The Christmas Tree
History, Meaning and Symbolism

Our Lady of the Nativity FirChristmas tree history leads back to the beautiful Mystery of Our Mother God and the birth of Her Holy Daughter

The Christmas Tree history is sometimes stated to be as recent as the Reformation of Martin Luther. In fact it goes back much further in Christian history.

Certainly Saint Boniface set up a Christmas tree in the seventh century; but as with most Christmas traditions, the "Christmas" tree goes back much further than that.

The cult of the Magna Mater (Great Mother) in ancient Rome (one of the main religions that was likely to have replaced the dying Classical paganism if Christianity had not) had midwinter celebrations centred about a ceremonial fir tree. These were by no means new, but of great antiquity at that time.

When we look back in Christmas tree history for the original meaning of the Christmas tree, we are hardly surprised to see that it leads back (as most ancient traditions eventually do) to the worship of Our Mother God.

What then is the meaning of the Christmas tree or, as the Herthelani call it, the Nativity Fir?

Naturally, the tree itself represents the World Tree: the great Axis of the Universe. But of course the Nativity Fir represents a particular and special aspect of the World Tree.

The Fir tree is pyramid shaped, reiterating the symbolism of the Pyramid (see The Feminine Universe pp. 59-63 for a full exegesis of the symbolism of the pyramidal shape). The tree extends from the Point without extension above its top (marked by a star or by the Star-Fairy) to the most widely extended branches at the bottom, where matter and multiplicity are at their greatest and are furthest from the Spirit.

However, it is vital to the meaning of the Christmas Tree or Nativity Fir that every part is illumined by the Light of Our Mother, in the symbolic form of candles (or, later, electrical lights). Bells are also traditional, for the Divine Light is also expressed in sound, and the clear vibration of bells is often considered the purest representation of the Primordial Sound.

The tree is also decorated with balls of all colours of the rainbow, representing the seven Janyati or Primary Powers of Our Mother God.

The profusion of other decorations and little gifts and sweetmeats symbolize the endless generosity of Our Mother God, as the beneficent Maya, in creating wonderful and beautiful things for Her children.

Above all, however, we are focused on the Light at the top of the tree, which is Dea Herself entering our world through the uppermost or Northern Gate.

As Dea enters the world, it is suffused in light and colour, representing Her boundless Grace and generosity.

Thus, for all the trivialization of Christmas tree history, the true meaning of the Nativity Fir is no less profound and beautiful than the Nativity Event itself.

See also:

Is it an Angel or a Fairy on the top of the Tree?

The Meaning of Nativity: The Great Winter Festival of Our Mother God

Winter Solstice Celebrations: The Northern Point of the Year's Journey

The Gates of Heaven: The Mystical Meaning of the Summer and Winter Solstices

Or go to: The Wheel of the Year

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