Holidays are Here: 3 – The Holly King
When Max shared The Happy Man’s Shirt we talked briefly about the joy of having a good reason to discover new thing, new culture, new stories, or old stories told a new way. That joyous exploration is doubly true for me in seeing the parallels in religious celebrations and cultural mythologies. While I’m certain that I had heard of the Holly King and Oak King before Brian brought it to my attention, I just as certainly hadn’t paid attention. The simple outline of death and rebirth paralleling Mithras/Jesus as well as Persephone’s yearly round trip from Hades to Demeter is comfortable as an old shoe. New comfort comes from the certainty in all the many tellings that while the King’s are rivals, they understand their role in the cycle, and they sacrifice to keep the years and the world turning. It can be difficult to “lose” even for a moment, even with full knowledge or your inevitable ascendance.
To those who celebrate, I wish you a blessed Yule, and hope that in your new year your sacrifices may be blessed with grace, and your triumphs blessed with humility in the full knowledge of the fluidity of life.