When it comes to holiday meaning, there is no better place to turn than exploring the meaning of trees. Why? Lots of reasons. Here are a few…
Trees Are Expertly Qualified to Enhance Holiday Meaning
1) Trees are wisdom-keepers. Beneath the bark, resides dense flesh that reveals rings of history, time and wisdom. In essence, trees mark the passage of time. They watch over the history of life while standing with stoic silence. The meaning of trees is all about tapping into tradition that has lived in the memory of trees for 100s of years. Once tapped, you will find yourself totally enchanted.
2) Trees are plentiful. In some form or another, trees can be found just about everywhere around the world. They are so generous and giving. There is a tree for every occasion, purpose and spiritual task. Just ask any tree, and they will happily share their power for a good cause (including adding special holiday meaning to your yearly ceremonies).
3) Trees root us while reminding us to reach for our dreams. There is perhaps no better analogy for human potential than the anatomy of a tree. Their roots remind us we must remain grounded. Their branches are ever-reaching out to the heavens. As a comparison, trees stand as an example that are best success is attained when we are firmly grounded while also branching out towards our visions and reaching for our dreams.
These are a few ideas as to why trees are teachers and guides for any season. Additionally, each tree has a special energy. For example, the tree meaning of oak has a totally different portent than the pine. When exploring holiday meaning, you can access different energies with different trees. According to Natural Wisdom, there are specific trees that can enhance holiday intentions more than others. Here are a few ideas about symbolic holiday meaning of trees to uplift and inspire your holiday season (and show your tree-love at the same time!).
Ideas for Energizing the Holiday Season Using Ancient Tree Wisdom
Before fake Christmas trees were pushed out of factories and before Yule logs were made into tasty eats…these trees (and more) were established by our ancestors as powerful, meaningful energies that marked special occasions.
The wise-ways of pre-industrial folk understood the meaning of trees was powerful and good accentuate the power of the seasons (and holidays). Here are a few power-trees and their meanings to give you an idea of Old School tree charm to boost your holiday mood.
Pine: For many ancient cultures, pine tree meaning deals with life…specifically the ongoing nature of life. To explain, the pine is an evergreen. In the ancient way of thinking, an evergreen tree meaning is tied to the everlasting nature of life – or said better – the concept of immortality. From Celtic wisdom to Native American beliefs…evergreens have been synonymous with the cyclical nature of life. In fact, the pine is a symbol for overcoming death – it represents the idea that life never ends…it only lives in different states. The holiday meaning of the pine tree is closely connected with the Winter Solstice. We see the pine tree making a huge public debut during this solstice corresponding with Christmas, Candlemas, Yule, Saturnalia, etc. This holiday season, consider a devotional based on pine tree energy. Meditate about the ever-evolving behavior of life..how it twists, turns, recycles, re-news…but never quite ends. The symbolic meaning of trees in the pine family is a sublime way to celebrate life for your next holiday tradition.
Yew: This is another evergreen that is symbolic of life…but in a different way. The old ways of ancient Europeans included rituals of marking graves with yew trees and/or branches. This act is symbolic of honoring death, and assisting the deceased to cross over into non-physical peacefully. With its associations with so-called death (and as an evergreen) the yew tree is also connected with rebirth. The yew is a statement that says: “For every ending there is a beginning.”
The cyclical concept associated with the yew is about connecting with life behind the veil…which is an ephemeral destination for the souls after physical life ends. Yew trees and boughs are often incorporated during Halloween, Samhain, All Soul’s Night because the yew is thought to enhance the connection between the living and so-called dead. It is said to increase chances to communicate with loved ones who have passed. Yew also serves the same symbolic purpose around Christmas and Yule.
Rowan: Tree meaning of the rowan deals with rejuvenation, endurance, protection and hope. Its branches are often used to ward away negativity and cleansing from so-called evil spirits. It was a tree that marked the beginning of the new year because it encourages light and hope for better days ahead (when dark half of the year begins to say goodbye after the Winter Solstice). The rowan tree is also symbolic of inspiration, creativity and artistry. This is largely due to its brilliant berries which attract lovely songbirds. These two aspects were symbolic in ancient wisdom…songbirds and rowans were a way to encourage beautiful poetry, music and more. In fact, the rowan was sacred to Celtic druids and bards for this reason. Incorporate the energy of the rowan tree on New Year’s eve for renewed creativity and inspiration.
Oak: When it comes to holiday meaning and meaning of trees..the oak stands king in many ancient traditions. It is thought the oak is the wood used for the Yule log because it is symbolic of the battle between light and dark (the struggle between light and dark halves of the year during the Winter Solstice). The European story goes the Oak King (king of light) battles the old Holly King (king of night). The epic legend reveals the Oak wins the battle, thus allowing the days to grow longer and bright…which results in renewal of the earth in terms of newborn cattle, renewal of the earth in crops, etc.
The light returning to the land meant life and survival and happier times for earth-grounded ancients. This makes the oak tree a perfect energy to tap into during the Winter Solstice, Yule, Christmas, etc. Tree meaning of the oak also deals with power, protection, strength, and magic. For its light-inspired symbolism, the oak is also used in summer festivals. The oak is a powerful way to give thanks for the light (spiritually and physically) allowing tremendous bounty in our lives. Whether for Yule (winter) or Litha (summer) the oak is an effective energy when honoring the light that makes our lives bright through the year.
Closing Thoughts About Meaning of Trees and the Holidays
Trees are magical beings – alive yet deceptively stoic in their constant silence. Their stillness and common presence among us often means their power is overlooked or unappreciated. This is just a grave error…because trees present remarkable beauty as well as endless enchantment.
I hope these few ideas about symbolic holiday meaning of trees offered you inspiration. There are many more trees to explore with special energies that are heightened during certain times of the year. At the end of the day, look to trees for life-enhancement. They will never disappoint when it comes to uplifting, teaching, engaging and renewing.
As a self-confessed tree-hugger, I have plenty more to say on the subject of tree symbolism. I’d be delighted if you checked out my other articles on tree meaning. I hope they inspire you as much as they did me as I wrote them.
Wishing you arboreal blessings today, tomorrow and for every holiday,
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