15 Things That The Tree of Life Represents

Tree of life featured image

Trees have claimed such a centerpiece in world cultures that one central symbol, the Tree of Life, appears in ancient artistry across almost every corner of the globe. What, exactly, does the Tree of Life represent? The answer is many-fold! Below, let’s see how the Tree of Life originated and what it means, as well as how you can use it for good in your life.

History of the Tree of Life Symbol

The Tree of Life has countless ancient roots, similar to the physical roots of the Tree itself. Archaeologists have located this symbol in Turkey and dated it back to 7000 BC; similarly, it appears in Acadian culture around 3000 BC.

This symbol also shows up in ancient Celtic culture; they called the Tree ‘Crann Bethadh’ in their language. The Celts highly revered trees; upon clearing a field, for example, they ritualistically left a single tree standing in the middle. Generations of people would then use this tree’s shelter to conduct meetings and ceremonies. Indeed, the Celtic people believed that trees were wise, mystical living beings, and their high regard for nature led them to use trees as symbols in their culture.

Celtic tree of life
Celtic Tree of Life

Finally, Christianity also retains elements of the Tree of Life, as the Book of Genesis mentions the symbol as the tree which grows in the Garden of Eden.

In fact, to this day, a 400-year-old tree stands in the country of Bahrain and is known around the world as the “Tree of Life”. Many believe that this tree stands in the original location of the Garden of Eden.

Tree of life Bahrain
Tree of life in Bahrain

15 things the Tree of Life represents

Tree of life

1. Oneness and Connection

Tree of life artistic

If you observe the Tree of Life symbol, you’ll see the way that the deep roots fan out in all directions, while at the same time, the branches reach skyward in the same pattern. This symbolizes the way that you, and all living beings, are connected to both Mother Earth and to the Universe.

Our physical bodies need the Earth to nourish us, while at the same time, our souls originate from the Universe (or Source) and will return to it once our bodies perish. Likewise, through the Universe, we are not separate; we are connected to all things.

2. Family and Ancestry

Notice the way that the Tree of Life represents a large family tree. Imagine yourself as the tree’s trunk– one singular unit. If you were to map out all of your great grandparents, for dozens of generations back, your family tree would eventually look like a massive Tree of Life, representing the hundreds of hundreds of people that came together to create you. It’s profound, when you think about it!

3. Creation

Tree of life creation

The Tree of Life has been a symbol of creation across many ancient civilizations.

For instance, Celtic, Norse, Mesopotamian, and Mayan mythology among various others depict the Tree of Life as an Axis Mundi, standing in the center of the universe and connecting the three realms of existence. The roots of the tree extend into the underworld, the trunk stays in the earthly plane, and the branches reach the heavens. This way the Tree of Life serves as a gateway between the spiritual and physical realms, enabling the soul to traverse from the world of spirits to the world of matter.

Several ancient cultures also believe the Tree of Life to be the birthplace of all living beings. For instance, ancient Egyptians believed that the Tree of Life housed the Primordial goddess Lusaaset who gave birth to the other deities. Turkish mythology sees the creator God Kayra Han planting the Tree of Life and the birth goddess, Kübey Hatun, residing in it. Er Sogotoh, the first human and ancestor of all people, is believed to be the offspring of the goddess.

In Zulu mythology, the Tree of Life is considered as the origin of all living beings, with the first being a bird called Ingonghulu (an eagle). According to the myth, Ingonghulu announced the beginning of creation by extending her wings and flapping them.

Thus, the Tree of Life symbolizes the source of all life and is a powerful representation of creation.

Here is a list of 15 Mysterious Tree of Life symbols from ancient cultures around the world & their hidden symbolism.

4. Prosperity

The ancient Celts knew well that those great trees that stood in the middle of their fields, their Crann Bethadh, provided not only a gathering place, but also nourishment and shade, as well as a shelter for birds and other animals.

They recognized that trees allowed their people to prosper, and that without trees, human life could not thrive. Thus, their Tree of Life also symbolizes all of the nourishment and prosperity that trees provide for humans and for the Earth.

5. Groundedness

The tree has roots in the soil yet reaches to the sky.

Similar to the Tree of Life’s “self growth” symbolism, the significance of groundedness has to do with the tree’s seemingly infinite roots. We know, scientifically, that the deeper a tree’s roots stretch, the more resistant they are to harsh weather.

Similarly, we humans must ground ourselves with reverence for the Earth and for our physical bodies. In doing so, we strengthen our root chakras, cultivating a sense of stability, so that we can live with steadfastness no matter what life takes us through.

7. Cycle of life

Tree of life supporting animals

Through their reverence of their own great trees, the Celts came to understand a tree’s life cycle through the seasons as an awe-inspiring birth-death-rebirth cycle. This represents a few things: first of all, as humans, we all go through personal growth periods where we feel like everything we identify with is “dying”, only to find a sense of renewed hope and confidence on the other side of this ego death.

Of course, this life cycle also represents the physical human cycle of birth, death, and then, if you choose to believe in it, “rebirth” in the form of reincarnation or a new life in the Spirit World. The Tree of Life can represent this infinite immortality, too– think about how trees produce seeds, which create new trees, even after the original tree has died.

8. Adaptability

If you grow a tree in a shady area, you’ll notice that its leaves turn towards the sun. If an object stands in the way of a tree’s growth, the tree will grow around it. This is why no two trees are the same.

Think about it: if every tree had to grow in the same, uniform shape, most trees wouldn’t survive, because trees must be adaptable in order to thrive. You, as a human, won’t thrive if you’re too rigid in your expectations of life– just like a tree.

9. Individuality

Tree of life artistic

No two trees are uniform. Just like humans, each tree has experienced unique growth, difficulties, and environmental factors. Thus, the Tree of Life can also represent your beautiful uniqueness; you, your ancestry, your unique upbringing, as well as your likes, dislikes, experiences, and a whole Universe of other aspects, cannot quite compare to any other human in the world.

10. Abundance

When autumn arrives, trees don’t fear losing their leaves. They don’t hold onto the leaves in worry that they’ll never grow new ones. Governed by the loving wisdom of the Earth, trees gracefully release their leaves every fall, stripping themselves bare for the winter in complete trust that they will grow fresh leaves anew in the spring.

As such, the Tree of Life can teach us that abundance is all around us, and that we don’t have to hoard our possessions out of a fear of loss.

11. Trinity

Sacred peepal tree
The Tree of Life can be divided into three integral parts that work together in perfect harmony to keep the tree alive – the Roots, the Trunk, and the Branches. These three aspects of the tree are often associated with various trinities that are present in our existence. Additionally, the Tree of Life can also be seen as a representation of the past, present, and future, with the roots representing the past, the trunk embodying the present, and the branches symbolizing the future.

It is important to note that the strength of the tree lies in its roots, which provide a strong foundation for the trunk and branches to grow and flourish. Therefore, only when the roots are strong can the branches thrive and reach for the sky. The Tree of Life serves as a reminder that our past, present, and future are all interconnected, and that the strength of our roots is crucial to our growth and success in life.

12. As Above, So Below

Inverted tree of life
Inverted tree of life

The Tree of Life is a prime example of the concept of “As Above, So Below.” How strong and flourishing the tree appears on the outside is solely dependent on the depth of its roots. If the roots are shallow, the tree won’t get the necessary nourishment and support it needs, leading to outward appearances that reflect the inner state. This is why changing the outside requires looking within and changing the inner state first.

The roots of the Tree of Life can be seen as a representation of the subconscious mind and the beliefs contained therein. Just as the roots of the tree are hidden, the power of the subconscious mind can often go unnoticed, yet it still wields great influence over our lives. To change the direction of your life, you must first become aware of the beliefs hidden in your subconscious. Only then can you begin to see real and lasting change on the outside. This powerful concept is perfectly illustrated by the Tree of Life.

13. Inner connection

The tree of life is often depicted as the Axis Mundi or located at the center of the world. This is why the tree is believed (by various cultures) to act as a channel of communication between the lower and upper realms. This symbolism represents the idea of connecting with our own center, accessing our deepest subconscious beliefs, in order for us to ascend to higher spiritual realms.

The Tree of Life serves as a powerful reminder that by breaking free from limited beliefs and reaching our true potential, we can unlock new levels of consciousness and tap into higher realms of existence. Ultimately, the Tree of Life represents the journey of self-discovery and self-realization, and the quest for greater understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

14. Wisdom/Higher Intelligence

Bodhi tree
Bodhi tree

This particular Tree of Life meaning brings us back to the Celts; again, this culture believed that trees were wise, mystical beings. Their culture greatly appreciated the trees’ wisdom, and so, their Tree of Life went on to become a symbol of an intelligence greater than our own.

15. Self Growth

Storms make trees take deeper roots

The strongest trees in the world– such as the living Tree of Life in Bahrain– have weathered the most turbulent storms, and in fact, these storms made the trees stronger.

Trees’ roots extend far beneath the soil, not only to search for water, but to anchor the tree firmly into the ground in case of heavy wind. This explains why the Tree of Life represents personal growth: the stronger the storm, the stronger the tree.

How to use the Tree of Life to call in good luck and abundance

If you resonate with the Tree of Life’s countless spiritual representations, you’ll likely benefit from wearing or displaying the symbol in one way or another. Seeing the Tree of Life daily can remind you of its beautiful, infinite meaning, which can raise your vibration and attract positivity towards you.

Wear it as jewelry

Tree of life pendant
Tree of life pendant

Search any online craft marketplace for “Tree of Life jewelry”, and you’ll see a vast array of stunning designs in the form of necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings. Adorning your body with this gorgeous symbol is a reverent way to remind yourself of your eternal nature, as well as the Universe’s warmth, love, and abundance.

Decorate your home with it


Whether you prefer something large, such as a tapestry, or tiny, such as a desk ornament, the Tree of Life can serve a dual purpose by both beautifying and raising the vibration of your home.

One particularly potent way to do this is to place a Feng Shui Gem Tree in your home– these trees contain crystals of your choice, giving you an added vibration boost! To attract luck and abundance, citrine and green aventurine are perfect options. In addition, according to Feng Shui, place the tree in the Southeast corner of your house to attract abundance.

Get a tattoo

Tree of life tattoo
Tree of life tattoo

This may sound extreme to some, but if you feel powerfully drawn to the Tree of Life, there’s nothing stopping you from getting the symbol tattooed on your body. The tattoo can serve as a constant reminder to think abundant thoughts and express gratitude for your blessings.

Summing it up

Some may say that the Tree of Life is the most potent spiritual symbol in existence– and they have a valid point. Trees teach us countless spiritual lessons such as resilience, surrender, and abundance mindset, not to mention the peace that we feel by being around these wise beings.

In short, if you hope to call in more abundance or to simply feel more at peace with your life, adorn yourself or your space with the Tree of Life. Remember to appreciate its many-faceted and potent meanings every time you see it, and you’ll raise your vibration effortlessly.

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About the Author
Taylor Blanchard is a life coach and a freelance mental health and wellness writer. Her lived experience and extensive knowledge on mental health, emotional wellness, and spirituality guide her to create deep, compassionate blog posts, which she hopes will help people to feel less alone in the world. Self-care for Taylor looks like staring at the sky, drinking cacao while listening to metal, or cuddling with her rescue Pitbull...  visit author page.
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