I’m digging into the archives here for this week’s Sunday read, because Christmas trees have been quite topical recently, both in the news locally and, well, because chances are, you have a tree in your living room.
Have you ever thought about the symbolism of the Christmas tree? I have to admit that there was a time I looked upon it with scorn, thinking it symbolized excess, phoniness and gawdiness. Then I came across a short article called The Christmas Tree by Regina Z. Thackara that made me see it in a new light . . . the word “light” being a key word in this time of the Winter Solstice.
It’s more than just light, though, as Regina explains. The tree and all its decorations may represent the universe, rooted in the “divine heart” of things, and its lights the “divine spark” in each of us all linked together.
A brief excerpt from Regina’s article:
“We can perhaps see behind the outward glamor of the tree with its candles, balls, silver tinsel, and a shiny star at the top, by looking at it again with an open heart and listening to what it can tell us. In ancient philosophies and religions, for instance, we find that the tree has often been used as a symbol for the universe, whose roots sprang forth from the divine heart of all things and whose trunk, branches, twigs, and leaves were the different worlds and spheres. The colorful glass balls on it then stand for the manifold planets and globes, connected with everything else throughout the cosmos by the symbolic tinsel and gay festoons. And the candles (lights): in one way, they represent the divine spark that is in every living being, linking us all together on a higher level and making of us potential gods. But they also denote light, which brings forth and is all life in the universe. Light is both spirit and matter, so that everything is really a form of light. Finally, the star at the top of the tree may symbolize our own highest self or, from a universal standpoint, the divine essence of the cosmos towards which all of us as god-sparks are striving.”
Yes, I like that interpretation. It gives me a warm feeling inside; it reaffirms what I know about how we are all manifestations of the Great Energy, how we are all connected, how we are all One.
There are other explanations, though, which you can read about in Regina’s article.
Merry Christmas Tree!
About Sunday Reads posts: This is a weekly feature started last Sunday giving us all a chance to point to an article or two that we found interesting in the preceding week, or the morning of. They can be offbeat, humorous, weighty commentary, whatever. Personally, I’ll probably go the lite route for this feature, since I post so much serious stuff during the week.
So, if you have any recommendations, please point to them in the readers’ comments section below.