THE LEGEND OF MISTLETOE
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The legend of Mistletoe
Mistletoe also known throughout history as
the golden bough has several different legends associated with its
beginning and its meaning.
back as far as the Celtic Druids you can find more than one story
concerning the mystical mistletoe. One such story is their belief that
the plant held the soul of the host tree, which was the “holy
oak”. During a ceremony, the Druid priests would harvest the
mistletoe with a golden sickle to ensure the mistletoe never touched
the ground, as it would lose its magical powers. The powers would
quickly be absorbed back into the earth. Once the mistletoe was
harvested, the priests would give the branches out to the people for
them to use against all kinds of evils.
England, mistletoe at one time was placed over the doorways for good
luck. They believed that only happiness could pass underneath the
mistletoe, therefore, enemies would hug and seal their peaceful
intentions with a kiss of friendship.
ancient Norse people have a wonderful legend centered on the mistletoe.
In their legend, the god Odin and his wife Frigga had a son by the name
of Balder. Frigga loved her son very dearly. She took steps to ensure
that nothing would ever harm him by way of earth, fire, water, or air.
mistletoe did not fit into any of these categories, so an evil spirit
by the name of Loki created an arrow out of mistletoe and gave it to
Balder’s brother, Holder. Holder was blind and Loki held onto
his hand and shot Balder in the heart with the mistletoe arrow. Balder
this moment on, the legend is told differently in various stories. One
is that Balder is brought to life. In another one, he had a
Viking’s funeral and was sent to the Otherworld on a burning
ship. He was to remain there until it was time for him to come back to
earth to start a new era.
From that day, forward, Frigga stated the mistletoe would never harm
anyone again and made it a symbol of love and made the promise to
bestow a kiss upon everyone who passed beneath it.