One of the symbols of Autumn that reminds me of abundance is the pomegranate. It suggests to me the fruits of receptivity and the trustworthiness of inward knowing. Additionally, it signifies the fertile possibilities of the Unmanifest which are so aptly displayed by its plethora of seeds.
The pomegranate has been a potent symbol for time immemorial in religions and mythologies globally. It plays an important part in Jewish culture; in fact, the pomegranate was the only fruit allowed within the Holy of Holies, and its image was sewn into the ceremonial robe of the High Priest as he made his yearly entrance on the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, prior to the joyous feasting of Succoth, the fall harvest. On the other side of the world, it is pictured in the hands of the Green Tara in Buddhist sacred art to represent prosperity. The large quantity of seeds inside the juicy pomegranate makes it a common symbol for human, animal, and vegetable fertility. Some scholars argue that the ‘apple’ of Eden was actually the pomegranate- which when taken metaphorically makes more sense to me. After all, the gift of knowledge symbolized by that fruit is easily associated with pomegranate’s ancient meaning of the potentiality and fertility of the Unmanifest which must be ingested, digested, and birthed in order to appear in physical form. Sounds like the creative process to me!
The pomegranate plays a major role in the story of Persephone and Pluto, one of my favorite myths. The abridged version is that Pluto, god of the underworld, fell for Persephone and kidnapped her while she was picking flowers. Her mother Demeter arranged her rescue after much drama of mythic proportions. When Persephone returned to Earth she revealed that all she ate were some pomegranate seeds which meant that she would spend 1/3 of the year in the underworld and the rest of the time in the upper world. Persephone became the goddess of the underworld and many great mythological characters visited her for advice or favor.
Persephone is one of the few female deities that go through the life-death-rebirth rite; the same type as Osiris, Jesus, Adonis and Mithras. These mythic characters are those who are born, suffer death or an eclipse or other death-like experience, pass a phase in the underworld among the dead, and are subsequently reborn, in either a literal or symbolic sense. In Persephone’s case, she is reborn in the spring. The allegory is agricultural as well as psychological. The ingesting of the pomegranate seeds to me means that there is great fertility and abundance in turning within to cultivate the inner, more mystical side of myself as the light begins to wane toward the Winter Solstice.
Autumn is the season of receptive inward turning; where dreams and visions have a chance to reveal themselves and we can more easily access our the depths of our psyches. As within, so without. It is the time when the earth begins its natural turn toward winter and we return many plants to the underworld, where their seeds will gestate through winter and burst forth with new life in the spring.
Autumn is the beginning of the mystical season. I remember that story of Persephone’s annual descent and evoke the knowledge that it is time to turn my focus within to my personal underworld- the psyche. I have a pomegranate in a prominent place in my home to remind me of all of the juicy good stuff surrounding seeds of the Unmanifest inside me. That beautiful crimson globe reminds me of the inevitable consistency of natural law and how working within that context helps make fruitful and multiply my creative endeavors and spiritual evolution- and how it is fruitless to resist the cyclic patterns. Consider getting a couple pomegranates for yourself- one to leave out as a symbol and one to open up and ingest. Enjoy that outrageously red juice and try a few seeds. Or imbibe in a Persephone~ pomegranate juice and sparkling water. The trip to the underworld is worth it.
Cristina Smith is 'The Subtle Energy Specialist'™. A internationally sought after medical intuitive and metaphysical seeker, Cristina coaches people on how to enhance their lives with proven energetic techniques. She is a Teacher of Life in the Panacea Community (www.ThePanaceaCommunity.com). You may contact her at Cristina@Heal-Thyself.com
©2012 Cristina Smith. All rights reserved.