The Theosophical Forum – December 1941


The Christmas tree, dotted with lights and bright with tinsel that reflects those lights and multiplies them manifold, is an old pre-Christian symbol used by the peoples of Northern Europe at the time of the Winter Solstice; and here is the inner significance of it:

Have you- never heard of the World-Tree with its roots in the realms of spirit and whose branches are the great suns and systems of suns? This World-Tree began in the beginning of this Cosmic Age to bring forth all the stellar hosts. Now the Winter Solstice is the beginning of the cosmic New Year, and so these northern peoples knowing some of the ancient truths, celebrated this cosmic event with the Christmas tree. It symbolizes the World-Tree, and the lights are the suns that bestrew the deeps of Space, hinting to us the message from the divinities who constantly give us the light of love, the light of mind, the light of hope eternal. But so far have we fallen from the wisdom of our forefathers that now the Christmas tree has become merely a sign of festivity, except for the few who preserve its significance in their hearts.

The giving of gifts on the Christmas tree was emblematic of the self-dedication of the gods so that the worlds might come into being. "Here is my gift. It is born from myself."

Theosophical University Press Online Edition