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The world tree is a symbolic template for the structure of society and the universe (see diagrams below). This motif is present in several religions and mythologies, as a colossal tree which connects the heavens, earth and underworld. We see the emergence of multiplicity (branches and leaves) out of the unity (trunk), as well as the visible tree growing from the hidden roots below ground. The world tree is mentioned in Norse mythology as a giant ash tree, gathering the gods in the branches and the waters of life below. In Eastern religions this is the sacred Bodhi tree of enlightenment, in Christianity the original tree in the Garden of Eden, and in esoteric Judaism the tree of life (Kabbalah) with its ten divine attributes and twenty-two energetic pathways. Indigenous cultures of the Americas emphasize the horizontal and vertical directional nature of a central world tree. In Celtic folklore and other mythical traditions, trees were honoured as keepers of natural wisdom, healing and abundance. J.R.R. Tolkien's novel, Lord of the Rings, provides a description of the magical forest of the Elves in Lothlorien:  "...there are no trees like the trees of that land...for in the autumn their leaves fall not, but turn to gold...".

These golden trees speak to our higher spiritual potential and bear similarities to the abundant apple trees on the utopian Isle of Avalon. The Arthurian tale of the wounded Fisher King and the Wasteland warn us of the barren soils and impoverishment associated with societies that lack inspired leaders and an ethic of stewardship towards the earth. The legendary quest for the Holy Grail (waters of life) sought to restore the land and failing fellowship, a task quite relevant to the crisis of our modern age.  

Avalon's World Tree model incorporates the colour spectrum of the healthy human energy field and related characteristics of the Sustainable Society. The various initiatives of our organizational branches are also reflected in this World Tree illustration. Avalon's golden leaves represent the harmonious balance and prosperous fruits of a new social order. This positive vision can be compared with the darker colours and destructive qualities of Modern Industrial Society, reminiscent of Tolkien's bleak land of Mordor. These two contrasting tree diagrams point the way to the inner and outer changes required to transform ourselves and the planet.