The Acorn: History Of Superstitions
The oak tree's acorn has a long history of superstitions - Ancient Romans, Druids, Scandinavia, Nordic legends, modern folklore, Britain and medicine have all been influenced.
The acorn, the familiar fruit of the oak tree, is steeped in both strange and sometimes incredible superstitions. Some stem from Roman and Druid folklore. Some are manifested in the strange rituals and medical beliefs of old and present Britain. Even modern society carries on these superstitions about the innocent acorn into a new millennium.
In pre-Christian Britain the Druids venerated the acorn. Many other civilizations treated it with equal reverence, including the Romans, who shared similarities with the Druids by making a necklace of acorns. The Roman goddess Diana was frequently carved adorned with such a necklace. In these ancient cultures superstition and religion were closely bound together. The fear of evil spirits was as much a part of their cultures as cars are in the 21st century. The acorn was the talisman of the ancient world.
Nordic legends also tell of how Thor, god of thunder, took refuge under an oak tree during a thunderstorm. Somehow, despite the present day knowledge that hiding under any tree during such a storm is dangerous, people in Norway, Sweden and Finland have adapted this. Superstition states that putting an acorn on a windowsill during a thunderstorm protects the occupant's home from a lightning strike. Even modern blinds reflect this with acorn shaped pulls being quite common.
In 17th century Britain acorn juice was given to alcoholics as a cure or at least an ounce of prevention. Whether it worked is anyone's guess. However this medical folklore has continued to this day with some people carrying acorns to prevent aging.
The simple acorn affects even love. If lovers put two acorns, representing themselves, in a bowl of water and they float towards each other then they will marry. Scientifically this is mumbo jumbo, but what harm can it really do? Whether sensible people believe it seems irrelevant.
Acorn folklore and superstitions will change again, but they will never go away as long as human nature maintains the need to hang onto its mysterious past.