XV. Apple – Devil

Apple – Devil – Shadow

Genus: Malus – Family: Rosaceae

The apple spirit signals a time of breaking through our own negative self-talk and facing the fears that are hiding in our shadows. When we see that we are our own worst enemy we can begin to empower ourselves to release the self-judgment that is harming us. In reality, apple is one of the most loved fruits, reminding us to embrace love.

The apple’s genus name Malus comes from the Latin malum. Malum was a word that described most tree fruits (including oranges) as well as the word evil.

In 405 CE, the book of Genesis was translated from Hebrew into Latin and the word Malum was used in context with the “Forbidden Fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil.” This use of the word malum opened the door for apples to be identified as the forbidden fruit of temptation used by the devil.

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

The devil is seen as the archetype of evil, and evil is seen as the opposite of good. This sense of dualism is often creates conflict even within our self.

The word devil is based on the Greek word diabolos, meaning “slanderer.” Another name for the Devil is Lucifer.

Venus and the Moon

Lucifer, in Latin means “light-bringer,” or the morning star commonly known as the planet Venus. Venus, as the morning star, became associated with the “fallen angel” who was also known as Satan. It is ironic that Venus (Roman goddess of love, beauty and fertility) was “slandered” in this way and that malus (quince/apple) was one of her sacred symbols. This convoluted story speaks to the archetypal shadows that surround women, wisdom and beauty. The apple spirit reminds us that we are all innately wise, beautiful and deserving of love.

Vertical Photo of Red Delicious Apples in Orchard Setting

The apple is a sweet edible fruit produced by the apple tree, Malus pumila. There are 30-55 species of apple, 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. Apples were first brought to North America by European colonists in the 1600s.

Message: The apple wants us to see that our fears are based in an old story that we told our self or agreed to long ago. By facing our inner “demons” and understanding why they are here in the first place we can discover who we truly want to become. This process can be frightening, because the old stories that are held by our ego don’t want to be challenged or changed. By realizing it is us that we are challenging, we are able to see that we are the one who is perpetuating our fear. This process of self-discovery encourages us to focus on our inherent “goodness” as we make peace with the dark and light aspects of our self. This is a time to make peace with our self, not war with others.

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.