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Ireland’s Tree of Life or Crann Beathadh

Irelands Tree of Life or Crann Beathadh

Ireland is an ancient land.  Ireland was inhabited long before we had Newgrange in Co Meath.   Newgrange was built more than 5,500 years ago and it is older than the pyramids in Egypt.

Later when the Celts came to Ireland from other parts of Europe in 500BC until about 400AD, they became the most dominant pagan group and they left behind enough evidence of their deep reverence of nature for us to understand today.  We know that Trees were an important part of Irish Celtic beliefs and culture, so it is no surprise that the Celtic Tree of Life represented how the forces of nature came together to create harmony and balance. It protected wildlife, gave food and shelter. The elders would sit in the shade of the tree and make important decisions, appoint chieftains and hold gatherings. It was common for the tribe to plant a single tree upon clearing a site for settlement.

 These deciduous trees represented death in the winter when they shed their leaves and re birth in the spring with new life. It was as if the tree became the channel between the will of nature or the divine and the mortals who lived there.

The large species were worshiped, especially the Oak and the Ash which are native Irish trees. The Ancients in Ireland believed and it is easy to see, that these tall strong trees extended their branches and leaves to the skies and heavens and their roots strong and deep extended down into the earth. They believed that the deep roots and high branches of the tree connected both the upper and under worlds to the earths plane.  Through this connection the Gods of both worlds could connect and communicate with the people and the people in turn could communicate with their loved ones who had passed.

The Celts believed they came from the trees and so regarded trees as living magical beings. Trees guarded the land and were a doorway into the spirit world.  They were also associated with positive energy.

Cutting down one of these trees was seen as a great crime and often an act committed by tribal enemies.

Although 1500 years and more have passed since the Celtic reign ended, a lot of Celtic history remains with many artifacts and landmarks still prevalent across the country today. This heritage we treasure.

Agnes h

Our Tree of life is available at Brown Thomas Stores, Grafton St, Dublin.

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