Pomegranate

Discussions of the arcane symbols of Tarot and other decks
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Symbols appear on each and every tarot card - visual signs that convey meaning. Some of them are highly individual and personal, others time-honored and traditional. Some are easy to understand, others difficult and multivalent. In this forum, we want to study symbols from different decks, traditions and cultures together using books, websites, lwbs and our own intuition.
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Nemia
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Pomegranate

Post by Nemia » 22 Sep 2017, 07:24

It's Rosh HaShana, the pomegranates are ripe, and what better symbol to open our new subforum than the symbol of wisdom, the pomegranate?

In Judaism, the pomegranate (rimon) symbolizes righteousness (it's said to have the same number of seeds as the Thora has commandments - 613 - I didn't count them though), and also wisdom. "He's full like a pomegranate" means that someone is full of the seeds of wisdom.

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One of the oldest Jewish artefacts is the so-called Ivory Pomegranate, actually made of hippopotamus bone.

A pomegranate can also symbolize the womb or the female genital - the hortus conclusus, the closed garden and become a symbol of the Christian Holy Virgin. In Botticelli's and Holbein's paintings you can see examples of a pomegranate as part of the iconography of the Virgin.

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Hans Holbein, 1512

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Sandro Botticelli, 1497

Some people believe that the unnamed fruit on the Tree of Knowledge was no apple (the apple appeared only as pun in the Latin translation of the original Hebrew text because apple = malum and evil = malum). The beautiful red fruit that stands out from the dark green leaves of the rimon tree and that reveals such beauty when opened is actually a much more convincing candidate for this promising fruit than the rather bland apple. And since the Holy Virgin is the Christian answer to Eve, it makes sense to give her the pomegranate - she re-purifies it.

Taking this into account, it's no surprise to find the symbol of thora wisdom and femininity on the High Priestess card of the RWS deck.

Next to me, on my tarot calendar board, I have different versions of the 10 of Pentacles, the card for this decan (last decan of Virgo). And on the Secret Forest Tarot 10 of Pentacles, the artist depicted three beautiful pomegranates:

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It's a symbol of abundance and sheer beauty.

And now I'm off to eat a salad with pomegranate seeds - one of the greatest pleasures of this beautiful season!

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Abrac
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Re: Pomegranate

Post by Abrac » 22 Sep 2017, 08:08

In one interpretation the pomegranate is associated with Paradise. In the Waite-Smith High Priestess, the veil can be understood as that which stands between the manifest and the hidden. The palms and pomegranates are projected onto the veil as the Divine casts emblems of itself onto Nature.

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Nemia
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Re: Pomegranate

Post by Nemia » 22 Sep 2017, 08:37

Yes, palm trees appear as symbols of paradise, on the mosaics of Ravenna for example.

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I'll try to find an example of Christian iconography where pomegranate and palm appear together.

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Re: Pomegranate

Post by Nemia » 22 Sep 2017, 15:41

M.M. Meleen makes wonderful use of the pomegranate in her High Priestess.


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Sorry for the horrible picture quality, it's from my tarot calendar, stuck on a magnetic board.

The pomegranate become a heart, sprout branches, they're a fruit with seeds and full of life. In her book, she reminds us that pomegranate seeds sealed the bond between Persephone (spring, life) and Hades (death), and that these two pomegranates symbolize the "beginning stirrings of life and death" (Book M, 21).

I'll go through the deck now and look at all the moon cards - the pomegranate doesn't appear on the 2/Swords but maybe it does on other Moon cards? 9/Wands - no. 7/Swords - no. 6/Disks - YES.

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And on the decan card of Taurus they appear, too.

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Interesting. Did she feel that the pomegranate was a feminine symbol and thus put them in the two signs ruled by Venus, Taurus and Libra? It's a powerful connection.

4/Cups is another Moon card and there is no room in the colour scheme for a pomegranate ;-)

She uses symbols as they should be used, innovatively, cleverly.

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Re: Pomegranate

Post by Nemia » 22 Sep 2017, 15:55

And if you want to compare the pomegranates in as many High Priestess cards as possible - go to Albi Deuter. It's a pity he doesn't update his site any more, but the material he has is impressive enough!

http://www.albideuter.de/html/hohepriesterin.html

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Joan Marie

Re: Pomegranate

Post by Joan Marie » 23 Sep 2017, 06:30

I used the Pomegranate on five cards of The Cult of Weimar Tarot deck:

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The Empress has a heart of pomegranate seeds.

The German word for Pomegranate is Granatapfel which would translate literally as Garnet Apple.
Pomegranate would translate the same way from French.
Garnet is also my birthstone.
That's how I like to think of this fruit. As a little apple made of garnet stones.

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greycats
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Re: Pomegranate

Post by greycats » 28 Sep 2017, 17:48

A picture for your head:


"Naked woman
the pomegranate she threw
was full of stars. "

George Seferis


greycats

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Re: Pomegranate

Post by theFeeLion » 30 Sep 2017, 21:40

greycats wrote:
28 Sep 2017, 17:48
A picture for your head:


"Naked woman
the pomegranate she threw
was full of stars. "

George Seferis


greycats
Greycats I love it! That just put some wonderful imagery in my head! :icon_e_biggrin:
Come faeries take me out of this dull world. For I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame. - W B Yeats

May you touch dragonflies and stars, dance with faeries and talk to the moon. - Unknown

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