Modern Letter: T
Ruler of the 8th Lunar Month
8th July – 4th August
Tine reminds us there is a strength to be found in unity, together we are stronger and better able to protect ourselves. Fostering stability and trust amongst our fellows will aid in this, as will practice, practice and more practice, building an instinctual nature. Holly also reminds us to trust our intuition but to avoid allowing our heart to rule our head. It may be necessary to rapidly adapt and respond to changing situations at hand. Through preparation such changes will come instinctual and with calm but could fall apart if you let emotions rule. Don’t risk losing sight of the big picture.
Common name: holly
Scientific name: Ilex aquifolium
Holly, or European holly, occurs naturally throughout Europe from Britain and Ireland to as far south as Bulgaria and Turkey and beyond, being found as far asNorth Africa, the Caucasus mountains and northern Iran. The holly tree is its intrinsic link to Christmas and the Christian tradition and has been transplanted into regions where it has become an invasive species, including the temperate regions of Australia, Pacific North West America and NEW Zealand.
Mature holly trees can grow as tall as 15m and can live up to 300 years. The dark green, glossy foliage provides dense cover and nesting opportunities for various birds and hibernating mammals and the bright red berries are a vital winter food source for birds and small mammals.
Holly is an evergreen, meaning that the tree maintains leaves even in the deepest winter. Younger trees and new growth leaves close to ground level are usually spiked, with older leaves or those growing higher up are more rounded and smooth. These long lived and distinctive leaves are usually enough to aid identification of Holly year round but it is possible to ide tidy the wood by its smooth thin bark with small brown ‘warts’.
Holly throws small white flowers between early spring and early summer, depending on climate, before developing its distinctive blood red berries which will remain on the tree well into the winter.
Planet: Mars / Saturn
Themes: Truth, sacrifice, reincarnation
Deity: Lugh, Thor, Holly King
Sabbat: Lammas / Lughnasadh
Tide: The Waning Year
Tine Tine TineSuggested Galdur
Tiiiii Nnneee Tiiiii Nnneee
Ti Ti Tiiiii Nnneee
Tine Tine Tine
Hang a sprig of Holly in your home to protect your family.
Soak holly leaves in water under the light of a full moon to created water to use for blessing people and belongings you wish to protect.
To dream of a lover, gather nine holly leaves silently on a Friday night. Wrap the leaves in white cloth, bind with cord knotted nine times and place the package under your pillow. Do the same process with seven leaves and knots for prophetic dreams.
Mythology and Literature
Holly has been traditionally associated with protection and defence, such as guarding against evil spirits and bad luck. Holly was also associated with peace, goodwill and the drawing of good luck so it wasn’t uncommon for Celtic Chieftains to wear holly wreath crowns, or for new mothers to hand them over the cribs of new-borns.
It was most commonly during the winter months that Holly was brought into the home when protection and a memory of more verdant and fertile times is needed. The Christian church found in the Holly’s prickly leaves, blood red berries and bright white May flowers much that reminded them of the Mysteries of the Birth and Passion of Christ. This is why Holly is brought into churches during December, usually as a wreath to serve as a setting for the Advent candles.
Although the taking of cuttings is acceptable, and even encouraged, the full destruction of a tree is considered unlucky. Particularly where a tree forms part of a boundary is is thought to make the perpetrator vulnerable to negative influence from Witches, goblins and various “bad” fairies.
A ROSE has thorns as well as honey,But Give me Holly, Jolly and Bold – Christina Rossetti
I’ll not have her for love or money;
An iris grows so straight and fine
That she shall be no friend of mine;
Snowdrops like the snow would chill me;
Nightshade would caress and kill me;
Crocus like a spear would fright me;
Dragon’s-mouth might bark or bite me;
Convolvulus but blooms to die;
A wind-flower suggests a sigh;
Love-lies-bleeding makes me sad;
And poppy-juice would drive me mad: –
But give me holly, bold and jolly,
Honest, prickly, shining holly;
Pluck me holly leaf and berry
For the day when I make merry.