Holly 2024

By S.F. Skyheart - May 16, 2024
Holly 2024

According to the Celtic Tree Calendar, the period from May 16 - June 12 is Holly.

Holly is a genus of over 500 species of flowering plants in the family Aquifoliaceae, and is found in temperate and tropical areas worldwide. The associated Latin word for English holly is acrifolium, which means "sharp leaf." The holly trees that we find in Europe and North America (winterberry) have prickly green leaves, white flowers that become red berries, and are associated with Yule and Christmas decorations.

Some other well-known types of holly are yerba mate (South America), and guayusa (Amazon rainforest), which are both brewed into stimulant teas. However, most holly species' leaves and berries are toxic to humans, especially children, as well as many pets and livestock. Yaupon holly (Southeastern North America) was given an interesting Latin name, ilex vomitoria, after Europeans ingested it and subsequently vomited.

Holly was sacred to the ancient Celts, who believed dryads (wood spirits) lived in it during the winter months. It is often planted near a house or at the edges of one's property for protection and good fortune. Holly is an important food for many species of birds, butterflies, moths, and other wildlife, who take refuge in its thorny leaves as protection from predators. As a "FAAFO" plant (IYKYK) that can cause profuse digestive and intestinal distress, it reminds us that we can be beautiful and possess strong boundaries.

Holly reminds us to protect those who may be especially vulnerable to the world's cruelty, such as the unhoused, transgender people, or the elderly. It calls us to show compassion for our fellow humans and their lived experiences, and to fiercely guard safe spaces that foster love, connection, and healing in our community.

Do what lights you up,

See also: 

Taurus 2024
Gemini 2024
Holly: Tinne
Holly: Tiwaz
Holly: Carnelian
Holly: Oyster
Holly: Green Man
Celtic Tree Months

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