Pinecones – nature and symbolism

The history of pine trees can be traced back to almost 153 million years! They are amazing trees that have green needles instead of leaves and can produce woody and scale formations called pinecones. The main function of a pinecone is to keep the tree’s seeds safe.

Pinecones close their scales to protect the seeds from cold weather and, also, from the animal that may want to eat them. They open back up when it’s warm and the conditions are perfect for releasing the seeds.

Having such a long history, pinecones played an important role in ancient civilizations. They were associated with wisdom and enlightenment, fertility, and eternal life.

The Aztec goddess of agriculture holds pinecones in her hands. Some Hindu gods, also, are depicted holding pinecones. The snakes from Shiva’s hair resemble the structure of a pinecone, as a symbol of spiritual consciousness.

In Assyrian carvings, we can see the Tree of Life fertilized by a pinecone. For the Celts, also, they were a symbol of fertility and women would keep pinecones under their pillow to speed up the pregnancy.

The Egyptian god Osiris and the Greek god of wine, Dionysus, are carrying staffs tipped with pinecones as a symbol of the Third Eye, intuition, and supernatural powers.

Today we mainly use them for decoration during Christmas time, but back then, they represented regeneration, maturity, fertility, and immortality.

Fun facts

If you count the number of spirals from the center to the edge, you’ll see that their structure forms a perfect Fibonacci sequence.

Did you know that a pinecone can stay on the tree for more than 10 years before falling?

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