Hedge Druidry

The Holly and The Ivy – Solstice 2

December 31, 2014

Part two of our Winter Solstice story. In this tale I discover something quite lovely about the nature of trees. We had just finished at Thornborough Henge which had been a fascinating and enlightening experience. We wondered whether we would be able to top the day, but better was yet to come.

On our way to Thornborough we had taken quite a detour having misinterpreted some of the symbols on a new map application that I was using. This had meant that, even though we intended to go back to visit the church in Kirklington village, we had arrived back there even though we knew it was not the right way to get to Thornborough. We stopped and looked at each other. Something was clearly telling us that we needed to go back to Kirklington after Thornborough. Now we had finished at the henge it was a simple job to find Kirklington again – we knew all the roads well now!

In the centre of the village, standing in the arc of a long crescent sweep of the main village road, the church stood disproportionately dominant for such a small village. We were aware that the church’s dedication was to Saint Michael, and for us this meant that we may be looking at some pinned earth energies, or an important node point on a crossing of energies.

St Michaels Church - Solstice 2014 (1)
St Michaels Church, Kirklington, Yorkshire


We had no set agenda but the dowsing rods helped us with that. We each set about our usual routine – to find a place to start, and then to find something that might be of interest to us. Simple questions, but usually yielding interesting results, and so it was.

I was taken first to a gnarly old oak tree. This was my starting point, and I stood at its venerable base awed by its immensity. It seemed to be one of few such trees in the churchyard. I spent a while with it, trying to get into the right state of mind to talk to it. When I managed to do this the information coming back at me was that I should offer it loving energy. In return it emanated back at me what I can only describe as “kinship energy“.

St Michaels Church - Solstice 2014 (3)

A merry dance then ensued. From the oak I asked to be taken to the “next place that I needed to be”. The dowsing rods moved me from the aged oak to a nearby beech tree of equally grand stature and age. I connected to this tree in the same way as before, and now I felt kinship energy again. I realised that this was no kinship between the tree and me: this was kinship between the oak and the beech!

The dowsing rods were again employed and I was taken to another different tree – a slender elder tree. Same procedure, then on to an alder, a majestic and tall pine tree (where I picked up a beautiful cone about 5 inches long!), a larch, a small ash, then a yew tree clumped close to the entrance where I had started close to the old oak tree. I had been taken around the whole churchyard from the entrance and back again, following a feeling of kinship between the trees!

The final destination was a holly tree where a couple of small gravestones lurked with just enough dry seating between them to house a person. This holly space was where the dowsing rods said I should stop and meditate.

St Michaels Church - Solstice 2014 (2)

I noticed that there was some ivy growing close to the holly and in my head I sang “The Holly and The Ivy“. It was the Winter Solstice after all!

European Holly was sacred to druids who associated it with the winter solstice, and for Romans, holly was considered the plant of Saturn.
European Holly has always traditionally had a strong association with Christmas. Henry VIII wrote a love song Green groweth the holly which alludes to holly and ivy resisting winter blasts and not changing their green hue ‘So I am and ever hath been Unto my lady true’. (source: Wikipedia)

At each tree I have offered love energy and in return felt kinship energy flowing between the trees, and finally at the holly tree seat I begin to feel a part of that kinship ring. It is as though I needed to have completed the walk around each species of tree – to feel their connection – before I too could become part of that “kinship”. Both tree and I are gateways between worlds. I feel their “hourglass” shape reaching up to the Upperworld of spirit, and descending deep into the Underworld of the dead and ancestral energies. Like the tree, I too am a pivotal point of connection – a portal between worlds, and a tool in the Middle Earth realm.

Offering To Michael

I opened my eyes and Kal was sitting in a window ledge opposite. He was smiling at me, so I asked what was amusing him, and he responded that the place I was sitting was the same place that he had been sitting at when I had been on the other side of the church, out of sight. We had passed each other circling the church – he going anti-clockwise and me going clockwise.

I had one last thing to ask about. I had a note from the beginning of the year that I had put into the calendar for the Winter Solstice. The note said that I had to relinquish the Michael Energy that I had been gifted at the start of the year. Michael’s Church seemed the obvious place to do this, so I connected to the kinship ring of trees and asked them about the Michael Energy.

A figure of light – invisible yet vaguely perceived as though seeing ephemeral glass – this shape appeared to descend in front of me. The figure was vaguely human-like yet gleaming with light. I felt a shiver of excitement as the figure made me feel that I should keep the Michael energy. I would need it for the next year. The shining energy withdrew again.

But there was more. It was related to the kinship energy. I would need to create an item containing something that represented something of each of these trees, to craft something like a necklace. I would then need to offer this gift to friends and family in the spirit of kinship. Hmmm…. not my usual request, but again I was being stretched to work at the limits of my ability – such is the fabulous work that I do when following The Shining Path.

In this story I learned that there is an energetic connection of kinship between different species of trees. Next we would venture to Boroughbridge in search of our next Solstice surprise – The Devil’s Arrows.


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