This year the summer solstice, longest day and height of the solar year, falls on Sunday the 21st of June. This is a time of fiery solar energy. Traditionally a time of faery revels, magic and great power, this is the perfect time to trust in your heart’s desire and seize your destiny. Throughout Britain and Ireland, it has been traditional to light a beacon fire at this time, and to seek spirit contact as well as a time for magic divination and blessing.

There is a host of plant lore connected to this time of the year in the Celtic traditions, but the main plants of the season are the elderflower, Vervain and St John’s wort. Gather Elderflower beneath the moon for healing tisanes or to make cordial, but vervain ‘the enchanters herb’, useful for all sorts of magic and scrying, blessing your sacred space and the highly protective St John’s wort are best gathered at dawn.  

A common magical use was to gather St John’s Wort and keep it under your armpit for luck. This ancient charm, also from Hebrides was to be used when picking the plant.


'Plantlet of Columba

without seeking without searching

plantlet of Columba

under my arm forever!

For luck of men

For luck of means

For luck of wish

For luck of progeny and people

For luck of battle and victory

On land, on ocean

through the three on high

I cull thee now

I cull thee now!'[1]    


A St John’s Wort spell for luck in love.

Another traditional Celtic charm to determine if a man or woman shall be lucky in love, or find a partner for marriage during the coming year was regularly practiced at the summer solstice. A spring of St John’s Wort was picked upon midsummer eve, and a wish was whispered to it, to tell the seeker if they would find love that year. The spring was then placed under the pillow. If it remained fresh in the morning, then love would surely come soon. Other traditions tell that the seeker would dream of their future spouse.[2]


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[1] Carmichael. A. Carmina Gadelica. Floris Books 1997 p 154

[2] Ibid