The shamanic tree of life or axis mundi, center of the earth, universe or cosmos links the shaman's consciousness with the underworld, the middle world and the spirit realms of the upper world. On the right at the base is the female spirit flame; on the left, the male spirit flame. On the upper left is the crystal universe of consciousness; on the right is the flame of creative energy. The symbol in the circle is the "sound" of life being created.
The five calligraphic figures beginning at the right and moving clockwise represent the sounds of the five worlds or ages we have experienced as beings. The flame at the apex of the tree is symbolic of the unity of the male and female principles within the womb of the mother goddess which continually recreates all realities, physical and spiritual.
by David Paladin