|Ivy flowering in my garden|
in December 2011
|Holly Blue RSPB|
Ivy and holly are bond together in ancient lore the ivy is the feminine and and emblem of the battle over sovereignty of the woods with holly, which is held to be masculine. Their relationship is linked not merely by carols and lore but in nature the holly and the Ivy share the nurture of the beautiful Holly Blue Butterfly. This beautiful butterflies emerge in March and can by seen flitting and basking high up on shrubs and trees. In Spring the female Holly Blue will lay her eggs under the buds of a Holly tree. Here the caterpillars will emerge after a week and eat the leaves of the holly, they prefer the female tree's leaves but will munch on the male tree as well. In Summer the female Holly Blue will lay her eggs on or under Ivy flower buds The caterpillars will feed on the Ivy leaf and flower buds for three to four weeks. Then Holly blue will pupate on the wood stems of the Ivy and overwinter there until they emerge the following spring.
Early Spring and all Summer long this beautiful butterfly flit around my garden feeding on aphids' honeydew and salts from muddy ground. In spring it is hard to tell the male and female apart. the female has slightly thicker black edging to top of their wings, however, in summer the females emerging are a deep blue almost purple shade. The males do not change colour. both sexes have the same pale blue under wings. Wherever Holly and Ivy grow you will find The Holly Blue Butterfly. Unlike many butterflies the Holly Blue is not endangered and it can be found in many gardens, churchyards, parks and woods.
Ivy is named Edihean in Welsh and means Ivy for beauty. In the Celtic Ogham it is know as Gort. Ivy often grows in a spiral as goes upwards to the sky and this is seen as representing growth and rebirth, and the cycles of life. Ivy even when cut back hard will regrow vigorously so to draw this few is guidance to be resolute in achieving a plan or task, or vigorous in the pursuit of an aim. It will also support the querent's spiritual journey They Ivy has been seen as a plant of prophecy and is associated with the followers of Bacchus And Dionysus. But in the Celtic world, much closer to nature than we are, could its reputation for helping with prophecy be because of its important part in the life cycle of the Holly Blue Butterfly? The colour of Ivy in the Celtic Ogham is gorm - Sky blue - the colour of the Holly Blue Butterfly. Its caterpillar after feeding on the Ivy will change into a chryallis which clings to the woody stems for shelter from winters' chill and storms. Finally in early Spring it transforms into a beautiful blue butterfly. It is easy to believe it is a magical messenger flying skywards taking messages to and from the otherworld.
For the winter Solstice I will decorate the fire mantles with swathes of Ivy. It will stay fresh for at least a week without water. And I will also decorate the Christmas table with Ivy twined with flowering honey suckle . The glossy evergreen leaves of the Ivy and the fragrant flowers of the Honeysuckle are a reminder of the promise of spring.
With Reiki blessing and light
to you all this Christmas
and a Happy New Year