Malus pumila & Malus domestica
Wisdom, beauty fertility & love
Mabon, Samhain, Immortality & death
Taurus & Venus
Symbolic of wisdom, illumination & the gaining of knowledge, apples are a fruit layered in symbolism and soaked in myth. Both The Isle of Avalon & the Garden of Eden spring to mind.
The apple is emblematic of all that lies just beyond the ordinary; the temptation to explore the unknown and our human inability to resist.
Both tart & sweet, this “Forbidden Fruit” is supposedly loved by unicorns & the fae.
Thousands of varieties around the globe, cultivated for thousands of years have given the apple a rich folklore and loads of symbolism; not just wisdom & knowledge, but also love, fidelity, marriage, divination, death, immortality & the afterlife.
Sometimes known as the “Fruit of the Underworld,” apples have been found in the graves of ancient Germanic people. Norse mythology claimed the gods ate apples to stay immortal.
Technically a member of the rose family, the apple is grown worldwide. Its wild ancestor still grows in central Asian mountains and may have been the first tree cultivated by humans.
Apple trees can live to be well over 100 years old.
Apple trees require space!They can grow over 30 feet tall. Sometimes just as wide.
Though there are self-pollinating varieties, for many two trees are necessary for pollination. Self-pollinating trees can still benefit from another tree to pollinate with.
Seeds do not usually produce a tree that will bear good tasting fruit; due to genetics. Apple trees are generally cultivated by grafting.
Apples need a good cold season to bear fruit. Different varieties are suited to different climates and, if you’re blessed to have the space to grow these glorious beauties, it’s important to choose the right tree for your climate.
Fruit appears in late summer and ripens in autumn, but it takes several years for a tree to bear fruit. Some varieties put out fruit in as few as 3 years; some take up to 6 years.
Apple trees are susceptible to a variety of pests and diseases. They are not for your everyday gardener.
My only experience with apple trees has been my time working and spending time at my local farms and farmers’ markets. If you have a chance to visit a working farm, take it!
Nothing brings you back to nature quite like taking part in the harvest season. One of my favorite things to do while traveling is tracking down local farms for tastings and tours.
Every part of the apple tree can be utilized. The wood, leaves, seeds, flowers & fruit of the apple tree are all viable ingredients in spellwork. Seeds can be used in protection spells. while branches can be used for wands, amulets & wreaths.
Applewood, in particular, is good for love and divination. A fire burning with applewood creates a sense of harmony and peace. Fresh branches with blossoms are excellent for use in fertility, love, or summer spells.
Blossoms can be picked and dried in full bloom. They make good incense for love spells and handfastings. The petals are also easy to press into candles.
Blossoms or fruit can be used to decorate an altar.
Fruit is used in autumn rituals & Sabbats. Apples have a long history of being used as offerings. Cut in half, an apple’s seeds are displayed in a star. Many witches are drawn to this, as the pentacle is a symbol of the craft.
Apples appear in a rainbow of yellows, greens & reds. These colors can be chosen for a specific spell; green for money or prosperity, red for love, etc.
The harvest season is a busy season when you work closely with the earth. My favorite autumn spells are in the kitchen witchery of preserving the harvest.
Fresh apples can be stored in a number of ways; jellies, sauces, butter, canned or dried, or my favorite, as cider.
Cider can be used as a substitute for other alcohols in a ritual, or as a non-alcoholic option; as ciders come both spiked and not.
A cider with ginger & cinnamon can warm the soul during Samhain and the dark half of the year. To make:
1 gallon/ 16 cups of cider; alcoholic or non
4 cinnamon sticks
¼ cup honey or sugar
1 peeled piece of ginger
Add all ingredients to a crockpot and let sit four 2-4 hours. Or use a stock pot and let simmer on a stovetop. Serve hot.
For an extra kick, add 2 cups of bourbon after brewing.