Friday, July 11, 2008

The Tree of Life

I'm semi-obsessed with trees and I love the symbolism of the tree of life. I wear a pewter Celtic tree of life pendant frequently (I have it on now). I painted a tree a few weeks ago and need to do another, I want to do a tree of life tree too.

This is just an excerpt from the article linked at the end.  The actual article gives examples from various religions, which I find quite interesting.

"The Tree of Life is an important symbol in nearly every culture. With its branches reaching into the sky, and roots deep in the earth, it dwells in three worlds- a link between heaven, the earth, and the underworld, uniting above and below. It is both a feminine symbol, bearing sustenance, and a masculine, visibly phallic symbol- another union.

In Jewish and Christian mythology, a tree sits at the center of both the Heavenly and Earthly Edens. The Norse cosmic World Ash, Ygdrassil, has its roots in the underworld while its branches support the abode of the Gods. The Egyptian's Holy Sycamore stood on the threshold of life and death, connecting the worlds. To the Mayas, it is Yaxche, whose branches support the heavens.

The tree has other characteristics which lend easily to symbolism. Many trees take on the appearance of death in the winter- losing their leaves, only to sprout new growth with the return of spring. This aspect makes the tree a symbol of resurrection ... .

A tree also bears seeds or fruits, which contain the essence of the tree, and this continuous regeneration is a potent symbol of immortality. ... This aspect of the tree as a giver of gifts and spiritual wisdom is also quite common.
This tree and its gifts of immortality are not easy to discover. It is historically difficult to find, and almost invariably guarded.
The tree as the abode of the Gods is another feature common to many mythologies; in some, the tree itself is a God.
Another form, the inverted Tree, represents spiritual growth, as well as the human nervous system. This tree, with its roots in heaven, and its branches growing downward, is most commonly found in Kabbalistic imagery. A similar tree is mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita ... ."


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  1. I love this posting-- and I love trees. Though I do not particularly care for bats in my trees.

    We names our youngest child after a tree, as that tree symbolizes "peace".

  2. How neat! What is her name? Or his. Oh - you may not want that out on the internet, I understand if so.

    I would NOT like bats in my trees either LOL!!