The Great Oak is known as the King of Trees because of its extraordinary height and huge width. Oaks can live up to and beyond 2000 years, and they don’t even produce acorns until they have lived for around seven to eight decades. Famed for its endurance and longevity, even today it is synonymous with strength and steadfastness in the popular mind. In the Classical world it was regarded as the Tree of Life as its deep roots penetrate as deep into the Underworld as its branches soar to the sky. Often times, an Oak would be used as the point of demarcation that defined the limits of a person’s property because of its long life. The Oak was also used to make buildings and ships because of the density and sturdiness of the wood.
The bark of the white oak tree is used both for medicine and for the biodynamic preparation. The bark is the outer skin that reinforce the boundaries. Barks are rich in tannins and minerals. The thick rough bark of oak is a signature for it having and bestowing strong outer boundaries. For this reason it is used in tanning leather.
White oaks contains astringent tannins. The preparation of the bark was used For toning the lymphatic system (the seeds are gland shaped) in cases of blood and lymph stagnation due to poor circulation or when the spleen was removed. Mathew woods used it successful for edema resulting from the removal of lymphatic glands near the breast causing edema down the arm.
“The Mighty Oak is broken down”
Julia Graves describes oak as “a huge, strong tree, posing like a bodybuilder twisted for the photograph.” Oak bark is used for the musculoskeltal system whenever re-calcification or strengthening of broken down tissue is needed such as in osteoporosis, hernia (external use) or Varicose veins.
Powdered bark of oak can support mouth health. The astringent tannins are beneficial for toning bleeding, sensitive gums while the calcium will strengthen the teeth.
Oak yields valuable medicine for strong people with tremendous endurance who have gone beyond their breaking point, but keep struggling on. Dr Bach made oak into flower essence and found it suitable for “the beaten warrior who never gives up the fight”. Oak grows very slowly, making an extremely hard durable wood. Oak can teach us to let go of the battles we can not win and save our energy to the most important ones.
“One plant that contains plenty of calcium is the oak. Seventy seven percent of its substance consists of finally distributed calcium. Oak bark, in particular, represents a kind of intermediate product between the plant and the living earth element...a large number of plant disease can be alleviated just by means of a rational method of manuring... What is needed is that the manuring add calcium to the soil. For the calcium to have a healing effect, it has to be calcium from something living, we can not evade the organic realm. It wont help at all to add ordinary lime or any other calcium compound that has fallen out of the organic realm”
~Rudolf Steiner (The Agriculture Course)
In the early fall, Anthony of the Temple Wilton Community farm grind the bark of the oak tree into powder and tightly packed a cows skull with the powder. Steiner recommended using a skull because it is a part of the body connected with the animal consciousness. The skull is closed with a horn and buried in a place where water stream. Tucking the skull close to running water connect the preparation with the lunar forces. In the spring we dig the skull and add the now decomposed preparation to the compost pile with all the other preparation.
When life process are too strong the life cycle is accelerated. The result is exhaustion both physical and mental of the life forces and degeneration. Calcium process are hardening process that keeps the life forces at bay hence keeping the integrity of plants and human alike.
The king of trees is full of integrity. He is the keeper of boundaries. The etheric body, (In other holistic modalities, the etheric body refers to chi, or the life force) which is carried by our blood, lymph and cellular fluids where immunity lives might get out of balance. Fungi and bacteria develops in the body when the lymph is stagnant creating a “swamp” or edema. Lieveoed describes the same process in plants: “when do plant disease arise, when can bacteria or fungi live on plant? Only when the plant is unable to hold together its ethereal in the form of the astral spiritual archetype”