Autumn Tree of Life Gaia Earth Axis Pagan Wiccan
Press button to contact AsianOrientation for assistance with personalization. As a conceptual metaphor, the "tree of life" is common throughout world religions, theologies, philosophies, mythologies, and even in modern day science. It has also been imagined or expressed as a world tree, sacred tree, axis mundi, cosmic axis, world axis, world pillar, columna cerului, center of the world, navel of the world, among many others. The tree imagery serves as a shorthand or immediately recognizable icon for a vast and deep array of profound philosophical, metaphysical, and scientific concepts. This cosmic tree both connects heaven and the underworld with the phenomenological world of earth and also represents all forms of life and creation on the Earth, interconnected and branching out, but ultimately drawn from the same source. The tree, therefore, has been used to describe the scientific process of evolution, the metaphysical oneness of all being, the source of creation and place of return in death, our empty physical bodies thus nourishing the tree from which new life emerges. These meanings are, to varying degrees, intertwined with those of the axis mundi in conceptual systems from ancient Egypt to Persia to Norse myth to Biblical Eden to Buddhist Mount Kailash or Hindu Shiva Lingam... Few if any cultures or civilizations have imagined the cosmos or their place within it without using the imagery of the tree of life. Wikipedia offers a concise discussion of the tree in its role as axis mundi: "The axis mundi (also cosmic axis, world axis, world pillar, columna cerului, center of the world,world tree), in religion or mythology, is the world center or the connection between Heaven and Earth. As the celestial pole and geographic pole, it expresses a point of connection between sky and earth where the four compass directions meet. At this point travel and correspondence is made between higher and lower realms. Communication from lower realms may ascend to higher ones and blessings from higher realms may descend to lower ones and be disseminated to all. The spot functions as the omphalos (navel), the world's point of beginning. The image is mostly viewed as feminine, as it relates to center of the earth (perhaps like an umbilical providing nourishment). It may have the form of a natural object (a mountain, a tree, a vine, a stalk, a column of smoke or fire) or a product of human manufacture (a staff, a tower, a ladder, a staircase, a maypole, a cross, a steeple, a rope, a totem pole, a pillar, a spire). Its proximity to heaven may carry implications that are chiefly religious (pagoda, temple mount, minaret, church) or secular (obelisk, lighthouse, rocket, skyscraper). The image appears in religious and secular contexts. The axis mundi symbol may be found in cultures utilizing shamanic practices or animist belief systems, in major world religions, and in technologically advanced "urban centers". In Mircea Eliade's opinion, "Every Microcosm, every inhabited region, has a Centre; that is to say, a place that is sacred above all." The axis mundi is often associated with mandalas."