Symbols are a meaningful and stylish way of representing an idea in the world of art and jewelry. Certain concepts can’t be expressed as deeply with words, and symbols transcend a message on their own. If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is a symbol worth? Well, that depends on the meaning behind it. Symbols evoke a metaphor or signify something that often can’t be articulated.
One popular symbol that’s been around for ages is the Tree of Life Symbol. This symbol has a rich and long history spanning cultures and centuries. It is diversely incorporated as a popular motif in jewelry pieces. Let’s explore the roots of this complex and cherished symbol, and get to the heart of the tree of life meaning.
Tree Of Life Design
The tree of life design is a large tree with roots and branches enclosed in a circle. The roots of the tree almost mirror the spreading branches, providing balance and symmetry. Throughout the ages, interpretations of the tree of life symbol have sprouted, however the fundamental elements remain: a flourishing tree with strong roots contained inside of a circle.
Meaning of the Tree Of Life Symbol
There are multiple interpretations of the tree of life symbol, most popularly it represents connection and unity. However, the evolution and depth of this design is multi-layered. Let’s excavate the rich layers and meanings of the Tree of Life symbol.
Connection: Circles represent connectivity and inclusion. The roots of the tree reach deep into the earth while the abundant leaves flesh out and upward. The tree poses as the linchpin, connecting the earth and sky is symbolic of how we are all connected by the circle of life.
Strength: If we explore nature for the perfect symbol of strength, we think of the unwavering quality of a tree. Trees are deeply rooted pillars of strength, often surviving storms and natural disasters. It takes profound strength to uproot a tree, which is why this symbol represents strength and stability.
Growth: Trees grow slowly over the course of hundreds of years. From a tiny seed to sapling to fully mature, trees are in continuous cycle of growth. As humans, we never stop growing but constantly absorb new information and knowledge.
Uniqueness: The word “tree” encompasses a vibrant, diverse spectrum of different species, each one unique and different from the other. Even trees of the same species harbor individuality in their own characteristics. As such, the tree of life symbol represents individuality.
Rebirth: With each new season, the trees shift and change. In spring, they flourish with leaves and come fall, they’re barren skeletons. However, trees are resilient and full of life. They grow and adapt with each season, each bringing a new opportunity to change. As humans, we endure the seasons of our lives, just like trees. To turn a new leaf is to have a rebirth
Family: Trees represent a connection, so it’s no surprise that we use a family tree to connect our heritage and ancestry. With each new branch representing a new life. The circle represents a continuation of ancestry, a cycle of birth and life. Furthermore, trees represent fertility and the perpetual bloodline.
- Tranquility: Nature is a tranquil haven. Ever pack a picnic and enjoy it under the shade of a large tree? Trees provide shelter, peace and tranquility and evoke a feeling of calm and serenity.
History of the Tree Of Life Symbol
The tree of life symbol is ancient and tracing its roots an exciting and diverse adventure. In fact, this iconic symbol is almost as old as humans. No wonder it’s found welcome arms in cultures worldwide. The tree of life symbol has been represented in Christianity, Ancient Egypt, as well as Buddhist, African, Turkish and Celtic cultures. Though these systems of culture and theology reflect multicultural ideals, there are unifying strains. Namely, the tree of life commonly symbolizes a connection to the afterlife, ancestral roots and divinity.
Christian references: In the Bible, the garden of Eden had a tree forbidden to Adam and Eve. Which famous tree could it be? None other than the tree of eternal life. The tree of life 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.
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 climates, 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.
As you can see, the meaning of the tree of life isn’t linear. The various meanings of this sacred motif are unique to each culture, but universally sacred.
The Tree of Life Symbol in Jewelry
The tree of life symbol is revered throughout the world, making it a popular feature in jewelry. Artisans and designers implement the classic symbol into their pieces, and even add their own unique interpretation. From traditional to modern, abstract, embellished or simple, there’s no shortage of Tree of Life jewelry. You can even personalize your piece with a birthstone.
Often, jewelers will put stones in the pieces as the tree’s branches. Tree of life jewelry comes in many forms and materials. Popular styles include pendants, earrings, rings, necklaces and charms.
The tree of life is rooted in spirituality, however it’s branches reach beyond one singular concept. It is an everlasting depiction of vitality and strength, unity and connection, and one beautiful thing we can all relate to: life.