The Holly King and Oak King

The Wiccan God is the Lord of the Greenwood, consort to the Lady of the Greenwood. Known also as Cernunnos, the Green Man, Herne the Hunter, and Lord of the Wild Hunt, he is a god of fertility, growth, death, and rebirth.

Two God-themes figure predominantly in Wiccan Sabbats: the Sun-God theme and that of the Holly King and Oak King.

The Sun-God rules the seasons. At Yule, he is the new babe, the emodiment of innocence and joy. He represents the infancy of the returning light. At Imolg, his growth is celebrated, as the days are growing longer and light stronger. At Ostara, he is a green, flourishing youth whose eye is taken by the Maiden Goddess. On Beltane, he is the young man in love who takes the Goddess as his bride. Their consummated marriage is celebrated with maypoles and bonfires. At Midsummer, he comsummates his marriage in a union so complete that it becomes a death. He is mourned at Lammas, and at Mabon, he sleeps in the womb of the Goddess. At Samhain, he waits in the Shining Land to be reborn.

The symbolism of the Horned God is also played out the theme of the Holly King and Oak King. The Horned God is the Holly King and the Oak King, two twin gods seen as one complete entity. Each of the twin gods rule for half of a year, fights for the favor of the Goddess, and dies. But the defeated twin is not truly dead, he merely withdraws for six months, some say to Caer Arianrhod, the Castle of the ever-turning Silver Wheel, which is also known as the Wheel of the Stars. This is the enchanted realm of the Goddess Arianrhod where the god must wait and learn before being born again. Arianrhod means "silver wheel" and the castle is the Aurora Borealis. She is the goddess of the astral skies and there she rules as goddess of reincarnation.

The golden Oak King, who is the light twin, rules from midwinter to midsummer. The darksome Holly King rules the dark half of the year from Midsummer to Midwinter.

 

BACK To Midsummer
BACK to Yule

 

 

1