By: Laura Evans

What is the symbolism and meaning of the cherry blossom? Why do so many cultures value this tree?

If you have ever been to Washington D.C. during the spring, you may have had the good fortune to see cherry blossoms in bloom or attend the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. The city of Tokyo gave the original 3,000 cherry trees as a gift to the city of Washington D. C. in 1912 as a symbol of friendship between the United States and Japan. The first Cherry Blossom Festival was held in 1935 to celebrate the beauty and charm of cherry blossoms. Cherry trees are native to Japan and to China.

The Meaning of the Cherry Blossom in Japan
In Japan, cherry trees, called “sakura,” and cherry blossom flowers themselves are held in the highest esteem. For thousands of years, the Japanese people have celebrated hanami annually. Hanami is basically parties organized to view blossoming cherry trees.

Originally, the purpose of hanami excursions was to ponder the transient nature of life, as the cherry blossom blooming season is so short. This concept ties in with Buddhist thinking about the nature of life. However, today, these parties are more about having fun and eating food while enjoying the beauty of the cherry blossoms than pondering deep thoughts.

The cherry blossom was also important to the samurai culture of Japan. Like cherry blossoms, samurai expected to have short lives. The cherry blossom also represented drops of blood.

The connection between warrior and cherry blossoms carried forward to World War II. Cherry blossoms were associated the kamikaze suicide flyers who sacrificed themselves during war actions.

Today, cherry blossoms are connected to innocence, spring and simplicity.

The Meaning of the Cherry Blossom in China
Cherry blossoms have almost a diametrically opposed meaning in China than the blossoms have in Japan. In China, the cherry blossom is associated with women’s dominance and beauty as well as feminine sexuality.

blood that runs deep …

I am
Light as a feather, blown in the breeze
Over the mountains, and across the seas
Wisk me away, to far away dreams
Unable to contain the chaotic emotions in me.

You are
Strong as a diamond, cut me so sweet
Foundation so steady, but my soul is weak
Grasp like an anchor, as I start to bleed
I pour myself out like an undying spring of release.

The earth I stain, with liquid red sheets
Of words on paper, soak it in deep
Years as they pass, blood continues to seep
Dig me up from the ground and you’ll find rare crystals of peace.
Substantial and heavy, my passion so free
Controlled and inviting, the tears of my needs
I reach for the sun, and it’s love I recieve
Now my mind, body, spirit, desires are fully complete.

I am a stone.
Once blown in the breeze.
Till my love bled into the earth.
And it transformed me.
Now I am strong.
Curageous and free.
Hemetite rose.
I am a new me.

Hematite Rose is a circular arrangment of bladed crystals giving the appearance of the flower of a rose.

Hematite is an important ore of iron and its blood red color (in the powdered form) lends itself well to use as a pigment. Hematite gets its name from a Greek word meaning “blood” because of the color of its powder. It has been used as an amulet against bleeding, and so is known as the “blood stone”. When arranged like the petals of a flower, it is referred to as the “iron rose”. Native American folklore states that war paint made from hematite will make one invincible in battle. Ancient superstition held that large deposits of hematite formed from battles that were fought and the subsequent blood that flowed into the ground. Crystals of Hematite are considered rare and are sought after by collectors.

Hematite is good for increasing intuition and is used to improve relationships. The attributes are extreme, uncompromising energy, courage, strength, and will, there is no better stone than hematite. Many believe it to aid balance, reason, and clarity. It is believed to dissolve negativity and transform it into love, making it a perfect stone in building peaceful, loving, kind relationships. It may enhance memory and intellect, and is especially useful when one feels over-aggression during a need for survival, encouraging inward peace.