Tree of Life symbolism is known throughout a multitude of mythologies the world over, spanning generations, religions and cultures as a philosophical archetype by which we can all learn valuable life lessons.
As a teenager, I was fascinated with Greek and Roman philosophy. I studied both the Greek and Latin languages in high school, and the mythologies of these cultures figured into my artwork, poetry and other personal creative passions. Through the years, these interests spread like tendrils from Zeus to Odin. From Odin to Kabbalah. From Kabbalah to Hinduism. Soon, it was less about the individual god or goddess and more about the philosophy or metaphor of their story, at large.
In Buddhism, at the base of the Bodhi Tree is where Buddha discovered enlightenment, thus a representation of wisdom and knowledge.
In Norse Mythology, let's look at the World Tree through this quote from the website Ancient Origins: "When Odin hung, speared, for nine days on the World Tree, he uttered the words that he had ‘sacrificed himself onto himself’. This stanza gives us a description of the unity existing between the Godhead and the Tree in the myths. To emphasize this connection, we find in old English the word treow, which means both tree and truth. Etymologically, then, truth and tree grow out of the same root. Subsequently, in the Norse creation myth, man and woman originated from trees. " Here, we could discern that the symbolism is one of infinity, of flowing ceaselessly from one creation to the next, and a symbol for the thread that connects us all.
I expect, in the years to come, this symbolism will continue to evolve in cultural prominence. While its importance may, at times, wane in popular culture, its message will, I believe, continue to prosper as a spiritual, philosophical and religious icon. These concepts will inspire and unite, connecting one creation with another through the symbolic reaching of its branches, forever rooted in mysticism and beauty. The legend of the Tree of Life will continue, despite the science of this new world, to connect the physical and metaphysical with its green, reaching fingers.
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