|iven the abundance of mythology, folk-lore and medicinal uses of Mistletoe around the world (we only looked at Europe and North America), it is obvious that many peoples throughout much of our human story found it intriguing, discovered it's medicinal properties and imbued it with elaborate mythological associations. The initial intrigue may have been by virtue of its odd and in many cases flamboyant parasitic nature and in the case of the European and American varieties the facts that it bears it's fruit through the winter. European folklore has been formed and reshaped by the numerous cultures that journeyed through, settled her lands, traveled there for trade or conquered the indigenous population. It is therefore difficult to determine the origin of specific lore.
There is some speculation that the Norse myth of Balder shows Christian influence with its resurrection theme and that it also served to diminish Frigg from her once powerful stature to that of the grieving and helpless mother.
There are several problems with Pliny's Druidic account, the least of which is the golden sickle. Gold, especially when in pure form, is a very soft metal and unsuitable for cutting, especially the tough fibrous Mistletoe branch. If there ever was a sickle it was likely bronze or a gold-platted metal, which renders many of the modern attributes useless. The white robed priests and the sacrificial white bulls smacks of Rome and the increasingly popular Mithraic cults of the time, perhaps the observer interpreted what he saw by his own references. The attributes of Sun and Jupiter to the Mistletoe as well as the Oak have decidedly Roman overtones which tie in nicely to the white bulls which they considered sacred to Jupiter…Jupiter's Greek counterpart Zeus also took the form of a white bull, as well, this same animal was considered a totemic representation of Jupiter and Zeus's northern compatriot, Thor. All of which would have been common knowledge to the Romans at the time this ritual was observed.
When it comes to medical treatment, for most of the conditions for which its been used there are many safe alternatives to Mistletoe, some of which can be effected by simple non-invasive life-style change. The jury is still out on its potential as a cancer treatment with champions on both sides of the fence crying foul. Hopefully cooler heads will continue to undertake unbiased study of what could be an effective, and in comparison to radiation and chemo-therapy, relatively innocuous treatment.