The Fruit of the Ancients: Dates Spiritual Meaning and Magic

A wooden bowl full of dates, with dates and dates leaves strewn alongside.

The Magic of Dates

Dates are an ancient fruit, and due to their long history in the human record, it has come to be connected with much magic, fable, and lore. Its storied past has led it from the tombs of pharaohs to the mythology of gods, and where there is a myth, there is much magic. Dates are no exception to the rule.

Dates Storied History

Both dates and the tree that bears this fruit — the date palm — have much significance throughout history, as it has lined the walls of churches, been held in the hands of kings, and named after the Mighty Phoenix; and both dates and the date palm tree have strong spiritual power.

The Fertile Power of Dates

The date palm tree yields an abundance of fruit and, as such, is considered potent in terms of fertility magic. Dates and dried pieces of palm can be worn to harness this energy. This magical property extends to males as well — dates are a known aphrodisiac and can help with male potency and virility.

Date fruits poured out of a jar onto a black surface, with leaves nearby.

Attracting Abundance with Dates

Dates can be used to attract abundance as well as good luck. Keep a bowl of dried dates at your altar, and when you have guests, gift them with the fruit. This will strengthen your friendship, as well as bring you good fortune.

Dates are Ruled by The Sun God

Dates are symbolic of the resurrection of the soul and, as such, are connected to the Phoenix. They are also ruled by the sun, and the Ancient Egyptians connect it to the Sun God Ra. To protect your home, keep a date palm leaf at the entrance, warding off evil energies.

The Healing Power of Dates*

The healing properties of Dates are expansive and cannot be ignored. It is said that eating a date a day is necessary for overall health, as dates contain a myriad of beneficial vitamins and minerals.

Dates for Constipation

You can use dates to treat constipation, as the nicotine content helps with intestinal disorders. A natural remedy for constipation is to soak dates in water overnight. The following day, eat the soaked dates as a syrup for effective relief.

A stuffed date and a blue mug of coffee sitting on a blue platter, with a wooden bowl full of stuffed dates out of focus.

Are Dates Good for Hangovers?

Rub and soak dates overnight to treat a bad hangover, and they are also good to sober you up after drinking alcohol. Dates contain estradiol and flavonoids, which can increase sperm count and sperm motility, reducing sterility.

Dates and Abdominal Cancer

Studies have shown that dates can have a substantial impact on abdominal cancer and, in some cases, yields better results than traditional medicines. 

Rituals and Traditions Surrounding Date Fruit

Let me take you back to a time when pyramids stood proudly, a time when pharaohs ruled, and the Sun God was worshiped and feared, a time when Egypt was in its full glory. Dates were an essential part of Ancient Egyptian culture.

An engraved golden container full of dates.

Dates and Their Connection to the Dead

Excavations have uncovered mummies robed in date palm leaves, and tombs were decorated with them. Loved ones offered dates and palm leaves to their dearly departed, and date beer was even used to embalm corpses.

Ancient Uses of the Date Palm Tree

When not being used in mummification, dates were turned into beers and wine, like Araqe wine, which can still be found today in rural areas of Egypt. Date Palm trees yielded materials suitable for roofing homes, as well as making sandals and baskets.

A person holding a half-eaten stuffed date and a glass of milk.

Date Palm and the Pharoah’s Jubilee

When a Pharaoh King reached his thirtieth jubilee, he held a bundle of date palm leaves – the number of notches in its rib was an omen from god telling how many years that king had left to rule and live.

Palm Sunday and Date Palm Leaves

More contemporarily, date palm leaves are used to decorate Christian churches for Palm Sunday. Christianity has a notable link with date palm trees and is mentioned in Jesus’ chronicles several times.

A white, three-compartment tray containing dates sitting next to a candle.

The Lore and Mythology of Date Fruit

Dates and the date palm tree were essential to ancient civilizations and led to them being linked to revered mythical beings like the Phoenix. The origin of where this connection came from is uncertain, but some historians believe that Theophrastus (370-285BC), a famous botanist created the connection.

Thoth, the Egyptian God of Letters and The Date Palm

The Egyptian God of Letters and Learning, Thoth, is also linked to dates. He is often pictured in the act of writing and counting the years by using the notches on the back of a date palm branch.

Date palm fruit hanging from branches.

Dates and the Phoenix

The Phoenician region was plagued by a particular type of purple-colored shellfish, and this purple color reminded Theophrastus of the shade of ripening dates. In the Phoenician language, the word for purple was also the word for Phoenix, and as the Phoenix is symbolic of resurrection and rebirth, so are dates.

Dates Predate Hieroglyphics

Dates are an ancient fruit and are believed to have predated hieroglyphics, but interestingly enough, the hieroglyphic symbol for the word “year” is the date palm branch.

Date fruits at the market on display with other assortments of fruit.

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