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“The symbol of a sacred tree is a universal one in many of the world’s religions and myths.

Pauline Long at the first Sophia Fellowship Feminist Theology Conference in 1996 stated: ‘Through varying centuries and times, the Tree of Life has been a symbol both of this  and the Divine. It represents the theme of rebirth, along with the union of opposites’.

Frequently such trees are guarded by a serpent or dragon.

In ancient Shamanistic beliefs, the sacred tree links Heaven (the branches) with Middle Earth (the trunk) and the Underworld (the ).

It is found in Norse mythology as Yggdrasil, the cosmic world tree, its symbolism as the axis mundi (world pillar, cosmic axis) linking the nine worlds of existence.

It was also the tree from which the God Odin hung to gain the gnosis of the runes.

This links symbolically with Jesus ‘sacrificed’ on the rood tree or cross and biblical legends say that it was made from the wood of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

A more gentle myth has the Buddha sitting under a sacred Bodhi tree until he ‘awakened’ or achieved spiritual enlightenment”.

Source: The Book of Fallen Angels by Michael Howard, Capall Bann Publishing

Image: www.wallconvert.com

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