Magic and spells have played a significant role in the Finnish midsummer festival traditions. In the old days, these spells were used in hopes of love and affection or to forecast a good harvest. Here are our 8 favourite spells to be put in practice in midsummer celebrations.
- Place birch twigs next to your cottage door to guarantee fertility. Let your mind seed new creative ideas that will help you achieve a meaningful and an inspiring rest of the year.
- Light a midsummer bonfire to expel the evil spirits. Let the fire drive off the negative thoughts troubling your mind and holding back your happiness.
- Hide few stinging nettles and juniper twigs to your birch bath whisk. Tapping your skin with a midsummer whisk in the warmth of a Finnish sauna accelerates the metabolism and helps harmful substances escape your body. If you don’t have the permission of the landowner to collect birch barks you can use fireweeds or try our Finnish Birch Bath which gives a godly scent plus a detoxifying effect to your cleansing rituals.
- Peek naked into a well to see your future spouse. You’ll also see a reflection of yourself – you, who is the most important person in your life and the person responsible for actually achieving your goals and meeting nice people that will help you along the way. Scream into the well: I deserve only the best!
- At midsummer night, wonder in the nature near swamps, bogs or marshes. You might see a magical virvatuli (Eng. will-o’-the-whisp, jack-o'-lantern, friar's lantern, hinkypunk, hobby lantern). The virvatuli is an atmospheric ghost light that reminds of a flickering lamp. It’s seen at night and it’s said to fade when approached. The scientists have yet failed to explain what causes this enchanting phenomenon. No one has even managed to film this miraculous sight. Here is one good reason to sign the petition to save our swamps – to solve the mystery behind this eerie anomality. Protecting swamps decreases also the effects of the climate change; swamps are even bigger carbon storages than forests!
- The old beliefs tell us that ferns blossom only at midsummer night. Pick the flower fast and you’ll obtain magical powers. With these new capabilities you can enter outside your comfort zone, gain self-confidence and learn new things.
- Forage seven wild flowers, climb over seven fences and place the flowers under your pillow for the night. You’ll see a dream of your future mate. You’ll also dream of yourself achieving your biggest ambitions and confronting your fears.
- At the dawn of the midsummer, wallow naked in a lady’s mantle meadow. This sacred ritual brings luck to your love life. The lady’s mantle’s family name Alchemilla stems from the word alchemy and refers to a medieval belief that suggests that water droplets forming on the lady’s mantle leaves could turn base metals to gold. Alchemists believed that these drops had a mysterious and magical powers which could not only transform common metals into gold but also aid in regaining eternal youth. This rolling ritual will give your skin a natural glow and relieve you from anxiety and ‘what others think of me’ scheme of thoughts.
Helsinki Wildfoods wishes you a spellbinding midsummer!
Blog text is from Helsinki Wildfoods blog archive, written by Pauliina Toivanen, June 16, 2018.
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Photos: Anna Nyman, Aino Huotari, Jouko Hannus