Love of animals is one of our most enduring traits, and it’s one reason why people enjoy wearing jewelry pieces that represent animals such as cats, dogs, birds and other animals. In the past, however, animal images in art and jewelry were used to not only reflect the animal itself but what it represented.
Celtic Animal Art and Zoomorphic Symbolism
Zoomorphic animals have been used in art for thousands of years. They are essentially symbolic images shaped like animals. These often fantastical creatures have been favorite motifs in Celtic artwork and jewelry for centuries. Stephen Walker, Master craftsman and the head of the Walker Metalsmiths clan, has written extensively on the Celtic heritage including his article on “Zoomorphic Symbolism.” Walker Metalsmiths’ Celtic Animal Jewelry Carries on the Tradition This holiday season, Walter Metalsmiths is proud to offer our own line of Celtic animal jewelry pieces that capture the allure of intertwining Celtic patterns combined with zoomorphic animal imagery. Each hand-crafted piece is intricately detailed and can be appreciated purely for its beauty and uniqueness. If you’re looking for animal jewelry based on its zoomorphic meaning, consider these lovely jewelry pieces:
Dog – Dogs symbolize loyalty, love and healing. They are also known for their heightened perception and ability to know the truth. Our Celtic dog pendant is a lovely gift for any canine lover or that special person who has shown you love and loyalty. Dogs also symbolized good health and luck, making them an appropriate gift for anyone who is healing.
Fish – Give our Celtic fish pendant to someone who is wise and learned, as the fish represents wisdom in the zoomorphic tale of the Salmon of Knowledge. As a symbol of knowledge and power, the fish is a lovely gift for anyone on your list this holiday.
Dragonfly – This delicate, winged insect represents both metamorphosis and wisdom, the ideal symbol for someone going through changes in their life or who is drawing on new-found wisdom as they move forward.
Butterfly – The butterfly, or Feilearcan, was believed to be a creature that could pass between the physical world and the magical world that can’t be easily experienced by mortals. It also symbolized rebirth and transformation due to its own startling transformation during its short life.
Bear – The zoomorphic attributes of the bear include fierce loyalty, motherhood and protection of the young, as evidenced by the powerful and loving nature of bears toward their offspring. The term “mama bear” is well known and based in Celtic perceptions of the bear as a protector and fighter.
Cat – Cats have been seen as mysterious, intuitive and resourceful. They were revered for their ability to adapt quickly and remain aloof in trying times. Ancient Celts also symbolized unpredictability. Do you know someone who is resourceful and unpredictable? Give her a Celtic cat pendant this Christmas.
Hare (Bunny) – A symbol of fertility and the representation of the Goddess Eostre, who became a hare on the night of the full moon. In Celtic mythology, it was believed the hare was a link between earth and the underworld. Hares were admired for their speed as well as their supposed magical powers.
Horse – The Celts revered horses as symbols of magic, mystery and spirituality. A white horse in particular was said to represent purity and goodness as well as freedom. Black horses represented the night and the pull of the moon. Our Celtic horse pendant is a lovely gift for anyone who is free-spirited or interested in spirituality.
Bee – The bee has long been a Celtic symbol of industry, brotherhood and empathy as well as humanity and kindness. It also represents secret knowledge and intellect. Celtic bee jewelry is a simple but elegant way to recognize someone’s kindness and industrious personality.
Deer – Celtic tradition imparts the deer with traits such as virility, fertility and strength. Celtic deer images have also indicated spirituality, as female deer were believed to be able to cross to the fairy realm. Deer were also seen as the embodiment of the forest and natural world.
Wolf – Like the dog, the wolf represented loyalty in Celtic zoomorphic symbolism. Ancient Celts also believed the wolf could also commune with Cernunnos, the forest god. The wolf was seen as brave, cunning and resourceful, traits admired in great leaders.
Walker Metalsmiths’ collection of custom engraved, Celtic animal jewelry features designs created by our talented family of designers and metalsmiths to capture the beauty and power of Celtic animal symbolism and the beauty of Celtic knotwork. Perfect for the holidays each piece carries generations of meaning and beauty, making them the perfect choice for everyone on your holiday gift list. The custom designed Celtic animal pendants join our collection of handcrafted Celtic jewelry pieces that include Celtic necklaces, Celtic rings and Claddagh jewelry.
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