If the person you are buying a gift for loves Celtic you are so lucky because there is no end of Celtic theme gifts available. The real question is what will the person you are buying for like. It is not a case of not having enough to pick from but too many items to chose from. You may also need to have an idea of what a Celtic piece means.
Claddaghs symbolize romantic commitment. The Claddagh is a symbol of Love, Friendship and loyalty. The Claddagh Ring belongs to a widespread group of finger rings called Fede or Faith rings which date from Roman times. They are distinguished by having the bezel cut or cast in the form of two clasped hands, symbolizing faith, trust or plighted troth. Fede rings were popular in the Middle Ages throughout Europe.
The Claddagh ring is a particularly distinctive ring; two hands clasp a heart surmounted by a crown. The ring worn on the right hand, crown turned inward tells your heart is yet unoccupied, worn with the crown turned outwards reveals love is being considered. Worn on the left hand the crown turned outward shows all, your heart is truly spoken for.
Runes (Celtic runes) are an alphabetic script used by the peoples of Northern Europe from the first century c.e. until well into the Middle Ages. In addition to their use as a written alphabet, the runes also served as a system of symbols used for magic and divination. From the beginning Runes took on a ritualistic meaning, serving for the casting of lots, for divination, and to evoke higher powers that could influence the lives and fortunes of the people.
Runic symbols have been carved into pieces of hardwood, incised on metal or cut into leather that was then stained with pigment. The most common Runes were smooth flat stones or pebbles with symbols or glyphs painted on one side. The practitioner would keep them in a pouch, shake them and scatter the pebbles on the ground. Those falling with glyphs upward were then interpreted.
Mandalas are ancient magical, symbolic images that represent ideas of the universe and, in so doing, present a physical and visual tool for meditating. Mandalas offer balancing visual elements, symbolizing unity and harmony. The goal of mandalas is to serve as a tool on our spiritual journey as it symbolizes cosmic and psychic order. Celtic symbol mandalas are a tool for coming in contact with our origins, visions, and desires. They are also helpful for touching our divine ancestry.
The meanings of individual mandalas are usually different and unique to each mandala. The meaning of mandala comes from Sanskrit meaning "circle." Even though it may be dominated by squares or triangles, a mandala has a concentric structure. Their intricate compositions are contained within the 'eternal circle’, which is equated with the 'Wheel of Life'.
Celtic Mandalas - with their special content from the art of the ancient Celts - invariably have a dual-dimensional format, relating to the belief that it is possible to travel from the earthly realm into the Otherworld of Celtic legend.
As with all mandalas, Celtic symbol mandalas are useful in facilitating the following:
Steadying the mind
Observing the soul
Communion with Spirit/God
Re-establishing balance (external and internal)
Understanding of ancestral origin
Triple Spiral Threefold
Triple Spiral: Represents the drawing of the three powers of maiden, mother and crone. It is a sign of female power and especially power through transition and growth.
Threefold:The centre of this symbol represents the "hub" signifying unity of the three powers.
Double Spiral:A sign of balance and also representative of the equinoxes.
A Celtic cross combines the cross with a ring surrounding the intersection. It is the characteristic symbol of Celtic Christianity, though it may have older, pre-Christian origins.
In Celtic regions of Ireland and Britain many free-standing upright crosses – or high crosses – were erected, beginning at least as early as the 7th Century. Some of these Celtic crosses bear inscriptions in runes.
Ireland, it is a popular myth that the Celtic cross was introduced to the island by Saint Patrick during his time converting the pagan Irish. It is believed that he combined the symbol of Christianity, a cross, with the symbol of the sun, to give pagan followers an idea of the importance of the cross by linking it with the idea of a pagan sun-god.
Now you have an idea of what the Celtic symbol means, now you have to decide on the type of gift. Celtic can be found in every medium out there. www.medievalmagic.ca has a wonderful selection of unique, one-of-a-kind Celtic gift ideas available.
Jewelry/Jewellery - there are a lot of Celtic designs, and more are being made every day. Most of them are marketed toward woman. The only difference between pieces that are for a man or a woman is the size and how delicate it is. Though some woman prefer the thicker stronger pieces and some men appreciate the delicate pieces. It is all preference.
There is a lot of masculine Celtic Jewellery. Men’s jewellery is part of Celtic history. If you have no idea about Celtic history here are some pieces that are a good start when looking for a gift for a man.
Triple Spiral Threefold
Any strong, thick Celtic Knotwork
If jewellery is not right for the person you are buying for you still have a huge selection available. Books, Music CD’s, Home Accents, Clothing and other accessories are all out there. Just find some thing that the person likes and then find it with a Celtic design or accent.
In books you can find Celtic history, art, designs, stories set in Celtic history, and coffee table books. Home accents, clothing and other accessories can be found with Celtic designs all over the place. However it may be easer to find them in specialty shops online then looking in a mall. This way you can find a lot in one place instead of going from store to store. Again though think of some thing the person would like any way and then look for it with a Celtic design on it. Such as an end table with a Celtic pattern inlay, or wine glasses with a Celtic pattern etched into the glass.
Music is very personal but there are a ton of Celtic musicians out there. There are two that seem to stand out this year. One is Celtic Woman. They even have a Christmas CD as well as DVD’s of live concerts. Here is their web site www.celticwoman.com. The other is Heather Dale. She is a Canadian recording artist with Celtic roots who combines elements from Celtic folk, blues, jazz and world music. She has several CD’s out. Here is her web site http://www.heatherdale.com.
Here are some others that are worth looking into as well: The Dubliners, The Clancy Brothers, The Irish Rovers or Gaelic Storm's, Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Soul Music, Celtic Music Web with Will Millar, Miriam Stockley.
Have a lot of fun finding the right thing. I like coffee mugs with Celtic designs, wall hangings, picture frame with Celtic knot work, Calendar with pictures of Celtic artwork, or illuminations. The list is endless if you just know what to look for.
Written by: Lori-Lee Craig