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 George Rix Seawitchartist


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A Druid friend in America asked me to paint an ancient Oak tree with an Awen cross on it's trunk. I opted to paint it with lots of moss colonising it's girth and exposed roots with stunted branches as is often so with an ancient oak.

Druids Oak                                                     8 x 8 inch Acrylic on canvas

A Druid friend in America asked me to paint an ancient Oak tree with an Awen symbol on it's trunk. I opted to paint it with lots of moss colonising it's girth and exposed roots with stunted branches as is often so with an ancient oak. That offered some advantage given the reason the painting was being commissioned, a book cover for Under an expanse of Oaks , later a variant was asked for to hang at home, which is what you see above.

The Oak and Awen

Oak and Awen, sacred Druid tree and symbol.

Why are the Oak and the Awen symbol so sacred to Druids? I decided to ask an experienced Druid in Wales, Warren Brown, he wrote for me the following.........

'Oak is considered the most noble of all trees, maybe due to it’s prominence on the land, on the ancient landscape the oak was the largest most imposing feature, often 
seen struck by lightning which must have made it very special in the eyes of our ancestors, touched by fire from the Gods. Mistletoe was thought to be a result of the lightning strike, a gift from the gods therefore considered one of the most sacred plants of Druids
Lightning struck oak is also still considered a very potent material to use for creating magical tools. 
Oak was also seen as the personal tree of Dagda the father of the Celtic gods.
Rituals, rites and gatherings were held in vast groves of Oak and druids would not worship or practice without the presence of an oak tree,
The word Druid comes from the word ‘Duir’ meaning oak and the word ‘Wid’
meaning to have knowledge of. Druid translates as ‘Those with knowledge of the Oak’ or ‘Wise one of the Oak’. To possess knowledge of the oak was to possess knowledge of all trees, know the king of trees know his court!

The Awen is the symbol of divine inspiration in Druidry,
A flowing river of knowledge a fire in the head placed by the divine bringing insight,
it is all, the power behind everything linking life, nature and the elements, connecting this world to the otherworld
the three rays of sunlight which are cast on the dawn of the solstice and open
the gateway to Annwyn, the Celtic otherworld, many Druids see the Awen symbol 
as also representing the three realms Land, Sea and Sky.
The three dots are seen symbolic by some as the three drops of Awen
given to Taliesin from the cauldron of the goddess Cerridwen.'

 

 

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All text and images and linked images are © 2003-2013 George Rix .If you require any further information on permitted use, or a licence to republish any material, email me at copyright@seawitchartist.com