Walnut – Discernment
Genus: Juglans – Family: Juglandaceae
Walnut reminds us to use discernment as we navigate through times of challenge, loss and misfortune.
The name walnut comes from the Old English wealhhnutu meaning “foreign nut” or nut of the Roman lands. Walnut trees are also defenders of the land they stand on. Their fallen leaves and husks contain juglone, a toxic chemical that acts as a natural herbicide. This direct alignment of walnut with powerful and destructive forces has long associated it with loss and misfortune. Walnut reminds us to use discernment so we can better understand a situation from all angles before making decisions.
The common walnut, Juglans regia, is an Old-World species native to Central Asia, known as English, Persian or Circassian walnut. It is one of the oldest tree foods that trace back to 7000 BCE.
The genus name Juglans, is Latin for Jovis glans, the “nut of Jupiter.” Jupiter, the Roman sky god was the chief deity of the Roman religion prior to Christianity. Jupiter, originally known as Zeus, was the Greek father/sky god. Regia in Latin means “regal.”
Alexander the Great (356 – 323 BCE) is credited with introducing this “Persian nut” to ancient Greece. The Romans then brought it to Europe and North Africa. Walnuts were introduced to China via the Silk Road and eventually English colonists brought it to the Americas in the 1600’s. It was known as the “food of the gods”.
As we look deeper into the structure of a walnut, we see that it resembles the human brain. In fact, walnuts are considered one of the best foods for brain health and longevity. They are packed with antioxidants, Omega-3, proteins, vitamins, minerals and fiber and we only need to eat seven a day to reap its benefits.
Black walnut, Juglans nigra, is native to eastern North America. Its nuts have a distinctive and desirable taste. The tree is more valued for it beautiful hard wood known as black walnut.
Walnut husks have been a source of ink for master artists such Leonardo da Vinci and Rembrandt.
Message: The walnut spirit reminds us that during times of adversity we must rely on our inner ability to discern between the forces that will help us and those that will not. Right now, our focus is better spent on emotional and spiritual development versus power or financial gain. By improving our personal sense of worth and having faith in our self we will be better equipped to discern our next step.
Challenges: Neglecting our emotional and spiritual health by placing all our emphasis on financial gain, which ultimately leaves us feeling hollow.
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