In the traditional tarot evergreens would represent wands and the element of fire, many evergreens were born from fire. Botanically evergreens are trees that retain their leaves throughout the year, giving the appearance of being “forever green.”
They also happen to represent some of the most ancient tree spirits on earth, such as the kauri and monkey puzzle trees that lived among the dinosaurs during the Jurassic Period (200–145 million year ago).
Evergreens are often referred to as “softwoods” yet some of the hardest woods on earth are evergreen trees. The process of classifying evergreens was challenging for botanists because the “old world” and “new world” evergreens had many of the same characteristics. Most conifers are fragrant and contain high levels of vitamin C. Due to the suppression of botany throughout Europe during the medieval period the awareness of vitamin C was unknown.
When a French explorer was given a tea made from pine needles by a Native American tribe it was hailed as the “Tree of Life.” This tree became identified as a “cedar” because its fragrance was similar to the cedars of Lebanon, which are classified in a different genus.
“All theory, dear friend, is gray, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.” – Johanne Wolfgang von Goethe