What Is The Celtic Symbol For Mother?

Of all the Celtic Symbols used for motherhood-inspired tattoos, the Celtic Motherhood Knot is arguably one of the most popular and for good reason. It’s beautiful and conveys the everlasting love a mother has for their child.

However, did you know that the Celtic Motherhood Knot is a modern creation and isn’t Celtic of origin? That’s right, the motherhood knot isn’t an ancient Celtic symbol but is a stylized, inspired-by Celtic design type of knot.

However, this should not stop you from considering using one of the many motherhood knot designs there are out there for a tattoo or a piece of jewelry.

Although it may not originate from our ancient Celtic ancestors, it still encapsulates the Celtic culture, and it’s a beautiful design that symbolizes the unbreakable bond between a mother and child.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about the Celtic Mother Knot symbol, where it may have come from, and even some other symbols that represent motherhood.

What Is The Celtic Symbol For Motherhood?

The trinity knot, also known as the Triquetra, is one of the most popular ancient Celtic symbols. It features a three-pointed design that symbolizes the power of three with its continuous knot.

The trinity knot is an ancient symbol that is believed to have inspired the first motherhood knot design.


So, although the Celtic motherhood knot isn’t a symbol created by the ancient celts it has been beautifully inspired by their traditional Celtic knots, such as the trinity knot.

These days there are many variations of the motherhood knot, each one as beautiful as the last. However, most will feature at least two hearts that are interlaced. The simplest depiction is just two unending knots in the shape of hearts that have been weaved together.

The fantastic thing about the Celtic Motherhood symbol being a modern creation is that the variations out there start as simple as you like but if you are looking for something a little bit ornate, we have that too.

Some even seem to depict a mother and child in a loving embrace, surrounded by multiple swirling knots and decorative dots. This very design has become a popular Celtic Motherhood knot tattoo to mark the beginning of one’s motherhood journey.

The addition of extra hearts will often be used to incorporate the arrival of each additional child added to the family.

What Is The Celtic Symbol For Mother And Child?

We know we have said this a lot already, but there are so many blogs and articles you can find online claiming that the Celtic mother’s knot is some sort of ancient Celtic symbol when it is a modern-inspired design. There isn’t any Celtic knot that symbolizes a mother and her child that we know of yet.

That doesn’t mean the Celtic Motherhood knot is any less meaningful. Symbols themselves garner their meaning from us, so if the Celtic mother knot resonates with you, don’t let its inspired connection to Celtic culture stop you from enjoying it.

Even though there is no ancient symbol for a mother and her child, there are many stylized forms of the Celtic Motherhood knot that symbolizes and mother and her daughter or son.

Mother And Daughter / Mother And Son

Although there is no Celtic symbol for a mother and daughter or son, there are many Celtic knot designs inspired by Celtic art used to symbolize the eternal love held between a mother and her child.

Most tend to feature a design inspired by the trinity knot or triquetra. The traditional triquetra knot features an extra addition in the center that looks like a mother is embracing her child’s shoulders.

It can be designed with simplicity in mind with just an unending knot, or it can be more ornate with hearts, swirls, and dots inside and outside of the knot. Many use the addition of hearts and dots to symbolize other family members or new children, especially if they use the Celtic mother’s knot as a tattoo.

This mother-and-child knot symbolizes the eternal bond they share and a mother’s love for her child. Some even use it to inspire tattoos that commemorate children they have lost.

Many people who use this stylized version of the trinity knot will often engrave or tattoo the Irish words ‘Grá Máthair – which means a mother’s love – or Grá Mo Chroí – which means love of my heart – to personalize their Celtic motherhood knot tattoos and give them an even deeper connection to Irish culture and their Celtic heritage.

Motherhood texts

Other Celtic Mother And Child Symbolism

The Celtic Motherhood knot isn’t the only design inspired by Irish culture that you can use to celebrate your journey as a mother. Some are a little less loved but no less beautiful.

Their reduced popularity means they can also be a little more unique, perfect for someone looking to give a thoughtful mother’s day gift or craft tattoos that few others have.

Here are some of the best Celtic symbols that represent Celtic motherhood.

Mothers Claddagh Symbol

You may have heard of the Claddagh ring, the popular Irish ring that features two hands holding a heart and is often given as a gift from a loved one to another but have you heard of the mother’s Claddagh design?

Claddagh Symbol

This variation of the classic Claddagh design is slowly becoming a popular sign symbolizing motherhood.

Another modern creation, the Claddagh mother’s symbol, features the traditional hands and heart design, but it flows upwards into what looks like a mother’s face looking lovingly down at the heart she holds. It symbolizes her loyalty, maternal love, and support as a mother.

It may not have taken off as a popular tattoo design just yet, but you can find it in many Irish jewelers as necklaces, rings, and even bracelets.

Mothers Claddagh Cross

Much like the Mother’s Claddagh sign, the Mother’s Celtic cross also features the same stylized version of the traditional Claddagh but overlays it onto a Christian cross.

It has been designed to not only symbolize the strong bond a mother has with her child and the way she supports and holds them up, but it also represents their connection to their Christian faith.

This beautiful and unique design bridges the gap between a mother and her faith, representing the Madonna and child.

Celtic Mothers Knot Cross

The Celtic Mother’s cross is very similar to the Mother’s Claddagh cross. It features a traditional Cristian cross and the stylized mother. However, instead of the traditional Claddagh hands and heart, the mother design flows into a triquetra design.

Many believe the Triple knot represents the holy trinity, the father, the son, and the holy spirit. So this particular design has an even more beautiful connection to a mother’s Christian faith.

This Celtic motherhood knot design is thought to be more representative of the Madonna and child as they embrace and the whole design seems to have more of a traditional unending design like many of the other most popular Celtic symbols.

This design is beautifully simple and works perfectly engraved on a gift, as a jewelry piece, or as a Celtic Motherhood tattoo.

Celtic Family Knot

Another one of our modern Celtic symbols, the Celtic family knot, is relatively new but shares some design features with both the Claddagh mother designs and the Mother’s Celtic cross.

The top of the design features what looks like a mother’s face and another face just under her chin. This can represent a partner, the other parent of their children or the eldest of their children. Many Celtic family knots will come specifically designed for the number of children or family members you have.

So, keep your eyes peeled for how many stylised faces appear in the Celtic family knot. It is a longer knot than many of the others and, the more family members you want to be represented, the longer it will be.

If you look closely, you can also see a traditional trinity design woven into the unending Celtic knot design.

The Celtic family knot symbolizes the strong bond a family holds, the way they support one another, and how they are always connected.


An ancient language that originated with the Gaulish druids, Ogham was the written language of the early Irish Cells. It’s a unique language that uses one long horizontal line that is then peppered with smaller vertical lines to spell out whatever word was needed.

ogham alphabet
Runologe, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Most examples of ancient Ogham feature random names, and even those examples are fairly few.

Suppose you are looking for something that symbolizes your children or your beginnings as an Irish mother that isn’t a motherhood knot. In that case, there really isn’t anything else as unique and meaningful as the ancient language of Ireland.

Perfect for engraving onto jewelry, Ogham has become more and more popular as a simple and delicate Celtic tattoo idea.

Celtic Love Knot

Another Celtic symbol for motherhood that has ancient origins is the Celtic love knot. This particular Celtic knot can be traced back as far as 2500BCE and symbolizes the love that endures. Often thought of as a knot for lovers, the love knot can also symbolize a mother’s unbreakable love for her children.

Celtic Love Knot
Ian Rosenberg Jeweller, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This design features two interlocking hearts, similar to the modern Celtic Motherhood knot. It is often used as an engraving on jewelry, such as wedding rings or even as a Celtic-inspired tattoo.

Although the original meaning for this Celtic knot isn’t known, it has come to symbolize love in its many forms in recent decades.

Motherhood And Its Ancient Celtic Symbols

Although there is no ancient Celtic symbol for motherhood, many of the more modern designs still provide us with a beautiful connection to our Irish heritage and our maternal love for our family.

If you are looking for a Celtic motherhood knot symbol, be aware that most Celtic knots that represent motherhood will feature a triple knot because that’s where its first inspiration came from.

But, there is no right or wrong choice when it comes to your Celtic motherhood knot. It is just what symbolizes your motherhood and your child to you.

Natasha Peters

I am a British-born copywriter who moved to Ireland over a decade ago and have been captivated by Irish culture, landscape and folklore. I enjoy sharing my passion for Ireland through my writing as a freelancer.

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