Midsummer – The Summer Solstice – The Oak King has led us to this magical moment of abundant light.
–> The young oak tree waves its tall arms, stretches summer-green leaves, and revels in golden rays of late afternoon sun. Although the bottom branches are bare, the leaves having been a special treat for munching deer, the upper limbs are full, extending ever higher beyond the tallest stag’s reach.
We planted this tree for balance, shortly after we moved to this place. Holly is abundant here at Woodland Springs but oak was nowhere to be found
“This won’t work,” the Fairies said. “How can you navigate the yearly tug-of-war between the Holly King and the Oak King if only one is dancing on the land?”
Soon after, the English Oak came as a gift and we snugged its root ball into the earth where it could keep a watchful eye on the house. In a climate where rain and gray skies abound, it’s a blessing to look out the window and be reminded that the young Oak King stands as a guide to lead the sun back to our realm.
The sun, with its vibrant life force power is seen by most cultures as male energy and its journey between zenith and nadir is depicted in many ways. For the Fairies, who are creatures of Earth and nature, the image of the sun’s journey is seen as the eternal battle dance between the Oak King, who is born at mid-winter and rules until the Summer Solstice, and the Holly King, who presides over the other half of the year.
The Oak King was born at midwinter, in the moment of greatest darkness and has grown strong through the waxing year. His energy flows through the young stag who leaps across the meadow, his growing antlers still covered with the fuzz he will later rub off on the trees.The blackberries have not yet set their blossoms, the swallow hatchlings have not yet left the nest and it feels as though the summer is just beginning. In this time of Midsummer, the promise of abundance is everywhere as seeds burst from the ground, flowers explode in a dazzling array of color, and all creatures that live and breathe are busy multiplying and growing. The sun warms our skin, pulls rich scents from the Earth, and infuses berries with an almost unbearable sweetness.
The sun’s gift of rich exuberrance that permeates the coldest heart is a bounty brought to us by The Oak King. This is a time of passion and creation, of the growth of love and the exquisite joy of being.
As the Oak King stands tall and stretches his fully leaved branches to the nourishing sun, he reaches his zenith. As the sun stands still for a moment at the apex of the solar arc, The Oak King holds his breath, for he feels the shaddow of his mirror-self waiting to claim his time. The Oak King has done his job – he’s brought the sun. Although we mortals are only beginning to revel in the joy of shedding warm garments and spending languid afternoons in the shade of a welcoming tree, the Oak King knows it’s time to begin his withdrawal and let the Holly King creep onto the scene, to lead the cycle through harvest time to Midwinter.
For the Fairies, there is great joy in this moment because it is one of the markers on the wheel of life that reminds us all of the eternal cycles. They ask us to honor the Oak King who has done such a magnificent job of summoning the sun to bring the fullness of life to our realm. They remind us that, even in the midst of great sorrow and grievous destruction, the Oak King and the Holly King will continue their dance. The eternal ebb and flow of life is a mystery that is secret even to them but they know they are a part of it and that the web holds them as it does all of us, including the Kings of Oak and Holly.
Bright Blessings at this Midsummer.
To honor the Oak King as he passes, light a fire and feed it fragrant flowers and herbs of the season to scent the Oak King’s path.
[Oak King image by Anne Stokes from deviantart.com.]