IV. Oak – Sky – Divine Nature
Genus: Quercus – Family: Fagaceae
Oak reminds us of our inner strength and integrity as we reconnect with our divine nature. It is a time to revisit our roots so we can heal old wounds and stand strong in our truth.
Oak trees, which can live to be a 1000 years old, literally gave birth to one of the most epic stories of our divine nature. In 2000 BCE, the Oaks of Dodona of Epirus Greece, were known as oracles that offered wisdom as the sound of wind rustled through their leaves. This sacred grove of oaks was associated with the great earth mother Gaia/Asherah. By 800 BCE, the Oaks of Dodona were identified with the Greek gods Dione & Zeus. Dione in Latin is dios or dei. Dione is the feminine counterpart to Zeus, whose name in Latin is deus, or deiwos. In Sanskrit they are, Devi Mata (divine mother) and Dyeus Pater (divine father) or “the shining ones in the sky.” These “shining ones” are often seen as the sun, moon, stars and planets. The word deity meaning “divine nature” originated here.
In 300 BCE, the King of Epirus claimed the Oaks of Dodona as his religious center. He declared it to be the earthly dwelling of Zeus, the “divine father.” Oak trees soon became symbols of patriarchal rule. Ironically, the Roman church destroyed the only remaining “divine” Dodona oak in 380 CE for its pagan “earthly” roots.
The Sumerian name for the lord of wind was Enlil, who later became known as El, Elon, Elah, which in Hebrew means oak.
Ansuz, is the first letter in the Elder Futhark of the Proto-Germanic language, it meant “breath” or “mouth” of an oak or ash. The tree loving Saxon’s later split the Ansuz rune into three sounds: “o” (mouth), “ac” (oak) and “ae” (ash).
When the Bible was translated from Latin to German the original names of El, Elohim, Elon, Adonai, Yahweh etc. were reduced to a singular word –god. The word “god” was inspired by the Germanic words gheu, ghuto and gudan; meaning “to invoke the sound of the wind in the trees.” This occurred because the Germanic people worshipped trees as divine beings. They felt that the wind blowing through a tree’s branches was its “voice.” Around 725 CE a Christian monk named Boniface chopped down Thor’s Oak, a sacred tree of the Germanic Saxons, in hopes of converting them to Christianity.
The Romans associated Thor, the Norse sky god, with their pagan sky god Jupiter who was based on the ancient Greek god Zeus. The tree became known as “Jove’s Oak” in honor of Jupiter. Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman Emperor repeatedly ordered the destruction of sacred oaks and groves to erradicate this truth. By chopping down the mighty oaks these original stories were silenced. Oak reminds us of our true nature and divine connection with earth and sky to reunite the psyche with the soul.
Message: The spirit of oak is held deep within in our collective memory. It asks us to listen to the sound of the wind so we can reconnect to the divine nature of our voice. Connect with the energy of words by listening with an open heart. This signals a time of stepping into our power with honesty and integrity. By owning our truth and our voice, we will gain a clearer sense of what we need to accomplish and how. By choosing our words wisely we are able to stand strong yet remain open in the face of adversity.
Challenge: Focusing of what can others do for us versus working together for the common good. Being rigid, hard and closed.