June Totems: Oak

In our tradition we divide the year not only by eight solar and agricultural holidays, but also by the Kalends. We celebrate twelve months of the year by the common calendar, plus a special thirteenth month for Samhain.  These month cycles are associated with different totemic spirits. Each month is assigned an animal, a bird (or other flying creature), and a tree.

June’s totems are the Stag, the Robin, and the Oak. These symbols are each associated with the Oak King who falls in battle at Midsummer which is mid-June.  Also we associate Midsummer with Cernnunos, who we honor as the Oak King, Lord of the Castle of Stone.

The totemic associations are as follows:

Stag – nobility, culling the herd, call to adventure, pride, grace; Damh
Oak – security, steadfastness, primeval vigor, doorway, strength; Duir
Robin – growth, territoriality, fire; Spideog

Oak

The Oak is the King of the Trees. Ancient Celts observed the oak’s massive growth and impressive expanse. They took this as a clear sign that the oak was to be honored for its endurance, and noble presence. Wearing oak leaves was a sign of special status among many ancient European peoples.

There are accounts that trace the name “druid” to duir, the Celtic term for the oak. The actual translation of duir is “door” and lore indicates that Witches can access the ethereal planes of higher thought by using the oak as a door into magical places.

The oak is a tree of protection and strength. It has a high tannin content that makes it resistant to fungus. The wood of the oak is used in making doors and boats.

Druids met in oak groves and ate their acorns to ingest the ancient knowledge contained in them. Because of their expansive growth, oak trees often attract lightning strikes, which confer greater mystical power to them. Mistletoe grows best on the Oak and is the most sacred herb of the Druids.

The oak is associated with security, steadfastness and primeval vigor. The elemental association with the Oak is fire, and the gender association is masculine.

You can learn more about our tradition’s wheel of the year through this link.

Links:
Controverscial “In Worship of Trees”: Oak
Wikipedia: Oak
About: Oak Symbolism

Published by laureleiblack

The Star and star-forged blade. Seeker along the crooked path. Author of Aphrodite's Priestess and Cult of Aphrodite.

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