Oak Tree Meaning & Symbolism
As an enduring emblem of strength and survival, many nations including Germany and England chose the mighty Oak as a national tree. In the United States, Iowa, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, Georgia and Illinois all have oaks as state trees for much the same reason – the Oak’s symbolism is one that has remained consistent and sure.
The Oak Spirit appears in the Celtic Tree calendar as the 7th month. In the Ogham, it is also the 7th consonant. It is not surprising that the Celts held the Oak in high regard as it was the Tree of the Dagda, which provides protection to the leaders and warriors. They saw this tree as representing the ultimate in hospitality and safety, as well as a mystical symbol of truth and bravery. In this setting the Oak stood as a firm reminder that humankind has the ability to overcome all odds as well as a tremendous capacity for kindness even to strangers whose path we cross.
This King of Trees was sacred to various European Gods including Zeus, Jupiter, Thor and Jumala. Pliny wrote about the Druids reverence toward this tree, explaining that they gathered for rituals in oak groves, gathering the sacred mistletoe with a golden sickle. Similarly Galatian tribes held assemblies in oak sanctuaries. And it wasn’t simply the tree that has symbolic importance, acorns were used as a divinatory system. Combining all this, the Oak can represent community, religious virtue and foresight.
In New Age traditions, the Oak comes under the dominion of Jupiter, Mars and the Element of water. About the only downfall of the Oak is that it is a stubborn tree, not willing to bend and flex as the willow. As a result, branches break off in high winds and storms. Here the Oak’s message is clear: when the elements threaten your security, be ready to adapt and bend so you can survive.
Oak Tree Symbolic Meaning:
Authority; Leadership; Wise Rulership; Métier; Resolute Will; Safety; Generosity; Universal Law; Dignity; Truthfulness; Courage; Steadiness
Crystal Connections for Oak Tree:
Carnelian; Rock Crystal; Labradorite; Diamond; Aventurine
Oak Tree Meaning Table of Contents
- Color Meanings
- Victorian Language of Flowers
- Aromatherapy and Alternative Medicine
- Spiritual Meanings & Metaphysical Matches
- Back to Flower Meanings
Oak Tree Color Meanings
Oak wood varies in shade from white and golden to a rich red brown. The white oak represents spiritual purity and wholeness. A golden oak celebrates Solar energy, embodying hospitality, charity and prosperity. The darker oaks, moving into the redish-brown spectrum have strong Earth energies for grounding, healing, stability and security. When purchasing oak shards or gathering pieces for rituals and spells, make note of from what type of oak they come so you can apply them more effectively.
Oak Tree Dreams
Dreaming of an oak portends a long, prosperous life. However, this symbolism changes dramatically depending on the other factors of your dream (is the tree upright? Are you in the tree?). You can explore more specific meanings for Oak in your dreams in our Dream Dictionary.
Oak Tree In The Victorian Language of Flowers
Historians believe that Oak comes from an Irish word “daur” or the Greek “drus”, which may be how we got the term Druid. While drus means tree, adding the “wid” (meaning to know) to the end makes sense. The Druids knew the tree spirits intimately. More interesting still is the Sanskrit word for oak as Duir (door) that fits with the mythology and beliefs about the Oak as a sacred spiritual gateway.
Aromatherapy and Alternative Medicine
The scent of Oak provides grounding and stabilizing energy, particularly when mixed with Cedar and Patchouli.
Folk healers treasured the oaks bark because it has a natural astringency. Made into a tea it allayed digestive problems. As a topical, Oak eases bleeding gums, wounds and dry skin.
For over-exposure to cold, Galen instructed herbalists to gather Oak leaves and boiling the. The resulting tincture was applied to the affected body parts for several hours daily over 7 days.
Oak Tree Spiritual Meanings & Metaphysical Correspondences
Light Workers of all ages have long held that the Oak Spirit guides the pathway between the worlds – the Earth Plane, the Devas and the Divine. It may also act as a portal for Aliens, Ancient Spirits, the Ancestors and the Akashic records.
The magical Oak appears in many ancient spells, charms and amuletic instructions. Carrying an acorn acts as a talisman against illness and an amulet that keeps the bearer young and fertile. Oak wood itself brings good luck so long as you ask the Tree Spirit’s permission beforehand.
It is said that King Arthur’s round table was made from one piece of Oak, making it a natural representation of the sacred circle and unity. Burning Oak wood increases the energy level for workings and facilitates manifestation.
Interesting Fact: The Oak tree’s roots reach as far into the ground as it branches reach to the heavens. This makes the Oak a symbol of the Witch’s saying, “as above; so below”
Shaping fallen Oak branches into a Solar Cross and binding them with red thread acts as a talisman that safeguards a home from harm, particularly malicious gossip.
Those wishing to work with Fairy Folk would do well to honor the Oak Spirit and get to know its voice. Meditate beneath His bowers to hear their ancient songs and stories. Even the Goddess herself speaks through the rustling of Oak trees.
The Celtic Tree Oracle portrays the Oak as a doorway, or the Axis Mundi – the center of the Universe through which all must travel to go from one realm to the other. Additionally this card symbolizes stalwart resolve, refuge, the ability to survive even the
worst fires and eventually a person’s ability to become a keystone of their community mundanely or spiritually.
Oak Tree Superstitions:
- Sitting under an Oak Tree brings an Angel with a message for you
- You can hear fairies in the hollow of an Oak trunk
- This is an old saying about the Oak as a weather prophet:
‘If the Oak’s before the Ash, Then you’ll only get a splash;
If the Ash before the Oak, Then you may expect a soak.’
- Medieval European superstition instructs putting a nail into the trunk of an oak to prevent toothaches
- Knocking on wood invokes the Oak Spirits to bring you luck or assistance
- Lovers can place acorns in water to learn the future of their relationship. Two acorns that drift together portends a happy future
Oak Tree Numerology
The number nine embraces the qualities of leadership, true-sight and unifying the energies of the spiritual, physical and mental worlds. In this place of power, the Oak represents uprightness, common causes, honesty accord and even flawlessness. The vibration of 9 as part of the Oak Spirit’s character symbolizes the ability to realize our archetypes in deeply meaningful ways using trust, kindness and Universal Love as a guide.
Oak reflects the number nine in its ability to clarify things. These trees have been around for a long time and seen much of our history. That affords them a unique perspective on how we can reclaim our spiritual nature and work toward a common good. This naturally requires the 9s sense of tolerance, selflessness and wisdom in service of all beings.
Oak Tree History
It is difficult to trace the exact history of the Oak simply because they have a vast variety of species (over 600) and grow in numerous climates. What we do know is that people throughout the world used various parts of the tree for folk remedials, magic and mundane projects.
In the wild, Oaks provide a home and food for various forms of wildlife. In a yard or park, the Oak not only presents a visually pleasing addition but also provides welcome shade.
“Then here’s to the Oak, the brave old Oak
Who stands in his pride alone!
And still flourish he, a hale green tree.
When a hundred years are gone!”
-J.F. Chorley, 1808-1872
With or without a lot of ancient information, there are a lot of Oaks that have risen to fame. There’s the Charter Oak of the United States, the Royal Oak of Britain, the Emancipation Oak located at Hampton University, the Ivenack Oak at the venerable age of over 800 years in Poland, the Seven Sisters oak in Lincolnshire that’s 1,500 years old plus and Robin Hood’s Major Oak that is also well over 800 years old. These great Beings stand as a testament to staying power and add to the Oak’s symbolism of longevity.
Greek myths tell us of a sacred oak that stood at the oracle in Donada, sacred to Zeus. This tree communicated God’s will by the sound of wind moving through the leaves. Baltic and Norse tradition have similar Divine connotations for the Oak, linking it to their gods of thunder.
Greek folklore also tells us that Dryads live in Oak trees. Here Artemis watches over them. Should a Dryad’s tree die, they fade into nothingness.