Tree Symbolism: 8 Trees and Their Spiritual Meanings
Trees represent a deeper symbolism for many people including myself. I have always been drawn to these plants and from a very young age would love to hug them. I always felt safe and protected around trees. My own business, The Journey Tree, is based on the symbolic meaning of the tree which is transformation and rebirth, growth and resurrection.
It was through trees that I reawakened my spiritual journey. These magnificent entities, with their healing energies, helped me as I walked on my journey of change. Through my connection with trees, I was able to find a thread of hope and creation once more on my own life path.
I encourage anyone starting their own journey of change to pick a tree that has a deeper spiritual meaning for them. By planting this tree, either in your garden or in a pot, you’ve now got a companion who understands your pain and searches for a deeper meaning in life. And, as you grow, so does your Journey Tree.
By opening your heart to the spiritual dimension of trees, you’re tapping into the tree’s healing energies that resonate deeply with your journey of death and rebirth.
Here are eight trees and their spiritual meanings.
The Acacia tree symbolizes the continuity of life. It also represents protection. It has been honored since ancient times in Egypt who made the sacred barge of Osiris, a nature god, out of the wood of this tree. The acacia tree was also planted to protect the mummified body of Osiris.
In Africa, the Acacia is used to ward off evil spirits, dispel fears, and help you build up your courage. The bark is used in protection spells while drinking beer using parts of the tree is known to protect against psychic attacks. It also promises new life and love.
This upside-down tree has deep symbolism and the Baobab is often referred to as the Tree of Life. When you tap into the energies of this magnificent tree, you’ll be given emotional strength, the will to survive, and spiritual sustenance.
In both Australia and Africa, the Baobab is worshipped and honored for being the gateway to the afterlife. These trees are planted in many communities for spiritual connection. The dead are often buried at the base of the Baobab as it’s believed they capture the soul of the past one.
3. Sacred Fig Tree
If you’re looking for a tree to give you enlightenment as you take on a spiritual journey, then plant a Peepul. This tree is one of the most sacred trees worldwide and is a wonderful tree for helping you calm your mind and find clarity.
Also known as the “Tree of Awakening”, the Peepul or Sacred Fig Tree was chosen by the Buddha under which he sat during his meditations. Sadhus continue to meditate or walk around this tree as a form of worshipping. Prayer beads are also made from this sacred tree.
The Willow tree has always been deeply connected with the moon since ancient times. It also carries a feminine symbolism and many Greek goddesses are associated with this tree. The Willow tree is honored in Celtic traditions for its metaphysical meaning.
Willow trees are often used in spiritual rituals and I have used their twigs to craft wreaths for my dreamcatchers. If you’re looking to enhance your psychic abilities or bring in new love, then use parts of this tree in a ritual.
5. Silver Birch
This delicate, beautiful tree has deep symbolism for the Siberian shaman. The shaman will climb to the top of this tree to undertake spiritual journeys to the upper world. The Silver Birch represents motherhood for many cultures and Russian folklore has named this tree the Lady of the Forest.
Celtic lore sees this tree as offering protection while symbolizing new beginnings. It’s also associated with the Great Goddess and therefore worshipped for its feminine energies. A sacred tree in many traditions, the Silver Birch is a wonderful tree to accompany you on a journey of transformation.
The Yew tree can live for many, many years. It has deep connections with magic and the universe. It was regarded as the protector of the soul by the ancient Greeks. You’ll find this tree planted at many burial sites throughout the world as it’s recognized as a guardian of the dead.
It is believed that Odin (from the Nordic legend) hung himself from the Yew for nine days and nights. It’s symbolic for its everlasting and regenerative properties and is often associated with transformation and change after a difficult time. The Celtic tradition honors the Yew tree for symbolizing death and rebirth.
7. White Mulberry
The White Mulberry, as with all mulberry trees, is worshipped for its nourishment and sustenance of life. Many Chinese traditions honor this tree and often call it the “Tree of Renewal.” The White Mulberry represents the Tao and is often used in Chinese medicine to cleanse and rejuvenate Qi in the body when it has become blocked.
The White Mulberry is symbolic of growth, faith, and nature. It’s also symbolic of great abundance, patience, self-fulfillment, and happiness. The ancient Greeks associated the mulberry tree with their Goddess of Wisdom, Athena, while other cultures see the tree as the bridge between earth and heaven.
Some cultures consider the Pomegranate tree the “fruit of the spirit.” Ancient Egyptians use this tree as a symbol of prosperity and ambition as well as fertility and generosity. Many people cultivate this tree in their garden for its spiritual meaning being the cycle of growth and death.
The Pomegranate is often associated with the High Priestess tarot card and is a message of wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and spiritual enlightenment. If you’re embarking on an inner journey, then make sure you plant a Pomegranate in your home. This tree will help you meditate on the deeper realms of your unconscious.
How to Use a Tree on Your Spiritual Journey
Planting a tree with deep spiritual meaning in your garden or in your home allows you to tap into its energies on a daily basis. You can go and sit next to the tree every day during your meditation or simply stroke its bark and leaves, asking for love and protection before you start your day.
At the end of every day, you can bless your spiritual tree while expressing your gratitude. I find great solace in all my trees and just sitting with them brings me peace, harmony, and grounding. If I perform a ritual for any reason, I will ask permission from one of my trees to use some of its leaves or twigs.
Hanging special totems in your tree is another way of honoring it and connecting with its energies on a deeper level. And, if you’ve written thank you or forgiveness notes that you wish to release, you can bury them into the soil around the tree.
I often turn to my oracle cards for wisdom and guidance by Jane Struthers. Her “Using the Wisdom of Trees Oracle” is a wonderful source of spiritual advice.
You can also create a bonsai with your chosen tree. This is a good way of growing your journey tree when you don't have a garden or enough outdoor space to plant a tree in the ground. These bonsai pots are beautiful.
Get Peter Chan's book, "Bonsai: The Art of Growing and Keeping Miniature Trees" if you're not sure how to grow bonsai trees.
Watch this wonderful Youtube video as it shows two practices you can do to benefit from the energy of trees.
Trees hold a lot of symbolism and when you’re seeking a deeper spiritual connection, you’ll find it simpler when connecting with the tree’s energies. There’s something so magical about trees, no matter which one, and having them close by is a sure way of tapping into this magic.
You don’t need to have a garden to have trees nearby – I have many trees planted in pots of all sizes. I encourage you to pick a tree that resonates deeply with you and let it be your companion as you embark on a journey of change and transformation. You’ll be glad you did!
This post was originally published on June 2nd, 2021, and updated on June 3rd, 2022.
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