As most of you know for my MA dissertation I researched folklore, myth, and legend around trees. Today I shall tell you a story uncovered during my study and at the end as a Winter Solstice gift, I’ll share a poem I wrote using some of the facts from folklore, along with fiction.
‘Sacred Tree,’ forms part of a poetry collection, ‘Spirit Mother.’ ‘Lady of the Woods,’ also part of the collection, was published in Reach Magazine, earlier this month, Issue 243. Watch this space for more.
The Oak and The Mistletoe
To the ancient druids the oak tree was sacred. An English oak was more sacred, and if it was an English Oak that had accepted mistletoe, that was the most sacred of oaks.
Ancient druids gathered in the grove of oaks on Winter Solstice when a special ritual was performed. The chief druid climbed the oak and lopped the mistletoe which was caught in a white cloak by the other druids. During the ceremony two white bulls were sacrificed and mistletoe was later presented at the altar to the earth goddess to bring ‘fertility to the spirit of the earth’(Paterson, 1996). The white berries signified the sun god’s semen.