The Magic of Apple
Apples have a deeply-rooted magical history, and are a richly, symbol-laden fruit. They are known as the “Fruit of the Gods” in Celtic Mythology, and the Irish revered “The Silver Branch,” a magical artifact said to be needed to enter the Underworld before one’s time.
Apple is also known as the “Fruit of the Underworld,” and some believe it to the be the fruit that binds Persephone to the Underworld during the Winter. In this article we'll explore the herbal magic of apples, such as the magical uses and properties of apples, apple history and lore, as well as some apple remedies and spells.
Apple Magical Properties and Uses
In terms of magical herbs, apple blossoms are wonderfully fragrant, and as such make good additions to love satchels, brews and incenses. Apple candles made with infused melted pink wax are often used at hand-fastings, as a symbol of eternal and immortal love. Apple wands are exceptionally good for love, fertility and emotional magic.
Do to apples being strongly associated with love, there are a copious amount of love spells created using apples. A word of caution though about love spells – they do border on manipulation – you don’t want to force someone to love you.
The Healing Power of Apples*
Apples have exceptional healing properties. They are high in fiber, and can relieve constipation. Apple pectin has been known to help treat heart disease, and crushed apples are a remedy used to help prevent infection in fresh wounds.
Rituals and Traditions Involving Apples
Apples are often involved in Mabon and Samhain celebrations. “Apple-Bobbing,” is a Samhain tradition that symbolizes Apollo’s “Quest for the Golden Apple,” in which he sent Andrei across the water to retrieve his three golden apples from the beast there – Rinosark.
Samhain is also a powerful time for apple divination, a popular one being to peel an apple to see how long one’s life will be. The longer the unbroken peel, the longer life will be. During Mabon, the mid-harvest festival, apples are left on altars overnight, and then placed into the ground as an offering to the Earth.
Wassailing ceremonies also involve apples. There is a century old English wassailing custom of going out to the apple orchard, picking the largest apple tree, and “hailing” its branches and roots with cider. Cakes are also gifted to the tree as well. This is to wish good health and a bountiful harvest in the coming year.
Apple Lore and Mythology
Apples have an interesting vein throughout mythology. It was an apple that is said to have started the Trojan War. Eris, the Goddess of Discord, was displeased with not being invited to a wedding party that a host of other gods and goddess were invited to. She crashed the party anyway and threw an apple in the midst of the party gathering, with words etched onto it that said: “For the fairest.”
Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite were all in attendance, and upon seeing the apple, each goddess assumed that the apple was meant for her. A quarreled ensued, and Zeus sent the most handsome mortal on the planet – Paris, Prince of Troy – to settle the matter. Zeus gave Hermes a golden apple to deliver to Paris, who was in turn to give the apple to whichever goddess he considered to be the fairest.
The Judgment of Paris
The goddess’ all made promises to Paris to try and gain his favor and receive the apple. Hera offered to make Paris King of all of Europe and Asia, Athena offered him wisdom and skill in battle, and Aphrodite offered to allow Paris to elope with the beautiful Helen of Troy. It was Aphrodite’s promise that won Paris over, and he gave the apple to her.
This, of course, caused much discord between the goddesses, and Hera and Athena, in retaliation, assisted the Greeks in the Trojan War, resulting in the fall of Troy. As a result of this myth, the phrase “apple of discord” came into being.
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- Featured Photo "Apples" by Max Mitenkov
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