Wednesday, December 07, 2011

An advent calendar of sorts Day 7. Mistletoe

Christmas Kisses
Once upon a time the mistletoe was a tree that stood upright on its own trunk, like other trees, but I'll tell of how it became an outcast and dependent on others for its life.

Now the young god Baldur was the son of the goddess Frigga, and was the handsomest and  most revered of all the gods. Frigga was so fond of her son that she made every living thing promise to protect him and never cause him harm. But the trickster god Loki was jealous, and persuaded the mistletoe tree to break the promise.

He made an arrow of its wood and shot Baldur, killing him instantly. When it saw Frigga crying, the mistletoe was ashamed and agreed with the other gods to give up its independence in return for restoring Baldur to life.
And when she saw her beloved son alive again, Frigga's tears dried into the white mistletoe berries.


Sandra Davies said...

Had not heard this - very nice indeed, especially their names. Thank you.

MorningAJ said...

I first heard this story on a Boxing Day coach trip in Iceland, told by the guide Hafstein. I think he chose stories about Baldur because that was the name of the (rather handsome) driver. Poor driver Baldur blushed wonderfully every time Hafstein described how beautiful the god was!

(Watch out for more Icelandic Yule customs and tales in this collection.)

snafu said...

Nordic myths are great stuff, reads like a modern soap. Family quarrels, lies, infidelity and so on. Have you read any of Alan Moore's books? He extends the idea that if Gods are immortal, then they should still be alive in modern times and you may run across Odin, Hel, Frigga, Thor, Locki and so on even now.

MorningAJ said...

Hi Snafu
I've not head of Alan Moore but I'll look out for him now. I have read Neil Gaiman's American Gods, which is based on a similar idea. Wonderful book.

anthonynorth said...

I love these old myths. excellent.

snafu said...

Old age one Snafu nil. I do apologise, I have confused Alan Moore with Neil Gaiman, they are both amongst my favourite writers but American Gods is what I was thinking of. Gaiman also wrote a sequel to American Gods called Anansi Boys. He wrote a whole set of illustrated novels about the Sandman which are well worth reading if you like myths and legends being mixed together and do not mind being seen reading ‘comics’. Alan Moore amongst other things, wrote the original V for Vendetta which you may have seen as a rather pallid movie version but he is more into the comic genre.

MorningAJ said...

I've read Anansi Boys too. But I've not got to the Sandman stories yet.

I'm a huge fan.