Celtic symbol for mother

Celtic knots are known as Icovellavna are used for decoration in the Celtic Insular Art. Various knots are styled differently, and each has its representation. You will also find these styles adopted in early Christian manuscripts as being ornamental. The same will be found on monuments, particularly those found in Ireland. You’ll also find that these knots were tied endlessly to make baskets. 

In this article, we’re going to look at the Celtic symbol of motherhood. Let’s explore. 

The Celtic Motherhood Knot 

The Celtic Motherhood Knot looks much like a stylized Holy Trinity knot. It is used to decipher a parent and a child in an embrace. It is also what in modern times is referred to as the Madonna and the child. It shows the enduring bond between a mother and a child. When you look at it, the Celtic Motherhood Knot looks like two hearts made out of knots. There are two hearts, one lower than the other, and these are intertwined in a continuous knot

Though there is the Christian symbolism that the Celtic Motherhood Knot takes, the reality is that it pre-dates the coming of Christianity. Instead, it is considered to represent the Triple-Goddess. It also depicts the stages of a woman: mother, maiden, and crone. For others still, this knot was a representation of the waxing, waning, and full moons. All these are pagan meanings that originate from the Druid culture. It is after St. Patrick and the coming of Christianity that these symbols began to take a Christian interpretation away from their pagan origins. 

The other meaning that this intricate design takes is the depiction of eternity, a place where there is no beginning and no end. It can also be a symbol of everlasting love and a bond that cannot be broken. There is freedom for different people to take the meanings that they prefer and what means the most for them. The great thing is that there is no necessarily a wrong way to interpret the Celtic Motherhood Knot. 

Celtic Motherhood Knot Design

In the ancient Celtic times, the Celtic Motherhood Knot was made up of two hearts that were intertwined. The lines seemed to have no opening and thus signifying an unbreakable bond. When you want to symbolize children, you merely have to add dots within or outside of the heart design. Others have moved away from a simple dot and prefer to put hearts, flowers, stars, zodiac symbols, or initials. All these symbolize the children, which is a fresh take from the traditional dots. 

If you want to remain true to the design, then stick to dots, but you can put them in various colors to represent each child that you have. You equally don’t have to stick to the ideas mentioned. You can have symbols that represent each child so that they hold more meaning for you and your loved ones. 

You can also take an extra step and use words within the knot design or outside it. There are two phrases that you can use. There is Grá Máthair which means “a mother’s love” or Grá Mo Chroí, which means “my heart.” You equally don’t have to be restricted to the Gaelic language. You can write something that holds true to you. If you want it in the Gaelic language, then you can get a translation. 

Celtic Motherhood Knot Colors

When you’re looking for Celtic design tattoos, you’ll find that most are in navy blue, black, or grey. It is only the dots that are in different colors to represent the children. You’re not limited to these colors. Popular colors that you can get when getting a Celtic Motherhood Knot are red, blue, green, purple, or red. Some go a step further and get the tattoo in white. 

If you’re getting a stencil done either for a tapestry or a stained glass design, you can get colors of your choosing that way they stand out. It is also a chance for you to get colors that you love and make the symbolic as you continue to grow your taste in Celtic symbols. 

Celtic Motherhood Knot Tattoo Placement

When you’re getting a Celtic Motherhood Knot tattoo, it would be ill-advised to get a small one. Unless you trust the professional, getting a small tattoo of such an intricate design can cause it to bleed, and the lines merge. The other issue is that it can blur or even fade when not done properly. Therefore, get a bigger tattoo that is both subtle but still shows the intricate lines of the knot. 

There are a couple of places you can get the tattoo. Some great places to consider are the inner writs, the upper shoulder, on either shoulder blades, the center or the lower back, and on your calf, above your ankle or even on your foot. Where you put it largely depends on where you are comfortable putting the tattoo. Some people want it to be visible, while others want it more discreet. 


When looking at Celtic symbols, you’ll find that they have taken various meanings over the centuries. They mean something different from one culture to another. There are also new interpretations that came with the adoption of Christianity among the Celts. Before you get any tattoo, first make meaning for yourself. That way, you will not have any regrets when you’ve aged. 

The other good thing about tattoos when getting the Celtic Motherhood Knot is that you can make variations of the same. You can take the intricate design and even add various designs to it. The lines can be in the form of feathers or even a rose bush. Brainstorm with the tattoo artist so that they can incorporate designs that you like and are symbolic to you. Also, after your first child, you’re able to keep adding symbols to represent them. To make it more personal, wait until your children are grown enough so they can contribute to the type of symbol that they would like to represent them. 


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