Tree of Life

The Tree of Life is an ancient symbol found in all cultures. A tree connects heaven and earth by rooting in the earth and rooting in the sky. Often it is a vertically symmetrical pattern of two vines which sprout out of a central vessel; two souls growing together as one.

This Celtic Tree of Life design is found throughout the Book of Kells. Its abstract style of knotwork and leaves may be representative of two types of tree, the holly and the oak trees which symbolized the halves of the Celtic year. The Oak was the cycle of regeneration and growth (winter and spring) and the Holly represented life and death (summer and fall). Today we still consider the Oak as a symbol of knowledge and kissing under Holly as a symbol of fertility and love at Christmas.

From the Book of Kells showing a Celtic Tree of Life Pattern from ~8th cent AD

The tree is a most sacred symbol in humanity because it represents the connection between heaven and earth. The tree grows above as below. Think of what the tree provides; shelter, heat and food. When you look closely at this design you see two sides to the tree.