The An Teor design has the look of an ancient symbol, perhaps something about alchemy or magic. In fact its origin is neither ancient nor occult.
In 1996 Dave Burns approached his friend Stephen Walker about making a special piece of jewelry. Burns and Walker are both graduates of Andover Central School and both learned about Celtic design from the art teacher there, William MacCrea.
Dave's concept was to combine a heart for "love", the cross for "Christ" and the triquetra knot as a symbol for the "trinity of Christian marriage", man and woman as joined by God. Dave wanted this piece of jewelry for an engagement gift for his fiancé Billie, to express their love for each other and their faith.
Steve rearranged Dave's sketch into a more graceful composition and the result is the present An Teor design. The design was named at the suggestion of MacCrea. An Teor means "The Three" and is used in old Gaelic prayers.
The An Teor design combines the three most popular symbols in modern Celtic jewelry, the heart, the cross and the triquetra or "Trinity knot". As with other Celtic symbols the meaning is flexible and it is not necessarily just a wedding related symbol. It can just as easily be seen as an emblem of the Holy Trinity or as a reminder of God's love given through Christ's sacrifice.
Because of the ancient look of this design and the traditional reference of the name, it is sometimes mistaken that the design must fall in the public domain and that anyone can copy it. The An Teor design is a copyright property of Stephen Walker and Walker Metalsmiths of Andover, NY. All rights reserved. Personal use of the design for wedding invitations, tattoos, embroidery etc. is allowed only with written permission. Please ask before assuming you can use this or any other Walker Metalsmiths designs, as there are some simple conditions and limitations. Legal steps are being taken to protect the copyright against unauthorized commercial copies.
From Carmina Gadelica
Hymns and Incantations
Collected in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland in the 19th Century
Translated by Alexander Carmichael
In the name of Father,
In the name of Son,
In the name of Spirit,
Three in One.
Father cherish me,
Son cherish me,
Spirit cherish me,
God make me holy,
Christ make me holy,
Spirit make me holy,
Three all holy.
Three aid my hope,
Three aid my love,
Three aid mine eye,
And my knee from stumbling,
My knee from stumbling.
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