Tree of Life pendant and earrings, by Blue Turtles (P-TREE-1 & E-TREE-1)

The Tree of Life is common to many diverse and ancient cultures. Though each of these cultures lends its own characteristics and mythology to it, there is a common thread – it always symbolises the interconnectedness of all things.

Mayan Tree of Life

The Mayans’ expression of the Tree of Life is a cross, and the point where the horizontal and vertical planes meet represents the absolute beginning - the source of all creation. The roots and branches stretch forth into the 3 “layers” of existence – the Underworld, Earth and Sky.

The notion of 3 layers of existence was also recognised by the ancient Babylonians, who alluded to the “Navel of the World” or “Axis Mundi” – the place where the 3 cosmic dimensions of Earth, Heaven and Underworld connect together. Here again, the roots delving into the Underworld connect with the branches and leaves that reach to Heaven.

There are 2 versions of the Tree of Life myth according to the ancient Egyptians. One tells how the first humans, Isis and Osiris, emerged from a sacred tree, the Acacia Tree of Iusaaset. The other myth describes how Osiris was placed into a sarcophagus by the wicked god Set and floated down the Nile, to be enveloped in the trunk of a tamarisk tree. In both versions, the tree was known as the Tree of Life, its trunk acting as the centre of the universe, its branches and leaves spreading out to the heavens and its roots reaching down into the netherworld.


Yggdrasil is the name of the Nordic version of the Tree of Life, which is suspended in the void with 9 worlds revolving around its branches, and 3 roots delving deep into separate sacred locations. Yggdrasil is inhabited by a fascinating cast of characters who maintain the balance of the universe, surprisingly through eternal conflict with each other, and it is worth reading up on it.

The Chinese Tree of Life is inhabited by a dragon at its base near the roots and the legendary phoenix in its top branches. The dragon represents immortality, but the phoenix symbolises change and rebirth. Altogether, this is a powerful symbol  for the continuity and interconnectedness of life and death.

The Tree of Life according to Kabbalah

In Judaism, there are 2 different representations of the Tree of Life. In the Book of Proverbs is written, “Wisdom is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her, and happy is every one that holdest her fast.” But most significantly, the Tree of Life is central to Kabbalah, the mystical arm of Judaism, where it is represented as 10 interconnected “sefirot” or divine energy emanations (11 are pictured, but are still counted as 10). Various paths connect the sefirot to each other, and as an integrated whole, this depiction of the Tree of Life represents the interaction of the Divine components that together manifest everything in creation.

These are only some of the many world myths about the Tree of Life, which pervades many ancient cultures. And today we are witnessing many people in this modern age also choosing to embrace the symbol. Clearly the power of this archetypal concept, the interconnectedness of all things, is still felt by many of us. Whether we consciously understand it or not, we seemingly want to acknowledge and celebrate our interconnectedness.

The Tree of Life has survived for aeons. From ages gone by when it was once the central concept of society, it has cut through the clutter of our modern age to subtly and subconsciously remind us of our eternal connectedness to everything and everyone.

Blue Turtles offers 2 styles of Tree of Life pendants and earrings in sterling silver, pictured below. To purchase, please contact your local stockist (find your local stockist here).





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"Buying from Blue Turtles is always a pleasure - opening all those drawers at the Gift Fair to see the hidden treasures inside – because you know you’ll only see the good stuff. Each stone is chosen aesthetically, set with heavy silver and finished beautifully... you don’t get bumpy edges, join marks that haven’t been polished out, left over tarnished sections or stones hanging out the back of a setting. The attention to detail is obvious from the moment you look at any piece. It’s well priced, especially for the quality of the stones and the amount of silver used. You get prompt and efficient service, always with a smile!"

Rebecca De Carlo, That Crystal Site, Mullumbimby, NSW