A triquetra has several meanings that come from different cultures. However, they all represent the number three. Triquetra tattoos can refer to the Christian Trinity, the Triple Goddess, and other threesomes.
In this article, we’ll explore the symbolism of a triquetra tattoo.
What is a Triquetra?
A triquetra is an ancient symbol that consists of three interconnected and overlapping arcs. There is no beginning and no end in the image. The name triquetra comes from the Latin word triquetrus, which means three-cornered.
The origins of the Triquetra are unclear. The image has been used at various times by different groups, including Norse Vikings, Celtic, Pagan, and Christian cultures.
The symbol was used on coins, stone monuments, churches, and various other places.
The vast majority of triquetra tattoos are done in black and gray and are small to medium in size. Common locations for these tattoos are the forearm, shoulder, back of the neck, and upper back.
Most triquetra tattoos do not incorporate other images. However, they differ in design. Some triquetra images feature thin, simple lines, while others are thick and heavily shaded. Women and men enjoy having triquetra tattoos.
Past, Present, and Future
One interpretation of the triquetra is that it represents the past, present, and future. Each arc symbolizes one of these time periods. The triquetra shows how everything is interconnected and how the actions of the past and present impact the future.
A person may choose to get a triquetra tattoo as a way of connecting with their heritage. Selecting this image can show a person’s desire to learn from the wisdom of their ancestors, to make the most of the current time, and to leave the world a better place for the future.
Another meaning of the triquetra tattoo is three people in a family. Traditionally, this meant mother, father, and child, however, it can refer to any three individuals. The triquetra could represent three siblings, for example.
The choice to get a triquetra tattoo may stem from a person’s love of family. A mother may opt for this image to represent her three children. Or a father might choose it to represent himself, his partner, and their child.
Plenty of people get tattoos to represent their family and its importance in their life. The triquetra is just another way to symbolize that they value their family.
Life, Death, and Rebirth
The three arcs in the triquetra are also symbolic of the circle of life. One arc represents life, one symbolizes death, and another signifies rebirth. Since there is no beginning or end to the lines in the image, it shows that it is a cycle and not a linear process.
People who believe in reincarnation would be more likely to get a tattoo on the basis of this interpretation. Those who practice Buddhism, Jainism, or Sikhism, for example, may choose this tattoo to illustrate their beliefs.
A person might pick this tattoo because it brings comfort to them in terms of loved ones who have passed on. The idea that these cherished family members or friends will be reborn again can be a soothing thought for some.
Earth, Water, and Air
For some people, the triquetra represents the trinity of earth, water, and air–or land, sea, and sky. These are three of the major elements of our world. The image can represent a connection to nature or the environment.
The symbolism of earth, air, and water can also have a spiritual component. Earth symbolizes being grounded and connected to your roots. Air is representative of the breath or life force within. Water represents both reflection and a release of emotion.
A triquetra tattoo is a good choice for a person who identifies with all three aspects of their being–mind, body, and spirit. The overlapping of the three arcs demonstrates how each component has an impact on the other two.
Another way of looking at the triquetra is the Pagan idea of the triple goddess. The three elements are the maiden, mother, and crone. The maiden represents innocence, the mother symbolizes maturity and fertility, and the crone represents wisdom.
This is sometimes referred to as the triple moon goddess and references the three stages of the moon: waxing, full, and waning.
A triquetra tattoo can signify a woman’s three stages of life. A person may get this tattoo because she sees value in all three components of her life: as a young girl, as a grown woman, and as an elder.
Someone who practices Pagan or Wiccan religion would be more likely to get a triquetra tattoo with this meaning behind it.
In ancient times, some people believed that the triquetra was a symbol of protection. Since the image is of one unending line, it was said to be unbreakable. The idea of this symbol being associated with protection may have started in the Celtic culture around 500 BCE.
People have used images for protective reasons since ancient times. Different images were used on entrances to homes or villages to fend off evil spirits or danger. The triquetra is just one example of a protective image that someone may choose for a tattoo today.
A person might get a triquetra tattoo if they are looking for something that will provide them with protection in their life. This could be protection from a particular person who has caused them harm in the past or protection against illness or injury.
In the Christian religion, the triquetra can be viewed as a symbol of the Holy Trinity. In this religion, God is said to exist in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
A person may choose to get a tattoo of the triquetra to demonstrate their Christian faith. It can be a symbol of their devotion and commitment to their religion. Someone who has been struggling lately and is looking for a way to increase their hope and comfort might opt to get this tattoo.