Like the southwestern high desert landscapes in which he’s thrived for millennia, there’s something exceptionally, undeniably sacred about the pinyon (Pinus cembroides). A variety of pine with fragrant resin and nuts that have been an important food source for humans for thousands of years, the pinyon is truly a treasure.
Communing with Spirit
At times, spirituality can be like a subtle thread weaving under and behind our life experience. At other times, it can be like searing sunlight and vibrant blue, merging everything instantly and powerfully into a single luminous whole. Pinyon’s brand of spirituality falls under the latter category.
In incense or firewood, pinyon resin makes for some of the most sacred-smelling smoke you’ll ever inhale. Employ it to be powerfully transported to the realm of the Divine. Or enter into the sacred realm by simply spending time in quiet contemplation with a pinyon tree.
In the inspired words of author Ronald M. Lanner in The Piñon Pine: A Natural and Cultural History:
Nobody who has sat before a roaring, pitch-boiling, bubbling, scented fire of piñon can think of it as the mere consumption of wood. It is the spirited release of centuries of brilliant sunlight absorbed under a cloudless Southwestern sky, the sudden and instant flow of energy patiently accumulated.
The Divine Masculine
In The Piñon Pine Lanner also documents a legend from the San Juan Pueblo Indians about the deity and cultural hero Montezuma (as opposed to the historical Montezuma). In this story, during a pinyon nut harvesting expedition, a beautiful girl hears clear direction to empty two rooms of her house and to leave them that way for four days, which she does. On the fourth day, in fulfillment of the prophecy, the first room is constantly stocked with corn, and she comes into her true divine identity as “the Queen of the White Corn.” The second room is stuffed with pinyon trees. Upon opening the second door, the largest of the trees rolls out, and she is directed to eat it, which she does. Nine months later, she gives birth to Montezuma, “whom she named Son of the Sun.”
In countless cultures, the sun and Divine Masculine energy are synonymous. In this story, the pinyon tree clearly takes on the role of both, first appointing an earthly goddess, and then bringing a divine male human into the world through her womb.