Apple (Pyrus spp.)
Deities: Venus, Dionysus, Olwen, Apollo, Hera, Athena, Aphrodite, Diana, Zeus, Iduna
Powers : love, healing, garden magic, inmorality, mood stabilizer.
Ritual Uses: August 13 was Diana's Festival in Greece (Venus' in Rome) and on this day a ritual meal was prepared, part of which consisted of apples still hanging on their boughs. Wiccan altars are often piled high with apples on Samhain, for the apple is considered to be one of the foods of the dead. For this very reason Samhain is sometimes known as "Feast of Apples." The apple is a symbol of immortality. A branch of the apple which bore buds, flowers and fully-ripened fruit (sometimes known as the Silver Bough), was a kind of magical charm which enabled its possessor to enter into the land of the Gods, the Underworld, in Celtic mythology. In the old English ballad, Thomays the Ryrnour (Thomas the Rhymer), the Fairy Queen warns Thomas against eating any of the apples and pears which hung in her garden, for to eat the food of the dead ensures there will be no return to the world of the living. In some Wiccan traditions, the apple is a symbol of the soul, and so they are buried on Samhain so that those who will be reborn in the spring will have food during the cold winter months.
Magical Uses: The apple has long been used in spells of love. The blossoms are added to love sachets, brews and incenses, and they are infused in melted pink wax, then strained out, to make candles suitable to burn for attracting love. A simple apple love spell consists of cutting an apple in half and sharing it with your loved one. This ensures that you will be happy together. A similar spell directs you to hold an apple in your hands until warm, and then give it to your intended. If he or she eats it your love will be returned. Apples are also used in love divinations, which were so popular among unmarried women in Europe for many centuries. Simply cut an apple in two and count the number of seeds. If they are even, marriage will soon occur. If one of the seeds is cut it may be a stormy relationship. If two are cut, widowhood is foretold. However, if an uneven number of seeds are found the woman will remain unmarried in the near future. One last apple love spell. Take an apple "before it falls from the tree" and write upon it with a sharp knife the following: Aleo + Deleo + Delato As you do this, say the following words:
I conjure thee, apple, by these names which are written on thee, that what woman (or man) toucheth and tasteth thee, may love me and burn in my love as fire melteth wax.
Then give the apple to whom you will—but be warned, for this (like much love magic) borders on manipulation. For healing, cut an apple into three pieces, rub each on the affected part of the body, and then bury them. Do this during the waning of the Moon to banish illnesses. To ensure that you do not contract a fever, eat an apple. If you are a gardener, pour cider onto freshly-turned earth to give it life just before planting. Also pour libations on roots just before tree rituals. And if you grow apples, bury thirteen leaves of an apple tree after harvest to ensure a good crop of apples next year. The Norse, as well as many other peoples, ate apples to gain immortality through wisdom, and the wood of the apple tree can be made into charms for longevity. Apple wood also makes excellent magical wands, especially suited to emotional magic, as well as love rites. Use apple cider in place of blood where it is called for in old recipes. Apples can be fashioned into poppets or magical figures for use in spells, or images can be carved from the wood itself. Before eating any apple, rub it to remove any demons or evil spirits which might be hiding inside. (You can't be too careful!) Finally, unicorns live beneath apple trees (as well as those of the ash), and so if you know of an apple orchard, quietly go there on a misty day. You may see a single horn upraised and a horselike animal quietly munching sweet, magical apples.