Hickory – Holding – Four of Nuts & Seeds (Coins)

Genus: Carya – Family: Juglandaceae

Hickory indicates that we may be holding too tightly onto material possessions. By holding, we prevent ourselves from enjoying life. By releasing our hold, we can begin to enjoy the rewards of our labor.

Hickory is a nut-bearing tree in the Carya genus. Carya is the Ancient Greek word for “nut” inspired by the mythological story of Carya, daughter of the King of Laconia. Carya was caught in a moral dilemma between two gods; Apollo (god of truth and prophecy) and Dionysus (god of wine and ecstasy.) In a lustful rage, Dionysus transformed Carya into a nut tree. Artemis (goddess of the hunt, twin to Apollo) took on Carya as an aspect of her. As “Lady of the Nut Tree” a temple was dedicated to Artemis Caryatis. It was surrounded by Caryatides, large female-sculpted columns representing Carya carrying a basket of nuts balanced on her head. Caryatides are architectural columns seen in Europe, Middle East and America.

This story of Carya is one of a strong woman who holds the weight of the world on her head. The Carya genus includes 17-19 species native to North America, Mexico, China and India.

Shagbark hickory, Carya ovata, is a unique hickory tree that sheds its bark on a regular basis. Shagbark hickory is a common hickory native to the eastern part of the United States and southeast Canada. It can grow to be over 100 feet tall. The nuts of Carya ovata are considered to be the best in terms of taste and texture.

All hickory trees are deciduous trees. Deciduous means “falling off at maturity.” Baby teeth are also called “deciduous teeth.” Fall is the season when deciduous trees shed their leaves to conserve energy in their bark and roots. Winter is when the tree draws upon its inner resources. Spring is the birthing season of buds and blossoms. Summer is when the hickory nuts grow and begin to ripen, just in time for fall harvesting. This cycle of releasing and growing is ongoing for the life of the tree, which for hickory can be 350 years. If this cycle is stopped the tree could die. By observing the rhythms of nature, we can better understand the importance of letting go.

Message: Hickory is asking that we release our grip regarding material possessions. If we save every penny but never spend it, then what good is it? Now is a time to trust and enjoy life by finding the right balance between having fun and having a safety net. If we feel like we carry the weight of the world on our shoulders now is the time to unburden ourselves so we can become rejuvenated. We must honor the wisdom of releasing and see this as a new beginning. Be gentle with yourself or others during times of shedding.

Challenge: Feelings of scarcity that holds us in a place of fear. Overcoming the ego’s desire for control can bring profound transformation, peace and regeneration.