Mistletoe (Viscum)

Name: Viscum album

Toxicity: considered toxic

Common Name: Mistletoe

Continent: Eurasia

Habitat: I

Applicable Plant Component: fruit








Anecdotal: Viscum is the male component (semen and death) in Winter Solstice ceremonies with his companion Ilex or holly (blood and birth). Ritual participants would wear wreathes braided of Ilex and clad themselves in garlands of Viscum before dancing around a tree in which Viscum had grown. One chosen couple opened the gate to winter solstice. It was believed that only sexual bliss brought the blessings of winter solstice through that gate and had the power to stop anything dark from entering at the same moment. It was also believed bad medicine when Viscum inadvertently fell to the ground. A parasitic plant, Viscum prefers Malus (crabapple) and Tilia (linden) as hosts and is only rarely found on Quercus (oak), making it auspicious when it is. The wood of a Quercus host is valued for handles of tools used to doctor severe mental aberrations, nervous debility and weakness. Viscum is empowerment medicine in matters of the heart.

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