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Tree of Life Meaning - What Does it Represent?

The tree of life also known as Yggdrasil the world tree, appears in my cultures, religions and countries even across continents.
It’s almost universally depicted as a gigantic tree with not just wide spread branches, but also deep and wide spread roots.

In general the tree of life represents:

  • Life, longevity and fertility
  • Growth
  • Wisdom/Knowledge
  • Strength

This is due to trees being a product of nature, being spread throughout the world, bear fruits or seeds (Fertility), and often live a very long time, far longer than humans in many cases (Excluding external influences such as deforestation of course).

Norse Mythology:

The Norse tree of life is a large ash tree named Yggdrasil the world tree, which connects the Nine Worlds and is the center of the cosmos.
Yggdrasil is also the tree where it’s said that Odin sacrificed himself … to himself.

Yggdrasil represents the cycle of life, death and rebirth.
Check out our article When was Yggdrasil Created? to find out more.


Make sure to check out our Tree of Life pendant while stocks last.
Yggdrasil Norse Tree Of Life Pendant

Meanings from around the world:

  • China
    • China mythology contains references to a tree of life, but it’s appearance is quite different to depictions of Yggdrasil in Norse mythology.
    • The tree is depicted with a phoenix and a dragon and produces peaches.
      Similarly to Christianity and Islam, this tree of life’s fruits were said to grant immortality.

  • North America
    • The Iroquois have a myth referred to as the “World on the Turtle’s Back”.
      In this myth the tree of life is a tree which can be found in the Sky-World where people like the Iroquois lived.
      The tree is said to be sacred and the center of the universe.
    • Citation

Religious references and meanings:


According to Buddhism traditions, the tree of life refers to the Bodhi tree, a large, ancient sacred fig tree, under which the Buddha sat when he attained enlightenment.  The Bodhi tree has heart shaped leaves.


In Christianity the tree of life is a tree in the Garden of Eden that is the source of eternal life.
In Eastern Christianity the tree of life is said to be the love of God.


In Islam the tree of life is a tree in the Garden of Eden.  It is referred to as the tree of immortality in the Quran.


In Judaism the tree of life is associated with wisdom and calmness. 

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