The Usefulness of Oak For Humans Created Its Place In Legend, Folklore and Myths.
The Oak's huge structure and long life, provides timber which has been used in buildings, joinery, fencing, and boat building from early Celtic times into the present day. A matures oak's crop of acorns provides food for both domestic and woodland creatures. While in Spring its bark is stripped and used in the tanning high quality leather.
Oak is extremely durable and strong. In East Anglia the Sutton Hoo memorial ship-burial made for a fallen King or Hero was made of oak about 1400 years ago. The wood had disintegrated but the the Oak left a imprint in the ground and enable a reconstruction of the ship.
Oak houses and building before the 12th Century would perhaps only last a generation as the wood post driven into the ground would eventually rot away. However in the 13th Century it was discover that:
.... a stone plinth and timber sill along with the use of strong timber joints. The stone plinth consisted of a line of stones, perhaps partly below ground as well as above, laid along the foot of walls. On this was placed a sturdy wooden sill…. Green oak rectangular post were then inserted into the sill and secured by mortise and tenon joints and held together by oak pegs (http://www.today.plus.com)
This solved the problem of oak posts rotting and building exist in the twenty first Century that were built in the 13th and 14th centuries
Oak's use in Healing
Oak galls, made by the larva of gall wasp induce the oak to produce chemical that form into abnormal growth or galls to encloses the developing larv, these galls were ground and were used as a cure for problems with the liver.
The distilled water of the bud, before they break out into leaves is... to assuge inflammation and to stop the fluxes. (Culpeper -15th century)
The inner bark of the tree and the skin covering were used to stop the spitting of the blood and the flux or as we would called diarrhoea The bark is used by modern herbalist as an astringent, as a gargle for a sore throat and to stop diarrhoea.
Edward Bach 's remedies were based on finding a cure for physiological states and stress that depleted the immune system. He also looked to Doctrine of Signatures a medieval system in which the appearance and habit of a plant was thought to indicate what it would cure. The Bach Oak remedy
... is used to help us remain strong in adversity, while at the same time we learn it is better sometimes to let go rather than crack under the strain. (The Bach Center)
Tradition Folklore healing would advise a person facing a difficult situation or who was unable to cope with life to go to the oak wood and walk three times round an oak. Then rest against it to restore their equilibrium and to be guide by the wisdom of the Oak.
The Oak Folklore and legend and myths
The oak is strong and endures. Foresters traditionally used to pollard a living oak tree back to the trunk for timber, the tree will re- row into a dense canopy which may have been harvested again. Most of the ancient and veteran oaks are pollard oaks they generally live longer than trees that have not been cut back.
The oaks has become associate with fire in legends and folklore. Oaks are taller than most other tree and are full of moisture which increases its vulnerability to
Oaks were often planted by dwellings to protect it from a lightening strike:
It is not wise to shelter under an oak in a thunder storm!
Oak’s gives sanctuary and protection from enemies and evil spirits. In Scotland a traveler sleeping in or near a wild wood drew a circle round him with a oak staff to protect him from the attentions of malicious fairies. Oak baskets and cribs, it was believed, would stop the fairies stealing a child and leaving a changeling in its place
The word Oak in Irish and Welsh also mean Chief. and oak is ranked as a Chieftain Tree in the Celtic Ogham. Chiefs and Kings would plant an Oak grove around their residence or fort as symbol of Kingship Strength and Fertility. In the crowed rural homes the Oak woods would allow privacy and sanctuary from prying eyes. Many children would be conceived under the shelter of an Oak tree.
The Oak has been associated with sacred places and In the Pagan era for ritual and ceremony. This was also true of the early Christian church. Holy wells had Oaks growing nearby with its male powerful energy of the universe combined with the female life giving trees, often the Hawthorn and Willow.
The Oaks were places where teaching and laws were given. King Edward The Confessor in 1005 delivered The Charter of London by the scared Oak on Parliament Hill. This Charter made London the oldest democratic City in the world. Over time, it became the first stepping stone to the emergence of the Parliamentary System for the UK.
The Crouch Oak in Adlestone marks the boundary of Windsor Park is said to have been planted in the 11th Century. It was a gathering place, marriages would have taken place there until the Church stopped the practice. The people gathered at the Crouch Oak to hear readings from John Wycliffe's translation of the Bible from Latin into into English (1382). Many hearing and understanding the Bible Texts for the first time in their own language.
The 18th Century Preacher John Wesley who thrown out of Oxford and his preaching was dammed as blasphemous by the established church, preached to people under under the Crouch Oak. The oak's branches make a wonderful sounding board so the huge crowds that gathered to to hear him speak could all hear him clearly.
The Oak a symbol of courage & determination to overcome adversity.
Damage by caterpillars can strip a Oak of its leaves and seriously deplete its energy. However round the time of The Celtic Festival of Lammas in August the Oak will grow a second growth of leaves which enables it to recover from this damage . The wood sculpture David Nash believes the insect can smell an ailing tree and this result in insect infestation. The insects burrow under loose bark and into rotting patches on the tree. The Oak responds by using its sap to form a callous which prevents the insects burrowing deeper into the wood. The attack can leave huge burrs on the trunk and branches. But the Oak:
... has the courage to survive despite the injuries it endures, it has a determination to live and achieve its potential (David Nash)
The Celtic Tree Ogham Oracle
My knowledge of the Celtic Tree Ogham is gained from reading the works of Scholars, and three Wise Women who guide me in the realm of The Celtic Tree Ogham Oracle. They are Liz Murray, Catlin Matthew, and Glennie Kindred. I have absorbed their wisdom and combined it with my learning about trees and experience of being in forest and woods.
A Visualization and Meditation on the Oak
Standing by a mature oak and looking upwards I can see the strong boughs reaching up to the sky and imagine the great roots that anchor it growing deep into the earth. One a sunny winter's day the light that filters through the open canopy of its branches is dappled and creates a magical space to stand or sit quietly and enjoy
a wonderful moment
a perfect moment
of interconnect with the oak,
The Oak Tree of Knowledge
The Gaelic and Sanskrit word for Oak is Duir , which means door. If you draw the Oak when casting the Ogham you should approach the Oak with respect and let your presence be known. Touch the Oak gently, either with a hand or with the mind and wait and see if the doorway to inner knowledge opens. If it opens enter:
into the power of your imagination... we are taught that imagination only reveals what is imaginary that is not true Imagination is a faculty of the soul. the same way sight is a faculty of the eyes. (Cailtin Matthews)
There are many reason The Seeker are drawn to the Celtic Tree Ogham Oracle.
Here are some of the reason to seek answers from the oracle.
Needing reassurance whether it is the right time to go forward with an action or project to
... have faith in your vision of what your are working towards. (Glennie Kindred)
The seeker may have issues from the past. The oak can give an inner vision which will lead to a new understand the past. It may show the knots of bitterness which are blocking the way forward, and give the clarity, strength and protection needed to clear the negative energy and to move on to a positive path.
A seeker may feel lost, or maybe is procrastinate about an ambition, dream or hope. May be fearful of failure and be at a standstill, terrified of being expose ridicule or harm. The Oak show how to have courage, and the strengthen of will to achieve a goal.
The seeker is blocked from going forward in life. The Oak bends and moves in the face of a storm. If it didn't branches would be break and be ripped off. The Oak can show the Seeker that stubbornness is the cause of stagnation, or a desire always to be right or to win is destructive. Oak’s healing light can take away the seekers fear of change.
In the modern world stress caused by work, relationships, lack of money, or life events may overwhelms us,. The seeker may feel as if they are running in circles and getting nowhere. The stately Oak can give a place to be quite and still and let the white noise of life, the chatter the mind, be still in meditation and rest.
Sometime in life any of us may feels exhausted and broken, seeing before us a mire of unhappiness and darkness .But the oak teaches:
When all seems dark the stars still shine trust and endure.
I hope the Stars Shine For you
With Reiki Blessings