The oak (Quercus Peduncolata) was venerated as a wise tree and a woman’s tree because it is said to be the tree of transformation because the roots touch the heart of the Earth reaching the Mother Goddess and her branches protect her children.
Each Celtic village had its own sacred oak and if someone left, he brought with him a twig to protect them from danger. For the Celts it represented the strength of wisdom and knowledge and its name derives the name of the Celtic priests: Druids: dru-wid, the name derives in turn from the union of two Celtic words: “dru” = oak, and ” vir “, knowledge. The Druids met in the sacred oak woods and the oak was the most important of their seven sacred trees.In classical mythology it was the most archaic oracle of the Greeks, or the sacred oak of Dodona. This region was isolated, cold and stormy because of this it was consecrated to Zeus being the god of thunderstorm and lightning. He who consulted this oracle approached the oak and the tree, in response, stirred a little, so the prophetesses interpreted the movements of the tree and interpreted the message of the oak. While Frazer, author of “The Golden Branch”, adds that at the foot of the great oak tree of Dodona, a spring gushed out and that from his rustling the priestess divined the oracles. The ancient Greeks symbolized the oak as the microcosm populated by nymphs and divine animals. With its acorns, dried, peeled and ground the acorn bread was prepared, consumed in Europe until the eighteenth century, especially during periods of famine. Even the club of mighty Hercules was made of oak and the Celts claimed that children born under an oak tree would grow strong and strong like trees. At the Germans, the oak was consecrated to the god Thor, god of thunder, lightning, wind, good weather, rain and crops. Therefore the oak symbolizes power, protection and courage. From all the legends takes a single meaning: Queen of plants and symbol oflife, strength, virility, courage, dignity and perseverance.Already in ancient times its healing properties were well known: decoctions and infusions of bark for astringent, anti-hemorrhagic, cicatrizing for hemorrhoids and varices. The leaves were applied on sores and tumefactions. The acorns were decanted as diuretics and an antidote of poisons if cooked in milk. The whole oak has analgesic, antiseptic, febrifugal, anti-inflammatory properties, helps in irritation of the oral cavity, tones the body and is revitalizing for debilitated people.
In the magic, the oak is very important because it is the tree that combines both masculine and feminine symbols, thus the union of the universal masculine and feminine forces but also the great Power of the Mother Goddess on men and events.
Hence in the rituals of development of knowledge and in the rituals of consecration of love between mother and children and in rituals to foster and protect the union of the family and of fruitfulness and rebirth. But even in the rituals of transformation and purification, the burning oak link gives us the sacred purifying fire.Its wood is used in the manufacture of magic wands, symbol of power and command. The Oak has always been a symbol of immortality. The acorns are natural talismans of protection and fertility.With the wood reduced to sawdust incense is prepared for the veneration of ancestor spirits and for the prophecy through contact with them.