While the Celtic Tree of Life symbol has been made extremely popular by its more modern use in art and décor, its importance as a symbol stretches all the way back to the Ancient Celts.
For the Ancient Celts, the Tree of Life was an important symbol that stressed the cycles that dominate nature and our planet.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at the Celtic Tree of Life symbol and see what meaning we can take from it.
Ancient Celt Beliefs
The Ancient Celts were a very nature focused culture, and trees played an enormous part of their spiritual and religious beliefs and rituals.
The Tree of Life represented the interactions between the different forces in nature.
It also shows how their equilibrium allows the harmony and balance that we see in the natural world.
Thousands of individual trees group together to form one living forest, each tree relying on the protection that the forest gives them.
That forest also provides animals and insects with a habitat, supplying shelter, warmth and food.
In turn, those animals and insects die and provide nutrients for the soil. Those nutrients feed the trees, creating more forest and more habitat for more insects and animals.
This idea of nature as an interconnected, harmonic cycle of birth, life and death forms the centre of many Celtic traditions, which is why the Tree of Life was such an important symbol to them.
Symbolism Of Celtic Tree Of Life
The Celtic Tree of Life has been such a widespread and enduring symbol that it has a gained many symbolic meanings over time. Much of it comes from the original symbolism, but some has grown over time as other cultures have borrowed it.
The Tree of Life Contains Much Wisdom:
Mother Nature: The intricate balance and harmony of the natural world is a well-oiled machine, keeping all powers in balance with each other for the benefit of life as a whole.
Wisdom & Age: Respect for elder members of Celtic tribes was paramount, as they were often the wisest and most experienced.
Growth & Rebirth: From the decay of dying life comes life anew; from the hardest challenges, we gain the most.
Linking Realms: The Ancient Celts believed that trees tied anchor in all of the three planes, with their roots in the underworld and their branches in the heavens. The trunk must be our 3D world. Today, we see this as symbolic of the trinities within us.
These symbolisms all originated with the Celts – or earlier, as some historians think that this symbol came from Norse peoples – but apply to us today.
That is because, despite our huge jump forward in technology and society, life does not change that much in the biggest scheme of things.
Like the Celtic Tree of Life, our human struggles are eternal and cyclical. There is no winning nature or winning life. It is all about the journey.