(Pyrus spp.) Seeds, in large amounts: Poison
Folk Names: Fruit of the Gods, Fruit of the
Underworld, Silver Branch, The Silver
Bough, Tree of Love
Deities: Venus, Dionysus, Olwen, Apollo,
Hera, Athena, Aphrodite, Diana, Zeus,
Powers: Love, Healing, Garden Magic,
Ritual Uses: August 13 was Diana’s Festival
in Greece (Venus’ in Rome) and on this
day a ritual meal was prepared, part of
which consisted of apples still hanging on
Wiccan altars are often piled high with
apples on Samhain, for the apple is considered
to be one of the foods of the dead.
For this very reason Samhain is sometimes
known as “Feast of Apples.”
The apple is a symbol of immortality. A branch of the apple which
bore buds, flowers and fully-ripened fruit (sometimes known as the
Silver Bough), was a kind of magical charm which enabled its possessor
to enter into the land of the Gods, the Underworld, in Celtic
In the old English ballad, Thomays the Ryrnour (Thomas the
Rhymer), the Fairy Queen warns Thomas against eating any of the
apples and pears which hung in her garden, for to eat the food of the
dead ensures there will be no return to the world of the living.
In some Wiccan traditions, the apple is a symbol of the soul, and
so they are buried on Samhain so that those who will be reborn in the
spring will have food during the cold winter months.
The apple has long been used in spells of love. The blossoms
are added to love sachets, brews and incenses, and they are
infused in melted pink wax, then strained out, to make candles suitable
to burn for attracting love.
A simple apple love spell consists of cutting an apple in half and
sharing it with your loved one. This ensures that you will be happy
A similar spell directs you to hold an apple in your hands until
warm, and then give it to your intended. If he or she eats it your love
will be returned.
Apples are also used in love divinations, which were so popular
among unmarried women in Europe for many centuries. Simply cut
an apple in two and count the number of seeds. If they are even, marriage
will soon occur. If one of the seeds is cut it may be a stormy relationship.
If two are cut, widowhood is foretold. However, if an uneven
number of seeds are found the woman will remain unmarried in the
One last apple love spell. Take an apple “before it falls from the tree”
and write upon it with a sharp knife the following:
Aleo + Deleo + Delato
As you do this, say the following words:
I conjure thee, apple, by these names which are written on thee, that what
woman (or man) toucheth and tasteth thee, may love me and burn in my
love as fire melteth wax.
Then give the apple to whom you will—but be warned, for this (like
much love magic) borders on manipulation.
For healing, cut an apple into three pieces, rub each on the affected
part of the body, and then bury them. Do this during the waning of
the Moon to banish illnesses.
To ensure that you do not contract a fever, eat an apple.
If you are a gardener, pour cider onto freshly-turned earth to give
it life just before planting. Also pour libations on roots just before tree
rituals. And if you grow apples, bury thirteen leaves of an apple tree
after harvest to ensure a good crop of apples next year.
The Norse, as well as many other peoples, ate apples to gain immortality
through wisdom, and the wood of the apple tree can be made
into charms for longevity.
Apple wood also makes excellent magical wands, especially suited to
emotional magic, as well as love rites.
Use apple cider in place of blood where it is called for in old recipes.
Apples can be fashioned into poppets or magical figures for use in
spells, or images can be carved from the wood itself.
Before eating any apple, rub it to remove any demons or evil spirits
which might be hiding inside. (You can’t be too careful!)
Finally, unicorns live beneath apple trees (as well as those of the
ash), and so if you know of an apple orchard, quietly go there on a
misty day. You may see a single horn upraised and a horselike animal
quietly munching sweet, magical apples.