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The Holly

The Holly is the eighth month on the Celtic Tree Calendar. Holly is associated with the death and rebirth symbolism of winter in both Pagan and Christian lore. Holly means "holy". Holly symbolizes holiness, consecration, material gain, physical revenge, beauty, and immortality. Holly is said to help with someone's ability to cope with a death, and help him or her to sleep or rest. Some stories tell that when winter came druids advised the people to take holly into their homes for it would shelter elves and fairies. There was a warning however to remove the holly entirely from the house before Imbolc eve because just one leaf in house would spell misfortune. The Holly always has been associated with mid winter festivals. Holly was given as gifts during the Roman Saturnila and later mixed with the Celtic traditions celebrating the sun gods birth a winter solstice. Scottish Traditions says that no branch should be cut from a holly tree, but rather pulled free in a method considered fit from sacred tree. It has always been unlucky to fell a holly tree or burn the green skinned holly. Yet luck was increased if a small branch kept from a Yule decoration was hung on the outside of the house where it would protect against lightening. Oddly enough, Holly does not grow in Western Scotland. The holly is associated with the Oak king, the Holly king, Gawain (in Arthurian legend) and Christ.

The Holly is a beautiful, white wood with an almost invisible grain that looks very much like ivory. The Holly is a small evergreen tree. It only grows about 15 m. or 45 ft. tall. The Holly is native to the British Isles. It has been used for spears because it is a balanced wood. The Holly was used for carving inlay and engraving. Its twigs yield birdlime. It is good firewood even when green but Burning holly is seen to be sacrilegious. . Trees were pollarded and used for winter deed especially in North and West of England. Berries are poisonous though used as an emetic. The Holly has many uses from making a dye from its berries to being used as an aphrodisiac.

Holly people are often very religious. They come alive at winter and delight in the cold that most of people dislike. Holly people are very balanced in a fight if the cause is just. They are bearers of truth and demand truth from their friends and associates. Holly people may not be the biggest tree in the grove but they are honest, hardworking and very tolerant of situations. They tend to see both sides in an argument but will choose a side if they have to. They tend to be spiritually advanced and yet may be clueless to being that way. They can be showy at times.

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