There is no other symbol in the world that reflects and reminds us of the cycle of complete existence than the Tree of Life. This ancient symbol of wholeness is also referred to as the World Tree or the Tree of Knowledge and appears in several religions/cultures around the world, making it iconic for which it stands. Although the meanings can vary across these systems of culture and theology, there is a common theme shared by all. It is the idea that the Tree of Life connects to the physical and spiritual worlds and is foundational to supporting all life, commonly symbolizing afterlife, ancestral roots, and divinity. HISTORIC REFERENCES TO THE TREE OF LIFE Christian references: In the Bible the tree of eternal life is referenced in the first book of Adam and Eve. In the Christian theology, the tree also represents wisdom and the love of God. Celtic Culture: Celts cherish trees for their spiritual connections to family, ancestors, and deities. The tree of life represents the afterlife, and connection between the earth and heaven. The bond and affection to trees is so deep that Celts believed the actual trees were their ancestors, gatekeepers to the Celtic Otherworld. As such, the tree of life in Celtic Culture is sacred. In the Irish language, it is known as ‘Crann Bethadh’. Ancient Egypt: In Ancient Egypt, the tree of life’s branches represented the heavens and symbolized abundance. Alternatively, the roots reaching into the earth represented death. African Culture: There is a tree called the Baobab tree, which is generally regarded as the tree of life. The Baobab tree produces fruit despite the dry climate; therefore, it is treated with reverence and high esteem as a provider of life and nourishment. Buddhism: Buddha reached enlightenment under the sacred Bodhi tree. In Buddhist culture the tree of life is symbolic of enlightenment and existence. Quran: Referred to as Tree of Immortality, representing the act of repenting and learning from one’s mistakes. Jewish Mysticism: Kabbalah is an ancient form of Jewish mysticism and followers believe that we all have a direct union with God, or the source of creation. The Kabbalah Tree of Life is more of a symbol or diagram than an actual tree. It represents the connection between human beings and God, angels, and celestial bodies. It also depicts a plan or map that shows people how they can gain universal wisdom and become closer to enlightenment and God. We see this also in sacred geometry. The geometric patterns that repeat in nature are evidence of intelligent design or a divine power which created the Earth, the Universe, and all life. Through the symbol of The Tree of Life we can remember to connect with our roots, divinity, and our humanity in all faiths, religions, and cultures. Jennifer Circosta is our AFSI Blogger, Public Relations Assistant and Emotional Wellness Coach. She is the Owner of GENTLE TOUCH HEALING 💜 Healing through Compassion. She can be reached at: www.jennifersmusing.com.
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