The Witch’s Cupboard


Mistletoe (Viscum album –European Mistletoe; Phoradendron leucarpum and P. flavescens – Oak Mistletoe/American Mistletoe ) is also known as All Heal, Birdlime, Devil’s Fuge, Donnerbesen, European Mistletoe, Golden Bough, Holy Wood, Lignam sanctae crucis, Misseltoe, Thunderbesem, Witches Broom and Wood of the Cross.   It is known as all purpose or “All Heal” herb by the Druids.  Mistletoe is found in Winter Holiday season and can be found in Europe and the United States.   Also, Mistletoe is a parasite and only grows on a host plant.  So if you decide to grow Mistletoe, make sure to grow it with a plant that you would not be upset if it weakens or dies because Mistletoe absorbs the nutrients from the host plant.   

WARNING:  Mistletoe, including the berries, can be poisonous and should not be picked, ingested or used unless studied thoroughly with an herbalist.

In ancient times, the Druids revered Mistletoe because they believed it was the “all-heal” herb because of its miraculous healing qualities.  They also felt it shared its qualities with the powerful Oak because it could be found growing on the Oak Tree, which they also revered.  During the Winter Season, it was cut with a golden sickle and not allowed to touch the ground.  It was then wrapped in white cloth and offered to the Gods. Magically, it was used for protection purposes against any misfortune, lightening, fire, disease, and bad luck.   Lore tells us that it was placed in children’s cribs to protect babies from being stolen by fairies and replaced with changelings.

Here is some more lore about Mistletoe: Laying Mistletoe near the bedroom door (or placing it under a pillow or hanging it on a headboard) helps to promote restful sleep and pleasant dreams.   To banish evil, burn Mistletoe.  Women can carry Mistletoe to help with conception.  And, of course, we all know the lore of kissing your loved one under mistletoe.   The tradition is that if you kiss your loved one under the mistletoe, you’ll stay in love.  Mistletoe is also known to be the patron herb for locksmiths because Mistletoe is thought to open things that are locked.   If you’re trying to ward off sickness, a ring of carved Mistletoe wood will ward off sickness.   Also, it is said if you’re trying to cure a wound, carry Mistletoe and it will heal quickly.  (Do not apply herb to the wound.) Mistletoe was also the herb that killed Baldor.  Baldor was the courageous and good hearted son of Odin and Frigga.  The only way he could be killed was with the dart of Mistletoe.  Loki, the God of mischief and destruction, could not stand that something could not be destroyed so he disguises himself and has Frigga tell him the secret of how Baldor could be killed.  Loki finds a Mistletoe dart and throws it at Baldor, killing him.  It is thought that this myth illustrates rebirth and transformation because Baldor is so pure, when he dies, the age of purity dies with him, only to be reborn when the world itself is reborn.  Also, this is why Mistletoe is used for protection amulets and spells because it is said to invoke Baldor, where nothing dark or evil can exist.

Remember, this is not a substitution for medical advice so always check with a medical professional to make sure working with herbs or oils are safe for you.

Keywords for Mistletoe

Magickal Uses/Spells:  Protection, Love, Hunting, Fertility, Healthy, Exorcism, Fidelity, immortality and as an aphrodisiac

Deities:  Apollo, Freya, Frigga, Venus, Odin, Baldor

Planet:  Sun, Jupiter

Sign:  Leo

Gender:  Masculine

Element:  Air

Tarot Correspondence:   Tower, Knights, Sixes