Symbols - What does heaven look like


The oak is a common symbol of the virtues of ‘strength and endurance’ [courage].  It takes its symbolism from the tree

The ancient Romans and Greeks thought oak trees attracted lightning and thereby connected the oak tree to the god Jupiter/Zeus.  The oak had similar symbolic meaning to numerous other cultures – Russia, Germany and Scandinavia.  In Norse mythology, the oak was sacred to the thunder god, Thor again because of its connection with lightning.  The Oak tree is also sacred to Serbs.  In the Bible, Joshua erects a stone under an oak tree as the first covenant of the Lord (Josh. 24.25-7). The oak tree was regarded by Socrates as an oracle tree.

Mircea Eliade – Patterns in Comparative religion

Thunder is a weapon of the sky god in all mythologies, and any spot he has struck with lightning becomes sacred (enelysion  to the Greeks, fulguritum to the Romans); and any man he has struck with lightning is consecrate.  The tree most often struck by lightning – the oak – is endowed with the majesty of the Supreme Divinity.  I need only remind you of the oak of Zeus at Dodona, of Jupiter Capitolinus in Rome, the oak of Donar near Geismar, the sacred oak of Romowe in Prussia, the oak of Perun among the Slavs.

Because of its enormous size it is often a symbol for the Tree of Life. 

It has been chosen as the national tree of a number of countries – most notable the UK – and states in the USA.


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