Yesterday we explored Ivy, the Solstice green associated with the Divine Feminine. And today, Holly, for the Divine Masculine. Together they represent our Divine Whole Self.
The elements of Holly and Ivy are symbiotic, as the Ivy very often grows within the Holly Bush. Holly and the Ivy together are a powerful team, representing the joining of the masculine fire and protective energy (holly) and feminine intuitive and emotional energies (ivy). Together, this yin and yang of greenery represent balance and good fortune for the next year.
These old tales from our indigenous past have made their way into contemporary culture, religion and even into literature. Holly, for instance, is a significant element in the Arthurian legend of Gawain and the Green Knight (who is clearly based on the Old Gods!). Gawain is challenged at Christmas to behead the Green Knight, who offers to do the same for Gawain in the Summer. When Gawain beheads the knight, the Green Knight springs to life…. reminding us of the circle of life. And in Celtic traditions, the Holly King and the Oak King each rule part of the year battling for supremacy. At summer’s end (around Samhain), the Holly King reigns supreme and rules the Dark half of the year. At winter’s end (around Bealtainne), the Oak King wins the battling, ruling during the summer months.
Celebrating with Holly and Ivy
Use these elements – along with other seasonal items such as rosemary, bay leaves, pine cones, berries and more – to create a Yule wreath to celebrate the integration of the divine masculine and feminine within each of us.