Magical, mysterious mesquite (Prosopis) thrives in hot, dry climates by sending a taproot deep into the earth to find the buried water within. If you’re brave enough to connect with his deep, dark wisdom, you’ll be rewarded with awe, inspiration, and healing.
Various species of mesquite trees are native to Mexico and the southwestern United States.
Mesquite plays a central role in a Yaqui myth about a boy who slays a large bird that has been terrorizing his village. The bird alights on a mesquite tree, and the boy shoots the bird with an arrow, killing it. Still standing under the tree, the boy then creates many smaller animals, including coyotes and various types of owls, by throwing handfuls of the bird’s body into the air. Later, at this same location under the tree, he teaches the people of the village how to interact with the animals he created and how they can be useful for humans as food, clothing, and decoration.
This story is an accurate depiction of the power of creativity. Through courage, one can look at what one fears, and effectively overcome it. One can then tap into its power and transform it into something that will populate the world with inspiration and sustenance for many generations to come.
Mesquite has a long medicinal history in the Americas. According to authors Eliseo Torres and Timothy Leighton Sawyer in Healing with Herbs and Rituals, in traditional Mexican medicine mesquite sap was employed as a cure for dysentery, and “a tea infused from the seeds and bark can be consumed to combat irritations of the digestive tract.” Energetically, spending time in quiet contemplation with a mesquite can support emotional healing by providing a purifying release.
In much the same way dreams can provide a road map to our true selves, mesquite can support us in waking visions that shed much-needed light on our spiritual and personal path. For this purpose, try:
· • Meditating under a mesquite tree when the sun is high in the sky and allowing your mind to show you pictures.
· • Burning mesquite incense on your altar as you go on a vision quest.
· • Safely creating an outdoor fire with dried mesquite wood and gazing into the flames.
· • Making an eye lotion from mesquite, as the Aztecs did. Did it help them have healing visions? We may never know.