The Oak and The Holly
A Yule Playlette

  Since the beginning of time, there has been an eternal struggle between the forces of light and those of dark. One reigns for a time and then gives way to the other. This is an ancient tale of this cosmic duality. It is a tale of two kings and there eternal struggle to reign supreme.

The Holly King and Oak King are two twin gods seen as one complete entity. Each of the twin gods rule for half of a year, fights for the favor of the Goddess Arianrhod, and dies.

The golden Oak King, who is the light twin, rules from midwinter to midsummer.

The darksome Holly King rules the dark half of the year from Midsummer to Midwinter.

The Oak King, Lord of the Greenwood, comes to this circle to give his challenge, You who shine Your light throughout our lands and bring life to the Lady's forests and fields! Come, Summer, be with us now.

The Holly King, Lord of the Winterwood, comes to this circle to meet his challenge, You who glaze the lands with ice as the Lady's forests and fields slumber under Your kiss. Come, Winter, be with us now.

The Cosmic battle begins

(The Oak King and Holly King engage in battle. After a few moments, the Oak King lands the decisive blow and the Holly King drops to the ground. The Oak King picks up the Holly King's crown and hangs it on his belt. He then parades victorious around the circle, bellowing out his triumph)

The Oak King has slain his brother! For six months he will rule over the Waxing Year. The Oak is King of the Forest once again!

(Arianrhod kneels by the Holly King and drapes a sheer black veil over his head and shoulders.)

Arianrhod reminds the victor that he has won the battle, but only gaining his kingdom for half-a-year. Your brother will be born again on Midsummer and there he will challenge you and you will lose your crown once more.

The Holly King has relinquished his throne for now; but his time will come again and then he will challenge The Oak King on the field. Until that day He dwells in Caer Arianrhod, the castle of the ever-turning Silver Wheel.

(The Oak Kings holds up the Holly King's crown)

The King is dead! (throws crown down) Arianrhod starts to mourn and wail. All of us join her.

(Everyone sobs)

Be not saddened, for one season leads into another. As one dies, another one is born. The defeated twin is not truly dead, he merely withdraws for six months to the Castle of the ever-turning Silver Wheel, which is also known as the Wheel of the Stars. This is the enchanted realm of the Goddess Arianrhod where the god must wait and grow before being born again. Arianrhod means "silver wheel" and the castle is the Aurora Borealis. She is the goddess of the astral skies and there she rules as goddess of reincarnation. We will welcome the brother's rebirth, even as the other prepares for battle.

(Arianrhod presents the Oak King with the crown. He takes it and places it on His head)

Long live the King!!!

Lord of the Oak has vanquished the Lord of the Holly, thus the cosmic balance is maintained. We recognize your reign over the Waxing Half of the Year. Light for dark and dark for light. Ice and Fire. Winter into Summer. As it has always been in our lands, it shall always be. The Holly fades as the Oak rises. Midsummer they shall exchange places and the cycle begin anew. So Mote It Be.

 

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