Fantasy, Herbology, Lore, Uncategorized, yule

The Holly & The Ivy


 I believe that many, if not most of us are familiar with the song of the Holly and the Ivy.

It is a favourite amongst Yuletide holiday songs, and here I have found  a wonderful Pagan rendition of that piece and a bit of history to accompany it. 

The Holly and the Ivy

The Holly and the Ivy
When they are both full-grown
Of all the trees that are in the wood
The Holly/Ivy bears the crown
The rising of the sun
And the running of the deer
The rounding of the shining moon
The weary worn hunter
The holly bears a blossom
White as the lily flower
And ivy bears the blackest buds
To pull him to her power
The holly bears a berry 
As red as any blood
And ivy bears the greenest leaves 
         To wrap him in her hood
    The holly bears a prickle 
As sharp as any thorn
And ivy bears a clinging vine 
To  encircle the morn
The holly bears a bark
Bitter as any gall
And ivy bears small nectar flowers
To sweeten all his fall
The holly and the ivy
When they are both full-grown
Of all the trees that are in the wood
These two shall wreathe as one

European Holly:

In Gaelic: cuileann, was a sacred to druids; who associated it with the winter solstice, and masculinity of the horned God as we await for him to be reborn into the Spring. For the Romans, holly was considered the plant of Saturn, and thence used in rituals and the celebration of Saturnalia


Pagan women carried ivy with them to promote fertility. Ivy was also thought to bring good luck to the carrier and ensure fidelity of their loved ones. Wands were decorated with ivy or made from ivy wood for use in nature spells and fertility ceremonies. Roman poets were crowned with a wreath of ivy so they would think clearly and creatively. Virgil spoke of the gold ivy that had yellow berries; this ivy is all but extinct today. Brides and grooms in Greece wore crowns of ivy as a representation of fidelity. Ivy is the plant dedicated to Bacchus, God of wine or intoxication. It is said that a handful of bruised ivy leaves boiled in wine will make it so the wine cannot intoxicate the drinker.

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