Arbor Day is an ancient festival day and dates back to when tree dressing was widely carried out as a pagan fertility rite. Choosing a tree to worship, inhabitants from a wide area would lay on it women’s clothing believing that by doing so agricultural fertility was ensured for the coming season. The practice honoured the Celtic fertility goddess Brigit who as Christianity took over from the old religion was sanctified as St Bride or St Brigit.
In 1660 on his return to the throne, King Charles II announced that 29 May would not only be known as Oak Apple Day, perhaps a reference to when he avoided capture by Roundhead soldiers by concealing himself in an Oak tree at Boscobel during the Civil War, but as a public holiday. At this time the ceremony was revived throughout Britain with celebrations taking place on an annual basis. Eventually Oak Apple Day was abolished in the mid 1800s.
Arbor Day takes place on the last Sunday in May each year.
Our Sacred Oak - Arbor Day
26th May 2013
Our Mystical Mighty Sacred Oak
by Charles E S Fairey
Today we adorn thee
Oh Greatest of all Trees
We fly colourful ribbons
From you, the Tree of Woden’s,
Attached to your fertile form
Growing in power each morn to morn,
Oh King of all Trees
Oh Arbor Tree, We Adore Thee.
Where we may repose and sit
Beneath your green man spirit
Under your Oaken gaze
Our eyes with emeralds ablaze
Whilst the Sun blazes above
Its rays imbuing you with love
And here below your driad souls
Drink from your Faerie acorn bowls,
The knowledge of the Oak King
Your spirits, birds, whistle and sing,
Communing with Nature You and We
Performing our sacred rites, You and Me,
Hear Us, Oh Druidic Oak
Clothe Us in Your Ancient Cloak.
Worshipped each Arbor Day
An archaic festival some might say
When your mystique is invoked
St Brigit’s fertility ribbons soaked,
Decorated with runic cloth each May
A summer ritual, the last Sacred Sunday,
Our King of Trees, Oh Our Sacred Oak
For millennia you have inspired magical folk.
In the wind we hear your divine song
Angelic voices we have heard for so long
From Hunter, Druid, King and Priestess,
Your domain never fails to impress,
You, the Centre of the World Realm
All mystery and the All-Father at your helm.
What have you seen
Which of we can only dream
Since your birth
King of the Earth
What of Nature have you known
Whilst through millennia you have grown?
Your animal spirits and sprites
Passing through infinite days and nights,
Sheep grazing around
Lambs bleating surround,
Oh Our Lord of Trees
Oh Mystic Oak, We Adore Thee.
Adorned with incantations and prayers
The colours of life you now wear
Watching over, guarding worshipper
Teaching them, Nature’s eye opener,
Your spirit emanates emerald greens
The Wildman, Oak King, within our dreams,
Watching over us immemorial, eternal
Your love everlasting, paternal,
Helping us ascend above
A thank you for all our love,
Oh Our Sacred Oak
You adore us and we adore you,
Clothe us in your emerald cloak,
Each adornment our ribbons renew
Our worship of Oaken you,
Our King of Trees
Your many druidic sanctuaries
The Mystical Mighty Sacred Oak,
The Inspiration and Power of magical folk.
Watch Over, Guard We
Adorn Us With Your Great Spirit, as We Adorn You
May The Oak King and The Green Man Be Ever in Our Hearts
So Mote It Be.
Our Sacred Oak - Arbor Day
27th May 2012