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Originally Posted On: https://celtic-irishjewelry.com/blogs/celtic-irish-blog/celtic-tree-of-life
Do you know what the Celtic Tree of Life is about? It is an ancient Celtic symbol that dates back many years. One of the most popular symbols used by the Celts is commonly known as the Celtic Tree of Life. It was created with the Oak tree in mind, with its deep roots, and its overarching branches which appear to create a circle. The Celtic people thought of this symbol to be one that represented peace, harmony, and balance because of the way it is visually represented. When the Celts built a new village, they would plant an Oak tree in the center of the community. Also known as Crann Bethadh. The Oak tree was planted because of its strength and endurance and also, it’s longevity. An Oak Tree can live well beyond 300 years. Besides longevity, The Celtic Tree of Life also symbolizes wisdom. What we have found during our research, it also symbolizes unity and oneness with nature, and is a modernized interpretation of the symbol. The Celtic Tree of Life has different meanings for different individuals. Not only for the Celtic, but also the Irish. The Irish Tree of Life was created using a similar tree called the Ash tree.
The Celts relied on trees for a variety of things, including shelter, food, and warmth; in addition, many of the animals that they hunted lived in and around trees. The incredible strength of the massive root system that lay beneath the oak and supported its weight was something that the Celts respected much. Oak trees were frequently struck by lightning due to the fact that they were some of the largest and tallest trees in the forest. The Celts understood this to be a message from the gods of Celtic mythology, indicating that the tree held some sort of sacred significance. The ancient Celts had the belief that the “Tree of Life” was a metaphor for the entire cosmos. The great tree would provide for all life and help to nurture it, in a manner that was almost exactly analogous to how a mother would care for her young. They had a high regard and admiration for trees, and the oak tree in particular was held in high esteem, as it was the location of many religious rites and ceremonies that the Druids presided over.
Understandably so, the key elements of the Celtic Tree of Life definitely keep the Celtic culture in mind. The Celtic Tree of Life is depicted with intricate detail and artistry with unique patterns. There are many designs for the Celtic Tree of Life. The designs are created with branches and leaves that are incorporated with the Oak Tree to form an interlaced pattern of Celtic knotwork. The circle around the tree is what makes the Celtic Tree of Life unique.
The Irish regard the Ash tree as the embodiment of their very own “Tree of Life.” The Ash tree is regarded to be the Irish Tree of Life, despite the fact that it shares some of the same connotations as the Oak tree and that it is very similar to the Oak tree. Despite this, the Celtic Tree of Life is represented by both trees due to the characteristics of each tree. Like Oak trees, Ash trees are frequently used to signify strength. This is mostly due to the fact that Ash trees have deep, sturdy roots and hard, flexible wood. Because their enormous root systems require a significant amount of area, ash trees typically develop on their own and can reach heights of more than 130 feet. They also have a life expectancy of well over 120 years. They were first seen growing in vast numbers in Ireland because of the fertile and damp environment there.
For the Irish, the Ash tree holds a significant place in both their culture and their folklore. There was a time when trees were plentiful and important to the Irish identity; now, many trees continue to serve this function within our culture. Some of them are remnants of an ancient practice of worshiping trees, which was practiced in areas where sacred trees were located close to royal houses or denoted significant landmarks. Ashes were said to have been three of the famous five great trees that watched over the provinces of Ireland. Once upon a time, it was believed that the spiritual force of a holy well would be transferred to the nearest tree, which was most often an ash. According to the old Brehon Laws, ash trees belonged to the highest-ranking “noble” classification, and it was a serious offense to damage or cut these trees without the permission of the proprietor. Nion, a letter in the Ogham alphabet, takes its name from the ash tree, and early Irish poetry frequently makes reference to ash and other trees. A great number of Irish towns and geographic features get their names from ash.
Even Charles Darwin started his first theory of evolution based on the Tree of Life. This is one of his famous quotes. “The affinities of all the beings of the same class have sometimes been represented by a great tree… As buds give rise by growth to fresh buds, and these if vigorous, branch out and overtop on all sides many a feebler branch, so by generation I believe it has been with the great Tree of Life, which fills with its dead and broken branches the crust of the earth, and covers the surface with its ever branching and beautiful ramifications.” Even to Darwin, who was not of Celtic or Irish heritage but English, knew the significance to the Celtic Tree of Life and how it was connected to all living things as well. Look up and do some of your own research on the first diagram of his theory of evolution, and you will see the similarities to the oak tree. Pretty cool.
The meaning for the Tree of Life runs so deep and significant in the Celtic and Irish cultures that it continues to be used in some of the most popular jewelry, artwork, and even tattoos in today’s modern world. All over the globe, the Celtic Tree of Life symbol has become one of the most a sought-after jewelry and tattoo designs. In my opinion, it epitomizes the continuity and connection of the symbol and what it represents.
The Celtic Tree of Life of Tree of Life symbolizes the continuous connection to the world with the idea in mind that all living things are connected, and that we are all part of the same cycle of life. Wearing the Tree of Life symbol in our Celtic jewelry, is a beautiful way to carry this powerful symbol with you wherever your travels may take you, and to always serve as a reminder of your personal connection with this earth in which we live. Whatever it means to you spiritually, you will love our Tree of Life jewelry collection.
Before you go, I would like to leave you with one more thing. A poem about the strong and mighty Oak Tree. It really resonated with me during my research and I wanted to share it with all of you.
The Oak Tree A mighty wind blew night and day It stole the oak tree’s leaves away Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark Until the oak was tired and stark But still the oak tree held its ground While other trees fell all around The weary wind gave up and spoke, “How can you still be standing Oak?” The oak tree said, “I know that you Can break each branch of mine in two Carry every leaf away Shake my limbs, and make me sway. But I have roots stretched in the earth Growing stronger since my birth You’ll never touch them, for you see They are the deepest part of me. Until today, I wasn’t sure Of just how much I could endure But now I’ve found, with thanks to you I’m stronger than I ever knew.” Poet: Johnny Ray Ryder Jr.
I hope you enjoyed this blog as much as I did research and writing it. I hope it inspired you to shop our Celtic Tree of Life jewelry collection. Thanks for reading.
Shop our Celtic Tree of Life jewelry here: Tree of Life Necklace – Celtic-IrishJewelry