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The Tree of Life Amongst the Strife

As summer approaches, we see the full
bloom of trees everywhere. The seemingly barren branches that characterized the
Winter Solstice are now filled with twinkling leaves that bring a renewed sense
of spirit to those that consciously observe the changing seasons. I am one of
those observers.

Each year as I watch the cycle of the leaves turn from green
to gold to orange to red to windswept and finally, non-existent, I can’t help
but THINK about the trees…the enchanting Tree(s) of Life. But, what exactly, is
the Tree of Life?

Let’s explore this a bit. But before
we do, I want to mention that the Tree of Life is a universal symbol found in many spiritual and
mythological traditions around the world—from Kabbalah to Judaism to
Christianity to Buddhism, and that’s just naming a few.

What
I’d like to do here, is to talk about the Tree of Life in terms of personal
growth and our journey back to the Divine.

There
are three main systems to trees: the roots, the trunk and the branches. These
are said to parallel human development of body, psyche and spirit. Physically speaking, trees are rooted in the Earth Plane, and at
the same time reaching for the Spiritual Realms. In certain metaphysical
beliefs, we are said to have an ethereal cord that connects us from the top of
our head (the Crown Chakra) to the Heavens. Additionally, we are also “rooted”
in the Earth with the same cord that grounds us through our Root Chakra (at the
base of the spine). This cord gives us access to our Higher Self (our Spiritual
Self) while living in the physical form here on Earth. So, perhaps, here lies
one very important connection between the Tree of Life and humans: we are
rooted in the Earth but forever reaching for the stars through personal growth.

The symbolism of the Tree of Life is
simple: you are a child of the Universe. You have the right to flourish and the
responsibility to grow into your own YOU-nique self.

Tress may look the same, especially
when they are young. However, as they grow, thrive, change, are battered by
storms and weather, and simply age, they become very unique. They transform
into what we all wish to be: “individuated” ~ a spiritual process
whereby we become our own unique self and therefore, fit right into the niche
where we are needed and meant to blossom.

The Tree of Life can be thought of as
our own Cosmic Family Tree, telling ancient stories of our shared roots which
link us to the past, showing our connected struggles and aspirations and,
ultimately, our desire to reach for the Light.

This Divine tree crosses all cultures
because the Ancients could see trees close up all of the time. The symbolism of
the sprouting seed, growing into a trunk and branching off, sending out smaller
branches and little twigs, to see what they may accomplish, was not lost on them.
The Tree became a common symbol, then, of life, ancestry, mythology, lessons of
the spirit, history, lineage, and hope for the future…and climbing to the
heavens.

We are all physically inter-related
and the Tree of Life symbolizes this by showing us, through its roots and
branches, where we have diverged and where we have joined—where we give and
receive to create balance and endure. Remember, as the trees provide for us the
oxygen we need to survive, we too, with our exhale, release the carbon dioxide
that trees require to sustain.

Tree of Life carries the meaning that
we are related to the Cosmos; to our human family, our animal family, our earth
family and beyond. All of the Cosmos is inter-connected. DNA and chemicals link
us and it is in this sameness that we find compassion and tolerance and it is
in our differences that we should find wonder…

Thank you, Tree of Life…

 

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