Apples - Botanicals

The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005


(Malus pumila or Pyrus malus)

Apples are magical fruits. Slice them in half horizontally and the star or pentacle secretly hidden within is revealed. In ancient days, apples were associated with love, lust, and pleasure, but eventually love, lust, and pleasure fell out of grace and apples became identified with witches and the devil.

The most famous apple of all may be the one with which Eve tempted Adam; the story is often told as if the apple were a euphemism for sex. Apples were already long associated with love, sex, and forbidden pleasures when Christianity came to prominence, whereupon translations then identified the apple as the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. However, apples are native to temperate regions and are not indigenous to the region where Bible stories were first told. Many biblical scholars are absolutely certain that apples were not the forbidden fruit (figs, quinces, and pomegranates are the front-runners, although of course the argument has been made that all trees existed in the Garden of Eden, therefore the forbidden fruit could be anything).

Apples became synonymous with sex, sin, and feminine wiles. Fairy-tale apples, like the one the wicked witch-queen feeds Snow White, look seductively beautiful and innocently tasty but are secretly poisonous and perversely dangerous. Apples remained prized love spell ingredients—there are literally hundreds of love spells featuring little more than apples. Perhaps for this reason, apples became classified as more than just a food; they were witches’ tools, especially those bright scarlet apples.