Celtic Symbol for Strength (And Inner Strength): A Locals Guide

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Since publishing our detailed guide to Celtic Symbols and their meanings, we’ve received a tonne of questions – the most common of which revolves around the Celtic symbol for strength.

It’s clear that there’s a lot of confusion around which is the most accurate symbol for strength, with the confusion appearing to be caused by certain websites publishing fake symbols.

Why would they do that? For clicks, of course.

If you see a certain guide (I won’t name names… although I’m very tempted) to 14 Celtic symbols for strength, scroll on by – it’s complete nonsense.

Below, we’ll show you the correct Celtic symbol for strength and inner strength and we’ll offer some insight into where it comes from and what it really means.

a guide to the celtic symbol for stength
Photo via Tourism Ireland

The Celtic Symbol for Strength

There are two Celtic symbols for strength: the Dara Knot, which has a beautiful interwoven design, and the Ailm, which represents strength, endurance, and resilience.

It all starts with a tree

If you’ve done any digging into the meanings and history behind Celtic and Gaelic symbols, you’ll know that the Celts (and the Druids, in fact) revered nature.

They were particularly fond of ancient oak trees and considered them to be extremely sacred.

It’s said that the Celts saw the magnificent ancient oaks that they encountered as a symbol of strength, power, wisdom, and endurance. 

The Dara Knot: the Celtic symbol of strength

The Dara Knot Symbol

The Dara Knot is one of the most well-known symbols that came from the Celts (along with the Celtic Cross).

It’s interwoven design is immediately recognisable and, to this day, is still used across the world (mainly in Jewellery, tattoo and clothing designs).

The word ‘Dara’ comes from the ancient Irish word ‘Doire’ which translates to ‘Oak Tree’ – the symbol represents the intricate root system of an ancient oak.

Like many other Celtic knot symbols, the Dara Knot is comprised of intertwined lines that have no beginning or end. For those of you in search of the Celtic symbol for strength, you’ve found it.

Fancy reading more? Dive into our guide to the Dara Celtic Knot.

The Ailm: A Celtic symbol for inner strength

The Celtic Ailm

The Ailm symbol is taken from the first letter of the Celt’s Ogham alphabet. Now, if you’re not familiar with Ogham, it was a form of written communication that can still be seen on stones across Ireland.

It’s widely believed that the Ailm is a type of conifer or silver fir tree. In Celtic tree lore, fir trees were often associated with the healing of the soul.

The Ailm is said to represent strength, endurance, and resilience as well as healing, purification, health, and fertility.

If you’re looking for a Celtic symbol for inner strength, this is it.

A tattoo of the Celtic symbol of strength

Celtic symbol of strength

I know very little about tattoos, aside for the fact that if I ever do decide to get one, I’m going to be pretty damn sure about the meaning behind it.

An American lad randomly messaged my personal account on Facebook back in April.

With the message (which I only saw by complete fluke) he sent two photos along with the question, “Hey man – can you tell me which of these is the official Gaelic symbol for strength. I’m getting it tatted on my back. Just want to be sure”.

Now, this lad was just assuming that I had some knowledge of this (which, at the time, I didn’t). Out of interest, I whacked both of the images that he sent on into a reverse image search tool.

What came up? A sh*t load of Pinterest pages with symbols created by designers. One of which looked like a cats head.

The moral of the story? if you’re getting any form of tattoo that’s based on an ancient language or symbol, DO YOUR RESEARCH.

Dive into our guide to Celtic symbols if you’d like to discover more about these ancient designs.

Howaya! Thanks for visiting the Irish road trip! This site exists to inspire and guide you on an Irish adventure that’ll give birth to a lifetime of memories (sounds very arsey altogether, I know!) You'll find everything from things to do in Ireland to where to stay in Ireland (unique and unusual places) if you have a nosey around!

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