|Image Credit: AKarmine|
If you’re in the northern hemisphere, today is the Winter Solstice—also known as the first day of winter. If you’re in the southern hemisphere, your summer officially begins today and you’re not to talk to me until I can feel my toes again. The heat’s broken in my office and nowhere else, and don’t think I haven’t gotten wise to certain family members’ efforts to make me socialize during the holidays (I’m looking right at you, Sage and Cemil).
But the solstice is a time of forgiveness and rebirth, and since it’s warmer out here by Myron’s computer, I’ve offered to do our Yule blog post. At great personal inconvenience, I might add.
Many religions celebrate holy days this time of year, a time of family, friends, and gift-giving that can be traced back thousands of years. And even secular celebrations touch on the traditions we know and love. One popular decoration you’ll see is mistletoe.
Especially around here, and did no one think of how badly that could end up when some of the guests see the rest of us as Meals on Wheels?
The tradition of kissing under this (poisonous!) plant comes from embracing to show you were friend. Legend says that Vikings, upon meeting a foe under mistletoe, would lay down arms and meet in peace. But did you know that mistletoe is for more than just kissing? In ancient times, it was called heal all, and many people today still believe in its uses in treating heart conditions, convulsive disorders, and even cancer. But don’t go out and start tinkering with it yourself! Mistletoe is toxic, and has been known to cause seizures in children. Always consult your healer before adding any potions to your health care.
Luckily, there are many ways to use mistletoe in magic that don’t involve my special potion-making skills. For example:
- Hang a sprig of mistletoe over your door to bring peace and friendship to your house (and to protect against lightning!).
- Burn some mistletoe to banish evil.
- An amulet carved from mistletoe wood will promote fertility.
- A sprig of mistletoe under your pillow or hanging from the headboard will promote restful sleep and peaceful dreams.
- Share a kiss with your lover under the mistletoe and your love will endure.
And many more.
Mistletoe is such a useful plant, I have plenty in my stores no matter what time of year. If you have need, please come see me in the main Haus.
I’ve got to go now. We have a whole group of young vampires coming in for the next week, and I think that's my cue to hex my heater into submission.
A joyous and peaceful Yule to you all,