Animals in Celtic Designs

The flight of birds is considered a bridge between the worlds (this world, earth, and water). Birds are also viewed as symbols of message bearers.

The bull symbolizes strong will.

Common Tiger Butterfly on Yellow Flower in Phuket Thailand
The butterfly spans many cultures as a symbol of transformation, inspiration, and rebirth.

The cat represents the guardian of the otherworld.

The dog symbolizes loyalty and the strong bond of companionship felt between human and animal. Also to be considered good luck, the symbol of the dog was commonly found in Celtic art and decor.

The dolphin became a symbol of frienship, good luck, and intelligence. The appearance of the dolphins off the coast of Ireland urged the Celts to contemplate the sea, which was an unknown universe.

The dragon is a guardian of treasures. The Celtic dragon is also traditionally associated with military matters. It stands for armed forces and sometimes even becomes a hero.

The Celtic symbolism of the goose deals witho ur own migratory and transitory nature. The goose is also a strong symbol of hearth and home, returning to the same place each spring, so the symbol was displaced to encourage the safe return of the Celtic warrior.

Griffins (Part eagle and part lion) are the guardians and protectors of life. They remain loyal to their protection in the afterlife.

The salmon are associated with wisdom and prophesy.

Snakes are seen in Celtic symbolism as a multifaceted symbol that represents fertility, creation, and healing.

If you want me to go into more detail about any of these animals, or any animals not included, please comment!


Irish Stoat

The stoat is one of the fiercest predators and is active by day and by night; it relentlessly tracks its prey by scent, and apparently it licks the blood off its prey’s fur leading to the old wives tale that it sucks blood. The victim is killed by pouncing on it and biting deeply into the back of the neck near the base of the skull. It was virtually driven to extinction in the 1950s when myxomatosis was introduced, as rabbits are its main source of prey. It was only the fact that stoats eat many other types of prey, even insects, that it was able to survive. A stoat’s hunting ground is usually about 50 acres although it can be more if prey is scarce. Its den is a rock crevice or a disused rabbit burrow and it normally lives alone. In winter, the coat of the stoat turns white all except for the tip of its tail which is black. In Northern Scotland, the change is complete. However, in England and Ireland, the fur remains creamy with white under parts. Stoats don’t like to be out in the open and so tend to hunt along ditches, hedgerows, and walls or through meadows and marshes. They search each likely area systematically, often running in a zigzag pattern. Although protected in Eire, they are not protected in the rest of the United Kingdom. They eyes of the young or kittens do not open until they are about a month old and they are covered in fine white fur with it being thicker at the scruff of the neck so that the mother can carry them without her teeth penetrating the skin.