The Tree of Life
Discover how everything in creation is interlinked
What is the Tree of Life?
Sitting under the shade of a tree or taking a walk through a forest can be a spiritual experience at any time of year. But in the autumn and winter, when the branches are bare, you can see more clearly the shape of the trees, twisting and stretching towards the sky with exposed roots burrowing into the ground. Just like these trees growing in a forest near you, the Tree of Life is a symbol of the connection between earth and the heavens or spiritual realm.
Trees symbolise wisdom, strength and protection to many faiths. The ancient Druids worshiped in places called 'sacred groves' which were spaces between groupings of trees within forests. Many faiths recognise the Tree of Life as a representation of how all life is intertwined. All people are linked, nobody is separate, but more than that we are also linked to all the animals, plants, mountains - everything on earth and also to everything in the spirit world.
Because of this, the tree of life (also referred to as the cosmic tree or the holy tree or the tree of enlightenment) is a common spiritual symbol across a range of faiths. For example, the Buddha is said to have achieved enlightenment under the shade of a tree.
In Nordic myth, the great tree Yggdrasil grows across the three dimensions of Asgard (heaven), Midgard (earth) and the underworld. Yggdrasil has a fount of knowledge and wisdom flowing at its roots. Similarly, the cosmic tree connects the three realms in Shamanism and is said to allow Shamans to move freely between the different planes of existence. In the Jewish esoteric religion of Kabbalah, the Tree of Life is a spiritual map, showing its followers various routes they can take on their spiritual journey.
What does it mean for me?
The tree of life is the ultimate symbol of 'oneness'; it shows you that all life is interlinked. Every living thing is of equal importance and should be respected; harm none. The tree of life is also a visual metaphor for the human condition and spiritual development. This is because the roots of the tree represent your subconscious - the desires and fears that are buried deep within you, while the trunk represents your conscious thoughts and mind, and the branches symbolise your spiritual or higher self. The tree can be seen as an analogy for human spiritual growth: if the tree has water and nutrients it will grow and bear fruit, just as people will flourish if they allow goodness into their lives. The tree is rooted to the ground but it is forever stretching towards the heavens, just as humans try to reconnect with the Divine.
Wisdom of the Tree of Life
The tree of life can help you find your true self.
*Your deepest desires and darkest fears often lie buried just like the roots of a tree.
The Tree of Life teaches you to draw up in to your conscious mind the desires that will nourish you, while leaving negative desires and fears behind.
*Access your subconscious by keeping a dream diary
*Or through meditation
*Recognising constructive subconscious desires can open up new possibilities for you that will improve your life. You will see that the answers were always within you but you just didn't recognise them.
*You can spot destructive desires by asking yourself,
'Will this course of action harm me or another person?'
'Would I be happy if another person took this course of action towards me or my loved ones?'
*Destructive desires and fears can be purged once you bring them into your conscious mind and acknowledge them. Then put them aside. If one pops into your mind, visualise it as a black wall next to you. Then imagine a bright white light coming between you and the black wall. The light pushes the back wall away from you. Imagine a space filled with light opening up between you and the black wall. You have removed yourself from the negativity; it can no longer come near you. It is no longer important to you.
The trunk of a tree is the connection between its other two parts. Its bark is constantly changed by the birds, animals and insects that make their home on it. The tree can stand firm on its trunk and it can also bend to the breeze.
*As the tree is constantly changing, and so should you think for yourself rather than just accepting what you are told.
*Know when to stand firm and know when it is time to embrace change.
The branches of a tree reach for the heavens seeking the sunlight in order to flower and bear fruit.
*Recognise that you are more than your body and your mind. You are spiritual, too.
*Reconnect with your divinity by opening up to your spiritual side.
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