Updated: Dec 24, 2018
Today we are looking at the magickal properties and cultural significance of Pinyon Pine!
A Brief 101 about Piñon Pine
Also known as Pinyon Pine, there are a variety of Piñon Pine trees that are solely native to North and Central America -- specifically in New Mexico, Texas, and parts of Mexico. These small trees are long-living, drought resistant, and hold great importance to the Native American tribes of the previously mentioned regions.
Currently, there are three species of Piñon Pine that can be found
Colorado piñon (pinus edulis). This pine can be primarily found in north central and northwest New Mexico.
Single-leaf piñon (pinus monophylla). Also found in New Mexico, this form of pine is mostly found in the southwestern regions, particularly in the Mimbres Valley.
Mexican piñon (pinus cembroides). Stepping outside of the USA, these trees are from northern Mexico, such as around Valle Allende and Santa Barbara.
Magical Uses and History
Piñon Pine is used in Native American sacred ceremonies to clear the air, heal, balance energies, provide mental strength and support fertility. This can still be done today when you collect branches of the pine to dry and burn during smudging ceremonies. Piñon Pines also have specific spiritual uses for tribes -- for example, the Apache greatly use Piñon Pine during the Sunrise Ceremony (this is a ceremony in which a girl's first menstruation is celebrated by the tribe.) During this ceremony, the Apache girl is given a necklace that has a scratching stick tied to it. The purpose for this is so that the Apache girl (now woman) can scratch her skin without harming her now skin. Furthermore, Piñon nuts are given as food offerings to Apache girls undergoing the Sunrise Ceremony, and Piñion gum was used by many Pueblo tribes as protection against witchcraft.
The nuts of the Pinon tree have been harvested by Native tribes for hundreds of years, and are greatly coveted for their rich nutrition. In fact, the Spaniard explorer Nunez Cabeza de Vaca attributes the Piñon Pine nuts to being the only reason he and his companions didn't starve to death when they had to trek across the plains of what is now Texas after a shipwreck along the Gulf Coast. It was this account in 1535 that first informed Europe about the existence of Piñon Pine.
A Video about Piñon Pine
If you wish to hear about the Pinon Pine (if you're anything like me, sometimes you prefer to listen rather than read), here is a video by a member of the White Mountain Apache tribe of Whiteriver, AZ, who wonderfully explains the traditional cultural uses of the Piñon Pine!
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I have a bachelors in History, and as anyone who has a degree will tell you, it doesn't matter how much of an expert you may be about something -- ALWAYS find and provide sources to the articles you write!!
Here are my sources for today's post:
Youtube video by username CLOCKE69