Obsessed with the dead
Bobbing for Apples
With a Roman goddess
When I was growing up it was common for the children and families to gather together for fall festivals and bob for apples. It seemed like fun at the time, and until I had my own children I never gave it a second thought. Then it hit me; first, I wondered about the obvious health concern, second, I was curious about the origin of this game. Like so many of our traditions it turns out that the origins of this game are deeply rooted in pagan practices.
It all starts with the conquering of Britain by the Romans. The Romans conquered and controlled most of Britain from 43 A.D. until 410 A.D. The conquering Romans merged their own celebrations with the traditional Celtic festivals. When conquering Britain, the Romans brought with them the apple tree which happened to be a representation of Pamona, the goddess of the fruit trees.
The goddess Pomona (goddess of the fruit trees, garden, and orchards) became an easy and obvious inclusion into the Celtic belief system. Since she is strongly linked with edible food, fertility is an easy link to the harvest time. This fit in well with the Celtic celebration of Samhain (meaning summer’s end in Gailic), a celebration of the end of the harvest and a time for the living and the dead to connect/reconnect.
Since the Celtic druids have a strong worship of nature, the apple was accepted in. However, there is more to the apple. When cut in half horizontally the shape of the seeds form a pentagram. Some say the pentagram was a symbol of fertility. It has now become a symbol for many other things and a manipulated version of the inverted pentagram is the copyrighted logo for the church of Satan.
With its symbolism of fertility and the supernatural, it is said that the one who would bite into an apple while bobbing would fulfill the prophecy of being the next one to marry. It is no wonder this became a popular children’s game as this would obviously have been of interest to the youth. This game was of importance, because children had a far lower mortality rate and a way to live forever was through your own children. The more children you had the better off you would be as children would help on the farms. Your children were your workforce.
This story reminds me of another situation of prophecy and fruit when the serpent tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden. God instructed Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Unfortunately, Eve found herself a little too close to temptation, and the serpent told her the very first lie in the entire Bible. The serpent told the woman “You shall not surely die” (Genesis 3:4) even though God clearly said “In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 2:17).
This fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil has gotten a bad rap over the years, because it is often said that it was an apple. Nowhere in the Bible is this particular fruit called an apple. Even the Adam’s apple got it its name from this story in that when Adam also ate the apple it got stuck in his throat. Obviously, this part of the story is pure myth.
In tempting Eve to eat the forbidden fruit there were several factors involved. Satan attempted to:
1 – Overpower us through diet. Have you ever wondered why diet is so hard to
2 – Prove that there are no real consequences for disobeying God, even though
the Bible clearly says “The wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23).
3 – Distort what happens when you die.
In an outright lie Satan says “you shall not surely die”, and this is a lie he has been perpetuating for 6,000 years.
Many of us have fallen for this lie hook, line, and sinker, and many of the Halloween traditions prove just that. A clear understanding of what happens at death would have alleviated much of the fear of death that has crept into our popular traditions.
The devil said if you sin you will not really die. However, God has said “the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:4).
There is, however, a way to eternal life, and it is found in the most popular verse in the entire Bible, “For God so loved that world that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16).
Put your faith in action, and allow Jesus to be your source of strength. Trust Him with the future, and His guidance for selecting a spouse not some apple.
“Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure." Isaiah 46:10.
Oct. 27, 2015