Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Ogham Tree Alphabet 8th Lunar Month July into August

Why, I wondered, is Holly the tree representing the 8th Lunar month  when it's traditionally thought of as a tree connected with winter and  it's now mid summer?

The Book .......

explains it all...........the two brothers who fight for dominance and the Holly King taking over from now until Yule.

I cycled along the lanes to take a photo of one of the big Hollies, there are three down this road, one of which is where I can reach to cut a little each December.
Not easy to see that it is a Holly from a distance but Yes it really is...........with many berries forming.

The Holly represents the letter T as well as the number 8 in the Ogham Alphabet and planted near a house was thought to protect from storms, lightening and fire. Superstition says no witch could cross a threshold made of Holly wood.

A decoction made from Holly leaves was  once used to induce sweating and to treat coughs but the berries should never be ingested as they are a strong purgative, although they were once dried, powdered and used to stop external bleeding.

We planted two baby Hollies on the meadow, they are still less than two feet tall - very slow growing which means the trees down the road must be quite old.

(Thanks to everyone for answering the milk powder in bread makers question. I've added it without really thinking about why - especially as it's such a small amount - how can it make much difference? I shall now do some experiments)

Back Tomorrow


  1. That is such a treasure of a book; the illustrations are beautiful.

  2. I must find a copy of that book. We had a holly in our back yard that would have been an enormous tree (with a single trunk) but a previous owner had topped it at about 12 feet when the trunk was already about 6" in diameter at that height, and it had turned into a scruffy specimen. We removed it to build a much needed garden shed and I used some of the recovered timber to carve spoons. It is a very springy wood when fresh and made very very pale (almost white) spoons with a very close/tight grain and superb smooth finish. I don't doubt in the least that it would make an excellent club.

  3. I love holly, we have one in our garden that's quite big now. It came from the holly that my grandad grew, so I'm quite proud of it.

  4. Interesting information about holly Sue - having read what you say I might buy a small one. I am just about to have a major job done in my back garden - taking up a whole lot of paving and getting it replaced with pebbles and stepping stones and then planting about five evergreen shrubs. I am seriously thinking about the shrubs - holly could well fit in nicely.

  5. The book and its illustrations are beautiful. It is always interesting to read lore about trees, plants, and flowers. Holly trees are something we don't see very much around here, Missouri.

    In our neighborhood one house had a row of them in their front yard. They were taller than the two story home and very bushy. They must have been planted by the first family that lived in that house. The house is 65 years old. They were such pretty tall holly trees.
    Then one year different people must have moved into the house, because we drove past and the beautiful row of holly trees had been cut down.It made me sad.

    I would love to have a holly shrub or two in our yard, but I usually end up buying another rose instead.

  6. We have a couple of thriving holly trees with berries in our garden. They always make me think of my dad as his ashes were scattered under a holly tree back home. Sometimes I go out to ours and just think of him.

  7. We have lots of hollies. Some big some small. Lots of berries on the way though green at the moment. The birds will love them.

  8. What an interesting book! Thank you for the information about the Holly tree, I always learn a lot from you. I love the close up picture of the Holly. I don't think I have ever seen a Holly tree up close like that. I appreciate the kind comment you left on my blog the other day Sue - thank you!

  9. Very interesting. Holly doesn't really grow here on the prairies of Canada. I would really like to see some in situ.

    God bless.

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