Sycomore – Nurturing – Earthkeeper of Fruit Trees (Queen of Cups)
Genus: Ficus – Family: Moraceae
The ancient sycomore fig is a nurturing spirit that encourages us to think with our heart instead of our head. This is a time of trusting our intuition and imagination as we create space to nurture our soul.
The “Lady of the Sycomore” has been associated with the Egyptian goddesses Hathor, Nut and Isis. All three were mother goddesses and over time they were each considered the mother of Horus.
In Egyptian mythology, the sycomore fig or “Mother Tree” was sacred to the god Horus (solar god of light/sky). Twin sycomores, symbolic of the “Mother Tree,” stood on the eastern horizon. The sun god Ra, seen as Horus of the horizon, rose each morning from the east and set each night in the west as he traveled on his solar barge. This cycle of life, death and rebirth of the “Sun” as the “son” with the “Earth” as the “mother” represents the mystical and devoted nature of the sycomore.
Sycomores were planted in sacred groves near lakes as symbols of life in the underworld, sarcophagi were made of sycomore wood so the dead could return to the “Mother Tree.”
The sycomore was also known as the “Fig of Pharaoh.” Pharaohs called them Nehet, meaning, “refuge.” In Hebrew, the sycomore’s name is shikma, meaning to nurture, regenerate or reestablish.
Ficus sycomorus or “sycomore fig” is an ancient tree native to north Africa. The word “sycomore” comes from the Greek word sukomoros, meaning “fig-mulberry.” It is a long-lived tree that can reach heights of 60ft and produces figs year-round. A milky juice can be extracted from the unripen fruit which grows directly from the trunk of the tree.
Hathor and Nut are often seen as cosmic cows who nurture their children, they are also associated with the milky way. Sycomore was a source of nourishment for the body, mind and soul.
Pliny the Elder, (circa 77-79 CE), wrote of the Egyptian sycamore fig in: Natural History – Books XIII Trees, “Egypt has many varieties of trees not found elsewhere – first and foremost the fig, which for this reason, is called the Egyptian fig. Its leaves resemble those of the mulberry in size and appearance. The fig produces its fruit not on branches but on the trunk itself, and the Egyptian variety is exceptionally sweet and seedless.”
The word “sycamore” spelled with an “a” is used to describe a group of totally unrelated trees; such as maple Acer and plane Plantanus. This has created confusion between these very different species.
Message: When sycomore appears, we are reminded to listen with our heart. This is a time of compassion and caring for others as well as our self. The appearance of sycomore signals that we are being called to help, support and teach others during a time of need. During this time, it is important to define our boundaries so we don’t lose our self in the process. Create beauty with art, words or music.
Challenge: Close-minded and shut down, unwilling to change.