Virgel describes in the Aeneid how the Trojan hero Aeneas mourning his father, Anchises wishes to travel into Hades to seek consul from him. Aeneas is granted his wishes by the Sybil Deiphobe but first he must to seek a golden bough of mistletoe and take it with him for protection on his journey into the underworld.
Aeneas encounters horrendous phantoms who guard the gates of Hades. Heroic Aneas full of fear and dread passes on to the River Styx where the boatman Charon ferries soul to the afterlife. Charon is at first reluctant to take Aeneas, a living man, across the river, but when he sees the sacred Golden Bough of Mistletoe he agrees to ferries him across. After wandering in the dark misery of the underworld Aeneas eventually reaches Elysium, the place of gladness, and finds his father's spirit. Anchises foretells Aeneas future and urges him to go to go to Italy where his fate lies. Weeping for his father Aeneas safely travels out of Hades with the protection of the mistletoe. and follow his destiny.
Mistletoe has been used in healing in magic and healing for thousands of years. The 4000 year old oak coffin of The Gristhorpe man found in a tumulus near Scarborough in 1834. He was taller than average for this period in the Bronze age. Contained among the artefacts in the tumulus was mistletoe in a bark bag. Was this for his passage through the underworld and perhaps his returnto the world. Was he a magician and healer?
In 1948 at Hochdorf in Germany a Celtic burial chamber was found to contain a man six foot 2 inches tall. He became know as the Druid Prince because his stomach contents contained mistletoe berries.
Celts and the Druids revered the mistletoe. The Druids cultivated mistletoe on many trees including apple ash, willow trees, hawthorn and also on the oak. The oak is a hard wood tree and as mistletoe grows mainly on soft wood, therefore the Druids must have been very skilled to grow it on the Oaks in their sacred groves. Mistletoe is rarely seen on Oak in the present time, but there are some oak trees with mistletoe growing on them in Epping forest and a few other places..
Pliny in Natural History XVI 249 -251 describes how on the sixth day after the new moon following the winter solstice the druids cut mistletoe with a golden sickle making sure it did not touch the ground. They would place some on an alter stone for the mistletoe thrush to take and renew the growth and spread of Mistletoe in the Grove. Some was distributed to people for protection and prosperity in the new year. the rest of the mistletoe would use to guide the Druid priest in his prophesy and magic work
Mistletoe was used in magic its hallucinogenic effect when eaten in quantity enabled them to journey on the astral plane and into other worlds. Perhaps like Aeneas they carried mistletoe to allow them to return back into the known world. When the Druids returned he would be filled with Awen's Bright knowledge and wisdom distilled from a mistletoe brew which was "baleful and poisonous".
Mistletoe was traditionally held to be a symbol of fertility and virility by the Celts Women wishing to conceive would tie sprigs of mistletoe to their wrist.
Old religions and ways declined with the growing power of the Christian Church but mistletoe is a powerful heal plant in the 21st Century.
With Reiki blessings & a safe harbour to you all
Mistletoe can be highly toxic to human beings please do not self medicate.