Month of the Oak

The Oak has always been one of my favourite trees. Just looking at pictures of one from afar gives me a sense of wonder and simple, homely countrysides. From June 10 to July 7 is the Celtic month of Duir, the Oak. Oak is the seventh moon of the Celtic calendar as well.

Latin Name:
Quercus alba (White Oak)

Parts Used:
Bark, wood, leaves, acorns

Herbal Usages:
Oak is well known for its astringent and antiseptic properties and has been used as a tonic for a long time. Bark can be made into a tea to heal hemorrhoids.
When given with chamomile flowers, it helps eases intermittent fevers.
Very useful when there are chronic diarrhea and dysentery problems, a decoction of 1 oz of Oak bark in 1 quart water, boiled down to a pint and drank in wine glass size portions will aid the bowels.
This decoction is also used externally as a gargle to help sore throats, and as a fomentation (warm or hot liquids that are applied to the body to ease pain; like a poultice). Can also be injected for leukorrhea, and applied to bleeding gums, or hemorrhoids.
Acorns can also be peeled and be used to make potions to treat alcoholism, bad breath and constipation.

The word “Duir” comes from the Sanskrit “Dwr” which means “Door”. It is the door to the three worlds of the Shaman.
Fire; Sun;
wren, black, white carnelian; moonstone; Yule fires; Yule log; Brighid; The Dagda; Dianus; Janus; Cybele; Rhea; Pan; Erato; Hecate; Zeus; Jupiter; Thor; Perkunas; lightning; thunder; the Wild Hunt; King Arthur’s round table.

Magic(k)al Workings
As the month of Duir has the summer solstice in it, the Oak is a powerful symbol of midsummer.
Money, success, strength, fertility, stability, health, healing, potency and good luck. Different types of Oak will lend slightly different properties to magic(k)al workings. Red Oak is fiery, White Oak is for solidity and strength, Brown Oak is earthy and is used for grounding.
Acorns can be used to attract someone of the opposite sex, used for divinatory powers, and to attract prosperity and wealth.
Oak is known as the “King of the Grove”; a holy tree; the lord of truth and is one of the three  sacred trees “Oak, Ash & Thorn”. Worship of the Oak may stem from the early nomadic Europeans using acorns for food.
The acorn is seen as the representation of the supreme form of fertility and creativity of the mind; as such, they are used to increase fertility of both projects and ideas and human reproduction, and also ease pain.
Because of its ties to immortality symbolism, acorns are sacred to the Samhain season and are often used in fall decorating.
It is said that the voice of Jupiter can be heard in the rustling of the leaves. At midsummer, the future can be divined by listening to the wind in the leaves. Acorns should be planted during the Dark moon to attract prosperity.
It is a very powerful herb for protection; England is said to be protected by the Oak when using its timbers to build their ships. It is also used as a boundary for its protective qualities. Acorns placed in windows will ward off lightning and beings that would scare us at night; they will also attract luck. Acorns can be born in pockets to ward off storms, to prevent the bearer from getting lost, and protect from evil intent. They are also carried as charms for immortality, longevity, fertility, ward off illness and preserve youthfulness. Three acorns can be made into a charm to attract youthfulness, attainment, and beauty in life. This charm should be bound with the maker’s hair, and blessed at every Full and Dark moon of a year, and then worn.
A leaf worn on the neck and next to the heart will allow the wearer to not be deceived by the world at large.
A few leaves in bath water will cleanse body and spirit. If you catch a falling leaf, it is said you will not be sick for the winter. If a sick person is in your house, light a fire of Oak wood to draw out the illness.
Because the Oak is a male tree, athames,  and certain male-aspect wands and staffs should be made of its wood. The wood is also used to make religious idols.
The Waning moon is the right time to harvest Oak, during the day for Acorns, and at night for the leaves and wood. Offer wine to the Oak’s roots as thanks for allowing you to take a part of him.


After having done some magic(k)al work on Beltaine, I needed to make an offering to the gods. I had to wait until we got groceries to be able to do it, but I got the ingredients to make salt dough so that I could sculpt some things to offer. While working on these items, I took the time to be mindful of what they were thanks for, and to put my intent of love and gratefulness into the pieces for the gods.

I did a flower for the goddess, and an oak leaf for the god. Now, I wasn’t really using specific gods for my little ritual, just the energies that make the world go round, masculine/feminine, sun god/lunar goddess.

While salt dough is pretty easy to make (recipe will follow), it’s definitely not something you can make really elaborate images out of. It’s kind of got the consistency of play-dough, though slightly different.

3/4 cup water
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1 1/4 cup salt
paint & varnish

Watercolour or gouache needs to be varnished (a pva glue will do). Acrylic paint doesn’t need varnished but can be for extra durability.

-preheat oven to 180c/350f
-mix all ingredients to form a soft dough, it should feel velvety and pliable
-knead the dough thoroughly on a floured surface until it is soft and stretchy

** make sure the dough is kneaded thoroughly or it will bubble and distort you chosen form when it’s baking

-model the dough – use hands and any kitchen implements you want to make patterns and forms
-bake on a sheet pan for 20 minutes or until the dough is hard
-paint when completely cool

** If the dough is not completely hard when it has cooled (check the underside) then pop it back in the oven for a further 10 minutes. Allow to cool again before painting.

I got it from the #mce_temp_url#, which is, by the way, a fabulous pagan forum.

Anywho, I will be placing these little creations out in a huge weeping willow tree near my house, and saying a few quiet words of thanks. 🙂