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Oak (Dair) - card
  • Oak (Dair) - card
  • Oak (Dair) - card

Oak (Dair) - card


10 June - 7 July

The Oak (Dair in Irish) covers the period 10th June-7th July. It was a tree revered in many cultures and in ancient Greece, connected with the God, Zeus. Here in Ireland it was considered one of the most sacred trees and strongly associated with Kingship.
It is also thought the word “druid”came from the word for oak, as it was regarded as a tree of magic and of the otherworld. 
Many places in Ireland still carry the name of this tree, such as KIldare (Cill Dara), the church of the oak or Derry (Doire), the oak grove.  At one stage 75% of the country was covered in oak forests and this was celebrated in a Bardic name for Ireland:  “Inis na bhfiodhadh”  –  “Island of the Trees”. Unfortunately, after colonisation, Ireland was stripped of its forests which were used mainly to build the British navy. Whereas in England, careful coppice management allowed for tree preservation, Ireland was not afforded this luxury. The British governments and royalty also encouraged forest destruction as it left no cover for those fighting against the empire. Nowadays, our country has only 10% forestation and very little of this is of native trees. 
In Irish mythology, the most famous oak tree was in Moone, Co. Kildare, where a tree grew to enormous proportions and bore 3 types of fruit, nuts, acorns and apples. The tree is also associated with stories of the Fianna and Cúchullainn as well as with certain members of the animal kingdom, the stag, the bull, the pig and the eagle. 
One of the most famous ancient oaks in Ireland is that at Raheen in Co. Clare. Said to be over 1000 years old, it is associated with Brian Boru who was born there and became High King of Ireland in 1002. He was perhaps one of the most famous Kings of Ireland and renowned for his success in defeating the Vikings in the Battle of Clontarf in 1014, after which he soon died.  In this image stands the High King himself, in front of his tree, where we see the traces of an ancestral druid. In the background, the silhouette of Howth Hill marks the edge of Dublin Bay into which the Viking ship sails. On the right we see the fruit of not only the oak, but of that magical oak in Moone, bearing nuts and apples as well as acorns.

On the left we have the Ogham (ancient Irish writing) sign for the Oak which is two horizontal lines on the left side of a stone.

Illustration from an original by Margaret McKenna


Greetings Cards
Dimension (L x W x H) 148 x 105 x 2 Millimetre
Weight 25 Gram

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