Here on the Glastonbury site we are very fortunate to have many huge ancient Oak trees. Most easily found is the Kings Oak, or Druids Oak, up in the Sacred Space field right at the top of the Green Fields, but there are many more huge ancient Oaks hidden away if you look for them. Check out an enormous and beautiful Oak at the back of the Greenpeace field. Both this and the Oak in the Kings Meadow are probably over 400 years old... and that's a lots of history!
The Oak (Quercus robur) is deeply connected in our hearts as the very essence of England, and especially the power of the High King (King Arthur) and his ancient and spiritual link to the land, and Robin Hood, protector of the land and champion of the rights of the people. The Oak feels mighty, strong and enduring and is linked to courage, nurturing our sense of self and being rooted to the land.
In the ancient system of the Tree Ogham, the Oak is given the word Duir, meaning 'door'. The Oak is linked not only to the doors of our houses but also as a doorway to inner strength, healing and new understanding. For generations people have sat beneath the mighty Oak to gain perspective, to let new understanding surface. Sitting with an Oak will help you to make decisions from a place of stillness.
Traditionally, the Oak stands at the doorway of the great turning point of the year, the Summer Solstice, the longest day and shortest night of the year. (This year the Solstice dawn was on Tuesday 21st June). The Summer Solstice is the peak of our expressive and expansive energy, but it cannot last forever or we would burn ourselves out. So a new cycle begins, and as the days gradually shorten, the summer will wane. The Oak is central to the understanding that this change will affect us all and is part of our cycle too…. as we are also part of this great web of life...
So take some time out this festival for a quiet moment. Sit beneath one of the sites mighty Oak trees and let your inner wisdom come to the surface and bring you a deeper perspective. The Oak will help restore faith in ourselves, and with this comes the ability to go ahead and aim for what we most want in life. If we learn from our experiences now, we can begin to prepare for the new cycle that is about to begin.
Glennie Kindred 2016