You maybe wondering, why an article about Adam and Eve or the origins of the Apple? What does this have to do with Women, Healing & Lore?
It has everything to do with it. Not only do I want to throw light on the Mountain Women who helped shape the New World, but I also wanted to show a historical account of how Religion has, well, tried to destroy a Gender.
We all know the story of Adam and Eve. Eve was tempted by the serpent to eat the forbidden fruit that God told her not to touch. After doing so, she tempted Adam and led him away from God’s love. This resulted in, let’s say, the rose-colored glasses being ripped off their eyes– WOMAN damned us all– and got us cast out of the Garden of Eden.
Unfortunately, this version began with Christianity….the jaded untruth of it.
Eve’s fruit of knowledge used to be the Goddess’s sacred heart of immortality all over Indo-European civilizations. Many of the Goddess’s western paradises had the Apple right in it, growing by the many.
The Garden of Eden was thought to be the same as Avalon known by the Celts. “Apple Land” was a country ruled by Morgan, the Queen of the dead. Back in days of old, kings would receive the Goddess’s apples holding within its fruit, the gift of Immortality. Then, they would go to live with her in Avalon, just as King Arthur was taken to live with her…delivered to her by three fairy queens representing the triple Goddess.
Scandinavians would put tons of apples by the graves because they believed them to be essential for resurrection. In the west, the Norse Goddess Idun kept under her care the apple Land of the west, where the Gods would go to receive the fruit in which kept them deathless.
Apples were also believed to carry souls from one body to the next. In certain festivities such as Yule, an apple was roasted in the mouth of a pig to serve as a heart in the next life.
Greeks claimed that Hera kept the apple Garden in the west where the sacred tree of life was guarded by her sacred serpent. Now think about that…and think about the story of Eve. It isn’t quite as negative when pondering its origins eh?
Graves points out that this is where the story of Adam, Eve, and the serpent originated from in a very horribly misinterpreted way. In fact he points out that it was deliberately done so. Icons show the Great Goddess offering life to her worshipper, in the form of an apple with the tree and its serpent in the background.
Romans named their apple mother Pomona which was probably gotten from the Estruscaris.
Now here’s a bit of fact for ya…
Cut an apple transversely, as the gypsies and the witches of days of old were known to do. Hidden in the apples core is the magic pentacle or sign of Kore (Core). Just as Kore the virgin was hidden in the heart of the mother earth (Demeter) and represented the World Soul, so her pentacle was hidden in the apple.
The pentacle in a circle was also the Egyptian Hieroglyph for the underworld womb where resurrection was brought about by the mother-heart of transformations.
In Celtic Paganism , the apple meant a sacred marriage and journey to the land of death.
The poisoned apple was created by Christian men in regards to Hel or Hecate who was viewed as Virgin and Mother. In competition with the Goddess/apple lore, Christian men told people that a witch would cause demonic possession through her gift of an apple unto her victim. (insert Snow White here?) Old women were actually slain if caught giving an apple to a child or adult. Suddenly when this happened the people who took the apple and ate it became troubled with fits.
The story of Adam and Eve…Eve being tempted by the serpent to take the apple was nothing more than a plight to steer fear towards the Goddess and her knowledge and immortality. The serpent became something viewed as evil as one bite from an apple, damned all women and all of the world.
It became the cause of women’s suffering and pain– claiming she deserved it because of what Eve did. What it was, in truth, was one of the very first steps taken in discrediting women and their knowledge of things. Knowledge of healing and of the Great Mother Earth.
MEDICINAL: Apples are used to treat constipation. The pectin in fresh apples can help to lower cholesterol levels, an aid in treating heart disease. Crushed apple leaves can be rubbed on a fresh wound to prevent infection.
MAGICKAL: Apple blossoms are used in love and healing incenses. An apple should be given to a lover as a present – you should eat one half, the lover the other. It is given as an offering on Samhain to the dead, since it is a symbol of immortality. Apple wood is used to make magickal wands. Pouring apple cider on the ground in your garden before you plant gives the earth life.
GROWING: Apple trees grow over most of North America. They need a cool winter period, making them unsuitable for low desert or tropical regions. Check with your local nursery for varieties best suited to your area and growing conditions.