Mulberry – Abundance – Pioneer of Fruit Trees (Ace of Cups)
Genus: Morus – Family: Moraceae
The mulberry spirit signals a time of abundance, fulfilment and great happiness in our lives. We are encouraged to express our emotions and share our creative spirit with others. This is a time of giving and enjoying the abundance of gifts that surround us.
There are over 150 species of deciduous mulberry trees growing throughout the temperate regions of the world, but only 10-16 are officially recognized. The most popular are: white mulberry (native to Eastern Asia), black mulberry (native to southwest Asia) and red mulberry (native to eastern North America).
Red mulberry, Morus rubra is a pioneer species that grows 70 feet tall and can live to be 125 years old. A mature tree produces several hundred pounds of mulberries every year. This abundance of sweet mulberries is enjoyed fresh, used in baking or fermented into wine.
The leaves of white mulberry, Morus alba are the preferred food source of silkworms, Bombyx mori, since the production of silk began in China around 6,500 BCE. The entire life cycle of a silkworm originally took place within the abundant leaves of the mulberry tree. Silk moths would feast on the leaves as they laid their eggs, the eggs hatched into silkworms that also ate the leaves. Eventually the silkworm spun a cocoon where it transformed into a silk moth.
These silky cocoons were harvested for their shimmering silk fiber and spun into silk thread, which was woven into intricate and beautiful silk fabrics. The desire for silk fabric reached as far as India, the Middle East, Europe and North Africa. Silk became so popular that it inspired the creation of the “Silk Road” as the first commercial trade route between Asia and Europe.
Black mulberry, Morus nigra is an ancient tree that is native to the Mesopotamian region. It was cultivated extensively throughout the middle east for its sweet, dark purple, almost black berries. It is known by its beloved Persian name toot (mulberry) or shahtoot (king’s mulberry.) Black mulberry was imported to Europe where it is now naturalized. Large, old black mulberry trees can be found in many country gardens throughout Europe and China.
Message: The mulberry tree encourages us to enjoy the abundance of life and to revel in the gifts that nature and trees provide. In return, it simply asks us to honor, share and treat everything and everyone with respect and love. True and sustainable abundance comes when we are in balance or right relationship with nature. The mulberry shows us the importance of recognizing the abundance in all aspects of life. By practicing gratitude for our abundance, we create a more abundant life.
Challenge: Taking for granted what is right in front of us. The opposite of abundance is scarcity, which can lead to greed, hoarding or jealousy. The mulberry spirit encourages us to release these fears and find the right balance of give and take.