You are on page 1of 12

Plants in the Wheel of the Year - Dec ember

Herbs in December are Mistletoe and Holly

Celtic Wheel Of The Year is a mixed media by Kristen Fox

In the Wheel Of The Year we are now in the time of the greatest darkness, which is celebrated
with Holy Fires.
At Midwinter the rebirth of the Sun God Mabon is celebrated.
During the Winter Solstice, the Holly King hands over his crown to the Oak King, who from
now on will lead the world into light and warmth.

'The return to Nature, the conscious experience of not being separated, but a part of it,
has given me a deep inner Peace that I no longer want to miss.
So the Rituals that I celebrate for the eight celebrations in The Wheel Of The Year are an
integral part of my calendar.
The Solstices and Equinoxes as well as the four Fire Fetivals Samhain, Imbolc, Baltane and
Lughnasad help me to consciously perceive the changing and recurring Seasons, but also
open my mind to the Inner worlds, the truths that lie behind the obvious, and connect me
with the 'Other World', the Realm of the Gods and Goddesses, the home of Nature Spirits
and Elemental Spirits of the Ancestors.
Here I find advice, knowledge and enlightenment, which I can use to lead a responsible life

1 Plants in the Wheel of the Year - Dec ember

in the Here and Now'. - parsifalrain, December 01

Nature has given us her strength since time immemorial.

Let us accept this gift gratefully !

Energetically, Mistletoe, Holly and other evergreen Plants are expressions of immortality and
eternal Life.

Mistletoe, Viscum album;

Sandalwood (Santalales); Dicotyledons; Angiosperms; family of Seed Plants (Spermatophyta), Mistel
Mistletoe is a wondrous Plant that only becomes visible in the Winter Months, when the Trees
are bare.
It is dioecious, which means that each Plant has either male or female Flowers.
The mysterious Mistletoe has fascinated mankind for a very long time.
It was considered the most important magic Plant of the Celtic Druids.
Many Stories and Myths entwine around the mysterious Mistletoe - popular names reveal its high
The light germinator Mistletoe was also called Witch's nest, Witch's bush, Devil's seed, Devil's broom,
Truden's nest or Alp-Twine (Alp= Elfish being).

Since time immemorial, Mistletoe has been used to cook ointments and brews that promote fertility, expel
ulcers (Mistletoe is used in modern cancer therapy), or help against the epilepsy (typical 'Shamanic dis-

2 Plants in the Wheel of the Year - Dec ember

The special thing about Mistletoe is that it grows against time.
It grows green and fructiferous in Winter.
The fact that it lives high up in the Trees as a semi-parasite has always impressed people.
Even today the Mistletoe branches are hung up as protection.
Mistletoe often grows on Trees in 'difficult' locations.
In places with increased earth radiation or at water vein crossings.
Plants that grow in such locations are also able to solve exactly these problems.
The smudging of Mistletoe can transform negative vibrations into positive vibrancies.
Mistletoe also has an important place in cancer therapy.
It has been shown to inhibit tumor growth.

specific features
The Leaves are evergreen and continue to grow over the Years before they fall off without wilting and do
not have a typical upper or lower surface.

Their growth is extremely slow and only begins after two Years with the first Leaves.
The first Flowers are visible after 6 - 7 Years.
It grows in Winter and Spring.
The Mistletoe rests from June to Winter.

The Mistletoe has a round shape and has no orientating relation to Earth or the horizon.
Between May and July the Mistletoe carries out daily small twisting movements of the Leaves and
branches to align itself (to find its own centre), which results in its spherical growth.

The translucent to creamy-yellowish (depending on the host Plant), fleshy, 6 - 10 mm large Berry Fruits
(false Berries) with only one to two seeds/embryos can be seen from September to January.
However, these Fruits alone cannot sprout.
For this they need the help of birds.
Some bird species play an important role.

The Mistletoe embryos are very resistant, they can stick to the Trees during the Winter and then sprout
in Spring.
For their development they need about 9 Months.
They develop particularly well on young host Trees or branches.

Mistletoes can live up to 30 Years.

The Latin name Viscum means glue and refers to the sticky flesh of the Fruit (also called bird glue).

Fairy Tales and Myths

At the time of the Winter Solstice and as a Christmas decoration, it is also often hung on the front doors
to protect the house from damage, especially in the Twelve Days After Christmas.
Anyone who kisses under Mistletoes should become a happy couple.

Pliny, the Roman historian who lived in the first Century after Christ, describes in detail how the Druids
worshipped Mistletoe.

3 Plants in the Wheel of the Year - Dec ember

'To be a Druid means to preserve, develop and pass on authentic life knowledge'.
- parsifalrain

'Not to be forgotten is the high Mistletoe worship among the Gauls.

The Druids had nothing, so they called their Priests what would have been holier to them than the
Mistletoe and the Tree on which it grows, especially if it was a Winter Oak. They regarded
everything that grows on this Tree as a gift from Heaven and as a sign that this Tree was chosen by
the Gods themselves. ...If necessary, it was then cut off with great solemnity on the sixth day before
the new moon, according the Gallic calendar. The Priests, dressed in white, climbed the Tree and cut
off the Mistletoe with a Golden Sickle, which was then caught in a white cloak. So great was the
pious faith in unimportant things'.

But the History of Mistletoe goes back much further.

Since the megalithic period of the indigenous European Cultures it has been revered as a Cultic Plant
and Panacea.

properties and effects

reduces the vascular tension of the blood vessels
Heart strengthening, since the Heart is relieved
metabolically stimulating
Caution: too high doses lead to disturbances in the gastrointestinal tract.

healing purposes
successfully used in cancer therapy
Mistletoe plays an important role especially in cancer therapy, even though it is still controversially

4 Plants in the Wheel of the Year - Dec ember

About 40 - 50% of cancer patients today receive complementary Mistletoe therapy.
Mistletoe therapy was introduced to cancer therapy in 1920 by Rudolf Steiner (founder of
anthroposophic medicine).
It is usually used in combination with conventional therapy (chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery)
and to prevent relapse.
Mistletoe therapy can also begin before conventional therapy.
high blood pressure
If blood pressure is low, Mistletoe can even increase blood pressure, which at first glance sounds like a
But since blood pressure is regulated by normalising circulation and strengthening the Heart, it is clear
that Mistletoe can help both high and low blood pressure.
cardiac insufficiency
menopausal symptoms

The Mistletoe grows mostly on Fruit Frees, deciduous Trees (likely Linden Trees), more rarely on Firs or
Mistletoes that grow on Oak Trees are particularly rare - they are considered sacred.
We find Mistletoes in Europe, West Asia up to the Himalayas and North-West Africa.
In North America it is only rarely to be found.
In addition to the demands placed on certain Trees, Mistletoe also depends on a high level of humidity. It
therefore occurs in river valleys, floodplains, etc..
The Mistletoe is a semi-parasite; with its anchor root it drills into the wood of the host Plant and takes
water and nutrients from it.

collecting tips
The young Branches with the Leaves are collected for medicinal purposes.
The Berries are not added, as they are poisonous.
The best time to collect Misteltoe is Spring or late Autumn.
A magic date for the Mistletoe collection is the Winter Solstice, on December 21.
Attention: The Mistel is protected in some countries and therefore must not be collected!

bitter substances

5 Plants in the Wheel of the Year - Dec ember

Mistletoe as a smudging agent
used parts
For Incense we use all parts of Mistletoe

Best on a full Moon or new Moon Night in Autumn or Spring.

effect on smudging
changes slow negative oscillations into brighter higher vibes
has a very strong protective effect
opens the world of dreams to us and lets us better understand dreams
opens our inner worlds by bringing light into the unconscious.
Mistletoe can make us invisible.

Mistletoe as a remedy
Mistletoe plays an important role especially in cancer therapy, even though it is still controversially
About 40 - 50% of cancer patients today receive complementary Mistletoe therapy.

6 Plants in the Wheel of the Year - Dec ember

Mistletoe therapy was introduced to cancer therapy in 1920 by Rudolf Steiner (founder of
Anthroposophic medicine).
It is usually used in combination with conventional therapy (chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery)
and to prevent relapse.
Mistletoe therapy can also begin before conventional therapy.

Mistletoe Tea
Mistletoe Tea must always be prepared cold, as the slightly toxic substances do not dissolve in cold
Water and the Tea can therefore be drunk safely, warm Water would also reduce the healing effect.
It is advisable to prepare 1 teaspoon of Mistletoe (without Berries) in about half a litre of cold Water and
then let it stand for 5-10 hours before drinking it in sips.
This Mistletoe Tea helps with high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis and a 'restless heart'.
However, it can also be drunk to increase metabolism and digestion.
This Mistletoe Tea also helps with headaches and dizziness, it also strengthens the nerves and reduces
menopausal symptoms.
Mistletoe seems to be a real Panacea.

externally as Tea
The Mistletoe cold Extract can be used externally as a compress or for baths.
It helps against varicose veins and lower leg ulcers.
Eczema can also be treated with Mistletoe treatments.
Mistletoe compresses can also be used to relieve rheumatic and neuralgic pain.
External Mistletoe treatments also help against arthrosis.
Mistletoe Tea can be snort to treat hay fever.

determining the age of a Mistletoe

The age of a Mistletoe can be determined very easily.
You simply count the number of Branches from the Trunk to the longest Branch.
Ideally, all Branches are the same 'length' or have the same number of forks.
This also results in the spherical appearance of the Mistletoe.
The reason is the growth behavior of the Mistletoe, it grows every Year by exactly one Branch, each with
two new small Branches from a single Branch, or Bud eye.
In my experience this theory is not always correct, sometimes up to four new Branches fork off from a
double knot.

7 Plants in the Wheel of the Year - Dec ember

Holly - Ilex aquifolium, Holly family, Stechpalme
The wonderfully shiny green, thorny Leaves of Holly are a well-known Christmas motif and we
encounter them more often on decorative Christmas articles than growing wild in Nature.
The Holly is a delicate Plant.
There are both male and female varieties, yet it is a male Plant that radiates a strong, active energy.
He does not tolerate too much cold and does not like dryness.
This is why Holly is most commonly found in gardens where he is planted.
As Hedge Plants in the garden they are popular, because they form effective wind, sight and sun
protection Hedges.

8 Plants in the Wheel of the Year - Dec ember

Growing wild, he is so rare that it is strictly protected.
The effect of Holly is somewhat controversial.
In many books he is mentioned as poisonous.
The red Berries are in any case to be classified as inedible, with the Leaves, opinions differ on this
Siegrid Hirsch even says that a Holly Leaf Tea can be called Europe's Mate Tea.

popular names
Christ-Thorn, Forest Thistle (Bush), sometimes called Palm Tree

Stories and Myths

During the Saturnalia, a Festival celebrated in ancient Rome at the end of December, Branches and
bouquets of Holly Leaves were presented to express friendship and goodwill.
Of course, there is also a Story that connects Holly with the crucifixion of Jesus.
It is said that the Palm Branches that were scattered when Christ entered Jerusalem were transformed into
Holly Branches when people called for the crucifixion of Jesus.
The thorny Branches symbolize the crown of Thorns of Jesus like hardly any other Plant and the blood-
red Berries also stand for the blood of Jesus, which he shed for humanity.
To this day, the domestic shrines and the crucifix are decorated with Holly Branches.
Holly Branches attract good Nature Spirits, so a small Shrub should not be missing in the garden.
Like many other prickly Plants, Holly is of course a vibrant protective Plant.
In the past, Holly Branches were nailed to doors and gates because it was thought that all good spirits
sought shelter among these Branches and thus protected the house and courtyard, where they found
these branches as ken.
The Branches of the Plant were brought into the house - bound as a wreath or bouquet and decorated
with red ribbons - because the good spirits of the Forest hide in them over the Winter and in return for
the warm place in the good parlour protect the house and courtyard from misfortune.

It could protect against all evil spirits (which got caught in the Thorns) but also against lightning strikes
and other negative events.
Therefore the Branches are burned during the Annual Renewal, offered to the fire as a sacrifice.
One promises to the Fire already with the hanging up that it receives the Branches and Foliage later
anyway, thus does not have to take these itself by lightning strike or building fire.
The chimneys were also swept with Branches of the Holly, from which it was previously assumed that the
Ancestors went in and out through them.
The Holly Branches kept this ancestral entrance pure.
The Holly stands for the God of the dark half of the Year, who was also called Holly King.
But the Holly was also in contact with the Underworld Goddess Hel. (Helheim)

The Holly King and his brother

A Story, which in Heathen circles belongs firmly to the Winter Solstice (Yule), is about the Holly King
and the Oak King, two brothers who each reign for half a Year.
The Holly King is the king of the decreasing Year, the dark time.
He reigns after the Summer Solstice until the Winter Solstice.

9 Plants in the Wheel of the Year - Dec ember

On the Day of the Winter Solstice he is bid farewell with the burning of Holly Leaves, whereby he takes
the darkness with him and the Days can now become longer bright again.
The Holly as a decorative Yule green is just as widespread as the Mistletoe, which is said to have similar

characteristics and mode of action


healing purposes
febrile colds - also with cough and bronchitis
As Bach Flower Extract, Holly, stands for Love.

Wild Holly is extremely rare.
If we find it in the wild, it is in the undergrowth of damp Forests, which are not exposed to too much

collecting tips
As the Holly is strictly protected, only parts of culturally cultivated Plants may be collected.
Only the very young Leaves that have not yet formed spines are used here.
You have to stand clear from the Berries as they are poisonous.
In the past, the Bark of Holly was also used as an antipyretic.

bitter Ilicin, dye Ilixanthin, tannins, gums, glycosides, caffeine, vanillin, minerals, pectins

recipes for healing application

Holly Leaf Tea
Young Leaves are collected and dried quickly.
Pour 250ml of boiling Water over one teaspoon of the dried cabbage.
This Tea helps with fever, but also with constipation, fatigue and general weakness.

Holly Bark Tea

The Tea from the Bark has an even stronger antipyretic effect and was frequently used in the past.

a warning
The poisonous Berries of Holly were considered in the Middle Ages as an ingredient of the 'Witches'

10 Plants in the Wheel of the Year - Dec ember

In general, Berries and decoctions of Leaves are often found in recipes for 'Witches' Potions, where they
are said to have been used 'to cleanse the body and soul'.
Internal use can lead to severe vomiting, miscarriage, and death if improperly dosed.

Therefore, all parts of Holly in the magic of inexperienced handlers should only be used energetically,
symbolically or decoratively - not internally or on the body - and never kept within the reach of
children or pets !

This information is supplied without liability, limit or warranty.
Please note - this healing recipes may be subject to change and are without guarantee – always contact a
Medical doctor before the application !
The information in this article has been carefully reviewed by me.
However, I decline any liability for any damage or consequences arising from the use or misuse of the
information I have provided.

I do not give any medical advice.

If you have serious health problems, you should refrain from self-medication and seek the advice of a
Medical doctor or alternative practitioner.

Some Wild Plants are protected regionally, consult the nature conservation authorities.
Collect only individual Plants, so that the stock remains !
Remember – you can only harvest which belongs to you !

all images from Wikipedia, Wikimedia or self-made unless otherwise stated

Wheel of the Year-Celebration Samhain

Samhain and 'Halloween'

Plants in the Wheel of the Year November

Yule - Midwinter - Winter Solstice - 'Christmas Eve'

Everything is Born out of Darkness

The Twelve Nights After Christmas

Plants in the Wheel of the Year - January

11 Plants in the Wheel of the Year - Dec ember

deutsche Version hier

12 Plants in the Wheel of the Year - Dec ember