a circle in a pointed cloverleaf
July 26, 2012 2:53 PM   Subscribe

Does this symbol mean anything? It's like a circle superimposed on a cloverleaf symbol (⌘), except that the loops are pointed on the ends.

(This is a necklace pendant that I acquired back in the eighties, about one inch in its largest dimension. Kind of a neat shape, but I might not want to wear it if it symbolizes something I'm not part of.)
posted by Ery to Grab Bag (5 answers total)
To me, it seems to be a variation on the Quarternary Celtic Knot.

Here's some more information.

I don't think you should feel any qualms about wearing such a symbol, even if you don't have a particular afinity to celtic tradition or culture. You certainly would not be the first.
posted by sarastro at 3:22 PM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

Yes, Celtic knot, decorative and does not mean anything that anyone would assume about you if you wear it except that you like Celtic jewelry.
posted by mermayd at 4:50 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you're getting really picky, sometimes people will associate Celtic knots with four segments like that with the cross. However, not only is the cross a pan-cultural symbol that doesn't always have an affiliation with Christianity (a lot like the swastika is a symbol of harmony that has been overshadowed by unfortunate later meanings) but that particular knot on your pendant is very openwork. It's not going to be read as cross-like unless someone has a personal association with a similar shape as a religious symbol in their own lives. Because that pendant is pleasingly simple in texture, to me it's more about the shape of the object than any particular meaning of harmony or eternity. It could be just as ambiguously Asian as it is ambiguously Celtic. Wear it worry-free.
posted by Mizu at 5:26 PM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

Aw, it's my tattoo! I turned the quarternary celtic knot into a little bit more of a turtle for it, because that's what it's always looked like to me. I've also heard it associated with the elements of earth, air, water, and fire - but I'm pretty sure those associations were very recent and possibly just one small group's interpretation. I agree that you can wear it worry-free.
posted by ldthomps at 6:56 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

It looks like a Witch's Knot to me.
posted by ThisKindNepenthe at 11:41 PM on July 26, 2012

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