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Sacred Plants of Winter Solstice and Yuletide
As we celebrate the ushering in of the light, the death and rebirth of the Sun and the promise of longer, warmer days, there are many ways in which we can honour the season with plants.
Evergreens are traditionally used for building wreaths – Pine, Cedar, Juniper and others symbolise protection, prosperity healing and the earth’s natural cycle. Often placed on a door to protect the home.
Holly – Symbolising protection and good luck – and Ivy associated with fidelity and loyalty and representing the bonds of family and friendship, are both traditionally used to decorate homes over Yuletide. Holly sprigs were hung in the home to ensure safety of your family and Ivy to represent the bonds of family and friendship and to remind us of the continuity of life – as Ivy often lives on after its host plant has died. When used together, Holly and Ivy form a union representing the union and faithfulness of couples.
Oak – The mighty oak is traditionally depicted in the tale of the Oak King and the Holly King as defeating his rival at the winter solstice and again ruling over the year until Litha or midsummer when the Holly King takes back the crown – representing the waxing and waning cycles of the year.
Rosemary – A traditional Solstice herb since at least the Middle Ages representing remembrance, loyalty and fertility. It is a restorative herb and a cup of rosemary tea can help restore the body’s inner warmth and fiery determination.
Birch – often the first tree to grow back after fire – representing renewal, rebirth and new beginnings. It is the first month of the Celtic tree calendar after the winter solstice.
However you celebrate this time of year, seasons greetings and well wishes from us at Quercus Edibles