The Oak is known as the father of trees and for good reason. It can live to well over 700 years – as symbol of strength, longevity and knowledge. It gives the impression of presiding over everything around it, quiet strength and determination, the ability to let all things pass by but leave no impression on it – the world is turning as it should and worry and strife are useless states of mind. It stands between the worlds, a doorway to inner knowledge, strength, determination and brings us closer to the turning of the wheel of the year.
The tree is sacred to the following God and Goddesses – many of these are strong, thunderer and war Gods.
Jupiter; Zeus; Esus – druidic God; Thor; Brigid; Demeter; Diana; Herne the Hunter.
The Oak has been called “a garden and a country” because it hosts a plethora of life, in its branches, in the shade of its canopy. The Oak was held scared by the Greeks – there was a sacred oak grove at Dodona, a sanctuary and a temple to Zeus, as well as groves of sacred oaks associated with the druids; in fact the word Druid has been given as being derived from the word “dru-wid”, meaning “knower of oak trees.”
In the Ogham, the Oak is given the word Duir. Duir derives from both the Gaelic and Sanskrit words meaning “door”, therefore, strengthening the belief that the oak represents a doorway to inner strength and inner spirituality and new understanding.
The Oak tree has an abundance of uses for healing and spell work, derived form the myth and uses that have been found for this tree over time.
Used as an astringent, an antiseptic, or a tonic; excellent for throat inflammation, chilblains, frostbite, menstrual problems, reducing fevers, for example.
Juice from leaves can be appied to wounds and inflammations. Lea es can be soaked in water and used to relieve inflamed and tired eyes, also for cuts and burns and throat, haemorrhoids, varicose veins and as a good tonic wine.
Wands were made from oakwood hit by lightning., to be used as a talisman against lightning striking twice.
Oak leaves were also carried for protection.
Carry or wear a piece of oak to draw on the strength of the tree when it is needed.
Acorns have been associated with love and couples – two acorns dropped into a bowl of water will apparently tell the couple if they will stay together or split.
Carrying an acorn,apparently, also prevents the carrier from growing old!
Acorns can be roasted and use as a coffee substitute.
Bach flower remedies – despondency and despair, discontent with self, perseverance. Calming, to ease the stress caused by not appearing to be weak or by trying to take on too much or cope by yourself when problems threaten to take over.
The bark yields a tannin which was used extensively for preparing leather and twine.
Oak galls (formed by the gall wasp larvae) yield a black ink.
In summary, the oak has a venerated history, stretching back through many times, religions and cultures. It is a tree of strength, time and learning, that can help us discover secrets within ourselves, lead us to new ways of thinking and help open the door wider to the mysteries. Linking and meditating with the tree can help renew vitality, link to ancient wisdoms and powerful Gods, spirits and wights, who may be able to help you a little further along your path. Bathe and revel in its power, its countless healing ways and its endless roots through the world.