Saturday, December 26, 2009

Mistletoe - Pagan Kissing Under A Parasitic Plant

Kenneth C. Davis the author of the, "Don't Know Much About History" series discuses the seasonal use of mistletoe for an article he wrote in The Huffington Post:

"...Like other evergreens, mistletoe --a parasitic plant that attaches to other trees-- remained green in winter, even as the trees in which it hung were "dead." A symbol of life in the dead of winter, it was part of the winter Solstice celebrations of many ancient cultures. The Greeks and Romans both prized it for its evergreen qualities.

But hanging mistletoe at Christmas actually comes from two old traditions, one Anglo, the other Saxon. The Celts of Britain and Ireland considered mistletoe a sacred plant and called it "all-heal." It was thought to possess the miraculous power to cure disease, promote fertility in women, make poison harmless, protect against witchcraft and generally bring blessings....(Cont.)...