Almond trees are associated with spring, regeneration, divination and fertility. In the near east, the appearance of almond blossom is considered the herald of spring. The Anatolian vegetation god Attis, who was reborn each spring only to die and be mourned each winter, was conceived when his mother Nana placed a ripe almond in her bosom, according to some versions of the myth.
Almonds are a wonderful food, rich in fibre, plant sterols and polyunsaturated fatty acids. They help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol. They are rich in Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, and in magnesium, good for heart health. Sweet almonds pounded in water form ‘almond milk’ which can be used as a substitute for dairy products. The nuts can be eaten raw or roasted and marzipan is made from the ground nuts.
Almond oil, the oil produced from almonds, can be used as a carrier for essential oils, or alone as a treatment for dry skin as it is a light oil, easily absorbed, emollient and nourishing. Ground almonds mixed with honey make a great facial scrub.
Almond oil is also often used as a base for magical oils, but should only be used for those connected with air, spring and its associated gods and goddesses. Almond oil can be used to anoint and consecrate the ritual sword. Almond wood may be used to make a wand of fertility and regeneration. The dried blossoms, wood and nuts may be added to incenses of the east, the element of air, the planet Mercury or the Sun, Ostara, divination rituals, the star sign of Gemini or to incenses of any of the almond’s associated deities. The blossoms may be used in chaplets and decorations at festivals to celebrate the spring.