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 a renewed spirit.
The Latin word for pinecone is pinea. In the 1680s the French word “pineal” literally meant, “like a pine cone.” The pineal gland is a light sensitive organ that produces the hormone melatonin, which regulates hormones within our reproductive system and maintains our circadian rhythm. The pineal gland was named because of its resemblance to a pine nut. French philosopher Rene Descartes (1596-1650) 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 throughout the northern hemisphere produce pine nuts (commonly called pinon or pignoli) that are large enough to be harvested.
In Europe, the most common source of pine nuts is the Stone pine, Pinus pinea. It has been cultivated for over 6,000 years and used as a wild food source since 10,000 BCE. Stone pines are native to the Mediterranean region.
The Siberian pine, Pinus sibirica grows in the northern mountains of Russia, Mongolia and China. Commonly referred to as Siberian Cedar, it is a legendary source of Russian pride and “cedar nuts”.
In the United States, pine nuts are primarily harvested by Native Americans such as the: Shoshone, Navajo, Hopi and Washoe. Treaties in Nevada were negotiated that guaranteed Native Americans’ the right to harvest pine nuts. Pinus edulis, native to New Mexico and Colorado produces larger nuts. The Navajo used them as currency during the trading post era. Their 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. Forests of Korean pine are now protected as habitat 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 treasure. This is a time of abundance when an unexpected gift may come our way that could manifest 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.
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.
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