Apples of Epiphany

I can feel the land stirring even as it withers under the wet and cold and frost.  The Virid Virgin in her nursery, the Wild God newly reborn with the rising sun, the children of green and spring turning in their sacred hills, readying for their emergence into the spring's light.  I wait for this every year, I wait for the light to return because when it does, the buds will unfurl, the leaves will be vibrant, the frost will slough off into the river and out into the bay.  I love to watch the land turn green, watch the Wild Woman and her Horned god promenade through the land, turning bitter black to bursting brightness.  We still have a ways to go here in the Northwest- we don't usually get hit with snow until just before or after Candlemas and it sometimes comes back on and off all the way to May Day.  It depends; this year was cold and wet, so who knows what winter will bring?  What I do know is that the light is returning, the days will stretch out longer and with the rise of the sun, my power grows too.  I am no moonlit witch of the night; I am a flower queen of Midsummer, one of those day-time sorcerers of the fire-feasts, who haunt the heat-baked hedges and do all my best work when the sun is a blazing glow on the Western horizon, right before the whole world turns twilight blue.  I think people get witches wrong too often; they think it's all smoke and shadows and mysteries in darkness... they forget it's also about fire and light and fury and dance and destruction and daylight as well.

The Apple Mother has been on my mind a lot, inspired in part by Morgan's post about this class of liminal spirit.  It really is a class of spirit and having Apple Mother or Granny Apple in your court of spiritual guides is useful- she's sweet, a bit of a tart when she's drunk, she ages fine on the vine and ripens in strange weather.  She (I say she because my Apple Mother is female presenting to me but AM is actually a They in every regard) rules in a garden of food, harvest, home, fertility, love and is one of the many spirits in the court of Venus the Glittering Star- in fact, she is one of Venus' most prized heralds; apples carol in the morning star and sing her out again in the evening.  This New Year's Day and Epiphany, I honored the folk-magic and personal gnosis associated with apples; wassailing, cider-sprinkling in the local orchard, leaving cakes for the apple tree woman...

Apples are a strong cultural symbol in the States, and for good reason too; these wholesome and delicious foods have saved lives and staved off famine and hunger.  They rooted quickly in America and found their way into the cuisine and cultures of all who encountered it, Indigenous and Invasive peoples alike. She really is a force of giving and love; friendship and health, wealth and nobility- all those fancy and warm Venusian things witches like me live for.  Apple fortunes are prescribed for damn near every holiday on our calendar, but Epiphany has a unique and fun Old World history that makes honoring apples on this day particularly sweet; wassailing in orchards with hot cider and cakes!  There are dozens if not more incantations, songs and folk-rhymes in recorded English and Scottish history regarding wassailing around apple trees and orchards come New Years and after.

This time around, I've been focused on how Apples and Eggs play such a huge role in our culture and our magic, how use of these items transcends cultural lines and crosses into the symbolism of the common people.  By whatever name or form the spirit of the apple takes, may she be blessed this new year.

Epiphany means nothing to me religiously.  It celebrates a miracle that I've never witnessed or believed in but I do love the folk-magic associated with Epiphany- namely the fortune telling and divination games; apple-tree shaking, Venus Glase reading and the delightful epiphany cake with it's hidden gifts.  I made my own, with colored sugar and spongy sweet dough.  Inside was hidden a small red bean and a small black bean; to crown the new king and queen of the day.   It tasted fantastic even though I wasn't crowned.  I also made cured egg yolk.  I don't know why, I don't even eat eggs much... I guess I just wasn't raised to waste food, so after cracking my whites in the Venus Glase, I salt cured and baked the yolks, to store for future use.  Some times, we do things just to feel connected, and I felt connected to the season more than usual this year, all thanks to the folk charms that celebrate this season, and I feel better for it, more in-tune to the home and kitchen.

I hope your New Year brings you everything you need; the joys, the trials, the security and the comfort.  May the light return to your world as it grows green again, may it be as sweet as an apple and as filling as cake and may you see the path before you with eyes unclouded by egg-whites.



  1. An absolutely beautiful post! I love the connections you're drawing between the divinatory nature of eggs in both raw and cooked form. Also the apple star and the venusian connection is stellar (pardon the pun)

    1. :D Thank you! stellar. I see what you did there lol


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