A tale of mistletoe

A tale of mistletoe

Dear friends, Christmas is coming with its carol song and ringing bells. Today, we have a tale of mistletoe to tell.

We all know it’s always welcome to kiss under the mistletoe, but how did this parasite plant attain such popularity? And where do the legends come from?

In the old Norse and Celtic tradition, magical powers have been attributed to mistletoe, used in sacred Druidic rituals and assimilated with fertility and protection against the evil.

According to Norse legends, once upon a time, there was a goddess named Frigga. She had a son named Balder, who reigned over the warm sun of summer. One day, he had a frightening dream about his own death, which greatly alarmed his mother. She knew that, should her son die, all life on earth would end with him. So she convinced all plants and creatures, wind, earth, fire and air to protect Balder. And now he was protected from all harm that could come from earth or air. But Balder had a fierce enemy, evil god Loki, who knew that Frigga had overlooked one plant: mistletoe. This lowly parasite was a special freak of nature among plants, neither belonging to earth or air, but growing on the trunks of oak trees.

Loki fashioned a mistletoe-tipped arrow and tricked the god of winter Hoder, who was blind, to shoot it and kill Balder. For three days, the earth and skies wept for the fallen god. Finally, conjuring up the aid of all the elements, Frigga resurrected Balder. It is said that, in her joy, the goddess kissed everyone passing under the tree that grew the mistletoe, blessing them. She decreed that no harm should ever befall those who kissed under the mistletoe.

Today, we kiss under the mistletoe hoping for health and wealth and joy, sometimes forgtetting that, should we stand under this mystical plant, we already have an important thing: love.

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