From the Hebrews, who used it mystically at the Temple, it passed over to the Freemasons, who adopted it as the symbol of plenty, for which it is well adapted by its swelling and seed-abounding fruit. – Albert Mackey
In the history of our world’s religions, and buried deep within the lights of the Brotherhood are the Gnostic mysteries of the sacred pomegranate. It is said by some to be one of the most holy secrets known to all Abrahamic religions, and secret societies which are based on the oldest of holy sciences known as Gnosis.
This is why we can find the red pomegranate as a symbol of fertility, abundance and the seeds of the holy blood line for the Jews, and both Greek Orthodox, and Roman Catholic Christianity. According to Christian tradition, the pomegranate is a symbol of Mary as Mother of the Church. In Spain, the pomegranate flourished and came to be regarded as the symbol of the Golden Age in Granada.
The pomegranate held by Jesus, (pictured to the right in Granada, Spain) symbolizes the victory of the Catholic Monarchy. When the Spanish Monarchy had conquered the Americas and Mexico in 1521, the Jesuit Brotherhood began their missionary work among the Indians, and with them they brought the fruit of the pomegranate.
The Ancient Egyptians regarded the pomegranate as a symbol of prosperity and ambition. According to the Ebers Papyrus, one of the oldest medical writings from around 1500 BC, Egyptians used the pomegranate for treatment of tapeworm and other infections.
In Ancient Greek mythology, the pomegranate was mentioned many times in early Grecian history before the founding of Rome. It was was known as the “fruit of the dead”, and believed to have sprung from the blood of Adonis, and were offered to the Goddess Demeter.
Homer mentions the pomegranate twice in the Odyssey as a fruit common to the gardens of Phoenicia (Crete) and Phrygia. Herodotus, the Greek historian, states that when the Persians under Xerxes invaded Greece there was a regiment or battalion known as the “Pomegranate Brigade.” These soldiers constituted Xerxes’ own bodyguard, and carried spears with golden pomegranates at the lower end instead of spikes.(The Pomegranate by Robert Willard Hodgson)
One of the first Gnostic Brotherhoods to perpetuate these mysteries from the East in Egypt to the West were the ancient Phoenician priesthood of the Cabiri from Crete who had said that the meaning of the pomegranate was “the forbidden secret.” “About the pomegranate I must say nothing,” whispered the traveller Pausanias in the 2nd century, “for its story is somewhat of a holy mystery.”
33rd Degree Freemason and Master Rosicrucian, Many P. Hall had written about the pomegranate in the Secret Teachings of All Ages: “The pomegranate is the mystic fruit of the Eleusinian rites; by eating it, Prosperine bound herself to the realms of Pluto. The fruit here signifies the sensuous life which, once tasted, temporarily deprives man of immortality. Also on account of its vast number of seeds the pomegranate was often employed to represent natural fecundity.
For the same reason, Jacob Bryant in his Ancient Mythology notes that the ancients recognized in this fruit an appropriate emblem of the Ark of the Deluge, which contained the seeds of the new human race. Among the ancient Mysteries the pomegranate was also considered to be a divine symbol of such peculiar significance that its true explanation could not be divulged.
It was termed by the Cabiri “the forbidden secret.
Many Greek gods and goddesses are depicted holding the fruit or flower of the pomegranate in their hands, evidently to signify that they are givers of life and plenty. Pomegranate capitals were placed upon the pillars of Jachin and Boaz standing in front of King Solomon’s Temple; and by the order of Jehovah, pomegranate blossoms were embroidered upon the bottom of the High Priest’s ephod.”
In ancient Israel, the Judeans, also known as the Tribe of Judah who also hailed from the ancient Island of Crete had stamped the pomegranate on their coins. The Tribes of Israel such as Judah, Crete was called the “promised land and the Land of Israel.” The scouts of Israel had brought the pomegranate to their leader Phoenician Hebrew High Priest Moses to show him the fertility of this Holy Island, and this is why it has always been known as the sacred symbol of the fruit of Tribes of Israel. This evidence of the pomegranate is immortalized on the ancient coins of Judea.
When not in use, the handles of Torah scrolls are sometimes covered with decorative silver globes similar in shape to “pomegranates” (rimmonim). According to the Books of Kings, the two pillars of Jachin and Boaz that stood in front of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem were engraved with pomegranates. King Solomon’s crown is designed based on the pomegranate’s “crown” (calyx). In a quote from the Songs of Solomon, “Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, and thy speech is comely: thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks.” (Song of Solomon 4:3).
Throughout the Scripture the Israelites had documented this history in the Old Testament (Torah) in which pomegranates are one of the Seven Species (Hebrew: שבעת המינים, Shiv’at Ha-Minim) of fruits and grains listed in the Hebrew Bible (Deuteronomy 8:8) as special products of the Land of Israel. In the Book of Exodus, the symbol of the pomegranate is found in the Hebrew high priest’s robe of the ephod upon the hems are embroidered pomegranates of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and twined linen alternating with golden bells which could be heard as the high priest entered and exited the Holy of Holies.
Hargrave Jennings had written in his sub rosa masterpiece, The Rosicrucians: Their Rites and Mysteries,”The Hebrew priests were directed to fringe their garments round about with ‘bells and pomegranates’, in the words of the text. The use and intention of these ‘bells and pomegranates’ have been subjected to much discussion, particularly a passage which we now cite:
‘A golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, upon the hem of the robe round about.’ And it shall be upon Aaron to minister: and his sound shall be heard when he goeth in unto the holy place before the Lord, and when he cometh out, that he die not’ (Exodus. xxviii. 34-35).”
Jennings also said, “The pomegranate is a badge of the Plantagenets; in its form it resembles the crescent moon; it is a symbol of the female influence in nature. There is here an unexpected concurrence with the crescent moon. and star of the Orientals; for above the pomegranate–which is figured sometimes as the crescent moon in the heraldic insignia of the Plantagenets–the six-pointed star appears in the hollow of the crescent, with its points in the curvilinear or serpentine form.”
Queen Mary’s symbol was a pomegranate and rose conjoined; the Tudor rose impaling a sheaf of arrows, ensigned with a crown, and sin-rounded by rays.
Let me add that all the presidents of the United States of America are said by some researchers to also descend from the Plantagenet bloodline.
The Spanish word for the fruit is Granada and the ancient symbol of the Spaniards is the pomegranate. Granada is a very important city in the course of Christian history, and the Spanish Catholic monarchs. On January 2, 1492, the last Muslim ruler in Iberia, Emir Muhammad XII, known as Boabdil to the Spanish, surrendered complete control of the Emirate of Granada to Ferdinand II and Isabella I, Los Reyes Católicos (‘The Catholic Monarchs‘), after the last battle of the Granada War.
The 1492 surrender of the Islamic Emirate of Granada to the Catholic Monarchs is one of the most significant events in Granada’s history as it marks the completion of the Reconquista of Al-Andalus. The fall of Granada has a significant place among the important events that mark the latter half of the Spanish 16th century. It completed the so-called Reconquista (or Christian reconquest) of the eight-hundred-year-long Islamic rule in the Iberian Peninsula.(Wikipedia)
Therefore you will discover the symbol and many tress of the pomegranate all throughout the streets of Granada as you wander around the city.
The locals use the Pomegranates as their logo
THE GNOSTIC POMEGRANATE
Pomegranates also symbolize the Gnostic experience in the mystical tradition of the Greek Hellenes who are sometimes called Jews as being the followers of the old law of that of the Old Testament and the Greek Orthodox Christians as followers of the new law of the New Testament, and their teachings of the kabbalah, with the typical reference being to entering the “garden of pomegranates” or pardes rimonim; this is also the title of a book by the 16th-century mystic Moses ben Jacob Cordovero.
You will find upon the apron of the Deputy Grand Master is the emblem of his office in gold embroidery in the center, and the pomegranate and lotus alternately embroidered in gold on the edging. It is also found on apron of the Grand Master is ornamented with the blazing sun embroidered in gold in the center; on the edging the pomegranate and lotus with the seven-eared wheat at each corner, and also on the fall; all in gold embroidery; the fringe of gold bullion. (Albert Macakey – An Encyclopedia of Freemasonry and Its Kindred Sciences)