Friday, June 10, 2011

Apple Blossom

Tonight Wendy and I visited a local park to harvest Hawthorn Flowers. We found apple trees blooming nearby and I could not resist bringing some of the sweetly-scented apple blossoms home for a bath! What a treat!! I felt so wonderful after the bath, I just had to search around and see what people were saying about the benefits of apple blossoms. I have compiled some of my findings below... no wonder I had a beautiful bath!!!

Photo by Glenn Franco Simmons on Flickr
The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree, species Malus domestica in the rose family (Rosaceae). It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits, and the most widely known of the many members of genus Malus that are used by humans. The tree originated in Western Asia, where its wild ancestor, the Alma, is still found today. There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples, resulting in a range of desired characteristics. Cultivars vary in their yield and the ultimate size of the tree, even when grown on the same rootstock.[2]

NMC News:
Aromatherapy uses and benefits include:
love, friendship, happiness, success

Magical Herbalism by Scott Cunningham:
Wear to promote happiness and success.
Anoint candles during love rituals.
Add to bath to aid relaxation.
Apples and their blossoms can be associated with abundance, fertility, love and immortality.

For the ancients, the apple was considered a symbol of immortality. Interestingly, it's also seen as a food for the dead, which is why Samhain is sometimes referred to as the Feast of Apples. In Celtic myth, an apple branch bearing grown fruit, flowers, and unopened bud was a magical key to the land of the Underworld. It's also a symbol of the harvest, and is frequently found on altars during Mabon celebrations.

In the English ballad "Thomas the Rhymer," young Thomas is cautioned against eating the Fairy Queen's apples, because to eat the food of the dead would prevent him from ever returning to the land of the living. This story reminds us that apples, and their blossoms, are associated with the realm of the Fae.

The apple is often found as a component in love magic, and the blossoms may be added to incenses and brews. In traditional folklore, apples are used as part of love divination -- peel the apple in a continuous length, and when the first strip of peel falls off, it will form the initial of the person you are to marry. Cut an apple in half and count the seeds -- an even number means marriage is coming, an uneven number indicates that you'll remain single for a while.

Use the fruits of the apple tree in divination, or brew the flowers into a tea. Use the tea to wash your face and hair in, to bring love your way. In some Druid traditions, apple blossoms are pressed to release oils, and the oils are used in blends to bring health and prosperity. A seventeenth-century herbal recommends mixing apple blossom extract with a bit of rose water and some pig fat as a cure for rough, dry skin.

Pomona was a Roman goddess of orchards, and is associated with abundance and bounty. To bring fertility and abundance into your life, hang garlands of apple blossoms around your home - particularly over your bed if you're trying to conceive.

Other names: Silver Bough, Tree of Love, Fruit of the Gods
Gender: Feminine
Element: Water
Deity Connections: Venus, Aphrodite, Diana, Apollo, Zeus

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