That symbolized the oak in ancient times?

Oak — a mighty tree. Its symbolic importance in the mythology of the world very widely: longevity, grandeur and power, fertility, vitality, strength of mind, protection and refuge, the origin of the great small, the site of the glory and sacrifice, sacred axis of the world, the prosperity, the spiritual energy of heaven Gates, the prototype father and conductor guarding, leading the people and raise to a new level of cosmic perfection. Relationship with the gods of thunder.

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One of the most well-known symbolic qualities of oak is to relate it to the Indo-European gods — thunder god. Thus, in Russia it was called "Perunova tree." Temple of Perun cased perimeter oak grove. In his honor, lighted the fires of oak branches, and see that they were burning all the time; guilty of sacrilege extinction recognized and subjected to punishment. Oak, according to contemporary pre-Christian Russia, was built and Novgorod idol thunder. At the heart of the ancient sanctuary of Zeus at Dodona was an oak, near which beat source. The rustle of its leaves, as if conveyed the will of the supreme gods, Sybil worked predictions of the future.

In ancient Rome, in an oak grove annually celebrates the wedding of Juno and Jupiter. In ancient states oak habitat was considered special nymphs — dryads. It compares well with the Etruscan Tin, Scandinavian Thor Perkūnas Lithuanian, Japanese Casciano Kami Provence in the Baltic Slavs. In Prussia, it was decided to sprinkle sacred oak blood of animal sacrifices and worship his image by three gods. Lithuanians and Germans, by the way, used the huge oaks as temples. In England, the felling of oak trees for a long time was considered a grave sin, they can be used only for sacred fires. Apparently, such unanimous dedication thunder god was connected with the realities of life: the mighty oak with a high spreading crown often became a lightning rod in a thunderstorm. And the wood of the tree, which was struck by lightning, attach a special oberezhnymi properties. In particular, it was thought that if the house is kept a piece of it, the family is safe from fire due to thunderstorms.

Magical properties

Our ancestors believed that oak trees can influence the weather and predict it. In magic treatises drive match (by the way, sometimes quite exotic) recipes in this respect: for example, burn a chameleon's head on fire of oak wood. The people of Wales was a sign: if oak leaves curl, expect drought; Greeks believed the oak branch with proper treatment can help bring rain. They also recognized for healing, divination and miraculous properties. For example, kornuoltsy were convinced to remove the headache must hammer a nail into an oak branch, and that does not hurt — the summer solstice silently rubbed his hand a piece of oak. The British believed that if an acorn fell wormy, it is a sign of future financial losses, while the detection of spider it was treated as an omen of illness. And they wondered with a pair of acorns: calling them names of lovers and dropped into a bowl of water — if converge, then be a wedding.

Rusichi with oak spoken to toothache treated throat and childhood illnesses. Poles with abscesses in the mouth spit in the hole dug out under a tree. Many Slavic tribes left on Oak clothes sick or tied to the branches of ribbons and threads. Southern Slavs, to cure a sick child, laid in the trunk of a tree cut off part of his hair and nails, and then score a hole peg. It was thought that as soon as it is taller than the peg, so immediately and recover.

According to legends of the peoples of the southern countries, oak leaves are able to bewitch and to pacify the lions, and if you stick oak post in a pile of dung, it will be a good tool to repel snakes. In the horoscope of the Druids the oak is dedicated to the vernal equinox — March 21. It is well known that they have performed their service in the oak groves, and certainly before the predictions were eating acorns. Particularly revered trees with mistletoe. Rite cutting its branches was considered one of the most sacred because it was considered a cure not only for all diseases, but from all miseries of life. Acts are performed on the full moon, and was accompanied by the sacrifice of two white bulls. Only then did the priest in a white robe with a golden sickle special cut with precious oak branch. This tree for Druids — the personification of the center of the world and all that is in it is growing — a gift from heaven.

Alchemists used the hollow inside the oak as a vessel for fermentation and purification of elements. A symbol of courage, valor, strength and power of Hercules famous Mace was made of oak, and it is the highest attribute of gods. Notice, in the Russian language is the word "club". We were the Argonauts oak mast ship, and the Golden Fleece, for which they set as a symbol of fertility and prosperity in the myth presented hanged in an oak protected by a snake. Oak wreath at drevneitaliyskih rulers was a symbol of stately dignity and honor. From ancient times until now oak branch, oak wreath or garland used in military uniform as emblems of valor and strength. Of course, no coincidence that the oak — the attributes of royal power. According to the beliefs of the Slavs, the live oaks souls of dead ancestors, from which you can get help, and the legends and tales of the tree is associated with the fate of man. That's why the characters show their prowess at his side.

On ancient custom, that the back was strong, it is necessary to rub it on an oak barrel for the first thunder or a first spring birds, and to not let down in the harvest, give points to the rear oak branch. Poles were hung on the horns of the cows oak wreath, to give them more power and strengthen the horns to avoid failure when bodanii.

Finally, oak — a symbol of masculinity, and the acorn worn as an amulet that increases the beginning. Fertility Romans carried oak wreath in wedding processions honoring their fertility symbol. The Slavs had similar views, with it, in particular, the custom was connected to plant oak tree at birth. A bride, entered the house of her husband, was mentally say: "About dubochki yard and into the house — little boy." In Belarus in childbirth boy cutting the cord on an oak block. Water after bathing newborn poured oak.

Oak Christian tradition is often mentioned in Scripture. It was under this tree, the Lord appeared to Abraham, and the angel of the Lord — Gideon. Abel's grave in the Lebanese mountains also surrounded the sacred oaks, burial nurse Rebecca Saul entirely under an oak. Beneath it were buried idols Sehema. Not at one and the same, of course. Later Stone Oak (holly) got the status of one of the trees, of which the Lord erected a cross. According to legend, the trees, hearing of the preparations for the crucifixion of Christ, agreed to crumble under the blows of the ax, and when they came to the woodcutters, these blows sustained only holly — and became a symbol of the Passion. A fallen oak trunk, trodden under foot of St. Boniface, represents the conversion of the Gentiles.


Something of the ancient rites appears today just fun, something altogether forgotten, but the main thing is different: the respect our ancestors belonged to the world, was built as a respectful relationship with nature. Living people can learn the right word.

Valentina Ponomareva

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