Showing posts with label Mistletoe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mistletoe. Show all posts

Dec 20, 2013


 In many ancient religions the mistletoe was regarded as a sacred plant. For the Norsemen the mistletoe caused the death of Baldur, the shining god of youth. The Druids believed that a sprig of mistletoe fastened above a doorway would ward off many things, such as witchcraft, disease, bad luck, and fire. In addition, it would enhance the hospitality and fertility of the household. Hence the English Christmas custom of kissing under the mistletoe.  If you see me during the holidays, pretend I have mistletoe in my hair. I can always use another kiss and hug.

Dec 23, 2012

Facts about Mistletoe

The name comes from the fact mistletoe starts from bird droppings made from the red or white berries. It is a parasitic plant and roots to the branches of trees. Thus “mistle” or “missel”, which meant “dung”, and “toe”, which came from the Anglo-Saxon “tan” meaning “twig.” There are over 900 species of mistletoe and it grows on a wide variety of trees.

Ancient Greeks considered the plant an aphrodisiac and believed it aided in fertility. Norseman believed mistletoe was a plant of peace and when enemies met under the mistletoe they were obliged to stop fighting for at least a day. Eventually, this spawned a tradition to hang mistletoe over the doorway for peace and good luck.

It became associated with Christmas from the tradition of hanging mistletoe in one’s home to bring good luck and peace to those within the house. It hung year round and was replaced each Christmas eve or at New Year.

During the 16th century in Britain, it became popular to create a ball of mistletoe hung as a Christmas decoration. Couples standing under the mistletoe were to kiss if the mistletoe ball still had berries. For each kiss, one berry would be taken from the ball. Once all the berries were gone, all the “luck” was drained out and it became bad luck to kiss beneath it.

Mistletoe leaves and young twigs are used by herbalists, and it is popular in Europe, especially in Germany, for treating circulatory and respiratory system problems.

Dec 13, 2011

Kissing Under the Mistletoe

The Ancient Celts used mistletoe as an animal aphrodisiac, or more specifically, to increase the fertility of sheep. Such became the mythic power of mistletoe that in addition to bringing a lamb-ful spring, mistletoe was hung over doorways to ward off fire, lightning, and evil spirits. Despite its protective properties, mistletoe couldn't shuck its fertile past, and even though it was hung in people's doorways, it seemed as if something romantic should occur in its presence. Thus the kissing.

Did you know that mistletoe's power runs out? Every time a man steals a kiss under the mistletoe, he must pay by plucking one of its berries. When the berries are gone, no more smooching.

Dec 31, 2010


There are many stores about Mistletoe and the origins of use, dating back to Pliny the Elder, but this is the one I like. According to Norse/Germanic legend (Tom Knudson also likes this one), Frigga got all the plants and animals of the Earth to promise not to harm her son - except mistletoe. Loki, the god of mischief, took that opportunity to kill Baldur with a spear made of mistletoe. Frigga's tears then turned into mistletoe berries, which brought Baldur back to life, prompting Frigga to declare mistletoe a symbol of love. It's appropriate that we speak of Frigga on Friday as some references show this as the early etymology of the word Friday. Last chance to use the mistletoe to kiss your favorite this season.