II. Pomegranate – High Priestess – Intuition
Genus: Punica – Family: Lythraceae
Pomegranate signals an initiation into the intuitive and mystical realms of our soul and its impact on the mundane reality of life.
As symbols of the “promised land” pomegranates influenced the ancient initiations into the mystery teachings of agriculture, astronomy and the Tree of Life. In 1 Kings 7:15-22, two pillars named Boaz (left) and Jachim (right) stood at the entrance of King Solomon’s temple, each engraved with 200 pomegranates. Boaz represented the feminine forces of the earth, moon, night and darkness while Jachim represented the masculine forces of the cosmos, sun, day and light. Together they symbolized the duality and harmony of our soul’s journey as it travels through the left and right branches of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. The space in-between is seen as the “self-giving one.” By entering into union with our self, we become whole or holy. The “Holy of Holies” was also engraved with pomegranates that held the holy “seed”.
The Eleusinian mystery schools in Greece centered around Demeter, Goddess of Agriculture, and the secret rites of initiation. Persephone, the daughter of Demeter and Zeus, was captured and tricked by Hades, god of the underworld, into eating Pomegranate seeds before being released. This insured that Persephone would have to return to the underworld every year, which began the never-ending cycle of the seasons between fall-death, winter-rebirth, spring-birth, summer-life.
Pomegranates have been identified as the “forbidden fruit” of the biblical Tree of Knowledge. Aphrodite (Greek goddess of love and fertility) was thought to have planted the first pomegranate tree on the island of Cyprus. The word aphrodisiac is attributed to her. In Roman myth, Pomona, Latin pomun, “fruit of the trees” was the protector goddess of fruitful abundance.
Pomegranate, Punica granatum is French for pomme “apple” and granatum “seeded.” The abundance of seeds in a pomegranate is seen as a symbol of fertility. A single pomegranate can hold between 200-1400 seeds. The deep red exterior color of a pomegranate along with its juice is associated with the blood that flows through our veins. Pomegranates, native to the Middle East and Himalayas, are deciduous trees that live for 200 years.
Message: Pomegranate reminds us to connect with our intuition to understand the deeper meaning of life and our souls purpose. This is a time of establishing a healthy balance between our desires and life’s necessities. We may find ourselves mediating or navigating a middle path that allows us to expand and grow in areas of our life we have yet to explore. Listen deeply to the intuitive senses versus the conscious mind. Open the heart to see what is within.
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.