Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tree of Life

I decided to take pieces, one at a time, and expand or just explain there meaning....or the meaning we had in mind when designing and making it. We had received a great response to this pendant, in the form of our first two sales. This was eloquently written by John... he has a way with words, I am sure after reading you will agree.

One of the central beliefs of the Celts was that all of life existed in three phases. They saw three phases in the lunar cycle (they did not recognize dark as a phase); they saw a woman’s life in being a maiden, a mother, and a crone; and they believed the physical universe to be composed of earth, water, and sky. This is why so many Celtic designs show design elements repeated in groups of three.

I think it’s interesting that the process of photosynthesis can be seen as the interaction of the same three elements; a molecule of water, a molecule of mineral, and excitation from the light of the sun. This simple reaction between these elements produces the carbohydrates that sustain all life on earth. And the ancient Celts knew it intuitively.

The Tree of Life in Celtic mythology had its roots deep in the core of the earth, the trunk extended up through the world of Men, and its branches reached out to encircle the stars. It was seen as a bridge between the sky realm and the earth, uniting both of them harmoniously. The Tree itself repeats the theme of three elements; in its roots, its trunk, and its limbs.

This representation of the Tree is probably modern; it is adapted from a common representation that includes a circle of complex knotwork. We wanted to use this modified form, since it emphasizes another aspect of the design; the interweaving of the branches and roots. This interweaving suitably portrays the Celtic belief that Life was a single, self – renewing cycle.


  1. What a great idea. Giving the story or meaning behind each oendant is a great idea. you should have a link to this page on Etsy, for this necklace. Then they can read this story, and it'll make them want it more!

  2. Awesome comment Elizabeth, I will add it to this listing, too bad etsy will not let it be a live link, but people know to copy paste.... Thanks again....headed there now!