Winter Solstice

Celebrating Winter Solstice

In Celtic tradition winter is ruled over by the Holly King, and the Oak King, or Green Man, rules over the summer. In medieval times the Holly King was represented by a boy who walked around the town accompanied by his bride Ivy Girl, teasing and laughing and taunting each other in kind of ritualised courtship. These are the last remaining strands of a tradition going back millennia to where they were once a god and goddess, remembered in the old carol, The Holly and The Ivy’ where ‘the holly wears the crown’.
The Oak and Holly King are two aspects of our ancient god of the sun. Rising and falling he is forever reborn at the winter Solstice, this is an ancient and recurring motif across the world and seen in other sun gods like the Roman Mithras. In Britain, the sun god was known by many names, and can be found in King Arthurs as well as the old Celtic myths about the Mabon, or the “son”. Hounourded by the druids at the winter solstice, who reap his sacred seed the mistletoe with golden sickle, he brings life back to the land.
At the darkest time, try closing your eyes, and look within. In the distance is a tiny pearl of flame. This is the sun within you. As you breathe, the solstice sun grows in power, reaching out its rays, it touches your heart, bringing life, and renewal. May its blessings fill you with light.

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