The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Ms Faith

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The magick of mistletoe

 Evening greetings,



Let's discuss some of the common traditions that surround Christmas and Yuletide. Tonight we'll talk about  the ancient magickal plant Mistletoe.  Mistletoe's magickal history goes back thousands of years, and it was considered a sacred and mysterious plant in early European folklore with use by the Druidic priesthood of the Celts.

It's magickal properties include aphrodisiac, fertility, protection, and prosperity.  The mistletoe of the sacred oak, was especially prized by the Druid Priests and Priestesses. It would rarely be found growing on the Oak tree and would more readily grow on apple trees, so when it could be harvested from the oak tree, it was even more prized.

Historically mistletoe, as recorded by Pliny the Elder, was venerated by the Druids. They saw within the plant magicks that would cure all ills, and curiously today,  mistletoe is an ingredient in the drugs being found most effective in fighting cancers. The druids even made a sacred ceremony out of the harvesting of this sacred plant.

When found in an oak, the druid's would gather below and hold aloft a white woven silken cloth beneath the oak branches. A druid would climb the oak and with a ritual golden boline, small sickle shaped knife, would cut the mistletoe from the host oak and drop it down onto the cloth.  It was commonly collected during mid-summer and mid-winter, and as it was an 'air' plant, what today is called hemiparasite, meaning it can live off a host plant, it was never allowed to touch the ground.  .

Then two white bulls would be ritualistically sacrificed and ritual incense was burned and prayers were given that they would be prosperous and blessed by having this sacred plant. Mind you all of this ritual for just harvesting and getting the plant ready to dry and store for later use.  

Mistletoe was prized for its fertility properties and the small white berries were thought to represent the semen of the God. It was also thought to protect against lightening strikes, fires and to keep evil away.


Mistletoe was included in the preparations for Yuletide,  so when Christmas came around, mistletoe was already a big part of the Yuletide tradition and so was kept as an ancient but acceptable tradition. It was first hung in houses, by doorways to keep evil spirits out, and in some cultures they would hang it in barns to keep witches out.  By the way, that won't work. Not that I want to go in your barn anyways, but its funny how throughout history the plants used most by witches are the ones reputed to be able to keep them away.  It often becomes obvious the 'experts' on witches in the middle ages really didn't think out their arguments well, they all fall short of logical.

Eventually the mistletoe took on a warmer responsibility and was thought to bring good luck and prosperity if two people who were friends, regardless of sex, kissed or shook hands in greeting under the mistletoe.  This quickly morphed as an acceptable way for a young gentleman to get a kiss from a pretty girl.  At one time a kiss would occur then one of the white berries would be removed, and after all the berries are removed a new piece would be hung.

Today, most mistletoe is sold with fake plastic berries or none at all, and for good reason. Mistletoe is poisonous, the berries very much so.  Even if it looks harmless do not let children or animals play or have access to mistletoe that you buy for holiday decorating.

 The magick of mistletoe today says that if you kiss your love under the mistletoe you will stay in love. Well now, that's worth it, even if its an old druid's tale! By hanging a piece of mistletoe this year you are touching on a tradition that shadows into the past 5000 years or more.  Now, your homework .  .  .  go out and buy a piece of mistletoe this year and hang it in a place in your home, to bring protection, security and love.  Remember it also protects against lightening and fire, and that's always a good thing to have extra protection for!

If you do hang mistletoe this year have a care to keep it away from children, pets and anyone that might try to eat it. IT IS POISONOUS, even though you can purchase it everywhere during the holidays at the checkout counter for a few bucks.  It doesn't even really look real as most is sprayed a fake green, as when dried the natural  green is a bit dull.  But its real, and it can be fatal. So I suggest if you can't buy the real stuff you use a kissing ball made of evergreens and non toxic materials, that are also sold this time of year.  They have a similar magick, though they date from the Victorian times.

We'll discuss kissing balls, boughs, bells and the Christmas tree in my next discussion on the Victorian influence found in Christmas.                        Jingle Bells, Jingle bells, fa, la, la la la!



Peace and Happiness
  
 








© 2010 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com. To access the link to my website click on the title of this discussion and it will bring you to it.




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1 comment:

  1. Very interesting on the mistletoe, I thought it was poinsettias were the poisonous ones. Thanks for clearing that up. 5000 years ago, that was a interesting fact. Thank you Janet

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