Here in the forest at Shaman’s Grove, we are surrounded by a variety of Standing Ones. We have Pacific Redwoods that reach high into the sky, Fir, Pine and Spruce, beautiful red Madrone and the Majestic Oak. I was going to write about the Redwood today, but Oak called out to be heard today.
Ted Andrews starts out his description of the Oak in Nature-Speak by saying “The majesty of a mature oak always gives pause for reflection. They radiate an aura of calm strength.” I can say from my own experience that this holds true. There is something about the twists and curls and knots up the trunk, and the wide canopy of leaves that automatically brings me to my center. It was interesting to read that the Oak’s roots mirror its branches and stretch as far below ground as the branches do above.
Because early man derived many resources from the tree; acorns for food, wood for fire, and in some cases even the trunk for shelter; there has been a long relationship between man and the tree. Many cultures came to revere the Oak as a magical tree, strong and full of energy.
Oak is one of the longest lived trees, being the Keeper of Great Wisdom as well as strength. Oak groves were very sacred to the Druids and the Celts, and the Oak tree itself was/is often considered a portal to the Otherworld. Druid legend says that embracing the tree within a sacred grove can provide answers to question previously left unanswered. In these same groves, it was also believed possible to commune with the fairy realm, for the Oak is home to many a Fae. The Oak is so important to the Druids that it is the seventh month of the Celtic Tree calendar, June 10th – July 7th and the seventh consonant of their Ogham alphabet – Duir.
The mighty Oak has a tendency to be struck by lightning or “the bolt of inspiration”. Therefore, many cultures related the tree to the gods of the sky. Native Americans related it to their sky god, Nordics related the tree to Thor, Greeks to Zeus and the Celts to Taranis.
Oak is said to be magically linked to the constellation Leo. The Sun, which rules Leo, is the source of life and light. Psychologically it is the center of the Self. Oak symbolizes all solar heroes, those who venture out from their homelands to achieve great deeds and bring home wondrous treasures. Thus, Oak is aligned with a primal male energy, the yang or electrical aspect of the universe and the individual. The energy of the Oak awakens strength and endurance, even in the most trying situations.
Oak also has a caring, paternal side, as it is the home for over 500 species of animals and insects. This paternal, nurturing side as well as its strength is what gives the Mighty Oak its calming energy.
I invite you to explore the lore of the Mighty Oak. There is too much to write here. One bit too look at is its link to King Arthur and the Round Table.
Once you’re done exploring, go visit an Oak. Embrace it with your questions and find the strength and wisdom it has to offer you. (And don’t forget to make an offering – see more about gifting here.)
Until next time –
Mitakuye Oyasin (A Lakota prayer reminding us we are all related),