Inspiration and substance added to the material of the pen:
Magical attribution ascribed in myths:
Good Luck and Everlasting Love
When you think of the mistletoe plant, with its distinctive forked branches, pairs of symmetrical evergreen leaves, and clusters of pearlescent white berries, chances are fond memories of Christmas spring to mind. This world-famous plant is best known for being hung atop archways in preparation for lovers to meet underneath and share a passionate moment together. However, from treating certain ailments to attracting good luck, there’s much more to the merry mistletoe than Christmas kisses.
Some mysterious legends surrounding mistletoe date back as far as the Viking Age. According to Norse mythology, the god Baldr was slain by a weapon made of mistletoe. Baldr suffered dreams foretelling his death and so, in an effort to protect him, his mother, Frigg, made everything living on or growing in the earth swear never to harm him. However, Loki, a jealous god, quickly realized that mistletoe didn't actually grow in the ground and crafted a weapon from the plant. He then called upon Hod, Baldr's blind brother, to shoot the weapon. Upon learning of her son's death, Frigg shed a river of tears that became the mistletoe's famous snow-like berries. In alchemizing her pain, Frigg ordered that the mistletoe plant be known as a sign of eternal peace.
Some versions of this Norse myth claim that the gods were able to resurrect Baldr. Frigg in turn declared mistletoe a sign of everlasting love and vowed to kiss whoever stepped beneath the plant. Perhaps this was indeed the beginning of a tradition that has spanned centuries, even to this present day.
Mistletoe, however, isn't only famous for attracting kisses at Christmastime. Ever spotted a circular decoration of plants, known as a wreath, hung on doorways during the festive period? Well, this is an ancient tradition that remains in our modern-day society! Yet, for our ancestors, this practice served a greater purpose than merely providing Christmas cheer. The Twelve Days of Christmas, the period in Christian theology that marks the span between the birth of Christ and the coming of the three wise men, was known in Germany as Rauhnacht. From the 25th December through to the 6th January, malicious spirits were believed to roam on these so-called "Raw Nights". Used to keep malevolent spirits from entering the home, folk would arrange mistletoe cuttings together in a circle with other sacred plants, including holly and ivy.
Following the Twelfth Night on the 6th January, traditionally in certain parts of Britain mistletoe and any other festive herbage would need to be taken down. Whereas in other parts of the world, it was believed that maintaining the arrangement all year round would protect the home from strikes of lightning and fire disasters.
Throughout the ages, mistletoe has had many herbal uses. It has been used to aid anxiety, ease headaches, help with high blood pressure, and promote good sleep. Mistletoe was used by the Druids to increase fertility, attract good luck, and ward off evil spirits, while, according to another folklore tale, if a sprig of this magical plant was placed under the pillow of a maiden, she would envision her future husband in her dreams. And the Druids weren’t alone in believing in the good-luck-powers of the mistletoe plant. Dim uchellwydd, dim lwc is a Welsh proverb meaning "no mistletoe, no luck".
So whether you too believe in the superstitions surrounding this picturesque plant or you’re just entertained, we invite you to get to know these curiosities and beliefs that have been passed down throughout the ages.