Monday, 21 December 2009

Holly at Solstice

Holly King & Oak King both wear a crown of snow today in North Yorkshire. Symbolic of the battle between dark & light, the Holly King, at the height of his power yields his crown to the Oak King at Winter Solstice. The Oak Kings strength will grow as the days lengthen, up to Summer Solstice, when power is handed back to the Holly.

As the days have shortened & the nights lengthened, the Holly King has ruled, bearing the sceptre of the darkening year here in the northern hemisphere. In a glorious flourish before he hands over his crown, holly berries have adorned the female trees- there is no battle of the sexes here, they share the crown, both majestic. Typically, the birds have eaten most before Yule! 

ripening nicely~ early november

The Solstice marks a turning point of the year- ready to leave behind the shortened days. Can we also use it as a turning point? To leave behind any shortfall or shortcomings, real or perceived… maybe something that limits or ‘shortens’ our capacity (whether emotionally, mentally or physically)… or to forgive the shortcomings of another, or resolve not to tolerate behaviour that shortens our enjoyment of life.

[I wonder; separation & divorce are higher at Christmas- maybe it isn’t just down to added stresses of the season- maybe some unconscious realisation triggered  by the Solstice, to let go of things that darken our lives… to look forward to brighter times. Just a thought.]

20 oct~ oak leaf with a crown of snow~

Like the buds already forming on the oak tree, alongside withered leaves (ideas, relationships, habits, negative thought patterns etc), ready to be cast off, we carry the buds of growth, positive potential, the growth of Light in our hearts & souls….

berries in early october~ 
So what can we learn from the Holly as S(He) passes over the Solstice Crown? Evergreen… constant… whether ‘king’ or awaiting it's turn… to hold our beliefs, faith, truth, no matter what is going on around us? Eternity, infinity… of soul, spirit, divine? Masculine & feminine, yin & yang…. side by side… providing the fruit (ideas, comfort) to brighten the gloomiest of days?

the perfect christmas tree for me~ just where it is
Did you know that the dried out, skeleton holly leaves are excellent tinder? The holly has the capacity to ignite from the tiniest spark. Perhaps we could meditate on the Holly… connect to its energy… to kindle that spark within. For we all have that spark of divinity within…. ponder on the holly… & grow your dreams. It is for each of us to connect & intuit our own messages or lessons that the holly can bring… to create our own solstice within at  any time we choose…..

sunrise from under the oak~ 20 dec


Jasmine said...

This is such a lovely post!

Assayya of 'gathering natures wisdom' left a message for me today about how my scarf reminds her of the oak king taking back his crown from the holly king. I have not come across this tale before. Happy Solstice to you xx

Assayya said...

great post!!!
after the first frost the blackbirds started to eat the red holly-berries.
now they are all gone:))

Laura Hegfield said...

Your words and images are lovely and heart opening Suzi. Much to muse upon here; deep wisdom to be found in natures bountiful lessons.

bright blessings,

Suzi Smith said...

Thankyou... Anyone wanting to hear more about the holly king pop over to assayya's blog & about the 'energy' of holly a bit further down the page... glad you came assayya! (there is a translation button)

Nowadays messages from nature pop into mind whenever i stop to look or just ponder laura... it seems the more i see the more there is to see. Ah, such is life...

blessings of the solstice everyone!

Jasmine said...

I loved this post the first time I read and love it even more now that it is shared with the festival of trees.

Have a wonderful New Year x

Suzi Smith said...

tvm Jasmine, i'v still got to work my way through the festival list

Barry said...

S So glad you received such a gorgeous giveawy;and love the photo of the holly holding the snow - such a balance between stillnes and the possibility of renewal. B

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