Cherry – Sweetness – Ten of Fruit Trees (Cups)
Genus: Prunus – Family: Rosaceae
Cherry heralds a time of sweetness, love and harmony that helps appreciate our good fortune. Cherry trees are among the first trees to bloom in early spring. Their sweet and fragrant blossoms announce a time when sweetness is returning and blooming in our lives. Cherry blossoms are found on all species of cherry trees.
In Japan, the sweet-smelling cherry blossom, commonly known as Sakura, appears in waves as it welcomes spring. Entire cherry blossom festivals called “hanami” or “flower-viewing” take place throughout Japan. The cherry blossom’s sweet, but short lifespan symbolizes the impermanent nature of life and the grace associated with non-attachment. Since they are typically the first tree to flower in Spring they also represent renewal, rebirth and reincarnation. The sweet juice of the cherry is seen as an elixir of immortality that is often associated with the feminine aspects of beauty and sexuality.
Cherries have come to represent the sweetness associated with purity and innocence as it ripens on the tree, but once plucked the cherry represents the loss of innocence, which can also be sweet if done with love and intention.
Sweet cherry, Prunus avium (cherry bird) and sour cherry, Prunus cerasus are native to Europe, Middle East and Western Asia.
Cherry trees are also symbols of friendship, especially those that have stood the test of time. In 1912, Japan gave 3,020 cherry trees to the United States as a symbol of friendship. In 1965 the gift was renewed with another 3,800 trees, even after WWII and the events of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima. This symbolic gesture reminds us to release past grievances and to move forward with good intention. The annual National Cherry Blossom Festival is held in Washington D.C. each year to celebrate spring and the renewal of life.
In 1931, the song “Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries” became an inspirational song during the Great Depression that reminded people: “the sweet things in life were just loaned, so how can you lose what you’ve never owned, life is just a bowl of cherries, so live and laugh at it all.”
Message: Cherry encourages us to find the sweetness and grace in every moment of our life and to feel it in our heart. Now is a time to renew past friendships and release old wounds as we acknowledge the impermanence of life. This may signal an upcoming family gathering or holiday with friends. Now would be a good time to create new memories or gather photos together that could be shared with others. Something new is coming forward in our life that will bring unexpected sweetness.
Challenge: Holding onto pain creates more pain: learning from the pain and releasing it allows us to move forward.