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Spiral - Triskelion

Spirals Celtic jewels La Blanche Hermine

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The spiral

The spiral is the primordial Celtic pattern, since the First & Second Iron Ages, that is to say from the second millennium BC. We find spirals decorating pottery & ceramics, stones and metals from this period.

Spirals are not necessarily three-branched. There are also one, two or four branches.

Over time, the forms became more complex as we can see them in illuminations of the Hiberno-Saxon manuscripts (Book of Kells, Lindisfarne Gospells, etc.).

The triskell

The triskell (in Breton), triskel or triskelion is a motif resulting from the simplification of the three-branched spiral, the origin of which can be traced back to the Iron Age, or even the Neolithic.

The revival of Celtic / Breton culture and the Neodruidic (modern paganism) movement popularized this symbol which can now be seen everywhere in Brittany and in the Celtic lands.

See also: What is Celtic art? (origins, influences, examples)

See also: On the use of symbols