Divine Tree: Great Oak Tree!

Across Europe, oak is one of the tallest and strongest trees in forests. Perhaps that is why this particular tree species has been revered and revered in many ancient cultures. From the Greeks and Norsemen to the Druids and Slavs, many of Europe’s ancient cultures include the oak tree in their mythology. Let’s see what makes this tree so special and worthy of the worship and admiration of the ancients.
Orcs and Lightning
Many of the great gods of European mythology were associated with thunder, lightning and orcs. Thor the Norse, Zeus the Greek, Jupiter the Roman, Dagda the Celt, and Perun the Celtic Slav. It sounds like an odd combination, but it’s probably no coincidence that oak trees are more susceptible to lightning strikes than other trees. Perhaps the ancients believed that a lightning bolt falling on an oak tree was an important message from the chief deity and a harbinger of important events to come. But perhaps the height of the oak tree and its low electrical resistance attracted lightning.
Druids and Orcs
The ancient Druids of Britain are known to have worshiped the oaks themselves, performing sacred ceremonies in oak groves and falling from the trees in hopes of seeing the future. I was eating acorns. Druids also worshiped mistletoe, a parasitic plant that grows on oak trees, especially those struck by lightning. Although we now know that lightning only opened a place in the oak bark for the parasitic mistletoe to grow, the ancient Druids viewed the mistletoe’s presence as a sacred gift from the gods. .
Oak Leaf = Victory
Oak Leaf is he one of the last leaves to fall from a tree in the fall, and some species of Oak do not drop leaves. The ancients considered this leaf to be a positive trait, indicating a firm, determined and strong-willed attitude. These were the same qualities they sought in generals and other military personnel. For this reason, oak leaves symbolize victory in battle. Roman generals received wreaths of oak leaves after important battles.

Wisdom of Orcs
Orcs live long. The ancients associated this longevity with wisdom and turned to the oak tree for advice in making important decisions. This is one of the reasons why the Druids held meetings in oak groves. This is also why the ancient Slavs settled disputes in front of an old oak tree. They hoped that the wisdom of the tree would help them settle disputes fairly and bloodlessly, much like Judge Judy, who was a bit boisterous. This custom is not confined to Europe. Native American chiefs held important meetings around the council oak (around a large old oak tree). In Robin Hood’s legend, Robin and his merry companions met at Major Oak in Sherwood Forest.
Roots and Branches
Like the stars of modern sports, the oak tree was revered above all for its height. The upper branches of the oak tree were believed to reach up to the heavens where the gods lived. However, its roots extend to the underworld. Some cultures even believed that ancestral souls lived at the base of oak trees, which must have been depressing. No Netflix downstairs.
Oak Trees and Christianity
Even as Christianity spread across Europe, replacing ancient mythological belief systems, the reverence for oak trees did not diminish. Some beliefs about oak trees have been adapted into Christianity. For example, in some stories, the cross on which Jesus was crucified was made of oak. Early Christian churches and later cathedrals were built of oak. When Saint Brendan the Irish traveled to the New World, he reportedly used oak boats rather than traditional animal skins, but that’s just clever design.
Lady Jane Gray and Topless Oak Trees in Bradgate Park
The importance of oak trees lives on in contemporary culture. In 1554, Lady Jane Gray, growing up in Bradgate Park, was beheaded after she had served as Queen of England for only nine days. After his death, only the tops of the oak trees in Bradgate’s Park were cut down, becoming known as the “Topless Oaks in Bradgate’s Park”. They were living symbols of the Queen of Tragedy, if not the most cherished names.