My maternal grandfather, Papa Harry, was an olive farmer. While I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with him in the physical world, in the nonphysical he is a beloved ally and friend. A lover of all things green and growing throughout his life, he also worked as a landscaper, and he passed much of his botanical wisdom to my mom, who passed some of it on to me. Now I think of him whenever I see the distinctive silvery green of an olive tree.
Over and above my own personal plant mythology, the olive (Oleaceae family) has been revered as sacred since ancient times and provides an abundance of benefits to humans: magical, medicinal, and nutritional.
Olive trees drip with the energy of pure beauty, and gazing at one can transport a person to the realm of aesthetic bliss. Spend time in quiet contemplation with an olive tree to align with the frequency of beauty and embody and emanate beauty as a matter of course. In a more physical sense, used alone or with other herbs or oils, olive oil is an excellent moisturizer, scalp rub, and conditioning hair treatment.
SHINY HAIR AND HEALTHY SCALP MASK
If you’re not overly sensitive to essential oils, add nine drops of rosemary essential oil to a quarter cup olive oil. Warm it slightly, then rub it into your scalp and dry hair. Cover your head with a knit cap and leave it for fifteen to twenty minutes. Wash thoroughly with a mild shampoo and condition as usual.
Olives contain the energy of the planet Saturn: the planet of diligence, stamina, focus, and hard work. (Perhaps that’s why I crave large amounts of them while I’m editing my books.) Work olives or olive pits into your magic when your intention involves committing to the long haul for lasting, well-deserved success. For example, intentions related to long-term projects—such as completing a book, building a business from scratch, or obtaining a degree—can benefit from the energy of olives.
OLIVE BLESSING FOR COMPLETING LONG-TERM GOALS
When the waxing moon is in Capricorn, make a rice or pasta dish for yourself. Light an olive-green candle. Hold three Greek olives in your right hand and say:
From the present until the end to my goal I shall attend.
I’ll weave success into each hour, imbued with olive’s focused power.
Remove the pits and slice the olives, adding them to your dish. Eat mindfully, enjoying each bite and internalizing the magic. Wash each pit thoroughly, and dry them on a cloth on a sunny windowpane. When they’re thoroughly dried, tie them into a red flannel pouch, along with a hematite. Keep this charm in your pocket or pinned to the inside of your clothes every day until your goal is reached.
Olive is a master healer of the arboreal world. The 1992 movie Lorenzo’s Oil tells the true story of parents who look far and wide for a cure to their son’s severe and “incurable” neurological disease, and finally find it by adding a blend of oil to his diet, derived in large part from olive oil.
According to Andrew Chevallier’s Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, “[Olive] oil is nourishing and improves the balance of fats within the blood…[It] has a generally protective action on the digestive tract and is useful for dry skin.” In The Way of Herbs Michael Tierra states, “Internally, 1 tablespoon of the oil once or twice daily is a mild laxative.”
The leaves are also medicinal, and have been used since ancient times to disinfect wounds. Olive leaf extract can be taken in supplement form to support the circulatory system, lower blood sugar, and improve blood pressure.
The Greek goddess Athena is associated with both healing and olive trees, and ancient Greeks believed that her spirit inhabited them. Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs states: “On an olive leaf write Athena’s name. Press this against the head or wear on the body and it will cure a headache.”
Symbolically, the olive is perhaps best known as a physical representation of peace, as demonstrated by the phrase “Extending the olive branch.” Athena was chosen as the namesake of Athens in large part because she offered the city an olive branch, which symbolized peace. Once chosen as the city’s divine beneficiary, Athena’s olive trees were revered as sacred, and a holy lamp—fueled with olive oil from the city’s trees—burned around the clock.
To create a powder that will help establish peace in any area, mindfully collect forty olive leaves and then dry them on a sunny windowsill. When they are thoroughly brittle, grind into a powder and place in a jar. (It’s good to have a coffee grinder on hand specifically for such magical purposes.) Whenever you desire to establish peace, surreptitiously scatter one pinch of the powder around the space.
While olive trees thrive in drier climates such as California and the Mediterranean, olives themselves are quite moist, and the tree is energetically attuned to the element of water. Indeed, simply eating olives or olive oil is a sumptuous, luxurious, and nourishing experience that noticeably aligns one with the energy of wealth. The olive may have gained further association with wealth by serving as one of the primary commodities of ancient Athens. Additionally, olives have been magically aligned with fertility and luck, both of which correspond directly with the olive’s ability to bestow wealth.
QUICK AND POTENT (AND DELICIOUS) WEALTH BLESSING
To quickly tune your frequency to the energy of lavish wealth and abundance, mindfully eat eight olives on a Thursday while the moon is waxing. All the while, be sure to feel luxurious and even decadent.