The Odyssey is the story of Odysseus's journey from Troy to Ithaka. During his journey Odysseus is impeded by Poseidon and assisted by Athena. The use of olive wood as a metaphor lies in the differences between Athena and her uncle Poseidon in Odysseus's journey back to Ithaka.
Before the first time olive wood is used in the Odyssey Homer shows what side the gods are on, in book one Homer says, "all
showed first 75 words of 447 total
showed last 75 words of 447 total
days they used the oil for food, to keep the skin and hair soft, probably lots of other stuff. Athena is Odysseus patron. Odysseus is at odds with Poseidon. I see Poseidon as the god of instinct, and Athena as the goddess of wisdom.
Homer. The Odyssey. Translated by Robert Fitzgerald. In The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces Volume 1, Seventh Edition. Ed. Sarah Lawall and Mark Maynard et al, New York: Norton, 1999, 209-514.