Today’s card is Apple, also known as Pyrus malus/communis in scientific terms. The apple tree is a sign of immortality and the paradise of the Otherworld. Also from Greek legend, the gardens of the Hesperides were said to contain a mighty golden apple tree, a gift from the goddes, Gaia to her daughter, Hera, on the day of her marriage to Zeus, king of the Gods. The fruit of the tree was said to restore life to the dead and to heal those in need. It was guarded by a serpent and by nine goddesses who formed a protective ring around the tree and sang sweet songs. At one time, Hercules is tasked with stealing 3 apples from the tree as one of his twelve labors but this angers the other gods and he is forced to put them back in the garden. The God Lugh, from Celtic tradition is also said. to have been sent to take apples from the Tree of Light that grew in the Otherworld. Both of these tales preceded the onside down version of its sacred nature represented in Christian mythos where eating from the Tree of Knowledge leads to the Fall of Man. Beneath this legend lies the fear of the visionary gifts that the apple offers those who seek divine understanding.
If you cut an apple horizontally, it will reveal five ‘pips’ or seeds in the form of a 5-pointed star which is a symbol of the goddess, Aphrodite. Apples are sacred to several major goddesses including the Greek goddess of love. Mythology has it that a contest was held by Zeus to settle the argument between Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite as to who was the most beautiful. Zeus bribed a mortal man, Paris, to award a golden apple to Aphrodite as the winner of the contest and, in spite of much persuasion on the part of the other two goddesses, he ultimately did as Zeus commanded him. As punishment, the angry goddesses caused Paris to fall in love with Helen of Sparta, thus creating the conflict that led to the 20 yr. long Trojan war. Belief in the sacredness of the apple continues into our own time in the custom of wassailing. Still practiced in some of the villages in the British Isles and Germany, the farmers and country folk gather around the apple trees (yes, APPLE trees) to sing songs and make loud noises to ward off evil spirits and ensure the secure growth of the trees in the spring. When picking apples each year, the last few apples are purposely left on the tree as and offering to the ‘Apple Man’ who represents the Green Man spirit of the tree.
The Ogam letter for this tree is Quert, which translated means ‘vision’. Thus, the Green Man wisdom here is ‘Vision Lights the Way Ahead’. Vision is not sight but the ability to see things that lie beyond the surface of things. It allows our perceptions and hearts to grow and become wiser than they could on their own. Every day we see a version of reality that is ‘normal’; this is both reassuring and illusory for it allows us to believe that things are not subject to the Universal law of change. With deeper observation of events and intentions, vision allows us to make decisions from a place of the reality of truth. We are better able to ask the right questions, to see the advantage of taking the road less traveled, and to see ourselves and our purpose in new ways. This card challenges us to look at things from a deeper place of truth than ever before. This will reveal new truths about situations that seem baffling or impenetrable right now and how to address them differently.
May the Green Man energy of the apple allow you to envision new aspects of your inner truth today!