Olea europaea

The olive, the gift of the Goddess Athena, has been an important part of the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern diet and culture for millions of years.

The olive branch is a symbol of peace, prosperity, and glory. Crowns of olive leaves were placed upon the heads of victors and whole branches were offered to the Gods. Olive oil is wonderful for cooking and also has many other uses, both spiritual and mundane.

Olives are barely edible when they are fresh and so they are cured and fermented. Depending on their ripeness at harvest, and how they are prepared, they go by different names.

Spanish olives are harvested green and soaked in lye before being rinsed set to ferment in brine.

Greek olives may be harvested green or ripe and they are fermented in brine without soaking in lye first.

Picholine or directly-brined olives may be green or ripe. They are soaked in lye for an extended period before being brined. Little fermentation takes place.

Water-cured olives are fermented in a weak brine solution.

Salt-cured olives are picked fully ripe and packed in layers of salt. They develop a shriveled up appearance.

California or "artificially ripened" olives are picked green or semi-ripe and soaked in lye and injected with oxygen so that they attain a ripened appearance. They are then packed in brine and vinegar for storage and sale.

Olives are wonderful added to salads and sandwiches, pasta and pizza.

Olives can be used in marriage and fertility rites. You and your partner should feed each other olives before coitus to help increase your chances of conception.

Olives are rich in healthy fats and antioxidants and contain a healthy compliment of vitamins and minerals

Element(s): Air Earth
Planet(s): Jupiter Venus
Zodiac Sign: - -
Season: -
Sabbat: -

Gender: Feminine

abundance, beauty, joy, protection, sex, marriage, peace, fertility, conception

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