Pine Nut

Pine Nut – Prosperity – Pioneer of Nuts (Ace of Pentacles)

Genus: Pinus – Family: Pinaceae

Pine nut signals a time of prosperity in our life. It encourages us to open up to new ideas and sources of inspiration se we may create with fresh eyes and renewed energy.

The Latin word for pinecone is pinea, in the 1680s the French word pineal literally meant, “like a pine cone.” The pineal gland was named because of its resemblance to a pine nut. The pineal gland is a light sensitive organ that produces the hormone melatonin. Melatonin regulates other hormones within our reproductive system and maintains our circadian rhythm. French philosopher Rene Descartes regarded the pineal gland as the “seat of the soul.”

Pine nuts are released from an open pinecone when it senses that the time is right. Only 20 species of pine trees produce pine nuts (commonly called pinon or pignoli) large enough to be harvested.

In Europe, the most common source of pine nuts is the stone pine, Pinus pinea, which has been cultivated for over 6,000 years and used as a wild food source before 10,000 BCE. The stone pine is native to the Mediterranean region and is now naturalized throughout the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

In the United States, pine nuts are primarily harvested by Native Americans including the: Shoshone, Navajo, Hopi and Washoe tribes. Treaties in Nevada were negotiated that guarantees Native Americans’ right to harvest pine nuts.  Pinus edulis, native to New Mexico and Colorado produces larger nuts that the Navajo people used as currency during the trading post era. There hard, outer shells were also used as beads for traditional regalia and jewelry.

The most prosperous pine nut comes from the Korean pine, Pinus koraiensis, which is native to Asia and the temperate rainforests of eastern Russia. Korean pines reach heights of 100 feet tall and their forests are home to Siberian and Amur tigers. Due to the overexploitation of Korean pines for wood, the Siberian and Amur tigers have become endangered. Korean pine forests are now being protected as habitat and food for tigers. As these pine nuts become plentiful, the tiger’s will prosper for generations to come.

Message: The pine nut reminds us that life is a precious commodity to be treasured and appreciated. This is a time of abundance when an unexpected gift may come our way and could appear in many forms. As we receive these gifts it is important that we honor where they came from and the sacrifices that were made along the way. Living in reciprocity with our natural world means honoring the gifts we receive by giving back or carrying it forward. By honoring our gifts of prosperity, we share in our abundance.

Challenge: An opportunity we were counting on may fall through or we may be spending more than we can afford. This could also indicate an unhealthy obsession with wealth and power, which leads to greed and over consumption.