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Celtic Tree Wisdom. The Oak Tree: Duir

Birthwood June 10th - July 7th

Did you know that the Druids called the mighty oak "The King of the Trees" and were held sacred in groves where ceremonies took place? The oak tree is symbolic of truth, strength and protection. A native tree of Britain and Ireland, it has been represented in different mythologies all over the world.

It is the 7th consonant in the Ogham alphabet and is represented as a vertical line with two horizontal line pointing to the left..

Oak is one of the most powerful druid sacred trees. It symbolises strength, power, endurance, protection and justice.

Like the other trees of the Celtic Tree Calendar it has many medicinal, spiritual, physical and mythical properties.

Some medicinal uses past and present include using the bark as an astringent, as tea for diarrhea and dysentery and externally using it for hemorrhoids, inflamed gums, wounds and eczema. You can find out more about the medicinal uses of oak here . .


The oak tree has many magical connotations. If you dream of resting under an oak tree it means you will have a long and prosperous life. If you catch a falling oak leaf it means you will not get sick over the winter months. If you warm your house with oakwood then you will remove any illness that is in the home. An acorn was carried around to eliminate pain and illness. It was thought that if you carried a piece of oak with you it bought you good luck. ( You must ask for permission to take a piece of oak wood and show gratitude!)


Druids held the oak as the most sacred tree. Its name derives from the Anglo-Saxon word, ac, but in Irish the word is ‘daur’, and in Welsh ‘dar’ or ‘derw’, probably connected with the Greek, ‘drus’. Some scholars consider this the origin of the term ‘Druid’, since Druids have always been associated with sacred groves, and particularly oak forests. Combined with the Indo-European root ‘wid’: to know, ‘Druid’ may have referred to those with ‘knowledge of the oak’, the ‘Wise Ones of the Oakwood’. The Sanskrit word, ‘Duir’, gave rise both to the word for oak and the English word ‘door’, which suggests that this tree stands as an opening into greater wisdom, perhaps an entryway into the otherworld itself.


Most of Britain and Ireland were covered by forest and woods. Nowadays you can see much of this wooded land has gone, In olden days trees were cleared from the ground for farming purposes.But that's not all.

In the 1700s, Oak trees were in high demand by ship builders, and were grown especially for the purpose. In fact every ship commissioned by Sir Frances Drake and Lord Nelson used up the wood from around 2,500 trees.

Oak wood is remarkably sturdy and lasts for ages. You can still pick up 14th Century and earlier furniture.. It’s perfect for making the frames of buildings. It’s used to make barrels for wine and spirits and to make charcoal and the bark is used in the leather tanning process. It is indeed a tree for all seasons and all reasons.


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