The Handmaid’s Berry: Raspberry Spiritual Meaning, Myth and Magic

Close-up on bright red raspberries.

The Magic of Raspberry

Raspberry is the essence of the Feminine. Tantalizing with her sweet taste and evoking crimson flush, she is also potently powerful, with a piquant aftertaste that surprises and delights the most delicate of senses.

A Handmaid Becomes a Legend Through Raspberry

It was the raspberry fruit that took a lowly handmaid and thrust her into the mythos of the very gods themselves. As her blood spilled and gave raspberry its compelling and profound, rosy hue, so did it give her a place in creating one of the earth’s most seductive fruits.

The Feminine Power of Raspberry

The magic of raspberry concerns all things feminine. From maiden to motherhood and beyond, raspberry supplies her power for the ones who provide for and nurture our world. Those whose wombs would prepare for a child, those who are heavy with child, and those whose child relies on them for sustenance will all find willing power in the raspberry fruit and plant.

A white bowl full of raspberries, decorated with nearby daisies, a bowl of biscuits, apples, spoons, and a pitcher decorated with flowers.

Like a Mother, Raspberry Protects

The energy of raspberry is kind and patient, careful yet fruitful. But like any mother with love for her beautiful child, the raspberry plant does what she must to protect her progeny, guarding the berry with her many thorns by chance someone might try to pluck her fruit before its time.

How Raspberry Demonstrates The Art of Letting Go

However, when the time is right, and her fruit is ripe, the raspberry plant willingly lets her fruit go, allowing that which she created to grace the world with exuberance and enchanting delight.

Raspberry Magical Correspondences

  • Botanical Name: Rubus Idaeus
  • Folk Names: European Raspberry, Red Raspberry
  • Gender: Feminine
  • Planet: Venus
  • Element: Water
  • Magical Attributes: ProtectionLoveFertility

From Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs

Heightening Sensual Feelings with Raspberry

Include raspberries in your love-inducing foods and dishes to heighten feelings of attraction and arousal between you and the one you love. Bathe in raspberry or raspberry leaves to encourage your lover not to stray, and serve it to inspire loving sentiments.

Raspberries Encourage Faithfulness in Marriage

Raspberry’s red color resembles blood and is considered potent in love-inducing magic. Raspberries can be used to strengthen and bring good fortune to marriage, as well as ensure faithfulness. Steeping raspberries in wine and serving the beverage to your lover will strengthen the relationship.

A white teacup full of raspberries, with leaves in the background.

Protection from Wayward Spirits with Raspberry

Raspberries can be used to protect against wayward spirits and souls, and raspberry branches can be hung on doors and windows to reinforce this protection. When someone has died, raspberry branches hung on the door will deter their spirit from returning to the home so they can more easily transition into the next world. Raspberry growing near the home also provides protection.

Raspberries Provide Magical Protection Through Pregnancy

Raspberry fruit and leaves can be dried and made into an herbal amulet to strengthen the reproductive organs and protect the womb during pregnancy. Pregnant women can carry raspberry leaves by their side and allow its magical energy to lessen the aches and pains that come with pregnancy and childbirth.

Red Raspberry bushes in a greenhouse.

Understanding Raspberry Symbolism and Meaning

Raspberries are the penultimate symbol of femininity, motherhood, and fertility. The symbolism extends deep into mythology, where the color of raspberries — its profound and beautiful blood red blush — comes from the God of Thunder, Zeus’ handmaid, Ida.

The Intricate Connection Between Raspberries and Women’s Health*

Perhaps conspicuously, raspberries are integral to matters of women’s health. Raspberry leaf tea is said to help regulate the menstrual cycle and flow. Raspberry leaf tea and raspberry fruit help lactating mothers produce milk, and raspberries are used traditionally to lessen the aches, pains, and nausea associated with pregnancy and childbirth.

*(See Our FDA Disclaimer)

Raspberry and The Language of Flowers

In the Language of Flowers, Raspberry symbolizes kindness and the heart, but do not be disarmed by this portraiture — Raspberry also represents strength and protection as its thorns suggest.

A basket full of red raspberries sitting on the grass.

Raspberry in Mythology

Raspberries have an intricate connection to Greek mythology, evidenced by its Latin name, Rubus Idaeus, which means “bramble bush of Ida.” Various myths explain this name, one being that it is a reference to Zeus’ handmaid, Ida, a nymph who pricked her finger while picking raspberries and bled onto them, turning them from snow white to red.

“The Mountain of the Goddess” and Raspberries

Another tale would have it that the name comes from Mount Ida, “The Mountain of the Goddess,” and the location where the gods happened upon the berries while searching for food.

Zeus Hidden in Mount Ida

It is important to note, however, that there are two Mount Idas — one in Crete and one in western Anatolia, which is modern-day Turkey, both of which are considered sacred. Mount Ida in Crete connects us to Zeus and Greek mythology in that it is fabled to be the mountain where the infant Zeus was hidden from his father Cronus and nursed by his foster mother Amaltheia.

A woman in all black with tattoos on her wrist holding red raspberries in her palm in front of a person wearing yellow.

To Dream of Raspberries

Dreaming of raspberries is a beautiful sign, as it usually signifies good fortune, pleasure, and joy — moreso if the raspberries are sweet and ripe. Ripe and sweet raspberries appearing in a dream also portend that you will have big success in future business dealings, and dreaming of raspberry jam hints at merriment, fulfillment of wishes, and the promise of an easy life.

Raspberry Interesting Facts

  • Raspberry is a member of the rose family.
  • Raspberry seems to have derived its name from either raspise, which is a sweet-rose colored wine, raspoie which is a Germanic word for thicket, or the Old English rasp, meaning “rough berry,” due to its bumpy texture.
  • Honeybees and other pollinating insects are fond of the nectar of raspberry flowers.
  • While raspberries are typically known for their deep red color, the fruit comes in many other shades, such as golden yellow, black, and purple.
  • Russia is responsible for 21% of the world’s raspberry production.
  • A single raspberry bush can produce hundreds of raspberries a year.
  • Yellow raspberries owe their unique color to a genetic mutation within the fruit.
  • It is believed that raspberries originated in Eastern Asia and were brought to North America by prehistoric humans by the Bering Strait.
  • Archaeological evidence suggests that cave dwellers ate raspberries in Paleolithic times.
  • Raspberry juice was popularly used as a red stain for artwork during the Middle Ages.
  • George Washington was known to grow raspberries at Mount Vernon.
  • Though most U.S. states grow raspberries commercially, Washington leads the pack by far, producing 70 million tons of raspberries a year.
  • Raspberries prefer cooler climates and can even grow in the harsh conditions of the Arctic circle.

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