Day 76: Yule, Mistletoe Charm

Alas, today Roderick’s exercise includes mixing mistletoe with gold leaf and vegetable glycerin, sewing the lot into a green cloth bag stitched with the sun symbol in gold thread, and then anointing it with pine oil.

I have neither mistletoe, gold leaf, green cloth, gold thread, or pine oil.  And I have no money.  I’m sure I could come up with something approximate given time for research and collection…but I don’t have that time, especially today.

This is a charm for long life, or so Roderick says, and he encourages his students to stitch their bags with words for qualities they might want in their lives like “love,” “joy,” or “wealth.”

I’m not really sure what might bring about the long life:  the symbols I see being used (gold and green) spell out “wealth” to me.  Perhaps the burden is on the mistletoe.  Scott Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs notes that mistletoe is used for protection against misfortune of every kind, for good luck in hunting, and to aid conception.  All these things seem to be necessary for a healthy survival of the species, which depends on healthy individuals–ones who have the potential to have a long life.  (Cunningham also notes that it has “been utilized in spells designed to capture that elusive state of immortality,” which might reinforce the long life feeling.)

I think marjoram might be a workable substitute here.  Like mistletoe, it is protective, and can also help with love, happiness, health, and money:  all things that help promote a nice long life.  Plus, marjoram is readily availiable at any grocery.  You know, I think there’s a giant jar of it in the kitchen right now…

Yup.  There was.  I bummed some green cloth from a housemate and whipped myself up a gold-free sachet.  I only had black thread, my sun symbol is a touch wonky, and this is not the most aesthetically pleasing sachet ever, but I like it.

If I ever do something similar with mistletoe, however, I’ll keep in mind to avoid touching my face and features:  it’s poisonous.  Don’t use instruments that you use in food prep, and wash well when finished working with the herb.

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