The Celts commonly used animals to represent different attributes such as agility, cunning, strength, speed, or wisdom. Like many cultures, they would adorn the items around them with the creatures that they were trying to invoke.
It was also believed that the ingestion of a creature gave you some of that creatures power. For example, if you see an animal with another animal in it's stomach the first is representing itself as well as a modification from the one within it's stomach. So, a dog with a fish in it could represent a wise warrior.
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