Celtic Wedding and Engagement Rings
There’s an old Celtic proverb that states, “What fills the eye fills the heart.” Fill her eyes and her heart with the beauty and richness of the Celtic tradition. Whether you and your better half cherish your druid roots or you both simply happen to love this magical culture, the Celtic influence will make any engagement ring more legendary, enchanting and meaningful.
Perhaps one of the most influential and powerful cultures is that of the Celts. The culture can be traced into a good portion of modern-day Europe. It is a culture that is drenched in art, holiness, nature-worship, folkloric tales and warrior pride. The Celtic culture is now mostly associated with Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales and the Brittany region of France.
Types of Celtic Engagement Rings
There are two styles of engagement rings that most strongly represent this epic heritage, the Knot ring and the Claddagh ring. They both capture the adoration of the Celtic spirit, pride and love. Both rings have been in the Celtic tradition for centuries and both have significant roots in mythological love.
The Claddagh Ring
The story behind this ring is enough to melt any heart while at the same time inspiring the courage for grand declarations of undying love. In the early seventeenth century, a man named Richard Joyce lived in Ireland, sublimely happy in the knowledge that he was in love with his soul mate.
One day, while he was fishing off the coast of Galway, he was captured by vicious Moor pirates and taken away to live a life out as a slave. He remained in captivity for an agonizing many years. In a twist of fate, he managed to escape his captors and found his way back to his home in Ireland.
The druid gods must have been closely protecting the love between Richard and his lover. For he found that after so many years, she never married another man. Out of love, he made her a ring to finally win her hand in marriage. They both lived in the Irish village of Claddagh, hence the ring’s name. Then, as a good fairytale goes, they both lived happily ever after. The romance becomes even more palpable when we remember that this tale is true.
This ring is now designed for either man or woman and used as an engagement ring or a wedding band. The uniqueness of the Claddagh ring can be seen in the poetic symbolism that is inscribed around the entire band. There are different types of script but all include hands to signify friendship, a crown to symbolize loyalty and a heart to, of course, represent love. It is these three ingredients that should be included in all marriages.
How To Wear The Claddagh Ring
The message of this band depends upon the direction in which the crown and the heart on its inscription points. This direction is by no means accidental. If a person wears the Claddagh ring on his or her right hand, the crown and heart will face outwards. This tells the world that the wearer of this ring still has a heart that is individual and unspoken for. However, if the ring is worn on the left hand, the crown and heart faces inward. This universally signifies this person has found his or her mate and is either in or is approaching wedded bliss for eternity.
The Celtic Knot Ring
The Celtic people deeply impose mythology and symbolism into their everyday lives. They are a people who are devoutly romantic and take matters of the heart incredibly seriously. Art was not only something to look at or hang on the wall. Art was used to keep the folklore and legend that told the story of the Celts. Art was considered as close as man could get to Godlike creation here on earth.
The Book of Kells is one of the most famous for such artistic and holy expressions. Written in the late eighth century by monks living on a remote island off the coast of Scotland, the Book of Kells is one of the earliest records of the knot design. This manuscript contained the four gospels alongside pages of ornate knot designs that some say look to have been created by angels and not mere mortals. Here is where this design intertwines with holiness in the Celtic religion. This precious work of history and art can be viewed up close and personal at Trinity College in Dublin.
The expression of art was seen constantly in the jewelry of the Celts. Such jewelry allowed devout Celts to literally carry their holy adoration on their bodies. The Celts made metal sculpturing a true art form. An apprentice would have to train and study the craft of metal work for many years before he was allowed to create an actual Triquetra ring.
Trinity Knot Ring
The Triquetra ring, also known as a Trinity Knot Ring, dates back to ancient Celtic mythology. The first of such rings arose during the Irish Insular Art Movement in 600 A.D. It has a lovely three-point design that was ultimately regarded as the holy trinity when the Celts embraced the Christian faith. The three points of this ring did and still do represent the two spouses in alignment with God as well as the trinity in duel meaning.
Another famous design in the Celtic tradition is the Celtic Love Knot. It is a twisting and twirling of what appears to be one line that never ends but simply ceases back into itself at any one point. Love knot rings are a bit more modern although the design itself is ancient.
The design dates back to the times of the height of the Roman empire. Later in the fourth-century A.D., Christians adopted the use of this and other types of knots to be put on their religious texts. This emblem of powerful and undying love continues to make proud Celtic hearts beat a little faster upon viewing.
The symbol is both ancient and modern at the same time. It is ancient in the story it tells of love’s never ending lifeline. It is modern in how it continues to represent one’s love for another in the Celtic heart. Many Celtic engagement rings feature such love knots, which add ancient mysticism and magic to this already symbolic vow of love.