The Magic of Oak
The many species of oak (Quercus spp.) have been celebrated in many cultures throughout the centuries. Read about oak in almost any magical text and you’ll find a great number of powers associated with it. Read the folklore and mythology, and you’ll find it’s a sacred tree in many cultures. There’s already a vast body of work around oak, and there’s not room in a short blog post to cover all of it. I recommend getting to know your local oak trees and learning about their magic one on one, and reading widely about the legends and power of this incredible tree.
In the meantime, I’ll share some of my personal experiences with our local oak trees, including Oregon White Oak (Quercus garryana) and Pin Oak (Q. palustris).
Years ago I loved my home but was deeply unhappy in my marriage. I often found myself crying alone off and on throughout the day, even as I did the work I loved with plants and trees. Beside my tumbledown studio, a youngish oak tree spread its branches and provided light, dappled shade. Many afternoons I would sit under the oak, leaning against its sturdy trunk while I cried. Somehow the tree made my sadness bearable in the months before I finally left my unhappy situation to build a new life. It always radiated a steady, supportive energy without ever changing my emotions or offering any advice. This is one of the greatest gifts oak has to offer us, the gift of steadiness and peace in hard times. To this day, sitting with an oak tree brings me quiet strength.
Oak is one of my favorite guardian trees (along with Douglas fir and hawthorn). Scott Cunningham suggests an equal-armed cross of oak bound with red thread for protection (rowan is often used the same way). He also recommends placing acorns in the windows to protect the home against lightning.
Oak is also sometimes associated with prosperity. I don’t see the tree as an ally for quick money luck. Instead I see it as a guide to help us become more wise in how we use our money, and more consistent and steady in our work so we can earn more money. For that reason I rarely use oak all by itself for prosperity magic. I do, however, find it makes a wonderful addition to all kinds of prosperity workings.
Various parts of the oak tree have been used for health and healing - both magically and medicinally - in many cultures. Cunningham shares a simple bit of lore stating that catching a falling oak leaf in autumn should keep you cold-free all winter.
More creative ways to make magic with oak, including instructions for an acorn protection talisman and a healing incense, are available in the Oak printable book of shadows / grimoire pages in our shop.
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