Size: 6.75" x 4" x 0.75"
Material: Metal-Filled Polymer
||Name: GALLEN PRIORY CROSS
Time: c. AD 950
Location: Celtic Culture, County Offally, Ireland
The Celts were ancient inhabitants of much of Europe. Their distinctive mythology and symbolism eventually merged with early Christian beliefs. Celtic crosses first began to appear during the 5th century. This cross is reproduced from a 10th century carving at Gallen Priory. The cross incorporates the original Celtic sunwheel - a cross surrounded by a circle with the center spiral representing both the sun and life source. Four mock suns appear at the four quarters around a central figure. These have been variously interpreted as Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel; man and woman, good and evil, reason and imagination, opposites provoking choices in life. The pillar of the cross is a phallic or fertility symbol. The cross represents eternal life - its horizontal axis being the earthly world and the vertical axis representing the heavenly world, both meeting in a union in the center. The whole figure may symbolize the dilemma of man - standing on reason while wrestling with the unconscious and unknowable.