What Richard Powers wants his readers to realise is what this means for humanity. He wants us to realise how important trees are for the world. And he chooses to do this not with a text book but with a story. His story is structured like a tree. The first pages consist of the "Roots". These are 8 apparently independent short stories giving us the back story for 9 different people. One, for example, tells us the family history of a some immigrants into America mids ending with an artist in recent times who inherits the family collection of photographs all of the same chestnut tree taking at monthly intervals over generations.
In another, a hearing and speech impaired scientist discovers that trees are communicating with each other. The unifying theme across all the stories is the presence of trees. And it is worth noting those trees because, as many people know, trees have huge mythical and symbolic meanings and the trees Powers chooses for each of his characters are not random selections. The next pages are "Trunk". Here the stories of the individuals that we now know quite well start to merge and connect. Some merge completely, others connect tangentially. This passage is overtly political. It is an attempt to make readers realise how temporary humans are in the grand scheme of things… "But people have no idea what time is.
But the humans hear nothing. Then, finally, "Seeds" tells us some of the outcomes of the stories and leaves us poised for the next steps in others. It includes a plea for us to look at things differently. And the law will let this happen, because harm was never imminent enough.
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Imminent, at the speed of people, is too late. The law must judge imminent at the speed of trees.
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It feels to me, fresh from finishing it, like his most passionate one. Yes, there is some science, but a lot of it is explained carefully. This novel does not require the scientific background that some of Powers' novels have asked the reader for. And there is no music in this book, which is the other thing that Powers often includes in his novels and often does so in a fairly technical way. In my case, he is perhaps preaching to the converted because I am already a believer in conservation and already convinced of the importance of trees.
Even so, this book taught me many things and fired up a stronger passion in me for the natural world. I have to hope that others will read it and become equally convinced of the need for intelligent conservation work. View all 37 comments. Jun 20, PM. Claire A slow reader, I never reread anything but this is one story that I must live again. I am a gardener and an activist who was touched deeply. Jul 02, AM. Jun 20, Roxane rated it liked it. This book has an interesting structure and it is well-written.
I get what Powers is going for conceptually. The character sketches, which read like short stories are wonderful. But then the book gets I stopped reading it because I just could not read one more passage of florid description about trees or visions or highways. I couldn't do it. But if you love trees, this is a good book for you.
I get why it won the Pulitzer. View all 11 comments. Roisin You perfectly captured my feelings on this book. I did finish though and ended up feeling resentful. At least the library will benefit from my late fe You perfectly captured my feelings on this book. At least the library will benefit from my late fees Donovan Just echoing the thanks for continued reviews.
It's edifying, yes, but more than that- comforting I wish more authors put themselves out there in as many ways as you do. Sending you love and appreciation, lady. Shelves: e-book , pulitzer-prize , contemporary , literary-fiction , booker-prize-nominee , published , science , read-in , environment. Shortlisted for the Man Booker in , The Overstory is a brilliant and passionate book about humans and their relationship to trees and the natural environment. The first half of the book is exceptional.
Written like short stories, 9 characters are introduced separately with their tree story. Each story has an event that has happened to change the life of the character by the tree or trees that shaped them. The stories are phenomenal. The second half of the book is about these same characters be Shortlisted for the Man Booker in , The Overstory is a brilliant and passionate book about humans and their relationship to trees and the natural environment. The second half of the book is about these same characters being drawn together to fight the cause of saving trees.
Richard Powers shows such compassion and enthusiasm throughout his book. However, I found the second half to be too long. Some editing would have gone a long way. His book is pages long and not an easy one to get through. It is well researched and very thought provoking, however. View all 42 comments. Apr 15, Paromjit rated it really liked it Shelves: literary-fiction , netgalley.
This has won the Pulitzer Prize!! Richard Powers writes with ambition, passion and reverence on the world of trees, their ancient intelligence and their central place in the fragile ecosystem. This is a dense and epic work of environmental fiction, a picture of the state of our planet and how humanity has contributed to its degradation. Whilst the over riding central character of this are trees, he interweaves the stories of the lives of 9 disparate individuals, within a four part structure of Ro This has won the Pulitzer Prize!!
Whilst the over riding central character of this are trees, he interweaves the stories of the lives of 9 disparate individuals, within a four part structure of Roots, Trunk, Crown and Seeds. The stories of the 9 people appear to be isolated but interlinked with their varying connections to trees and their growing contribution in their efforts to prevent the destruction of forests and woods. Powers immerses us in the world of trees, so wondrous, coming at the theme from multiple perspectives, packed with elements of science and a dollop of magical realism.
This is not a perfect or an easy read, there are occasions when Powers just cannot help himself from over egging the narrative with his heavy handed need to hammer home the same points a little too assiduously. However, this powerful paean to the treasure that are trees and nature, highlights one of the most important issues in our contemporary world, the state of the planet that our younger and future generations are set to inherit. People have failed to see the wood for the trees, thereby underlining our inability to intuit the place of humans amidst the wider ecosystems of the Earth we rely on to live and survive.
This is an elegaic, extraordinary, and emotive read, if faintly exasperating at times, a critically important novel for our times on the issues surrounding sustainability. Many thanks to Random House Vintage. View all 17 comments. Long celebrated for his compelling, cerebral books, Powers demonstrates a remarkable ability to tell dramatic, emotionally involving stories while delving into subjects many readers would otherwise find arcane. But have faith in this world-maker.
Powers is working through tree-history, not human-history, and the effect is like a time-lapse video. Soon enough his disparate characters set out branches that touch and mingle: Before the Civil War, a Norwegian immigrant travels to Iowa and begins homesteading in the largely empty new.
This dense, literary book will make you think. Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature : The Overstory is a powerful, literary novel, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. It sings, in part, a paean to the wonders of trees and the multitude of wonders that old-growth forests and a variety of trees brings to our world. It also mourns a tragedy Pulitzer Prize winner for Fiction!
It also mourns a tragedy: how humans relentlessly annihilate these priceless resources, and what drives some people to eco-terrorism. The Overstory is brilliantly organized in a form that reflects an actual tree. The engineer daughter of a Chinese immigrant. An odd, unmotivated teenager inspired by a book about human behavior and psychology. An intellectual property attorney who falls in love with an unconventional stenographer. A Vietnam veteran who stumbles into a job planting seedlings to replace mature trees that have been cut down.
A brilliant computer programmer, permanently disabled by a fall from a tree.
A postdoc, hearing- and speech-impaired woman who studies trees, discovering that they communicate with each other, and is ridiculed for her conclusions. And a beautiful, careless college undergrad who dies from an accidental electrocution and returns to life with a vision and a purpose. And all of these characters have been deeply affected by trees, in one way or another. These introductory stories of their lives are excellent and insightful; good enough that they could stand alone as individual short stories.
But Powers is just getting started. Four of them become eco-warriors, part of the tree-hugging movement whose proponents will do almost anything to stop the logging and stripping of irreplaceable mature redwoods and old-growth forests. But mostly Richard Powers is trying to convince us, as readers, of the wondrous nature of trees, and to treat trees, and our world generally, with deeper respect. The novel shifts its focus somewhat in the final section, with a somewhat cryptic hint that trees may well outlast humanity.
I think this novel would have benefited by being edited down by about a hundred pages and by being less overtly preachy. But Powers is clearly angry, and wants us to share that anger and be moved to take action. It may be message fiction, but this is potent stuff.
Also, as Powers points out more than once, trees live very slowly compared to humans, and that is echoed in the deliberate pacing of The Overstory. For readers already of the view that humans are doing profound damage to the ecology of our world, The Overstory will give you additional arguments and inspiration. For those more skeptical, it may cause you to reexamine some of your views.
I received a free copy from the publisher for review. Thank you! Content notes: some, very limited adult content language, violence, sexual situations. Initial post: This hefty, literary book looks a little intimidating, but interesting. The Secret Life of Trees. Off we go! View all 8 comments. Having bought this book months ago, I started wondering if I spent my money well. Different characters, different stories, one theme: trees.
I love forests, parks and try hard Having bought this book months ago, I started wondering if I spent my money well. I love forests, parks and try hard to save trees in my neighbourhood, but this novel added a new dimension to my perception of the lives of trees. As a reader, I received what I expected to receive from a good book: story and narration that engaged me. View all 41 comments. Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction This is the most ambitious and complex book on the Booker longlist, and two thirds of the way through it, I was pretty sure it was heading for five stars and being one of the best books I have read this year.
Sadly, I found the last part rather disappointing, and I know from previous experience that Powers is capable of better. Perhaps a convincing resolution is too much to ask when the subject matter is so div Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction This is the most ambitious and complex book on the Booker longlist, and two thirds of the way through it, I was pretty sure it was heading for five stars and being one of the best books I have read this year.
Perhaps a convincing resolution is too much to ask when the subject matter is so diverse and extraordinary. The book is all about trees, and in many ways the trees are more important than the diverse cast of human characters, all of whom become involved with protecting, nurturing or learning from trees in many different ways. Throughout the book there are many examples of extraordinary trees, their importance to supporting other forms of life and the mechanisms by which they grow, communicate, cooperate and react to threats.
Powers cannot resist the occasional foray into his long-established interest in human behavioural psychology. If all of this sounds dry and unreadable, that would convey entirely the wrong impression - Powers is a masterful storyteller and everything is clearly explained in terms that are easy to relate to. The first section introduces each of the main characters in separate chapters. The first chapter sets the tone - an Iowa settler plants chestnuts on his farm. One survives, and this tree is photographed monthly by several generations of the family - it also survives the blight which wiped out most of the chestnut trees in the eastern States.
We then move to a Chinese family attempting to grow mulberries to harvest silk. By the time this section finishes we are almost a third of the way through the book. The second section brings many of the human cast together in 80s California, where they join campaigners attempting to protect some of the last remaining redwood trees - this is a mixture of fact and exaggeration - in general the tree science is fact, but the human activity is fictional or adapted.
At the end of this section, the failure of these protests leads them to start an arson campaign, view spoiler [in which the charismatic Olivia "Maidenhair" whose story is partly modelled on that of Julia Butterfly Hill is accidentally killed. For me this was the most powerful part of the book.
The third section moves them on twenty years, where the past either haunts or catches up with the protestors, and the other characters are developed. The short final section is more speculative and less convincing. I also felt that many of the humans were a little too caricatured, but perhaps that was necessary to make the book work.
I couldn't help seeing this book as something of a companion piece to Annie Proulx's Barkskins. Both centre on humanity's voracious and wanton destruction of aboriginal forest land, both are epic novels and both are mostly set in the United States. They diverge there - Powers is fascinated by the details of tree science and the importance of forests to the world's ecosystem and biodiversity, Proulx is more interested in the older history and the effect of deforestation on native Americans.
For me, Barkskins was the more complete book. The details are, as ever with Powers, fascinating and impressive, but inevitably the science is a little simplified to meet the demands of the story and some of the conjecture is decidedly fanciful. This is a fascinating and thought provoking book. View all 20 comments.
This amazing book connects specific trees to people or families and then the stories come together and morph into being about the environment, how trees relate to each other, and this underlying theme of personal and natural histories that always play out. Decisions have long-reaching consequences, etc. The first section had me in tears about Chestnut trees. All I wanted to do when I reached the end was go back to the beginning. I started this as a review copy but bought my own hardcover before This amazing book connects specific trees to people or families and then the stories come together and morph into being about the environment, how trees relate to each other, and this underlying theme of personal and natural histories that always play out.
I started this as a review copy but bought my own hardcover before I hit pages. Another hour. Deserts of infinite boredom punctuated by peaks of freakish intensity Powers doing my review writing for me.
My reading experience of The Overstory often felt like a forced march of The Appalachian Trail while being read poetry. In all likelihood that might appeal to some people, however I prefer a less arduous journey. I tried to escape this book once, flinging it aside at around page 60 but several positive reviews from trusty readers and the growing likelihood that this will ma Another hour.
I tried to escape this book once, flinging it aside at around page 60 but several positive reviews from trusty readers and the growing likelihood that this will make the MB shortlist made me put my hiking boots back on. This is not my first rodeo with Richard Powers.
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I read his shortlisted book Orfeo a novel that deep dives into molecular biology and classical music and combines them in grand esoteric passages that at times seem barely penetrable. Despite this I ended up admiring Orfeo. I had hoped for something similar to occur with this book, particularly as I admire books that find ways to incorporate the hard sciences.
Unfortunately, I came away from this wondering if I might have been better served reading Wohlleben's Secret life of trees. I am aware Powers has a degree in Physics as well as literature and that becomes obvious in sentences like these : Ten million points flicker in the falling dark, like logic gates of a circuit cranking out solutions to a calculation generations in the making.
Through the armored arch behind the checkpoint, a cell-subtended hallway disappears lengthwise down an optical illusion into forever. I do admire him for attempting to mesh these disciplines but it makes for a grandiose writing style and a sometimes odd juxtaposition of disciplines. These being not limited to - dendrology, ecology, eco-warfare, computer science, psychology, mythology, poetry, evolution, and taxonomy.
This often verges on information dumping and threatens to lose sight of the fact this is suppose to be a novel. My other major concern with this book was the understandable but ultimately unhelpful craze to anthropomorphise scientific research. Wohlleben's book has garnered much attention but it is far from accepted doctrine to talk of complex tree networks as if they have intention and consciousness. Powers leans heavily upon this, trees "bleed" sap, they have plans to travel north, they communicate intention with each other, they would talk to us if only we were listening.
Certainly there is scientific evidence to support communication and symbiotic relationships and much else interesting besides. But it seems to me a fallacy to try to view these findings through a lens of human behaviour. Is that not an egregious form of egotism on our part? There are far better reviews available that discuss the ecological themes of this book, its' unusual structure, the characters and why Powers might win a place on the Man Booker shortlist.
However, I personally subscribe to the opinion that Annie Proulx did this type of book much better with Barkskins. Proulx has a warmth and knack with characters that I think is lacking in The Overstory and I walked away from it with a much greater sense of the epic scope of ecological crisis. However, it is impossible to spend what ended up being almost two weeks with this book and not find some glimpses of brilliance. I am left with a strong sense of having traveled through some delightful arboretum where tree giants are whispering just out of ear shot. Much like hiking the Appalachian Trial might feel like days of misery and toil for one or two moments of transcendental bliss so goes the experience of reading The Overstory.
A slog then but not without occasional rewards. Leaving you with the oh so wise Dr Patricia Westerfold - She could tell them about a simple machine needing no fuel and little maintenance, one that steadily sequesters carbon, enriches the soil, cools the ground, scrubs the air, scales easily to any size. A tech that copies itself and even drops food for free. View all 27 comments.
Chris Harvey I appreciate your review Nancy Thank you for writing this. I felt exactly the same way you did about it. Forced myself to read it. Will find it difficult to trust the Pulitzer Prize Thank you for writing this. Will find it difficult to trust the Pulitzer Prize selection committee again.
Brilliant, slow, and meditative. It made me evaluate my ideas about sustainability, wood, and trees and how I can be a better person in the world. None of the characters really stuck with me, but the presentation of different species of trees and individual trees situated in places and times in their grand majesty over time was extraordinary. My hardback copy was printed on recycled paper, which was a good detail!
View 2 comments. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Richard Powers goes eco-fiction: In "The Overstory", the real protagonists are trees - living, breathing, communicating, ever-evolving, hard-working, intelligent trees. Okay, there are also people, but the quest they are on is to understand what the trees already know. Powers knits a whole web of protagonists, and the rootage of the book is a compilation of short stories, introducing the human characters: Nicholas Hoel who grew up on a farm , Mimi M Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Richard Powers goes eco-fiction: In "The Overstory", the real protagonists are trees - living, breathing, communicating, ever-evolving, hard-working, intelligent trees.
Powers knits a whole web of protagonists, and the rootage of the book is a compilation of short stories, introducing the human characters: Nicholas Hoel who grew up on a farm , Mimi Ma the daughter of a Chinese immigrant , Adam Appich a psychologist , Ray Brinkman and Dorothy Cazaly a childless married couple , Douglas Pavlicek a war veteran , Neelay Mehta a computer game developer , Patricia Westerford a biologist , and Olivia Vandergriff a recently divorced student. Gradually, the reader understands how these people's destinies are connected, and all these connections relate to trees and forest preservation.
The human protagonists learn about the value of forests due to different experiences, all of them develop unique feelings towards the natural world, and all of them take measures to preserve the forest that is vital for the survival of humankind. This may now sound like Powers wrote a story about epiphanies and eco-fighters, and in a way, he did, but mainly, this is a sad story about destruction and failure - I guess this was the only way to write an honest book about deforestation and human stupidity.
I found the structure of the narrative very impressive, and the importance of the message cannot be overstated, but to focus on the trees as intelligent organisms instead of objectifying them seems to be the real innovation and appeal of the book. In fact, the trees are smarter than the people in this book, and when it comes to the points discussed in the text, they probably really are.
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Parts of the book are overtly long, but it's still a very worthwhile read. View all 36 comments. As per the end of my review, the book has now deservedly won a medal but for lots of reasons not least that the Booker really does not need another American based male author winning it I hope it does not win the gold. This book begins by giving the stories of a disparate group of individuals with different professions and backgrounds, and their interactions with the world of trees.
And so I would like to start my review by commending the reviews of a number of my Goodreads friends - a photogr As per the end of my review, the book has now deservedly won a medal but for lots of reasons not least that the Booker really does not need another American based male author winning it I hope it does not win the gold. And so I would like to start my review by commending the reviews of a number of my Goodreads friends - a photographer with a passion for nature; an actuary who unlike one character in the book actually qualified rather than taking drugs ; and an ex music critic, now librarian and art blogger.
And then to add my own brief thoughts on a few other areas which I think are not captured in their reviews. The first is the concept of different timescales and in particular the link to Artificial intelligence; something which I think was vital to the very conception of this book which arose when the author was based around Silicon Valley but walking amongst ancient trees. The theme is first captured in a science fiction story that one character loved as a youngster and later part remembers as an adult, albeit forgetting the ending. Aliens land on earth. They zip around like swarms of gnats, too fast to see - so fast that Earth seconds seem to them like tears.
To them, humans are nothing but sculptures of immobile meat. Finding no signs of intelligent life, they tuck unto the frozen statues and start curing them like so much jerky, for the long ride home. Cultural transmission is orders of magnitude faster than genetic transmission, and digital transmission has accelerated the speed of culture a hundredfold or more. We may soon seem, to our artificial intelligence offspring, as motionless and insentient as trees seem to us. And here we live, trying to make a home between our predecessors and our descendants.
Will we double down on the great migration into symbol space, our decampment into Facebook and Instagram and Netflix and World of Warcraft, the road that we have already traveled so far down? Or will Big Data and Deep Learning allow us to grasp and rejoin the staggeringly complex processes of the living world? The two possibilities are not mutually exclusive. A second theme is suicide.
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And of course the book culminates with a lecture planned to end in suicide as advice on the best thing than a human can do to save the environment, before taking a late and different course. The judges award him no medal - even a bronze. A bibliography is a required part of the formal report. A bibliography is not required for a novel but I think it would have been useful given the campaigning nature of the book, so I will add my own.
Thinking, Fast and Slow by the Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman is the definitive guide to the field of Behavioural Economics that underlies a lot of the book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond is an excellent guide to societal suicide due to excessive growth outstripping resources and environmental degradation including deforestation. View all 18 comments. The Overstory is undeniably brilliant, but it's also hard work, and I'm not convinced the payoff was worth the effort. I wanted to be able to say that I was so struck by Powers' genius that I was able to forgive the periods of abject tedium that characterized my reading experience, but that would be a lie.
This is undoubtedly a fantastic book, but I don't think I was the right reader for it. Here I have to echo a sentiment that I expressed in my review of Lab Girl by Hope Jahren: there are only s The Overstory is undeniably brilliant, but it's also hard work, and I'm not convinced the payoff was worth the effort. Here I have to echo a sentiment that I expressed in my review of Lab Girl by Hope Jahren: there are only so many loving descriptions of trees a person can take after a while.
What I'm interested in when I read is conflict and human interest and interpersonal dynamics, and when none of that is at the forefront of a book, I'm inevitably going to struggle with it. While Richard Powers did create a host of distinct characters in The Overstory - the first section of the novel is eight different short stories, one following each of the main characters through defining moments in their early lives - it soon becomes apparent that their stories aren't the ones that Powers is interested in telling.
I had more than a few moments when I had to wonder why Powers chose to write this as a novel at all, when it would have arguably served its purpose just as well as a treatise on environmental activism. Powers is a hell of a writer though, I'll give him that. I can't bear to go lower than 3 stars in my final rating because I can't deny the admiration I feel toward Powers' craft.
On a sentence-by-sentence level, I lost track of the amount of times I paused and reread a particularly striking passage, and the amount of detail that Powers is able to pack into every page is incredibly impressive. And on a larger level, the thematic complexity that Powers is able to achieve with his anthropomorphic symbolism and thorough examination of disparate disciplines and philosophies is undeniable. The Oaks connection with sacrifice is again echoed in the Welsh story, Math, son of Mathonwy. The oak held its place of honour in the British landscape long after its veneration by the early Celts.
John Evelyn told how one great oak was held in such high esteem, that if a bastard was born within its ample shade, neither mother nor child would incur the usual heavy censure of the church or magistrate. Country-people frequented the oak for its curative powers, which in some places was considered so great that healing could occur simply by walking around the tree and wishing the ailment to be carried off by the first bird alighting on its branches.
In Cornwall, a nail driven into an oak cured toothache, while in Wales, rubbing the oak with the palm of your left hand on Midsummer's Day kept you healthy all year. It gave a special virtue to other plants that grew upon its trunk or branches, such as the mistletoe and polypody fern. As we noted in the above, the oak is especially the tree of thunder gods in other Northern cultures, and this tradition holds true in Britain also.
In Anglo-Saxon times, Thor was known as Thunor and groves of oak-trees were dedicated to him in the south and east of England, the village of Thundersley in Essex originally being one. People often took pieces of these trees to put on their houses for good luck. In shamanistic cultures, a person who survived being struck by lightning often became a shaman, for the lightning bolt is seen worldwide as the sudden spiritual illumination that rends the darkness with a terrifying and irrevocable transforming force.
Oak-trees have always been regarded as great protectors and guardians of the virtuous. The immense popularity of this day points very clearly to a pagan origin of this custom, probably connected with the rites of May Day that in many places had been prohibited in the Puritan years because of its sexual associations. You'd see maypoles all the way down Sheep Street decorated with oak boughs and flowers, and people dancing round them, all wearing oak leaves. An oak was often the guardian tree of a family, as in the case of the famous Oak of Errol in Scotland, which was bound up with the good fortune of the Hay family.
A spray, gathered in the same manner, was placed in the cradle of infants, and thought to defend them from being changed for elf-bairns by the Fairies. When the root of the oak decayed, then the Hay family would likewise perish, as the old prophecy attributed to Thomas the Rhymer states:. When the mistletoe bats on Errol's aik, And that aik stands best, The Hays shall flourish, and their good grey hawk Shall not flinch before the blast. But when the root of the aik decays And the mistletoe dwines on its withered breast The grass shall grow on Errol's hearthstone, And the corbie roup croak in the falcon's nest.
Folklorist Ruth L. Tongue tells the Somerset folktale of an oak that helps a girl escape a cruel king, by sending a bough crashing onto his head. The king's men come to fell the tree, but meet with a sorry fate:. Oh they rode in the wood, where the oaken tree stood To cut down the tree, the oaken tree Then the tree gave a groan and summoned his own, For the trees closed about and they never got out Of the wood, the wonderful wood. In death, too, the powerful presence of the oak as a living being could be felt.
John Aubrey, writing in the 17th century reports:. When an oake is falling, before it falls it gives a kind of shriekes or groanes that may be heard a mile off, as it were the genus of the oake lamenting. Wyld, Esq. A famous mistletoe-bearing oak in Derbyshire had the reputation of being semi-human as late as the 19th century.
If its branches were severed, it screamed and bled, and spoke with the voice of prophetic doom. Aubrey also tells of an oak whose mistletoe was cut and sold to some London apothecaries, all of whom met with horrible misfortunes thereafter:. One fell Iamb shortly thereafter; soon after each of the others lost an eye, and he that felled the tree though warned of these misfortunes of the other men, would, notwithstanding, adventure to do it, and shortly afterwards broke his leg; as if the Hamadryads had resolved to take an ample revenge for the injury done to their venerable and sacred oak.
About the only downfall of the Oak is that it is a stubborn tree, not willing to bend and flex as the willow. As a result, branches break off in high winds and storms. Oak wood varies in shade from white and golden to a rich red brown. The white oak represents spiritual purity and wholeness. A golden oak celebrates Solar energy, embodying hospitality, charity and prosperity. The darker oaks, moving into the redish-brown spectrum have strong Earth energies for grounding, healing, stability and security.
When purchasing oak shards or gathering pieces for rituals and spells, make note of from what type of oak they come so you can apply them more effectively. Dreaming of an oak portends a long, prosperous life. However, this symbolism changes dramatically depending on the other factors of your dream is the tree upright? Are you in the tree? You can explore more specific meanings for Oak in your dreams in our Dream Dictionary.
The Druids knew the tree spirits intimately. More interesting still is the Sanskrit word for oak as Duir door that fits with the mythology and beliefs about the Oak as a sacred spiritual gateway. The scent of Oak provides grounding and stabilizing energy, particularly when mixed with Cedar and Patchouli. Folk healers treasured the oaks bark because it has a natural astringency.
Made into a tea it allayed digestive problems. As a topical, Oak eases bleeding gums, wounds and dry skin. For over-exposure to cold, Galen instructed herbalists to gather Oak leaves and boiling the.