As practitioners of the Pagan earth religions, we are the inheritors of a rich compendium of knowledge and spiritual tradition involving trees. The Indo-European cultures were cradled in a vast oak forest that once stretched from the west coast of France to the Caucasus. Most homes and shelters in this area were made of oak.
Oak is a dense and hot firewood and was used to make bows, spears, oars and boats. The bark, leaf and galls were used to tan hides and fishing nets, and to make a wound wash that would help heal by pulling the edges of a wound together. The bark and leaves of White Oak were especially valuable as a medicinal tea for coughs, colds and mucus congestion. The acorns provided a carbohydrate-rich food for humans, pigs, and wild game.
Oaks were known to attract lightening, and became associated with the Sky Gods such as Taranis, Indra, Jupiter, Yahweh, Ukho, Rhea, Kybele, Thor, Artemis, Brighid, Balder, The Erinyes, the Kikonian Maenads, Perun, and Perkunas. The roots of an oak go as deep as the tree is high, making its spirit a powerful ally in shamanic travel between the worlds. There is a spirit in each oak that can take you down to the Underworld through its roots and up to the Sky World via its branches.