Monday, July 12, 2010

Celtic Tree Lore - The Holly King

hen most trees have shed their green coats of summer for a more drab coat of brown, the Holly is still green with color and brightly ornamented with bright scarlet berries. The Holly berry are said to represent blood and the life it gives each of us.

Holly was thought at one time to be as powerful as the mighty oak. Holly was often referred to as the Holly King. While the year was divided into months and seasons it is also split into 2 halves; the light half or warmer months and the dark half or colder months. Holly is the guardian of the waning of each year or the dark half. This time begins just after the summer solstice when we start to head toward shorter days until after Yule when we once again head toward light and longer days.

This representation can be seen in other things. A couple examples are the Christian church and placing the birthdays of John the Baptist during summer solstice or dark side and Jesus during winter solstice or light side. The story of Oak and Holly can also be found in the Arthurian legend in the story of Gawain (oak) and the Green Knight (Holly).


Not Hannah said...

I had no idea Christians celebrated John the Baptist's birthday in the summer time. That? Is some interesting food for thought.

Scented Leaf said...

Thanks for details. I think that in folklore underlying the Santa Claus legend, too.