Mistletoe


In Norse mythology, Mistletoe was the sacred plant of Frigga, the goddess of love and the mother of the sun god, Balder. One night Balder had a dream, a terrible nightmare of his own death. Of course this greatly alarmed his mother since she loved him as any normal mother loves a son, but also because if he should die, the sun would go dark and all life on earth would end.

In an attempt to keep this from happening, Frigga went to air, fire, water, earth, and every animal and plant seeking a promise that no harm would come to her son. All agreed so now she knew Balder could not be hurt by anything on the earth or under the earth. But Balder had one powerful enemy, Loki, god of evil and he knew of the only plant Frigga had overlooked in her quest to keep her son safe. It did not grow on top of the earth nor under the earth, but on apple and oak tree limbs. It was the lowly mistletoe. So Loki made an arrow tip of the mistletoe and shot it, striking Balder dead.

The sky paled and all things in earth and heaven wept for the sun god. For three days each element tried to bring Balder back to life. Frigga, the goddess, his mother, finally restored him. The tears of joy she shed when he awoke turned into the pearly white berries on the mistletoe plant. In her happiness, Frigga kissed everyone who passed beneath the tree on which the mistletoe grew. And so it was that a decree was made throughout the land that whoever should stand under the mistletoe, no harm should befall them, only a kiss, a token of love.



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