Rosewood – Vulnerability – Five of Hardwoods (Swords)

Genus: Dalbergia – Family: Fabaceae


The rosewood spirit is one of strength and vulnerability that signals a time of inner conflict. The name rosewood was inspired by its sweet rosy scent and deep red color that speaks to our heart.

Brazilian rosewood, Dalbergia nigra, is a large evergreen tree that is now considered a vulnerable species. Its wood varies in color from nearly black to brick red. The sound of rosewood resonates with a sustained, bright metallic ring when tapped. This along with its beauty has plucked at the heartstrings of instrument makers for centuries. Brazilian rosewood was sought after to make lutes and stringed instruments in the late Renaissance and Baroque eras.

Since November 6, 1992 a moratorium has restricted any more trees from being cut down. Reclaimed old-growth Brazilian rosewood extremely valuable and prized by guitar makers and carvers.

Brazilian rosewood is often confused with another tree species called Brazilian rosewood Aniba rosodora, which also grows in Brazil and is on the endangered species list. Aniba rosodora is an evergreen species within the Lauraceae family. It is used to make Rosewood essential oil.

All “true” rosewoods belong to the genus Dalbergia. Dalbergia is a large genus of small to medium trees native throughout the tropical regions of the world. This genus includes several valuable hardwood trees such as African blackwood, tulipwood, Brazilian kingwood and cocobolo to name a few. But, the most famous of these are the rosewoods. There are twelve species of Dalbergia that produce the dark, red wood known as rosewood. The most valuable part of the rosewood tree is the heartwood, which is found in its core, which is darker and denser than its outer layers.

Rosewood is a tree that is both strong and vulnerable.

Message: Rosewood is encouraging us to listen to what is tugging deep in our heart. What does our heart want us to hear, to know, to sense? Now is a time to act, based on our heart’s true desire. Vulnerability is an important lesson that rosewood teaches. To some this is seen as a sign of weakness, but being vulnerable is also a sign of true inner strength. Vulnerability, even though it may hurt, does help us to stay openhearted especially when life gets difficult.

Challenge: Not able to see the beauty in everyday life or taking time to smell the roses and enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Focusing on the negative aspects of life and remaining in the dark on issues that are important to the heart.