Sometimes you feel like a nut, folks.
Today is National Nut Day, a time to consume the seeds and pods that proliferate from the trees that loom above us.
While nuts have been a staple of the human diet since time immemorial, bar nuts only gained steam in the last century and the use of the word ‘nuts’ to describe a person who is crazy can be traced to a newspaper comic strip from the early 1900’s.
The strip, called “Mutt and Jeff,” popularized the phrase to be “off one’s nut,” meaning separated from the head and the senses. Off one’s nut was abbreviated to nuts and remains so today.
In a similar vein, or shell, it is fitting that each zodiac archetype would have a corresponding nut as some of us are simply allergic to one another.
In honor of what sustains us and what sends us into literal and metaphorical anaphylactic shock, read on to learn more about what nut to crack — based on your zodiac sign.
Aries is cardinal fire and the candlenut loves the flame right back. Like the average ram, the candlenut is mildly toxic when raw — and stands as a symbol of renewal and the brightness of new beginnings. Red is the vital-hued power color of the Aries ilk; the bark of this tree runs towards rust and was traditionally used to dye garments. In ancient Hawaii, candlenuts were burned to provide light, hence their common name. Blood red bark and flammable insides? Nothing short of perfectly fitting for the searing energy of the first born sign in the zodiac
Taurus is the first earth sign in the zodiac and the pecan tree is the only major tree nut indigenous to North America.
Interestingly, the word “pecan” derives from the Algonquian word “pacane,” meaning “a nut too hard to crack by hand” or “requiring a stone to crack.” As anyone who has ever tried to illicit open emotion or the sentiment of forgiveness from a Taurus can attest, the similarity is stark.
Pecan is of course the primary ingredient in pecan pie, patron pie of the bull herd. These folk love an unholy indulgence that requires very little effort to produce or procure. High AF on corn syrup, and sweet enough to make your teeth ache. this Southern staple can be made with less than ten ingredients and is hot and ready in under an hour.
Gemini is the sign of duality and the cashew nut (technically a seed) is protected by a toxic double shell. Representing the opposing forces in all living things, Gemini aligns with this Sri Lankan folktale that explains the origin of the cashew as a competition between god and the devil, who were essentially trying to one up — or out-nut — one another.
Cancer represents the archetype of the mother and the root systems that connect us to our ancestors. Though the macadamia nut is most commonly associated with Hawaii, it is in fact indigenous to Australia and was only introduced to the Hawaiian islands in the late 19th century. A team of scientists recently discovered that most of the plants found in Hawaii can be traced back to a single population of trees in Queensland. Their research suggests the possibility that all of the Hawaiian specimens originated from a single tree, the OG macadamia mother.
Symbolized by the formidable, noble lion, Leo is synonymous with royalty, living beyond one’s means and a conflated sense of self-importance. In kind, or claw, as it were, legend maintains the Queen of Sheeba decreed that pistachios were to be the sole province of the nobility, making it a crime for commoners to grow or consume. Rude, but also, respect.
Rulers of the human heart, lions at their best are a magnanimous, warm people. In India, pistachios are known as the “hot nut,” as belief holds they have the ability to warm people from the inside out during the cold gusts of winter months.
In the Northern Hemisphere the dropping of chestnuts begins during the late stages of Virgo season. Like the mutable earth sign itself, the chestnut is prickly on the outside and wildly medicinal within. Virgo rules the sixth house of service, daily rituals and small animals. Fittingly, the Celts considered the chestnut the guardian nut (band name?) of men and animals, fit to feed and protect them through the new year.
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Ruled by charm as currency planet Venus, Libra is the sign of partnerships and all that is legally binding. Apropos of this, almonds, and in particular candied Jordan almonds, have long featured in marriage rites. Nuts.com explains, “In traditional Greek weddings, the Jordan almonds are called koufetta. They are placed in little bags in odd numbers and are served on a silver tray. Odd numbers are indivisible, symbolizing how the newlyweds will share everything and remain undivided.” A sugar coating for a bittersweet binding? Very Venusian indeed.
Scorpio rules the eighth house of sex, death, secrets and regeneration, gardens and graveyards. Apropos of this, peanuts originated in central South America where fossil evidence suggests they were used by the Incas as sacrificial offerings and were placed in tombs as a food source for the dead to enjoy in the afterlife. Ever close to the veil between worlds and the genitalia between people, it tracks that Scorpio would align with the deadliest nut under the sun — and one whose allergen potential can be transmitted through ejaculation.
Sagittarius is ruled by dice throwing, luck-doling planet Jupiter, named for the god of the sky and wisdom itself. In Roman myth, the walnut was dedicated to Jupiter; lore maintains that when the gods of the pantheon roamed the earth, they subsisted on walnuts alone.
Walnuts are the oldest tree food known to man, with evidence of their consumption going back nearly 10,000 years. As the sign of expansion and travel, it’s apropos that Sagittarius would find kinship with the walnut (from the Old English ‘wealhhnutu’, which translates to ‘foreign nut’) as it found its way from Persia to Greece via the armies of Alexander the Great, and the rest of Europe via the famed silk road. A roaming nut, fit for the gods? Can dig.
Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, planet of structure, punishment, power systems and hard won know-how. In kind and in Celtic folklore, hazel trees are associated with authority and wisdom. So revered were hazel trees that in some areas cutting one down carried with it a sentence of death.
In old English, “haesl” translates to “rod of power,” a nod to the druid priests that would carry hazel wands and the modern masters that use them to “witch” wells. Doubling down on the sea goat sentiments is the Medieval practice of using hazel twigs to denote property lines, apropos of Capricorns who like to be clear about the boundaries of their ever-expanding empires.
Astrology 101: Your guide to the star
The power color for Aquarius is white and their calling card is weird, a spirit made manifest in the egg shaped leaves and bilateral blooms of the Brazil nut, whose flower has a structure not found in any other plant family on earth.
Aquarius rules the eleventh house of community and the Brazil nut, which cannot fertilize itself, relies on the biotic interaction between the tree and orchid bees, the only insect capable of pollinating them. As a fixed sign, water bearers have very particular requirements for survival. In kind, the Brazil nut can only bear fruit in undisturbed wild forests. A need for wilderness and a longing for a hyper-specific kind of lover strong enough to make it through their ramparts? Big time Aqua vibes.
Pisces is ruled by planet Neptune, named for the god of the sea. Trident-wielding daddy Neptune’s sacred tree was the pine, whose wood made for the best building material for sailing ships. Consumed for centuries, pine nuts, the edible seeds of the tree have been found among the ruins of Pompeii; evidence suggests the Roman Legions carried pine nuts as provisions on their long tours of conquest in Britain.
Pisces is associated with dreams, delusions, poisons and potions — pine nuts were known as a kind of aphrodisiac to the ancients and are known to cause ‘pine nut mouth’ in modern times, a syndrome that leaves a metallic taste on the palette for up to two weeks. Weirdly holy with a disorienting aftershock, pine nuts are pure Pisces.
Astrologer Reda Wigle researches and irreverently reports back on planetary configurations and their effect on each zodiac sign. Her horoscopes integrate history, poetry, pop culture and personal experience. She is also an accomplished writer who has profiled a variety of artists and performers, as well as extensively chronicled her experiences while traveling. Among the many intriguing topics she has tackled are cemetery etiquette, her love for dive bars, Cuban Airbnbs, a “girls guide” to strip clubs and the “weirdest” foods available abroad.