The Mighty Oak & The One Pagan-Europe
by Edward Le Prieur
The mighty Oak has served as a key symbol for Indo-European belief since the very earliest religious and spiritual practice in the continent. Once the Christian expansion began in Europe there was a war not alone for our own sacred rights, but upon the symbols that we held dear. Such as the Oak tree itself a vital symbol of Pre-Christian Europe.
The tribes of Northern Europe or of Norse Germanic paganism were not the only ones to utilize the Oak as a significant religious symbol. In Scandinavia of course. Old Norse Þórr, Old Saxon thunar, and Old Frisian thuner are cognates within the Germanic language branch, descending from the Proto-Germanic masculine noun *þunraz ‘thunder’. Thor’s Oak was a sacred tree important to Germanic pagans.
In Greece the Oak tree is sacred. Zeus is the Greek continuation of *Di̯ēus, the name of the Proto-Indo-European god of the daytime sky, also called *Dyeus (“Sky Father”). Chief among gods of Greek pantheon. The god of Thunder and Sky. The priests utilizing signs of the Oak tree to determine the will of the gods.
In the Baltic pantheon, Latvia, Lithuania, Prussia. The most important deity named; Latvian Pērkons, Lithuanian Perkūnas and Prussian Perkūns. The Thunder God, the name continues *Perkwunos, cognate to *perkwus, a word for “oak”, “fir” or “wooded mountain”. Some sources believe that Finnish deity Perkele was a loan from the Baltic Pērkons.
Slavic mythology has Perun (Перун). Perun is closely correlated with the strikingly similar Perkūnas/Pērkons from Baltic mythology. The root *perkwu originally probably meant oak, but in Proto-Slavic this evolved into per- meaning “to strike, to slay”. Slavic mythology closely resembles Norse paganism; the world represented by a sacred tree typically an Oak.
Among Celtic tribes of Gaul, Britain and Ireland the god Taranis. The reconstructed Proto-Celtic form of the name is *Toranos “thunder”. In present day Welsh taranu and taran means ‘to thunder’ and ‘thunder’. Once again god of thunder is associated with the Oak. The Celtic name for Oak was part of the Proto-Celtic word for ‘druid’: *derwo-weyd- > *druwid or modern Druid, the priests of Celtic paganism.
More than those I have mentioned. There is a clear link between all the native Indo-European religions that can’t be ignored. When the Christians came they destroyed not only the practices but the symbols associated with the practices. According to legend Saint Boniface cutting down the sacred Thor’s Oak, building a church from the wood and replacing the mighty Oak with a fir tree (which is in the shape of a triangle) to represent the Christian Holy Trinity.
Clearly nothing will stand in the way of Christians spreading their spiritual plague across the globe, including mother nature herself. Destroying trees in the name of their god. The true European deities are all here. Though they may have different names there is one European religion!
Hail the mighty Oak!
Hail all true Europeans!
For more on the single pagan religion of Europe I recommend you read the article Heill auk Sæll! by Varg Vikernes.