Divine to Mortal Transport Power of Oak Trees
Earliest Oak Evidence - Willendorf Red Venus (26,000 BCE)
(June 7, 2023) The Willendorf Venus is unique in that it has an acorn crown “hat” which seems to be taken from the acorn of the European Sessile Oak. This Venus figurine was carved from oolitic limestone but it was covered with a thick layer of red ochre which represents the life power of blood. Also its hands are holding its breasts. These two characteristics identify it as the life manifestation goddess Asher.
The figurine was unearthed during the Wachau railway construction in 1908. It dates to between 28,000 - 25,000 BCE based on radiocarbon dating of items found in the same assemblage.
The oak tree was sacred because its broad crown most closely resembled the life network which distributed the divine fertility fluids to earth which was needed to manifest life. The Willendorf Venus then is the earliest evidence for this network concept. (Photo: Don Hitchcock, 2008 online: https://donsmaps.com/venusindex.html)
Photo from Getty Images at:https://www.gettyimages.com/photos/seahenge-ancient-oak-circle?page=1
Two Seahenges With Central Oaks Representing Both Night Sky and Day Sky Powers (Holme 1 and 2) 2049 BCE
(June 4, 2023) In the year 2049 BCE (based on tree ring data) two wooden henges were built on small islands located in a coastal salt marsh. One represents the day-time sky shell of the sun god Hu while the other represents the night-time sky shell of the crescent moon goddess Ayu.
They were built using bronze axes a few hundred years after the Indo-Europeans invaded Britain. Was this the last gasp of the Neolithic farmers who clung to their culture in the salt marshes of Britain?
One Seahenge (for the night powers) had an inverted central oak while the other (for day powers) had an upright oak. The inverted oak henge had a circular perimeter wall with its dark bark still on the posts and facing outward. In contrast the upright oak henges had a perimeter wall consisting of posts having their bark stripped off giving it a lighter color. This gave a contrast of night and day which was likely a contrast between life powers of the day and night.
Holme 1 consisted of an outer ring comprising fifty-five small split oak trunks forming a roughly circular enclosure around 7 by 6 meters (23 by 20 ft). Rather than being placed in individual holes, the timbers had been arranged around a circular construction trench. Their split sides faced inwards and their bark faced outwards (with one exception where the opposite is the case). One of the trunks on the south western side had a narrow Y fork in it, permitting access to the central area. Another post had been placed outside this entrance, which would have prevented anyone from seeing inside. The timbers were set in ground to a depth of 1 metre (3 ft 3 in) from the contemporary surface although how far they originally extended upwards is not known.
The presence of Middle and Late Bronze Age pottery at the site suggests that it became a focal point again several centuries after construction. For Holme 1, 59 different bronze axes were used in its construction. This was discovered through 3‑D imaging which allowed archaeologists to measure the exact axe curvature and width of each blade that had made a cut in the timber.
In early Spring 1998, John Lorimer, a special-needs worker, amateur archaeologist, and beach comber, was catching shrimps with his brother-in-law Gary on Holme beach. The pair found a Bronze Age axe head in the silt, but at first did not know what it was. Intrigued, Lorimer visited the area repeatedly, eventually finding a lone tree stump that had been unearthed on the beach – unusual in that it seemed to be upside down. A metal detectorist friend later recognized the site's importance, so they contacted the Castle Museum in Norwich. Archaeologists at the museum examined the axe head, the second one found on Holme Beach within only a few months. Lorimer continued to monitor the inverted tree stump. Wave erosion gradually exposed a surrounding ring of wooden posts, confirming that the site was an intentional human construction. Lorimer contacted Castle Museum again.
The museum contacted Edwin Rose, at the time Norfolk Landscape Archaeology's Development Control Officer, who then visited the site with Lorimer on 12 August 1998. At first, Rose suspected it was a fish trap from the Anglo-Saxon period, relatively commonplace for the area. But he began to suspect that it might be something else. So Rose inquired whether English Heritage would fund an excavation. They agreed
BBC News article about the site's discovery: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/388988.stm
Watson, Emma E. (2020) Hidden in plain sight revealing the forgotten monuments of northern England - Ph.D. Thesis and an intensive survey of Monolithic monuments in Britain which puts everything into context. Online at: http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/13808/1/Emma_E_Watson_-_PhD.pdf?DDD6+
Norfolk's Historic Coast Website: https://www.visitnorfolk.co.uk/post/explore-the-deep-history-coast-in-norfolk
Germanic Oaks Named For Wind Deity Thu (Thunu = Powers of Thu)
(June 7, 2023) In 754 CE Saint Boniface was killed after he cut down a Druid sacred oak called Thunar's (or Donar's) Oak in the modern town of Fritzlar (ancient Gaesmere) in the German province of Hess, Germany.
In Willibald’s Life of Saint Boniface he writes this about the Anglo-Saxon missionary Boniface and a sacred oak in or near modern day Hesse in Germany, known as Thunar's (Donar’s) Oak. This account calls it “Jupiter’s Oak” while other translators call it “Thor’s Oak”:
Now at that time many of the Hessians, brought under the Catholic faith and confirmed by the grace of the sevenfold spirit, received the laying on of hands; others indeed, not yet strengthened in soul, refused to accept in their entirety the lessons of the inviolate faith. Moreover some were wont secretly, some openly to sacrifice to trees and springs; some in secret, others openly practiced inspections of victims and divinations, legerdemain and incantations; some turned their attention to auguries and auspices and various sacrificial rites; while others, with sounder minds, abandoned all the profanations of heathenism, and committed none of these things. With the advice and counsel of these last, the saint attempted, in the place called Gaesmere, while the servants of God stood by his side, to fell a certain oak of extraordinary size, which is called, by an old name of the pagans, the Oak of Jupiter. And when in the strength of his steadfast heart he had cut the lower notch, there was present a great multitude of pagans, who in their souls were earnestly cursing the enemy of their gods.
Not only single trees, but at times entire groves or meadows would be sanctified in the name of Germanic gods, Thunor among them. Concerning such groves in Anglo-Saxon England, Gale R. Owen says in her 1997 volume, Rites and Religions of the Anglo-Saxons:
English place-names, both current and obsolete, testify to a cult of Thunor, mostly in Saxon areas (and apparently not at all in Anglian areas). Thunor was probably worshiped in sacred groves or meadows, or was perhaps associated with such landscapes, since the majority of of place-names containing his name link him with the Old English word leah. Thundersley and Thunderley Hall [Essex], Thursley[Surrey], two places once referred to as on thunres lea[Hants.] and one as on tunorslege[Sussex] testify to this, together with Thunorleaw, the only Kentish place-name associated with this god. Thunderfield [Surrey] and to thunresfelda [Wilts.] show the same link, and Thundridge [Herts.] again relates Thunor to a natural feature. (via Holman, 2022).
This oak seems to have been named for boundary-crossing hermaphrodite deity Thu. The /r/ ending is Indo-European. Thunar would later become conflated with the classical gods of Zeus (Roman Jupiter) because they were also sky/wind gods. By then Thunar had been shortened to Thor.
Holman, Bob (April 22, 2022). Thunar. Online at: https://ingwine.org/knowledge-base-2/thunor/
Willibald: The Life of St. Boniface. He wrote this tract within 13 years of the death of Boniface. The book was dedicated to Megingoz who died September 26, 768. (first print edition in 1605, critical edition in 1905). Online at: https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/basis/willibald-boniface.aspWhile Willibald always employs the correct spelling and endings for Anglo-Saxon words, he anglicizes the spelling of names and places of Frisian or Germanic origin.