Olives are small evergreen fruit trees in the family Oleaceae that are native to the Mediterranean area of Europe and the Middle East. They grow to around 50ft tall with a trunk that grows all twisted and it has silver, long, narrow leaves. The flowers are small, white and feathery produce the olive fruit. Fossil evidence indicates the olive tree had its origins some 30 million years ago in what is now corresponding to Italy and the eastern Mediterranean Basin. The edible olive seems to have coexisted with humans for about 5,000 to 6,000 years, going back to the early Bronze Age .
According to Greek myth, the city of Athens was won by Athena in a contest with Poseidon. They were challenged to give the people the most useful gift. Poseidon's was a salt spring and Athena's was an olive tree. It is said that the very tree continued to grow in the Acropolis for centuries until the Persians burnt it to the ground but then the same day it grew again and according to Pliny the Elder, a vine, a fig tree, and an olive tree grew in the middle of the Roman Forum; the latter was planted to provide shade. Olive leaves can be used as a garnish or steeped to make a tasty tea with many health benefits. Olive leaf tea is said to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure and to help the body fight all sorts of infections including the common cold. Of course the Olives themselves provide a tasty food for all sorts of cuisine from pizza, pastas and even in drinks such as martinis. Olive oil can be used as a base for any salve, ointment or massage oil.
Magickally Olive leaves can be kept in a room or strewn under the rug to promote peaceful energy. Eat olives to ensure male fertility and potency. Use olive leaves to decorate an altar in honor of a God or honored ancestor. Hang branches over the door to prevent lightening strikes and keep evil from entering, or place the leaves in a bag or add them to a wreath and hang on the door or the chimney for the same purpose. When eaten, olives are said to induce fertility and sexual potency in males, and lust in both men and women. An Athenian bride would wear a crown of olive leaves to ensure her fertility, as well as the fidelity of her husband! Unmarried folk can use the leaves to attract a spouse.
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