The Holly tree is one of the most beloved, respected trees in Celtic mythology and is the evergreen twin of the Oak. It is said that whilst the Oak was the controller of the light half of the year, the Holly tree controlled the dark, winter months. For centuries this magical tree has been represented by a Holly wreath which was worn as a crown by Celtic chieftains for good luck. Traditionally, it was used to protect newborn babies from harm by bathing them in the water from the leaves.
Before holly was hung in houses to accompany Christmas trees, it was considered to be a sacred plant by the Druids. The Druids regarded holly as a symbol of fertility and eternal life, thought to have magical powers.
Holly trees have a powerful prescence and a quality of deep stillness that surrounds them, they are long lived, slow growing with a strong life force and are adaptable to changes as they have survived on earth for millions of years.
The bark of the holly tree houses a beautiful white wood which can be used to make a walking staff or holly wand. It is also good for carving but the wood must be dried well.
It gives a bone like quality when polished or waxed, and takes dye well.
Hollys were know as protector trees and guardians of the natural world along with oaks, ruled by Mars they house strength and power to get things done.
As a bach flower remedy holly is said by Dr Bach to be "For those who sometimes are attacked by thoughts of such kind as jealousy, envy, revenge, suspicion. For the different forms of vexation. Within themselves, they may suffer much, often when there is no real cause for their unhappiness."
He believed it should be taken by anyone wishing to advance their spirituality, it encourages the flow of positve energy, helping us move beyond our negative emotions to reach a place of compassion and respect for ourselves and from here to love and respect others.
"Holly inspires us to move at a slower pace, to look for ways to create lasting change through a more compassionate and loving outlook, and by spreading your roots to include others."Extract from Walking with trees by Glennie kindred.