The Apple of Seduction

You, first parents of the human race, who ruined yourself for an apple, what might you not have done for a truffled turkey?” ~ Brillat-Savarin

“A seed hidden in the heart of an apple is an orchard invisible.”~Welsh Proverb

Apples, the fruit of Eve, the golden apple of Aphrodite, the symbol of love and seduction. Snow White was offered a poisoned apple. Red apples, golden apples. A symbol of the breast, female. Adam and Eve were tempted. Forbidden knowledge. Seduction.

Apples and Apple Blossoms are symbolic of love. Eve, the temptress, was the first to seduce with a round, juicy apple. Breasts. Inside the apple, seeds. Mating. Sex. Desire, with all its delicious seduction, is fruitful, its power manifest in fertile mouthfuls. Kisses, tasting of mouths, biting into apples. Love, in all its manifestations, exists within an apple. Cheeks, like apples. Breath of the lover is sweet: “Let thy breasts be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy breath like apples.”

The poet Robert Frost’s symbolic poem, After Apple Picking describes the ‘apple picking’ as metaphor for chasing human desires.

The Song of Songs mentions apples and pomegranates, and apples that refresh one’s love: “Sustain me with raisins, refresh me with apples, for I am faint with love” Song of Songs 2:5. To “sustain” or “hold” alludes to a lover’s embrace:

As an apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among young men. With great delight I sat in his shadow, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.

He brought me to the banqueting house,
and his intention towards me was love.

Sustain me with raisins, refresh me with apples; for I am faint with love. O that his left hand were under my head, and that his right hand embraced me!

The Spring Equinox, a sacred passage of time, especially to the Nordic Goddess Iduna, who kept “magical apples” as the Immortal Goddess of Spring. Her husband was the God of Poetry, Bragi. She welcomed the magical moment of her Spring Equinox with birds and apples. The apple represents nature’s rebirth. It reminds us of Aphrodite, and her birth from the sea foam.

Apples, a symbol of temptation, sexual desire, love, and rebirth.

Cider was considered magical, used in the orgiastic rites of the goddess. Strong cider is called “The Witches Brew”.  And, if so, then… Eve was the “Great Goddess”. Witches, Goddesses, Aphrodite, the origins of Feminine Mysteries and Life, Birth. Pre-monotheism, the “Great Goddess” was the creatrix of the universe. The “Mother-Goddess” originated in Pre-Indo-European neolithic matriarchies.

The apple of love, lust, desire and seduction, a symbol of life and creation, its lore revealing its magical qualities and essence. Greek warriors threw apples to their desired ladies, hence “she was the apple of his eye,” and that apple was much like a engagement ring. As an aphrodisiac, apples are juicy, refreshing after lovemaking. Sweet, full of anti-oxidants, and wonderful temptations in pies and desserts. The simplest and most sensual combination to me is apples dipped in honey. We eat them especially for the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, to bring sweetness into the coming year. I find apples dipped in honey to be a very sensual experience. Perhaps those seductresses of Hebrew folklore used them to tempt their lovers?

PUTTING IN THE SEED

(Poem by Robert Frost)

You come to fetch me from my work to-night

When supper’s on the table, and we’ll see

If I can leave off burying the white

Soft petals fallen from the apple tree

(Soft petals, yes, but not so barren quite,

Mingled with these, smooth bean and wrinkled pea)

And go along with you ere you lose sight

Of what you came for and become like me,

Slave to a springtime passion for the earth.

How Love burns through the Putting in the Seed

On through the watching for that early birth

When, just as the soil tarnishes with weed,

The sturdy seedling with arched body comes,

Shouldering its way and shedding the earth crumbs.

 

I found a Harvard Classical Literature article by A.R. Littlewood, that mentions an essay written in 1899 by Benjamin Oliver Foster titled “Notes on the Symbolism of the Apple in Classical Antiquity” which dilgently traces the apple’s symbolism to Aphrodite.

After reading through the essay by Foster, I noticed through many passages where the “apple” is mentioned as a love token for mortals as well as Gods and Goddesses. The ‘love apple’ was used in Ancient Greek and Roman times, as an advance, a declaration, an engagement offering. Love notes were written upon them as declarations carved into the flesh of the apple. In this article, many ancient Greek passages, left untranslated by Foster, basically coming to the round-about conclusion that yes, the apple is the ancient connection between the ancient rituals of apple tree worship (fertility/fecundity) and the fruit of the tree, the “apple” being the symbolic breast of Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love.

Another essay by Anne M. Avakian titled “Three Apples Fell from Heaven” notes the phrase in numerous Armenian, Turkish, and Persian folktales that end with the saying, “Three Apples Fell from the Sky…” and variations on the same theme, its use in place of “Happily Ever After” to end the tale. It use was also to illustrate the attainment of desire.

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