Magic Trees

45 min read
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By MirachRavaia
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Trees have always been something more than just plants to the mankind. The worship of trees might be forgotten, but still the symbol of tree survives in our subconscious. Almost every nation has myths and legends about trees, placing the tree as the central axis of the world, or worshipping it as a dwelling place of gods or spirits, the giver of knowledge, connection between worlds or as ancestors of the tribe.   

In Norse mythology, a giant ash tree - Yggdrasil - represents "axis mundi", around which the 9 worlds (the world of people - Middle-earth, being one of them) are organized. A giant snake, Níðhöggr, gnaws at its roots, but they always grow anew.

:thumb177217930: Odin by ElenaTurtle:thumb133463388: Yggdrasil by mikioku Yggdrasil by mernolan Ashes of Yggdrasil by Phoenix-tails9:thumb172003329: World Tree by redheaded-step-child Ratatoesk by daniellieske Urd Verdandi Skuld by mrs-jessicat Yggdrasil Seed by ArdiRa Yggdrasil by Prasa

The biblical Tree of Knowledge has even some similarities to Yggdrasil. The snake is present, also, and although presented in a negative light, the tree is a giver of knowledge.... Just like in the myth about Yggdrasil when the god Odin sacrificed himself, hanging on the tree for nine days, to learn the secrets of knowledge.

Eve and the Tree of Knowledge by jasminetoad SlashTHREE - S by aiiven Tree of Life - Awakening by Lakandiwa

After his sacrifice, Odin learned the runes, and brought them to the people. This is another important role of the tree as a giver of script. In Celtic tradition, the entire alphabet, ogham is based on trees, one tree representing one letter. It was used mostly for magical purposes, like divination.

Detailed Ogham Fews by Lolair LUIS by paula2206:thumb98462434:

Dryads are tree spirits in Greek mythology. Technically speaking, dryads are the nymphs of oak trees, but the term has come to be used for all tree nymphs in general.

Treeshape by puimun:thumb185223802: wild treant by CReevesABudd:thumb157498723:

Mature Content

Wedding Vows by Candra
Heart of the Wood by puimun Dryad Driada by zaradei Dryad- detail by asantell Dryad by Zingaia Woodland Nymph by yaamas

A Green Man is a sculpture, drawing, or other representation of a face surrounded by or made from leaves. Found in many cultures around the world, the Green Man is often related to natural vegetative deities springing up in different cultures throughout the ages. Primarily it is interpreted as a symbol of rebirth, or "renaissance," representing the cycle of growth each spring.

Greenman color by Lumi-karhu:thumb163511628: Oak king by Ironshod green man by subdommedia

In Eastern tradition, trees also play an important role, connected with the "giver of knowledge" myth. It was the Bodhi Tree, that Buddha was sitting under, when he achieved the enlightenment. It was a Fig tree, and its descendant still grows in the Mahabodhi Temple, now over 2.000 years old.

bodhi tree by philosophyam Under the Bodhi Tree by ehrehrere

While redwoods are the biggest trees in the world, the first place in circumference belongs to another tree. It is the Tule tree (Taxodium mucronatum) in Santa Maria del Tule, Oaxaca, Mexico with the circumference of 54 m.

Tule tree by Daishiru Not all old by Cossy Tule Tree 01 by Niaoblis Tule tree 02 by Niaoblis

The world's oldest living trees are the b>Bristlecone Pines</b> (Pinus longaeva). The oldest tree, named Methuselah, was discovered in the White Mountains in eastern California and is over 4.800 years old.

Ancient Tree by MirMidPhotos the old giant by rocktigerlilly People In a Tree by inspiredcreativity The Tree God by MarcAdamus Reaching for the Stars by enunez

The possibility of trees to make clonal systems, however, can change our perception of their age. Pando (or The Trembling Giant) is a clonal colony of a single male Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) located in Utah, all determined to be part of a single living organism by identical genetic markers and one massive underground root system. The root system of Pando is claimed by some to be among the oldest known living organisms in existence at 80.000 years of age.

Quaking Aspen by LowBFlat Trembling aspen by kiipy

When facing these facts, it is not a wonder that trees have been worshipped. It's a pity that so many amazing trees have fallen, having no place in the "modern" age. The more we should value the ones that remain...

:thumb187659803: Morton Bay Fig Tree by mit19237 1000 year Cherry by koala2all King of Trees by black-amber:thumb166593890: Old and Knarred by Earthmagic The Tree by Arathrim Linden by MirachRavaia The Octopus Tree by 11thDimensionPhoto Old tree by edwardowe checking for shelter by maximila Into the Light by daniellieske - Tree - by Peoch DWARFED BY THE MIGHTY by TADBEER:thumb26595726: Older than Jesus by ArwensGrace:thumb81142915: Dark Cernunnos by Hluthvik

Some more amazing pictures of trees, showing that the symbol of a tree still remains in the human mind, and is mirrored in art

Entrance To The Sacred Tree by Roseum Runic Oak - COLOR by ValkAngie life tree by yonaz Edgewood's Butterfly Tree by myceliae The Great Tree by JonasDeRo The Tree of Life by Jose-Garel-Alvoeiro A Star without a Name by golden-quince:thumb140396953: Warm Mist by andreasrocha autumn, linden by ayjaja Death Is The Road to Awe... by morgenland The White Tree of Gondor by aragonia Enchanted Woods by jeshannon Intertwined Trees by Spitenmalice LGHELFFinal by JadeRunya Community by RedgoldsparksPress Willow man by gustavocomparim Fall Scene on a leaf by Arteestique Treant by Nikaleles Le Jardin Enchanteur by FerdinandLadera He was Here by Fyreant The old tree by cebaum The Great Tree by CindarellaPop:thumb34504697: Big Big Tree by MCfrog Afternoon Tea by yaamas old tree by hillfreak The First Tree by LucieOn .ancient.tree. by noah-kh Ancestors by sphinxmuse Through the Leaves by minikikiart Mother Tree - Color by LaughingAstarael I HAVE BEEN HERE LONGER THAN U by mbev Butterflies tree by GrimDreamArt Old Beach Tree by method2madness among roots by yonaz Le talus by chachah Forest Floor 01 by Fyreant Arbres tordus by monts-et-forets Celttree by TrollGirl Seasons by Ohno-moment Good Luck by DeliriumtTremens Tree with good fruit by usartdude A forgotten forest bedroom by ReonArgondian:thumb173272756: Early Days by Leliumoj Big Tree 2 by Chrisleo92 random stuff by Tonyholmsten Lothlorien by JonGibbons:thumb173183589: Unity by MadeleiZoo:thumb127589316::thumb150587013: Oldman of the Woods by greensap Afternoon Tea by yaamas Book Illustration 2 by bridge-troll Tree 02 by minikikiart tree by Sedeptra Chessmates by puimun:thumb122482549: OLD GNARLY TREE by movinkindaslow The Old Beech by bridge-troll Tree of the Scarlet Spirit by gustafsson Old Man Willow by icy-maiden Circle Celtic Tree of Life by foxvox Tree of Labor by maxon If you go down to the woods... by MothReve -the happy tree- by Wictorian-Art Herfsttij der middeleeuwen by Sedeptra Offerings 2 by puimun Tree of wisdom by agios Tree of Light   SOLD by graemeb:thumb18352667: Pass of Enchantment by Jonsama Day and Night by jeshannon EnTree 001 SOLD by graemeb F250407 by faboarts ACEO Lonely Oak Tree by MandarinMoon

Mature Content

Living Tree by puimun
Moonlit darkness... by Lirulin-yirth Ent lovers by delfee Whitebark Pine by WonderDookie Tree of Life by graemeb Telperion by Protoguy Tree 2 by zzen:thumb96315711: metamorphose by LailaPregizer The Old Man by ArwensGrace

And also fractals, because a tree is a natural fractal in its structure, repating its form on many levels.
Telperion by lindelokse 13th Secret Of Cathedral Woods by MANDELWERK:thumb116716452: Fractal fir tree by Lirulin-yirth Fractal Willow by DanaAnderson Tree by Aisling7 Tree of Light by AmorinaAshton Creazione di Telperion by Spamkiller Maybe it does grow on trees... by rockgem The Manhattan Project by Jeddaka Yggdrasil by ClaireJones

I hope you enjoyed the article, found some great pictures, and learned something new. It is just a short compilation of the amazing topic of trees in mythology, and if you want to know more, I will gladly answer any questions.
© 2010 - 2020 MirachRavaia
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UmaNHamU's avatar
Great article, you informed me and reinforced what I've always known in my heart. Trees are way cool!!
montmartre96's avatar
Amazing compilation! I enjoyed reading this and watching these pics :-)
ToToTomm's avatar
Laylana's avatar
This is absolutely wonderful!!
How you managed to give such a brief overview through the history of tree perception, and to combine it with such a well-chosen collection of images... I'm stunned!!

When I made a presentation about the "Tree of Life" in my English-spoken course, I was using one sentence from your text (of course with reference)...
I really hope, this was ok...?
MirachRavaia's avatar
Thank you very much! I'm glad you like the article, and of course it was ok. I'm glad the informations helped you :)
Laylana's avatar
Thank you so much! :hug:
Spamkiller's avatar
Thank you so much, even if with great delay! :bow:
MirachRavaia's avatar
You're very welcome!
Niaoblis's avatar
Great collection!!! I'm flattered. :hug:
MirachRavaia's avatar
:iconrbyw: I'm glad you like it!
shanti1971's avatar
I really enjoyed that journey through the trees , what an amazing collection of images and put / sown together so well with fascinating reading , thank you !
MirachRavaia's avatar
I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Anarielhime's avatar
That's really interesting and beautiful.
MedusaGirl's avatar
Thanks so much for featuring one of my works.
maximila's avatar
Awesome! I love your article :love:
mit19237's avatar
Wonderful article! And thank you for including one of my tree photographs in it.
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