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

Celtic Symbol for Strength (And Inner Strength): A Locals Guide
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 of the many symbols 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.

Celtic symbols for strength

a guide to the celtic symbol for stength

Photo via Tourism Ireland

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

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.

FAQs about choosing symbols for strength

We’ve had a lot of emails about strength symbols since this guide was first published in early 2020. In the section below, I’ve popped in the most FAQs.

If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, feel free to ask away in the comments below and we’ll do our best to help.

What is the most accurate symbol of strength?

The most accurate Celtic symbol for strength is, in our opinion, the Dara Knot.

Is there a symbol for inner strength?

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

What are the best symbols of strength tattoos?

Many people get the Dara Knot (pictured above) for symbols of strength tattoos. However, which you choose depends on which of the designs you want painted onto your forever.

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Jim kenshalo

Sunday 28th of February 2021

If you where going to hand-carve a Irish knot on onto a stone. What knot design would you chose.

I live in Alaska, above the beaches of Clam Gulch. I am a novice at stone carving.

I would be interested in your suggestions.


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