By Mark Ludwig Stinson. The beginning of this story is that God Balder the Good had some terrible dreams that threatened his life. When he told the Aesir these dreams, they took counsel together and it was decided to seek protection for Balder from every kind of peril. Goddess Frigg exacted an oath from fire and water, iron and all kinds of metals, stones, earth, trees, ailments, beasts, birds, poison and serpents, that they would not harm Balder. And when this had been done and put to the test, Balder and the Aesir used to amuse themselves by making him stand up at their assemblies for some of them to throw darts at, others to strike and the rest to throw stones at. No matter what was done he was never hurt and everyone thought that a fine thing. When Loki saw that however, he was annoyed that Balder was not hurt and he went, disguised as a woman, to visit Frigg. Frigg asked this 'woman' if she knew what the Aesir were doing at the assembly. She answered that they were all throwing things at Balder, moreover that he was not being hurt.
Frigg remarked: "Neither weapons nor trees will injure Balder; I have taken an oath from them all."
The 'woman' asked: "Has everything sworn you an oath to spare Balder?"
Frigg replied: "West of Valhalla grows a little bush called mistletoe, I did not exact an oath from it; I thought it too young." Thereupon the 'woman' disappeared.
Loki took hold of the mistletoe, pulled it up and went to the assembly. Now God Hod was standing on the outer edge of the circle of men because he was blind. Loki asked him: "Why aren't you throwing darts at Balder?"
He replied: "Because I can't see where Balder is, and, another thing, I have no weapon."
Then Loki said: "You go and do as the others are doing and show Balder honor like other men. I will show you where he is standing: throw this twig at him." Hod took the mistletoe and aimed at Balder as directed by Loki.
The dart went right through him and he fell dead to the ground. This was the greatest misfortune ever to befall Gods and men.
So worried was Frigg for her son's life, that she elicited oaths from everything not to harm her son, but tragically underestimated Mistletoe. This story underlines the lengths to which parents will go to safeguard their children, and the lengths to which we all go to safeguard our loved ones, among other lessons.
Today, there are a number of ways to protect a child. Do you have a safety plan in case of fire? Do they know your real name (besides mom) and home phone number? Do they have a safe person to go to if they want to talk? Of course there are also magical ways, mothers who want to protect their children can call on Frigg. Holda is also said to be the keeper of the souls of young children.
Things like stewardship of the Earth, respect for nature, reverence of the ancestors, tolerance for diversity, a hope towards peace are all things that many Wiccan and Pagan parents would like to see instilled in their kids. Many Pagan Parents want their children to find a Spiritual Path that is most meaningful to them. But how do you protect them from harm? The school bully? Religious extremists? Facebook and the internet? Other beings?
Just something to consider now and again.