What does the Tree of Life represent?
Ever wonder about the significance behind tree of life jewelry and what it means to the people who wear it?
Tree of life symbolism has a long history, crossing many cultures. While it would be overwhelming to explain its significance to each culture, the tree of life has overarching themes and meanings that span across many peoples.
A symbol of connection to all things. The tree has roots that reach deeply into the soil, acknowledging its connection to, and accepting nourishment from, Mother Earth. Leaves and branches extend into the sky, acknowledging Father Sun and accepting the energy that it transforms into nourishment.
The tree of life means that you are not an island, but are deeply connected to the world around you and dependent on it for your ability to grow and thrive.
A symbol of family and connection to your ancestors. A tree symbolizes the generations of your family; a tree sprouts from a seed, grows and branches out, sees how far it can go, and then creates a new fruit that gives life to the next generation, to begin anew.
The tree of life also symbolizes family through its intricate network of branches, showing our the continuity through all generations. We are connected through ever-expanding branches to our parents and grandparents and to our children and our children’s children.
As a symbol of your growth into a beautiful and unique person. When trees are young, they pretty much all look the same. But, as they grow older, they weather storms and are battered by the forces of wind and water.
Their branches may break and grow back in a different direction, or the very soil beneath them will erode away, causing them to grow even stronger roots to hold on.
Over time, they become very unique and beautiful in their eccentricity and idiosyncrasies. They are just as we all wish to become – shaped into fascinating, intriguing individuals who have weathered hardships and broad experiences in life that have made us into who we are.
As a symbol of rebirth. In the fall, trees lose their leaves and enter a death-like hibernation for a few months. But come spring, the tree sprouts tiny buds, bursts forth with dramatic blooms and leaves and is born again.
In this way, the tree of life is a symbol of a fresh start on life, positive energy, good health and a bright future.
As a symbol of immortality. A tree grows old, yet it bears seeds that contain its very essence and in this way, the tree becomes immortal.
As a symbol of growth and strength. A young tree starts out with shallow roots that strengthen and grow deeper over time. Branches start as small buds and stretch upwards, reaching for the sun and sky. Just like this tree, a person grows stronger over time and strives for greater knowledge and new experiences.
Celtic Tree of Life meaning:
Celtic people felt a deep connection to nature, especially towards trees. Trees were not simply inanimate objects to be used for food and shelter, but were also places to gather, with spiritual connections to ancestors, deities and the Celtic Otherworld.
This reverence towards trees grew out of a profound appreciation for what trees provide for people. The Celts felt that, without trees, life would have been much more difficult. Trees provided food, shelter, warmth (through firewood) and a home for many animals and insects.
When Celtic people cleared a piece of land, they would leave one large, single tree in the middle, believing it had special powers to take care of all life on earth. This tree was called the crann bethadh. It was considered so powerful, that the Celts believed that cutting down the sacred tree of an enemy would render them helpless.
In addition to having the power to take care of life on Earth, trees also had connections to the supernatural world, to spirits and ancestors.
The Celtic word for ‘oak’ is ‘daur’, the origin of the modern word ‘door’. Thus, the root of the word actually signifies a doorway to the ‘Otherworld’, the realm of the dead and other powerful spirits.
To this day, one can pass through Irish country and find trees decorated with ribbons. These trees, also known as wishing trees, fairy trees or May bushes, are places where people tie ribbons to ask for blessings from saints, spirits and fairies.
The Celtic tree symbol was a symbol of the nourishing powers of Mother Earth, a connection to ancestors and the spirit world and a representation of the journey of spiritual growth.The Celtic knot Tree of Life has branches that reach into the sky and roots that dig into the earth, all of these join into the endless circle of the knot, symbolizing the interconnectedness of heaven, earth and all living things.