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The Triskelion is an ancient symbol that has been found in many cultures around the world. It consists of three interconnected spirals, which make for an intriguing, mysterious symbol. The triskelion has been interpreted in a number of ways and can be found in jewelry, tattoos, clothes, art and architecture.
Keep reading as we explore what the triskelion is and whether you should wear it.
What is the Triskelion Symbol?
Ancient triskelion rock carving
The triskelion, also known as the triskele or trisceli, is an extremely ancient symbol that consists of three connected spirals. The word ‘triskelion’ comes from the Greek triskeles which means three-legged.
Although the triskelion is commonly seen as an Irish symbol, it was in existence before the Celts, dating back over 6000 years, with the first symbol appearing in Malta. It became closely connected with Irish culture mainly because of the triskelion symbols found in ancient Irish burial mounds in Newgrange. These date back to about 3200 years ago.
The flag of Sicily, designed in 1282, features a triskelion composed of three legs, with the head of Medusa (Gorgon) in the center. Because of this flag, the triskelion is widely recognized as the symbol of Sicily.
The triskelion is also found in Greece, Japan and Portugal, among others.
Triskele on the flag of Isle of Man
The main feature of this symbol is the three sections, but how these three are represented can vary.
While the triskelion is commonly represented with spirals, there are many variations to it. One such variation is the image of three connected legs, while others include stylized bird heads, swirls and human figures. These variations differ based on culture, era and usage.
This video, although somewhat long, shows how to create a triskelion using copper wire. If you’re into making your own jewelry or if you love art and craft, this might be for you.
What Does the Triskelion Symbolize?
The triskelion, as featured on a pendant. See it here.
The triskelion is a meaningful symbol that has been interpreted to hold a variety of meanings. In many cultures and religions, the number 3 is often considered meaningful, with concepts often represented in threes.
Here are some of the meanings of the triskelion:
- Physical, spiritual and celestial realms of the Celtic worlds
- Earth, sky and water – the three main aspects of the physical world
- The symbol signifies movement and motion
- Mind, body and spirit
- The present, past and future
- Creation, preservation and destruction.
- It is a Buddhist meditation symbol
- In Christianity the triskelion can represent the Holy Trinity of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, the three days from the death of Jesus to his resurrection or the three temptations of Jesus by the devil
Because of the symbol’s versatility, it can be interpreted in a number of ways. And because three is an attractive number with a special appeal, the triskelion goes beyond any one religion or culture to become a universal symbol. The symbolism is varied and there is open to interpretation.
Triskelion Used in Jewelry Today
Because of the perfect symmetry and design of the triskelion, it’s an excellent symbol for use in jewelry. For those who love an ancient symbol full of meaning, the triskelion fits the bill perfectly. The triskelion is a unisex symbol and is used on both men’s and women’s jewelry.
Masculine triskele cuff. See it here.
Unique triskelion wooden pendant. See it here.
Boho triskelion dangle earrings. See them here.
When incorporating the triskelion in jewelry, the metal is typically manipulated and curled into the shape of the symbol. However, some designs feature a triskelion carved onto the metal. The symbol is perfect for use in boho and hippie styles of jewelry, in conjunction with colorful gemstones.
Should I Wear Triskelion Jewelry?
When people worry about whether or not they should wear a symbol, the reason is often one of the following:
- It might be cultural appropriation
- They think it goes against their religion
- They’re afraid it holds a negative meaning
As mentioned before, the triskelion has numerous meanings and cannot be associated with just one meaning, culture or religion. Because it’s open to interpretation, you can give the triskelion a meaning that matters to you.
In terms of religion, the triskelion has associations to Christianity and Buddhism, among others. However, because it predates most of these religions, the symbol goes beyond these meanings.
Whether you should wear the triskelion or not is ultimately your call, but it’s important to stress that this is a positive symbol that has been revered and valued for millennia.
Where to Buy Triskelion Jewelry
If you take your search online, you’ll be able to find many beautiful jewelry designs featuring the triskelion.
We recommend searching on Etsy for high-quality, hand-crafted designs in a range of styles and at competitive prices. Amazon also features an excellent range of triskelion jewelry designs. With a little sifting through, you’re bound to find the perfect piece.