November 29, 2023

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Apple Symbolism and Legends

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Apple Symbolism and Legends

Apple blossoms are ideal symbols of love, youth, beauty and happiness. The apple blossom is the state flower for Arkansas, once a top apple-producing state in the United States. Apple blossoms are pink and white with leaves of medium green.

The blossoms of apples are pink, a modified red. In terms of color symbolism, the color red encourages action, motion, courage and passion. Pink is a more sophisticated color that is often more appealing to adults than pure red. Pink is also gentler and more appropriate for healing. Pink can be used to relieve depression. As the color of warmth and love, pink offers comfort while encouraging motion and an outward orientation.

The symbology of apple blossoms extends to floral paintings. All floral paintings are primarily a depiction of the wood element. The wood element is a stimulus for new projects and adventures. The energy of blossoms bursting forth in spring and summer encourages us to take on new challenges and renews our strength.

The secondary energy of apple blossoms is the fire energy associated with the pink color. Fire connotes warmth, passion and relationships. Fire creates enthusiasm. Images with a strong fire element are appropriate for supporting romance and idealistic endeavors.

The apple has a venerable history. There are over 1,000 varieties of apples cultivated in the United States, all of which are descended from the wild crab apple. The apple tree is originally a native of Europe and has adapted well to the North American continent. The apple tree is the state symbol of Washington, know for its prolific apple orchards. Apple trees flower from April to June.

The apple has long been associated with immortality, as exemplified by its role in the tempting of Adam in the Garden of Eden. The mystical Isle of Avalon, famed place of eternal rest for Celtic heroes including king Arthur, is literally “the apple land” or “apple island.” In Scandinavian myths, the North-European gods and goddesses were fed an apple every evening by Iduna, the goddess of spring and youth who nurtures an apple orchard in Asgard.

As far as modern myths and legends go, Johnny Appleseed is the most prominent American legend associated with apples. Born John Chapman in 1774, he lived for about 12 years near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In his mid-twenties, Johnny began his journey westward with an eye for providing settlers with apple trees and saplings.

There was a law at the time that required settlers to plant 50 apple trees in their first year on newly acquired land. This law was aimed at preventing starvation among the settlers. Although Johnny wandered far and wide planting trees, he also owned and leased considerable areas of land for his apple orchards.

Johnny was a devout Christian who was influenced by the ideas of Emmanuel Swedenborg. Swedenborg valued love and joy above all other virtues. Compared to many of the repressive philosophies then in vogue, his approach to the spiritual life was basically a breath of fresh air for the settlers with whom Johnny shared his religious tracts and Biblical interpretations.

Johnny Appleseed spent nearly 50 years traversing the wilderness planting apple trees and tending to his own orchards. Johnny dreamed of a landscape beautified by apple blossoms and a country where no one would go hungry. Johnny is reported to have believed that apples are among “the finest things on earth.”

Today the American apple industry today is worth billions of dollars. And thanks to Johnny Appleseed, nothing is more American than apple pie!