Duir / Oak


Duir is the doorway tree. It is the symbol of protection and solidity, strongly barring the way to things that should not enter as well as opening to allow the entrance of things that are welcome. This magical ability to do two things, to tell the difference between good and evil, makes Duir a valuable aid in doing magical work since it helps and strengthens our intentions. We can use oak as a protective charm for our houses and possessions, but also as a strong ally for ourselves.

The Oak King, the Young King or the Green Man, is the mythic representative of Duir. We can ask his aid in positive undertakings, especially those with some element of danger. He is one of the righteous warriors in the cosmos. The Arthurian figure of the king pulling the sword from the stone and the whole mythos of the perfect knight of chivalry are personifications of this Archtype. Protection is his provenance, and this is the message of the card when drawn reversed: that we are in a weakened position or that some threatening event is coming but that we have aid we can freely draw on to help us. This idea is also expressed in nature and in the spirit world by the Oak struck by lightning, but growing even though it is split.

The rune Dag and the ogham Duir are both Oak and both have the same symbolic meanings. They stand for the top of the year cycle, Litha or Midsummer, which is the festival of the longest day. This is the peak of growing things and the triumph of light over darkness. Light and Darkness are always engaged in a struggle as a necessary part of the wheel of life. Neither one can completely conquer the other, and nothing in life is ever purely one or the other. The symbol of Dag, the double-headed ax that cuts both ways, is a reminder of this.

This is not a gloomy or forboding symbol, however. The other representation of this same symbol is the butterfly. The bird symbol of Duir is the wren. The wren is the king of the birds, even though it is small and timid. Each wren is tiny, but the tribe of Wren is strong and lasting. Each butterfly is fragile, but the nation of Butterfly is everywhere. Each acorn is insignificant, but the Oak is a mighty tree growing for hundreds of years and lasting through storms and lightning strikes. Autumn oak leaves are brown and dull, but they stay on the tree until the new leaves of spring.

The message of the card is a comforting one,» Everything will work out.»

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