fig tree

    Figs are the fruit of the fig tree.

botanical information:

    Botanical name: Ficus carica

    Common name: fig

    Use the botanical name when ordering seeds (bulbs, etc.) or when looking up information in the library. Common names vary by nation, culture, and region, and sometimes the same common name is applied to different plants.


    Origin: Anatolia (modern day Turkey)


    History: Humans grew fig trees approximately 11,400 years B.P. (Before Present) at Gilgal I, a village site in the Jordan Valley north of ancient Jericho. This predates the earliest evidence of domestication of wheat, barley, and legumes by about 1,000 years and indicates that figs may have been the earliest domesticated crop.

    Paleobotanists Ofer Bar-Yosef of Harvard University and Mordechai E. Kislev and Anat Hartmann of Israel’s Bar-Ilan University reported their findings from Gilgal I in the 2 June 2006 issue of Science.

    Their team found fig remains that had been dried for human consumption. The type of figs were a mutant variety that does not produce seeds and has to be propagated by plnating sprouts. The trees are very easy to propagate, a freshly cut branch pushed into the ground will grow roots. This variety of figs stay on the tree rather than dropping to the groudn, and therefore become soft and sweet.

    Other food found at the site included wild acorns and wild oats, but no signs of any other domesticated crops. The Gilgal I village site was abandoned more than 11,000 years ago.

    Paleobotanists Ofer Bar-Yosef said “Humans must have recognized that the resulting fruits do not produce new trees, and fig tree cultivation became a common practice. In this intentional act of planting a specific variant of fig tree, we can see the beginnings of agriculture.”

    Fig trees commonly lined ancient Egyptian temple gardens.

    The Greeks believed (wrongly) that sleeping under a fig tree would drive a person insane.

nutritional information:

    Figs are a source of iron.

    Figs help keep the liver clean and healthy.

    Figs are a vital part of chimpanzee’s diet.

    See also Chinese herbalism below for Chinese gender and Chinese flavor.

magickal correspondences and uses:

    Gender: masculine (traditional western European magickal gender)

    Western element: fire

    Magickal uses: Fig adds enlightenment, fecundity, love, power, and wisdom to beverages.

    Magick food for love spells: Figs are an appropriate food for love spells, such as the Aphrodite New Moon love spell, Hecate black candle love spell, or Isis Full Moon love spell. See the article on foods for more information on using food magick in spells.

Magical Uses
Used in love and fertility spells. Also used for divination.

information courtesy of

deities associated with fig:

Chinese herbalism:

    Chinese gender: neutral

    Chinese flavor: sweet

cautions and contraindications:

    Cautions and contraindications: Figs are believed to be safe.

    Wild gathering: Avoid wild gathering. Some plants are endangered species. Please grow your own herbs in your own goddess garden.

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