In the Celtic language, Mistletoe means "All Heal". The Druid priests would cut mistletoe from a holy oak tree with a golden sickle. The priest distributed sprigs of mistletoe to the people, who hung them over doorways as protection against thunder, lightning and other evils. Banned as a pagan symbol, mistletoe was revived by the Victorians who thought it was a sign of love and good luck.
Numerous traditions connnect the three Solstice plants: Mistletoe, Holly, and Ivy The Holly and the Ivy have a curious rivalry throghout the year and especially at the solstice. Holly was seen as a male plant with ut bright red berries and sharp, prickly leaves, clinging and genter, was perceieved to be female. The association comes from the myth of a fair young maiden who was dancing in front of the god, Dionysus, in all her ardor and passion, only to die at his feet. The god, moved by he...
Mistletoe bears fruit at the time of the Winter Solstice, the birth of the new year, and may have been used in solstitial rites in Druidic Britain as a symbol of immortality. In Celtic mythology and in druid rituals, it was considered a remedy for barrennessin animals and an antidote to poison although the fruits of many mistletoes are actually poisonous if ingested as they contain viscotoxins.
brit soldiers bringing in mistletoe, 1914
Druid arch-priestess with sickle and mistletoe.
Benjamin Moore Paint - Mistletoe