What Does Cedar Symbolize? Discover the Meaning of this Sacred Tree

Smells evoke powerful experiences and memories. Imagine walking through a lush forest and taking in the distinct scent of cedar. Senses engaged, you close your eyes and breathe deeply, allowing the aroma to transport you. But why does this fragrant wood hold such significance? What does cedar symbolize, and why has it been used for centuries by various cultures across the world?

To start, cedar is known for its many practical uses. It’s highly durable, resistant to rot, and repels moths and other insects. Beyond its practical value, however, cedar has also been used symbolically throughout history. For many indigenous cultures in North America, cedar represents healing, protection, and purification. It was burned during ceremonies and placed in homes to ward off negative energies.

Similarly, ancient Egyptians used cedar oil in religious rituals to embalm mummies and preserve the bodies of loved ones. Some believe that cedar symbolizes long life, prosperity, and wealth in Chinese culture. With such a rich history of meaning and practical utility, it’s no wonder that cedar continues to captivate and inspire today. So next time you catch a whiff of cedar, pause and take note—it’s more than just a pleasant scent.

History of Cedar Symbolism

Cedar trees, known for their strong and aromatic wood, have held significant symbolism throughout history. Cedar wood has been used for various purposes such as building ships, constructing furniture, and creating religious objects. Its natural properties and cultural significance have given rise to several symbolic meanings over the years.

The history of cedar symbolism is believed to have originated in the Middle East, where the tree was revered for its essential oil, which was used in holy anointing rituals. The Egyptians called cedarwood the “tree of life” and used it in embalming practices as it was believed to preserve the soul for eternity. In ancient Greek mythology, the goddess Artemis was said to have preferred cedar trees as her dwelling place, making them a symbol of protection and strength.

Some of the symbolisms that cedar has represented are:

  • Strength and Resilience: Cedar is known for its durability and resistance to insects and decay. As such, it has come to symbolize strength, resilience, and longevity.
  • Purification and Cleansing: The essential oil obtained from cedarwood is believed to have cleansing and purifying properties, making cedar a symbol of spiritual purification and renewal.
  • Protection: The ancient Hebrews used cedar wood as a symbol of protection, carving it into amulets and other protective objects. Similarly, Native American tribes used cedar branches to line their homes and to create medicine bags for protection.
  • Spirituality: Cedar has long been associated with spiritual practices, such as meditation, prayer, and ritual cleansing. The tree’s strong and grounding properties are believed to help connect individuals to the divine and higher realms of consciousness.

The Use of Cedar in Different Cultures

Throughout history, different cultures have used cedar for various purposes and assigned unique meanings to the tree. Here are some examples:

Culture Use of Cedar Symbolic Meanings
Ancient Egyptians Used cedarwood oil in embalming practices Symbol of preservation and eternal life
Ancient Greeks Believed that cedar trees were sacred to the goddess Artemis, who often rested and hunted in their shade Symbol of strength, protection, and feminine power
Native American Tribes Used cedar branches in purification rituals and to line their homes for protection Symbol of cleansing and healing, as well as protection and grounding
Hebrews Used cedarwood to build the Temple of Solomon and to create protective amulets Symbol of protection, strength, and royal power

As seen through history and across cultures, cedar trees have been a symbol for various meanings throughout human existence. Its reputation as a symbol of strength, resilience, purity and protection continues to persist in the current day with cedar wood being used for fragrance, jewelry and as an everyday household wood.

Cedar Symbolism in Religion

Cedar has been used symbolically in religious contexts around the world for centuries. From ancient times to modern day, cedar trees have been revered for their strength, natural beauty, and spiritual significance.

The Significance of Cedar in Religious Traditions

  • In ancient Egypt, cedar trees were associated with the goddess Isis, who was worshipped as the protector of the dead. They were used to make coffins and mummification tools, and were thought to provide a protective aura for the deceased.
  • In Judaism, cedar wood is used in the construction of the Ark of the Covenant, which holds the Ten Commandments. It is also mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as a symbol of strength and durability.
  • In Christianity, cedar is viewed as a symbol of spiritual strength and purity. It is referenced in the Bible as a wood used for building the Temple of Solomon and as a symbol of God’s favor and protection.
  • In Native American culture, the cedar tree represents healing, protection, and purification. The wood and leaves of the cedar tree are often used in ceremonies and rituals to smudge and purify individuals and spaces.

The Symbolism of Cedar in Modern-Day Religion

Today, cedar trees continue to hold significant symbolism in various religious practices. They are often used in spiritual purification rituals, meditation, and as a symbol of strength and protection. The strong, durable wood of the cedar tree is also often used in the construction of religious buildings and artifacts, such as crosses, altars, and prayer beads.

The Spiritual Properties of Cedar

In addition to its symbolic significance, cedar is believed to have various spiritual properties. The oil and scent of cedar wood is said to have a calming, grounding effect on the mind and body, making it useful for meditation and spiritual practices. Cedar is also believed to have natural purifying and cleansing properties, which is why it is often used in smudging ceremonies and rituals.

Religious Tradition Symbolism
Ancient Egypt Protection for the dead
Judaism Strength and durability
Christianity Spiritual strength and purity
Native American Healing, protection, and purification

Overall, cedar holds a sacred place in various religious traditions and practices around the world. Its symbolism as a strong, durable, and purifying wood has made it a valuable resource for spiritual practices and cultural traditions.

Cedar Symbolism in Mythology

The cedar tree has been symbolized throughout history, particularly in mythology. It is considered a powerful and holy tree, representing strength and durability. Many cultures associate the cedar tree with specific deities or mythological figures, each holding its unique meaning.

The Number 3 in Cedar Symbolism

  • One of the most notable symbols of the cedar tree is its association with the number three, which holds significant meaning in many cultures.
  • In Babylonian mythology, the god Marduk created the universe from the remains of the defeated dragon Tiamat, using three gods to slay her.
  • In Norse mythology, the world tree Yggdrasil has three roots and holds together the nine worlds of existence.
  • In Christian symbolism, three nails were used to crucify Jesus Christ.
  • In Native American culture, the cedar tree symbolizes the three worlds: the heavens, the earth, and the underworld.
  • The recurring theme of threes in association with Cedar symbolizes unity, balance, and completeness, in ancient mythologies.

Additionally, the number three is believed to represent the mind, body, and spirit in balance, with the cedar tree being seen as a guardian and protector of the soul.

Cedar as a Symbol of Strength

Cedar trees are often associated with the idea of strength. The tree is known for its tall and sturdy nature, with the trunk and branches being able to withstand strong winds and harsh weather conditions. But what does this strength symbolize? Let’s explore further.

  • Resilience: Cedar trees are able to thrive in harsh environments, withstanding extreme heat, cold, drought and flooding. Similarly, the symbol of cedar as strength indicates resilience, the ability to bounce back after experiencing adversity or challenges.
  • Fortitude: Cedar trees are long-lasting, thanks to their hard, durable wood. They can survive for many years, even centuries, and are often used in construction of structures such as houses, furniture and boats. Cedar as a symbol of strength represents fortitude and endurance- the quality of being able to endure through tough seasons with unwavering strength
  • Stability: Cedar trees have deep, unshakable roots that anchor them firmly in the ground, making them resistant to being uprooted by strong winds and storms. Cedar as a symbol of strength indicates stability, being grounded and unshakeable foundation as one endures through life’s storms.

These qualities of resilience, fortitude, and stability are seen in various cultures and societies worldwide, and cedar is often used as a symbol for them.

In Native American cultures, cedar is a symbol of confidence, empowerment, and persistence. In ancient Egyptian and Roman cultures, cedar represented incorruptibility and immortality.

The Bible mentions cedar several times, with the tree being a symbol of strength and stability. It is used to describe the cedars of Lebanon, which were renowned for their beauty and durability.

Resilience Ability to bounce back after adversity or challenges
Fortitude Endurance through tough seasons without wavering
Stability Grounded and unshakeable foundation

As seen, Cedar as a symbol of strength is laden with values and attributes that are universal and enduring. The tree reminds us that inner strength, perseverance, and the ability to withstand life’s challenges are necessary to survive and thrive in any situation.

Cedar as a Symbol of Protection

Cedar, with its imposing and majestic presence, has long been considered a symbol of protection, strength, and durability. In many cultures and traditions, cedar trees are revered for their healing properties and ability to cleanse negative energy. Here below we discuss the fascinating symbolism behind cedar as a symbol of protection.

  • Physical Protection: Cedar’s thick, sturdy bark and robust branches make it an excellent natural shield against elements such as wind, rain, and snow. In Native American cultures, cedar was used to construct protective fences around homes and villages to keep intruders and wild animals at bay.
  • Spiritual Protection: Cedar has been recognized as a powerful spiritual symbol used to ward off negative energy, such as illness, curses, and evil spirits. Burning cedar as incense, for example, is a common practice during spiritual ceremonies and purging rituals, to clear away negative energies and invite positive energies into a space.
  • Emotional Protection: The comforting and soothing aroma of cedar has been known to promote emotional protection and provide a safe and secure environment. The oil extracted from cedar trees is a popular ingredient in wellness products such as aromatherapy oils, massage oils, and soaps, for its calming and balancing properties on the mind and body.

Aside from its protective symbolism, cedar has been used for centuries for various other purposes. In ancient Egypt, cedar wood was used to make sarcophagi, coffins, and furniture, as a symbol of wealth, prestige, and longevity. The ancient Greeks and Romans also used it for decorative and functional purposes in architecture, as well as for its pleasant aroma and insect-repellent properties.

For some indigenous tribes in North America, cedar is considered a sacred plant, to be revered and respected. The Quinault Indian Nation, for instance, believes that cedar trees are ancestors that provide spiritual protection and guidance to their people. They also use cedar bark for making clothing, baskets, and mats, as well as for medicinal purposes such as antiseptic and pain relief.

Symbolic meanings associated with cedar:

Overall, cedar’s symbolic meanings of protection encapsulate its physical, spiritual, and emotional properties. Its stable and robust nature provides a sense of security and reassurance, while its cleansing and healing properties help to purify negative energies and promote positivity. As such a powerful symbol, cedar has played a significant role in various cultures and traditions throughout history and continues to do so to this day.

Cedar as a Symbol of Purification

Cedar has long been associated with purification in many cultures and religions across the globe. Its strong and sweet aroma is believed to have cleansing and healing properties, and as a result, cedar has been used in many purification rituals and ceremonies. In this article, we will explore the various ways cedar is used as a symbol of purification.

The Number 6

In Hebrew, the word for cedar is “erez,” which also means “praiseworthy.” Additionally, the number six is associated with cedar in Hebrew numerology. This is because cedar has six branches that grow from each node, and it is believed to symbolize harmony and balance. The six branches also represent the six attributes of God: kindness, judgment, beauty, endurance, supremacy, and foundation.

  • Kindness – Cedar is known for its sweet and comforting aroma, which is believed to symbolize kindness.
  • Judgment – Cedar is a strong and durable wood, which is associated with justice and judgment.
  • Beauty – Cedar is a beautiful tree, and its wood is often used for ornamental purposes.
  • Endurance – Cedar is a long-lasting wood that can withstand the elements, symbolizing endurance and perseverance.
  • Supremacy – Cedar is considered a majestic tree, and its tall stature is associated with supremacy.
  • Foundation – Cedar is also associated with stability and strength, symbolizing a strong foundation.

In addition to these attributes, cedar is also believed to bring protection, healing, and purification. It is often used in religious and spiritual rituals to cleanse the mind and body of negative energy and impurities.


Cedar has been used for centuries as a symbol of purification in many cultures and religions. Its sweet aroma and various attributes have made it a popular choice for cleansing and healing rituals. The number six is also associated with cedar in Hebrew numerology, representing the six attributes of God. Whether you are looking to purify your mind, body, or spirit, cedar may be just what you need to bring balance and harmony into your life.

Symbolism Meaning
Aroma Cleansing and healing properties
Six branches Harmony and balance; six attributes of God: kindness, judgment, beauty, endurance, supremacy, and foundation
Strengths Protection, healing, and purification; stability and endurance

Cedar’s symbolism and attributes make it a powerful tool for purification and healing. Whether you use it in religious or spiritual practices or simply enjoy its sweet aroma, cedar has much to offer those seeking balance and harmony in their lives.

Cedar as a Symbol of Resilience

Cedar wood has been revered by various cultures for its strength and durability. The wood comes from the cedar tree, which can grow up to 100 feet tall and 30 feet wide. Cedarwood’s sturdy and resilient qualities make it a popular choice for building and construction purposes.

  • In the Bible, cedar wood was commonly used to build structures, including the Temple of Solomon and the Ark of the Covenant. It symbolized strength and incorruptibility.
  • Cedar was also used by the ancient Egyptians in the embalming process. They believed that cedarwood oil had purifying qualities that would protect the deceased in their journey to the afterlife.
  • Cedar was also commonly used in Native American cultures for its healing properties in the form of teas, oils, and incense. It was believed that cedar had the power to cleanse the spirit and alleviate negative energy.

Overall, cedar’s resilience as a material and its use in various spiritual and cultural practices have led it to symbolize strength, incorruptibility, protection, and healing.

One interesting aspect of cedar’s symbolism is the number 7. Cedar is often associated with the number 7, and it is not hard to see why. Cedarwood has 7 layers of inner bark, and the cedar tree’s branches typically grow in clusters of 7. This association with the number 7 has led to cedar being used in many religious and spiritual contexts.

Religious/Spiritual Context Use of Cedar
Christianity The Bible mentions cedar multiple times and uses it as a symbol of strength and resilience. For example, in Psalm 92:12, it says, “The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.”
Judaism Cedar was used in the construction of the Temple of Solomon and is often associated with the number 7, which is considered a holy number in Judaism.
Native American Culture Cedar is seen as a sacred tree in many Native American cultures and is believed to have healing and cleansing properties. The number 7 is also significant in many Native American spiritual practices.

Overall, cedar’s association with the number 7 has led to its use in many religious and spiritual practices, further cementing its symbol as a material of resilience and strength.

Cedar as a Symbol of Wisdom

Wood has long been a symbol of knowledge and learning, and cedar is one type of wood that has been used for this purpose for centuries. Cedar is a symbol of wisdom for many reasons and has been revered as such in many cultures around the world. One of the most significant reasons that cedar is considered a symbol of wisdom is because of its unique properties and the role it plays in many spiritual and religious practices.

  • Revered by the Native Americans: Cedar was considered sacred by many Native American tribes and was used in many of their rituals and ceremonies. For example, the totem poles that many tribes erected were often made of cedar to symbolize the tribe’s spiritual connection with the natural world.
  • Immortalized in the Bible: Cedar is mentioned numerous times in the Bible, where it is often used as a symbol of strength and longevity. It is also mentioned as being used to build various structures, such as the temple in Jerusalem.
  • The number eight: In numerology, the number eight is associated with wisdom and spiritual enlightenment, and cedar has eight sides. This is seen as a representation of the many different aspects of wisdom and how they all come together to form a whole.

The number eight is particularly significant and is often cited as one of the reasons that cedar is considered a symbol of wisdom. According to numerology, eight is the number of infinity and power, representing the many different facets of wisdom and knowledge. Cedar, with its eight sides, is seen as a physical representation of this concept, providing a tangible symbol that people can use to connect with their own inner wisdom and understanding.

Overall, cedar is a potent symbol of wisdom that has been used for centuries in many different cultures and spiritual traditions. Its unique properties and associations with the number eight make it a powerful tool for those seeking to tap into the deeper levels of their own wisdom and understanding.

To summarize, cedar as a symbol of wisdom can be attributed to its unique properties and spiritual significance in many cultures, including its association with Native American traditions and its mention in the Bible. Additionally, the number eight is significant in numerology and is associated with wisdom and spiritual enlightenment, making cedar’s eight sides a potent symbol of this concept.

Attributes Symbolism
Strength Cedar is known for its strength and durability, which is why it was used to build many structures in the past, such as the temple in Jerusalem. This strength is also seen as a symbol of wisdom and resilience, and cedar is often used in spiritual practices to help people connect with this aspect of themselves.
Longevity Cedar is associated with longevity and endurance, and it is often used as a symbol of these qualities in many different cultures. This endurance is seen as a vital aspect of wisdom, as it helps people to weather the storms of life and navigate difficult situations.
Protection Cedar is also associated with protection, and it has been used in many cultures as a talisman to ward off negative energy and provide spiritual strength. This protection is seen as an essential element of wisdom, as it allows people to make decisions and act with confidence in the face of adversity.

Ultimately, cedar is a symbol of wisdom that has been revered for centuries in many different cultures around the world. Its unique properties and associations with the number eight make it a powerful tool for those seeking to connect with their inner wisdom and tap into the deeper levels of their understanding.

Cedar as a Symbol of Immortality

For centuries, Cedar has been a popular symbol of immortality. It is a religiously significant plant in many cultures, associated with spiritual and physical endurance. There are various reasons why cedar has been attributed with immortality, including its ability to withstand harsh conditions and its prolonged lifespan.

  • Number 9: In numerology, the number nine is considered to be a sacred number, symbolizing completion and the beginning of a new cycle. Cedar wood is known for its durability and longevity, which is why it is often associated with the number nine as it represents a long life cycle.

Cedar trees are known for their resistance to harsh weather conditions, pests, and diseases. They can grow to be hundreds of years old, making them a symbol of longevity and durability. In some Native American cultures, Cedar is considered to be a sacred tree that provides spiritual protection and longevity to those who use it.

The ancient Egyptians also recognized the significance of Cedar as a symbol of immortality. They used cedarwood to embalm their pharaohs, believing that it would preserve their bodies for an eternal life in the afterworld. Cedar oil was also used as a perfume, believed to offer spiritual purification and protection to its wearers.

Overall, Cedar has been a widely recognized symbol of immortality due to its ability to withstand harsh conditions and its longevity. Its association with the number nine in numerology further strengthens its significance as a symbol of completion and new beginnings.

Whether it’s used for its physical or spiritual properties, Cedar continues to be a symbol of strength and endurance. Its significance in various cultures and religions around the world speaks to the enduring legacy of this powerful tree.

Culture/Religion Symbolism
Native American Longevity, protection
Ancient Egyptian Immortality, spiritual purification
Chinese Prosperity, abundance

The symbolism of Cedar extends beyond the concept of immortality and encompasses abundance and prosperity in some cultures. In Chinese culture, Cedar is believed to attract wealth and good fortune, making it a popular decorative element in homes and businesses.

Cedar’s rich symbolism has persisted throughout history and continues to play an important role in various cultures and religions around the world.

Cedar in Contemporary Symbolism: The Number 10

As we delve deeper into the symbolism of cedar in contemporary culture, we come across the number 10 as a significant representation. Here are some meanings associated with this number:

  • Completion: In various religions, the number 10 signifies the end of a cycle and the completion of a task. It is seen as a number of completeness, indicating that a goal has been achieved.
  • Law: In the Bible, the commandments are given in sets of 10, thus making it a symbol of divine law and perfect order. It is also associated with the Ten Commandments, which are the basis of the Jewish and Christian faiths.
  • Unity: In many spiritual traditions, the number 10 symbolizes the unity of all things. It represents the oneness and interconnectedness of the universe, and the harmony that exists between all entities.

Beyond religious and spiritual connotations, the number 10 also has significance in various cultural and social contexts. For example, the metric system is based on multiples of 10, making it an important component of global standardization.

Moreover, the number 10 is frequently associated with top ten rankings in various fields such as music, sports, and business. Such rankings showcase excellence and represent the highest level of achievement, further reinforcing the idea of completion and perfection.

Symbolism of Cedar Subtopics
Overall Symbolism Overview of Cedar Symbolism
Art Cedar in Art and Design
Religion Cedar in Religious Traditions
The Number 10 Meanings Associated with the Number 10

In conclusion, cedar continues to hold an important place in contemporary symbolism, with the number 10 being just one of the many associations that emphasize its significance. From religious and spiritual realms to cultural and social contexts, cedar continues to represent completion, law, and unity, among other qualities.

FAQs About What Does Cedar Symbolize

1. What does cedar symbolize in Native American culture?

Cedar is commonly used in Native American culture to symbolize strength, protection, and longevity.

2. What does cedar symbolize in spiritual practices?

Cedar is often used in spiritual practices to represent purification, cleansing, and healing.

3. What does cedar symbolize in mythology?

In some mythologies, cedar is seen as a symbol of immortality and is tied to gods and goddesses who represent the afterlife.

4. What does cedar wood symbolize in home decor?

Cedar wood is often used in home decor to represent warmth, comfort, and rustic charm.

5. What does a cedar tree symbolize in gardening?

A cedar tree is often seen as a symbol of resilience, strength, and adaptability. It is also used as landscaping to provide shade and privacy.

6. What does burning cedar symbolize?

Burning cedar is often used in spiritual and healing practices to purify the air and create a peaceful, calming atmosphere.

7. What does the smell of cedar symbolize?

The smell of cedar is often associated with cleanliness, freshness, and relaxation.

Closing Thoughts

Thank you for taking the time to learn about what cedar symbolizes. Its symbolism can vary depending on culture, spirituality, and even home decor. So next time you spot a cedar tree or smell the familiar scent, you’ll know what it represents. Visit us again for more interesting articles like this.