23 June 2012

23 June - More Midsummer Night Love Charms

I published a slew of love charms for Midsummer night here, and added a few variations.  Midsummer Night Traditions has also been updated.

Here is another to add to the collection:

Pluck a sprig of St. John’s Wort tonight and stick it in the wall of your bedroom.  Should it still be fresh and green in the morning, you may reckon on gaining a suitor within the year.

[Should it remain fresh and green, it means your walls are damp, and you can also reckon on having mold within the year.]

There is a down-side to this.  Should the sprig droop, the belief is that the seeker after knowledge would also pine and wither away.

On the St. John’s Wort

The young maid stole through the cottage door,
And blushed as she sought the plant of power;
“Thou silver Glowworm, O lend me thy light!
I must gather the mystic St. John’s Wort tonight,
The wonderful herb whose leaf will decide
If the coming year shall make me a bride.”
And the Glowworm came
With its silvery flame,
And sparkled and shone
Through the night of St. John,
And soon has the young maid her loveknot tied.

With noiseless tread, to her chamber she sped,
Where the spectral Moon her white beams shed.
“Bloom here – bloom here, thou plant of power,
To deck the young bride in her bridal hour!”
But it drooped its head, that plant of power,
And died the mute death of the voiceless flower;
And a withered wreath on the ground it lay,
More meet for a burial than bridal day.

And when a year was past away,
All pale on her bier the young maid lay!
And the Glowworm came
With its silvery flame,
And sparkled and shone
Through the night of St. John,
And they closed the cold grave o’er the maid’s cold clay.

T. Forster, The Perennial Calendar (1824), p. 310.


[This charm is not for those with dickey tickers:]

Before retiring to bed tonight, place three pails full of water in your bedroom, then pin to your nightgown or pajamas [do, please, wear something] three leaves of green holly opposite to your heart.  Then go to sleep.

If the charm works, you will be awakened from your first slumber by three yells “as if from the throats of three bears”, followed by many hoarse laughs.  When these have died away, the form of a man will appear.  If he is to be your future husband, he will change the position of the water pails.  If not, he will leave without touching them.

Then go back to sleep, if you can.