Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Winterberry Holly

Today I fell in love with Holly berries. The deep red and green colors are a welcome sight in a garden that is starting to go to sleep for the winter. There are many different species of Holly, the one photographed for this blog happens to be Ilex Verticillata or Winterberry Holly. 
The Bach flower essence of Holly (Ilex aquifolium) is an excellent remedy for opening the Heart. It is especially helpful for individuals that were hurt during childhood and who have a tendency to give into anger. This essence helps one to open to a more loving and connected way of being in the world. 
Holly leaves and berries  have been used for centuries in Europe at the time of the Winter solstice.  Romans exchanged branches at the time of the winter festival called Saturnalia. Historically it was also used for protection outside of the home and from lightening.  Because it maintained its vitality throughout the cold winter months,  the ancient Druids believed that Holly was sacred and carried the energy of the sun.
 Holly is a symbol of life force, it is related to the element of fire, the gender is masculine and the planet association is Mars.
Please be mindful that while this plant may be used as a remedy, the berries are toxic.

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