Welcome to the Tarot Blog Hop!
An international group of tarotists are all writing on the same topic and then linking to each other so that the reader can hop from one blog to the next, seeing all the permutations and facets that the topic inspired in different writers.
Jay Cassels of Metaphysical Angels wrangled this hop, suggesting we take a gastronomical tour of the tarot or otherwise wet your whistle with some appetizing food/tarot fusion.
Foodies Guide To the Tarot: Pick a Card to Represent an Apple
“Think of an apple. I like a nice red one. Maybe you already have one in your fruit bowl. If so, grab it! It’s OK if you eat it during the exercise! If not, here’s a picture of one: my favorite, a Macintosh! Your assignment is to look through your deck, and based on the images, select a card to represent your apple. Write down what card you chose and why.”
We’re a few weeks into my fall session of my beginning tarot class, The Magician’s Tools. The exercise I shared above asks each student to select a card for each of three symbols (see more on this exercise in my post, Symbolism in the Tarot). The first symbol is an apple. I’ve been teaching this class since 1994, but added this exercise in 2002, and I have either memories, student homework write ups, or recordings for almost every class, which let me pull a variety of examples to share with you.
Toni, Cosmic Tarot, 2002
Ace of Pentacles. When you cut an apple horizontally, there is a pentacle shape formed by the seeds.
Edie, Tarot of the Old Path, Feb 2006
The Lovers. The apple, at least to me, is a very sensuous fruit. When biting into one you have a very visceral experience – piercing the skin with your teeth to get to the fibrous, full of texture middle and then down to the more bitter seeds. The bush in the background of this card contains different types of fruits, one of which is the apple. Also since Adam and Eve and the apple are all intertwined, it seemed that the Lovers card was a good choice.
Angela, Motherpeace Tarot, Feb 2006
Seven of Discs. A VERY pregnant woman sits naked in a melon patch. Her swollen belly fits right in with the ripe melons.
Linden, Animals Divine Tarot, Feb 2011
Two of Wands. It has the same colors and round-y shapes like the apple. And there are flowers, and the apple’s a fruit, so they go together. The card has large flowers and a dragonfly and there are two wands and they look like dragonflies. They have wings, with leaves, and swirlies. And the light reflects like off an apple, coming down on the flowers.
Cassandra, Legacy of the Divine Tarot, Sept 2015
7 of Coins. I picked this card because an apple makes me think of the harvest and a time of plenty. The art on this card has a woman holding a basket in a field of golden wheat, with a tree that has the coins in it, representing fruit.
Kim, Gilded Tarot, Sept 2015 class
7 of Pentacles. Even though the pentacles are not really apples, to me they jumped out at me as I was flipping through the cards. The pentacles placed in the tree just screamed apple tree to me.
Maeve, Black Cats Tarot, Feb 2016
XIX (The Sun). Cats cavorting on giant sunflower heads (laying horizontally), bright yellow sky, with birds and dragonflies flying around. Card makes me think of ripeness, roundness – happy and sweet.
Marc, Druidcraft Tarot, Sept 2016
Three of Cups. Intellectually, I wanted to go with the Ace of Pentacles because of the five points reflecting the five seeds in the apple, but I came across the Three of Cups and there are three apples sitting on the table.
Paige, Navigators of the Mystic Sea Tarot, Sept 2016
The Moon. This card is very sensual. This giant Moon is dripping juice into a cup, and this lady or guy is communing with the guy here and it’s very intimate. And an apple, when you eat it you’re very satisfied.
Charles, Ellen Cannon Reed’s Witches Tarot, Sept 2016
Judgment. I looked through my deck and there’s not an apple in here…I went through a second time and found a card I really like and pulled it out and then I giggled once I laid it down because it’s the Judgment card. I’m a minister and have been for twenty-five years and now the Bible stuff is coming out–[mimicking hellfire and brimstone voice] “That’s an apple and that’s the judgment and the snake and the woman who caused all of our problems! There’s my apple…” That caught my eye like the apple (indicating the large round Sun at the top of the image).
Steph, Wildwood Tarot, Sept 2016
The World Tree, 21. I picked the World Tree, which has all four seasons. The apple of course is an indicator of fall, warmth, but in today’s society we have apples all year round.
Different Ways to Look at the Cards
We had quite a variety of images chosen! From the examples I selected, we had three Seven of Pentacles cards, but other than that we had many interpretations. The Seven of Pentacles of course is literal, showing fruit on a vine or tree, which is easy to correlate to the apple. Although I didn’t use it here as an example, the Empress is also commonly chosen as representative of abundance and harvest.
Here are some common ways that people equate a card to an image. Did you do the exercise? Which of these influenced your choice of card for the apple? What other ways of correlating card images to external things did you use or can you think of?
- Literal. There is an apple or something similar to an apple in the image, e.g., apples in bush in Old Path Lovers card, melons on vine in Motherpeace, pentacles on tree in Legacy and Gilded, apples on table in Druidcraft Three of Cups.
- Emotional connection. This card makes me feel this way and apples make me feel the same way, e.g., sensuality of eating the fruit in Old Path Lovers card and Navigators of the Mystic SEA Moon, feeling of happiness in Black Cats XIX Sun card
- Compositional similarities. The shape and/or color is the same, e.g. yellow, round-y shapes in Animals Divine Two of Wands, red color and round shape in Witches Tarot Judgment.
- Symbolic. The apple represents something, such as health, life, or temptation, and this image illustrates that same concept, e.g. harvest and plenty in the Legacy of the Divine 7 of Coins, the Biblical fall in the Witches Tarot Judgment card, fall and warmth in the Wildwood World Tree.
(How’d I get such a variety of decks in my class? I forbid students to use the Waite-Smith Tarot!)
If you did the exercise, please share your results in the comments before hopping on to the next blog!
Joy Vernon is widely recognized by tarot professionals as an expert tarot teacher and respected community leader. With over twenty years’ experience teaching energetic and esoteric modalities, Joy brings expertise and practiced familiarity to her specialty of esoteric tarot, which layers astrological and qabalistic symbolism onto the traditional tarot structure. Under her leadership, the Denver Tarot Meetup has grown into the most active and one of the largest tarot-specific meetups in the world. Joy works as a reader and teacher at Isis Books. To learn more, please visit JoyVernon.com.
© 2016 by Joy Vernon. All rights reserved.