Symbols - What does heaven look like
The Yew tree takes on the symbolism of all trees. It was also yet another tree that was used in some cultures to symbolically represent the Tree of life. Some Yew trees are also able to live for thousands of years, as such symbolically they are perfect for the Tree of life.
The Yew takes on symbolism from the Pine tree. And of course they are cone shaped. The Yew tree is also an evergreen tree. A tree that does not lose its leaves, is again symbolically perfect for a Tree of life - not only does it not die, but it always has leaves.
If you look up some descriptions of the symbolism of the yew, there is, it appears, the belief that it is associated with death. But we have to be very careful about the symbolism here and how it has been corrupted. Many yews in churchyards are to be found in the graveyards of the church. The rather simplistic logic then used is that it must have been a tree symbolising death. But many of these wonderful old trees predate the Church and the graveyard, often being planted when the site was a sacred site. Furthermore, the ancient symbolism was well known when many of these trees were planted. The Yew tree is actually a symbol of life in the sense that it is a symbol of the fact we do not 'die', we are all in a sense immortal.
On death of the physical body, the Higher spirit returns figuratively speaking to the Tree of Life. On ancient pictures this is often symbolically shown as little birds perching on the tree, the person has become an angel - a little bird, singing away on the Tree of life.
To many older cultures, all of whom believed in reincarnation, 'death' was having to return to the physical world - leave the Paradise that was heaven and return to a life of toil and hard work, sorrow and old age on earth, down the Tree of Life and down the Well - or tunnel back to the underworld.
The underworld was the physical earth you and I are living in now.
In an odd sort of way, the graveyard as a consequence was not a gloomy place, but a place of hope and joy; the spirit of the person was now in heaven and the Yew tree was a symbolic reminder that they had taken their place back on the Tree of life waiting for yet another incarnation.
Just lost when I was saved
Just felt the world go by
Just girt me for the onset of Eternity
When breath blew back
And on the other side
I heard recede the disappointed tide
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