XV. Apple – Devil

Apple – Devil – Shadow

Genus: Malus – Family: Rosaceae

Apple signals a time of breaking through our own negative self-talk and facing the fears that are hiding in our shadow. When we see that we are often our own worst enemy we can begin to empower ourselves to release the self-judgment that harms us. We are being reminded of our healing power by making peace within our self.

The genus name for apple is Malus, from the Latin word malum. Malum described both tree fruits and the concept of evil.

When malum was used in context with the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil the apple became associated as the “forbidden fruit.” The archetype of evil is the Devil, which is seen as the opposite of good. These dual meanings formed dual realities, creating confusion, separation and conflict. The word devil is based on the Greek diabolos (slanderer). Another name for the devil is Lucifer (Venus), which is Latin for “light-bringer.” The planet Venus is both a morning (Lucifer) and evening (Vesper) star.

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

Christianity identified Venus/Lucifer as the “fallen angel” commonly known as Satan or the Devil. Venus was also immortalized as the Roman goddess of love, beauty and fertility. Apples were sacred symbols for Venus and her Greek counterpart Aphrodite.

Venus and the Moon

When cut horizontally apples reveal five seeds that resemble a five-pointed star (pentagram). Pentagrams were associated with health for they represented the balance of earth, air, water, fire and spirit within us. Its five points represented our innate star-like qualities (2 legs, 2 arms, 1 head. When turned upside down pentagrams are seen as satanic symbols. This ability to flip the meaning of apple between good and evil, sheds light on the collective shadow held in the archetypal wound of the sacred feminine within men and women.

There are 30-55 species of apple Malus pumila, native throughout the northern hemisphere with more than 7,500 cultivars. Wild apples grew in Asia and China over two million years ago and were cultivated by grafting around 2000 BCE. European colonists first 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.