I had never felt much of a connection to Oak tree’s- all that “Sacred to Zeus and God of the Hunt” stuff always made me feel a bit meh! That is until I moved to a street lined with old Oaks.
Oak trees are not native to South Africa. The street named after the founder of the suburb in which I live is planted with oak trees. Many of them are “topped” and chopped into oblivion now, a greatly disrespectful act to both the oaks trees and spirits that reside therein.
There is a dead oak tree on the street, with branches still covered with dried leaves which reach into the sky like giant horns- “The Devil’s Oak” I call it. I can feel the spirit power in this tree even though it is “dead”. I have travelled to this tree in meditation with the Rager to call down rain and I have long looked up at the forking branches above with a strange and wyrd feeling in my heart.
It is a giant stang, a rend in the veil and a powerful link to the roads below and above. Sometimes when the moon is full you can see the “fire betwixt the horns”.
We often take night walks with the dogs and when we walk through this street, I can feel the power of the fae descend upon the land. The trees and spirits seem to whisper their secrets in the night air, despite the suburban brawl and the ignorance of the people who dwell here.
Corrine Boyer writes beautifully on the power of the Oak tree in her book “Under the Witching Tree” giving remedies and cures for illnesses and other problems as well as rituals for divination. She writes about how the Oak is often haunted by protective spirits, some of which can be seen at midnight in the form of dogs, bulls, goats or rabbits.
I often feel the presence of the “strange” when I walk near the oaks. Some of the trees I will touch with my hands and whisper my prayers of love to them, others I tend to keep my distance.
“The Devil’s Oak” is one I don’t tend to get too close to, at least not physically. Its power radiates outward and it can feel like trespassing when getting too close. In my dreams and when in spirit, I can get closer. Its energy is very much like that of the devil- wild, ambivalent and foreboding. It leaves me in the mind of where spirit bottles and dark charms are charged and buried and where witches may gather in spirit chanting old guttural songs to the devil and Hekate.
Even in the suburbs there is wildness and power, one only need the eyes to see and the ears to hear…