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The Holly King and the Oak King are described by Graves to be locked in an eternal struggle for the favor of the Goddess. The Holly King emerges on the summer solstice to slay his brother at the height of his power, only to have the same happen to him on the winter solstice. Because there is no specific source myth, descriptions of the Holly King are interpretive and tend to vary. In one tradition he is described as an immortal giant wielding a large club of holly wood [ 3 ].
Others interpret the Holly King as more jovial, and potentially as an early precursor to Santa Claus [ 2 ].
Holly King (archetype)
Of all the trees that are in the wood The holly wears the crown [ 1 ]. People with birthdays between between the summer and winter solstice zodiac signs Cancer , Leo , Virgo , Scorpio , and Sagittarius may feel particularly influenced by the Holly King, having been born during his reign. Suggested offerings to the Holly King include holly , wren feathers, antler velvet, chestnut s, and other traditional midwinter correspondences.
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Midsummer Holly Midwinter. You can Print this page for your Book of Shadows. If you have a question or something to add or would like to offer a devotion to The Holly King, please use the comment button below. The Holly King. Traditional British Christmas carol "The Holly and the Ivy" makes reference to the Holly King, saying: Of all the trees that are in the wood The holly wears the crown [ 1 ] Associations and Suggested Offerings People with birthdays between between the summer and winter solstice zodiac signs Cancer , Leo , Virgo , Scorpio , and Sagittarius may feel particularly influenced by the Holly King, having been born during his reign.
Graves, Robert. The White Goddess.
Colloquy of the Oak and Holly King
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Penczak, Christopher. Migrating birds and animals began to be confused about when to begin the migration. Plants found themselves rooted in climates that no longer supplied their needs.
The air was changing, and the winds that had brought rain and taken it away again began to flow in unexpected directions, causing drought here and flood there. The people began to see that their support of warmth and light over cold and darkness had altered the balance of the whole world. They began, slowly, one at a time, to realize that the Holly King was dying. And for the first time, this thought filled them with fear.
What would happen if the balance continued to be destroyed? Could they even survive in a world without the Holly King? And in the world of the gods, the Oak King realized it, too. And though they had been competitors all these many centuries, he also realized that he loved his brother deeply, and could not live without him. The longest night came, and the Oak King and the Holly King met again, but this time, the Oak King had no heart for the fight.
He lay down his sword and spear. He came, openhanded, to his brother, who was struggling just to stay on his feet. The Oak King wrapped the Holly King in a tight embrace, and he promised to set aside their enmity and to help his brother heal. On the night when he usually claimed ascendance, the Oak King realized that the world was already too warm and too light. And so, he laid the great oak crown on the head of his brother, took his hand, and each supporting the other, they went out into the world to see what could be done to restore balance.
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Winter Solstice: the Holly King vs. the Oak King | Through Your Body:
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