As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, we know you’re looking for fantastic silver jewelry to honor your heritage and celebrate this Irish holiday—and we want to help! In addition to providing a beautiful array of Celtic and Irish sterling silver jewelry, Peter Stone thought you’d like to know a little bit about the designs and why they’re so important. There’s no denying that the Celtic Snake has been important in Celtic mythology for eons, appearing time and again in ancient carvings and sacred jewelry, but why?
The ancient Celts, precursor to the modern Irish population, were carefully attuned to nature. Their understanding of the natural world around them, and the animals of their environment, was based on observed behavior patterns and life cycles. It’s no surprise then, that the snake (or serpent) came to be recognized as a cunning animal, secretive and sly.
Rebirth and renewal have always been key in the Celtic mythology, and the snake’s practice of shedding its skin places it squarely in the category of animals who have mastered the art of transformation. Honored by the ancient Celts for the periodic “casting off” of one life and the ascension into a new, sleeker form, the snake gained widespread fame as a mystic and magical creature.
The Celts incorporated magical and shamanistic rituals in daily life, and the sight of a snake on a shamanistic journey was highly significant. It was a sign to the journeyman to cast off something in order to prepare for something greater and better.
Serpents were also associated with the embodiment of masculine power. Celtic warriors incorporated the two-headed snake design in the form of an arm torque to partake of this power during battle. The adder was particularly powerful, as it was the only venomous snake in the area, and amulets were made to represent the eggs of the adder, as an additional talisman of power.
The relation between animal and environment was also symbolic. Snakes were seen as guardians of the rivers and seas, and this guardianship morphed and grew in the spiritual Celtic world: Snakes eventually were believed to guard the connection between earth and heaven.
The last aspect of the snake that became symbolically significant to the Celts was the cyclic nature of the serpent. Coiled and poised, the snake represented the cycles of earth, the coiled energy within, and the cyclic progression of birth, death, and rebirth that so informs Celtic art and imagery.
Honor the Serpent
Peter Stone honors the Celtic snake’s place in history and legend, and has created a beautiful and deeply spiritual collection of Celtic snake jewelry in striking sterling silver to help you celebrate this ancient symbol of transformation and guardianship.