Posts Tagged ‘Celtic’

Celtic Motherhood Symbol

February 7th, 2021

In Celtic tradition matri-lineal or ancestry was surprisingly passed down through the mother’s line and not through the father. In light of this the most important male in the family would be considered the oldest kin or relative of the mother, perhaps an uncle rather than a grandfather as there may not have existed a lineage to her through a grandfather. Any important bloodline in this culture would have come through the Celtic mother and this tie to the mother was so tight that her sister’s children would have been considered siblings to her own children instead of cousins.

Celtic motherhood demanded the utmost reverence and admiration and in fact rape was considered a crime of the absolute highest severity. Rape was not pardonable and the punishment meted out was very serious and afforded absolutely no leniency.

Land was owned communally and wealth was dependent on the size of their cattle herds. Women were considered equal to men and were allowed to own their own property, choose their own husbands and go to war. In fact Celtic women were allowed to divorce and gain their husbands property if he was unable to perform his marital duties.

With this in mind the Celts had their own form of child rearing, they left it to someone else to do and many of their offspring were in fact raised by foster parents.

Celtic traditions and Mother Goddesses
Celtic traditions can be traced as far back as 3,000 years and today many people are becoming more and more attracted to them. Celtic traditions are steeped and grounded in harmony with nature and the environment, something many New Age advocates practice today and it is with thanks to these ecologically aware people who are in tune with nature that the ancient Celtic traditions are being shared and kept alive. In fact the only way traditions can die or be forgotten is if people cease to honor and practice them.

The Mother Goddess is a common feature in Celtic religion and many dedications remain on record that show Celtic mothers either as a single entity or in groups of three often holding a cornucopia of fruit. Women were also depicted as full breasted figures who were nursing infants.

Mother Goddesses were used as symbols of creativity, birth, fertility, and nurturing, sexual union or even sovereignty while at other times they can be seen depicting punishment. Their children can also be seen as either helpful to the community or dangerous and the circumstances of their birth may have lead to curses or hardship.

However, while many mother goddesses fulfill roles in the symbolism of the Celts, they aren’t limited to motherhood only. Quite often tales about them mention their having had children in passing only, so motherhood cannot be seen as being a central facet to their identity. In Celtic symbolism, Mother Goddesses were also Goddesses of warfare, healing and crafts.

Celtic Motherhood Symbols
One of the well-known symbols is the Celtic knot motherhood which has the appearance of two hearts one of which is lower than the other and both hearts are intertwined into one unbroken knot. If children were added to the symbol they were represented by dots, one per child which were placed anywhere either inside or outside the motherhood symbol.

Another Celtic Motherhood symbol is the Triple Mother Goddess symbol also known in ancient Britain as “Matres Domesticae”. This symbol does not depict one goddess but three feminine forces combined to make the mother goddess symbol. Three was a number that held mystical significance for the Celts as they believed that the trinity of these figures held powerful magic.

This Celtic Triple Mother Goddess shows the trinity holding symbols from the harvest or from the hunt, in a more tame state; this is a figure of a good harvest and health. The Triple Mother Goddess symbol also symbolizes the three stages of life, representing crone, mother and maiden and their coming together signified the power of unity.

The triple Mother Goddess symbol is considered to be a significant Celtic symbol of motherhood as the Celts believed that the mother goddess is the highest symbol of the child-mother relationship.