The Fruit of the Underworld: Pomegranate Spiritual Meaning and Magic

Moistened pomegranates stacked on top of each other.

The Magic of Pomegranate

Pomegranate radiates feminine energy. Similar to the Empress of tarot, pomegranate is fertile and passionate. However, like the tarot’s High Priestess, the fruit has a hidden, profoundly mystical side. As a result, pomegranate has captivated religious adherents, spiritual thinkers, and powerful witches alike for many millennia.

How Pomegranates Led to Persephone’s Downfall

Pomegranate represents the Goddess of Fertility and Spring. However, it is also a sobering reminder of the Queen of the Underworld’s dark bargain and the barrenness of Winter. It only took a scattering of pomegranate seeds for Persephone to seal her fate as betrothed to Hades.

Pomegranate Represents the Secrets Beyond the Veil

Likewise, pomegranates remind us that to glimpse beyond the veil is to see its mysteries. As a consequence, you will never again know the bliss of ignorance.

A pomegranate on a table in a dimly lit room.

The Secrets of the Underworld and Pomegranate

Just as a pomegranate is rife with seeds, it is similarly full of palpable, fertile energy. They are a cogent symbol of the world within and around us. Additionally, pomegranates are a compelling reminder of the abundance of gifts and magic in the unseen world.

Pomegranates in Greek Mythology

Pomegranate has profound significance in mythology, particularly Greek mythology. After all, it was the seeds of the pomegranate fruit that ultimately caused Persephone to be bound to the Underworld for four months of the year.

Persephone’s Fall and the Birth of Winter

The Greeks use the story of Persephone and her journey into the Underworld to explain why the seasons change, the fullness of Spring, and the dormancy of Winter.

Hades Kidnaps Persephone

Persephone, the beautiful daughter of the harvest and Earth goddess Demeter, caught the eye of Hades, God of the Underworld. Hades could not contain his desire for Persephone and eventually decided to kidnap her and steal her away to his dark domain.

Pomegranate cut open in segments.

Demeter’s Sadness Creates an Endless Winter

With her daughter now missing, Demeter was thrust into a deep sadness, and in her melancholy, plants soon ceased to grow, the trees shed their leaves, and an endless winter took over the lands.

Persephone Refuses to Eat

Meanwhile, in the Underworld, Persephone was also beside herself with grief and refused to eat. Hades tried to offer all sorts of delicacies for her to receive sustenance but to no avail. However, Persephone’s will to avoid eating started to break down as her hunger rose.

Macro photography of pomegranate pips.

A Handful of Pomegranate Seeds Seals Persephone’s Fate

When Hades offered her a handful of pomegranate seeds, she could no longer resist, and she finally gave in and ate four seeds. As the Fates would have it, anyone who consumes the food of the Underworld is trapped in the Underworld.

Persephone Becomes The Queen of the Underworld

Therefore, since Persephone ate four seeds, she was doomed to spend four months out of every year by Hades side as Queen of the Underworld. During this time, Demeter mourns her daughter, and plants will not grow. Hence the reason for Winter.

Pomegranate Fun Fact: “Apple Seeded”

Pomegranate’s name comes from the medieval Latin words pomum, which means “apple,” and granatum which means “seeded.”

Pomegranate seeds close-up.

Why Are Pomegranates Good Luck?

Pomegranates have a long tradition of association with luck and good fortune. Since antiquity, it has been central to Greek culture to open a pomegranate on New Year’s and at weddings. Doing so invites Fate’s good favor for the coming journey. Moreover, pomegranates and presents with a pomegranate theme make consummate gifts to extend similar blessings and well-wishes.

Pomegranates Symbolize New Life and Rebirth

The concept of rebirth is integral to the pomegranate’s symbolism. It is the Queen of the Underworld’s ascent from the depths of hell that assuaged Demeter’s grief. As a result, life begins anew as the Spring with Persephone’s return. Similarly, a new year brings new promises and opportunities. It is a chance to start over with new intentions and goals.

Pomegranate seeds overflowing from a decorative China cup.

Opening Pomegranate Fruit for Newlywed Blessings

Moreover, marriage begets a brand new chapter in a person’s life – a chapter they now share with someone else. Every newlywed couple wishes their love and future to be as abundant and bountiful as the pomegranate fruit. Opening and releasing its enchantment is a simple way to entreat the universe to bestow blessings upon your new union.

Pomegranate Fun Fact: Pomegranate Grenade

Explosive grenades get their name from the French word for pomegranate, grenade.

Some pomegranate flowers in bloom.

Magical Ways to Use Pomegranate

  • To find out how many children you will have, throw a pomegranate on the ground with enough force for it to open. However many seeds pop out is how many children you will bear.
  • Hang a pomegranate branch above the door to protect against maligned energies.
  • Drinking pomegranate juice is said to increase wisdom.
  • During Samhain, it is customary to eat three pomegranate seeds in remembrance of Persephone’s journey to the Underworld, but eating anymore than three seeds will cause hardship in the coming year.
  • Make an ink using pomegranate leaves and vinegar and use it to write fertility, prosperity and protection spells.
  • In Asian culture, it is tradition to decorate the bedroom of a newlywed couple with pomegranates to bless the union.
  • Give pomegranate as a housewarming gift to bestow the blessings of abundance and prosperity on a household.

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