On the Calendar
American Holly (Ilex opaca)
English Holly (I. aquifolium)
*Also known as common holly
On this day in parts of northwest England, it was customary to carry a flaming branch of holly through the town accompanied by a loud band and fireworks. On a much smaller and quieter scale, and since holly is associated with divinity, a few leaves can be burned to honor your special deity on this day of Epiphany. Write the name of a goddess or god on a holly leaf. Use additional leaves or a sprig of holly to honor multiple deities.
Go to a place outdoors where it is safe to burn things. Light a candle and then hold the leaves between your palms as you say:
On this day of epiphany, I take time to honor thee. Your love and guidance I request; and through your power I will be blessed.
Touch the holly to the candle flame and then drop it into your cauldron or other vessel. Repeat the incantation as the holly burns. When the ashes cool, scatter them on the ground.
Holly is associated with the elements air, earth, and fire. Its astrological influence comes from Mars and Saturn. It is associated with the following deities: Ares, Cailleach Bheur, Cernunnos, the Dagda, Danu, Freyr, Gaia, Holle, Lugh, and Saturn. For more information about holly, refer to the entry in “July.”
January 21: The Celtic Month of Rowan Begins
Rowan is the common name for these trees in the United Kingdom. In North America they are known as mountain ash. Although their leaves resemble those of the ash, true ash trees are in the genus Fraxinus.