A beloved, universal symbol with so a powerful meaning! Almost all beliefs and cultures in our planet have embraced the Tree of Life.
The Mayan believed heaven to be a wonderful, magical place on Earth hidden by a mystical mountain. They called this place Tamoanchan. Heaven, Earth, and Underworld (Xibalba) were connected by the ‘world tree’. The world tree grew at the locus of creation, all things flowing out from that spot into four directions. These were: East associated with red, North represented by white, West that is black and South that is yellow. The Mayan tree of life is a cross with its center being the point of ‘absolute beginning’, the source of all creation and its branches passing through each of the three layers of existence – underworld, earth, and the sky.
For the Summerians the Tree of Life also had special meaning. The oldest name of Babylon, Tin-tir-ki, meant ‘the place of the tree of life’. To the Babylonians, it was a tree with magical fruit, which could only be picked by the gods. The earlier Sumerian traditions played a major role in Babylonian culture. The early Sumerian art (around 2500 BC) depicts pictures of a pole or a tree called the ‘axis mundi’. Guarding this tree is a snake or a pair of intertwined snakes. Babylonians have the concept of the ‘navel of the world’, the place of the connection of different spheres. This vertical dimension, axis mundi, is the connection between three cosmic spheres: heaven, earth and underworld. The sacred mountain, the temple, the sacred city are all considered to be this Sacred Space, the axis mundi, the connection of the three cosmic dimensions.
Assyrians substituted the tree for the caduceus with coiled snakes circling around the wood of the wand. Here we see a snake symbolizing an underworld consciousness, passing through earth, climbing a stick, transcends to a winged reality, a heavenly creature. Wings on a wand became a symbol of transformation and transcendence.
In Egyptian mythology, the first couple are Isis and Osiris. They have emerged from the acacia tree of Iusaaset, which the Egyptians considered the tree of life. Egyptians considered the Tree of Life to be the tree in which life and death are enclosed. The direction East was associated with the direction of Life, the direction of the rising Sun, and the direction West was seen as the direction of death, of under-world, because Sun sets in the West. Egyptian creation myths refer to a serpent and a primordial egg, which contained a bird of light.
Within the Nordic cultures we also find a Tree of Life called Yggdrasil. It is a massive holy ash tree where Gods assemble daily. the tree provides a magical spring water of knowledge. An eagle is on the top of the tree and a serpent is coiled around the roots of the tree. The eagle and the snake hate each other.
On the top of the above tree is the symbol of Thor, the eagle. The dogs guarding the Tree emulate the guardian lions depicted in Byzantine works.
In Chinese mythology a Taoist story tells us of a peach magical tree that produces a peach every three thousand years. The one who eats the fruit becomes immortal. At the base of the Tree of Life is a dragon, and at the top is a phoenix (a bird). In Chinese cosmology, there are four Dragon Kings (Qin, Kuang, Jun and Xun), each with his own elemental domain.
The Tree of Life that is in the center of Kabbalah’s symbolism can be studied as a complex formula of existence, the flow of creation from the Divine to Earth and back to the Divine. It is the Tree of Life and Knowledge, a magical key to how life manifests itself. The Tree of Life is comprised of ten sephiroth, with twenty-two paths interconnecting them. The Kabbalah is a magical framework for the Hebrews' mystical thoughts.
The left column is called the Pillar of Severity. It represents the female aspect of creation and contains three sephira: Binah (Understanding), Geburah (Severity) and Hod (Splendor).
The right column is called the Pillar of Mercy. It represents the male aspects of creation and contains three sephira: Chokmah (Wisdom), Chesed (Mercy) and Netzach (Victory).
The middle pillar is called the Pillar of Equilibrium. It represents the balance between the male and female pillars. It contains four sephira: Kether (Crown), Tiphareth (Beauty), Yesod (Foundation) and Malkuth (Kingdom).
According to modern interpretations, the Tree of Life is a mystical concept represents the interconnectedness of all life on our beautiful planet. The Tree of Life connects all forms of creation. The Tree of Life is considered to be the symbol of 'Creator'.
Lapis Lazuli, being the spiritual stone for transcendence, is specially meaningful to represent this powerful symbol.