Celtic Jewelry today is making a huge come back. Maybe because people are awakening to a whole new outlook on life, and society is changing as we head towards the new Aquarius age! Celtic Jewelry was highly prized by both men and women alike. Each piece told a story of who that person was, their status and their tribe's wealth. Today, people are finding the same thing and are identifying who they are through nature and symbols. Celtic jewelry is very unique in this way. No other jewelry has such deep meaning and beauty!
In ancient days, we know that bronze, silver and gold were all used by Celtic craftsmen and we've found Celtic jewelry dating from 2000 BC to around 550 AD. Celtic symbols were definitely the focus of the piece and most likely individualized to the person it was being made for. Today, the makers of Celtic jewelry are keeping to this tradition, making these pieces highly coveted once more.
So what kind of Celtic jewelry was made in ancient times? In fact, the Celtic jewelry found has been rings, bracelets, pendants, hair pin decoration and brooches were found right across the Mediterranean so we know that the business of trade was successful for the lucky tribes who had a blacksmith.
The ancient Celts saw fire, which was used to make Celtic Jewelry, as a means that had transformative properties which would be the highest form of spiritual communication. On Celtic statues and art forms all around, they incorporated the design of three flames or sunrays on the faces of their deities, and on pictures of their clansmen and women. Great for woad design! These flames were drawn as three lines going up and outwards, fanning out on the forehead with the base of the three lines meeting at the bridge of the nose. Modern Druids are using this sign and it is called Arwen. Arwen is a Celtic concept of balance bringing together three things - the physical, knowledge & inspiration, and the spiritual. This might be something you'd like for the Celtic jewelry for your modern day clan.
The ancient Celts also honored the earth as their mother Goddess. They believed that when a kinsman/woman passed on, they had to be buried in a womb like cave facing west so that they would be reborn in the Celtic otherworld or Underworld. Some British and Welsh tribes call it the Isle of Avalon. But all Celts believed the afterlife continued on an isle across the sea. If someone you know has gone through a tough time, an earth symbol on their Celtic jewelry would be a great symbol to be reborn into a new phase!
Celtic jewelry also had creatures or animals. Celtic Totem animals were the earliest form of Gods. Gods changed into land areas where these animals came from, like the Salmon became a river Goddess and later, when males became more dominate, river Gods. When they were Christianized from 400's to 1700's CE, in more remote areas, these Gods became mythical beings like wizards, sorceresses, fairies, leprechauns and heroes. The air Gods became Sylphs. These come in the form of butterflies, after a loved one dies or when they wish to communicate something other than comfort they appear as sparkly, whirly, zoomy, flashy things written about in a few cultures legends. They were in the skies or air and only a few people can see them. Some say people who become more aware of their bodies, like a pregnant women, can experience this phenomenon. And others believe that these are actually butterflies. A symbol of the butterfly in Celtic jewelry is for those who are cocooning into a new phase of life, who are intuitive or needs strength for something.
Celtic knots, swirls, are a distinct style of Celtic artwork in Celtic jewelry, although truthfully there is no known actual symbolism that we know of. It doesn't matter though, as a few symbols have shed light on what they mean by studying other cultures. We know myths changed as society changed so we can take the myths of old and make them our own. After all, each tribe developed their own unique stories so we can too!