15.00"x4.00" mixed media, gallery wrap


Description of Mistletoe

This is the spirit of mistletoe. When a deciduous tree loses its leaves, it is symbolic of death, dormancy, rest, and withdrawal. However, evergreen mistletoe clings to these dormant trees, and even thrives with life in the midst of arboreal hibernation. Life in the midst of ‘death’. And so, the concept of rebirth has been connected to symbolic meaning of mistletoe.

That idea of rebirth is often seen in Nature’s creatures. The Druids knew mistletoe was a source of nourishment and shelter for both bird and woodland creatures. Birds made nests in the green boughs. They also ate the berries, which caused the plant to spread. Not only that, but when birds congregated in mistletoe lodged in juniper trees, Druids noticed the juniper population flourished in those areas. Mistletoe attracted the birds, they ate juniper berries, and thus insured the cycle of life for these trees by spreading their seed. This galvanized the symbolism of the ever-continuing cycle of life, rebirth and regeneration.

Mistletoe (considered female) found in an oak, (considered male), represents a perfect coupling. Thus, mistletoe was often incorporated into blessing rituals for new unions. In short, mistletoe
was thought to protect new marriages. When an expression of love or friendship is received
within the presence of mistletoe, it is blessed. That union is under the powerful protection
of some of Nature’s strongest forces.