Celtic Tree of Life Meaning

April 17, 2021 6 min read

Celtic Tree of Life Meaning

In the Iron Age, the Celtic civilization was an autonomous group of people who populated the European continent. They had a particular tradition of venerating nature and all that constitutes it. For this reason, the Tree of Life was a sacred emblem because of the multiple benefits it provided to men.

At the same time center of the druidic beliefs and sources of life of all things, this plant is well then well protected until our days. Here we reveal all the secrets surrounding the Celtic tree of life to impress your loved ones at your next family dinner.

History of the Celtic Tree of Life

The Celtic tree of life was originally associated with the Gaelic culture. That's why this sacred emblem is found in many earlier religions and beliefs.

According to Celtic mythology, this population adopted this symbol at least 2000 years ago. In the Bronze Age, carvings of the motif were discovered in northern England.

According to legend, the Celts took the tree of life symbol from the Norse. This other civilization believed that the source of life on the planet came from a worldwide ash tree called "Yggdrasil".


By coming into contact with the tree of life, man would be able to reach the nine worlds of the Nordic cult, i.e. the land of fire, the world of the dead and the land of the Aesir. The number nine was a very important number in the Nordic and Celtic culture.

Although the Celtic tree of life resembles its Nordic counterpart, there are some differences between the two. This is its folded design with branches to form a circle with the roots of the tree. If you look closer, you will see that this design forms a circle with a tree instead.

The value of the tree of life to the Celts

In Celtic times, the tree of life represented many things at once: harmony, balance between the earth and the universe. The Celts were truly convinced that this plant had incredible magical powers. That is why the ancestors always met under this tree before making an important decision for the village.

According to the ancient Celtic druids, the tree of life provided food, shelter and warmth to its surroundings, including the population. Thus, this tree took care of all life on Earth.

According to Celtic legends, each tree was the incarnation of an ancestor of a human being. Besides, the Celtic tribes live only in the places where such a tree is present.

As you can see, for the Celts, trees were considered sacred and even gods. The Celtic tree of life is a true symbol venerated by this civilization, because it was their daily need.

The meaning of the tree of life

The Celts had a very strong spiritual relationship with their ancestors, the afterlife and the deities. They understood that without the presence of trees, life on Earth would simply be impossible. The forest is composed of many individual trees, each of its branches unites and assembles their life force to shelter a number of different fauna and flora.

tree of life

In any case, here are the relevant meanings of the tree of life in the Celtic tradition:

  • Trees are the primary guardians of the earth. They serve as the gateway to the spirit world.
  • The two worlds (upper and lower) are connected through the tree of life. It is the tree trunk that serves as the connection between these worlds to the Earth. However, the roots are well buried in the ground and the branches grow towards the upper part. The gods communicate with the sages using this oak-shaped plant.
  • The tree symbolizes wisdom, longevity and strength without forgetting rebirth. At some point, it loses its leaves, hibernates and becomes full of life again the following summer. It's a never-ending cycle of life.

🌳 All about the Meaning of the Tree of Life 🌳

The tree of life in Celtic society. Forests have always had great importance in Celtic traditions. They are the object of worship and gratitude since they offer everything that was necessary for their survival.

If the Celtic civilization was inspired by the Nordic culture, its ancestral customs related to the forest as well as its mysticism could only make this plant a sacred symbol. Trees have brought innumerable benefits to their daily lives. This is certainly one of the reasons that influenced the cult they had at that time:

  • The woods provide shelter and are a source of warmth
  • Fruits provide food
  • Leaves and bark provide medicine
  • The trunk and branches provide shelter for wild animals

grand arbre

In addition, the Celts also determined the location of their villages according to a majestic tree. You can see this in the Asterix comics with its banquets held under a hundred-year-old oak tree.

As you can see, the forest has a great importance for this ancient population. Thus, the Celtic alphabet "Ogham" was established according to the trees that populate it

The Crann Bethadh: a powerful symbol of the Celtic tree of life

After having chosen the place according to the trees which are there, the Celts proceed to the clearing. But they do not touch the sacred tree selected by the druid of the tribe. This tree must be in the middle of the village. It is this tree that is called: Crann Bethadh, which means the Celtic world tree, in Celtic language.

Among all the Celtic symbols, Crann Bethadh emanates an incredible strength. It provides a lot of positive values that are really necessary for well-being. This sacred tree was often an oak tree with a colossal trunk and powerful branches that mark strength and life.

The Crann Bethadh was the place of the assemblies of the villagers. The tree served as a witness when they celebrated various magical rituals, governed, dispensed justice and even during the transmission of knowledge from the elders to the new generations.

Moreover, when two rival tribes went to war, each of them tried to reach the enemy's tree of life to cut it down and make his magic powerless to have the final victory.

The symbolism of the Celtic tree

Nowadays, the tree of life is used in tattoos, jewelry and decorative objects. The message it brings inspires many creators to forge valuable jewels that perfectly convey values and beliefs in a more subtle world. The Celtic tree of life effectively translates an openness to the vital energy essential to your balance.

Wearing one of these Celtic jewels or having it tattooed on your body allows you to remain conscious. You can consider this motif as a good luck charm since it suggests rebirth, positive and benevolent energy. The tree of life gives you the strength to stand up to the life you are living. It will always have a beneficial meaning and provides protection throughout your life.

Jewelry with the Celtic Tree of Life

Jewelry bearing the Celtic tree of life design has become fashionable in recent times. Both men and women are sporting these little gems sold in local jewelry stores to connect with this iconic symbol.


Yggdrasil Tree of Life ring

It is the silver necklaces, pendants or earrings that attract women. They give them an elegant and mysterious appearance. On their side, men prefer bracelets, bracelets and rings. These ornaments bring a very chic masculine look.

All these Celtic tree of life jewels can be considered as real amulets that allow to connect to this magical universe. Moreover, they transmit positive waves to its wearer and are an inexhaustible source of spiritual energy.

Tattoos with the tree of life

Before getting a tattoo, you must first learn about the design you have chosen and its meaning. It must both convey the desired message and tell a part of your life story. Once anchored on the skin, it remains for life. You will have a hard time erasing it so you might as well choose the design of your tattoo.

Celtic tree of life tattoos are one of the most famous designs when it comes to drawing a tree. Its fame is due to several reasons:

  • The aesthetics and size of this tree are easy to make
  • The design and the shapes with the Celtic knots are quite original
  • The interest and fascination for Celtic culture and mythology has become very trendy
  • Rich symbolism that brings together people fascinated by Celtic civilization

As you already know, the Celtic tree of life conveys only positive messages. It is associated with the wisdom of nature and symbolizes immortality, rebirth and eternal life. Of course, there are many Celtic tree of life tattoo designs.

To determine this, look closely at the branches and roots if they join to form a circle. Nevertheless, they can also form other geometric patterns called "interlacing" or endless knots.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Tree of Life Blog

Mandala Tree of Life

May 17, 2021 2 min read

A tree of life mandala is a drawing with double cosmic and spiritual meaning, since besides being a sacred symbol as the mandala is, it has all the mystical and energetic meaning of the tree of life.
Read More
Tree of Life Earrings Meaning
Tree of Life Earrings Meaning

May 01, 2021 3 min read

A strong symbolism surrounds this magic tree, but do you really know it? Discover throughout this article the secrets of the tree of life.
Read More
Tree of life 7 Chakras Meaning
Tree of life 7 Chakras (Meaning)

April 30, 2021 9 min read

The Tree of Life 7 Chakras increases the power of spiritual action and healing. Discover in this article this symbol and its real meaning.
Read More