Hi Everyone. I hope I find you all well and looking forward to the weekend. This week, I’m exploring the story of the ancient Celtic Tree of Life symbol and its positive message of rebirth and renewal.
The Ancient Celts
The Celts arrived in Ireland from central Europe around 500BC. In a just a few hundred years their Celtic culture had spread to every corner of the island of Ireland. The Celts dominated Ireland until around 400AD and the arrival of Christianity. Although more than 1500 years have passed since then, their influence remains strong in Ireland. A treasure trove of artefacts and monuments remain and many Irish people would still describe themselves as Celtic to this day.
The Celtic Tree of Life
The Tree of Life can be found in most religions and cultures around the world and can be traced right back to ancient Egypt. In Irish, it is known as the Crann Bethadh. For the Celts, trees were of the utmost importance. When clearing an area of land for settlement, it was common practice to plant a tree at the centre of the clearing, usually an oak tree. The tree provided shelter for the tribe and their animals and a sacred meeting place for tribal gatherings. It also provided fuel for fires and medicines. Chopping down such a tree was considered the most serious of crimes and to chop down the tree of an enemy would have been considered a major triumph. So if you’ve ever wondered why there’s a lone oak tree standing in the middle of an Irish field…….
The symbolism of the Celtic Tree of Life is ultimately about the forces of nature combining to create balance and harmony. The branches reach for the sky, the roots reach down into the ground. A representation of the link between heaven and earth, mind and body and the never-ending cycle of life. The Celts believed that the Tree of Life was a symbol of longevity, wisdom and strength. They even believed that trees were actual ancestors of man and provided a gateway to the spirit world. Another meaning is one of rebirth. The tree sheds its leaves as the weather turns colder and bursts into life with the arrival of Spring.
With all these positive messages of rebirth, renewal and the eternal cycle of life, it’s no wonder that the Tree of Life is a firm favourite in Celtic jewelry design. Along with the Celtic cross and the Trinity knot, it’s a popular choice for necklaces and the perfect way to wear your Irish heritage with pride. Our best-selling Celtic Tree of Life pendant (pictured above) is a stunning recreation of this ancient Irish symbol.
Slán go fóill!