druids

Mistletoe symbol throughout time

*With this post I want to wish to all of you wonderful preparation for the upcoming holiday days. Wish you love, happiness, warm in your heart and joy.

Mistletoe

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Today, mistletoe is associated largely by the tradition of kissing modestly under it. However, back into the ancient times, there are many other practices as well relating to it.

For instance, in ancient Greece, the plant was sacred and rare to be found. According to the myth, once the Gods were offended by the plant, so they refused to look at it when women were being kissed under it.
The ancient druids had different specification of the plant, though they regarded it as a sacred and gave it their reverence. Interesting fact to reflect upon is that they considered the plant to consist the sperm of the God. Moreover, they used it with herbal function to cure almost everything, from witchcraft to antidote against poison. Nonetheless, one long standing tradition among the Druids was that after the sixth day of the winter solstice (‘Alban Arthan’), they used to cut the three, with a golden knife being extremely precautious the three not to touch the ground as it could lose its magic powers of protection, and divide its branches after distribution among the people. Those branches were hung in the doors of their homes in order to protect them from evil spirits and all devilish spirits.

In Norse Mythology, there is a legend explaining the origin of the mistletoe. Everything began with the norse god Balder, who was the most beloved one by all, but mostly by his mother , Frigga. She wanted to protect her son from all the evil in the world, that’s why she went far and wide into the world collecting promises from everything which contained the four elements – fire, water, air and earth. However , she chose Loki to find her the loophole, which was the mistletoe. Not only did he find it, but he made arrow from the wood of the plant. Unfortunately, Loki was not filled with good intentions, he gave the arrow to Balder ‘s brother, who was blind, dictating every move of the latter, the arrow pointed Balder’s heart and he died. As a consequences, Frigga’s tears turned into the mistletoe ‘s berries.

During the Romans’ times , the practice of kissing under a branch of this plant, could be traced back into the festive celebration of Saturnalia, a festival which brought into a daylight all kind of indulgence, such as conspicuous consumption of drinks, food and practicing sexual activities . The day on which all of that took place was 17th December, after that it was chosen someone who pleased himself more than the other, he/she was sacrificed in order all evil influence in people’s hearts to be exterminated by this ritual.

Back into the medieval times, many people hung branches of the plant in front of their doors or home’s ceiling, they believed that the plant could extinguish fire and make the evil spirits go away. As we could see the promotion of the idea of the mistletoe as a symbol of the good, harmony and protection preserved despite the fact that so different group of societies used and adopted its meaning and origin.

Druids- vailed in mystery

Druids So little knowledge ,so many mysteries

Who are the Druids or more precisely who were they? According to many scholars ,they appeared in the British Island relatively around 2000 years ago,just to gain more influence in France around 200 AD. The word “druid” is originally Celtic meaning “the knowing or the wise one” and it is highly probably to be related to the Druids ‘ cult to the oak tree,since the Celtic word’s root of tree is “dru” . Moreover ,among the Druid’s society not everyone was granted with the great privilege to be a Druid ,hence this was an important position held by their ‘priest’ or ‘healer’ according to their custom.

However , all knowledge we possess about them is probably based on speculations and vague assumptions ,since it is derived only from the Romans. For instance, Jullian Ceaser said : “” they know much about the stars and celestial motions, and about the size of the earth and universe, and about the essential nature of things, and about the powers and authority of’ the immortal gods; and these things they teach to their pupils.”. From this point it is clear how sophisticated and advance was their society and their pagan beliefs ,how advanced was their knowledge about the world and all that surround us. Religion : Their religion was a hallmark of their existence as a society and they preserved tolerance and sophistication of it together. In the very center of their cult was not only the man himself ,but every living thing,too. Their humanity was extended in the life-circle of every plant and animal. They worshiped everything that breathes and appear to be a living matter. This appear to be in strong contradictions of some scholars ,who defend their theories with overwhelming eagerness ,that the Druids made sacrifices to their God/Gods by killing animals and even humans. These two suppositions strongly exclude themselves ,so that their coexistence is in variance with one another, making series of beliefs based on serious contradictions and uncertainty. Hence ,only one of the ideas must be true. Here the history, mythology and cultural evidences remain silent.

Furthermore, Druid’s system of beliefs ,according to many scholars , was based on the formulation of the very idea of the incarnation. For example,they believed that throughout the body and mind our souls are consisted of many impurities, that’s why we need to refine our Souls and we would have a chance to do so throughout the process of the Incarnation. Much more interesting is the fact that Druids performed a series of practices by rearranging themselves in circles and often danced within them. This was also part of their methods by which they could washed away their impurities and filth from their soul ,by reaching Gwynfyd (Nirvana).For example , in the Circle of Happiness ,they had to let go of hate ,ignorance and injustice and presumably embrace love,justice and knowledge. It is really fascinating how they divided everything in halves-good once and bad once- trying to find the divine contrast between them and simultaneously to let the goodness to prevail over evilness during their existence. That starkly contradicts with the notion of the human or animals’ sacrifices.

Finally , is there possibility that Druid’s history to be grotesques curved under the some Christians scholars ,making them to look like barbarians or evil pagans? Why so many historians remain silent when it is asked whether the Celts embraced the Druid’s religion by force or by their own desire? Like I said,too many questions without answer stood in front of us…