In ancient times, our Celtic Druid Ancestors devised a system, part alphabet, part calendar/zodiac, to be carved using simple notches onto wood or stone. Each character was a number and a letter. The consonants were time periods – mostly lunar months and the vowels were the solstices or equinoxes. Each symbol represented a tree or shrub, around which grew an extensive mythology, recording historical and religious stories, the uses of each tree both for craftwork and medicinally, and a divinatory system similar to the tarot. To the Celts, the whole landscape was alive with meaning, and wisdom – the wisdom of the trees.
Mistletoe, The Golden Bough, rules 23rd December, the day of the year and a day. The Celtic lunar calendar reckoned the year in 13 months of 28 days ~ 364 days, so to complete the year an extra day was added giving the year and a day. The Druids believed that Mistletoe was too sacred to be given a name or symbol, but called it "Allheal" because of its powerful medicinal properties; it is now being tested as a possible cure for cancer. Druids cut the Mistletoe with a golden sickle, and caught it in a white cloth to avoid contamination by falling on the ground.