Trees have a rich and extensive symbolism all over the world, and the cypress tree has its fair share of the spotlight.
Its symbolism is mostly found in the Islamic world and across Europe, though in this day and age all symbolism has become global.
Cypress trees have – for a very long time – been symbolically linked to our ideas about life, death, and what awaits us afterwards.
Powerful symbolism like that of the cypress tree can provide valuable insight into our lives.
Understanding the ideas behind symbols can help us to unlock ideas in our minds.
So let’s dive into the symbolic meanings and ideas found within the rich cultural history of the cypress tree.
The cypress tree, like all trees, represents the symbolic idea of growth.
Through hard work and perseverance, the humble yet elegant cypress tree can grow to an average height of 80ft.
For some species of cypress, this is a very tall order (excuse the pun!).
Usually, for a tree to grow so high, it must also grow outwards. However, in the act of symbolic ambition, some cypress trees grow very thin and straight upwards.
Cultures that have embraced the cypress tree also embrace the idea of shooting for the stars.
The cypress tree has no business reaching so high into the sky, but through limitless ambition, it achieves what might have otherwise seemed impossible.
Across Islamic and European cultures, the cypress tree is one of the most common cemetery trees planted today – and has been for some time.
We see this because of the cypress tree’s symbolic link to death and morning, as many cultures saw the conical shape of the tree as pointing towards the heavens.
It also strikes a stark silhouette against the sky, especially if they are scattered, which only adds to an atmosphere of mourning when they are grown on mass in cemeteries.
One other thing that may have driven this symbolism is how cypress trees react to being damaged.
While other trees can completely recover from even quite severe damage, many wounded cypress trees grow back misshapen or not at all.
Trinity, Linking Worlds
As mentioned, cypress trees often have a conical shape – though they just as often have a pyramid shape.
In both cases, they point towards the sky and are wider towards the base.
Symbolically the pyramid shape represents the ideas of Trinity and of linking the physical world with higher dimensions of consciousness.
Trinities, triplets and triangles have their own rich symbolism related to the natural trinities that occur throughout our lives.
Birth, Life, Death.
Physical, Spiritual, Emotional.
Lower Chakras, Heart Chakra, Higher Chakras.
The three dimensions we inhabit (3D).
The core idea running through trinities is the linking of separate parts of a whole.
It all links and applies to our lives. We have to ensure that we find a balance between the various aspects of our lives, however many aspects there are.
Of course, the Universe has a funny way of presenting things in threes!