Sacred Groves of Germania

The Germanic Tribes, since time immemorial, hold forests, groves, and sometimes, individual trees, as sacred places.

Conducting rituals, holding gatherings in these places, and at times, thousands of people from the regional Tribes come together, and hold a Ding (þing, assembly of chieftains and families).

One such place was known as Donar’s Oak, in the region of what is today Hesse, Germany.

Donar, known later to the fleeing Northern Tribes as Þórr, and who many non-tribesmen today call Thor, is a powerful and revered entity to all Germanic Tribesmen.

This grand and ancient Oak tree was a sacred place for all of the Tribes, and for a thousand years, it stood as a symbol and a ritual gathering place in honor of the great Donar.

As Christianity and the Empires spread throughout Europe, it was necessary to remove what was considered Pagan or Heathen sacred places, and replace them with Christian ones. Allowing a nature based culture to flourish did not align with the mission of Imperial Christianity.

In the 8th Century, Wynfryth, an Anglo-Saxon Christian, born in England, went on a mission to Germania. His primary objective: To root out all Pagans and convert them to Christianity.

Near the present day town of Fritzlar, one hundred miles north of today’s Frankfurt, at the crossroads of several important trade routes for all of Europe at the time, stood Donar’s Oak.

Wynfryth, who was later sainted and became known as Saint Boniface, could not convert the Germanic Pagans as long as this great Oak stood. It was a living symbol of the power that the revered Donar possessed among the Tribes.

More commanding, more visible, and much older than any single god of the Christians, who did not embody any living thing in nature that could be pointed to, witnessed, and worshiped. All that the Christians had were symbols, books, and buildings made by man. Donar’s Oak stood in view of all who were traveling along the trade routes, and Boniface knew that he could not compete with this massive, ancient, storied tree.

Boniface announced a gathering around the sacred Oak, and many of the tribal Chieftains and heads of families came. It would be considered highly rude, and possibly criminal under what the Romans called “leges barbarorum”, the laws of the Barbarians. Not attending a summoning to Donar’s Oak, no matter who called it, may result in loss of status, of chiefdom, and possible banishment from the Tribe.

When the Chieftains and people assembled around Donar’s Oak, Boniface, along with his band of Christian missionaries, began chopping down the sacred Oak.

As the great Oak was being felled before symbols of Christianity, Boniface announced that the power of Christ and his god was greater than that of Donar. To the dismay of all who gathered, Donar did not strike Boniface down, and it is told in some accounts, that a wind blew, and the giant Oak fell to the ground.

In shock, horror, and amazement that Boniface was not struck down by Donar while committing this sacrilegious act against Donar, the people converted to Christianity.

To add further insult, and seal the fate of the Pagans in Germania, and ensure their conversion for generations to come, Boniface used the wood from Donar’s Oak to construct a chapel on top of where the mighty Oak once stood, dedicating it to his apostle, Saint Peter.

Donar’s Oak no longer stood as a highly visible symbol to all who traveled through the region along the trade routes, the power of the Germanian Tribesmen and the Pagans was striped away in one moment as the ancient Oak that stood for a millennia, fell before the axes of Boniface and his men.

The era of Germanic Pagans was over. Now, a Christian church was seen by all, and word spread quickly throughout Germania:

Donar was dead, Christ lived.

The tribes of Germania have been fighting Empires and Christianity for thousands of years, their fight is no different than the ones we see today with the indigenous peoples of North America, it’s just been going on much longer, and, unfortunately, many of the descendants of those Tribesmen who witnesed the fall of Donar’s Oak, have joined the expansion and domination of Christianity and the Empire across the globe.

How long must these invading belief systems be allowed to prevail?

Why do we continue to allow and tolerate the destruction of sacred places?

Why is the world always at war with nature based belief systems?

As descendants of the converted Tribesmen, how do we come to terms with being the oppressor, servants of the Empire our ancestors capitulated to?

We played a key role in establishing white privilege, and continue to benefit from the decision of our ancestors today.