The legend behind the Enchanted Highlands romances...
THE MAGICAL GARDEN OF TRUTH
In ancient times, when dense primordial mists swamped the glens and swirled about the mountains of the Celtic world—when giants and dragons dominated the earth—the council of gods decreed that nary a one among them, should take another as concubine.
The god Holly and the goddess Ivy could not deny the love blossoming between them and, hidden within a lush forest flanked by black sided mountains, became intimate lovers. When the god Oak discovered his longtime rival possessed a weakness in Ivy, he exposed to the other gods the location of the lovers’ trysts. The attack and resulting battle led to the capture of Holly and Ivy. In retribution for the lovers’ defiance against council edict, the couple was prosecuted and condemned. Ivy agreed to give up her godly powers and become mortal to save Holly from a more harrowing fate, if, and only if, they might be reunited when three couples of purest heart found forever love through time with their fated soul mate. The likelihood of such seemed impossible to Ivy, but she found solace in the chance of a future with Holly.
Devastated by his loss, Holly planted a berry-bearing holly tree within the forest he’d once enjoyed with Ivy, deep in the Black Hills of Scotland, so whenever Ivy saw the shiny green leaves and red berries, she would think of him and remember his commitment to their love.
Oak continued to challenge Holly during the equinoxes each year. Oak to reign from March through August. Holly for the remainder of the year. Although at his strongest on the winter solstice, Holly remained alone, missing his Ivy.
Lost in a world not her own, Ivy sought refuge amongst a band of humans to whom she taught the lessons of the gods. The people became known as the enlightened ones, or Druids. They worshiped the land and listened to the whispers of the wind—listened to words of wisdom about love, death, and rebirth. They celebrated light, and the winter solstice came to be a magical time, a time when the veil between the earth and the realms of the supernatural thinned.
To others, the solstice came to be both a festive and fearful time.
Upon Ivy’s death, the furtive Druids established and nurtured a garden surrounding the holly tree planted by Holly and named it the Garden of Truth. They have nurtured the garden through wars and famine and times of plenty and still care for the garden this day. From within the soul of the holly tree, magic blossoms and grows in power, gaining strength for Ivy’s rebirth.
Over the centuries, the legend of the Garden of Truth has been the subject of many tales—some true, some not—passed on by word of mouth and although often interpreted differently, the magic holds true for those possessing a pure heart. ’Tis said, if one gathers nine holly leaves and wraps them tight, using nine knots to bind them, and places them beneath their pillow, their dreams will come true.
From the Enchanted Highlands comes the first of three tales of time travel romance intertwined with the magic of the season and forever love—Twelvetide: Twelve Nights of Highland Magic.
Hope you enjoyed the legend behind the novella Twelvetide: Twelve Nights of Highland Magic.
Other books from the Enchanted Highlands Holiday Collection:
Stars and Stones
By April Holthaus
Once Upon a Winter Solstice
By Victoria Zak