Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Anyway. Last winter we had a little snowstorm (kind of a big event here - everything shuts down) and we all bundled up and tumbled out into the backyard to play in the snow. Camera in tow, I was admiring the trees all dressed up for the event and I found something cool. Mistletoe. My neighbor has an old oak and mistletoe grows way up in the top. (Mistletoe needs a host. It's a parasite.) The storm had knocked some down. Of course, the holidays were over, so I had no use for it, but I took a picture. (It's not supposed to touch the ground before you bring it in the house either, apparently.)
When I file stuff away like that, especially nature related stuff, it usually comes out someplace in my writing. Remember the Druids I mentioned in the post about Aliase and Ley Gates?
Warning: Mistletoe is a poisonous plant!
Druids, who lived in Alaise at one point, used mistletoe in their rituals. Dressed in white robes, they harvested mistletoe with a golden sickle and sacrificed a white bull...claiming to cure infertility, as mistletoe was symbolic of a divine male essence. Their beliefs have something to do with the practice of kissing under the mistletoe even today.
"The mistletoe is still hung up in farm-houses and kitchens at Christmas, and the young men have the privilege of kissing the girls under it, plucking each time a berry from the bush. When the berries are all plucked the privilege ceases." - Washington Irving
There's some speculation that mistletoe was The Golden Bough of Greek mythology too.
Mistletoe is also a supposed antidote to all kinds of other things: cancer, barenness in animals, poison.... There are over the counter homeopathic medicines of the drug found in mistletoe, but no scientific data of its efficacy.
Anyhoo...I was writing my first draft at the time and I needed a druidic-style djinn ritual, since we were at Alaise for the Ley Gate already...and the mistletoe literally fell out of the sky as my answer. So next time you get writer's block, take a walk. You never know what you might find!