Have you been searching for the tree of life meaning? What is the Tree of Life? We’re going to talk about several accounts of this widespread mytheme because the Tree of Life is one of the most persistent icons in culture and folklore. It would be fascinating to recount how various versions of the story run parallel to each other.
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The Celtic Tree of Life
The Celtic people have always had a deep connection with the Earth and nature itself. They viewed nature not as just a source of resources, but as a part of life, and a means of reconnecting with deities and ancestors. Nature was more than just rivers, trees, and animals that can be hunted. It was much bigger than that, and this is resplendent in the story of the Celtic tree of life.
The Celtic people had a deep and profound relationship with nature and trees, specifically, because they believed that life would be so much harder without trees. Trees provided everything from materials for housing to firewood.
When they cleared land for agriculture and other purposes, they would often leave one tree in the location. This tree would represent the ancient Tree of Life, the one that took care of Earth. The Celtic people also believed the Tree of Life had special powers that nurtured and rendered life possible.
This applies to all forms of life, not just human life. In times of war, they believed that sacred trees also had a bearing on whether or not a warring group will succeed, and therefore, if you cut down the sacred tree of another tribe, that tribe will lose and will eventually lose their capacity to prosper. If there ever were a holy icon before Christianity, it would be the Tree of Life.
While the deep reverence for trees has transformed in more modern times, you will still see ribbons tied to individual trees when you travel through the Irish country. These ribbons signify that the marked trees are “wishing trees” or “fairy trees.”
People mark these trees with ribbons because they wish for their wishes, prayers, and supplications to come true. The logic is a lot like throwing a coin down a wishing well, to commune with the spirits and the world beyond ours.
The Tree of Life in Christianity and Jewish Religion
The Tree of Life is omnipresent in the Bible. In Genesis, it was represented by the Tree of Wisdom, where Eve got the forbidden fruit.
In the Book of Revelation, it is said that the Christian Tree of Life is currently located in heaven or Paradise. After the final judgment, where all life on Earth will be placed in a final test, it is stated in the Bible that the Tree of Life will be transplanted to the New Earth.
The New Earth will be the purest incarnation of life on Earth, where it is believed that all sins are finally cleansed, and God has rendered absolute judgment.
Based on the lore of Christianity, it appears that the Tree of Life was the source of life on Earth. It acted as a central point. Adam and Eve were ejected from Paradise because they defied God. The original sin expelled them from the state of grace that God wanted all people to be in.
What about Judaism?
The Jewish people, too, had their knowledge of the Tree of Life. According to Jewish texts, Adam and Even partook of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, which taught people the difference between good and evil. T
o prevent this from happening again, God placed two angels with fiery swords to protect the tree at all costs. It should be remembered that Judaism and Christianity share many common beliefs and religious texts, too.
The Tree of Life is also depicted as a system of different nodes that formed the Kabbalah. The Kabbalah is the center point of Judaic mystical tradition. It has a total of ten nodes with twenty-two different lines connecting the various nodes of the Tree of Life.
The nodes represent mythologies and mystic traditions, including lore about angels and other spiritual entities. The Judaic representation of the Tree of Life is similar to what the Celtic people believed; only this time, there was an actual diagram and a lot more documentation about what the Jews believed in. It is said that the Kabbalah’s content can be traced back to the ninth century, to the Assyrians.
The Tree of Life in Ancient History
In ancient Mesoamerica, there exists a concept of the Tree of Life that is so expansive that you think a most excellent fantasy writer crafted it. It is said in this tradition that the Tree of Life was the axis Mundi of the world, and it went in four directions.
The Tree of Life connected the Earth with the underworld and the world of the sky. All three worlds are interconnected and are functioning in balance, with the Tree of Life at the center of it all.
Tree of Life: Biology
Science also believes in a “tree of life,” but differently. Charles Darwin believed that we originated from primary species that roamed the planet millions of years ago. However, his theory was mainly based on empirical observations only, and conscientious recording. Darwin did not have access to genomic sequencing of animal and bacterial DNA. More recent discoveries have rocked the theory of the “tree of life” even more because a third, previously unknown kingdom is now being studied more thoroughly.
Before, it was believed that there were bacteria and everything else separated from bacteria. The new kingdom called archaea. Many members of this newly formed kingdom of life are extremophiles that lived in the most inhospitable environments known to man. It is believed that they were not specifically bacteria, but rather, were life forms that had structures similar to plants and animals we know now.
FURTHER READING: There are even Pokemon and Disney version of Tree of Life