Origin: Mediterranean Basin

Family: Oleaceae
Scientific Name: Olea europaea

Folk Names: Olivier


Element: Fire
Day: Sunday
Planet: The Sun
Zodiac: Leo
Deities: Amun-Ra, Apollo, Athena, Brahma, Flora, Ganymede, Indra, Jupiter, Minerva, Poseidon, Zeus, and all sun gods

Parts Used: Fruit, oil, leaves

Magical Properties: Health, fertility, prosperity, protection, peace, spirituality, sexuality, purification, love


Olives were first cultivated at least 7,000 years ago in Mediterranean regions, and have been important both socially and religiously.

Judaism: Olives were used for food, as well as the oil for lighting, offerings, ointment, and anointing oil. An olive branch was brought back by a dove to Noah to demonstrate the ending of the Great Flood. Olives are listed in Deuteronomy 8:8 as one of the severn species of noteworthy products of the Land of Israel. The olive is one of seven species requiring the recitation of me’eyn shalosh after consumption, and is the best oil for lighting the Shabbes candles.

Ancient Greece: The olive tree was believed to have been created by Athena as a gift in order to win the patronage of Attica over Poseidon, with the city of Athens being named after her in thanks. Olives were a core part of Greek culture, using them for wood, food, and oil. Olive oil was used for perfume, grooming, the sacred lamps in temples, and for anointing kings and athletes. The oil also lit the “eternal flame” from the original Olympic games, where victors were drowned with wreaths of olive leaves.

Ancient Egypt: Dutch archaeologist Jorrit Kelder has proposed that olives were introduced to Ancient Egypt as a gift from Mycenaean Greece to pharaoh Akhenaten. When trees burned down, the roots often survived and sprouted new growth - this lead to them being associated with regeneration and immortality. Olive branches are depicted as offerings on the wall of the Aten temple, and wreathes of olives were buried with Tutankhamen.

Ancient Rome: Pliny the Elder stated that a vine, a fig tree, and an olive tree were grown in the centre of the Roman Forum - the olive tree was planted to provide shade. Romans used olive oil in cooking, as well as to moisten bread (similarly to the use of butter).

Olive trees and olive oil are both mentioned several times in both the New Testament and the Quran.

In Spain, olive oil was used to make Castile soap, which became the luxury item of the 8th century.

Magical Uses


Part Used: Fruits
Extraction Method: Cold-pressed
Flash Point: 113°C

Perfume Use: Base oil
Shelf Life: 12 months
Scent Description: Faint olive scent

Active Constituents: High in vitamins E and K

Topical Use

Skin Types: All
Absorption Rate: Medium
Viscosity: Medium/light

Properties: Emollient, wound healing, cleansing, anti-inflammatory, fights free radical damage.

Notes: Use as 30-50% of carrier oil blends


Olive trees are incredibly long-living, with a number of trees scattered around the Mediterranean Basin that have been confirmed to be in excess of 2,000 years old, many of which are still producing fruit.

Type: Shrub/tree
Plant size: 8-15m
Leaves: Silvery-green, oblong leaves, 4-10cm long and 1-3cm wide
Flowers: Small, white, feathery flowers
Fruit: 1-2.5cm long oval fruits, green to purple

Etymology: “Olive” comes from the Latin name, oliva

In the Garden

Type: Evergreen shrub/tree
Sow: Spring or autumn
Light: Full sun
Water: Water regularly until established
Soil: Well-drained

Companion Planting: Olive trees are traditionally planted nearby grape vines