IV. – Oak – Procreation – Earth Father
Genus: Quercus – Family: Fagaceae
The oak tree embodies the protective, strong, wise and patient archetypal energy of father earth. The “seed” of an oak is an acorn that procreates by implanting itself into the earth. Oak trees need at least 20 years to grow before producing acorns of their own. Oak trees can live to be 300 – 1000 years old; they are seen as pillars in their community/grove/forest.
Oaks are also known for their hardwood, interpreted as strength of character. Oak trees are a keystone species that develop strong symbiotic relationships in their environments. There are approximately 600 species of oak found throughout the world. There are both deciduous and evergreen varieties that can live in multiple climates. When working with the spirit of an oak it is wise to stand our ground while remaining open to others.
Oak trees were seen as wise ancestors who held insights for their grove and the people who lived among them. They were looked to for guidance and stability. In Celtic culture, the oak family was called Duir. The word “wid” means “to know.” A person who had the “knowledge or wisdom of the oak” was referred to as a Druid.
The ancient oaks of Dodona in Epirus, Greece were associated with the primordial earth mother Gaia. People would travel far distances to listen to the wisdom of the oak leaves as they rustled in the wind. During the Mycenaean age (1500 BCE) these “oracle trees” grew in popularity and were rededicated to honor Zeus and Dione, the early Titan father god and mother goddess.
Around 300 BCE the King of Epirus made Dodona his religious center and claimed it as the dwelling of Zeus on earth. Oak trees became symbols of masculine patriarchy. In 380 CE, the ancient oaks of Dodona were uprooted and destroyed by the church for being pagan.
Elon, in Hebrew, means “oak tree” and the plural word, Elohim “the almighty” is also oak. Both of these words are synonymous with the concept of god, gods and deity. In this sense, the spirit of the oak tree holds a strong place in our collective memory.
Message: The oak spirit is reminding us that we have the ability to know what is right, for us. Now is a time to clear the chaos in our life through structure and stability. By owning our wisdom, we gain a clearer sense of what we need to accomplish and how. Integrity and honesty are important aspects for us to work with as we accomplish the goals we have set for ourselves.
Challenge: Focusing of what can others do for us versus working together for the common good. Being rigid, hard and close-minded. Use your inner strength to let go and release.