December 20 – Triquetra
I Peter 1:2
The Triquetra is a design consisting of three equal arcs, and has a long history of use in religious rituals. It has been found on rune stones in Northern Europe and on early Germanic coins, and resembles the three equal and interlocking triangles of the Valknut (Knot of the Slain Warriors) associated with the God Odin of Old Norse mythology. The Triquetra was used in Celtic art, and is associated with the modern Neopagan movement including the Wiccan “Book of Shadows”.
Symbols have great power to communicate, and groups from time immemorial have used one another’s symbols to share their messages with themselves and others. The Swastika, for example, is Sanskrit, used by Hindus and Buddhists in religious ceremonies for thousands of years before being appropriated by the Nazis before World War 2. As we have seen so many times in these Christmas devotions, Christians have also taken symbols and changed their meaning to communicate the awesome power and love of God. The Triquetra is another example of this practice.
The Triquetra is considered to be one of the most beautiful and satisfying of the symbols of the Trinity because of its intricacy. The three equal arcs of the circle denote equality of the three Persons of the Godhead. The lines run continuously and therefore express their eternal existence. They are interwoven which expresses their unity. The center forms an equilateral triangle, which is itself a symbol of the Trinity. Each pair of arcs combines to form a “vesica pices” or fish bladder which is taken to be indicative of glory in many traditions. The Carolingian Cross is a cross made of four Triquetras. So in the Triquetra there is the complex expression of equality, eternity, unity and glory in this essentially simple form.
We have looked at many symbols related to the Triune God this Christmas season because understanding His nature is so important as we live our lives. God is our Father, our Friend, our Comforter, our Healer, our Creator, our Sustainer, our Judge, our Advocate, our Teacher, our Provider, and everything else we need, both now and in eternity. The three persons of the Trinity help us understand and communicate how God truly is everything to us.
During the Advent season, we seem to think that we need so many things, presents, decorations, and treats, in addition to our normal needs, to be truly happy. We must remember, and help each other remember, that if we have a relationship with our Lord, we have everything already.