The meaning of palm trees has representations all throughout history. It depends on where you're coming from, your own history, your interests and more to see where the philosophical meaning of palm trees may take you.
The Spiritual Meaning of palm trees have varied significance depending on the religion. Most view the branch of a palm tree in terms of eternal life, or an afterlife. From there, individual sects use palm trees in their own ways.
Palm trees represent a winning strength, but also peace. Which is why many nations like to use it in their symbols. Palms also have multiple Esoteric Connotations.
How many ways are there to interpret the meaning of palm trees? We'll look at finding them. Choose your interest, or just roll on down.
The meaning of palm trees arose in the consciousness of people quite early. Likely because palm trees are some of the earliest plants to arise on the earth.
Early polytheistic religions brought the meaning of palm trees into connections with various gods, goddesses and symbolic representations.
For instance the Syrians called it their Sacred Tree. Ancient Mesopotamians held its meaning relating to fertility - not only for humans, but for palm trees producing dates.
The ancient Egyptians noted palm trees. Particularly ancient palm species.
Like the useful Date Palm. With...
Those leaf configurations likely got them thinking of its symbolic nature. They considered that palm trees must have represented super-powers!
Egyptians viewed monkeys at a palm tree as meaning the daily rising of the Sun God, Ra.
Ra was the Egyptian creator of the heavens and earth. He also ruled as king of all other Egyptian gods. He was king of the deities and the father of all creation. He controlled power & light, and so controlled the sun. He was also viewed as the sun & therefore the daylight and the day.
This early sample below shows King Ashurnasirpal, known as the last great king of Assyria.
He's pictured twice on either side of the Sacred Tree. Which you'll note is a stylized palm tree. Behind him on each side are protective spirits.
Ancient Grecians recognized the palm tree as the enshrined representation of Apollo. That story is told in Homeric Hymns written to celebrate Greek gods and goddesses. Telling of Apollo's birth on Delos in the Greek Isles, under a palm tree.
That island soon became important to them as sacred area. Palm trees connect to Apollo of Delos, his victorious bravery, & their ancient religion & culture. We know this from many statues, pottery and awards discovered from relics of those times.
CLASSIC ROMAN EMPIRE
The Romans used the meaning of palm trees to represent victories in multiple ways. Just seeing a palm frond meant some type of rising to the top. Like being triumphant in war, and then taking over power while making peace. Or these...
Religions that developed farther on also incorporated palm trees into their sacred meanings. As religions arose that switched to the belief in one god, they continued using palms in meaningful ways.
Christendom brought forward many ancient symbols and traditions. Including those relating to palm trees.
The word for palm tree in Hebrew is: עץ דקל. But what was the meaning of palm trees, symbolically for the ancient Hebrews?
The Jewish Commemoration of Sukkot, originated in the 10th Century BCE. The origins are based on harvest time festivities. To show appreciation for the crops' success and abundance.
The practices come from two ancient scriptures:
Each of them mention the waving of the four species. In both traditions, the palm tree is mentioned for inclusion.
For Sukkot, there are Specific Regulations. Many are strict, a few have some leeway. All to keep the event kosher.
The date palm, Phoenix dactylifera, was always an important part of Jewish tradition, and regular survival. Discussed since biblical times of the old testament. Using the palm tree for many practical life comparisons.
The ancient influence of palm trees was notable. Palm trees provided nourishment & life essentials. This regular feature in their lives brought early followers of Christianity to give diverse spiritual meaning for palm trees.
If you were raised Catholic (we were!), or are a practicing Catholic now, you'll recall the yearly importance of Palm Fronds. Yes: Palm Sunday!
When I was a kid, I went to church & got a palm leaf. Never knowing or understanding why.
The priest we had never went into it. In fact, I think it mostly was all in Latin back then! (I'm aging myself - oh my!)
So what does it mean - I'm still wondering!
LET'S FIND OUT WHAT PALM SUNDAY MEANS!
In the Bible's new testament, all four gospels tell how Jesus had a celebrated arrival to Jerusalem. People there greeted him joyfully. Some waved palms around as he came into town.
Now the week before Easter, on Sunday, that celebration is memorialized. Symbolically recreated by giving out palm fronds to congregations. Families take a palm leaf. Bringing it with them to place in a religious area of their home.
Yet it's not only for the Roman Catholic religion.
Orthodox Catholic sects, the Anglican, Lutheran & Methodist Churches all participate in using palms for spiritual meanings on Palm Sunday.
The Moravian Church (Unity of Brethren) also celebrates this as preparation for next week's Easter holy day. Other reform Christian churches also do the same.
In many desert regions of the Middle East, water's find was essential. Spotting a palm tree grove in the desert meant water was available. Islam's beginnings were in those desert areas.
Thus they associated palm trees as a gift from Allah. Who was showing the way to life sustenance.
Other ways in which Islamic religion denotes palm trees:
IN THE QURAN
The founder of Islam, the Prophet Muhammad appeared to have an affinity for palm trees:
Rulers like to associate their stance with power, but also providers of peace. The meanings for palm trees gave them opportunities to display this association in coins, awards, emblems and symbols.
As early as 2500 BCD in ancient Phoenicia, the palm tree was used as their symbol. They portrayed palms on their coins.
Ancient Rome incorporated palm trees into their life with cultural meaning. How?
South Carolina's state flag uses the palmetto palm tree along with a crescent. Making us wonder: what is the palm tree and crescent moon meaning?
One building in Washington D.C. with a representation for the meaning of palm trees is the US Capitol. Above the rotunda doors is a bas-relief panel dedicated to the first president, George Washington.
Angels Crown Him
MOTTOS OR SAYINGS
Famed British Navy officer, Lord Nelson, used these terms on the family coat of arms (in Latin): "Palmam qui meruit ferat."
In countries where Arabic is spoken, there's a saying. Or maybe a reference using a figure of speech.
EARTHLY TROPICAL PARADISE
Multiple countries or territories have Native Palm Species. Many use a Palm Tree on their flags, official seals & government emblems. For instance:
Palm trees are beloved by many, whether they live in the tropical areas where they naturally grow, or where they can grow with some assistance, or even where it's just impossible for them to grow.
The meaning of palm trees takes a part into their lives. They express this affection in various ways:
Through the ages of humanity, palms have been noted. People began associating different & varies meanings for them. Governments use them in a variety of ways since ancient times. Religions use them, as well.
For many, especially in modern times, they evoke a calming feel - for the Zen they bring, or in anticipation of a vacation to a tropical resort.
What take on the meaning of palm trees sings to you?