The Tree of Life & Its Symbolism
The 'Tree Of Life', is a symbol that has a strong connection to its Celtic roots. It represents a number of different meanings, one of the most obvious being the 'stages of life', all of which makes a piece of jewellery with Tree of Life symbolism a truly treasured possession.
The Celtic Tree of Life, also known as the Celtic World Tree, is arguably one of the most important Celtic symbols as it directly features an oak tree. Although aesthetically pleasing to the eye, the Celts however considered oak a very valuable tree, both for its resources and as a symbol of the spiritual realm that linked them to the divine.
Oak trees were noted as some of the largest and tallest trees in the forest, and frequently attracted lightning and this was seen by the Celts as a sign from the Celtic Gods that the tree was special. As depicted in the Celtic symbol, an oak tree has upward-extending branches, and a network of roots, with Celtic knots that are interwoven throughout the pattern.
Tree of Life Symbolism
There are various Celtic symbols for strength, however few come close to the Celtic 'Tree of Life’. The Celts believed it held immense power by its mighty root system that lays beneath the oak bearing its weight.
Thus, many Celtic settlements were built around the oak tree, which served as a focal point for the community. The Tree of Life provided them with food, shelter, wildlife and even a place of gathering.
Strength, Wisdom & Endurance
As the oak tree can live for almost a thousand years, The Tree of Life is known to symbolise strength and wisdom. During the oak tree's life time, it can weather storms and stay resilient when attacked or damaged by humans and animals, as well as growing up to a staggering 40 metres in height.
The Stages of Life
The Tree of Life was also known to symbolise the three stages of life: birth, death and reincarnation in another life. The Celts had a great respect for the natural world, and viewed trees as a predominant source of life.
Many have also interpreted this Celtic symbol to be representative of Irish family units, with each part of the tree relating to specific components of family life.
- The roots - the foundation and beginning of a family
- The outer ring - the circle of family
- The diamonds - each individual within the family
Although the symbol is found in many forms and variations, they all show a tree with spreading branches above and a network of roots below. Like many other Celtic Knot symbols, such as the Motherhood Knot and the Dara Knot, some variations of the Tree of Life knot is endless with no beginning or end.
Tree of Life Jewellery
Does the meaning behind the Tree of Life hold a great significance to you? Browse our selection of Tree of Life jewellery to embrace your Celtic heritage.
Skellig Gift Store stocks around 1,000 different elegant pieces of Celtic jewellery from Claddagh rings to Tree of Life pendants, and from birthstone jewellery to Celtic-inspired bracelets and bangles. Browse them today!