The Celtic Tree of Life
In primeval times, when legendary Celts ruled the world, dense forests covered entire Northern Europe: the splendid Caledonian Forest of Scotland, Ireland’s Oakwoods, Anderida’s relict plants in Southern England... In this setting, it was not surprising that the woodlands were viewed as the medium of daily bread for ancient Celtic society. This comprised food, healthcare, construction materials, fuel for sacred fires, traditions, including sanctity. The Celtic Tree of Life undoubtedly plays a key role in Irish heritage. It is among the most prevalent Celtic images. The magic sapling with its representation is existent in most forms of faith and antiquity. Let’s examine the tree of life, its significance, and imagery relative to the original Celts along with Druids in our post. We will explore the way other earliest nations and beliefs viewed the mystic character.
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Current Time Usage of the SymbolIn the current day, we can spot the beautiful Tree figure on many things; it gives an amazing look to tapestries; the image makes a striking design for several types of jewelry. It is now a trendy tattoo print. However, for the early Celts with other old nations, the magic plant was a noteworthy role.
As logged, greenery was an indispensable part of Celtic beliefs, as in the nation’s domain, ‘Crann Bethadh’, which in Irish denotes Life Tree, reflected the way the powers of Mother Nature united to originate concord and stability.
Origin and Past of the Celtic TreeThe emerging of the divine Tree precedes the Celts, for this symbol is an influential figure in early Egyptian folklore. Now we can discover plentiful drawings related to this representation, yet the Celtic pictures date back to 2000 BC. The plant images from the Bronze Age period have been detected in current days in the North of England. This likewise antedates the origin of Celts by over 1,000 years.
It seems like the Celtic society took on their depiction of the Tree of Life following the nation named Norsemen. They assumed that it began its existence on our planet in the form of the global ashplant, called Yggdrasil. In Norwegian convention, the legendary Tree headed to 9 diverse realms, covering the Fire Land, the Globe of the deceased - Hel, comprising the land of Aesir - Asgard. Numeral 9 was considered a key digit in Celtic & Norse societies.
Life Tree of Celtic basis varies from its Scandinavian equivalent by its design - a folded plant with brushwood beside it forms a sphere of sapling’s roots. Presuming you observe, you can spot the scheme, a seedling comprising a circle.
The focal principle of the Celtic Tree is the notion - the life cycle on Earth is interrelated. The woodlands form a big number of separate trees; their branches are interconnected and unite inner life power to arrange shelter for a variety of fauna with flora species.
In inherent Celtic folktales, the Tree of Life symbol represents several items:
- The ancient Life Tree signified insight, supremacy, and prolonged life.
- The Celts supposed that people originated from plants. Their civilization considered vegetation not simply as living beings, they added supernatural abilities to them. They supposed that Vegetation involved the caretakers of the planet, on top of it, functioned as a gate to the mystical sphere.
- The lower along with upper realms were linked by the mystic symbol. Keep in mind, the bigger part of the sapling is under the ground, so as believed by primeval Celts, the plant’s roots extended to the netherworld, the place undergrowth stretches to the greater sphere. Thus, the trunk joined the globes to Earth. Such linking also allowed the deities to converse with the extraordinary sapling.
- This characterized revival as well. Plants sleep in the cold winter season and shed their foliage in the fall, then in the warm summer, the sapling is filled with natural existence; next greeneries ripen in refreshing spring.
Significance of the Tree
In line with the primeval Druids, the prominent plant had exceptional abilities. After Celts cleared the zone aiming to settle, a solitary tree always remained in the focus. It was acknowledged as a Tree of Life. It delivered warmth, nourishment, housing; besides, was a key site of meeting for influential tribe members.
Since it likewise produced nutrition for faunas, there was a belief that this symbolic plant took good care of all existence in the world. Moreover, society supposed that every sapling was the predecessor of man. Records indicate that Celtic societies merely settled in areas where this tree existed.
In the course of tribal battles, the paramount victory was to remove the enemy’s divine Tree. Thus, removing the community’s tree was accepted as the nastiest immorality a Celt could ever commit.
Tree of Life in Different Nations and TraditionsCelts at the time were not the one population to view the flora as somewhat significant.
ChinaAmong Chinese legends, a Taoist tale exists, and it defines a magic tree. The fiery Phoenix stays at the Tree’s top; at its bottom, the dragon resides. It created a fruit merely 3,000 years ago. The person who receives this magic peach comes to be immortal.
Early EgyptThe Egyptian people supposed that the mystified Life Tree was the spot where the concepts as death plus life were confined. The East represented the course of life, then the Westside was well thought out as the course to the netherworld and loss. In Egypt’s folklore, Osiris & ISIS (recognized as the “primary pair”) developed from this spiritual sapling.
The MayansIn line with these, Mesoamerican people, a spiritual highland on Earth hid the paradise. The globe’s sapling linked Heaven, Earth, to the Netherworld and matured at the site of foundation. Everything came out of this point in four ways of the compass (East, South, North, and West ). A depiction of the cross in the midpoint of Mayan illustration was accepted as the derivation of every existing creature.
Islamic SymbolsIn the Muslim sacred writings, a so-called Immortality Tree is brought up too; it differs from the Christian version since just one sapling in Eden is specified, exactly the one prohibited by God to our predecessors Adam with Eve. Holy Book’s fragments indicate supplementary vegetation in the skies, though the plant’s character takes a trivial position in the texts.
Nevertheless, it has developed into an imperative character in mystical design, and art, amid the original figures in the paintings. The sacred book refers to three magic plants: the Hell’s Sapling (Zakuum) in the Hell, next, Sidrat al-Muntaha, on top of the divine Tree of Lots. The Upper Border comprising the Tree of Insight is located in Eden. Diverse foliage is joined into a particular character.
Christian BeliefsThe magic tree is contained within the Old Testament. It is defined as a plant of understanding good vs evil that was embedded in the stunning Garden of Eden. Scientists as well as researchers can’t reach agreement on whether it is an identical character or another one. In successive parts of the Holy Bible, the phrase “Tree of life “occurs 11 more times.
The Character Set
The holy tree model had magical properties replicated in the representative magical alphabet that the primeval druids used for divination – the Ogham plant ABCs (two recognized forms of the Ogham writing system – Irish and Welsh). It is normal to distinguish amid the usual Celtic alphabet with a sacred writing system. In the character set used by the druids, each symbol was linked to a specific sapling, as a divine image.
Druidic texts were “written “via Ogham letters (Beth-Luis-Nion), every letter signifying a leaf whose name began with a letter. The foliage was sequentially strung on a lengthy string of “words with phrases.” This way only, “God-given” letter, you could write the druids’ book.
- Oak (Duir, D) - Belenos.
- Alder (Fearn, F) - Bran.
- Hawthorn (Huath, X) - Rhiannon.
- Holly (Tinne, T) - Kulan.
- Gorse (Ohn, O) – Broom.
- Birch (Beith, B) - Mabon.
- Ash (Nion, N) - Gwydion.
- Rowan (Luis, L) - Mat.
- Reeds (Ngetal, NG) - Arianrod.
- Heather (Uhr, U) – Bloodweed.
- Apple Tree (Quert, Ka) - Kerrydwin.
- Willow (Saille, C) - Epona.
- Aspen (Eadha, E) - Llyr.
- Hazel (Coll, K) - Branwen.
- Grapes (Muin, M) - Brigantia.
- Pine (Ailim, A) – Cernunnos.
- Yew (Idad, And) - Adobe.
- Tern (Straith, St, Z, C) - Taliesin.
- Elderberry (Ruis, P) - Morrigan.
- Ivy (Gort, G) - Ogmios.
Trees likewise made their hierarchy. The king was an Oak, which corresponded in chief rank as well as signified the God Belinos (the main creature of Norsemen was Ash). The oak tree was the creation’s focal point (Axis Mundi), moreover, the gateway to an alternative realm (Orbis Alia). The druids, whose most desirable tree was the oak, remained the so-called “wise men of the oak.”
Another world, which the Celts formerly imagined, emerged in dissimilar guises, under separate names (the Delightful Plain, the Land of Youth, the Land of Residence, etc.), the locality was determined in the Western Sea, or else on the mountains of CID (Sidhe, Sidhe). It was a country in which no disease, old age, or death, existed, though endless happiness remained.
The saplings were home to innumerable magical creatures (faeries) who gave the blessing of a different realm. Branches from nine blessed trees were then utilized to light a fire that brought back BELTANE, the sun on May Eve.
Creator of the Symbol
Jen Delyth (Wales, 1962) – is a Celtic artist, creator of the present-day “Tree of Life.” After the figure’s emergence in 1990, it immediately became a popular and especially recognizable Celtic artistic depiction.
Jen’s tree shares a completely original pattern, not based on any ancient or modern example from Celtic art. It is an artist’s interpretation of the original Celtic Tree of Life.
The kindling touches the paradises, its roots are located deep in the soil, but all together, they are intertwined. This characterizes the link amid all things on Earth other than in Heaven. This figure denotes the Universe in Space.
The father of modern Celtic Art is George Bain (1811-1968), whose “Tree of Life” is a floral ornament described in his work the Book of Kells.
Currently, the Tree of Life has developed into the trendiest tattoo image, bettering the community’s favorite symbol. The majority of us now spot the trees, yet do not think about them. In prehistoric times, everything was different, when civilizations worshipped, esteemed, and honored vegetation. The imagery and implication that the Celts ascribe to the trees is a primary illustration of it, as the gratified warriors regarded the Celtic trees as magic life carriers that united all the worlds.
- If you want to somehow use the symbol of the Celtic Tree of Life, for example, to make a tattoo with his image - we advise you to determine exactly what you need it for and what it has to do with you and your life.
- Try not to use such a powerful energy symbol with a deep meaning and history everywhere and without giving it much importance.