Ancient Celtic culture originated from a diverse group of tribal societies during the Iron Age and in Roman Era Europe. It spanned over a wide range of regions in Atlantic Europe. Throughout the centuries, Celtic designs have become distinctly popular in different parts of the world. Even today, Celtic symbols, such as those referring to sisters or sisterhood, are featured on jewellery and clothing and in artwork.
Women and Sisterhood in Celtic Culture
Apart from focusing on female deities, the Ancient Celts portrayed women with dominant roles in the society. These were reflected in Celtic mythology, artwork and symbols. There is no special Celtic symbol for sister, however, symbols referring to women, female deities and sisterhood are commonly found in Celtic drawings and spiral designs, and also in a variety of Celtic knot-work designs. The Celtic symbols that pertain to women and sisterhood usually are signs for special things and persons. They can also mean: mother, daughter and grandmother; past, present and future; and self, brother and sister.
The triquetra (also spelt as triqueta) is a tripartite symbol composed of three interlocked vesica Pisces -- a shape made from the intersection of two identical circles. The triquetra is made by the intersection of three circles. One of this symbol's meanings refers to sisterhood, and was made popular in modern times after being featured in the American TV series "Charmed," about three Wiccan sisters. This symbol has various meanings in different cultures, religions and mythologies. It's also a commonly used symbol for the Christian Church's Holy Trinity, which is composed of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The triskele, also known as the triskelion, is a symbol composed of three spirals. Each spiral's end meets and gets attached to the other two through a common point, which becomes the middle of the newly formed triple-spiral symbol. It often represents unity, eternity, reincarnation, cycles of life and rebirth, threefold dominions of the earth, sea and sky, relationships and sisterhood. In mythology, it also refers to Brigit (also spelt as Brighid) along with her two sisters. Together, they are considered as the classic Celtic Triple Goddess.
Celtic Sisters Knot Symbol
The symbol most commonly used to represent the bond between sisters is a heart that is woven into a three-pointed knot -- the Celtic sisters knot. This heart-shaped symbol is made using a Celtic knot which is never broken until the final shape is made. Its endless knot features stylised graphical ornaments with parts typically resembling a triquetra or triskele. It also often symbolises everlasting love, lifelong bond between women and the three stages of a woman -- maiden, mother and wise woman.