A couple years ago, there was a major snowstorm in my area. A holly tree fell near my house and I collected several limbs from it. I dyed some of the wood to look like ebony. When ordering a ring made of holly ebony, please note that it can not be paired with anything else. If you prefer a piece that is more black, just let me know. No two pieces turned out quite the same, so I have some with zebra-patterning and others more solid. (Natural, undyed holly is also an available option.)
Hard, fine-grained holly is used to make chess pieces, piano keys, bagpipes and other musical instruments. The leaves and twigs of a species native to South America are used to brew Yerba Mate, a hot caffeinated beverage. Also, holly berries are an important food source for birds and wild animals.
Holly has a rich and compelling history of use in medicine, science, magic and superstition. Some of the more interesting lore involves the Druid priests of ancient Britain. They first decorated their dwellings with holly (the thorny plants were believed to repel all evil spirits), then the Christians followed their example.
In Christian legend the berries of holly were stained red from the wounds of Christ. Superstitions later claimed if a holly outside a home was smooth, it was a she-holly and the woman ran the house. If it was prickly, it was a he-holly and the man was in charge. Another superstition held that it was decidedly unlucky to leave holly decorations up after New Year’s Day.
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Believed to bring the wearer: courage, divinity, guidance, healing, intelligence, protection, rebirth, unity
Other associations: dream magic, hearth and home, attracting good luck
Spirit animals: cardinal, starling, wild turkey, quail, mockingbird, robin, bluebird