Tree of Life Tattoo Meaning

The tree of life has been a enduring symbol since ancient times. In fact, it is believed to originate in the Biblical account of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Since that fateful day, it has been used to represent life and growth, both physically and spiritually. What you may not know is that the tree of life differs according to your culture and nearly all the versions are commonly found in tattoos.

Tree of Life Tattoo Design

Tree of Life tattoo designs vary between cultures and even between artists within the same culture. Most feature arching branches and deep roots, with variations in color, shape and design. The traditional Tree of Life design often depicted in storybooks and religious texts contains branches reaching for the sky and roots that run deep into the soil. Other versions, such as the Celtic Tree of Life, are contained inside a circle or feature roots and branches that intertwine to form an outer circle.

Symbolism of Tree of Life Tattoos

  • Power
  • Wisdom
  • Fertility
  • Life
  • Cycle of Life
  • Immortality

The Tree of Life has similar meanings across all cultures, but there are some subtle variations. Some common cultural meaning attributed to the Tree of Life symbol are:

  • Ancient Hebrews: In the ancient Hebrew religion of  Qabalah The Tree of Life represented the connection between man and God and/or the Universe.
  • Norse Mythology: In Norse mythology the Tree of Life held the world of the spirits and the world of man together. The upper branches represented the heavenly spirits, the trunk stood for the earthly reign of man and the roots symbolized the lowly spirits of the underworld.
  • Germany: In Germany the Tree of Life is thought to guard the home and offer protection.
  • Egyptian: The Egyptian Tree of Life is thought to be a sacred tree that grows beside a spring where the Water of Life is drawn up by the roots. A woman is often depicted within the branches to offer food and water to those in the underworld.
  • China: In China the pomelo tree is known as the Tree of Life. It is believed that the spirits of the deceased live in the trees with the gods.
  • India: In India the Tree of Life represents the relationship between God and his people. The roots of the tree represent God, the trunk represents the emergence of civilization and the leaves represent people.
  • Modern Tree of Life Design: Today’s Tree of Life tattoo designs vary, but most are reminiscent of the Disney version.

Tree of Life Tattoo

Uses of Tree of Life Designs

Tree of Life designs can be found in artwork, on pendants, as illustrations in storybooks and in movies and motion pictures. This enduring symbol crosses generations and cultural borders as the universal symbol for life and spiritual growth. It may be found in New Age literature, used as website headers and shared on social media.

We love the versatility and beauty of the Tree of Life design for tattoos, as it can be adapted to nearly any size, be as decorative as you please and always looks stylish. Tree of Life tattoos are ideal for girls as well as boys and can be placed discretely on the arm or ankle or more prominent if you prefer. Don’t be afraid to share your ideas for unique Tree of Life tattoo designs with your tattoo artist, as there is no right or wrong way to depict this popular image.

Get Inspired:

Trees are an amazing symbol of the enduring nature of life. Did you know…

  • A colony of quaking aspen in Utah all share the same root system making them the largest living organism, weighing in at more than 6,000 tons. The colony is also the oldest living organism of earth with an estimated age of over 80,000 years.
  • Deciduous trees are the perfect symbol for the cycle of life as they lose their leaves in the fall and remain dormant all winter only to burst forth with new life every spring.

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