What lies at the core?
Is it a star?
Is it a pentagram?
Is it a tiny person?
No, it’s just an ordinary apple core…..or is it just ordinary?
Have you ever cut an apple breadth-wise and noticed the little five-pointed star shape at the core? Well someone long ago obviously did and because of the internal shape of the five seed compartments, associated the apple with the number five.
Five is a significant symbolic number in terms of being at the centre of the first ten numbers. So it is regarded as being the number of harmony and balance. It is the number associated with human beings because of our five senses, and if you imagine a drawing of a person with arms outstretched, we can be divided into five segments. The Pentagram, the symbol of the spiritual human, is a five pointed star.
The whole apple symbolises the human spirit within the flesh because of the pentagram shape within it’s flesh.
Christian artists from way back associated the apple as the fruit of the tree of life and the tree of knowledge, both of which resided in the garden of Eden. So it has been associated with human temptation and ultimate sin, as well as knowledge. Through Greek and Norse mythology the sacred ‘golden apple’ has been associated with eternal life, rebirth and beauty.
Apples are everywhere in this world in all their glorious different guises. They provide us with health giving sustenance. They are easy companions, keeping their integrity well in lunch boxes.
When I contemplate the apple I think of a harvest festival in Autumn on a bright sunny day, with a touch of new crispness in the air. I imagine communities coming together, from the orchards to the village square, and the earthiness of it all.
Since 1990 the Environmental Organisation, Common Ground began ‘Apple Day’ in the UK, which pretty much sums up my idea of what the apple is all about. Connecting and grounding us in body and spirit to the earth.
Here’s a quick way to ground yourself using an apple.
If you’re feeling ungrounded after spiritual practice, or you’re just a daydreamer like me, try practicing the following:
- Sit quietly, taking some deep breaths. Give yourself time to settle down without distractions- which means no multi tasking.
- Cut an apple breadth-wise (as in the image above).
- Take some time to contemplate the five pointed shape at the core.
- Draw your awareness out from the core to the flesh and the skin of the apple.
- Consider some of the keywords discussed above eg. Connection, grounded, body, earth, spirit within flesh.
- Contemplate the connection between your spiritual and bodily self with that of the spiritual and fleshy elements of the apple.
- Mindfully and slowly begin to chew the apple.
- Give your whole attention to the act of chewing.
- Allow yourself to feel the flesh of the apple intermingling with your body. As you swallow feel the apple bring you into full awareness of the moment.
- Allow your five senses to be acutely aware.
- Taste with awareness. Try to think of words to describe the taste of this particular apple.
- Feel with awareness. Allow yourself to notice the different sensations of the feel of the apple in your hand, on your lips, on your tongue.
- Hear with awareness. What do you hear
- Smell with awareness. Hold the core to your nose and breath in deeply when you have finished eating.
- Allow your mind to follow your sense of smell, connecting you to the tree from which the apple came from and the earth where the tree came from.
- Say a few words of thanks to the essence of the apple for connecting your spirit and body together, reminding you also of your connection to the earth.
I’d love to hear how you go if you try these ideas.
Do you have any special associations with the symbol of the apple?
Do you have other ways of grounding yourself?