Holly (Tinne) 8th July – 4th August

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Holly flower (cr)This Celtic Moon phase is Holly. In this phase the day light is officially getting shorter and the season about to change. Crops are starting to ripen and the harvest is soon to be upon us. Holly is the protector and provider tree of the waning year; a reminder of abundance and fertility. A weaver of hopes and dreams, he reaches defiantly, against all odds, from the earth towards the stars. Being able to germinate with little sunlight and impervious to weather the Holly is a beacon of support in the darker months that lie ahead.

Holly is an evergreen tree and a great reminder to us of the immortality of nature. He has no fear of the future months and is confident in his ability to conquer the extremes that this time of the year can bring, including the cold weather and reduced sunlight. Slow growing, this tree is often used as a hedge or shrub but, if left, can achieve up to 80ft in height.holly leaves

Holly is dioecious meaning some trees are male and others female. When they bloom in warmer months you will find small, white, four petalled flowers. To determine the male from the female variety you will need to look closer. The male flowers have 4 yellow stamens each, much more prominent than the female flower that also has inside a green ovary bump. The lower glossy evergreen leaves bear spears or spikes which many of us use to determine its identity. But as the tree grows its leaves become smoother edged as the need for  protection from predators is reduced. 

Then in the Autumn the female Hollies flourish with red fruits before the journey starts again. The Holly is both generous and kind to those around it providing pollen, habitat, shelter and food for small insects, mammals and birds. It is considered to be unlucky to cut down a Holly tree, as its evergreen status means it is viewed as always living. Its robust strength and resilience to cut backs give way to its understanding of being used by people for protection to ward away negativity and create boundaries to homes. 

The Holly has been regularly described and recognised in history through its association to suffering and immortality. Connections to blood shed for humanity's salvation through Jesus’ crown and associations to Christmas and Yuletide. The Victorian era saw many people bring Holly inside to remind them of nature and the light returning and resurrecting in the spring.

It is thought by some that the Celtic word Tinne for this phase means Holm Oak or Evergreen Oak used by the ancients and ancestors to recognise the changing of the year from light to dark and the handing over of the crown or reign from the Oak king to the Holly king.   Its connection flows through many cultures and deities including but not limited to Lugh, Thor, Tannus, and Etruscan.

Known for magical and medicinal properties by many who know how the berries are actually poisonous so please beware.

Tradition holds that Holly trees are never struck by lightning. You will find many planted near houses in Britain as a result. There is some truth in this superstition as such incidents are rare compared with oaks. Holly is also associated with protection from historical accounts that witches may not be able to walk across them and has a strong connection with the thunder gods such as Thor and Taranis known for protection of mankind.

If you were born under the Holly phase you are likely to be a born leader and hold a powerful presence amongst others with skill and poise.  You will take on challenges easily and be confident in your own abilities.

If not born under this phase but you feel a soul connection to Holly you will have acquired or recognise in yourself some of the same traits. You may find you are well balanced in both strength and kindness and have a solidness about you. Others may look to you for support and guidance and you are probably seen as a protector of truth and justice. You could have warrior-like tendencies to be ready, always vigilant and prepared to fight if needed but also generous, kind and compassionate.

Sometimes you can be seen as aggressive or angry, but in short it is your way of demonstrating that you are determined, full of love and ready to overcome fear and offer hope to those who need it - just like the Holly tree does to those around it as the nights grow longer and the dark settles in.

hlers Medizinal-Pflanzen - )Which brings me to the message of the Holly tree, its energy and how it may offer its support through its essence. The side to which our energies and emotions fall depends on the environment around us and our experiences on our own journey thus far; but the Holly brings us a message of style, dignity, luck, protection and reaping what we have sown.

Holly’s message draws on the positives of knowing its own abilities to bring a second change, a rebirth, and to offer feelings associated to generosity loss and anticipation of hope instead of fear.

Holly allows us to recognise that what we need can last forever and what no longer serves us can be left behind. It allows us to accept that suffering can bring learnings and or painful consequences and yet it also brings knowledge and an understanding of the greater value too.

Holly essence gives calmness and stability to those who need it and helps us feel well balanced and prepared. It brings feelings of security and solidarity and recognition of kindness, love and compassion. (As such it can help dissolve negative feelings such as suspicion, hate, jealousy, fear, anger and revenge. It allows us to feel confident, self-empowered, at one with nature and all the infinite grace of the natural world around us.

Holly drawing (credit By Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen - )

Other associations to this phase:

Metal: Silver                                                                              

Colour: Red

Stone: Ruby/Bloodstone

Plant: Mars/Saturn

Element: Fire

Gender: Masculine


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