Sunday, 8 November 2009

Sketches of Scottish History (4)

Druids and early Britons, for it represented their
sun-god Hoius, of Eastern mythology (the offspring
of Deo and Virgo, which the Egyptians represented
by the Sphinx), as also Baldur, the loved and early
lost, whose tale in the Norse mythology is like a
sunshiny fragment of Ionian life, dropped into the
stormy centre of Scandinavian existence. For
Baldur, the holiest Druids sought with prayers and
ceremonies on the sixth day of the moon the mistletoe
which grew on the sacred oak. Its discovery
was hailed with songs and sacrifices of white bulls.
None but the chief priest might gather it, which
was done by separating it from the tree with a
golden knife. It was caught in the robe of a priest,
and on no account allowed to touch the ground. In
Denmark, Sweden and Norway, it has still names
equivalent to u Baldur brow." It was in high
reputation with all pretenders to the black art, and
is authoritatively said to possess the power of
resisting lightning. It grows in abundance in central
Texas, and it is currently believed that even if
the tree on which it grew were blasted by lightning,
it was always uninjured. Chandler says that the
custom of decking the house at Christmas with mistletoe
is of pagan origin, and was done by the
Druids to allure and comfort the sylvan spirits during
the sleep of nature."

No comments:

Post a Comment