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Scholar, Writer, Mother, Dreamer. Editor of Luminarium, an online library for English Literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Midsummer Spells - Happy Midsummer All!

MidsummerPagan rites are still alive and well in Finland.  Tonight will be Midsummer's Eve, a night on which young women traditionally perform Midsummer spells.  The object of spells performed on this night is to find a sweetheart or a husband, or to make the heart's desired return one's feelings.  Other spells are reserved for other festivals, such as spells for financial prosperity or finding out about the future, which are performed on New Year's Eve night. These spells all have their variations, depending on the geographical area of Finland — for example, the number of flowers and herbs may be different, or how many times a particular step is performed, but the objective is the same — mating, mating, mating.
Midsummer Spells:

Collect seven different wildflowers while naked and place them under your pillow. In dreams you will see the one you will marry.

At midnight, walk counter-clockwise, naked, around a well three times.  When you peek into the well, you will see your future lover.

Turn a sock inside out and put it on your left foot.  You will see your future husband in your dreams.

For good marriage luck, roll around naked on a field where dew has fallen.

Make a belt from straw, and wearing only that, sit on a stone in the middle of a stream. You will see your future husband in the water.

Wearing only your nightshirt, sweep the floor of your bedroom and carry the dirt in the hem of your shirt to a pond. On your way home, you will meet the one who will become your beloved.

Go outside and sweep the steps naked. Your future love will appear.

At the crossroads of three roads, sweep the ground naked, and your love will appear.

Collect dew from a field in Midsummer night, because it has healing properties.

In the forest, lay in a bed of ferns. Seeing a fern bloom will bring good luck. If you collect the bloom, you can even become invisible.

Follow the will-o-the-wisps. If you see a blue one, dig there, for there is treasure buried. The treasure-keeper will ask you riddles, which if you answer correctly, you may have the treasure.

Naked in a FieldAs you see, most all of these spells involve the young maidens rolling, sweeping, or running around naked. Aren't ye sorry you're not in Finland tonight, boys?

Oh, and while this is common in Finland, I wonder how the authorities here will feel... so if you get a call from me in jail, wontcha bail me out?


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Blogger Katja said...

I better take a nap right now, so that I do not fall asleep while I'm doing all the spells around midnight naked...
My friend's are going to Pihlajasaari (
but I haven't decided yet whether I want to go or not.

June 23, 2006 7:36 AM  
Blogger Istanbultaye said...

wait a sec... if you get caught that would mean that you'd found the police officer of your dreams >.>

June 23, 2006 12:02 PM  
Blogger Anniina said...

I think you should go, Katja! Great place to find your flowers.

Istanbul, that is a good point. Though I can't say I've ever had a thing for cops. Although, Owen Wilson in "Starsky and Hutch"... but he's reserved for Katja :)

June 23, 2006 12:30 PM  
Blogger Mark A. said...

I always think of Loreena McKennitt. whenever someone mentions pagan rites.

And the cops may not mind the general nakedness (at least the ones I know wouldn't), but the goofy fundies may take offense at the pagan aspect. If you get caught by an officer who's wearing a cross just explain that you were distressed over some dubious comments and inappropriate touching your pastor subjected you to. That way you know your situation won't appear in any police report.

And I suppose the rolling around naked in the grass means that you don’t have cockleburrs where you’re from?

June 23, 2006 3:48 PM  
Blogger Anniina said...

Heheheh Mark! I'll try that! As for cockleburrs, nope, none of that here - I remember when my poor Ariel tried the same in Texas - I was cutting those things out of her fur for hours (;_;)

June 23, 2006 4:25 PM  
Blogger Istanbultaye said...

burrs suck!

June 24, 2006 1:43 AM  
Blogger new mexican bird said...

cockleburs?? That's a LOL for me Texas .

November 13, 2017 7:26 PM  

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