are supplied to demystify symbolism (and the artwork in this
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American Christmas tradition: hang mistletoe
over the doorway (during the holiday season) and if a man
and woman are under it together, they must kiss. As Bill Murray
put it, in Scrooged (Paramount, 1988), "...there's
a tradition that says I have to kiss this girl on the lips.
Well, she's just upholding the law. It's a federal law, not
a state thing...."
Posted: December 25, 2003.
Little Giant Encyclopedia of Dream Symbols, p. 296
A symbol of the Druids and of consciousness. According to
English custom, everybody is allowed to kiss a person who
is standing below a sprig of mistletoe. The mistletoe stands
for the healing power of love.
Posted: January 17, 2004.
of Symbolism, p. 223-224
(Viscum Album) A plant favored in modern times as a
Christmas symbol; in ancient times it was considered sacred
in many cultures. This semiparasitic plant, which draws water
and minerals from its host, was considered neither TREE nor
bush; according to legend, it sprang up where LIGHTENING had
struck a tree (especially an OAK). Mistletoe growing on oak
trees was especially prized, e.g., by ancient Romans or the
Celtic Druids. According to Pliny the Elder, the Druids cut
it with GOLDEN SICKLES, gathered it in a WHITE cloth, and
then offered it in sacrifice to the gods, along with a BULL.
Mistletoe was considered a panacea, and, because it always
remained GREEN, a symbol of immortality. Robert Graves writes
that the mistletoe was thought to be the sexual organ of the
oak tree, and when "the Druids cut it, using a golden
sickle for reasons of ritual, they were performing a symbolic
castration. The viscous juice of the berries was thought of
as the sperm of the oak and a fluid (chylus) with great
powers of rejuvenation." In modern times the medicinal
effects of the plant have been studied: it yields a weak diuretic
which also lowers the blood pressure somewhat; anthroposophic
medicine stresses the plant's effectiveness against cancer,
which is still subject to clinical verification. The English
and American custom of hanging up sprigs of mistletoe at Christmas
time--and of feeling free to kiss anyone standing under them--seems
to go back to Celtic enthusiasm for the plant. In German myth,
a plot hatched by the wicked Loki turned mistletoe in the
hand of the BLIND god Hod into a lethal spear, which killed
Balder, the god of light and vegetation; only after the END
OF THE WORLD (Ragnarok) can Hod and Balder begin a new life
in PARADISE (Gimle). Here the mistletoe symbolizes the innocent
tool that becomes an instrument of doom through evil magic...(MORE
about this symbol, and many others, can be found in Mr. Biedermann's
book! Pick up a copy today!)
Posted: December 25, 2003.
Want to know more? Go out and pick up a copy of the book(s) quoted and expand your mind :) These are MY teachers, the people who teach me about symbolism :) I hope the supplied definitions help you understand the art found on this site.