If you don’t believe in magic, it’s because you’ve never experienced it for yourself. For example, have you ever stood underneath a blooming cherry tree on a sunny day? The gentle shaking of the branches against the bright blue sky is an impossible sight to behold. It’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen in this world, and I’m sure there are other magical experiences out there waiting to be had.
Cherry tree symbolism has been essential in many cultures and religions throughout history. For example, cherry blossoms are often seen as a symbol of purity and love, while the fruit of the cherry tree is said to be a sign of divination and inspiration. In addition, cherry trees are considered to be sacred to the Goddess, making them an important symbol in many pagan and Wiccan traditions. However, the most important message of the cherry tree is one of the new beginnings.
The spirit of the cherry may help you to awaken your faith in the divine and to shed your ego that could be holding you back from spiritual growth. In doing so, you can embrace a new chapter in your life with hope and optimism.
In this article, we’ll explore the cherry tree and its symbolism and meaning.
Beauty and purity, love, divination, inspiration, new beginnings
Konohana Sakuya Hime (Japanese)
About Cherry Trees
Prunus, a large genus, contains more than 400 species of deciduous trees and shrubs (including the plum tree, almond tree, apricot tree and peach tree) that grow in northern temperate regions.
The leaves often have serrated edges; the white or pink flowers are bisexual. The fruits are drupes with a fleshy outer layer surrounding a hard stone or pit that contains the seed.
The wild cherry (P. avium) is a medium-sized tree most commonly found in woodlands in Eurasia and North America. The bark is smooth and grey, but will turn mahogany-red with age; it also peels off horizontally in stripes.
White, cup-shaped flowers grow in clusters and appear shortly before or after the leaves emerge, usually between late April to early May.
Finally, the fruits of the wild cherry tree are glossy reddish-purple, small, and can taste anywhere from bitter to sweet. This species serves as the ancestor for many common sweet cherry cultivars consumed today.
Cherry trees have long been grown for their edible fruits, as well as their beautiful flowers. The wood from cherry trees is also highly prized for furniture, musical instruments and carving.
The pink, white and pristine ornamental cherry trees are a highly esteemed symbol of Japanese culture by the emperor himself. These dainty little guys not only have an elegant presence in traditional prints, fabrics, porcelain and paper; but they also hold great meaning.
The cherry tree’s ability to take root and thrive anywhere it’s planted promotes goodwill and harmony throughout its surroundings – almost anywhere it goes that is.
The bark from a wild cherry tree can be used to make flavored cough syrup, which is often helpful for dry coughs.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, cherries are considered warm and sweet, and they affect the heart, spleen and stomach meridians.
They improve circulation and help with “cold” disorders such as arthritis and rheumatism.
Folklore, Myth and Symbols of Cherry Trees
Sakura, or cherry blossoms, are a vital symbol in Japanese culture. They not only represent purity and beauty but also forecast hope for the future. In Japan, the school year as well as the fiscal year begins in April when sakura trees start to bloom.
Cherry blossoms play an important role in ceremonial events such as weddings where sakura-yu, a salt-preserved cherry blossom tea drink, is served
The Japanese celebrate the 40 days of sakura zensen, or “cherry blossom front”, in April with weather forecasts. Millions of people admire the blossoms in parks and riversides.
For example, 1,100 cherry trees line Tokyo’s Ueno Park and Tetsugaku-no-michi, the Path of Philosophy, has about 1,000 cherry trees. The customof isakura-gari,”cherry blossom viewing”, began during early Heian Period (794–1185).
For centuries, Japanese gardeners have cross-fertilized different types of P. serrulata and P. speciosa to create the 300 varieties of sato sakura we see today.
The name ‘sakura’ is made up of two parts: sa, referring to the deity of rice plants, and kura, meaning “divine seat”. It’s also closely related to sakuya – the word for blooming in general.
In Japanese mythology, the cherry is a sacred fruit to Konohana Sakuya Hime, the younger daughter of the mountain god Oyama Tsumi. She married Ninigi–the grandson of the sun goddess–and had three children who became humanity’s ancestors.
Between the 14th and 16th centuries, she became Mount Fuji’s primary goddess and still has Shinto shrines in honor her at the volcano’s base. Cherry blossoms have always been a huge source of inspiration for Japanese artists, writers and poets.
They often symbolize traditional Japanese values such as simplicity and virtue. The falling of the petals represents perfection, even in death.
Cherry Tree Meanings and Symbolism
Cherry trees have had a lot of meanings along with symbolism throughout history.
Some of the common meanings associated with cherry trees include purity, hope, renewal, and beauty.
In many cultures, cherry blossoms are also seen as a symbol of springtime and new beginnings. They can also represent optimism, youthfulness, and vitality.
Cherry trees are often allied with the realm of the angels, and they are known to possess an energy that is similar to “cherubic fire.” In the Bible, cherubs appear as grown women with wings who serve as positive protectors and guides.
Similarly, cherry trees often have fairylike beings called “Vila” near them, and they play the role of guardians in some fairy tales.
In other words, the cherry tree’s intense energy helps us get into a beneficial alignment with what is possible and how things can go smoothly.
The cherry tree is often seen as a symbol of love and for good reason. Not only is it ruled by the planet Venus, but it’s also sacred to the goddess of love. However, the cherry tree isn’t just a symbol of romantic love.
In Japanese mythology, the cherry tree is also associated with Konohana-Sakuya Hime – the goddess who birthed humanity from her womb. Thus, this mighty tree carries potent feminine energy.
Every part of the cherry tree involved in Japanese wedding celebrations vibrates at the frequency of love.
Whether we’re talking about the graceful blossoms, the sweet fragrance they emit, or the delicate shade of pink that comes with their falling petals, there’s no denying the symbolic power of the cherry tree.
Cherry blossoms are commonly seen at weddings, especially those taking place in Japan.
Power and Strength
Cherry wood is commonly used for furniture and interior details because of its rich red color. This deep hue conveys a sense of the tree’s energetic potency.
Similarly, the mahogany-colored flesh and skin of some varieties of cherry reveal its sanguine magical signature.
After the war, in Korea, all of the cherry trees that had been planted by the Japanese occupying force were destroyed and replaced with local species.
The trees signified Japanese military power–an association which was only made stronger by the fact that cherry-blossom designs were painted on Japanese bombers to represent both the intensity and brevity of life.
For centuries, people have linked cherry trees not only to physical well-being but also to one’s state of mind. In Christian beliefs, for instance, cherries are associated with paradise and represent what Goodness is rewarded with after a life of virtuous actions.
The white blossom of the cherry tree is a well-known symbol of purity, but in Renaissance paintings of the Virgin Mary, it is the fruit that appears more often.
Carracci’s painting The Virgin and the Sleeping Child shows her hushing a cherubic John the Baptist while he sleeps. A small bunch of cherries lie on a table nearby to symbolise his eventual heavenly destiny.
Fortune and Good Luck
The most significant characteristic of this tree is the fruit it bears. The two large red circles at the end of an inverted V-shaped stalk are a global symbol for cherries.
This instantly recognizable icon is often associated with gambling halls and seaside arcades, where seeing rows of cherries means winning the jackpot – a prize unrelated to the spiritual reward depicted in religious artwork.
The next time you see a cherry tree, think about all of the different meanings and symbolism that are associated with this beautiful plant.
From its history in Eastern religions to its more modern-day associations, the cherry tree has a lot to offer in terms of meaning and representation.
Whether you’re looking for a symbol of springtime or something to remind you of the fragility of life, the cherry tree may be just what you need.