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Mistletoe: What is the Meaning of Mistletoe?
Kiss Me Quick
Mistletoe Ball Christmas Ornament
Kiss Me Under the Mistletoe Christmas Headband
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A Little of The Story
Imagine you are a goddess; a Norse goddess by the name of Frigga who has the third eye (can read the future). Knowing your beautiful son Baldur will meet an untimely death you visit all things in nature and plead with them never to hurt your beloved son.
The years roll by and Baldur and his friends are playing; he is showing off is strength as his friends throw sticks and stones at his broad chest. Loki the trickster; a nasty little guy has made a new arrow and makes his way toward the group. He sees Baldur in all his splendor. Baldur's brother is also among the group, though he doesn't throw anything at his brother.
"Why do you not challenge your brothers strength, Hödur?" Loki asks, gazing into the blank face of Hödur.
"How can I, when I cannot see?" he retorted. Poor Hödur was blind.
"I shall guide your arm. Here use my arrow." Loki thrusts the arrow toward Hödur. Taking the arrow and the offered help Hödur lifts his bow, aims the arrow and fires straight at his brother. Baldur immediately collapses in a heap. Hearing the commotion you run to your sons side. He is already dead. Picking up the arrow you see the tip is made from mistletoe. The one plant you had not spoken to, with regard to your son, thinking it too insignificant to matter. Loki had deliberately killed your child.
More to The Story
It is said that Frigga implored for her son to be returned to life and asked that mistletoe be known as a symbol for love and everyone to kiss when they pass under it.
A Scandinavian custom in times of war, saw enemies seize fire and take the rest of the day off if they should happen to meet under the mistletoe while fighting in the forrest. It seems mistletoe bestowed a little peace among the soldiers at war.
Celtic history associates mistletoe with Druids (high priests) as they knew of the effects the plant had on consciousness. They made potions from extracts of the berries and used the brew in their ceremonies.
The Greeks believed that mistletoe had magical powers, bestowing life and fertility, a sexual symbol with aphrodisiac qualities. They also thought the plant would protect them.
The middle ages saw branches hung from the ceiling to ward of evil spirits. The early Europeans thought hanging mistletoe would send witches for a hike.
Mistletoe has a lot to answer for: from poison to passion to protecter. To day the plant is mainly thought of over the festive Christmas season, inspiring love and marriage to those who share a kiss under it. Once kisses have been exchanged one of the berries should be plucked and so forth till all the berries are gone, so make sure you get a bunch with plenty of berries. However, if you don't get a smooch under the mistletoe, an old European tradition says to burn it, otherwise the only lips you'll kiss for the rest of the year are your own (in the mirror presumably).
Parasite by Another Name
This romantic little bugger is actually a parasite and lives on the branches and trunks of trees. It's roots dig into the tree and take nutrients to keep the mistletoe well fed. This lazy foliage can feed itself (photosynthesis) but is more commonly found stuck to a tree. During winter months while the tree loses it's leaves the mistletoe sports a fine attire of greenery. Apple trees are most generous to mistletoe. However this leafy leach can sometimes be found on accommodating oak trees. Mistletoe has a few close relatives that vary slightly in appearance. You will find mistletoe grows in abundance and is quite easily recognized by the mossy birds nest style cone that hangs from tree branches (pictured above).
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A Little Lip Service
The next time you decide to pucker up under the mistletoe be sure it's with someone for better and not for worse.
An old story tells the tale, that being kissed under the mistletoe is the sign of a forth coming marriage proposal. You better make sure whoever you kiss is the 'I do' type (yippee) and not the head for the hills type (yikes).
Oh! ...... and another thing ladies. As for kissing a frog who will magically turn into Prince Charming. Hate to break it to you but that's just a fairy tale and there's not a damn thing mistletoe can do about it.
You're at a Christmas work party and a colleague you can't stand (who also has bad breath) puckers up under the mistletoe; do you?
To All You Merry Folk
Thank you for taking part in this poll and contributing to this hub. It seems a lot of us unfortunately suffer with mouth ulcers, especially at Christmas time, such a shame with all that mistletoe hanging around :)
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© 2010 Gabriel Wilson