Tree of Life
I have recently become fascinated by the Tree of Life symbol (as evidenced by my still-evolving Valleyesque logo). As synchronicity would have it, the symbol has been presenting itself to me in all its various forms.
For my birthday this past weekend, my adorably sweet sister-in-law gifted me a Page Sargisson necklace featuring a tree cutout. I have been dreaming of a large round pendant, and I love the look of the woodblock imprint in the silver. I opened it moments after sitting down and designing the Valleyesque logo. The logo itself was inspired by my recent doodling of the tree outside my office window, which is currently bare for winter. I have never been incredibly artistic when it comes to drawing pen on paper, and have admittedly doodled the same 5 objects (and little else) since grammar school: a butterfly, a crescent moon, a lotus flower, a frog, and Celtic swirls (I obviously grew up with a love for mythology and fantasy). This new doodle in my arsenal has therefore not gone unnoticed. As such, I decided to do a some digging into the history of this symbol.
Whether in myth or in science, the tree of life has depicted the interconnectedness of life: a symbol of rebirth and immortality. Darwin used the tree of life symbol to describe the evolutionary process. In Judeo-Christian stories, the tree of life represented the tree of immortatily (and Adam and Eve were denied access to the tree of life after eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil). In Mayan, Aztec, and other Mesoamerican cultures, the tree of life was a symbol for the connection between the spirit world and the terrestial world. It is also often used as a symbol for the Hermetic concept of “As above, so below.”
The first time I was struck by this symbol was backpacking solo through Europe in the main Viennese museum. I had gone to see the Klimt exhibit (what girl can resist the gold leaf and romance of The Kiss) and became enthralled by his Tree of Life.