The Ancient Egyptian Origin and Mystery of the Spiritual Tree
The concept and iconography of the tree as a spiritual symbol and or metaphor has been used from time immemorial throughout human history. Most people, in modern times, have become familiar with the concept of the "Tree of Life" through a system of spirituality called Kabbalah. However, the idea of having direct access to God through special knowledge, in Kabbalism, was already evident in the teachings of the Ancient Egyptians, the Christian Mystics (Gnostics), the Hindus and the Buddhists who all came long before the Kabbalists. In Ancient Egypt, however, the teaching of the Tree of Life took on a special meaning. In its earliest form, originated in Ancient Egypt, it was related to theurgical religious system developed in the Ancient Egyptian city of Anu and the tree was seen as the source of life, and it was the Goddess, as the divinity being worshipped, who extended the nectar of life itself through the tree. This idea, of a nectar of life, is also evident in the special Bodhi tree of Buddha and the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden, which is also, according to some Christian traditions, known as the tree upon which Jesus was crucified. Also, the cross of Jesus is often referred to as a Tree of Life. In present day practice, the Christmas tree was originally supposed to be a manifestation of the same idea. The star at the top of the Christmas tree was supposed to symbolize the attainment of Cosmic (Christ) Consciousness.
In Ancient Egyptian Spirituality there is a concept called chet-n-ankh- means "staff of life" - "foodstuff from wood" -"'vegetation," "sustenance from the tree," etc. It relates to the physical sustenance that is derived from plants and trees and the mysteries of the tree goddess who provides astral sustenance. This also related to the Djed pillar of Asar' which is symbolized by a tree trunk. The Djed pillar is made out of wood and contains Asars body, which when planted in the ground, brings forth food crops but which also represents the spiritual and mystical essence ofa human being and of God.
And I becomes:
Shen object Ankh
[eternity] [existing in time and space] [life process]
The Ancient Egyptian Ankh is composed of two hieroglyphic symbols. The top of the ankh hieroglyph is called Shen and it means eternity. It is composed of a rope that has been formed into a circle and knotted at the bottom. The other glyph is a vertical line which is a determinative glyph that means object, as in the objects that exist in time and space. So this combination of eternity. which is derived from the Spirit, and the objects of time and space, which are finite, ephemeral and limited, produces a "life process" which we know as mortal existence on earth.
Worship of the Tree Goddess in Ancient Egypt. The Tree Goddess Motif is Fundamental in the Art of the Ancient Egyptians.
In Kamitan (Ancient Egyptian) myth, the tree is a life sustaining and enlightening source, and the tree goddess is the divinity (Goddess) of wisdom who lives in the tree and extends its bounty to the spiritual aspirant. Thus, the tree goddess motif is fundamental in Ancient Egyptian iconography. It symbolizes the Goddess in general, but the goddesses Nut and Hetheru in particular, as the compassionate, life-giving female Divine Essence. The goddess sustains as a mother looking after her children, nurturing them with physical and spiritual sustenance, and when their time is up on earth she reaches down and lifts them up to the heavens.
In Kamitan myth the tree goddess in the form of goddess Nut treats all human beings as she did her son Asar in ancient times. As she lifted him up following his resurrection, so too she treats all human beings as though all human beings are Asar, incarnated souls who will one day return to the source from whence they came, in the sky, the heavens.
The Ancient Egyptian Mystical Tree and the Implications of the Pillar of Asar
The Djed pillar, is associated with the Ancient Egyptian Gods Asar, as well as Ptah. It is part of a profound mystical teaching that encompasses the mystical Life Force energy that engenders the universe. It is the driving force that sustains all life and impels human beings to action. In the Asarian Resurrection myth'. it is written that when Asar eas killed by his brother Set, his body was thrown into the Nile and it came ashore on the banks of Syria. There it grew into a tree with such a wonderful fragrant aroma that the king of Syria had it cut into a pillar for his palace. The pillar of Asar-Ptah, made from an Acasia tree, is a mystical reference to the human vertebrae and the Serpent Power or Life Force energy which exists in the subtle spine of every human being. It refers to the four highest states of mystical psycho-spiritual consciousness in a human being, with the uppermost tier symbolizing ultimate spiritual enlightenment wherein one discovers one's higher identity as one with the Supreme Being (the Mystical spiritual movement). Also, the Djed refers to the special realm of the Duat (astral Plane) wherein Asar, symbolizing the spiritual resurrection, can be discovered. -
The Duat or Ancient Egyptian concept of the Nethenworld is a special place of existence. This is the abode of Asar-Ptah as well as the ultimate destination of those who become spiritually enlightened. It is the realm of Supreme Peace. It is known as Sekhet-Aaru or in other times AmenDjed.. AmenDjed is a reference which unites the symbolism of the Ancient Egyptian deities Asar and Ptah with the diety Amun, thus relating these three deities of Ancient Egypt into a singular essence (and dispelling the notion of polytheism). This underlying non-dualist monotheism is an important tantric theme. The Djed symbolizes the awakened human soul that is well "established" or "steadfast" or "stable" in the knowledge of the Self, that is, enlightened. The Ancient Egyptian word Djeddu, refers to the abode of Asar within the Duat, "steadfastness" or "stability," as well as to the pillar of Asar. In mystical terms it refers to being firmly established in the Netherworld. The idea is to become steadfast and upright as a tree (vertical), as opposed to unstable and falling over horizontally as the dead, in order to reach up to unite the earth and the sky, thus destroying (in the form of transcending) duality. Djeddu thus means having the knowledge of what is below and above and transcending both, thereby attaining the goal of Mysticism, to transcend duality and become one with all. This concept of "steadfastness" as the essence of a human being is being referred to in the following line from the Egyplian Ru Pert Em Heru, Rau (Chapter) I:
nuk Djedi, se Djedi au am-a em Djeddu Mesi - a em Djeddu
“I am Djedy (steadfast), child of Djedy (steadfast), conceived and born in the region of Djeddu (steadfastness)."
The Ancient Egyptian concept of creation includes three realms. These are the TA (Earth), Pet (Heaven), and the Duat (the Netherworld). Ta is the gross physical plane. Pet is The Duat is the abode of the gods, goddesses, spirits and souls. It is the plane of thoughts, the subtle nature devoid of gross physicality. It is the realm where those who are evil or unrighteous are punished (Hell), but it is also where the righteous live in happiness (Heaven). It is the "other world," the spirit realm. The Duat is also known as Amenta since it is the realm of Amen (Amun, The Hidden Supreme Being). The Duat is the realm where Ra, as symbolized by the sun, traverses after reaching the western horizon, in other words, the movement of Ra between sunset and sunrise, that is, at night. Some people thought that the Duat was under the earth since they saw Ra traverse downward and around the earth and emerged in the east; however, this interpretation is the understanding of the uninitiated masses. The esoteric wisdom about the Duat is that it is the realm of the unconscious human mind and the astral plane.
Extract from: The Kemetic Tree of Life
Written by Muata Ashby
Review: If you want to know all about this topic buy this book. It discuss every path of the tree and the philosophy of each Theurgy of the Tree of Life in detail.