A myth based on fact, weaving song and prose
As song saturated the throng, the mystery of the mistletoe permeated the receptive being of each of the Druids gathered around………
“Above and below and all around you are
Above and below and all around you are
You are the essence of life – All Heal Mistletoe
You are the beauty of life – Divine Mistletoe
Sacred One – Source within and beyond
Sacred One – Source within and beyond”
Then each of the five in pentagram form, spoke in reverence to the spirit of mistletoe, in the poetic language of their own lands.
Thus were the masses reduced to tears in the mysterious magic of subtle sublimity; devoured by divinity.
The day before, had seen three pilgrims set forth on an annual epihany of service to the land
“I am the Land that is all that I am
I am the Land that is all that I am
I am the Land that is all around me
I am the Land that is all that I am”
Clambering through the wizened and gnarled ancient branches of the orchard apples, each of the three shared the sacred task of severing and securing the mistletoe boughs. A comical sight to behold and one which did not fail to amuse the three themselves – two fairly gnarled and wizened old Druids, who had been performing this tradition for many years, accompanied by a graced and graceful apprentice of younger years.
One holding the precariously balanced ladder; another perched twixt ladder and branch, trying valiantly to save themselves falling to ground, just as the third of the triad is meanwhile trying valiantly to catch the falling mistletoe, to save it from hitting the ground.
What is it about these white berried ‘Tears of Frigga’ fronds?
– Makes them so special – so enduring, emblematic and enthused by the grace of ‘that which is beyond’ ?
– Extolls umteen millions of people to seek a kiss under its blessed presence each year?
– Evokes the spirit and essence of this time of annual transition from darkest depths to the hint of the turning – the glimmer of hope in the deepest dark, alluding to the imminent birth – rebirth – re-kindling – of Sun and of Soul.
Solar light awakening sun kissed soul
Mists rolling in across the fields of Somerset – Land of the Summer people – as the the hazy hallucinogenic sun sets on the day and the year, heading for the darkest night – Mother Night -Modre Nicht.
The sun at its most distant on its southerly journey, creating the spacious depth of darkness in which new life now births and will soon flourish.
For years and years I was teased by – and toyed with – the conundrum of why our ancient forbears referred to Viscum Album as ‘All Heal’ – green leaves in the winter landscape now standing out against the silouette lines of host tree, whilst in Summer the mistletoe lies hidden and seemingly dormant among the leaves of the tree which sustains it.
The mystery of how – and why – this unique plant chooses to fruit and offer us its sperm berry – not in the fullness of Summer Sun – but here in the sterile depths of sunless shadow.
Sperm in the womb of the night.
Giving birth to the light –
The Son of God for some
The Sun of the Goddess for others.
The language and words matter not: It is what lies beyond that counts
And here we spiral closer to the constellated mystery of “All Heal”
For its essence is all about love – thats why we kiss under it – and its form is all about refertilisation – thats why we bring it into our homes – in hope and inspiration.
The wisdom of the ancients understood all this – and celebrated its annual flourishment, knowing that to do so would lead to nourishment and sustainment – of self, of community and of the land.
The legends speak of a golden sickle – yet anyone who would try to harvest mistletoe that way in practical reality, knows that gold isn’t strong enough – yet the mythical wisdom in the sickle of gold, points both to a ‘purity of heart’ being requested in its cutting and collection. It might also suggest that iron implements could ‘earth’ the heavenly being too early.
For it is at the point at which the berried plant is lowered to the ground – ‘Earthed’ and offered to the feminine – that fertilisation and sacred union might be seen to take place. At one level this might simply be taken as symbolic and ritualistic – yet at another it is vital for the vitality and refreshment of our being – it is both illusional and real – the co-existence and communing of paradoxical strangeness.
The union of opposites
Just as the mistletoe comes
into sacred union with that
which is beyond
In the darkness of “Mother Night”
That of the Sun
Is celebrated and
As we are fated
To give eternal gratitude
For the returning
light and life
Of the Sun
“Let the Heavens be reflected on the Earth now
That the Earth may turn into Heaven” x4
Why ‘All Heal’ ? – because love conquers all – it is all wholing, all healing – all giving, all receiving
Mistletoe speaks of love in its purest and fullest sense –
“The Sun never says to the Earth – “you owe me”
Look What happens with a love like that
It lights up the whole world” – Hafiz
‘Let the way of the Heart’
by JJ Middleway