joined together side-by-side.
If the Trinity Knot represents the soul, the Serch Bythol can easily be seen as the joining of two individual souls to form one whole.
The circle that is made where the two Triquetras meet is believed to symbolise eternity. So, as the two souls join, they form an unbreakable bond that is linked for all eternity.
In fact, Serch Bythol translates to “eternal love”, and is an ideal Celtic symbol for love for a necklace design.
4. Celtic Shield Knot
The Celtic Shield Knot, which is generally a variation of the Dara Knot, is another popular Celtic symbol for love that represents protection. Celts would use the symbol in battle, but also to ward off evil spirits and sickness.
They would have given the Shield Knot to those they cared about the most, which makes it a good choice for a Celtic symbol of love.
It suggests the promise of protection and the idea that you’ll look out for the person you love, for all eternity.
Unending and unbreakable, it’s a fantastic symbol to give to someone you vow to love and protect in this life and the next.
FAQs about the Celtic symbol for everlasting love
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘What Celtic love symbols make good tattoos?’ to ‘Which is a good Celtic symbol for eternal love?’.
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 symbol for love?
You could use the Trinity Knot, the Dara Knot or Serch Bythol as the Celtic symbol for everlasting love. Remember, it’s all down to interpretation.
What is the Celtic symbol for everlasting love?
The most accurate Celtic love symbol is, in our opinion, the Triquetra. This is a Celtic Knot. Celtic Knots are never ending, which is why many interpret them as being a good symbol for love.
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.