Track 1 - Sea of Oaks
Throughout history, especially in the British Isles, the oak tree has been revered for building the best ships upon the seas. Imagine entire beautiful forests being planted with the solitary intention of cutting them down to construct ships. For centuries, the seas were filled with the creaking, snapping, and growling of these majestic trees, in battle and commerce. But once, these trees lived in serene, quiet groves. What if the tree had memory and longed for its home in the grove, with its family of trees? What if it knew it would never return, and the oak could come to embrace its prideful purpose upon the sea?
Track 2 - Leaves of Glory
Many of the bravest oaks have lived for hundreds of years. - some even 1000. They've stood and watched countless battles over their changing landscape. Beneath their canopies rest thousands of brave hearts who have died in the name of a cause. Their corporeal remains then nourished the trees. As the leaves rustle in the winds, they whisper the glory and memory of those who rest beneath them.
Track 3 - The Grove at Dodona
Oak groves have been used as sacred places for innumerable cultures and religions throughout history. Legend says that the Druids performed all of their sacred work in oak groves. The grove at Dodona, in Greece, is believed to be the location of the second oldest Greek oracle. Some believe this oracle was devoted to a Mother Goddess and that ancient priestesses would listen to the rustling of the leaves in the oak trees and interpret the prophecies held within the sounds.
Track 4 - Runic Roots
The chanted word in this piece is Ansuz, the name given to the “a” rune of the Elder Futhark (the eldest form of the runic alphabets.) The name is based on the Proto-Germanic “Ansuz”, denoting a deity in Germanic paganism. As the Anglo-Frisian languages developed, they split the Ansuz rune into three. One of the three became Āc, which is where we get the word “oak”.
Runes have deep meanings. Ansuz is commonly associated with these concepts: breath, sound, voice of the universe, music, power of hypnosis, inspiration, and listening to one’s own inner voice.
Track 5 - Call of the Ruins
Since the beginning of written human history people have congregated under the shade of the oak. There they have prayed, studied, lived and died. This song has lyrics in Hebrew which translate as: "Here in this place where you walked, and where you prayed, and where you cried, I hear your prayer and taste your tears." There are many mentions of oak trees in the Old Testament. There are also some belief systems which have held that ancestors live in the oak trees.
Track 6 - The Oaken Door
In Celtic lore, the oak represented the axis mundi. It was the center of the world and the connection between Heaven and Earth. The Celtic name for oak, daur, is the origin of the word door. The root of the oak was the doorway to the Otherworld, the realm of Fairy. As a sign of longevity and strength, oak was often used above a home’s threshold or fireplace.
Track 7 - Dryad's Rejoice
In Ancient Greek mythology, oak tree spirits emerged from the first tree created by God – an oak, the World Tree – and were called dryads. From that oak tree came all of humanity.
Track 8 - Of Badges and Crowns
Images of oak trees and their leaves have been used across cultures and time on flags, insignias, crowns, and coats of armor. Those designs embody dedication to a cause, and represent hope and bravery.
Track 9 - Under Her Canopy
In Celtic tradition the bond between mother and daughter was sacred. Together with the knowledge that women were known for their physical strength and never being thought of as property, it surely was one of the best times in history to be a woman. But all women begin as young girls looking up to their mothers for guidance and love. Now, let's think about our Sapphire Oak, as a female energy who guides and protects, who holds fast as an honorable figure of strength. Her roots are the same that generations before have stood over, and will continue to expand as time passes and the next generations grow. In this piece we hear the voice of the mother, the daughter, and the chorus of the female ancestors enveloping them in comfort and love.
Track 10 - Sapphire Oak
For thousands of years sapphire blue has been seen as a color of protection from harm or illness and a guard against envy. It is a sign of loyalty, honesty, and peace. I believe that if the wisdom and strength of the oak were to emit a color, it would be sapphire blue. And if we were to tune in to that radiance, and guidance, the trust and the loyalty, we would feel grounded and connected to all living things.
Track 11 - Carry the Oak
Various beliefs exist that if you carry a piece of an oak tree (twigs, galls, acorns) with you, especially on a journey, it will act as a talisman to protect you from evil, keep you safe, etc. As this track ends the album, carry forward with the gifts of introspective reflection, hope, guidance, and companionship the mighty oak has, and always will, share.