The Tree of Life motif is one of my most popular designs. But what IS it – and what does it represent?
Over the millennia there have been many representations, interpretations, and symbols regarding the Tree of Life. When doing an Internet search you are likely to encounter many different representations – each of which have similar, yet different meanings.
From the Ancient Druids and Celtic symbology and meanings to Ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Phoenicians, and Meso-American peoples, trees have held mystical, sometimes powerful meanings in their cultures. Many religions also attribute various meanings and mystical powers to trees. Some specify the type of tree, others embrace all trees, and still others revere only trees of a great age, size or configuration.
Modern day interpretations of many of the symbols representing various cultures or religions are as varied as the leaves of the trees they are supposed to symbolize. Ask anyone what The Tree of Life means to them and it is rare that the same answer will be given twice.
Combining other symbols with the Tree of Life, to some, clarifies or enhances, what the Tree means to some people. Popular artwork depicts the Chinese Yin/Yang symbol with a tree, its roots in the dark half and it branches in the light half, representing the balance of all things. Another popular design combines the tree and Family, with the trunk representing the parents, the main branches their children, and smaller branches grandchildren, and so on.
When I started creating the Tree of Life motif over cabochons, I thought about what it meant to me, as a Christian. Referring to the book of Genesis and the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, there were two trees of major importance in the Garden. The Tree of Life and The Tree of Knowledge were placed in the care of Adam and Eve. The only restriction placed on them was they not eat of The Tree of Knowledge.
Eve was tempted by the Serpent (Satan) to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. She then tempted Adam to eat of the fruit. The knowledge of Good and Evil was then imparted to them and they realized their own failings and shortcomings. God banished them from the Garden of Eden and removed their access to The Tree of Life so they would not live forever with the horrors of the knowledge they had gained. In His mercy he promised that Eternal Life (The Tree of Life) would again be granted when they joined Him in Heaven.
The Old Testament tells of many times that God attempted to bring His Children to Him in their hearts so they might gain The Tree of Life in Heaven and be with Him. Science is now proving many of these ‘stories’ to have basis in Truth. For example: The Great Flood in Noah’s time has been proven as scientific fact.
Throughout the Old Testament, God promised a Messiah that would come to redeem His Children so they could attain Heaven. In Christianity, that Messiah is Jesus Christ, the Son of God in human form.
In the New Testament, Christ tells his followers that the only way to gain Heaven and Eternal Life in the presence of God is through acceptance of Him as the Son of God. Eternal Life is represented, in this concept, as the Tree of Life from the Garden of Eden.
The symbol of the Cross has, like the Tree of Life, been around for millennia. It has represented many things to many cultures and religions throughout the ages. When Christ was crucified on the Cross by the Romans and rose again, it became a symbol of salvation, resurrection, and Eternal Life and promised by God. Representing a remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice for the sins of all who accept Him as the Son of God, the Cross today is a universal symbol of Christianity.
The Tree of Life pendants I create symbolize all the concepts of Biblical meanings. The Tree of Life represents the Eternal Life God promised. The stone it is wrapped on represents the stone that was rolled away at Christ’s Resurrection on the 3rd day after His crucifixion. The Cross, placed below the stone and Tree of Life represents that the only way to attain Eternal Life (The Tree of Life) is through Christ and acceptance of Him and His sacrifice.
You might say the roots of the Tree of Life grow from Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, embrace the Resurrection and embody God’s Promise of Eternal Life with Him in Heaven.
Another of God’s promises in the Old Testament is He provided everything in the Earth that would be needed for the health and well being of His Children. That includes the plants, animals, stones, earth, water and the air that we breathe. He arranged the Heavens in their order. He connected All Things to Him. He determines the date, time and place every child is to be born. Following this precept, the stones associated with a person at the time of their birth (Natal Stones), were also predetermined by God.
For more information on Natal Stones, see my blog post “What are Natal Stones and Why Should You Wear Them?”. See some of my Natal Stone Tree of Life Necklaces and other Natal Stone jewelry on my Natal Stone Jewelry and Gallery pages.
I hope you enjoyed this explanation of The Tree of Life and the concept and symbology behind my Tree of Life pendants. Leave a comment through my Contact page.
Have a Blessed Day!!! – Myra