Saturday, August 13, 2011

Holy Oak (part 1)

In pre-Christian times, the oak cult distributed throughout Europe. Long after Christianity had triumphed, he lived with men on. The sacred oak trees were very old. In the marshes of France, England and Germany has found fossils of these giant trees.

  ancient sacred oak

In Epirus, a wild region in northeastern Greece, was the oldest Greek oracle, the sacred oak of Dodona. At the foot of the mountain Tamaros stood the Temple of Zeus, god of the Greeks. There are still growing very old oak trees. This region was known for the severity of storms and winter cold. The poet Homer speaks of the "icy forests of Dodona.

Later, when the oracle at Delphi in importance, became that of Dodona in the background. Thanks Paisanias (200 pC), we know how the oracle functioned: in Dodona was an oak tree was dedicated to Zeus. It was a prophetess whose oracles were women. Who needed advice, approached the oak. Then took the wind moving the leaves followed by a thunderbolt. It came from Zeus because he was the god of thunder, bearer of lightning. The women translated these natural phenomena in an advisory.

These priestesses were called Pleiades, which means birds, probably because the language they spoke in the ears of the people on the cooing of doves appeared.

Every four years the residents celebrated Plataeas Bo√ętie in the celebration of Daedalus, builder of the famous labyrinth. On the day of the party proceeded to the people and put an old oak grove at the foot of the tribal pieces cooked meat down to see which birds were lured thereby. When a crow (half goddess who cures using acorns) saw a piece of meat on a branch of a tree, sat down, this tree was felled. The wood was cut a sculpture that one dressed as a bride and a festive ox cart to the bank of the river led Asopos. Thereafter, all sculptures from the previous year to the top of the mountain Kotheron, where they worshiped a sacred oak. With logs was built there an altar to be held with oak branches. Here they first burned the sacrifices, then the altar and all the sculptures. It was a great fire in honor than Zeus and Daedalus in the hope that rain might come at last.
The Sacred Oak of Aegina, who descended from the Dodo Ische was a prophetic tree also brought rain. By a bronze cauldron to save it imitate thunder.
Quercus robur is the oak of Zeus. It is over the years majestic tall and bears fruit only when they are 60-80 years old. If they are left alone, it may be 500 years or older. Her life under bark dryads. These are eiknimfen can leave the tree.

An oak tree was cut down only when the priest declared that the dryads were pulled. However, the hamadryads were so strong that they fused with the oak tree with the dying.
The French writer Pierre de Ronsard shows the goddess Demeter in an elegy to a lumberjack say
"Listen, lumberjack, keep your arm still;
It's not the woods you off.
You do not see the blood of the nymphs,
who lived under the bark?
Murderer! If you hang a thief,
because he stole a trifle,
how much fire, iron, death and despair
you earn, villain, who kills our goddesses? "
And later:
"Farewell, oaks, garlands of brave men,
trees from seeds of Jupiter of Dodona,
who first gave power to the people.
Ungrateful people, who gave you missed,
rough people, the fathers who feeds him, kill. "

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