Irish High Crosses

The symbolic structure of the fully developed wheel-head Celtic Cross can be seen as representative of the axis mundi or cosmic axis. According to Welsh bardic traditions recorded in the middle ages, and taught by contemporary druidism, the cosmos is conceived as having several 'circles' or levels, which can be visualized as if they were stacked one on top of the other along an axis. Like Irminsul, this axis is the subtle link between the underworld below, through the middle earth on which we live, to the heavenly upperworld above. At birth, death and under some other special conditions during life, spirits migrate between these worlds. The Celtic Cross is conceived in terms of the bardic cosmic axis, which in contemporary psychological terms sees the base of the cross symbolizing the unconscious, the shaft the ascending consciousness, and the top transcendence.

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