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The Holly and the Oak

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The Holly and the Oak

Post  lyra on Wed 14 Dec 2011 - 0:32

This poem is about the Summer Solstice and the Winter Solstice - also known as Litha and Yule. I wrote it for a Pagan Moot situated in my area. It is part of the Pagan religion where rituals were performed to rejoice in Summer and pay heed to the fact that Winter was returning.
The Oak King is the Summer god and the Holly King is the Winter god. Because the Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year it makes sense that after this day winter is going to be creeping upon us therefore the Holly king wins the fight - A fight that is to the death. However, as in quite a bit of the pagan tradition, death does not mean the end and by the time Winter is at its height the Oak king has been reborn and is now a young man where the holly king is now an old man (an even fight? I think not).
It was believed that if the wrong king won the land would fall to destruction. Never ending Summer and all the water dries up killing the animals and plants... everlasting winter no crops can grow same problem.

the top section is too long but I like this poem and I hope you will too.

The Holly and The Oak

The longest day but shortest night
This is the time when two kings fight
They battle in the golden halls
Till one will win and one will fall

The shortest day but longest night
Again, again the two kings fight
The holly and the oak they be
Battling for the throne you see

One for the dark and one for the light
But which of them shall win tonight?

Soon for one the end is near
But the two kings do not fear
For Although they battle to the end
The fallen down shall rise again

The longest day but shortest night
The holly king has won this fight
And now the oak shall lay in rest
Until he rises at his best

He lay sleeping to goddess’ song
Till the darkest night is long
And then of course he’ll rise once more
And come knocking on holly king’s door

The shortest day but longest night
This is the time two kings will fight
But which will win we’ll find out then
When the oak returns again

Blessed Be.

Published in a magazine: The New Cauldron (2002)

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