Oak/ D

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Somenotes on gallery
3. Food and clothing
Although very bitter, acorns were eaten in hard times, while squirrels and jays will bury them in larders (although sometimes then forgot them!) Oak has very high levels of tannic acid, which makes it excellent for tanning leather, so that immersing oak and leather in large tubs of water has been practiced since Neolithic times.
It is also antiseptic, with sterilising properties, and its bark or leaves were made into a tea as cure diarrhoea, as well as for gargles, washes and baths to treat rashes and wounds.
4. Planets and roots
The root system of the pedunculate oak is gigantic. While its overall shape is often wider than it is high, it can grow very irregularly in shape, with single branches spreading far out. Just as tides are affected by the moon, all plants are affected by planets. Most trees do not show these effects, but oak does, and particularly Mars.
In fact sudden changes of branch direction and an irregular crown are typical features of the oak, and its overall canopy, like its lobed leaves, are distinctively irregular. The irregular growth of oak is not accidental since, every time Mars is behind the sun its distance away from Earth is seven times greater than it is a year later, when Earth and Mars are both on the same side of the Sun. Mars stimulates root growth and, when the planet spins off again, the sun stimulates upward growth.
5. Facing two ways
On the Gundestrop Cauldron a god immerses a warrior from the lower (dead) level into a cauldron that will allow him to proceed 'sunwise' along the top level of rebirth, the two levels directed by a tree that springs from the cauldron. This is a common theme of the oak god, who stands (like the Roman god Janus) at the door between worlds, looking both ways.
Mistletoe grows on oak, and so lives “between heaven & earth”. Guardians or druids are entitled to thunder (or use the lightning bolt) and in the Welsh poem Battle of the Trees, oak’s connection as door between worlds is made: "Before him tremble heaven and earth, stout doorkeeper against the foe, is his name in all lands."
6. gods and oracles
The oak god Lugh (the ‘Shining One’) was practised in many arts and had oracular power. The word 'duir' is connected to 'dorus' (door) and the sacred oak at Dodona, in Greece, was a major oracle, or door, of the Old World, an international place of pilgrimage for nearly a thousand years.
The messages of the oak were interpreted from the rustling of its branches and the murmur of the sacred spring that welled from beneath its roots, and selection of one of the many oracle lots kept in an urn beneath it. In a particular sense, druids (door-keepers) continued this oracular practice.
More notes on gallery
Oaks are usually 70-80 years old before they produce acorns, and after a hundred years old they grow ony an inch each year. Oak wood is used for boat-building, barrels, beams and many uses in building, fencing, mining, garden furniture, sawdust as well as smoking herrings. Bark produces red and brown dyes, while the galls give a black dye, it is also used medicinally for treating malaria, dysentry, bleeding gums, sore throat, haemorrhage, and boiled it gives tonic for harness sores. Twigs make toothbrushes, galls make ink and acorns make wine. Oak belongs to the beech family: fagaceae pedunculate oak (quercus robar) sessile oak (quercus petraea)
In Egypt oak has origins in Amon Ra (the ram) an eight-rayed sun-disc in hand and spiral of immortality sprouting from his head; mistletoe grows on oak, and so lives “between heaven & earth”.
Calendar: May 24—Jun 20 (hence 21st is ‘and a day’ or ‘day out of time’)Ogham: kingship; first digit of index finger, Thursday (Thor’s day), Jupiter; two vertical upward strokes; centre of lintel, forms beginning and end of year with tinne/holly; droen(druien) (wren); dubh (black); white carnelian (glaring hot); number: 12
dannsa daraich (Aonghas MacNeacail)

dannsa daraich
thar bhàrr nan coille
craobh-dìon nan druidh
druim an luingeis
iolaire nan craobh
bradan nan craobh
leòmhann rìoghail
nan craobh
air an raon eòlach
damh cabrach
nan craobh

Dance of the oak (Aonghas MacNeacail)
dance of the oak
above the forests
the druid‛s shelter-tree
the spine of great ships
eagle of trees
salmon of trees
regal lion
of trees
and on familiar lands
antlered stag
of trees


dannsa daraich


Dance of the oak