Every winter I light candles, fill my house with holly and mistletoe, bring a tree inside and yet never really question these traditions. This year as the winter solstice came around, I spent some time reading all about the origins of these rituals. Fascinated; I think I could write and write about Yule, the re-birth of the sun, holly, mistletoe, candlelight, yule logs, bringing greenery inside - but I feel the moment has been missed. I will have to save most of it for next year.
For Christmas, I made my mum two necklaces. One teeny hand cut silver holly leaves with glistening faceted garnet berries, the other - the tiniest sprig of hand cut silver mistletoe with the smallest of real pearl berries. I made a matching one for myself.
Sacred mistletoe, winter fruit, a sign of life in the dark and barren winter months. Held in great veneration especially when found growing among the boughs of the mighty oak. Five days after the new moon, after the winter solstice, the Druid Priest would cut the mistletoe from the branches with a golden sickle. The mistletoe must be caught as it falls, before it touches the ground. The Priest then divided the plant and dispersed it among the people who hung it over their doorways for protection. Folklore differs, but mistletoe is said to cure illness, ensure fertility, and is a sign of peace and goodwill.
Mistletoe is excluded from Church decorations, this is probably due to it's connection with Pagans and Druids.