The Meaning of Mistletoe

Smooch! That’s what you get when you stand underneath the mistletoe. It is much more than a shot at a free kiss though. In fact, it is a parasite, attaching itself to trees (commonly oak) and taking it’s needed nutrients from it’s host. Birds have a strong relationship with mistletoe as well. They build their nests in the bundles of mature mistletoe called “witches’ brooms”, as it resembles the look of one. While the tree it attaches to loses all it’s foliage, mistletoe does not. This makes it a favorite winter meal for many birds and mammals when food is scarce. Anglo-Saxens noticed mistletoe would grow where birds had left their droppings. This is where it’s name derived from. Taking the words “mistel” meaning “dung” and “tan” meaning “twig”, put them together and what do you have? Sh!t on a stick! Think about that next time you pucker up!

Now that we understand what mistletoe is, let’s find out what it symbolizes. The ancient druids believed mistletoe had powerful magick. It was sacred to them as it represented feminine energy, sexuality, and rebirth. This is portrayed through the process of spreading it’s seeds with the help of the birds. Therefore, the life cycle of the plant continues on. Mistletoe has strong energy that the druids believed could show visions of one’s soul in the future. They used the plant for fertility and as an aphrodisiac. The druids had fertility rituals surrounding the mistletoe and the oak trees it attached to. The mistletoe represents female energy and the oak represents male energy. This was a practice done in honor of the union between man and woman.

Mistletoe is a strong symbol for couples of course. A kiss from your sweetheart under the mistletoe use to mean a promise of marriage. A man could not refuse a kiss, if standing beneath it. It was and still is a symbol of friendship, good-will and romance. It is also a powerful plant for protection, especially for children. Women who wish to become pregnant carry the plant in their pocket or handbag to take advantage of it’s energy.

What does mistletoe mean to you? Did it bring you and your love together? Share a comment below! Thanks for stopping by this week. I hope everyone has a joyous holiday! Happy Yule!

Until next time,

“You should be kissed, and often. And by someone who knows how.”


Nature Speak by Ted Andrews

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