Well, actually he isn't - he's just sleeping.
Your leaves are resting on the ground and all your
acorns have been 'squirreled' away. Sleep well
Oak King - time for the reign of the Holly King!
Hello Holly King! Those light green berries that grew in
silence all summer are now a brilliant red. You are the
obvious winner ... for now.
The ancient Celts apparently enjoyed telling tales of the never-ending battle between the Oak King and the Holly King. At Yule, it is clear that the evergreen Holly sporting fruit is victorious, however, as the darkest time of the year ends, and the sun returns a little bit more each day, the Oak King will silently start his cycle again of growing new leaves and nuts ... nature is beautiful!
When Brownies go bad...
Last week, I wrote about Brownies but have you ever heard of a Boggart? Unlike the helpful Brownie, the Boggart is a rather grumpy house fairy who generally causes a bit of mischief around your home. If you have one that is not too, too difficult - the most he will do is hide things. This can still be very frustrating! The best thing to do is to stop wasting time and energy looking for the item and remember that 9 times out of 10, the Boggart will tire of his game and return the object. If you want to hurry the process along, you can leave out another trinket in exchange that you think he might like better, or better still, a little offering of bread and honey - especially if he is really just a Brownie who, long ago, lost the way. Just remember: never, never say "thank you" when he returns the item. Boggarts really don't like that ....
The Brownie is a helpful fairy to have about your house. In Scotland and northern England, they attach themselves to one household and are happy to perform all kinds of chores while the owners sleep. Remember the Brownie motto - "Lend a Hand" - well, they surely do! They are also very elusive - and in fact, I found it hard to find a picture of one! But their little Danish cousins were caught in 1908 helping out in a barn on Christmas Eve.
You must be very careful not to offend your Brownie and never, ever offer them clothes unless you want them to disappear forever. Remember the shoemakers elves and Dobby in Harry Potter? Unlike poor Dobby, most Brownies really enjoy their tasks - if well-treated. If you are fortunate enough to have a lovely Brownie attach him/herself to your home, you can (and should!) show your appreciation with a little bowl of milk.
Pumpkins (or Jack o' Lanterns) are such a big part of Samhain (sow-hin), Hallowe'en and Thanksgiving/harvest celebrations. Originally the Celts carved and lit turnips in Ireland and Britain, there being no pumpkins to be had, as pumpkins are considered to be indigenous to the Americas. I suspect that the European settlers, enjoying pumpkins in the New World, sent back seeds to be cultivated in Europe. Because we read that Cinderella's coach was created from a pumpkin and Peter, Peter, pumpkin eater, kept his wife in a pumpkin shell in Mother Goose. The pumpkin would certainly help in dating those fairy tales and nursery rhymes...but perhaps not. The stories might be much older and were altered over time. It is a fantastic chase to uncover older and older versions of fairy tales and to try to decipher the old nursery rhymes - like the one above!