Mulberry – Abundance
Genus: Morus – Family: Moraceae
Mulberry signals a time of great abundance and beauty. We are being encouraged to enjoy all that nature provides while creating sustainable and sharable solutions that improve the lives of others.
The leaves of Morus alba (white mulberry) are the preferred food of silkworms, Bombyx mori. The entire life cycle of a silkworm takes place within the abundant leaves of a white mulberry tree. Silk moths feast on these leaves while laying eggs, the eggs hatch into silkworms that eat more leaves. Each silkworm spins a cocoon in hopes of transforming into a silk moth. Most of these shimmering white cocoons were harvested before the silk moth emerged. Its long fibers could then be spun into silk thread.
This process of silk production began in China around 6,500 BCE. Silk became so popular it inspired the Silk Road between Asia, India, Africa and Europe. The demand for silk grew to the point that silk moths were domesticated by silk farmers who tended the white mulberry trees.
There are over 100 species of deciduous mulberry trees growing throughout the temperate regions of the world, but three main species define the genus: Morus alba (white mulberry from eastern Asia), Morus rubra (red mulberry from eastern North America) and Morus nigra (black mulberry from southwest Asia).
All three species are fast-growing, abundant producers of edible sweet fruit that resembles blackberries in various shades of color. These fruits are used to create a rainbow of natural colors for the food industry. A tea high in vitamins B, C & D can be made from the leaves, which are also edible as additives in fresh salads. Translucent paper is made from the stems of mulberry trees and its wood is prized in the creation of fine furniture, especially in Japan. Mulberry wood is rot resistant, so it has become a source of lumber for outdoor fencing and furniture in some areas of the world. The list of uses continues on and on as the mulberry tree stretches the imagination to enjoy its abundant gifts wisely and sustainably.
Mulberry trees in general, are so easy to grow that some areas consider them invasive. They are drought tolerant trees yet they can grow in wetlands and along riverbanks. In the wild, they are an abundant natural food source for animals, birds and insects.
Message: The mulberry tree encourages us to enjoy the abundance of life and to revel in the gifts that nature and trees provide. In return, it simply asks us to honor, share and treat everything and everyone with respect and love. True and sustainable abundance comes when we are in balance or right relationship with nature. The mulberry shows us the importance of recognizing the abundance in all aspects of life. By practicing gratitude for our abundance, we create a more abundant life.
Challenge: Taking for granted what is right in front of us. The opposite of abundance is scarcity, which can lead to greed, hoarding or jealousy. The mulberry spirit encourages us to release these fears and find the right balance of give and take.
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