Coconut – Journey – Eight of Fruit Trees (Cups)
Genus: Cocos – Family: Arecaceae
Coconut signals a time of accumulation in both possessions and accomplishments yet we feel restless and unfulfilled. When coconut appears, we are at a crossroads that may inspire us to release all that we know to embark on deeper spiritual journey.
The coconut tree, Cocos nucifera, is the only species in the Cocosgenus. The coconut originated in India 55-37 million years ago and self-populated the tropical world by floating on ocean currents for up to 100 days, or 3000 miles. The journey ended when the husk reached fertile ground. Here it could sprout and grow into a productive coconut palm in 6-10 years. Explorers such as Magellan and Marco Polo accumulated many treasures and stories as they traveled throughout the world. When they discovered how valuable coconuts were to the native people they began to carry coconuts to other islands and offer them as “gifts.”
One of the earliest coconut stories dates to Sinbad the Sailor from Arabia in 1637, who bought and sold coconuts on his many voyages.
In Sanskrit, the coconut tree is called kalpa vriksha, “the tree which provides all the necessities of life.” In the Philippines, it is called the “tree of life.” The word “coco” is a 16thcentury Portuguese and Spanish word for “head” or “skull,” inspired by the three indentations on the coconut shell that resembles a ghostly face.
As the source of multiple origin myths, the coconut is a restless spirit that embarks on epic journeys that inspire the soul.
Coconuts are an important and sustainable source of food, water, oil and fiber. Oils, butters and other important ingredients are extracted from coconuts for culinary and personal care products. Coir, the fibrous husk of the coconut, is used to make ropes, doormats, brushes and stuffing for mattresses. Palm fronds can be woven into baskets or used for thatched roofs. The interior husks can be turned into bowls and cups or painted as decorative art. Coconut trunks are used as a source of timber for small bridges, homes and furniture as well as canoes and drums. Every aspect of the coconut tree offers natural resources that have been appreciated and accumulated for eons. This can be both a blessing and curse.
Message: The spirit of the coconut tree reminds us to take stock of what we have accumulated and if it will help us in our journey ahead. In this consumer-driven world it is easy to accumulate more than we need. We are being asked to see how we can live with less and enjoy life more. This is a time of adventure and travels, so we should not be weighed down by things that don’t support our spiritual quest.
Challenge: Hoarding and clinging onto possessions and ideas that are self-limiting and restrictive. Holding onto old habits or addictions that prohibit growth.