Since the dawn of history, all civilizations and religions have believed trees to be of great significance.
The Greek god Adonis was said to have been born of a tree. He gave to humanity the strength of the woody core, the upward reaching soul of the sky-seeking branches, and a rooting deep within Mother Earth that ties our hearts to the center of the world.
As early as 600 BC, the Celts planted trees in the names of their children to insure a connection between the divine and earthbound aspects of the soul. The planting allowed the child’s imagination to live in the earth and the wind. The Three Norns (goddesses of fate) are said to sit at the base of any tree planted in the name of a child. They water the roots in rhythm with the waxing, fullness, and waning of the moon.
The image of The Tree Of Life belongs to a coherent body of myths, rites, images, and symbols. Ancient tribes believed the Tree of Life symbolized Earth Mother and later Sky god. Growing out of Mother Earth, it produced the fruits of knowledge and life. In Christianity, the Tree Of Life is said to stand in the center of the Garden of Eden uniting heaven and earth, and opening a path to God. It is both old and young, has its autumns and its springs, and it shelters all children.
The Roman god Attis lent his spirit to the pine tree, which became the Maypole and initiated the Midsummer Day Festival of Joy. In celebration, dancers participate in the weaving of the world and the tree becomes the axis of the Earth.
Pillars of the temples of Egypt were stylized trees, which held at the base of their spines the vital Life Force, which provided for strength and durability.
The vital sap flowing through the tree is the much sought after elixir of immortality, magic honey mead, and water of life. In Navajo Indian mythology, the twins Monster-slayer and Reared-in-the-Earth flowed up this sacred pollen path to meet their father the sun, who gave to them the sacred art of healing through ritual sand painting.
Many legends exist about the various creatures that live in and off the tree. The eagle that nests on top is said lend his eyes to those who would see the mind of God.
The Celts also had a tree alphabet and calendar in which each letter represented a particular tree, bird and herb. Each month represented a tree and characteristics of that season.