I have always resonated with the “Tree of Life” symbol and its many meanings and themes across faith traditions and cultures. When I wear one of its depictions on a necklace pendant, I often find people will comment and ask me about it.
Motifs of Tree of Life symbols have been found worldwide dating as far back as 7,000 BC. The Tree of Life holds sacred meanings in the Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Egyptian and Celtic faith traditions.
It often symbolizes a source of life and wisdom, in both the physical and supernatural worlds. The tree itself represents a conduit or channel, connecting the earthly, material, or physical world of humans to the heavenly, or supernatural realm of a Divine Creator or Life-Giving Source.
In the Kabbalah teachings of Judaism, the tree of life is a symbol of creation, and God’s nourishment and compassionate assistance to humanity.
In Christianity, the Tree of Life grows in the garden of Eden beside the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and is thought to have healing properties and the ability to create a great connection to God. It is also seen as a path to pure love and immortality.
In Hindu mythology the Tree of Life is known as the “Akshaya Vata” or the “Immortal Tree” and often refers to the Banyan tree. It is thought that the Banyan tree never dies and is associated with many Hindu gods. It represents one’s spiritual aspirations and detachment from materialism.
In Buddhism, the Tree of Life is often seen as the Bodhi tree, believed to be the tree under which Siddhartha Gautam sat before attaining enlightenment. Because of this, the Bodhi tree is often considered a symbol of enlightenment and life.
In the Celtic culture, trees were places to gather and respect spiritual connections to ancestors and deities. Trees had powers to care for life on Earth, but also acted as a doorway to the spiritual world. The Celtic Tree of Life design is made of an endless knot, symbolizing the interconnectedness with all living things and the ties to ancestors and the spirit world. It is a symbol for spiritual growth, wisdom, healing, and protection.
The ancient Egyptians believed that the tree symbolized the opposing concepts of death and life. The branches represented the heavens, the tree represented the center of the universe, and the roots symbolized the underworld. Together, the Tree of Life was a representation of life, death, and the rebirth in the afterlife.
You may want to wear a Tree of Life motif to show your agreement with the many universal concepts of the sacred and spiritual. Or you may enjoy wearing a Tree of Life symbol because it speaks to qualities you wish to affirm, such as:
Your connection to everything around you – Just as the tree is connected to the soil, air, sun, and everything around it.
Your grounded nature – just as the tree is grounded or rooted in sustaining soil.
Your ancestral family and future generational continuity – just as the tree has a cyclical prior growth history, and also stretches outward into a future which bears new fruit and growth.
Your individual expansion, growth, strength, and uniqueness – all qualities exemplified by trees.
Your immortality – just as a tree experiences the cycles of death and regrowth/rebirth of leaves and the propagation of new saplings from its seeds.
Your sense of Peace and Protection – just as the Tree of Life provides a tall, strong shelter and evokes a sense of calm serenity in its observers.
In any case, feel free to explore what the “Tree of Life” can express for you.