For many, a Celtic cross symbolises Irish folklore, Christianity and culture. For others, each part of the Celtic cross has powerful meaning and representation. Traditionally, added colour was strictly for visual appeal to improve sales. Today, Celtic cross modifications form wedding and engagement rings, pendants, earrings and other adornments. Customised crosses may contain various colours that match a person's family crest or coat of arms.
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Celtic Cross Meaning
A conventional cross with a ring around the centre where the stem and arms intersect is a Celtic cross. Originating in Gaelic Ireland, the cross spread to other lands where it took on various meanings according to each religion. Christians believe the ring to represent a halo and the cross to represent Jesus Christ. Roman's believe the ring to represent the sun-god Invictus, while others still, believe the ring is no more than a way to strengthen the cross and eliminate breakage at the joint.
Family Crest or Coat of Arms
Colours taken from a family crest or coat of arms added to a Celtic cross provide additional meaning for the wearer. It is common for family members to hand down items such as a crest, coat of arms, rosary beads and crosses, Celtic or otherwise. Items like these often come with rich family history and tradition, providing even more meaning for family members.
Gold means generosity and elevation of the mind. Silver or white represents peace and sincerity. Red shows military strength of a warrior or martyr. Blue is truth and loyalty while green means hope, joy and loyalty in love. Black is constancy or grief, purple is royal majesty, sovereignty and justice, orange is ambition and maroon means patient in battle yet victorious.
Celtic crosses worn as a pendant may also contain one or more gemstones that give rise to spiritual meaning. In ancient times, gemstones adorned weapons, sceptres and crowns to show rank or provide strength and luck to a warrior. Since biblical times, agates were protection stones, used to attract strength and offer protection.
Agates come in a wide variety of colours and often contain colour bands in shades of greens and browns. Blue-green amazonite may have a calming effect that encourages trust in God. Amethyst is meant to protect soldiers in battle, guard against disease and control evil thoughts. Ancient peoples believed bloodstone to be a powerful healing stone, giving the wearer the ability to banish evil and negativity. Several other stones adorn Celtic crosses, such as ametrine, aventurine, angelite, calcite, crystal quartz and fluorite.
In some cultures, a Celtic cross may contain the birthstone of the wearer in the centre of the ring. Placed around the centre stone may be diamonds, stones with ancient meaning or birthstones of children or other family members. In American culture, you may find a Celtic cross with a birthstone on a keychain or rear-view mirror. They become bookmarks as well as decorations on books, bumper stickers and banners.
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