This month the Irish Heritage Tree is partnering with the Celtic group Moon Mná to give readers a chance to win a fantastic prize.
The Irish Heritage Tree, an initiative created by IrishCentral, allows our community to plant a native tree in the green forests of Ireland and is an ideal way to honor your family, friends, and Irish ancestry while joining our commitment to keeping Ireland green and growing. Find out more information here.
This month we're collaborating with Moon Mná Women's Celtic Circle, an international group of women whose heart beats with Celtic soul. They are giving one lucky reader a chance to win a copy of their book "Goddesses of Ireland - Ancient Wisdom for Modern Women" plus a fabulous online course with Moon Mná called "The Goddess Spiral of the Year", valued at €140! This exquisite prize gifts you the opportunity to delve deeper into the world of the Irish Celtic Goddesses through this beautiful Moon Mná book and fascinating online course.
If you would like to enter the Moon Mná competition in partnership with the Irish Heritage Tree, all you have to do is complete the form below:
* This competition is now closed
Their main theme for the Moon Mná Diary-Journal 2022 is native Irish trees and features fascinating facts and personal stories. This month focuses on the Oak Tree which you can learn more about below.
The Oak Tree: one of Ireland's oldest native sacred trees
An extract from the Moon Mná Diary-Journal 2022 by Dr. Karen Ward
Known as the ‘King of the Woods’ Oak is a tree of strength and endurance, living over 200 years and longer. Our two native species are the Sessile Oak, Latin name Quercus Petracea and beautiful Irish Gaelic name Dair Ghealach; and the Common Pendulate Oak, Latin name Quercus Robur and its Irish name is Dair Ghallda. Sessile means that the acorns have no stalk while those of the pedunculate oak hang from long stalks.
Mainly deciduous, with dark green rounded lobed leaves, both it's male and female inconspicuous flower tassels fruit to the small brown acorns we are more familiar with. Perhaps you have also seen Oak apples: small, round swellings caused by gall wasps.
Requiring large quantities of water these mighty trees reach up to 70 feet with a wide girth and support more life forms than any other trees. Once much of Ireland was covered in Oak forests and this sacred tree for the Druids and Celts is noted for attracting frequent lightning strikes. The term 'durable' comes from the ancient Celtic name for the Oak - Duir.
Did you know that...
Oak wood burns slowly to great heat and its strength was used by our ancestors for ship, door, and house building. Oak wood is still prized for its visual beauty and durability to make furniture and whiskey casks. From the Middle Ages, Oak apples were used primarily in the making of ink. Medicinally, Oak bark, astringent and antiseptic and bitter to taste relieve fever and inflammation.
As the Ogham tree ‘D’ for the 7th lunar month 10th June - 7th July, Oak was Eó Mugna of the five ancient Irish ‘Chieftain Trees’ bearing acorns, apples and hazelnuts and one of the ‘Sacred Triad’ with Ash and Thorn. The Oak King was seen by the Druids as the personification of Summer celebrated at Summer Solstice.
Wisdom And Power – an Oak Tree story extract from the Moon Mná Diary-Journal 2022 by Carolina Miyasaka, Virtual Assistant, MA Student, Shamanic Practitioner living in Dublin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The first time I consciously celebrated Summer Solstice I decided to go to the Hill of Tara. I immediately fell in love with the energy of the place and I felt so at home, even though I had never been before. My two friends spent a very joyous sacred time together meditating and walking the Hill through a path to the side that is full of magic.
This is where I saw it, the most magnificent Oak tree, (although I didn’t know what type of tree it was then). Its roots were spreading far and wide and its presence was so strong we immediately and silently all sat down to meditate around it. My hands were tingling when they touched the roots. I was transported to another world. I could feel the energy flowing back and forward between the two of us. I felt reconnected. A very strong fraternal feeling took over me. It was a feeling of pure love. In that time, we shared so much wisdom and power.
A few months after this, I had the pleasure of taking my mom to the Hill of Tara. She lives in Cuba so her visit to Ireland was particularly special as I only get to see her once or twice a year. I introduced her to the Oak tree and the three of us shared a very magical time. A few metres down, there is another Oak, also quite regal. I was telling my mom about it but I mentioned I hadn’t felt that strong connection as I did with ‘my tree’, as I call it. But that time, I felt the urge to hug the tree and stayed there for a few minutes. In that time, my mom and I sensed laughter coming from the tree. It was almost like this one had also been waiting for me to connect with it!
I believe this moment was the start of my nature based path of spirituality, even though I didn’t start my shamanic training until two years later. I go back to this tree regularly. Sometimes in person, sometimes in my dreams and a lot of times when I go on shamanic Journeys. This tree is one of my spirit guides and I feel ‘his’ presence with me always, particularly in difficult times. Connecting with this my tree in whatever way helps me stay grounded and supported.
This article is proudly presented in collaboration with the Irish Heritage Tree Program and Moon Mná.
Moon Mná Women's Celtic Circles is an international community of women, whose heart beats with Celtic soul, mná being the word for women in the Irish Gaelic language and pronounced ‘meh-naw’. We commune daily through the pages of the Moon Mná Diary-Journal while gathering online for Lunar Gatherings and ceremonial Rites of Passage Courses. Find out more here.