XV. Apple – Devil

Apple – Devil – Shadow

Genus: Malus – Family: Rosaceae

Apple signals a time of breaking through our negative self-talk to face the fears that hide in our shadows. By seeing that we are our worst enemy we empower ourselves to release the self-judgment that harms us. Apple reminds us to make peace with our self.

The genus name for apple is Malus, derived from the Latin word malum, used to describe tree fruits and the concept of evil. When malum was used in context with the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, the beloved apple was seen as the “forbidden fruit.” The archetype of evil is the Devil, evil is seen as the opposite of good. Devil, comes from the Greek word diabolos – meaning slanderer.

Adam and Eve by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1526 in the Courtauld Gallery, London

The word Satan, Hebrew for adversary, was influenced by the Zoroastrian forces of good (Spenta Mainyu – creative & inspired) versus evil (Angra Mainyu– angry & adversarial). Internally these forces were dynamic aspects of our mind and spirit. Externally they were demonized as supernatural entities beyond our control.

Christianity associated the Devil, with Lucifer “the fallen angel.” Lucifer, is Latin for “light-bringer,” or morning star. Its opposite was Vesper, the evening star. In fact, they were both aspects of the planet Venus.

Venus and the Moon

As the brightest planet, Venus was associated with Mesopotamian deities such as Inanna, Ishtar and Astarte. The word “star”. Five-pointed stars (pentagrams) found in Egyptian hieroglyphics were symbolic of stars. This same star-like pattern, found in the core of an apple, made the apple a symbol of health, magic, prophecy and protection. When turned upside down pentagrams were used as satanic symbols. This ability to continually flip the meaning of apple between good and evil, sheds light on the collective wound found within the shadow of duality.

There are 30-55 species of apple. Malus pumila, native throughout the northern hemisphere has more than 7,500 cultivars. Wild apples, Malus sylvestris, grew in Asia and China over two million years ago and were cultivated by grafting around 2000 BCE. Europeans brought apples to North America in the 1600s.

Vertical Photo of Red Delicious Apples in Orchard Setting

Message: It is time to heal the old stories that we consciously and unconsciously carry within our personal and collective memory. By shedding light without judgment into the darkness of our shadows we can see the original wounds we hold. At first these wounds may not want to be known, but by realizing it is us who we are seeing we can begin to understand that we are also the one perpetuating our fear. By having compassion for our pain, we can begin to see the wisdom hiding within the wounds. By making peace with the light and dark aspects of our wounded stories we will gain the strength, courage and wisdom to love our self and feel whole. We can then rewrite these stories for future generations to come.

Challenge: Feeling enslaved, backsliding into self-loathing and fear. Experiencing power struggles, jealousy and lustfulness. These are all signs that we are living in our shadow and allowing it to rule our lives. We are trapped in old and wounded stories that want to control us. We think it is everyone else’s fault. Break through the labels and names to face the fears that hide in our shadows.