Coconut – Journey
Genus: Cocos – Family: Arecaceae
Coconut signals a time of transition and inner reflection, especially if we are feeling restless or unfulfilled. Coconut inspires us to embark on a deeper more meaningful journey within our soul.
In India, the coconut palm tree is called kalpa vriksha, “the tree which provides all the necessities of life.” In the Philippines, it’s seen as the “tree of life.” It’s thought that Coconut trees originated in India 55-37 million years ago and self-populated the tropical world by floating on ocean currents for up to 100 days or 3000 miles. Their journey would end when the husk reached fertile ground where it could sprout and grow into a productive coconut palm within 6-10 years.
When explorers such as Magellan and Marco Polo discovered the value of coconut trees they carried coconuts to other islands as gifts. Sinbad the Sailor, a folk hero in the Arabian story “The Thousand and One Nights”, journeyed the seven seas by buying and selling coconuts on his voyages.
As the source of multiple origin myths, the coconut is a restless spirit that embarks on epic journeys that inspire the mind, body and soul to dream big. Coconut challenges us to move beyond our comfort zone to experience something new. They also indicate that a sense of security will follow us on this journey into the unknown.
The coconut palm, Cocos nucifera, is the only species in the Cocos genus. The word coco is a 16th century Portuguese and Spanish word for “head” or “skull,” inspired by the three indentations on the coconut shell that resembles the face of a ghost. The word nucifera is a Latin word meaning “nut-bearing”.
Coconuts are an important and sustainable source of food, water, oil, fiber, wood and charcoal. Oils, butters and other important ingredients are extracted from coconuts for culinary and personal care products. Coir, the fibrous husk of the coconut, is used to make ropes, doormats, brushes and stuffing for mattresses. Palm fronds can be woven into baskets or used for thatched roofs. The interior husks can be turned into bowls and cups or painted as decorative art. Coconut trunks are used as a source of timber for small bridges, homes and furniture as well as canoes and drums.
Every aspect of the coconut tree offers natural resources that support a time of self-sufficiency, where less is more.
Message: The spirit of the coconut tree reminds us to take stock of what we have accumulated and if it will help us in our journey ahead. In this consumer-driven world it is easy to accumulate more than we need. We are being asked to see how we can live with less to enjoy life more. This is a time of adventure and travel. Don’t be weighed down by “things” that don’t inspire the spiritual quest.
Challenge: Hoarding and clinging onto possessions and ideas that are self-limiting and restrictive. Holding onto old habits or addictions that prohibit growth.
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