Before dismissing the significance of mistletoe in the Iron Age it might be worth looking at the literature on Celtic art. I believe that the 'leaf-crown' motif, as seen most famously on the Glauberg funerary statue of the 5th century BC, has been identified as a symbol of divinity and a representation of mistletoe leaves - how convincingly I do not know.
From: British archaeology discussion list on behalf of Michael Haseler
Sent: Fri 29/09/2006 13:22
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [BRITARCH] Archaeology of Mistletoe
I suppose that might make more sense. I suppose its the "don't forget the
smallest detail because it will come back to hit you" moral.
So, rather than being a "most important magical plant", it has a role of the
"so unimportant that no one thought to check it".
As a "visual pun" it is quite amusing. I've made a few arrows, and it is
almost impossible to find a really straight branch. The idea of starting
with something that zig-zags everywhere, is quite amusing. I wonder whether
there is some trick by which even mistletoe can be straightened?
No, the way mistletoe grows, creates a series of nodes which even if they
were straightened would make a completely useless arrow. Perhaps there was
once a saying: "he was so good at making arrows he could even make one out
In the total absence of archaeological records, it seems the whole myth of
mistletoe comes down to a short paragraph by Pliny!
> -----Original Message-----
> From: British archaeology discussion list
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Catherine Stallybrass
> Sent: 29 September 2006 11:57
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [BRITARCH] Archaeology of Mistletoe
> In a message dated 29/09/2006 11:24:50 GMT Standard Time,
> [log in to unmask] writes:
> But, the point is this, I've looked at mistletoe, and I can't see anyone
> making at arrow of it - boomerang perhaps, arrow No!. So, they must be
> talking about another plant and not mistletoe, which makes we wonder how
> anyone knows what the druids were actually cutting with their golden
> I thought the point of that story was exactly that Mistletoe was
> so unlikely
> a material for making a weapon that it was excluded from the oath
> that was
> to protect Baldr and that Loki enchanted it to make his dart!