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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Oak Tree and a myth

Oaks that found in Pakistan are important in ecological terms because they grow only in forests that are mature with plenty of healthy undergrowth in the form of vibrant grasses and bushes and a wide array of specialized tree species. Holly oak is native to the Mediterranean region. The range is from Spain along the Mediterranean fringe east towards western Pakistan. The Holly Oak is a long lived, durable tree that will thrive in almost any location once established and stands up well to strong winds. It provides shade for large areas of the landscape.
This time sharing with you a folklore associated with the god of thunder and it has been said that the fifth day of the week 'Thursday' (Thor’s day) was named after him.
Read this fascinating folklore about the god of thunder.


The Myth


The oak-tree was consecrated to the god of thunder because oaks are said to be more likely to be struck by lightning than other trees.The god most associated with the oak tree is Thor (also known as: Thorr, Thunor, Thonar, Donar, Donner, Thur, Thunar, or Thunaer), who in Norse mythology was the supreme god of thunder and the sky. Thor was the eldest son of Odin, and was second only to him in the hierarchy of the Norse pantheon. He was also one of the most popular of the gods due to his relationship with mankind. Thor is often depicted as a tall, muscular and vigorous man with a red beard. He had an enormous appetite and his ability to eat and drink great quantities is featured in several of his legends. Thor was the principal champion of the gods and the chief protector of humans against giants, trolls, demons and other evil beings. His booming voice and flashing eyes could incite terror in his enemies. He was thought to be good-natured, courageous, benevolent, valiant and always ready to fight to help mankind, but he was also easily irritated and when roused to anger was apt to smash his adversaries to death with a single blow from “Mjolnir” his magical hammer.

Thor was widely worshiped by Norse warriors but was also revered by farmers and peasants because of his capacity to create rain for the crops. Mjolnir the magical hammer was reputedly made by dwarves from the wood of a sacred oak tree, and not only represented the destructive power of the storms Thor created (the fires from heaven), but its image was used as a fertility symbol in marriages (in its connection with rain and crops) and in funerals (as a symbol of death and rebirth), and for accepting newborn children into the community (as a symbol of strength and protection). Such was he revered that the fifth day of the week 'Thursday' (Thor’s day) was named after him.

When travelling Thor rode in a chariot made from oak drawn by two goats, Tanngnjostr (Tooth-gnasher) and Tanngrisnir (Tooth-grinder), and when moving across the heavens dispensing weather, it produced the rumblings of thunder and sparks of lightening from its wheels. Thor and his followers undertook many expeditions to Jotunheim (Iceland) the land of the frost giants, and there erected high-seated pillars of oak. These they used to hallow new ground enabling the gods to protect their people in new lands.

Thor fought many legendary battles against the frost giants defending and protecting mankind as well as the gods. His greatest adversary was the World Serpent called “Jormungand” whose many coils encircled the world. After many battles between them which neither won, they were destined to meet and fight for a final time at “Ragnarok” (the mythical end of the world). At that fatal meeting Thor, the best fighter amongst the gods, succeeded in killing the serpent. However being busy with his own fight, he was too late to aid his father Odin who died fighting the fierce wolf Fenrir. After killing the serpent Thor stepped back and died himself from the poison the serpent had spat at him.

Oak through the ages was revered by many cultures particularly for its protective qualities, and in Britain it still stands proud as the “King of the Forest”. In early Celtic times certain oaks were marked with a protective symbol, a circle divided into four equal parts (symbolic of the four elements - Earth, Air, Fire and Water), this was probably a forerunner of the magic pentacle (an up-right five pointed star in-side a circle, symbolic of the four elements plus “spirit”). Most likely this was an old druidic custom for the druids revered the oak above all other trees, believing it hosted the energy, power and strength of their gods. Due to its size and longevity the oak was known as the “Garden in the Forest”, for it attracts the growth of various forms of plant life.


Reference::
Taken some data from Oak tree-in worship of trees-

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