Celtic Month of Oak

This is the fifth post in the Celtic Tree Calendar series.  The modern Celtic Tree Calendar is based on the idea that each of the letters in the ancient Celtic Ogham alphabet corresponds to a tree. The calendar consists of 13 lunar divisions with a different tree representing each 28 day period.

green man - Celtic Month of Oak

How Are You Celebrating Duir?

Duir Oak - Celtic Month of Oak

Duir, Dair or Oak (Quercus), represents the letter D in the Ogham alphabet and is the 7th month of the Celtic year.   It is celebrated from June 11 – July 7.  
 
Of the 600 species of Oak worldwide, 90 of them make a home in the United States.  Oak is so beloved in the US that it was officially designated as the national tree in 2004.  You can find several species of Oak throughout Maine, but our native Red Oak (Quercus rubra), is the most common. 

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Quercus rubra

Oaks can reach heights of over 100’ and can live 1000 years or more.   They are slow growing, have massive crowns, dense, heavy trunks, and extensive root systems which include deep taproots. 

All Oaks produce acorns, which are a symbol of manifestation, achievement, and abundance.  It is said if you carry an acorn in your pocket it will bring you good luck.

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It takes 20-40 years for an Oak tree to produce acorns and 60 years to yield a full crop.  Some years are boom years and the trees will bear great quantities of nuts.  Other years they produce very little.  This is part of Nature’s regular cycle, rather than a sign of a stressed or declining tree.
 
As a keystone species, Oaks establish the overall shape of the forest.  They are a dominant and unique force and support more life forms than any other tree including over 300 species of lichen and fungi, insects, mammals, and birds.   They provide food, cover, shelter, nesting sites, medicine, and protection to all who need assistance.

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Oak’s antiviral, anticancer, astringent, and antiseptic medicinal properties have long been used to treat a variety of ailments from rashes to cancer prevention. Known as the elder god, king of trees, and king of the plant kingdom, Oaks are associated with the leaders of the gods – Zeus, Thor, and Jupiter, as well as the triple goddess Brigid.

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One of three sacred trees to the Druids, Oaks are one of the oldest (they were here before humans) and longest lived trees in the forest.  They have been revered for their strength and endurance for thousands of years, and are associated with knowledge, wisdom, power, protection, success, wealth, and good fortune. 

Perhaps the most famous Oak is the Major Oak (Quercus robur) in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, England.  According to local folklore, Robin Hood and his merry men regularly gathered and slept underneath it’s canopy.

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Quercus robur

Oak reminds us of our divine connection to Nature and he asks us to listen to the sound of the wind so we can hear the voice of the divine within and around us. 
 
Next time you see an Oak, acknowledge him with gratitude and thank him for being authentic and true to himself, for nurturing others, and for being of valuable service to the community.

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