Celtic Meaning: Holly Symbolism in the Druid Ogham
Celtic Meaning: Holly and Ogham Wisdom
The Celtic meaning of holly deals with ruling the wintery realms with style, dignity and honor even in the midst of great challenge.
Just as the oak tree is the king of the green realm and ruler of the lighter half of the year (the solar months when the sun is closer to the earth and sheds more light on the days), the holly is its counterpart.
Holly is the ruler of the white realm, king of the darker half of the year (the lunar months when the night pervades, and the annual era in which winter resides).
When all other flora have long lost their blush and gone dormant for the winter, the holly can be found still be brightly verdant against the stark white landscape. This serves as a symbolic reminder of many beatitudes:
Symbolic Messages from the Holly
- Let your beauty shine within even in times of dormancy
- Rule the day, and let your generosity be your legacy
- The energy of life is ever-present
“Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love.”~Kevin Arnold
The ancient Celts would bring holly into their homes for their bright, cheerful disposition. They were also considered a symbol of good luck.
Just as the oak attracts lightning, holly repels lightning. It was often planted around homes for protection from lightning, and for this reason it is viewed as a symbol for protection.
Interestingly, science has actually discovered the distinct leaf-shape of the holly acts as a natural repellent for lightning energy, making the holly’s protective significance more than just lore.
Holly leaves are very prickly, and deemed another metaphor for protection, vigilance, and stubborn victories won. When you are feeling the walls cave in on you, call upon the holly. Invoke its protective qualities and you will soon find you no longer need be on the defensive. The holly will protect and bolster you to victory.
As the ruler of winter, the holly is also associated with dreams and the subconscious. Druids would often invoke the holly energy for assistance in dream work as well as spiritual journeying.
There are still many Celtic meanings of trees to explore – click on the branches for more!