Acacia – Loss – Ten of Hardwoods (Swords)
Genus: Vachellia – Family: Fabaceae
The acacia signals a time of loss or betrayal that happens without warning. When dealing with loss we must allow ourselves time to grieve. By honoring our loss, we gain the wisdom to move forward.
In Egyptian mythology, the gods Isis, Osiris and Set were born under a cosmic acacia tree, seen as Hathor or Nut. In Osirian myth, the acacia versus the tamarisk may be the tree that encased Osiris after being betrayed by his brother Set. The acacia of Heliopolis was the tree in which life and death were enclosed. Osiris became “one” with the acacia as lord of the underworld, his spirit is said to live on in its evergreen nature. Horus, son of Isis and Osiris is often depicted riding a solar barge flanked by date palms that symbolize sunrise and acacia for sunset. Two Mother trees (sycomore fig) stood on the eastern horizon marking the birth of the sun as a son each day.
Ancient Egyptians used a mixture of acacia and honey as a barrier method of birth control to prevent their loss of control.
In Hebrew, acacia was called shittahz. In Exodus 25:10-16 acacia was identified as the wood that Moses was instructed to use to build the Ark of the Covenant. Some believe that acacia was also the “burning bush” where the name YHWH revealed itself to Moses as “I Am that I AM.”
The first temple, known as Solomon’s Temple, was the legendary home of the Ark of the Covenant.
.” Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem was the first temple dedicated to YHWH, which was the legendary home of the Ark of the Covenant. In 570 BCE, the Babylonians destroyed the temple and everything within it was lost. The Ark’s disappearance became one of the great losses and mysteries of all time. This loss symbolizes the archetypal search for the Arthurian “Holy Grail.”
In Freemasonry, acacia is symbolic of the immortality of the soul.
The name Acacia is based on the Greek word akakia for thorn. Botanist-physician Pedanius Dioscorides (c.40-90CE) first identified Acacia in his book Materia Medica. In 1773 Carl Linnaeus identified Acacia nilotica “thorn of the Nile” as the “type species” for the Acacia genus.
Two hundred year later, in 1978, it was discovered that the 1300 Acacia species living in Africa and Australia did not share a common ancestor. By 2011, the original Acacia trees of Africa were reassigned to the new genus Vachellia. The genus Acacia was given to the 900 Australian species. By renaming these ancient and historic Acacia trees as Vachellia they lost their true identity, thus disconnecting them from their roots and original stories.
Message: The acacia spirit encourages us to let go of the pain we feel as a result of sudden loss and or the betrayal of friends, family, peers etc. The acacia asks us to be mindful of how easily words can be changed or misinterpreted and to dig deeper to understand their true intent. Wisdom is often born of pain, this is a difficult lesson in life that teaches us to be resilient and hopeful as we move forward.
Challenge: Unwilling to look at our trauma or accept defeat gracefully. Staying stuck in the pain and sorrow.