Q:

What is the Celtic sun and moon?

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Quick Answer

One of the primary Celtic symbols for the Sun was an X or a four-spoked wheel. A primary symbol for the moon showed three adjacent moons in waxing, full and waning phases.

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Full Answer

Early Celtic societies didn't have a written language. Instead, they preserved their most important spiritual beliefs in symbolic form on jewelry, coinage, stones, pottery and weapons. These symbols, often referred to as Celtic artwork, represent concepts rather than words. Much of the symbolism relates to astronomy, particularly what was believed then to be the sun’s orbit around Earth.

According to Celtic calendar traditions, Lugh is the sun god who dies as the nights get longer after the summer solstice. The traditional feast in his honor is Lughnasahd, on the first of August. Lugh was also called “Coch Rhi Ben,” or “Cock Robin,” a leftover from the belief that souls became birds after death.

The triple goddess in Celtic mythology comprises three separate goddesses united: the maiden, mother and the crone, each of which symbolizes a separate stage in the female life cycle. The maiden represents inception, expansion, birth and youth and is pictured as the waxing moon. The mother represents ripeness, fertility, fulfillment and stability. The full moon symbolizes life. The crone represents wisdom, repose, death and endings and is represented by the waxing moon.

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