D~Duir~Oak The oak was a central tree to the Druids, and is the king of the forest. Our modern English word “door,” comes from the Gaelic word ‘duir’ – the word for solidity, protection… and the mighty oak tree. Oak groves were sacred to the druids. The oak tree has always protected Britain, by providing wood for the building of ships, and as boundaries between one area and another. Ovates Bards and Druids preached under their branches, gaining strength from their strength. Legend tells us that “Faery folks are in the oaks”. Oak trees are believed to provide safe havens and homes for many varieties of Faery. The oak is associated with the seventh of the thirteen Celtic lunar months. He is central, standing between Hawthorn and Holly, and presides over the celebration of Beltane, the spring FireFestival of fertility and renewed growth. The month of Oak (May) is one of celebration, and the rebirth of life and living things. Besides providing strong timber for building, the oak’s bark produces tannin, which was used extensively in the leather industry for tanning raw hides. The oak is one of the longest living trees in the forest, often living for seventy to eighty years, even after being struck by lightning. Acorns can be used to make a powerful antiseptic, acorns gathered at night held the greatest fertility powers. The juice from crushed oak leaves can be applied directly to wounds for the same purpose. A gargle made from the inner bark is useful to relieve sore throats and a decoction of the outer bark can help relieve severe fever symptoms. Magick wands were made of its wood. The Druids and other magickal pracitioners listened to the rustling leaves and the wrens in the trees for divinatory messages.