Happy Holiday SeasonHistory & Mythology

Symbolism of the Tree of Life Mosaic in this New Decade

In case you haven’t noticed, January is a significant month for planning and making changes. The idea of setting goals at the new year is seen all around the world. Moreover, 2020 ushers in a whole new decade. Out of all our mosaic designs, we feel that the Tree of Life mosaic best represents the concept of new beginnings and fresh starts.

The symbology is quite ancient, and just like the concept of a fresh start at the New Year, it transcends cultures. If your only exposure to this image has been associated with Celtic tradition, for example, you’ll be surprised. Let’s list the many reasons that the Tree of Life can be an inspirational piece of mosaic wall art in your home for this year and beyond!

Harmony with Nature

Tree of Life by Mozaico.

The Celts and Norse portrayed their version of the tree with not only towering branches but also deep roots. They understood the relationship between the soil, tree, and sky and honored it. 

When Celts cleared land for a settlement, they would always choose one large, single tree to remain standing in the center. This tree, called the crann bethadh, was powerful, helping maintain all life. In times of war, chopping down your enemy village’s crann bethadh was a way to victory.

Africa Tree of Life by Mozaico.

The balance between the upper, visible worlds of leaves and branches and the hidden lower worlds of soil and roots is something is a potent  symbol today. We are more conscious of how our actions affect nature and it’s highly interconnected systems.

It’s an image for anyone who pledges to care for the environment and understand the links between all forms of life. The images of a verdant tree, heavy with fruit and supplying nourishment and beauty make an inspiring piece of mosaic wall art.

The Search for Enlightenment

Stories of the Garden of Eden also feature a Tree of Life. The concept is carried across several faiths: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Today, the tree can be a powerful symbol of growing curiosity and knowledge of one’s chosen faith.

As one learns and becomes wiser, their spiritual growth can be visualized as a growing tree, branching out and becoming stronger.

Tree of Kabbalah by Mozaico.

The Kabbalah’s Tree of life is considered to be “A map of the universe and the psyche, the order of the creation of the cosmos, and a path to spiritual illumination.”

Christian interpretations include Saint Isaac declaring that “the tree of life is the love of God”.

Contemplating the path to holiness and divine wisdom has its part in many religious interpretations of the tree, from the Bodhi tree the Buddha sat beneath at the time of his  enlightenment, to the Hindu Kalpavriksha.

Whatever one’s spiritual path, a tree of life mosaic pattern on your wall can be lovely to contemplate. They are beautiful in a private setting, or on display in a public place of worship.

Achieving Wisdom

Snowy Cedar by Mozaico.

Many interpretations of the Tree of Life are centered around wisdom. In North America, the Ojibway cosmology describes their version of Grandmother Cedar:  Nookomis Giizhig.

In Iroquois culture, the Tree of life fell from the heavens where the first people lived. One day, a pregnant woman fell from the sky and landed in an endless sea. Saved by a giant turtle from drowning, she formed the world on its back by planting bark taken from the tree. 

The ancient wisdom carried by Grandmother Cedar and the first tree of the Iroquois helped the first people grow and thrive. Their fruit and branches gave knowledge.

Image Source: Pinterest

Today, education and learning are often symbolized by living, growing trees. It’s a common motif at schools, often shown in colorful glass mosaic wall art in common areas. Often, there are literal depictions of the “Fruit of Knowledge”, such as apples or acorns. 

A more whimsical take on the learning process can be seen in this piece of art. It would be quite at home in a garden or outdoor space!

Fantasy by Mozaico.

Mosaic Art Immortalizes Ideas

One of the reasons we’ve learned about the details of ancient history is the longevity of mosaic art. It’s a way to immortalize ideas and create permanent visual icons.

For example, this early Tree of Life depiction is from ancient Rome, with a Greek inscription.

Image  © Ad Meskens / Wikimedia Commons.

This famous piece of mosaic pavement was created in the 8th century in the Khirbat al-Mafjar complex.

Khirbat al-Mafjar complex Tree Mosaic from Pinterest.

Additionally, The Church of the Transfiguration in Massachusetts utilizes the same type of mosaic glass wall art today to create lasting beauty in their worship space.

Image Source: Church of the Transfiguration

Mosaic art has centuries of longevity and beauty to recommend it! It’s a wonderful way to have beauty and inspiration in your daily life, no matter the location. It works just as well in more demanding outdoor environments as indoors.

This public mural is a fine example of a modern-day Tree of Life interpretation. It celebrates community roots.

Image Source: Pinterest

This custom piece by Mosaico is a 21st-century take on the motif, and it’s deeply personal. We can create mosaic wall art from any concept or photo, even actual family trees.

Cedar Tree by Mozaico.

Conclusion

Finding your own meaning and resolve in the Tree of Life symbol is a lovely, powerful way to carry out your goals in this new year and the new decade.

There’s room for more than one of these images in your life, creating a touchstone as you move forward.

Which one speaks most strongly to you? Are you drawn to the spiritual, natural, or knowledge-seeking elements of the Tree of Life? 

As you launch into the new year, enjoy finding your favorite version in our extensive Tree of Life catalog.

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