Because it’s one of the longest living trees, oak is an icon for longevity, tradition and majesty. Scarlet Oak is the official tree of Washington, DC. It’s a popular shade tree and you can find it planted throughout the city. There are also sculptures of Scarlet Oak leaves at the New York Ave metro station, which are part of the Arts-In-Transit public art program.
In Ancient Greece, the oak was a symbol of the strength of Zeus. The oracle of Zeus was a grove where priests would interpret the sound of rustling leaves. In many cultures, oak trees are sacred. Druids, Greeks and Celts believed oak was the king of the forest. Sacred Celtic oak groves were places of worship and learning. Some creation myths tell of the first man springing forth from an oak.
Oak is the traditional wood for the Yule log. Yuletide is when the Oak King supersedes the Holly King. Together these trees are thought to rule the year. Oak reigns over the first half of the year and holly reigns over second half. At winter solstice they switch–the old king dies and the young one, oak personifying the New Year, takes over. This symbolizes the passage from death to rebirth, succession from father to son and aspects of light and dark.
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Believed to bring the wearer: fertility, healing, health, justice, longevity, loyalty, luck, prosperity, protection, self-confidence, strength, success, wisdom, wit
Other associations: ancestry, crown chakra, clearing away negative energy, inner strength, oak also represents God
Spirit animals: oriole, white horse, wren