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The seed of life meaning

The Seed of Life is God’s basic building block of the Universe.  It is a geometrical construction of seven interlocking circles which are seen as representing the seven days of Creation.

According to Jewish tradition, a new circle was added on each day of the Creation and on the seventh day, the Sabbath, the final circle completed the Seed of Life.

Did you know?  The Seed of Life and the Tree of Life have been a central part of religious believe for many cultures and peoples throughout out the.

The building blocks of the universe

The Seed of Life is seen by many as being the basic and fundamental seed from which the entire universe and reality developed.  It is the building block for the Flower of Life, from which comes the Fruit of Life.  These concepts show us that the world and the universe are in a constant state of change and creation.

All three concepts are associated with “sacred geometry” which ascribes sacred and symbolic meaning to certain geometric proportions.  Elements of sacred geometry can be found in many religious structures, both ancient and modern, from around the world as well as in religious art.

Through the ages

The Seed of Life and the Tree of Life have been (and still are) recurring symbols in religions and cultures across the world for thousands of years. 

  • The oldest known depiction of the Flower of Life is the Temple of Osiris in Abydos, Egypt.  There is some debate as to the dating of the symbols with some researchers placing them at 6000 BCE and others as far back as 10,000 BCE.
  • Assyria (Today Iraq), (Approx. 645 CE) – Seed of Life symbols were found in remains of the palace of King Ashurbanipal at Dur-Sharrukin on a 2 meter x 1.3 meter stone.
  • Beijing, China, the Forbidden City.  The Flower of Life can be seen under the paw of the “Fu-Dog”.  The Forbidden City was home to Chinese emperors and the Fu-Dogs acted as guardians of the building, the inhabitants and of knowledge.
  • The symbol was found in the remains of a Roman temple in Cordoba, Spain dating from approximately 90 CE.
  • The monastery of St Maughold on the Isle of Man (an Island between the United Kingdom and Ireland) has a gravestone with the Seed of Life dating back to 600 CE.
  • Major religions also refer to a Tree of Life as a central theme in their theology:
    • o   Bahai – the Tree of Life is seen as the manifestation of God.
    • o   Buddhism – The Bo (also Bodhi) tree is said to have inspired the Buddha when he gained enlightenment.
    • o   Catholicism – the Tree of Life represents mankind free of original sin.
    • o   Norse mythology – the Yggdrasil, the world tree.
    • o   Hinduism - The Eternal Banyan Tree (Akshaya Vata) is the only thing not affected by the constant process of destruction and creation.
    • o   Islam - The Tree of Immortalityis the Tree of Life motif as it appears in the Quran.

In Judaism

The Seed of Life and the Tree of life (Etz HaChaim) appear extensively in Judaism and are, in fact, a commonly used symbol in items of spiritual and Kabbalah jewelry.

The Tree of Life appears in Genesis 2:9 in the description of the Garden of Eden and later in Genesis 3:22 after Adam and Eve had eaten of the Tree of Knowledge.  It is also mentioned in Proverbs 11:30 and Proverbs 15:4.

In the Kabbalah

The Tree of Life, which originates from the Seed of Life, is the central concept of the Kabbalah.  It is a series of 10 interconnected concepts that together form the divine matrix that creates, governs and guides the universe and us as human beings.  Each of these concepts are attributes of the One God and not separate divinities in their own right.

The Tree of Life is explained in the Sefer Yetzira (Book of Creation) which describes creation as a process involving the 10 Sephirot of the Creator and the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The 10 Sephirot plus the 22 letters create the "32 paths of secret wisdom".

silver seed of life symbol pendant on a silver necklace chain

In popular culture

Variations on the Seed of Life symbols are commonly used in the arts.  Example can be found in architecture, painting and sculpture, literature, music, poetry, films and, surprisingly enough, even in video games.

The Seed of Life symbol is also popular in Kabbalah jewelry as it encompasses within it all of Creation – everything that was, that is and that will be and is seen to be a blessing for fertility and a good life.  

 

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