Tree of Life Symbol
Prehistory as Daterminative Factor of History
        Ethnographic studies of archaic worldview revealed that the original dual representation of the world (man - woman, friend - foe) was complemented by its tripartite structure in the vertical - "high", "medium" and "low". This structure underpinned social organization of society (priests, warriors, workers) and time concepts (future, present, and past). Such an outlook obtain a reflection in the image Tree of Life because of its universatility, coupled with the direction of growth of the tree up, and this its feature can symbolize life and development, and for dual representation reverse direction (down) acquires the value of decay and death. Tree of Life is one of the variants of the Tree of the World, typical mythic-poetical image embodying the universal concept of the universe and the peculiar worldview of many peoples of the world in the early stages of their spiritual development. World Tree appears in different forms with more or less expressed features as the "Tree of Life", "Death Tree", "Tree of Evil", "Treeof Good", "Tree of Knowledge", "Fertility Tree", "Tree of Heaven," etc. Tree of Life as a whole embodies a complex mystical triune birth - fertility - death and reflects a generalized representation of a phased development of a variety of media life (people, animals, plants, some elements of inanimate nature).
Left: Egyptian Goddess of Tree of Life -s ycamore.
(From the book Myths of Nations of the World. Vol 2, p. 400. Moscow.)
Goddess pours reviver in a cup of a patient.
Wonderful properties of life to reproduce itself were an unsolved mystery for man and his imagination has endowed the individual elements of the surrounding nature with mystical properties. The embodiment of strength, stability, longevity and even immortality was the usual image of a tree and just this image was taken as a basis when trying to reflect natural development of the whole universe. The most ancient image of fixing Tree of Life can be found in the book of Genesis and Proverbs of Scripture ( Toporv V.N. . 1991. Tree of Life. World Tree: Myths of Nations of the World.) This image dates back to the Sumerian version of the Epic of Gilgamesh in which you can see the primary features of World Tree. We can assume that the image of World Tree has long been common among the peoples of the Middle East, that is in places near the cradle of humanity, the localization of which corresponds as sacred texts and the results of scientific research. While settling across the expanses of the earth's surface, people took in way Guardian symbol of World Tree, but it received varied development in different forms with different mystical functions at different groups according to the natural conditions of life and the social peculiarities. The image of Tree of Life was brought to Eastern Europe by creators of farming culture Cucuteni Tripoli and developed in the original idea of the universal circulation where the main role is played by the Sun with its diurnal and annual periodicity, visualizing the idea of immortality as a rebirth after death. Grain, thrown to the ground dies, but gives rise to a new life, obeying the laws of motion of the sun in the sky. That is why the stylized image of the Sun and the Tree of Life can be found on the preserved ceramics, but they had to be present in other types of visual art, using less durable materials - a wood carving, painting and embroidery on fabric, manufactures of straw, etc.
Tree of Life and Death” by Berthold Furtmeyer, 1481
( Munich. The Bavarian State Library.)
Right: Gold florin 13th century with John the Baptist and Tree of life the emblem of Florence on the obverse and reverse of the coin. Picture of Tree of Life on the coin launched the form the so-called "Florentine Lily", which became one of the elements of the arms of many European cities, administrative units, organizations.
Traditional Didukhes of straw and ears emerging from pagan times but made in the western regions of Ukraine to Christmas till now.
Protection-symbol of Ukrainian embroidery.
The central place on amphora hss Tree of Life in general terms similar to Ukrainian Didukh. In addition, also a solar sign in shape of a flower is placed here, which symbolizes the sun. A comparison shows that the form of Didukh was proto-type form of the Tree of Life in the Protection symbol, where an image of the sun in the form of red flowers is prsent too.
Stylized "lily" as an element of heraldry..
The fact that this symbol really had from the beginning the sense of Tree of Life Form ia affirmed by branches flowing down as well as in Didukh and that it is sometimes supplemented by other parts of plants and always s bandaged across as a heap.
1. Emblem of community Gülzow in Lauenburg district in Schleswig-HolsteinSchleswig-Holstein, Germany. 2. Emblem of Ukrainian Plast. 3. One version of the Florentine lily. 4. Emblem of Alfdorf in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. 5. Emblem of Burzemkand, a historic and ethnographic area in southeastern Transylvania, Romania.
From Trypillians image of the tree of life handed down from generation to generation the population of different ethnicity that inhabited the steppe and steppe Ukraine and led a traditional type of entity that corresponds to a local natural conditions. Most clearly embodied the image of the tree of life in the saved still archaic Ukrainian Christmas customs weave straw and ears of so-called "Didukh" in the form of "keepers" (homemaker) in ways reminiscent branchy tree. Heavy Didukh ears fall to the bottom of the barrel and it is a form of the tree of life is typical in Ukrainian and as it turned out, in the Chuvash embroidery. EXPRESS image of the tree of life in the Turkic peoples, except Chuvash there, so the ancient Bulgars it must be brought about (you can assume that it Trypillians). They are the tree of life goes to the Germans, Celts, Slavs, Balts and other Indo-Europeans. However, only in Ukrainian, which inhabited the earth long Trypillians image of the tree of life is the most significant in mifopoeticheskoy consciousness, as well as in the Chuvash. In Western Europe the image of the tree of life is preserved in an implicit form as a heraldic element called "lily." Apparently the ancient Bulgars were Meanwhile intermediary link through which cultural influences Trypillians left their mark in the traditional Ukrainian outlook and as a result - in folk art.
Valentyn Stetsyuk
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