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Holy Oak

Author: Anja Heij

The majesty of the Oak has been recognized by many cultures. The Celts, the Germanic and Nordic tribes, and the ancient Greeks all attributed this tree to their main god.
To them the Oak represented power, protection and durability. The fiery Oak has strong masculine qualities; it is a symbol of inner and outer strength, courage and nobility of soul.
A healthy tree easily lives a thousand years. The wood is reknowned for its strength; anything made from oak will last long. The tree has a resilience against thunder and even seems to attract it. Hence its attribution to various gods of thunder, like Thor and Zeus/Jupiter.

A sacred oak forms the center of the Greek oracle of Dodoni, and Zeus already for centuries answers your questions by the rustling of the wind through its leaves.
Germanic tribes made peace and administered justice under an oak.
Both the Germans and the Celts celebrated the equinoxes with large fires from oak-wood.
The druids, the Celtic priests-magicians, had a vegetation cult in which they worshipped the spirits of several trees. To the druids the oak was considered to be chosen by the gods if a mistletoe grew on it; this was a very special combination of the sacred tree of the chief-god with the sacred all-healing viscum album. It was a spiritual marriage between sun and moon, heaven and earth. And it was a double sign of the eternity of life, when the tree of the sun-god, who ruled life and death, was fertilized by the evergreen (symbolizing everlasting life) mistletoe.
In an attempt to adapt pagan beliefs to christanity the following explanation is sometimes given to the combination oak and mistletoe: the bird that spread the seed of the mistletoe to the oak is the Holy Spirit, the viscum album is Jesus, and the oak-tree is God.

The druids discovered similarities between the characteristics of trees and human beings. According to the druid horoscope every part of the year is ruled by a tree, and persons born under that influence show certain character treats.
Not surprisingly the druid oak-type is born at the spring equinox, 21 march, when the sunlight becomes stronger. Oak-types are strongwilled, hardworking, independent, bold and selfconfident people. They are firmly grounded in their own opinion, what also means that they can be stubborn and inflexible. They are loyal, practical, realistic, business oriented and will work on until they reach their goal.

In the Bach flower therapy we use oak for the courageous hard workers who will never give up, who will tireless proceed in their dedication to a certain task, no matter how exhausted or depressed they may be. These dutiful and responsible people do not allow themselves any relaxation.

In herbal therapy we too use the oak (Quercus robur) to help regain strength for the exhausted and chronic ill person, or to increase strength for the one with a weak constitution. For this purpose we prepare a tea or tincture of the young bark, young leaves and the acorns. The oak contains a great amount of calcium, which builds up strength and immunity.
Because of the calcium oak can play a regulating role in problems with the thyroid gland, with osteoporosis or bone pains.
Resting with your back leaning against an oak will miraculously increase your energy.
Tea of the bark, externally applied, is a good help against eczema, acne, psoriasis, piles, ulcurs and burns. Here the doctrine of signatures teaches that the rough bark will have a healing effect on skinproblems.
The oak is a strong adstringent; very helpful in profuse bleedings, diarrhoea or oedema.
And last but not least: the druids believe that always carrying an acorn in your pocket will ensure a youthful appearance!

Suggested Pdf Resources

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