#15 The Devil

Fig

The Devil sits glaringly confronting the viewer, looking sharp in a tailored suit with his crossed hands and inexplicable allure. The Devil is frequently portrayed as an evil half-man half-beast, making him a symbol for the junction of two opposites—good and evil. Crossroads, thresholds, and other intersections are linked to temptation, a trait central to The Devil character. Many cultures believe that the Devil can be contacted by offering a sacrifice at crossroads and attribute negative connotations to certain liminal spaces such as thresholds. The crossroads is also a metaphor for the point of origin of all decisions—the moment where you choose between options. The Devil represents the temptation to indulge in the easer or more convenient route, which is not necessarily the wrong choice. 

The Fig has historically been associated with female sexuality, a correlation commonly made with fruiting plants . Some translations of the Bible indicate that the forbidden fruit used by the Devil to tempt Adam and Eve was a fig, not an apple.  In Latin, the word for “apple” and “evil” are both malum, setting the stage for a convenient correlation between apples and the forbidden fruit . However, the story of Genesis in its original Hebrew simply used the word pri to refer to all fruits that grow on a branch. The notion of specifying that the fruit was an apple did not come about until the Latin translation of the Bible was completed in the early Church period between 382 and 405 AD. When Adam and Eve eat the fruit and realized their nakedness, they sewed clothes for themselves from the leaves of the fig tree, a ubiquitous tree native to the Middle East that has been cultivated since the times of the ancient Canaanites, prior to the arrival of the Israelites .