So, what's the deal with mistletoe?
Many years ago, people thought mistletoe was sacred because it grew when the other trees were not. Its unique white berries seemed to have mystical powers.
Eighth-century Vikings believed a legend about mistletoe that could raise humans from the dead. Balder, the god of the summer sun, had a dream he would die. His mother, Frigga, was the goddess of love and beauty. She frantically tried to find a way to save her son’s life.
[Because if you're afraid of bullies, the only thing to do is ask your Mommy for protection. Oh yeah, and the only thing worse than being bald is being Balder.]
The legend says she went to the elements air, fire, water, earth, plants and animals and begged them not to kill her son. Balder was teased because of his mother’s protection. One enemy found a way around Frigga’s protection and it was mistletoe. Because mistletoe has no roots of its own, it wasn’t a true plant. The enemy made a poisoned dart out of its branches and killed Balder.
The story says Frigga cried over her son, and her tears turned to red like the mistletoe berries, then to white, and Balder rose from the dead. Overjoyed that she had her son back, she changed mistletoe’s bad reputation and kissed everyone who walked under it.
[Is it wrong to say I find this Frigga'n ridiculous? Actually, kind of interesting with the red turning white to indicate a new start; that's really almost Judaic...]
Hung over a door, it would bring good will to all who passed under it. Some stories say it was a mistletoe tree that made the cross for Christ’s crucifixion. As punishment, the legend says the species withered to become the parasitic plant we know today.
One berry is removed each time a woman is kissed under the mistletoe. When all of the berries are gone, so are all of the kisses. A couple kissing under the mistletoe is a sign that they will be married and live happily ever after. Many believed that if an unmarried woman wasn’t kissed under the mistletoe, she would stay single for another year.
[So that's the problem!!]
Even though scientists haven’t proven that mistletoe held Christ, can resurrect the dead, cure illnesses, ward off evil spirits or even has the power to bind a marriage, its magic can be romantic. So grab your sweetie and share a kiss under the mistletoe.
Because we all need another source of pressure this time of year. [Geez, does anyone have good New Year's plans?]
Happy holidays, everyone.