Seeds of Destruction

"For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn't understand growth, it would look like complete destruction."

Cynthia Occelli, Author of Resurrecting Venus

In ancient times, the Fava bean carried the taboo of death and bad luck. In Ancient Rome it was used in funeral rites, and all the priests in the Orphic and Eleusinian mysteries were forbidden from ever touching, mentioning, or looking at Fava beans. Pythagoras also forbade his followers from it, and some claimed that it was due to his belief that fava beans contained the souls of the dead. 

There is some wisdom in these old ways, because glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency does affect a small percentage of people, and this causes a severe anemic reaction when they ingest the beans or are exposed to the fava's pollen. Jack planted his beanstalk with what is likely a fava bean, so this heavenly-reaching plant carried him up in a way that was perhaps metaphor in a different way that we have all expected.

Today, these spring-arising beans are eaten in cuisines around the world. Dig in bravely on this fiery new moon. This bean fixes beneficial nitrogen into the soil below, furthering the success of plants which come in after it. It is usually cut down in the spring, but if you let the Fava drink up more energy from the sun, it's beans can be boldly cracked open from their shells and enjoyed.


Info from LA Times, Scientific American, and Vicia Faba (Wikipedia).

Liz PearComment