Spruce Tree Symbolism and Meanings

 6 min read

Spruce trees are not only visually stunning and wonderfully fragrant but their vibration is also known to be uplifting. The oil from spruce trees is commonly used in healing balms for muscle aches, and the wood itself is popular for Christmas trees, paper, maypoles, and musical instruments.

Spruce trees have long been associated with a range of positive symbols, including love, merriment, and well-being. In many cultures, spruce trees are seen as a symbol of good luck, and they are often used as decoration during weddings and other special occasions.

Spruce tree symbolism also extends to ideas of hope and renewal; in many stories and folktales, spruce trees are seen as a source of strength and comfort in times of trouble.

As such, spruce tree symbolism has come to represent the best of what nature has to offer, and they continue to be cherished by people around the world.

Symbolism:Our connections with all life, love, merriment and well-being
Divine Associations:Osiris (ancient Egypt), Artemis (Greek), the Great Spirit (Native North American)
Astrological Association:Saturn

About Spruce Trees

Spruce tree
Spruce tree

There are nearly 35 types of spruce trees (Picea) that are large, evergreen, and monoecious. They’re mostly found in temperate regions in eastern Asia. The branches usually grow in whorls, and the male and female cones both hang down from the tree. The mature female cones eventually fall off the tree intact.

The tree’s shoots and branchlets are rough to the touch because of the multiple, small leaf scars. Norway or common spruce (P. abies) is currently the most popular species in cultivation, often being called the “Christmas Tree”.

Interestingly, the botanical name for this genus – Picea – comes from the Latin pix which translates to “pitch”.

Practical Uses

The spruce tree has many uses for different Native American peoples. For example, the Paiute use spruce boughs as flooring in their sweat houses, while the Malecite and Micmac use them for bedding when they camp. The Algonquin shred and pounds roots to make cords and ropes, while the Cree and Micmac use the wood for framing timbers, toys, paddles, tent frames, cabins and roofing.

Spruce trees produce resin, which was used by the Malecite and Ojibwa peoples to waterproof roofs and canoes. Similarly, Europeans living in mountainous Mediterranean and Alpine regions would use Spruce tree pitches for these purposes.

However, spruce trees were not introduced to some areas until after the Middle Ages – such as Britain.

Natural Healing

For centuries, spruce needle baths have invigorated the human body and been known to cure ailments such as gout, rheumatism, coughs, colds and other respiratory infections.

For centuries, North American tribes such as the Algonquin, Tsalagi, Kwakiutl, Bella Coola and Ojibwa have used various spruce species to create treatments for a wide variety of ailments. The most commonly used spruce species are the white spruce (P. glauca) and sitka spruce (P. sitchensis).

These two types of trees have been used to create remedies for conditions such as infections, skin problems, gynecological issues, colds and coughs tuberculosis, and rheumatism.

The Norway spruce gives people a sense of clarity, trust and understanding when it comes to change.

Folklore, Myth and Symbol of the Spruce Tree

Spruce trees and the sky
Spruce trees and the sky

The Altai mountains are home to the indigenous Siberians, who believe in the World Tree.

The tree is a gigantic spruce that reaches from the navel of the Earth to the highest region of heaven, connecting three layers of the universe: the spirit world, the earthly plane and the underworld. According to Tatars, there are nine roots on this tree while Yakuts maintain that shamans incubate in nests on its branches.

The spruce is also the centre of sacred teachings among the indigenous tribes of southern

Canada, who call it the Peace Tree and its lessons teach us to:

  • Cooperate and exchange with other life forms.
  • Be more connected with the earth and heavens.
  • Exhibit joyful and tranquil humility.

The spruce tree has many ritualistic uses for the Native North American peoples. For example, Coming-of-age ceremonies and initiations employ the sitka spruce for adolescents of tribes such as Hanaksiala, Hesquiat, Nitinaht, and Kwakiutl. Furthermore, Tsimshian shamans use sitka boughs during purification rituals while hunters and fishermen also take part in this practice.

In general belief, the spruce tree offers protection from negative forces to those who reside near them.

Evergreens have long been nods to the eternal nature of life. Per accounts, Jesus Christ not only was from the same general area (Asia Minor and eastern Mediterranean), but his story checks out with pagan myths that include death and resurrection–though, instead of involving procreation like most fertility stories, this one is purely spiritual.

Spruce Tree Meanings and Symbols

Spruce tree branch
Spruce tree branch

Spiritual Refreshment

For indigenous tribes from the Altai mountains of Siberia and southern Canada, spruce trees are a cosmological cornerstone because they represent how heaven, earth, and all living beings are interconnected. Also, being around spruce trees can be spiritually refreshing.

So if you want to lift your spirits or reset them in winter (or any other time), try putting spruce boughs, sprigs, or bundles on an altar or in the space where you’re spending time.

Purification

The Spruce tree has long been known for its cleansing properties. If you sprinkle water that has been blessed with a sprig of spruce, it can help to purify a person, object, or place.

Protection

Spruce trees have a highly positive and grounded vibration, which protects against negative influences of all kinds. Spruce on your property can be enlisted to protect your home: simply offer a libation and request that she lend her magical protective abilities.

Healing

The spruce’s energy joins the earth and sky together, and it is a container of ancient wisdom and knowledge. This makes the tree’s energy immensely healing in every way possible: physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually.

Goddess Energy

The spruce is, in many ways, the primordial Earth Goddess in tree form. If you would like to embody your goddess energy—or if you need the comfort and guidance of a steadfast mother figure—spend time with spruce.

Sitting with your spine against her trunk and allowing her energy to flow up and down your spine can be especially healing and supportive.

Ancient Wisdom

The oldest known active tree in the world is the spruce located in Sweden, with an estimated age of 9,550 years old. (Nearby are other trees that have longevity similar to but not exceeding this particular tree).

When these now-living trees were young saplings, Rome was not yet established and Egypt still had verdant greenery.

The Buddha’s great, great, great grandparents were not even a twinkle in anyone’s eye. But these ancient spruces—as well as other spruce trees—hold vast stores of wisdom.

Conclusion

Spruce trees have been protectors since the beginning of time, accepted as a good luck charm by many different cultures and steeped in lore that promises love, well-being and safety.

No matter what you believe, there is no denying that spruce tree symbolism has a lot of meaning for us today.

If you’re ever feeling down, take a walk in the woods and enjoy the peace and serenity these magnificent creatures provide. And if you’re feeling really lucky, maybe you’ll find your guardian spruce to watch over you.