Tattoo is a form of self-expression—so whenever you decide to get one, ensure the design you’ll choose is something personal to you. The tree of life is one of the most recognized tattoo designs that means differently to every culture and religion around the world. Before fully embracing the tree of life tattoo and make it your own, keep on reading for its meanings and design inspirations so you’ll get the perfect one for you.
What Is the Tree of Life?
There is no direct answer that will address this question as the tree of life perceived differently in each culture, religion, and philosophy around the globe. But to understand its overall concept, the tree of life represents the life, where all hope, knowledge, and love came from.
Different Meanings of the Tree of Life
The tree of life got many names throughout history, where some religion and philosophies call it as the Tree of Immortality, the Celtic Tree, or even The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. So here are some of the meanings that will help you decide if the Tree of Life Tattoo is perfect for you.
In the Bible, the “Tree of Life” refers to a tree in the Garden of Eden where God told Adam and Eve not to eat from, or else they will die.
When God made Adam and Eve, he placed them in the Garden of Eden—a paradise home where they could have a lot of children and a place where they could live forever. However, God gave them a test of obedience—The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. God told them that they could eat all the fruit they wanted from every tree in the garden, except from it, or else they would die.
Unfortunately, they disobeyed God, but why? The Bible says that there’s a serpent or a snake that spoke to Eve while she’s holding the forbidden fruit. We all know that a snake cannot talk, but the Bible reveals that there was an angel behind the serpent that urged Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. That wicked angel even told Eve that God was lying to them, that they wouldn’t die if they eat the fruit, but instead become wise like God. The thing that Eve didn’t know is the wicked angel wants them to worship him, not God.
By putting the wrong thoughts into Eve’s mind, she ate the forbidden fruit and gave some to her husband, Adam. According to the Bible, Adam didn’t believe what the serpent said, but his love for his wife is stronger than his love for God, so he ate the forbidden fruit too. As a result, Adam and Eve became imperfect, grew old, and died.
They could have lived forever in paradise as God created them with perfect minds and bodies—but they chose to disobey him. Because of that, all of their children became imperfect too and eventually grew old and die.
For Celtic culture, a Tree of Life is a bridge between heaven and earth.
Immortality or eternity is the concept of the Tree of Life when it comes to Celtic culture. In fact, their visual representation of the tree is often drawn in a circle which represents the world. Also, its root structure is often knotted or in infinite loop to represent eternity as they believe life is ever continuing as the Celtic knot. If you may notice, most of the Tree of Life branches reach up to the heavens, while its roots reach to the world below. Also, the Tree of Life symbolizes eternal time and renewal of life since it thrives in the Summer, falls in the Fall, dies in the Winter, and is reborn in the Spring.
In Norse mythology, the Tree of Life is the gigantic Yggdrasil tree that sustains life.
Just like the Celtic belief, the Tree of Life in Norse mythology also reaches the heavens, and connects the two worlds together. However, its meaning rely heavily on how the gigantic Yggdrasil tree sustains life, since it is portrayed as having roots which obtain nutrients below the earth to feed the creatures living within the branches of the tree.
A Tree of Life can also resemble the oak tree that others believed as the way of psychic realms.
Do you know that in the ancient times, oak trees are considered sacred or holy? In fact, some people even view them as the way to access different psychic realms by just “opening the oak door”. Oak trees are strong and durable which makes them a perfect idealization for a Tree of Life that represents endurance and bravery.
Environment advocates perceive trees as a significant part of nature.
In our modern times, there are numerous advocacies designed to support environmentalists on their campaigns. There are a lot of trees in the forests that are being destroyed due to industrialization. You really can’t blame environmentalists for loving trees too much as it’s the source of life in the forest and they’re beneficial to humans.
Reasons to Get a Tree of Life Tattoo
You want to remember how important it is to obey God’s commandments.
Whether you’re a Christian or a religious person, you might want to get the Tree of Life tattoo to remind you on your priorities in life—serve God with all your life. Tree of Life or the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil used to be the instrument to test the obedience of Adam and Eve. If you were in their place, what would you do? Would you still obey God, or follow your selfish desires? Regardless of your answer, a Tree of Life tattoo can be an inspiration for you to be a loyal servant of God, or a warning on reaping the consequences of your actions.
You want to make your “Tree of Life” tattoo as a lucky charm.
Celtics believe that a Tree of Life is the bridge between heaven and earth, and if you believe that too, you can have a reminder to walk the right path every time. Remember, you may appreciate the path you’re taking if you understand the connection between all lives on earth.
You have a deep love for life.
If you’re getting depressed, a Tree of Life tattoo can be your inspiration to keep going in your life no matter how hard it is. Do you still remember that in Celtic culture, a Tree of Life is a symbol of immortality? Trees lose their leaves and grow new ones in continuous cycles that can also symbolize an immortal life.
You can show your support for environmentalists with a Tree of Life tattoo.
It’s quite saddening how our forests are being destroyed by industrialization. So, create awareness to the world by getting Tree of Life tattoos that can also inspire others to save the remaining trees in the forests. If you’re an environment advocate, then a Tree of Life tattoo is just perfect to remind you on your advocacy. =
Tree of Life Tattoo Design Inspirations
The Tree of Life got different visual representation in tattoo design, and you might need some guide on how to get the perfect tattoo design for you.
Know what type of Tree of Life you’re getting.
We now know that a Tree of Life is different from one who believes in the Bible to one who believes in Celtic culture. Since every culture and philosophy calls a particular type of tree, know which Tree of Life appeals most to you. Remember, each person has his own version of a Tree of Life, whether it’s representing immortality, life, or renewal, so be specific with your tree design. Also, there are a number of ways to design a Tree of Life tattoos just to reflect their meanings.
Know your reasons for getting the Tree of Life tattoo in the first place.
Do you want to express your love towards life? Are you an advocate who creates awareness in saving our nature? Do you believe that following God’s commandments is the best thing you can do? Most people who choose to get this Tree of Life tattoo perceive it as a symbol or even an inspiration. Whatever you believe in, a Tree of Life clearly symbolizes life—a support for abundant life, a continuous cycle of life, growth and rebirth, the connection of all things from past to present and so on.
Depending on reasons on why you should be getting the tattoo, you may depict your purpose on varying the design of the tree itself, its roots, its, structure, its branches, its color, and even the details that surrounds it. For instance, if you believe in eternity, then opt for a Tree of life design that features eternal loops on its roots and bridges the heavens and earth.
Make your tattoo unique and personal to you.
The Tree of Life itself has different meanings, but you can add your own interpretation on it by making tweaks on your tattoo design. You may incorporate your personal insights and life experiences within the branches of the tree, make it a bit colorful, or add some floral designs. A great thing, the Tree of Life tattoo is easy to mix with other details.
Do you know that the sun and moon symbolizes the passage of time? Yes, they take their turns in the sky, just like a tree that falls in the winter and grows back in spring, along with our own life. If you believe in luck, you may even think of bird images that symbolize prosperity and wealth. Just play on details to make your tattoo personal. Regardless of the design, the most important thing is to make your Tree of Life tattoo completely unique and your own.
Do you know that leaves can symbolize the strength and experience of a person? If you feel you’re strong and you have grown enough in life, then going for a leafy Tree of Life tattoo is just perfect for you. On the other hand, a Tree of Life with abundant roots can represent your wisdom and knowledge, along with reminding your relationship with your family. Also, roots can symbolize your connection with your past whether it’s memorable or complicated that inspires you to be strong in your present life.
Place the Tree of Life tattoo wherever you like.
Tattoo is a body art, and just like any art, you would like it to be special and meaningful. You may showcase the masterpiece on your arm, full back, legs, and even on your neck. If you want a large scale tattoo, think of placing it on your legs or at your back. If you’re sensitive, you might want to consider the pain you’ll endure while getting inked as areas such as spines, hips, ankles, and feet are painful. If you’re brave enough, don’t let the fear of pain hold you back.
All you need is to figure out on which part of your body you will most find it pleasurable to see or to flaunt to others. A great thing, the Tree of Life design can be tweaked in a number of different ways to make it flattering for your body. In fact, it can be a conversation starter, or a means to draw you with the people who share your beliefs.
Regardless of your culture and beliefs, a Tree of Life tattoo can serve as a mystical icon and a source of inspiration in your life.