Yesterday I posted about Holly and the Divine Masculine, and today let us explore Ivy and the Divine Feminine, and honour the goddesses of winter (especially the mother goddesses).
In older times, my pagan Irish Celtic and British ancestors would have celebrated these days with Ivy, also known as the Queen of Old. Of the three greens associated with Yule — Holly, Ivy and Mistletoe — the Ivy is most strongly associated female energy, the Divine Feminine, and is ruled by Grandmother Moon.
Its green leaves in winter were seen as a symbol of everlasting life and, to the Druids, a symbol of peace. Some think of Ivy as a parasitic plant but it is also firmly rooted to the ground, receiving its nutrients there. Its strength lies in its ability to bind with plants and trees together, hence a symbol of fidelity.
Ivy was thought to bring clarity, and represented the vitality of Mother Earth and the Celtic goddesses such as Arianrhod, Brighid and Danú.
My female ancestors used the Ivy vines to weave necklaces, bracelets and crowns to adorn themselves during Solstice / Christmas — for clarity, to honour the Goddess, and for the vitality of Mother Earth. And maybe I’ll make a crown for myself this year! Men and boys would wear a Holly crown (Holly is ruled by Father Sun and is associated with the Divine Masculine).
A few years ago, I was introduced to crafting with ivy vines, working in circle with a group of women, creating baskets from ivy. It was an incredible experience — preparing the ivy, starting the weave, and sharing stories as we built our baskets. Pure magic and a celebration of sisterhood!
Think about how you can work with Ivy today or throughout the 12 Days of Solstice, and how it might inspire you. And celebrate as women did in days of old: sit in circle with your female friends, laugh, chat, share a story, drink some mulled cider and celebrate the Queen of Old.
Wear your crown today!