Pear – Separation – Five of Fruit Trees (Cups)
Genus: Pyrus – Family: Rosaceae
Pear signifies a time of loss, difficulty or separation, but it also asks us to look at our life from a different perspective. Sometimes what we are losing is creating an opportunity that leads us in a healthier more fulfilling direction.
Pears are ancient and sacred symbols of love and separation. In Chinese, the word fen li means “sharing a pear” and is pronounced the same way for the word meaning “separation.” Pear is a homophone (words that sound alike but have different meanings) with pair (two of something), pare (cutting back) and pear (fruit). This speaks to the multiple meaning in most life situations.
In Greek mythology, the pear tree was sacred to Hera, mother of the Olympian gods. Despite being the goddess of marriage and childbirth, she could also become jealous and vengeful.
She was known as Hera Apios, (apios is Greek for “pear tree”) and idols of her were carved from pear trees. Romans saw Hera as Juno, Aphrodite and Venus. The Latin word for pear is pirum, meaning, “pear-shaped.” The pyramidal shape of a pear tree is similar to its fruit, which resembles a womb. This speaks to the fact that a woman’s womb has the potential to create life, yet the womb must ultimately separate itself to let that life live.
Pears are native to coastal and temperate regions of Western Europe and North Africa to Asia. The Pyrus genus is thought to originate in China and spread from there. Today there are over 20 species and 3000 known varieties of pear including deciduous and evergreen trees that can reach heights of 56ft.
Pear wood is valued for making woodwind instruments, kitchen spoons and wood carving.
Message: The spirit of the pear tree invites us to see that true unity is a continual process of joining and separating. In Taoist tradition, this concept is known as Yin and Yang, or the harmony of opposites. Empedocles (Greek philosopher circa 490–430BCE) also saw that the forces of nature were eternally brought together into union by love and then separated through strife. This process may feel chaotic but it is a necessary aspect of creation. Now is a time of separation where we may need to give ourselves or someone we love some space. By allowing a period of separation, we create space to see things from a new perspective.
Challenge: Stifling the creative process by holding on and not allowing space to breathe or independent ideas to form. Jealousy and insecurity suffocate love and creativity.