Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mardi: Herbal-Wise

The apple, so frequently referred to as "humble", is actually a very complex metaphor in more than one culture, both modern and historical. Cut it in half one way and you reveal what can be interpreted as symbolic female genitalia. Cut it the other way and you've the Wiccans' beloved five pointed star. Surf the web for innumerable images of the Judeo-Christian "fall of man" and find the apple right next to Eve and The Snake. Poor Adam didn't have a chance. Turn it into anything you like: pie, cider, butter, jam, juice, chips. The possibilities are endless. When you step back from it, there is nothing at all humble about this ancient fruit that originated in what is now Kazakhstan (thank you Alton Brown of "Good Eats").

Not surprisingly the apple is often used in magick. It's easy to come by - I remember picking apples as a kid in Washington State - and heartily nutritious as well (despite what the anti-carb crowd would have you believe). It is also a symbol of love and harmony in just about every magickal discipline. In hoodoo practice, the apple is often featured prominently in "sweetening" rituals done to make people get along better and/or fall in love. The forms of this type of root work are innumerable and they vary by region. Some are simple and some are so complex that they must be done by someone other than the couple involved. All share the belief that apples can generate warm feelings.

The simplest working is to cut and apple in two and share the other half with someone you like. Love will bloom between you. A bath in which the water has been sprinkled with apple blossoms will make the bather more attractive and open to a relationship. Hold an apple in your hands until it has warmed while thinking loving thoughts, then give it to someone you fancy. If they eat the apple, they will fall in love with you.

A more complex "sweetener" to be done by a third party goes like this. Get a red apple and a clay pot in which it will fit with room for potting soil and a live plant (or two). Take a piece of paper approximately the size of the apple and write the two individuals' names on the paper, crossing them in an X pattern. Now write your wish for the couple's happiness in a circle around the X (repeat the phrase if need be but don't leave any words out; this takes some planning ahead and practice to get the necessary "perfect" result). Core the apple's center and insert the rolled up paper. Place the apple in the flower pot and then pour some cinnamon powder and a bit of sugar into the hole in the apple. Now cover the apple completely with potting soil and plant a "love" plant such as dill, fern (maiden hair in particular), lavender or violet, in the pot. Water the new plant in, with Holy Water if possible, and give the whole thing to the couple as a gift. As the plant grows, so will the wish for "sweetness" in their relationship imparted to them by you.

Apples, of course, are a signature fruit for the end of the year Holidays. See what sweet offerings you can make with apples, and let me know how they do. Bon chance ~

Header: Adam and Eve by Albrecht Durer


Timmy! said...

Mmmmm... apple pie.

What a nice idea, Pauline... the "sweetener" spell, I mean.

Pauline said...

I think so too. The apple pie sounds really good, though. Only two more days!