The Oak Tree has long been associated with ancient peoples and has been seen as “magical” or “sacred”. For example the Druids. These “priests of nature” worshiped their religion under the Oak Tree or in sacred groves. Fred Hagender writes in his book, The Meaning of Trees, “our ancestors recognized that there is a vital balance in life: you take and you give. So they celebrated the forces of nature by offering them gifts, songs, prayers and blessings to revitalize the natural world – a world in which they felt themselves to be an intimate part.” It is certainly the tree I use most in my magic.
As pagans we are taught that nature is an important part of us. We need to respect it and learn from it. Humans and nature have a symbiotic relationship. We depend upon each other for survival. We offer nature our energy through prayers and blessings (and other offerings) and in turn nature (in particular trees) offers us a vast array of gifts. Wood from its trunk and limbs are used for shelter from the elements: heat, cold, rain, snow, etc. This wood is also used in crafting magical tools such as athames, wands and staffs. From its wood we also get fire to heat our homes , cook our food (kitchen witchery) and for cleaning ourselves (ritual bathing). Fires are also used as vehicle for offerings made to the gods.
The Oak Tree has many magical associations including: strength, endurance, durability, longevity, stamina, prosperity, will, protection, good luck, fertility, cleansing, success, wisdom, status, self confidence, masculine god energy, inner strength, bravery and leadership to name a few.
Oak trees come from a genus of more than 450 species. They are associated with weather gods due to the fact that the oak tree is the tree most often struck by lightening and survives the ordeal. The tree itself is a conductor of electricity. Because of this, ancient peoples would often call upon the weather gods, such as Zeus, Odin or Thor, to strike their enemies down with their lightening and give victory to their people.
The Oak Tree is a doorway of opportunity and is considered the doorway for shamanic portals. It is a symbol of “as above, so below”. Its limbs and leaves reach up into the skies/ heavens (as above) and its roots reach deep with the earth (so below). This makes it an ideal portal to use in connecting to the other-world.
This tree produces acorns which are a great tool for making magical charms. Acorns have the attributes of immortality, fertility, nurturing and sustenance. For prosperity, hang acorns in your home, get creative, make a wreath or other craft project. Acorns hung in windows are said to be a way to ward off evil. In ancient times, acorns were used as food and sustenance. Still today some peoples still roast and grind the nuts for bread or the making of beverages.
The leaves are just as magical. Use them in a bath for its cleansing properties. You can also used the leaves in magical spells. One of my favorite uses is to write my needs upon the leaves and then offer them to the gods through fire.
Oak chips can be used as a type of incense to burn away negativity. Oak chips are also used to cook meat as well. You can bless the chips before lighting them and infuse their magic into the food you are cooking.
The bark of the oak tree is said to have astringent properties. It has been brewed as a tea for help with congestion, hemorrhoids, fever, diarrhea, dysentery, inflamed gums and to treat wounds. In hoodoo practices, the tea is also used to remove jinxes.
Correspondences for the Oak Tree:
Celtic Year of the Oak Moon is June 10th through July 7th
Latin- white oak = quercus alba
red oak = quercus rubra
black oak = quercus velutina
Celtic word for Oak is Duir meaning door. Pronounced (dur) or (doo-er)
Parts used are the wood, leaves, bark and acorns
Folk names- Tanners Bark, Jove's Nuts, Tree of Jove, King of the Forest, Tree of Endurance
Animals associated with the oak tree are stag, squirrel, wren, white mare
Gods/Goddess: Dagda, Oak King/Holly King, Green Man, Cernunnous, Morrigan, Cerridwen, Rhiannon, Epona, Odin, Thor, Herne, Wodin, Jupiter, Cybele, Rhea, Pan, Hecate, Janus, Brigid
Gems- granite, amber
Element- earth, fire
So how do you use the magic of trees in your practice?
The Meaning of Trees by Fred Hagender, ©2005 by Chronicle Books
Mickie Mueller’s Class on Celtic Tree Calendar-The Oak Tree Month (www.voiceoftrees.com)