The Meaning of the Tree of Life
The ‘Tree of Life’ is a mystical tree that is well-known throughout many ancient cultures, stretching all the way back into the distant past to the oldest civilizations in the world. Different religions call it by different names, each with its own mythology. But they all have similar meanings as the source of life…spiritual or literal.
The image is widely thought to represent the Divine Creator, and it is revered as the representation of the interconnectedness of all beings. These interpretations are excellent summaries of the various mythical and religious interpretations the Tree of Life throughout history.
Tree of Life Symbolism in Different Cultures
Ancient Egypt – To the Ancient Egyptians, the Tree of Life represented the hierarchical chain of events that brought everything into existence. The spheres of the Tree of Life demonstrate the order, process, and method of creation. In Egyptian mythology, the first couple (earth and sky). They were said to have emerged from the acacia tree of Iusaaset, which the Egyptians considered the tree of life, referring to it as the “tree in which life and death are enclosed.” Some theorize this is actually a representation of Ayahuasca.
Christianity – The Tree of Life is mentioned in the Bible in the Book of Genesis. It is the tree that grows within the Garden of Eden and is the source of eternal life. There are several meanings behind the Tree of Life symbol in Christianity. Some believe it to be the symbol of humanity free from corruption and sin, while others believe it to represent love. The tree is believed to have healing properties and its fruit grants immortality.
Buddhism – In Buddhism, the Tree of Life is known as the Bhodi-tree and is believed to be the Tree of Enlightenment. It was under this tree that Buddha reached enlightenment so it is seen as a very sacred symbol.
Celtic Beliefs – The Tree of Life is still a prominent symbol in the Celtic beliefs and is depicted in multiple forms. They believe the roots represent the ‘other world’, the trunk represents the mortal world and connects the roots and branches, and the branches represent the world above, or the heavens.
Islam – The Tree of Life is known as the Tree of Immortality in the Quran. It appeared in Eden and is the tree from which Adam and Eve ate after Allah had forbidden them from doing so.
Judaism – In Judaism, The Tree of Life is what sustains and nourishes life. It stands in the center of a fruitful garden planted by Yahweh.