The Luckenbooth was so named because it was sold from “locked booths” on the Royal Mile adjacent to St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland in the early 1700s.
Traditionally fashioned into a brooch, the Luckenbooth was exchanged between lovers on betrothal, was pinned on the shawls of newborn babies to protect them from being taken by “evil spirits,” and was known as the witch-brooch by people wearing it as a form of protection for adults and children alike.
The Luckenbooth has been passed down from generation to generation in Scottish families, and has become a treasured heirloom as a symbol of enduring love and protection.
The intertwining hearts or inscribed phrases such as “of earthly joys thou art my choice” are evidence of its purpose, and a surmounting crown is symbolic of Mary Queen of Scots making it one of the most romantic and endearing symbols in Scottish history.
Meaning of the Celtic Knot
All Celtic knots, whether square, triangle or round, symbolize“no beginning, no end... infinity,” the intertwining of this world and the “other” or spiritual world, the continuity of life paths, the mingling of relationships, and the binding together of all.
The history of the Celts is an oral one and the exact meaning of their artwork, including all Celtic knots, is unsure. However scholars believe the round Lugh knot comes from Celtic mythology with Lugh being the Celtic god of Harvest; to this day a festival called Lughnasa is celebrated, in Ireland and in the Celtic Isles, halfway between the Summer solstice and Autumn equinox.
The triangular three-point knot called Triquetra, Triknot or Trinity has meaning for Christians and pagans alike. Early Christians adopted it as a symbol of the three-in-one God or Trinity - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Triquetra is often found in insular art such as illuminated manuscripts such as the Book of Kells. It is also found in similar artwork on Celtic crosses from the early Christian period. Pagans took it as a symbol of division of the world into the realms of Earth, Sea and Sky, and as a symbol of the triple goddesses, for example, Epona and The Morrígan.