The Mistletoe Foundation Ceremonies
As the Mistletoe Foundation's involvement with the Tenbury Mistletoe Festival has come to a close, here are some reminders of what we did and what was achieved.
The Mistletoe Foundation was invited to bless the mistletoe at the auctions in the old cattle market.
The Mistletoe Foundation was again invited to bless the mistletoe at the auctions, held at the cattle market for the last time.
This was followed by music and stories in the very cold old fire station! Well, it was December!
When the Tenbury Mistletoe auctions were relocated to outside the town, a mistletoe blessing ceremony was held outside the Pump Rooms.
This was followed by music and stories. Druids like music and stories.
After the hand over from Stefan in 2008, we looked to the Land of the Teme Valley for inspiration.
A procession through the town lead to the Burgage, where the ceremony was held next to the River Teme. The Mistletoe, which had not touched the ground since its cutting, was blessed with love and healing for the world and all that live upon Her and given to the swirling waters. Then, with her blessings, that message was taken to the seas and out to the whole world. Thank you, the Goddess Temesia.
This year the druid ceremony, with a covering of snow underfoot, saw an increase of the number of people present.
The male and female mistletoe, were joined together in the ceremony and blessed with the gifts of the Teme Valley -Hops and Apples in the form of beer and apple juice. The magical mistletoe was given to the River Teme having not touched the ground. the Magic of the Mistletoe once again travelled around the world on the tides of the oceans.
Around 300 people attended the ceremony, which for the first time included the crowning of Tenbury's Mistletoe Queen. The Mistletoe was blessed, and the Queen gave it to the River Teme.
See below for the outline of the ceremony.
BangOn! Drummers headed the procession that lead to our last ceremony in Tenbury. Over the Bridge and down the High Street, and into the Burgage to the sound of drums.
The Mayor of the town crowned the Mistletoe Queen, the River Teme was honoured with poetry and the Mistletoe Prayer was spoken as the Mistletoe was given to the flowing waters, by Jake. Our work in Tenbury was done.
Thank you to all who attended and supported our involvement over the years.
An outline of the ceremony
Under the name of “Multi-faith Ceremony of Peace and Thanksgiving.” the ritual of blessing the mistletoe was in itself druidic in feel and similar in the most part to previous years.
The ceremony begins, as with all Druid ceremony, by asking for peace. For without peace no voice can be heard and no work can be done.
All: May there be peace throughout the whole world.
With peace established we can then state the intent and purpose of the ceremony
“We have come from North, and South, from East and West to celebrate the Mistletoe Harvest. Many traditions and Cultures are present in our Land of Britain and we light this candle to honour them all. All are welcome, all are represented, all are honoured, welcome one and all to Tenbury Wells, welcome to the Mistletoe Foundation Ceremony 2011.
By the joining of hands, we create a circle, a sacred space to focus our intent and to share Peace and respect. When gathered together in a circle, everyone stands together, hand in hand and heart to heart, as equals. Each and everyone present holds the importance of and are as important as the collective whole. The reason for being there is shared amongst all who are present. Everyone is united in that moment where respect for the importance and intent is foremost.
The Druid tradition respects time and place. Honours our ancestors who shaped ourselves and the lands in which we live. Their blessings for our ceremony are always asked for.
Now with peace called for and the intent been has made. The spirits of here and now and of the ancestors honoured the ceremony can begin.
The ceremony begins by recognising where we are. Tenbury Wells is a town of many names, with many stories and many harvests.
Then produce of the Teme Valley is brought into the circle. We praise the fertility of the land and in its giving we prosper and rejoice. Hops are grown upon the flood plans of the Teme in the Tenbury area and locally brewed beer is brought into the circle to be shared. Along with this Cider/ apple juice is shared. This is also locally made and the abundance of traditional orchards in the Tenbury area, which is the main source of the mistletoe that is brought to the auctions each year. The produce of the Teme Valley shared. The apple tree, host of the mistletoe, thanked for its gifts. The continuing fertility of the land is asked for.
The mistletoe has been a symbol of fertility and the tradition of this maintained in the inability to refuse a kiss when stood beneath the mistletoe. It is in bringing the male and the female together under one breath that is the core of our ceremony. With the idea that if the mistletoe touches the ground its magic is dispersed, two bunches of mistletoe are cut in ritual. One the male plant and the other the female plant and neither bunch has touched the ground or touched the other until brought together in the ceremony.
The Mistletoe Queen is crowned, and she is given the male mistletoe.
The Holly Prince is honoured and given the female mistletoe plant.
They draw together and the mistletoes are bound and joined as one.
The combined mistletoe is then placed on a tripod in the centre of the circle and blessed with beer and cider while an Awen is intoned. Those attending then may take a small sprig of the blessed Mistletoe.
Let the Bright berries and Vibrant leaves be your guiding light through the darkness of Winter and a reminder of this ceremony.
The mistletoe is the connection between divinity and humankind. The Mistletoe Bard speaks out for the powers of the mistletoe.
There are places between the realms of land, sea and sky that remain untouched by any. As seen in the reflection on the surface of a clear pool. There is a space between the consciousness and the inner spark of life and there neither eternal nor the mortal, can have any effect. The Oak, mighty King of Summer, in your branches grows the sacred mistletoe. As if in death through winters sleep. Great Oak, your life lies safe residing within the Mistletoe, poised between the earth and sky. Unassailable by the God’s or time, untouched by winter’s death. Sacred Mistletoe you hold the fire of the sun and light the way. Shine brightly, your peace and love to all. A shield against the darkness is your gift from the goddess of love. This symbol of peace that takes the blessings of love each Christmas travels from the Teme Valley out across the world. So may it be. Let the All-heal, heal all.
Mistletoe is removed from the Tripod and given to the River Teme. As it sinks into the water, it has still not touched the earth, and the flow of the River takes the magic of the mistletoe down to the River Severn, and onwards out to the sea, and around the whole world with the tides and currents of the Oceans.