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The Triquetra

So what´s the real story behind this symbol? We´ll answer that to the best of our ability and if we leave something out, be sure to write. We aim for accuracy at the Museum of Talking Boards. Here are the two current viewpoints (aside from the television version) of what the Triquetra symbolizes:

Christian Symbolism:
The Triquetra represents the Holy Trinity: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The unbroken circle represents eternity. The interwoven nature of the symbol denotes the indivisibility and equality of the Holy Trinity. It symbolizes that the Holy Spirit is three beings of power, honor, and glory but is indivisibly one God.

Pagan/Wiccan/Goddess Symbolism:
The Triquetra represents the threefold nature of the Goddess as virgin, mother and crone.
It symbolizes life, death, and rebirth and the three forces of nature: earth, air, and water. The inner three circles represent the female element and fertility.

Many cultures and religions consider the number three to be holy or divine. The symbol of three interlocking circles, has been found on 5000 year old Indian religious statuary. We see lots and lots of threes if we just look around. The Triquetra symbol itself dates as early as the eighth century on carved stones in northern Europe. A Norse rune known as the Odin Knot or Val Knot resembles it almost exactly. But who had it first, the pagans or the Christians? To know for sure, we would have to find a Triquetra that positively pre-dates Christianity. Since this hasn´t happened yet, we´re in a bit of a pickle. Maybe it originated with the pagans or maybe with the Christians. Maybe it´s one of those universal signs like the cross and the triangle that pop up in cultures irrespective of one another. The pagans have a few points in their favor, however. We can speculate knowing what we do of similar signs. The early Christians freely ´appropriated´ many pagan symbols, rituals, and holidays and took them as their own. The Mandorla, the Christians´ sacred almond, was originally a pagan feminine symbol signifying fertility. The Christians changed it to one representing virginity and purity. It is pictured in early Christian art as the almond-shaped halo of Christ. So it´s quite probable that the early Christians adopted the Triquetra, an interlocking triple Mandorla, also. In the final analysis, maybe the origin isn´t nearly as important as its meaning to the group, or the individual. So whether you´re pagan, Christian, or simply a fan of the television show ´Charmed,´ you may believe what you want to believe. So can we. We believe that it would make a mighty fine planchette.



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