Acorn – Achievement – Nine of Nuts (Pentacles)

Genus: Quercus – Family: Fagaceae

Acorns signal a time for achievement, when we have reached a point in our life where we can better appreciate the beauty and abundance that surrounds us.

In Celtic and Druidic cultures, acorns were seen as sacred because they held the “seed” of the mighty oak tree. Acorns were exchanged as secret signals between druids so they could “know” each other. The name Druid, a teacher and mystic, is based on the Proto-Indo-European words deru (tree), dhwor (door) and vid (to know). These “treewise” Druids ate acorns to help them open the door of an oak and connect with its divine wisdom. The word acorn originates from the Celtic words “ac” for oak and “korn” for seed.

Korn was understoodto be the seed within a plant that produced food. Acorns were gathered as a food source. They could be cooked and eaten, placed in soup, or dried and ground into flour. Acorns can be stored for up to two years and used when needed.

Acorns or oak nuts only appear on adult trees starting at the age of 20 to 50 years old. This fact alone made acorns a symbol of patience and achievement. In Norse legend Thor sought shelter under a large oak during a thunderstorm. This in turn led to the tradition of placing acorns on windowsills to prevent a house from being hit by lightening. Acorns were also worn as amulets of protection, good luck and abundance.

Acorns themselves are made up of a smooth hard outer shell (pericarp) with a woody cap (cupule) perched on top. The edible nut is inside the shell. Acorns have a fairy-like appearance, which have inspired the imaginations of children around the world.

A mature oak can produce more than 2000 acorns a year but only one in 10,000 acorns will grow to become an oak. This speaks to the perseverance it takes to achieve our goals.

The white oak tree, Quercus alba is the most sought-after producer of acorns due to their nuttier, sweeter taste and lower tannin content. A white oak will begin producing acorns around 20 years old, but the tree doesn’t produce large crops until it reaches 50 years of age. This speaks to the importance of honoring the time it takes to achieve our dreams. Patience and hard work coupled with vision and wisdom are important factors to cultivate in our life.

Message: Acorn reminds us to stay humble even during times of great achievement. This is a time to embrace the art of self-sufficiency, self-discipline and self-control. As we master these aspects of life we begin to flow in harmony with the natural rhythms of nature. Acorns appearance suggests that we are about to sprout a new plan or a new opportunity will appear before us.

Challenge: Being loud or indiscreet. Not able to keep secrets especially those that could impact others.