Sacred nature - understanding the Tree of Life
Humans are often drawn to nature, especially woodlands and forests. There is something holistic about being in the presence of a tree, and many people say that they feel calm and peaceful just by sitting in the shade of a tree.
The Tree of Life: its roots, its origins
This symbol of the Tree of Life, sometimes called the sacred tree or the tree of knowledge, is of significance in many cultures around the world.
The ancient Egyptians believed that the Tree of Life symbolized the series of events that brought the world into existence. He represented the natural order of things. But other trees were just as important, like the tamari tree, which concealed the tomb of Osiris, and the sycamore, which were seen as a passage connecting the world of the living with the world of the dead.
The Assyrians also placed great importance on the Tree of Life, and this motif was often used in their carvings and engravings. Even so, historians don't really know what the tree's symbolic significance is in Assyrian culture, as there is no textual evidence of it.
The symbolic tree also appears in several of the great religions considered to be major. Buddha is often portrayed as a knowledge winner under a tree, and the tree of immortality featured many times in the Qur'an. In the Christian religion, the Tree of Life represents the perfect stage of humanity (before the fall of Adam and Eve), and in Judaism it is related to divine knowledge.
The Tree of Life is also a central part of Kabbalah, and depicts the powers of the ten Sephirot, the ten stages that led to the creation of the world. The first three Sephirot show the primordial energies of the Universe, then the next Sephirot show evolution (the stage called the Abyss). The highest Sephirot portrays divine energy.
Despite everything, the Tree of Life in Kabbalah is also related to Man, and his inner being.
Understanding the Tree of Life
There are many different meanings given to the Tree of Life. For some, it is a symbol of development and evolution, with the roots growing forward to form the tree, the branches and ultimately an abundance of leaves.
It is also a representation of the connection between the earth and the sky, in other words our mother the Earth, and our father the Sun. It is the recognition of the life that provides for us, and of a spiritual realm that we try to understand better.
The Tree of Life is also a symbol of elemental power, the unity of Earth (where the tree grows), water (which allows it to live), fire (the power of the sun) and l air (in which the tree blooms).
Whatever your beliefs about the Tree of Life, it is above all a symbol that has very strong visual power, which can be found in decoration as well as in fashion. Our Tree of Life hangings are one of our most popular items, probably because people identify with this symbol and appreciate its presence.