Pistachio – Generosity
Genus: Pistacia – Family: Anacardiaceae
The appearance of pistachio indicates a time of balance and generosity that encourages both giving and receiving.
Pistachios have been cultivated as a cherished food for over 9000 years. Indigenous to ancient Mesopotamia, the name pistachio comes from the Persian word pestah, meaning “edible seed”. Along with its “nuts” pistachio trees were one of the earliest known sources of turpentine, gum and aromatic resin, making them a valued resource for many gifts.
Iran is the largest producer of pistachios in the world, their custom of offering pistachios to visitors is a well-known tradition. Pistachios are also given away as prayers at sacred gatherings, where the giver hopes to receive an answer in return.
In China, pistachios are given as gifts to celebrate the New Year and to promote happiness, health and wealth.
During Diwali, the Hindu festival for the New Year, pistachios are given as symbols of love and the triumph of light over darkness.
The sound of cracking open a pistachio is thought to clear the air of negativity while the pistachio itself looks like it’s smiling.
Ancient pistachio trees, were also known as terebinths from the Greek word terebinthine, meaning turpentine.Terebinth (pistachio) and Elah (oak) grew side by side in the legendary “Valley of Elah” where David and Goliath battled over three thousand years ago.
The Pistacia genus is estimated to be nearly 80 million years old, with 10-20 species spread throughout warm climates of the world. Pistachio trees are biennial-bearing trees, meaning their harvest is heavier in alternate years. Native to the Middle East and Central Asia, Pistacia vera is the most popular species of cultivated trees in the cashew family. Pistacia vera are small, yet they produce 100 lbs of the largest, most valuable nuts per tree. Pistacia terebinthus and Pistachia palaestina were once valued for their turpentine resin, used in medicine and as a preservative for wine. Pistacia atlantica grows in the arid wild and can live to be 1000 years old. It is the only pistachio valued for its wood. Oil is extracted from its seed and used in medicine and manufacturing. Its resin is used as an essential oil for perfumes or as incense in sacred ceremonies. Pistacia lentiscu, the Mastic tree is an evergreen that produces the aromatic and medicinal resin known as mastic or Arabic gum. Pistacia chinensis, Chinese pistachio is grown for its fall beauty.
Message: Pistachio reminds us to harmonize our needs with our resources, which allows us to be more generous with ourselves and others. Generosity is not restricted to wealth; it also refers to our talents, friendships and willingness to help others. Now may be a time of helping someone in need or volunteering with an organization that aligns with our soul. This can also indicate a time when we may be the receivers of someone else’s generosity. Whichever direction generosity flows, allow it to come and go with grace and without expectation or restriction. Express gratitude.
Challenge: Placing conditions on generosity by demanding something in return or using our resources to control others.
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