The wren's nest as said to be protected by lightning. Whoever tried to steal wren's eggs or baby wrens would find their house struck by lightning and their hands would shrivel up. Lightning was the weapon of the thunder bull-god Taranis, who often inhabited oak trees, and the wren was sacred to Taranis.
The oak is associated with long lifespan and wisdom. ... It is associated with male aspects of the sacrificial Mysteries. ... The Oak is the tree of Kingship, and was originally the soul-vessel of the sacrificial King. ... The oak is associated with lightning and the gods of lightning, such as Zeus or Jupiter, and the Celtic wheel and thunder god Taranis.
Difficulty at the Beginning works supreme success,
Thunder from the Deep: The Superior Person carefully weaves order out of confusion. Supreme success if you keep to your course. Carefully consider the first move. Seek help.
One meets difficulties as one starts a new task or introduces a new paradigm; usually because we have found the present foundations (if any) unacceptable but still in force. However, there are still basic social foundations that we can use to help accomplish our task.
Tubwayhun l'makikhe d'hinnon nertun arha. (Matthew 5:5)
Aligned with the One are the humble,
those submitted to God's will;
they shall be gifted
with the productivity of the earth.
(Blessed are the meek:
for they shall inherit the earth. -KJV version)
-Aramaic translation by Neil Douglas-Klotz,
Prayers of the Cosmos
Self-realization lies not in grandiosity or apparent power, but in humility, gentleness and subtlety... Being small he is unobtrusive, and being small he can enter worlds that bigger people cannot... Being proud makes us unwieldy; being small and humble enables us to slip through the eye of a needle or down the root of a tree.
Who can free himself from achievement, and from fame,
Cunning, if tempered with humor and good intent, is a way of achieving great things with an economy of effort.
- Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm: The Druid Animal Oracle: Working with the Sacred Animals of the Druid Tradition
As an important Kingship symbol, the sacrifice of the Wren provided a substitute for the sacrifice of the King himself to ensure the health and renewal of the land. ... In Ireland, the Wren was ritually hunted every St. Stephen's Day and carried in procession by the "Wren Boys"; and a number of British folk songs also refer to the ritual hunting of the wren, including the song known as the "Cutty Wren".
- Miranda Gray, Beasts of Albion: Using Ancient British Animal Guides for Self-Development.
'The wren, the wren the king of all birds
Stephen, whose name means "crown" was the first Christian martyr, stoned to death three years after the death of Christ. According to the church, the enemies of the church were furious at the success of his preaching. Catholic Online says, "They could not answer his wise argument, so they got men to lie about him, saying that he had spoken sinfully against God." He was accused of blasphemy and his defense, accusing the Sanhedrim of stubbornness and blindness toward the Holy Spirit, so enraged the council that they "rushed at him as one man, dragged him out of the city, and began to stone him." His story is related in Acts 7:58. His feast day was celebrated on December 26. This day is also known as the Boxing Day in reference to the annual distribution of cloth tools, shoes, spices, meat and cereals from the lord of the manor to his workers and the opening of alms boxes for the poor.
Did he doubt or did he try?
Now as long ago.
Blood red holly berry,
Blood upon the snow
Oak King shall rise
The waxing year to bring
Therefore bid we farewell
To the Holly King
The Oak King and the Holly King
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is an Arthurian tale written down in the fourteenth century. It tells a story hearkening back to the older celtic tale of Bricrui's Feast. At Yuletime, a knight all in green bursts into the feast hall offering the challenge of the Beheading Game. Only Gawain takes him up on it. After beheading the Green Knight, he must go to the Green Chapel a year hence and take the blow of the axe himself. When Gawain beheads the Green Knight, the Knight does not die, and Gawain goes through adventures in the process of fulfilling his end of the bargain.
The Green Knight is an instrument of the Goddess of Sovreignty. His story incorporates the ancient tradition of the Holly King, the King of Winter, the King of the Otherworld (Gwyn ap Nudd). He is the old year who cedes his place to the new year, in the person of Gawain, the Hawk of May, the King of Summer or Britain.
The beheading of the Green Knight expresses the same symbolic sacrifice of the old year to the new does the hunting of the wren.
image by Miranda Gray
from Arthurian Tarot deck
available at Goddess Gallery Online
Some Wren pictures