Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Myths, symbolism, and folklore
pomegranate: Like other seedy fruits, it is a fertility symbol, for which reason it was sacred in Greece to Demeter, Aphrodite, and Hera. With reference to this symbolic meaning, newly wedded women in ancient Rome wore wreaths of pomegranate branches. In India the juice of the pomegranate was considered to be a remedy for infertility. Opening the pomegranate is sometimes also seen symbolically as deflowering.

Because of the bright red color of its flesh, the pomegranate is a symbol of love and blood, and thus life and death. For the Phoenicians the pomegranate was closely associated with the sun and signified life, power, and renewal. The pomegranate is a Judaic symbol of faithfulness to the law of the Torah.

In the Middle Ages the fragrance and the many seeds of the pomegranate were interpreted as symbols of the beauty and the many virtues of Mary. The spherical form, the multitude of seeds, and the fragrance also signified perfection and the endless number of characteristics of God's goodness. The multitude of seeds, contained in one husk, could also be understood as a symbol of the church; the red juice was associated with the blood of martyrs. The pomegranate, which has a hard and inedible husk but which contains sweet juice, is also a symbol of the perfect Christian, particularly of the priest. (Herder)

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