Help please! Relation between the Cross and the Tree of Life

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Sciethe
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Help please! Relation between the Cross and the Tree of Life

Postby Sciethe » 11 Jan 2013, 12:45

Hi all,
I'm writing a paper for peer review and publication and I'm in need of a wider range sources for the link between the calvary type Cross (see avatar) and the Tree of Life, preferably in Brythonic thought, although other mythologies help. I have "The Sacred Yew" - Chetan and Brueton and "The Secret Societies of all Ages and Countries" - Charles Heckethorn. Any further thoughts?
Thanks!
Sciethe
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Re: Help please! Relation between the Cross and the Tree of

Postby DaRC » 11 Jan 2013, 13:50

Well from an early Anglo-Saxon viewpoint (and there's a stream of thought that suggests that to the Anglo-Saxons Yggdrasil was a Yew) the early christian poem the Dream of the Rood (the Rood is another name for the Cross) may help you
http://www.dreamofrood.co.uk/frame_start.htm

I'm not aware of any specific written Celtic reference to a tree of life I can't remember anything from the Mabinoigen or Irish literature.
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and to live a life without shame. (Havamal 68)
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Re: Help please! Relation between the Cross and the Tree of

Postby Corwen » 12 Jan 2013, 11:46

There is a connection through the fact that they are both types of archetypal 'world pillar'. You might find researching Irminsul, Joachim and Boaz, mazzevot, and the Hebrew prohibition against erecting etz or Asherah by altars, interesting along with other world pillars. The medieval mind saw the Calvary Cross very much as a kind of tree, the Rood Tree (though Tree can also just mean 'timber'), see the Anglo-Saxon poem The Dream of the Rood. There is also the connection with Odin (he who hung on tree) and Christ through the manner of their apotheosis which also makes a connection between the Cross and the World Tree as the vehicle of that apotheosis.

In Qabalistic thought the Calvary Cross is seen as an axis of the universe and visualised as such in ritual, which again resonates symbolically with the idea of the World Pillar as Cosmic Axis.
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Sciethe
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Re: Help please! Relation between the Cross and the Tree of

Postby Sciethe » 12 Jan 2013, 13:56

Thanks DaRC and Corwen, it seems that the evolution of the tree->cross mythology is a study in comparative theology all by itself. These are useful though, one can trace a thread of thought which relates Cross or Rood to tree, Odin hanging on Ygddrasil can be justifiably compared with Christ on the Cross, and the solar meaning of the pre-Christian cross which relates to the bisection of the meridian at the Solstices seems to resonate with the Christian-Solar-Mithraic ideas. Useful leads but still not enough at present though. I'll keep looking. It's frustrating when you need something so specific!
Thanks again
S
For in his morning orisons he loves the sun and the sun loves him. For he is of the tribe of Tiger. Christopher Smart

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Re: Help please! Relation between the Cross and the Tree of

Postby Welsh Mythology » 03 Mar 2013, 02:07

See the Fourth Branch of the Mabinogi. Lleu is resurected on the Oak Tree as Gwydion sings his soul back into manifestation. Lleu also means 'light', and has the quality of piercing even the smallest of atoms (represented by the small bird he spears with a needle), a suggestion of his penetration as a cosmic force; in other words, he shares some mystical attributes with Christ. There are other allusions that can be made, these being the most obvious from the Fourth Branch.
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Sciethe
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Re: Help please! Relation between the Cross and the Tree of

Postby Sciethe » 06 Mar 2013, 18:03

Thanks Welsh Mythology,
most helpful. Should have listend to Spiral Castle's "None but Seven" album shouldn't I. Working on some very concrete evidence of a post-Roman Brythonic revival in Cumbria. Think you'll like it when it's finished.
Thanks again, any more flashes of brilliance welcome.
S
For in his morning orisons he loves the sun and the sun loves him. For he is of the tribe of Tiger. Christopher Smart


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