Sunday, 13 December 2020

The Holly & Oak King Battle

Variegated holly leaves and red berries

The rebirth of the Sun is such a huge cause for celebration that many witches mark the occasion by bringing the outside in; to signify the solar turning of the tides, and the return and commencement of the growing season. This is usually in the form of evergreens; plants that retain their green leaves throughout the year. Bay, holly, ivy, mistletoe, photinia, and cedar are all examples of evergreens, and many of them are symbolic in some way.

The holly is one such symbolic plant.

Stemming from Celtic mythology, but common in many folklore traditions, the Oak King and the Holly King - personifications of the winter and summer - are two brothers that rule over the land, sharing their rule. They are, in effect, two parts of the same thing; the waxing and waning of the yearly cycle of Earth.

The Holly King reigns from midsummer to midwinter - a waning period of increasing darkness - and represents darkness, destruction, and decay.

At Yule, the Oak King, Lord of the Summer, representing expansion, light, and growth, is reborn, ready to take the throne for the period of increasing light.

At the solstices the brothers collide; light and dark battling to decide who will win the Crown of the Year, and reign over the coming months.

© Original content; repost with clear, written credits. @the_cemetery_witch

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