II. Pomegranate – High Priestess – Intuition
Genus: Punica – Family: Lythraceae
Pomegranate signals a time of initiation as we remember the wisdom and responsibility of our souls true nature.
As symbols of fertility, pomegranate seeds inspired the secret rites of the Eleusinian mystery schools in Greece, circa 1500 BCE. These initiatory rites were based on the Greek mythology of Demeter and her daughter Persephone (Kore/kernel). Persephone was abducted by Hades, god of the underworld. In response, Demeter, goddess of agriculture, cast a drought across earth and proclaimed there would be no harvest until Persephone was returned. Under pressure to release Persephone, Hades tricked her into eating a pomegranate seed, thus insuring that Persephone would return to him in the underworld every year. Her yearly journey between the underworld and earth created the seasons: Spring/Summer – life, Fall/Winter – death. This wisdom was so powerful that initiates were sworn to secrecy via a sacred oath.
In Judaism, Pomegranates were known as “the fruit of the promised land” and “the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge”. Both symbolized the sacred and powerful wisdom of agriculture as well as the sacrifice and hard work it demands.
Around 1000 BCE King Solomon, a wise and mystical king, oversaw the construction of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem. He placed two pillars Boaz and Jachim at the entrance to the temple, each was engraved with two-hundred pomegranates, to symbolize our duality and oneness. Boaz (left pillar) represented the feminine mysteries of the moon while Jachim (right pillar) represented the masculine energy of the sun. The Holy of Holies, which held the Ark of the Covenant, was also engraved with pomegranates.
The deep red color of a pomegranate and its juice were associated with blood and the mysterious nature of the womb. The white flesh and inner kernel were associated with seeds and the mysterious nature of semen. A single pomegranate can hold between 200-1400 seeds.
The name Pomegranate originated from the Latin word pomun, “fruit of the trees.” Pomona was the Roman protector goddess of fruitful abundance. The species name Punica granatum comes from the French word pomme “apple” and granatum “seeded”.
Pomegranates are deciduous trees, native to the Middle East and Himalayas.
Message: Pomegranate reminds us to connect with our intuition in search of the deeper or hidden meaning of life, love, death and birth. This is a time of establishing a healthy balance between our desires and life’s simple necessities. We may find ourselves navigating a middle path that allows for expansion and growth in areas of our life we have yet to explore.
Challenge: Feeling love sick, jealous or desperate for love. Being overly demonstrative and gushing, to gain attention and love. Compromising our core values to pursue superficial love and unhealthy attachments. This is a time of regaining love and respect for our self before searching for love in others.