On the Winter Solstice, many Pagans celebrate the Oak King and the Holly King having a battle, which the Oak King wins. He rules over summer, while the Holly King rules over winter. Following the Oak King’s victory, the light begins to increase by a few minutes each day. At the summer solstice they fight again, and this time the Holly King wins.

It’s an intriguing way of looking at the  seasons, the victory of summer during the dark and cold days. It appears to be now when the Holly King is reigning, especially as Father Christmas is is partly based on him. It’s true that this is his time of ascendancy, and yet the Oak King’s symbolic victory comes at the Solstice point.

A few years ago I was deeply involved in studying Paganism and Wicca, and I was in love with the Holly King who was my teacher and guide. I chose these two pictures to represent the Holly King and the Oak King, as they were my favourites. Since then I’ve moved on and studied other systems, but on the Solstices, like today, I still think about the Oak King and the Holly King.