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The Holy King or the Holly King? Celtic Mythology


The Holly King or the Holy King. The Holly King is a speculative archetype of modern studies of folklore and mythology which has been popularized in some Neopagan religions. In his book The White Goddess, the author Robert Graves proposed that the mythological figure of the Holly King represents one half of the year, while the other is personified by his counterpart and adversary the Oak King: the two battle endlessly as the season’s turn. At Midsummer, the Oak King is at the height of his strength, while the Holly King is at his weakest. The Holly King begins to regain his power, and at the Autumn Equinox, the tables finally turn in the Holly King’s favor; his strength peaks at Midwinter. Graves identified a number of paired hero-figures which he believes are variants of this myth, including: Lleu Llaw Gyffes and Gronw Pebr, Gwyn and Gwythr, Lugh and Balor, Balan and Balin, Gawain and the Green Knight, the robin and the wren,and even Jesus and John the Baptist. A similar idea was suggested previously by Sir James George Frazer in his work The Golden Bough in Chapter 28, The Killing of The Tree Spirit in the section entitled The Battle of Summer and Winter. Frazer drew parallels between the folk-customs associated with May Day or the changing seasons in Scandinavian, Bavarian and Native American cultures, amongst others, in support of this theory. However, the Divine King of Frazer was split into the kings of winter and summer in Graves’ work. These pairs are seen as the dual aspects of the male Earth deity, one ruling the waxing year, the other ruling the waning year. Please watch the video for more information on The Holly or King or the Holy King, whichever you prefer at mythology explored by ANCIENT MYSTERY on Youtube.

Photo Credit:

Shrine_of_John_the_Baptist,_Great_Umayyid_Mosque,_Damascus-cca by 2.0-by-Shrine of John the Baptist, Great Umayyid Mosque, Damascus-
St_Albans_Mummers_production_of_St_George_and_the_Dragon,_Boxing_Day_2015-7-cca by sa 4.0-by-Michael Maggs-
stonehenge-2116019-cco-
jesus-3635881-cco-
may-703626-cco-
Holly King-public domain-
Holly King/Holy King-thumbnail/intro/video-by-ANCIENT MYSTERY-
+Pixabay images/video all CC0

Music Credit:

Subdivision of the Masses by Philipp Weigl
Source: FMA MUSIC ARCHIVE
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

Channel: mythology explored by ANCIENT MYSTERY

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