The Tree of Life or Harvest Tree has been an iconic symbol in our lives for many years. From the Biblical mentions of the Tree of Life to Hinduisms tale of the divine tree in the texts of the Sanatana Dharma, the archetype of a tree that bears fruit that is life-giving and special is widespread among almost all our world cultures.
Taking from Celtic lore and stemming from the tales of Ireland, our tree is designed to be reminiscent of the lesser known story of Lugh. According to legend, Lugh was the king of the Tuatha de Danaan, a divine race of beings calling themselves the people of the goddess Danu that lived among the Irish Isles. Danu was a goddess associated with water, the earth, fertility, and victory. With Lugh’s help, Danu’s followers managed to displace the Fir Bolg and Fomoiri, the land’s previous caste of divine rulers who were described as monstrous beings. By doing so, Lugh cleared the land through great skill in craft and warfare for humans to be able to develop agriculture and become the Irish. And thus, the first harvest festival, Lughnasadh, was brought about.
It is from these mythologies that we find the Celtic triquetra or triple knotwork pattern originating from. Also found in Germanic and Japanese artwork, the triquetra eventually became adopted as a symbol for the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) during the Christian Celtic revival of the 19th century.
No matter what cultural background you look into though, the concept of trees and the fruit they provide for us is undeniably important to mankind.