The Celtic Symbol for Sisterhood is one that causes a lot of debate online.
This is, unfortunately, due to certain websites inventing flashy looking tattoo designs and claiming that they were made by the Celts…
There are, however, several Celtic symbols that symbolise sisterhood, as you’ll discover below.
Some quick need-to-knows about the Celtic Symbol for Sisterhood
Choosing the right Celtic symbol to express any specific meaning often requires you to traverse a minefield of misinformation. So, if you’re looking for a Celtic symbol for sisterhood, take 20 seconds to read the points below, first:
1. It’s all about interpretation
The thing with Celtic symbols is that there weren’t many written records kept describing their various meanings. Think of it this way. These symbols were entwined with Celtic culture, and were so commonplace that any Celt would’ve had an intrinsic knowledge of what each symbol meant.
That makes it difficult for us, hundreds of years later, to ascertain the true meaning behind each. But, with the evidence we do have, plus a large dollop of speculation, we can make an educated guess.
2. Beware of what you see online
Do a quick search online for “Celtic Sister symbols”, and you’ll find an array of pretty designs and convincing histories to boot. But, the vast majority of these symbols are new designs, with little or no ancient Celtic roots.
Often, these designs and their meanings are often just a modern ploy to get you to buy something. And if you like what you see, go for it! But, if you’re looking for an authentic Celtic symbol for sisterhood, your options are fairly limited. We’ll take a look at the best options below.
3. Celtic Knots and strong bonds
Celtic Knots are some of the best symbols to represent any kind of bond. By their very design, they represent an unending commitment, an eternal bond that cannot be broken. Many authentic Celtic Knot designs are typically seen as fantastic symbols for friendship and love, as well as protection, strength, and wisdom.
The Celtic Sister Symbols
While it’s not now possible to say for certain if there was a specific Celtic symbol for sisterhood, there are plenty of symbols that could work well as a gift between sisters.
Here are some of our top picks, including the Trinity Knot and the Serch Bythol. Dive on in!
1. The Trinity Knot
Also known as the Triquetra, the Trinity Knot is one of the most recognisable of all the authentic, ancient Celtic designs and it’s one of the more prominent symbols for family.
This three-pointed knot consists of three ovals, two pointing downwards, and the third sitting in the centre and pointing up.
Many designs see the three ovals encircled by a ring. Like all Celtic knots, the Trinity Knot has no start or end point, and symbolises unity and eternal life.
The Celts revered the number three, and believed that everything of relevance came in a trio, i.e. life, death, and rebirth, or past, present, and future.
However, many people believe that the three points represent the maiden, the mother, and the crone. It’s this last point, paired with the unbreakable and unending bond, that often sees the Trinity Knot being used as a Celtic symbol for sisters.
2. The Altered Triquetra
This is perhaps the first design you’ll see when you search online for the Celtic symbol for sisterhood and it’s often referred to as a Celtic Love Knot.
It’s essentially a Trinity Knot, interwoven by a heart symbol. It’s worth noting that the Altered Triquetra isn’t an authentic ancient Celtic symbol though.
It’s more of a meeting of ancient and modern stylings, with two previously unconnected elements coming together in a modern reimagining.
To be fair, it looks good and is a nice way to bring ancient Celtic art into the 21st century, with more recognisable features for those that aren’t Celtophiles!
It symbolises all the same things as the Trinity Knot, but also a clearer expression of the love that sisters may have for one another.
3. Serch Bythol
Serch Bythol translates to “everlasting love” and for us is one of the most beautiful Celtic symbols. At first glance, you can be forgiven for mistaking it for a flying owl, but if you take a closer look, you’ll see that it’s actually two Trinity Knots placed next to each other.
This represents the coming together of two souls in eternal union which is why many believe that it falls into the Celtic Sister symbols category.
It’s a popular Celtic Knot for representing love and can also symbolise sisterly love and the unbreakable bond that comes with it.
4. Celtic Shield Knot
The Celtic Shield Knot, i.e. the Dara Knot, symbolises protection and is believed to have been used to ward off sickness and evil spirits.
Celts would give Shield Knots to those they wished to look after, which makes this a decent choice for sisters who look out for each other.
The design is fairly simple, featuring four quadrants in a circle with the suggestion of a cross in the middle.
It’s similar in appearance to the ancient sun cross symbol, and also bears some resemblance to the Ailm symbol, which is a Celtic strength symbol.
FAQs about Celtic Sisterhood Symbols
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘What Celtic Sister Symbols suits a tattoo?’ to ‘Which is the most authentic?’.
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 are the Celtic Sister Symbols?
The most likely Celtic Sister Symbols are the Trinity Knot, the Altered Triquetra, the Serch Bythol and the Celtic Shield Knot.
What’s a good Irish symbol for sisters?
There’s plenty of Irish sister symbols if you don’t fancy the ones above. Although the Claddagh is more of a partner symbol, it can just as easily be used amongst sisters, too.