F is for… Fruit

If I’m any kind of Witch at all – and perhaps I am, though it’s an identity I usually only claim in jest, preferring ‘Pagan’, ‘Druid’ and ‘Goddess Worshipper’ to more seriously describe my path – then I’m a Kitchen Witch. I don’t cook as much as I like to, but all my herbs are on a rack in the kitchen rather than in my altar tools box, and I am often aware of the symbolism of the food I eat.

Although this could be a very long post, looking at how all our food is tied into the seasons of the year, the land on which we live, and the cycle of interbeing, I thought I’d just talk about three of my favourite kinds of fruit.

I love grapes. I try and make them an occasional treat rather than a common food, because – since very few are grown in the UK and they go off quickly – they have lots of food miles and refrigeration costs. They are delicious, though, and (here comes the pagan content!) since I do not (and cannot) drink wine, they are the closest I come to a worship of Dionysus.

A marble statue of two men, one tall (this is Dionysus, on the left), drunk and with one hand flung back behind his head; he leans on a tree strump as a smaller younger man, a satyr, reaches up to try and help.

Dionysus with a satyr.

These do grow locally, and when they’re in season I love to go out and pick them – they grow along the canal, for example, so it’s an attractive walk as well as a free portion of fruit. I don’t try too hard; if they’re out of reach, those are for the Goddess and/or the birds, so I don’t get too scratched or tangled in the bushes. They’ve been eaten by human beings since at least the Iron Age, and probably long before. Here’s an interesting fact about brambles: because they are related to both roses and apples, they also have pretty five-petaled flowers – rarely appreciated, perhaps because of the thorns!

a white flower with five rounded petals, dark brown stamens, and a yellowish centre is shown against a darker green background of leaves

Bramble flower

Apples have featured in British folklore – and in other mythologies – frequently. associated with Avalon – the Isle of Apples – and various goddesses. If you cut one open, you can even tell that it’s dedicated to a goddess, because of the five-pointed star inside.

The inside of an apple, showing the five-pointed star

Apple star


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