Is there an arboreal superstar of the Western world? As a matter of fact, yes, and it’s the oak (Quercus). All but synonymous with the Druids, the tree is sacred to such heavy mythological hitters as the well-known thunder gods Thor and Zeus, as well as the Celtic thunder god Taranis, the Slavic thunder god Perun, and the Baltic thunder god Perkons. Worshipped by many ancient people, in modern times the oak has been chosen as a national tree by a vast number of countries, including England, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Wales, and—as of 2004—the United States.
Dodona—the oldest Greek oracle, originally sacred to the primordial Mother Goddess Gaia and later usurped by Zeus—relied on the sound of wind in oak trees to relay divine messages to the priestesses and priests. Try this yourself by visiting an oak tree in a serene natural setting. Place your hands on the tree’s trunk. Relax, ground, and vitalize your energy by feeling that you are drawing energy up from the earth and down from the sky. As a form of offering, place your hands on the oak’s trunk and feel the earth and sky energy coming together at your heart and then flowing out through your palms into the tree. Then sit or stand comfortably and bring your question or challenge to mind. Relax deeply and cultivate inner stillness as you simply listen to the sound of the rustling leaves. Continue to do this until an answer presents itself to your consciousness.
Additionally, runes (small pieces of wood on which ancient letters or characters are written or carved for divination purposes) are sometimes made from oak.
In modern paganism the Green Man is a beloved deity in many circles. Often representing masculine divinity, he is depicted in art and iconography as a man’s face made of oak leaves. Generally speaking, he represents rebirth and the wild spirit of the woods and growing things. The herbs and plants that are in his domain are, of course, physically healing in the form of food and medicine, but green natural settings are also profoundly emotionally and psychologically healing. What’s more, the symbol of a thriving forest or woodland feels particularly healing to our souls at this moment in history, considering our frighteningly tenuous relationship with our environment.
Call on the Green Man, visit an oak, spend time among oak trees, or incorporate oak leaves or acorns in your magic for any sort of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, environmental, or existential healing intention.
We are all familiar with the perennial symbol of manifestation: the tiny acorn becoming a vast oak tree. It’s also been noted that the oak is hit by lightning frequently, which has been attributed to its deep taproot and proclivity for growing near underground water sources. In addition to explaining the oak’s sacredness to thunder deities, this is reminiscent of the Magician in the tarot, who points one finger up to heaven to receive divine energy and one finger down to earth to project that energy toward affecting change in the physical world according to his will.
For many magical practitioners, oak is one of the most obvious magical botanicals to choose when working magic related to wealth and prosperity. Perhaps this partly because in earlier centuries, acorns were a very popular and nourishing food source. While survivalists still keep the acorn in mind for this purpose, most of us are dissuaded by the hassle of cooking away the excess of tannins that make the nut inedible.
Despite our modern lack of enthusiasm for acorns as a food source, the oak emits a very potent wealthy vibration and can be employed for wealth magic of all varieties.
OAK PROSPERITY BATH
On a Thursday when the moon is between new and full, lovingly gather nine acorns and nine oak leaves and wash them in cool water. Draw a bath and float the leaves and acorns in the water. Place your palms over the water and direct vibrant green light with gold sparkles into the water. Soak for at least thirty minutes.
Oak is one of the original thirty-eight flower essences recognized by the homeopathic pioneer Edward Bach and is recommended for people who feel exhausted and overworked. As opposed to coffee, which would give the patient an artificial boost of energy to continue on with their imbalance, oak gently supports the cultivation of a more sustainable relationship with one’s everyday responsibilities and tasks. Similarly, oak flower essence is recommended for those recovering from long-term health challenges, as it promotes a steady, sustained quality of energy that enhances immunity and healing.
Traditionally, the oak tree is associated with the energy of strength in the form of thunder, lightning, masculinity, victory, divinity, and power.
Oak leaves figure prominently in armed forces imagery in both Germany and the United States, the highest-ranking Viking ships were made of oak, and the tree has been popularly associated with war since ancient times. The Greeks associated the tree with Mars, the god of war. And as mentioned, authoritative thunder gods from many countries were associated with the tree. Certainly, considering all of oak’s other magical uses and energetic properties, the fact that he helps one achieve victory should not be surprising.
SIMPLE AND POWERFUL VICTORY CHARM
Respectfully gather a single acorn from beneath an oak tree and empower it in bright sunlight. Then visualize and sense exactly the type of victory you desire, exactly as if you’re already experiencing it. Send the energy of this victory into the acorn. Carry it with you as you traverse your challenge or trial. When your victory is realized, visit the tree where you gathered it and feel gratitude, sending that feeling toward the tree. Then return the acorn to the tree’s base.