Acacia – Chaos
Genus: Vachellia – Family: Fabaceae
The acacia signals a time of chaos and change.
In Egyptian mythology the first gods were thought to be born under a cosmic acacia tree, Acacia tortilis (umbrella thorn). This species of acacia tree was often associated with the goddess Nut who shielded her children from chaos (universe) by arching her back across the cosmos.
In Heliopolis the acacia was known as a tree of life and death. In Osirian myth, the acacia (also associated with Tamarisk) encased Osiris after he was betrayed by his brother Set. In death, Osiris became one with the acacia tree as “lord of the underworld.” His seed was given to Isis, “goddess of life”, who birthed their son Horus “lord of the sky.” Horus is often depicted riding a solar barge across the nighttime sky. As the “all seeing eye”, his right eye is the sun and his left eye is the moon.
Acacia tortilis was also a sacred tree to the Hebrews, who called it shittahz. In Exodus 25:10-22 acacia is the wood that Moses was instructed to use in building the Ark of the Covenant.
The Ark held two stone tablets (Ten Commandments), the rod of Aaron (almond branch) and a pot of Manna (date honey). According to 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles; Solomon’s Temple was built to house the Ark of the Covenant. In 587 BCE, Babylonians destroyed Solomon’s Temple and the Ark was never seen again. The Ark’s sudden disappearance inspired one of the great mysteries of all time, the search for the “holy grail”.
In Freemasonry the acacia tree symbolizes the immortality of the soul.
Acacia reminds us that when all seems lost, new beginnings are on the horizon.
The name Acacia comes from the Greek akakia, meaning – “thorny Egyptian tree”. Botanist and physician Pedanius Dioscorides (40-90CE) was the first to name this tree 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, which caused a great deal of chaos and confusion. After much lobbying and controversy the original genus name “Acacia” was given to the 900 Australian species. Acacia pycnantha or “Golden Wattle” is Australia’s national tree and flower.
The original trees in the Acacia genus of Africa were renamed Vachellia, in honor of Rev. George H. Vachell, a plant collector and chaplain for the British East India Company.
The renaming of the sacred Acacia tortilis, to Vachellia tortilis, continues to create chaos to this day.
Message: The acacia spirit encourages us to move through the pain we feel as a result of chaos, sudden loss and or betrayal. 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 chaos; this is a difficult lesson in life that teaches us to be resilient as we define a new path.
Challenge: Unwilling to look at our trauma or accept change gracefully. Staying stuck in the pain and trauma of change.
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