This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
A triskelion or triskele (both from the Greek τρισκέλιον or τρισκελής, for "three-legged") is a symbol consisting of three interlocked spirals, or three bent human legs, or any similar symbol with three protrusions and a threefold rotational symmetry. A triskelion is the symbol of Brittany, as well as the Isle of Man and Sicily (where it is called trinacria). The Manx and Sicilian triskelions feature three running legs, bent at the knee and conjoined at the crotch area.
The 'Three Legs of Man' triskelion, the national symbol of the Isle of Man.
The triskelion symbol appears in many early cultures, including on Mycenaean vessels, on coinage in Lycia, and on staters of Pamphylia (at Aspendos, 370–333 BC) and Pisidia. It appears as a heraldic emblem on warriors' shields depicted on Greek pottery. A symbol of four conjoined legs, a tetraskelion, is also known in Anatolia. Celtic influences in Anatolia, epitomized by the Gauls who invaded and settled Galatia, are especially noted by those who theorize a Celtic origin for the triskelion.
Manx car registration plate, with the three-legged triskelion. In the symbol for the Isle of Man, which is located in the Irish Sea, the "three legs embowed" of the heraldic triskelion are represented in armour, "spurred and garnished or (gold).” On Manx banknotes, the triskelion appears within a rim containing the Latin inscription QUOCUNQUE JECERIS STABIT ("Wherever you throw it, it stands"). The Manx triskelion is documented since the thirteenth or fourteenth century at the latest, and is alternatively known in the Manx language as the tre cassyn ("three legs"). The symbol appears on the
Isle of Man's ancient Sword of State, which may have belonged to Olaf Godredson, who became King of the Sudreys (Southern Hebrides and the Isle of Man) in 1226.
The flag of Sicily, featuring the triskelion symbol revived by Joachim Murat. Familiar as an ancient symbol of Sicily, the triskelion is also featured on Greek coins of Syracuse, such as coins of Agathocles (317–289 BCE). In Sicily, the first inhabitants mentioned in history are the tribes of the Sicani (Greek Sikanoi) and the Sicels (Greek Sikeloi), who gave Sicily its more familiar modern name. The triskelion was revived, as a neoclassic — and non-Bourbon — emblem for the new Napoleonic Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, by Joachim Murat in 1808. The symbol dates back to when Sicily was part of Magna Graecia, the colonial extension of Greece beyond the Aegean. Pliny the Elder attributes the origin of the triskelion of Sicily to the triangular form of the island, the ancient Trinacria, which consists of three large capes equidistant from each other, pointing in their respective directions, the names of which were Pelorus, Pachynus, and Lilybæum. The three legs of the triskelion are also reminiscent of Hephaestus's three-legged tables that ran by themselves, as mentioned in Iliad xviii: "At the moment Hephaestus was busily Turning from bellows to bellows, sweating with toil As he laboured to finish a score of three-legged tables To stand around the sides of his firm-founded hall. On each Of the legs he had put a gold wheel, that those magic tables Might cause all to marvel by going with no other help To the gathering of gods and by likewise returning to his house."
Symbol 16:32 – A stylized TRISKELION, Greek for THREE-LEG. See in Group 32. This sign is associated with PROGRESS and COMPETITION, and originated in ancient Greece, where it for instance was used on coins. Nowadays one can find on the coat of arms of the Isle of Man,
Brittany. a separatist movement in the Celtic region of France. The Isle of Man is inhabited by Celts. The sign is associated with migrations and independent movements. Spiral triskele. The triple spiral motif is a Neolithic symbol in Western Europe. Because of its Celtic associations. A variant of the symbol is also found. the people who populated Western Europe about 3000 years ago. the variation is used as a logotype or symbol for L´alliance des pays Celtes. Brittany. For more informatin. used by Celtic Reconstructionists and occasionally as a Christian Trinitarian symbol. TRIPLE SPIRAL. the spiral triscele became very fashionable in Brittany. after Alan Stivell was wearing it around the . It is carved into the rock of a stone lozenge near the main entrance of the prehistoric Newgrange monument in County Meath. an early Celtic sign. Scotland and Ireland by Gauls and Germanic tribes. see in Group 14. MODERN USAGE As recently as the late 1960s and the 1970s. and then successively later was forced west to Galicia. Wales. and related to . in France and Spain.the island between Great Britain and Ireland. Compare with above in this group. carved into the wall in the inner chamber of the passage tomb. to some extent. Ireland. it is also used as a symbol of Brittany (alongside the ermine). A version of the Neolithic triple spiral symbol. found in Celtic artwork. is Symbol 14:19 – This structure is closely related to the Celts. SPIRAL TRISKELE The Celtic symbol of three conjoined spirals may have had triple significance similar to the imagery that lies behind the triskelion. and. Today.
The specific emblem design is meant to be shown with metallic spokes and circle. It is loosely based on the Flag of Ireland and traditional Celtic triskele boss designs. composed mainly of Belgian volunteers. The spiral triskele is one of the primary symbols of Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism. it is found primarily of groups with a Celtic cultural orientation and. consisting of a large blue-silver raised dot with three curved arms of similar dots around it. used in Brittany as one of the main symbols (for tourism. The seal was adopted on February 1. land. 1967.A similar symbol called lábaro by Cantabrian regionalist can be compared to the neighboring Basque culture's four-branched lauburu. Similar shapes (called "sam tageuk" in Korea and "tomoe" in Japan) are used in some East Asian cultures (one version was part of the official logo of the 1988 Summer Olympics). An episode of Star Trek. Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging . A triskelion shape is the basis for the roundel of the Irish Air Corps (unique among air force roundels). In the north of Spain. as seen in Marvel Comics. A fractal version of the triskelion. partly based on a description in the Story of O. is used by some Polytheistic Reconstructionist and Neopagan groups. BDSM A form of the triskelion has been proposed as a BDSM Emblem by some BDSM groups. less frequently. A triskelion pattern forms part of the United States Department of Transportation. and three holes (not dots) within the design. Triskelion is the name of the headquarters of The Ultimates. usually consisting of spirals. it is also a favored symbol due to its association with the god Manannán mac Lir. The three comma shapes represent air. The Gamesters of Triskelion. etc. the triskelion is used as a symbol of Galizan and Asturian nationalists. Reconstructionists and Neopagans The triskele. political and cultural fields. although its use as a contemporary fashion icon only started during the Celtic revival of the 1970s. the Department of Agriculture of the devolved government of Galicia uses a triskele as its corporate logo. products. but also the "horned triskelion". A Triskelion symbol was made into a fighting area. takes place on the alien planet of Triskelion from Episode 16 of season 2. The triskele was used by Galician nationalists as early as 1930. Celtic Reconstructionists use the symbol to represent a variety of triplicities in their cosmology and theology. A triskelion shape was used in the design of a common plastic adapter for vinyl records. As a Celtic symbol. and sea transportation. is a major motif of the 2005 TV series Threshold.). can also be found in use by some Germanic Neopagan groups and eclectic or syncretic traditions such as Wicca. Currently. which allowed larger center-holed 45 rpm records to spin on players designed for smaller centerholed 33-1/3 rpm records. POLITICAL EXTREMISTS Nazi Germany adopted a variation on the triskelion as the insignia for the 27th SS Volunteer Division Langemarck.neck on TV shows and magazines. The fashion has extended then to commercial.
in a white circle with a red background. Seal of the United States Department of Transportation. . Gallery Irish Air Corps Roundel.(AWB). have used a flag featuring three black sevens that form a design reminiscent of the triskelion. A symbol closely resembling the BDSM emblem. Flag of Ingushetia. Flag of the Ryukyu Islands from 1875 to 1879. a South African white supremacist paramilitary group.
The Official Seal of The Tau Gamma Phi Triskelion Grand Fraternity.The flag of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS. . 45rpm plastic adapter. Tuberculosis and Malaria. The coat of arms of the German city of Füssen.
The Neolithic period signaled the rise of stone tools. In looks it resembles 3 spirals interconnected with no open ends and so it is a continuous line. shields. sky and water. as related to the sun. This period occurred about 3200 BC at Newgrange where the Celtic symbol was found. Perhaps it also had a secondary meaning dealing with reincarnation since it is a continuous line possibly depicting the never ending cycle of life. near the town of Drogheda. You may also see it termed as the Tri-spiral. The triple spiral symbol is common in modern Celtic art as well as ancient art. It is obvious that the number three had some special meaning to the first users of the symbol. In the pagan realm the triskele is connected to the mother goddess.The triskele is an interesting and often seen Celtic symbol. pottery and glassware. It is one of the better known and more used symbols throughout the Celtic areas and can be found on such things as tattoos. Legend says that Christianity in Ireland started there. Scholars and old stories from the Newgrange area tell how the symbol may stand for the pregnancy cycle. and occurred at different times in other parts of the world. The spirals are all fluidly spiraling in the same direction. The Newgrange tomb specifically was built to allow sun to shine into it during seasonal solstice periods. Since the sun forms somewhat of a clockwise spiral form Eat to West every . organized villages with crop growing and the presence of crafts such as weaving and pottery. It is sometimes referred to as the triple spiral by those who are not familiar with the Celtic term Triskele. at Newgrange. The most common form of the triskele Celtic symbol was found on a tomb from the Neolithic period. It is uncertain exactly where the very early inhabitants of Ireland came from before the Celts. The sun was important to the ancient cultures. Others say the early tribes in Ireland descend from the Milesians who went from Egypt to France and Spain and then Ireland. The triskele was actually found to be used as a symbol before the Celts reached the island of Ireland and so it is very old and was more or less assimilated into Celtic culture. Perhaps the tri-spiral symbol and the ideals of Christianity can be compared. clothing. It is an invocation of the three material substance domains of earth. stationary. In Celtic symbolism it is related to the triquetra in looks and meaning. They may have been migratory people traveling down through Scotland or Berber or seaman that came from the coast of Africa as some have speculated.
134: [On CRs] "Using Celtic symbols such as triskeles and spirals" TAEGEUK Hangul 태극 太極 Hanja Revised Romanization Taegeuk . p. The Triskele spirals appear to be in a clockwise fashion as well. ^ For example the trislele on Achilles' round shield on an Attic late sixth-century hydria at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. I (1988). ISBN 0-671-55337-2. See also: Valknut Triquetra Snoldelev Stone Fylfot Taegeuk Tomoe Gankyil Awen References: 1.. 3. Kensington Publishing Group ISBN 0-8065-2710-2. Greece and the Hellenistic World (Oxford History of the Classical World) vol.three months and there are 9 months in the average pregnancy. Perhaps each spiral stood for each son.com/trinacria. ^ a b Bonewits. Isaac (2006) Bonewits's Essential Guide to Druidism. The Newgrange tomb was said to have been built for the ancient king Dagda Mor of the Tuatha De Danann tribe. New York. p.132: [Among Celtic Reconstructionists] ". p.An Thríbhís Mhòr (the great triple spiral) came into common use to refer to the three realms.htm 2. Jasper Griffin and Oswyn Murray. ^ The Aircraft Encyclopedia by Roy Braybrook. This king had three sons. ^ Matthews.. ^ http://www. illustrated in John Boardman.grifasi-sicilia. 51 5. There is another possibility as to the meaning of the Triskele." Also p. the Triskele shows three spirals tightly interlaced as in a comforting womb.50. Jeff (2005) Symbols of Naples 4.
the Taoist concept of yin and yang. red on the top would repel the earth and blue on the bottom would repel the heaven. The Taegeuk symbol is most prominently displayed on South Korea's national flag. as are the colors red and blue. this would break the harmony of nature. If the symbol is portrayed according to how humans view the world. The red and blue are portrayed upside down to accommodate the harmony of nature. or earth) and red (yang. the flag of South Korea. Sam-Taegeuk Alternative Sam-Taegeuk Taegeuk is the Korean cognate of Taiji. The blue (eum) on the flag is intended to pair up with the actual heaven (yang) and create a harmony with red. the Taegeuk symbol is typically portrayed in blue (eum. Because of the Taegeuk's association with the national flag. from which all is actualized. called the Taegeukgi (along with four of the eight Palgwae diagrams).McCune–Reischauer T'aegŭk Taegeukgi. An example would be have two magnets adjoining each other. or heaven). which would pair up with the actual earth (eum). . with a blue and red Taegeuk in the center. it is often used as a patriotic symbol. "Taegeuk" symbol being in the middle. In South Korea.
the International Paralympic Committee used three Tae-Geuks in its logo. with a similar five color set.A popular variant in Korea is the Sam-Taegeuk (三太極). Believed by many to be an ancient symbol of pre-Celtic and Celtic beliefs. Celtic Christians have sometimes used it to represent the . The Sam-Taegeuk is frequently seen as a design on the face of fans. The triple spiral or triskele is a Celtic and pre-Celtic symbol found on a number of Irish Megalithic and Neolithic sites. the triple spiral appears in various forms in pre-Celtic and Celtic art. Taegeuk (as well as palgwe) is also a series of Taekwondo forms practiced by Kukkiwon member instructors and their students. The triple spiral was possibly the precursor to the later triskele design found in the manuscripts. on the entrance stone. which adds a yellow lobe. In more recent history. It was replaced with three Agitos. and later examples found in the Celtic Christian illuminated manuscripts of Insular art. see Taeguk (Taekwondo). to the red and blue. representing humanity. What the symbol meant to the pagans who built Newgrange and other monuments is unknown. using five Tae-Geuk designs arranged similarly to the Olympic Rings. The usage started at the 1988 Summer Paralympics in Seoul. TRIPLE SPIRAL A modern form of the triple spiral symbol Triple spiral visible on entrance stone at Newgrange. most notably inside the Newgrange passage tomb. Prior to the end of the 2004 Summer Paralympics. and on some of the curbstones surrounding the mound. with the earliest examples having been carved on pre-Celtic stone monuments.
so that three spirals could represent nine months. The triple spiral is one of the main symbols of Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism. One decorative version of a "wheeled" form of the triple spiral symbol. often standing for the "three realms" . though some also use it for the goddess Brighid. According to Uriel's Machine by Knight and Lomas (2003) the triple spiral may represent the nine month period of human pregnancy. the sun's path across the sky appears to form a closely-wound quasi-helical shape. occasionally used as a Christian Trinitarian symbol. most often to represent the concept of the triple goddess. During each three-month period. Some Celticinspired Wiccans also use the triple spiral symbol.Christian Trinity. Spiral triskelion. The god Manannán is probably most often the one symbolized by the triskele. and vice versa. Version with three thick single spirals. sometimes considered a solar symbol. which can be likened to a spiral. Sea and Sky. .Land. since the sun takes a fourth of a year to go from the celestial equator (an equinox) to extreme north or south declination (a solstice). Neopagan religions such as Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism and Wicca use the symbol to represent a variety of triplicities from their belief systems. providing an explanation for a link between fertility and the triplespiral symbol. or for one of a number of deities who are described in the lore as "threefold" or triadic.
p. 3. protrusions.An Thríbhís Mhòr (the great triple spiral) came into common use to refer to the three realms. action cycles progress revolution competition moving forward . 134: [On CRs ] "Using Celtic symbols such as triskeles and spirals” External links: Triple Spiral Animation by David Chow Triskelion Celtic Symbol Meaning In a nutshell..A spiral triskelion with a hollow triangle at its center. this sign looks very much like three legs running. the triskelion Celtic symbol meaning deals with competition and man's progress. 6. New York. 5. All three branches (legs. References: ^ Bonewits. First Component: When we observe this symbol. Kensington Publishing Group ISBN 0-8065-2710-2.. 2." Also p. This is no accident as this feeling of motion in this symbol represents: 1." and appropriately. Isaac (2006) Bonewits's Essential Guide to Druidism.132: [Among Celtic Reconstructionists] ". The triskelion (also referred to as triskele. triquetra or fylfot) Celtic symbol meaning holds two major components of symbolism. 4. we are taken with the concept of motion. The Greek term triskelion literally means "three-legged. angles) are positioned in such a way so as to make the symbol appear as if it is in constant forward motion.
Future Power. This prominent Celtic symbols may also represent the three Celtic worlds: The Otherworld: Where spirits. Body Father. half. we find that the Celtic symbol meaning of the triskelion has much broader connatations. . angles. wind and water.it is simply up to the observer (or originating culture) to proffer up these meanings. culture.Second Component: The three protrusions (legs. moon. full). One such representation of number three deals with the three primary measure-marks within the phases of the moon (new. region. Intellect. gods and goddesses live. Present. Child Past. Love Creator. Mind. etc. However. Like the forces of sun. The Mortal World: Where you and I live along with plants and animals.. the Celtic symbol meaning of the triskelion is more far reaching than just "three-legged. The Celestial World: Where unseen energies live and move about.. The various representations of the three protrusions found in the triskelion include: Spirit. mythological history. Preservation. Sustainer Creation. Destruction All of these (and still yet more) can be designated for each of the protrustions found in the triskelion . etc) are of significant symbolic importance. An interesting side note . When we add lunar implications to the meaning of the triskelion we are dealing with: Mystery Feminine Intuition Subtleness Subconscious Spirituality Illumination Hidden desire As you can see.the number three is a powerful energy for seemingly infinite reasons. The combination of these two components (motion and triad attributes) lead us to the conclusion that this Celtic symbol meaning tells a story of forward motion in the endeavor to reach understanding (within the context of one of the many triad dynamics above listed)." When we combine the variables listed here with the concept of motion and evolution and illumniation. Destroyer. Holy Ghost Mother.symbologists can have a challenging time defining the exact symbolic meaning of the three protrusions. Son. depending upon the era. branches. Father. This is a worthy point because most lunar creatures are depicted as only having three legs in Alchemical and early European esoteric art.
is one of the most popular. the Hopi of North America. expansion. future. these all have been attributed to the Celtic symbols with three elements. past. the triskele with its three spirals remains among the most popular Celtic symbols probably for the same reason. Greece. the Celts gave great significance to things coming in threes: earth. in a number of cultures throughout the world. water. To the ancient inhabitants of Ireland. but many of these symbols were found as far as Ireland and France. but has also been found in illuminated Manuscripts created by early Christian monks.In short. and is believed by some scholars to have evolved from the triskellion. or slight variations. mind. It has been found in the traditional form. the concept of growth. sky. which looks like three legs from a common center. present. Its true meaning is not known for sure. Some of our modern interpretations of the meaning of the triskele are that it symbolizes the cycles of life in one form or another. maiden-mother-crone. It is believed to represent the travel from the inner life to the outer soul or higher spirit forms. or triple spiral . it has come to represent the unending and continuous movement of life. The triskele has also come to be associated with the Triple Goddess going back to pre-Christian times. The Triple Goddess symbolism. and in preColumbian artifacts in Central America. The earliest Celtic Triskele was found in the ruins of a Bronze Age temple in Ireland. and cosmic energy. death. birth. the spiral was used to represent their sun. depending on the culture in which it is used. body. The spiral has always captivated our imagination. spirit. Because the triskele is often drawn using one continuous line. rebirth. the sum of this Celtic symbol meaning is: Personal growth Human development Spiritual expansion The History and Meaning of the Celtic Triskele Symbol Also Triple Goddess. is also represented as a moon in three phases. . and ancient symbols of our time.three spirals radiating from a common center . Triple Spiral The Triskele symbol. Judging from early Celtic symbols. Celtic Symbols and their meanings The spiral was found on many Dolmans and gravesites.
Together with them a lot of small. An archaeologist got the idea that the small. round signs on those rock carvings could be signs for stars in the sky. But maybe not the ordinary sun. Another idea states that the loosely wound anti-clockwise spiral represent the large summer sun and the tightly wound. century for century for some thousands of years. than water in general. thousands of years ago. The sign's association with water may rather focus recurring rainy seasons. clockwise spiral their shrinking winter sun. round signs and . Thus the sign might mean the eclipsed sun. As stated in the entry of the basic graphic elements the dot and the spiral were used by are found carved in man already 24.000 years ago. can be seen. Why would people. in hard rock.000 years ago. independent movement. but the eclipsed sun.A basic element in Western ideography. . See the entry below. but things have now changed. He fed the structures of some of the rock carvings into a computer and had the computer to compare them with representations of the constantly changing structure of the constellations of the brightests stars of the sky.C. hire rock carvers to work for long hours with the carving of these. round signs. power. as if they were messages important enough for posterity to be made to last thousands of years? Why did neolithic men think these pictures should be conveyed over eons to posterity? A breakthrough in the understandning of these strange ideograms seems to have been made in 1991.. But thereafter the first instances of rock faces not more than about 5. Well in accordance with the law of the polarity of meanings of elementary graphs also often seems to denote the sun. and migrations of tribes. Until recently the meaning of this ideogram eluded researchers. What he found was that the rock carvings were documentations of the configurations of the visible planets and the brightest of the fixed stars at times of total solar eclipses. They have hitherto been interpreted as representing people. seemingly rather meaningless pictures of ships or sleighs together with small. A more circular and closer drawn version of the above entry sign is seen on many neolithic rock carvings. On rock carvings in Scandinavia one often finds signs which look like a strange type of boats or sleighs with short vertical lines on them. It also appears among rock carvings in Utah. Be that as it may. and the ideogram . one finds on discos from Crete from around 2000 B. the clockwise spiral (starting from the middle) is strongly associated with water. and as an old symbol for potential power in Tibet.
as you will soon realize if you try to draw it. an old Celtic sign that was also used in pre-Columbian America. is at the center of the amulet. that is spirals with clockwise rotation (from the center seen). death and rebirth. with two on each side of it. Compare with . Since it is very difficult to draw. and thus must have been engraved by Cro-Magnon mammoth hunters. During the Bronze Age was an often used graphic structure for decorations of artefacts of all types. This instance is found on a rock carving from Scania. The ancient structure has been found both in pre-Columbian America and in Bronze Age Europe. See The triple spiral denotes the Threefold Goddess. however. This sign structure is uncommon because it is closed. . often used to denote the sun. it probably had magical significance. and often signified water or the sea. The circle. An older variation on the same theme is . is much more graphically sophisticated. This variation. spiral and wheel are all powerful symbols representing the cycle of life.000 years old. The sign is drawn in one single line without beginning or end. These symbols are called triskele or triskelion. found on rock engravings from the Bronze Age in Scania. In ancient Greece it was common on vases and amphoras. made up not by lines but by rows of dots. and in Greece and neighboring countries in antiquity. This structure is called the spiral of life and was found in the remnants of an old temple from the Bronze Age in Ireland. including the seasons of the year. Another theory: a double spiral is used to represent the equinoxes.A variation of the preceding entry sign consists in fact of two interconnected . The sign . . Sweden. has been found engraved on an amulett of mammoth tooth which is 24. In Europe it is especially associated with the Celtic tribes. when day and night are of equal length. Sweden. It is often found on vessels and representations from the Bronze Age.
This symbol is also used to symbolize the Druidic Threefold Sister Goddess: Fotla/Eiru/Banba.The Triskele is used to symbolize the cycles of life with in the three fold. Its spectrum of meaning seems to have been centred around the concept of several returns or homecomings. or three spheres of influnce in the material world. The three spheres (Land. appears alongside images interpreted as Odin with a characteristic spear shunting another figure into a burial mound while a raven is overhead and another man is hanged. It also symbolizes the Wiccan Threefold Mother Goddess: Maiden/Mother/Crone. The Triskele was a representation of the importance of the number three. Sea and Sky) represents the three aspects of the material world that are contained in every object. Ireland. Valknuts are drawn beneath the horse (Tängelgarda stone) . cyclical in nature. Each aspect ever flowing outward and always returning to the point from which it started. is named after Eriu. writes that the mirror image of the preceding entry sign was used by the Hopis in Arizona. where the Valknut occurs in the most central and predominant position. Frank Waters. by a people consisting of a few large tribes or clans. or Erin. Waters has interpreted this symbol as tribal migration. Valknut The Stora Hammar stone. Odin with Sleipnir. an anthropologist who has studied the Hopi Indians and their culture.
and was not used contemporaneously when the symbol was used. Archaeological record The symbol appears in a unicursal form. such as on the Lärbro stone. and the triquetra unicursal. Sweden. beside the figure of Odin on his horse shown on several memorial stones there is a kind of knot depicted. "knot") is a symbol consisting of three interlocked triangles. Davidson says that similar symbols are found beside figures of wolves and ravens on "certain cremation urns" from Anglo-Saxon cemeteries in East Anglia. "slain warriors" + knut. A number of theories have been proposed for its significance. This is thought to symbolize the power of the god to bind and unbind." Comparisons have been made between this symbol description and the symbol known as the Valknut. as well as upon a ring found in the River Nene in England. "Hrungnir had a heart that was famous. Theories Hrungnir's Heart Chapter 17 of the 13th century Prose Edda book Skáldskaparmál contains the following description of the heart of the Jötunn Hrungnir. The Valknut has been compared to the three-horned symbol found on the 9th century Snoldelev Stone. intoxication. mentioned in the poems and elsewhere. related to the triskele. Additionally. intoxication. called the valknut. furious. and on a bedpost found within the 834 Oseberg ship burial from Slagen. The name Valknut is an unattested modern invention used to describe the symbol. and he could also loosen the tensions of fear and strain by his gifts of battlemadness. Davidson proposes further connections between Odin's role as bringer of ecstasy with the etymology of the names Wodan (related to wut "high mental excitement. Davidson says that Odin's connection to cremation is known. Other . and appears on various Germanic objects. Odin had the power to lay bonds upon the mind. and inspiration. or possession") and the later Oðinn (from the adjective óðr meaning "raging. It was made of hard stone with three sharp-pointed corners just like the carved symbol hrungnishjarta [Hrungnir's Heart]. The only traditionally and historically attested forms found so far have been the Borromean tricursal.The Valknut (Old Norse valr. also on Gotland. fury. Sweden. so that men became helpless in battle. and may be related to it. Odin and mental binds Hilda Ellis Davidson theorizes a connection between the valknut and "mental binds": For instance. such as on the 7th century Tängelgarda stone on the island of Gotland. intoxicated"). Norway. The symbols also appears in tricursal "brunnian linked" form. the god of the dead in Anglo-Saxon England. and that it does not seem unreasonable to connect with Woden.
 Some speculation has been put forward relating the Suebian knot hair style recorded by Tacitus to the valknut. or (in modern use only) a closed 3-link chain. Rudolf Simek states that the symbol may have been be associated with religious practices surrounding death. Topology The Valknut is topologically equivalent to either the Borromean rings. and the fact that the symbol appears on picture stones with Odin and on burial gifts in the Oseberg ship burial. the trefoil knot. valknuter. depending on the particular artistic depiction: The Valknut as Borromean rings (Knot Atlas L6a4) The Valknut as trefoil knot or triquetra (unicursal) (Knot Atlas 3_1) The Valknut as closed 3-link chain (Knot Atlas L6n1) As Borromean rings.Due to the Norwegian name for the symbol. on Stora Hammar stone .
“the knots of death” by Alby Stone According to the Anti-defamation League´s website: . they cannot be. Gods and myths of Northern Europe. ISBN 0859915131.Ellis (1990). which can be commonly seen on many products produced by the company. The Valknut symbol was also used on the cover for the 2006 album With Oden on Our Side by Amon Amarth. The Swedish pulp and paper manufacturer and consumer goods company Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget uses a triquetra Valknut as their logo. 3. BORROMEAN RINGS In mathematics. Davidson (1990:147). Notes: 1. Alternatively. The Prose Edda. Rudolf (2007) translated by Angela Hall.. the Borromean rings consist of three topological circles which are linked and form a Brunnian link.R. 5.) (2006). Simek. Byock (2001:88). Penguin Books. 3. Dictionary of Northern Mythology. The symbol has also been used by a number of neo-Nazi groups. Davidson.S. References: 1. removing any ring results in two unlinked rings. Penguin Classics. Byock. ISBN 0140447555 2.Brewer. this can be seen from . i. (Freedman & Skora 1987) proves why a certain class of links including the Borromean links cannot be exactly circular. D. Jesse (Trans. Mathematical properties Although the typical picture of the Borromean rings (left picture) may lead one to think the link can be formed from geometrically round circles. Simek (2007:163). ISBN 0-14-013627-4. It is portrayed with the bases of the triangles facing upwards behind a silhouette of Odin riding Sleipnir into Valhalla. 4. where numerous explanations and interpretations of the symbol are given.Modern use The Valknut symbol plays a role in modern Germanic Neopagan faiths. 2.e. H.
without lying in it. the third circle must pass through this plane or sphere four times. Borromean rings made from thin circles of elastic metal wire will bend. b] = aba−1b−1. as long as they are not perfectly circular. and thus the Borromean rings are linked. see (Lindström & Zetterström 1991). which is impossible. It is. These may be taken to be of arbitrarily small eccentricity. they can form Borromean links if suitably positioned: for example. i. by the Seifert–van Kampen theorem. [a. true that one can use ellipses (center picture). In either case. A realization of the Borromean rings as ellipses. back under the first. Standard diagram of the Borromean rings.e. This is non-trivial in the fundamental group. Linking There are a number of ways of seeing that the Borromean rings cannot be unlinked. Simplest is that the fundamental group of the complement of two unlinked circles is the free group on two generators. . then they either lie in a plane or a sphere. and then the third loop has the class of the commutator. as one can see from the link diagram: over one. however. over the next. Coat of arms showing padlocks locked in Borromean rings configuration. back under the second. a and b. no matter how close to being circular their shape may be.considering the link diagram: if one assumes that circles 1 and 2 touch at their two crossing points.
which corresponds to the Borromean rings being pairwise unlinked (2-fold products vanish). in a rock-paper-scissors order. Using the colors above. for the remaining two. respectively. blue over red – and thus after removing any one ring. which is not the case for the unlink. Just as removing one Borromean ring unlinks the remaining two. If one cuts the Borromean rings. one obtains one iteration of the standard braid. yellow over blue. the Borromean rings are ordered non-transitively. Hyperbolic The Borromean rings are a hyperbolic link: the complement of the Borromean rings in the 3-sphere admits a complete hyperbolic metric of finite volume. these are red over yellow.Another way is that the cohomology of the complement supports a non-trivial Massey product. Similarly. one is above the other and they can be unlinked. in the standard braid. but linked overall (3-fold product does not vanish). In the standard link diagram. removing one strand of the standard braid unbraids the other two: they are the basic Brunnian link and Brunnian braid. one obtains the Borromean rings. the algebra corresponds to the geometry: a 3-fold Massey product is a 3-fold product which is only defined if all the 2-fold products vanish. conversely. each strand is above one of the others and below the other. Connection to braid The standard 3-strand braid corresponds to the Borromean rings. The canonical (Epstein-Penner) polyhedral decomposition of the complement consists of two ideal octahedra. History of origin and depictions . This is a simple example of the Massey product and further. if one ties together the ends of (one iteration of) a standard braid.
from a 13th-century manuscript. The Borromean rings as a symbol of the Christian Trinity. .Valknut on Stora Hammar stone. A monkey's fist knot.
The psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan famously found inspiration in the Borromean rings as a model for his topology of human subjectivity. Molecular Borromean rings .The Discordian "mandala". but the individual elements are not closed loops. the "imaginary". some have used the design to symbolize the Trinity.E. The Borromean rings have been used in different contexts to indicate strength in unity.. Examples of such symbols are the Snoldelev stone horns and the Diana of Poitiers crescents. providing a support in the middle for a fourth bottle or glass.g. An example with three distinct elements is the logo of Sport Club Internacional. a monkey's fist knot is essentially a 3-dimensional representation of the Borromean rings. In particular. one five-loop link of this type is used as a symbol in Discordianism. with each ring representing a fundamental Lacanian component of reality (the "real". The name "Borromean rings" comes from their use in the coat of arms of the aristocratic Borromeo family in Italy. in religion or art. such as three bottles or glasses. albeit with three layers. and the "symbolic"). Multiple Borromean rings Some knot-theoretic links contain multiple Borromean rings configurations. in most cases. Similarly. based on a depiction in the Principia Discordia. and in the form of the valknut on Norse image stones dating back to the 7th century. The link itself is much older and has appeared in Ghandarva (Afghan) Buddhist art from around the second century C. The Borromean rings are also the logo of Ballantine beer. e. Partial Borromean rings In medieval and renaissance Europe. containing five Borromean rings configurations. a number of visual signs are found which consist of three elements which are interlaced together in the same way that the Borromean rings are shown interlaced (in their conventional two-dimensional depiction). Balancing knives Using the pattern in the incomplete Borromean rings. one can balance three knives on three supports.
Letter. Freedman. Cromwell. volume 386.CO%3B2-3 (subscription required). which are mechanically-interlocked molecular architectures. In 1997. Mathematical Intelligencer 20 no 1 (1998) 53–62. "Borromean circles". American Mathematical Monthly 98: 340–341. 1308–1312.jstor. Bernt. Molecular Borromean rings are the molecular counterparts of Borromean rings. References: P. Michael H. 167/168 (1997). . 197– 204. 304. Skora. W. E. "The Borromean Rings".. This article gives more general interwoven polygons. Rampichini. 1995). In 2003. This work was published in Science 2004. Discrete Math. Monthly. March 1997). 304. "Interwoven polygonal frames". Brown. Lindström.. page 137. (1992) 376–377. W. 1308–1312. and have been made by John Robinson (sculptor). Beltrami and M.0. April. "Strange Actions of Groups on Spheres". R. "Borromean Circles are Impossible". http://links. (English summary)15th British Combinatorial Conference (Stirling. biologists Chengde Mao and coworkers of New York University succeeded in constructing molecular Borromean rings from DNA (Nature. Chernoff. Science 2004. This article explains why Borromean links cannot be exactly circular. Zetterström. who has also given other forms of this structure. Richard (1987). Hans-Olov (1991). R. Journal of Differential Geometry 25: 75–98. chemist Fraser Stoddart and coworkers at UCLA utilised coordination chemistry to construct molecular Borromean rings in one step from 18 components. American Math.org/sici?sici=00029890%28199104%2998%3A4%3C340%3ABCAI%3E2. J. This article shows how Borromean squares exist. and Robinson.Crystal structure of molecular Borromean rings reported by Stoddart et al..
The emblem of Diane de Poitiers. three interlaced crescents. .
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.