15 July, 2010

I've been absent/Thursday Herbal: Holly

I'm not sure if it's because I couldn't find inspiration, because I've been a bit depressed or because I became so involved with my Graduate classes.  I'm more inclined to think it's a combination of all three.  I did feel better when I blogged on a regular basis, so I know I do not want to give it up.  Plus, I was starting to gain a small following.  I noticed I lost a few followers because of my month long absence, but maybe because I plan to post on a regular basis again they'll come back or I'll gain some new people.  I do want to extend an apology to those of you still following.  I'm back and I honestly mean it.  I've spent the past few days looking at my life and my mental state.  I realized how much more at peace I was when I wrote here (almost) everyday and how much more in tune I was with Nature, the Goddess and the God, and the craft.  I want my faith to be with my at all times and I feel that I've let it slip away from me in the past month.  Perhaps it's fitting that I've come to this conclusion as the Celtic calendar changes from Oak to Holly.  Holly, of course, is the focus of my post tonight.

So, thus I begin the new(ish) blog format.  Thursday will be an herbal/plant reflection.  I've started reading a lot about gardening and canning and drying my own herbs.  I don't have a place to do any of this in yet, but I want to be knowledgeable enough so I can jump right in when my husband and I purchase our own home.

Holly
  • symbolic of strength gained by challenge
  • was once hardened in flames and used as spears
    • believed that when heated, holly was as strong as iron
  • associated with the spirit of vegetation and the waning forces of nature, personified as a mythical figure called the Holly King.  
    • The Holly King rules nature during its decline from the mid-summer solstice (Litha - Jun 21st) through to the mid-winter solstice (Yule – Dec 21st).  At each of the solstice Sabbats, the Holly King and his brother the Oak King engage in ritual combat for the attentions of the Goddess, from whence the victor presides over nature through the following half of the year.
  • Magickal Uses:  
    • When planted around the home it protects the inhabitants and guards against lightening, poisoning and mischievous spirits.
    •  As a charm to enhance dreams, nine Holly leaves gathered on a Friday after midnight, wrapped in a clean cloth to protect against its needles, and tied up using nine knots was placed under a pillow to make dreams come true.
    • Holly is used for magick associated with the element of fire and Holly incense is used to consecrate the athame.
    •  The Holly tree deity associations are with:  Lugh, Tannus, Taranis and Thor.  

Holly Spell (from Llewellyn's Witches' Datebook 2010)


If you wish to grow stronger from everyday challenges and overcome them, enlist the help of the holly spirit.  As you gaze into the candle's flame, feel it filling you.  It blesses you with the ability to face any challenges in your path with insight and strength.  


You Will Need:
  1. A few holly leaves or other symbol of holly
  2. A Green Candle
  3. A needle or tool to carve with
Ritual:
  1. Carve the holly symbol on the candle.
  2. Light it and say: 
 I salute the blessed holly tree,
In justice's name I do decree,
As every challenge comes my way,
The flame will temper my swordplay.

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