The Olive tree has a rich history in symbolism, tradition and mythology.
As early as Ancient Greece, the Olive tree has held symbolic meaning related to peace and friendship.
Since then, further symbolism has been discovered.
So if you want to know about the symbolism and metaphysical meaning of the Olive tree, you’ve come to the right place!
Peace & Friendship In Ancient Greece
The Ancient Greeks were a little obsessed with the Olive tree.
The primary symbolism of the Olive tree for them was one of peace, friendship and diplomacy.
This likely stems from the mythology surrounding Athens, in particular, the story of Athena and Poseidon’s battle for control over the legendary city.
The two Ancient Greek deities were told to compete for the affections of the Athenian people, rather than a bloody fight.
Poseidon struck a freshwater spring from the ground with his trident, but the Athenians were more impressed with the Olive tree produced by Athena.
Thus the matter was decided diplomatically, cementing the phrase “offering an olive branch” into the human psyche.
Hardiness & Toughness In Difficult Times
Another symbolism associated with the Olive tree is related to the hardy, drought-resistant nature of the tree.
Staying in Greece for a moment, we should mention that when the Persian King Xerxes burned the Acropolis to a cinder.
The destroyed Olive trees sprouted the same day again, showing remarkable hardiness.
Of course, this is likely an exaggeration added in the retelling, but it is true that Olive trees are incredibly hardy.
Soils in their natural habitat are notoriously poor and the climate is dry, but the Olive tree has evolved to thrive in this difficult environment.
Meditating On Olive Tree Symbolism
When meditating on the symbolism of the Olive tree, we should apply the lessons within the symbolism to our own lives and our own experiences.
This is where the power of natural symbolism comes from, as it helps us to find our path through the clues found in the natural world – and humanity’s relationship with it.
The key message of the Olive tree’s symbolism is two-fold, though the Stoic’s – who was a Greek school of philosophy – would say they were heavily related.
First, the Olive tree reminds us to act with the ideals of peace, friendship and diplomacy at the forefront of our minds
. Conflict is rarely useful, but it does provide an opportunity for us to understand each other – if only we would engage with each other in good faith.
Second, the Olive tree reminds us to remain strong
. Mental and emotional strength can help us through even the most difficult times and circumstances, so building these strengths should be a priority when times are easy.
So consider the symbolism of the Olive tree, meditate on it, and see how this most famous tree can improve your outlook on life – and your unique perspective along with your journey.