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The Dara Knot: A Guide To Its Meaning, Design And History

The Dara Knot: A Guide To Its Meaning, Design And History

 The Dara Knot is one of the most notable symbols to come from the Celts.

It is believed to symbolise the intricate and incredibly powerful root system of an oak and is one of the key Celtic strength symbols.

In the guide below, you’ll find info on the Dara Knot meaning, its origin and a variety of Dara Knot symbols.

Some quick need-to-knows about the Dara Knot

Celtic Shield Knot

© The Irish Road Trip

Before you get stuck into the Dara Knot meaning, take 20 seconds to read the points below as they’ll get you up-to-speed quickly:

1. One of the most notable Celtic Knots

There are many Celtic Knots but few are as visually impactful and as steeped in meaning as the Dara Celtic Knot. It’s said to represent the root system of an oak and, as you’ll see below, has a powerful meaning behind it.

2. Used in Insular Art

The Dara Knot, like the Trinity Knot, was used extensively in Insular Art, which was art produced in post-Roman Britain and Ireland, including decorative metalwork, manuscripts, and stonework.

3. The mighty oak

The Dara Knot is tied to the oak tree. The Celts saw the oak as a symbol of wisdom and strength. They also believed that it held the spirits of their ancestors which is why it’s one of the more popular Celtic symbols for family. More on this below.

Dara Knot Meaning

dara knot meaning

© The Irish Road Trip

The Dara Celtic Knot is one of a number of Celtic symbols for strength and inner strength. The symbol comes from the Gaelic word ‘Doire’, which means ‘Oak Tree’.

The Dark Knot is believed to represent the magnificent root system that robustly holds up the heavy body of an ancient oak tree.

As you’ll discover in our guide to the Celtic Tree of Life, the Celts revered trees. In particular, they believed that oak trees were sacred.

A symbol of strength

The oak first and foremost was a symbol of strength. The tree towered above communities and stood through the different seasons, stormy weather and attack by animals and humans.

It’s immense weight is held by it’s powerful root system, which is what the Dara Knot is said to symbolise.

A symbol of wisdom

The oak can live up to a staggering 300 years old, so there’s no surprise that the Dara Knot meaning is believed by many to symbolise wisdom.

The Celts would have heard stories of oaks being immortal, as the tree would have often been around for generations of the one family.

A symbol of immortality

Another Dara Knot meaning is immortality. The oak would have often been the tallest tree in an otherwise sparse surrounding, which made it a target for lightning strikes.

The Celts would have witnessed oaks being hit by lightning, set alight and battling on for many more years. They would have also seen the oak drop acorns which then grew into individual oaks.

Celtic Dara Knot Design

celtic shield knot

© The Irish Road Trip

As is the case with the other Celtic Knot symbols, the Dara Celtic Knot consists of intertwined lines with no beginning or end.

Although there is no one symbol for the Dara Knot, each variation is centred on one common theme – the mighty oak and its root system.  

It’s widely believed that this symbol was called upon by the ancient Celts to provide strength and inner wisdom in tough situations (see our guide to Celtic warrior symbols for more like it).

Dara Knot Tattoos

As I mentioned recently in our article on the Celtic symbol for love, don’t be tricked into believing that some far-fetched design is one of the original Celtic designs.

The Celts haven’t designed any new symbols in a very long time, which means it’s pretty easy to determine which symbols are real and which are fake.

If you’re scouring different Dara Celtic Knot tattoo designs online and you’re wondering which to pick, be careful – very careful.

FAQs about the Dara Knot symbol

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘What makes a good tattoo?’ to ‘Is it the same as the Celtic Shield Knot?’.

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 does a Dara Knot symbolize?

The Dara Celtic Knot is one of a number of Celtic symbols for strength and inner strength. The symbol comes from the Gaelic word ‘Doire’, which means ‘Oak Tree’. The Dark Knot is believed to represent the magnificent root system that robustly holds up the heavy body of an ancient oak tree.

Is the Dara Knot a strength symbol?

Yes, but it’s also closely tied to wisdom, immortality, community and spirituality, depending on who you ask (see guide above for more info).

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Snow

Wednesday 9th of March 2022

Hello, I added my email in regards to the other two questions below. I am not from Ireland nor am I getting tattoo in support of my heritage. Although, I am a woman of God and I value the true meaning of such symbols. In regards to getting a true tattoo that represents inner strength. I would love some more insight about the Dara Knot symbol as well as differentiating the real symbols apart from the fake ones. I have a couple of pictures and questions into what will solely fit my purpose of receiving this tattoo. I am someone who has battled a lot of hard ships throughout my life and still until present day so something like this would help enlighten me into how strong of a person I am in regards to the pain I have surpassed.

Jami Bush

Tuesday 28th of September 2021

I have the same question as Willow. Images would be great. When designing a Dara knot tattoo, what elements must be present to keep the design true and authentic? I found a description of the infinity knot that said “In its purest form, the triquetra is three interconnected ovals — one pointing upward, the other two pointing down, to the left and right.” Is there any detailed description like this for the dara knot? I would love to be able to personalize the design to make it unique and suited to me, but the last thing I want to do is disrespect any element of the symbol. Or perhaps just describe what makes the design “fake?” Your guidance would be sincerely appreciated!

Willow

Thursday 18th of March 2021

Hello, I am wanting to get a tattoo of the Dara Knot to honor my character and my heritage but I'm not sure which symbols are real and which are fake.. Could you email me a few pictures of ones you know to be legitimate.. or even just point me in the right direction please? I would hate to get the wrong thing on me permanently..

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