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4  854 - Cypresses

This magnificent androgynous beauty was said by the Roman philosopher Plinius,  that she/he sprouts spontaneously on Mt. Ida of Crete, whenever the earth there has been disturbed. 

The myth about its origin celebrates a teenager who inadvertently killed his playfellow, a majestic stag. In desperation he begged the gods to let him mourn his friend for all eternity. As an act of compassion, Apollo transformed the teenager into a cypress tree. This is one of the poetic reasons the cypress became a symbol of mourning in antiquity. Another poetic reason why these glorious trees are traditionally planted in cemeteries, is due to the tree’s sacred associations with the god Pluto, ruler of the underworld. 

The ancient Egyptians also linked the cypress tree with death and their beliefs in the afterlife; they would use this sweet-scented wood for its preserving properties so crucial in mummification processes to aid the ascension of their souls.