Midsummer Eve was considered to be one of the most magical nights of the year, a time when the Otherworld was close, and the future could be divined. A favourite method was the use of various herbs slipped beneath a pillow as the diviner slept:
To dream of an absent lover daisy roots should be placed under the pillow
Place a piece of mugwort gathered on Midsummer Eve beneath your pillow for prophetic dreams.
Wrap a piece of wax in a stocking and place it under the pillow. The next morning melt the wax and pour it into a phial of water to set in the sun. It will harden into a shape that shows the occupation of your future husband.
Oak flowers on Midsummer’s Eve and withers before daybreak, it is said. Spread a sheet beneath the tree and catch the blossoms. Place them under your pillow and dream of your future lover.
According to old English lore, yarrow gathered from a young man’s grave and laid under the pillow on Midsummer Eve will produce a vision of your husband to be.
Placing ash leaves beneath the pillow results in prophetic dreams.
A laurel leaf placed beneath the pillow brings about prophetic dreams.
Betony placed beneath the pillow prevents nightmares, the elf sickness inflicted by malicious fairies and even drunkenness.
If you find a cinquefoil that has seven points [they usually have five] it should be placed under the pillow so that you can dream of your future partner.
Place a four leafed clover under your pillow to dream of your perfect partner.
According to a northern English custom a future spouse can be determined by putting three holly leaves, named for three suitors and blessed in the name of the Trinity, under your pillow with the left hand. The first leaf to have turned over in the morning would be the one.
Marigold petals placed under the pillow will give you prophetic dreams and enable you to identify a thief or robber.
Mistletoe placed beneath the pillow is an aid to conception, as well as ensuring a restful sleep and good dreams.
Placed under the pillow rosemary ensures pleasant dreams and keeps evil away.
Sleeping with sage leaves under the pillow encourages prophetic dreams.
Anna Franklin is the High Priestess of the Hearth of Arianrhod, which runs teaching circles, a working coven, and the annual Mercian Gathering, a Pagan camp which raises money for charity. She regularly speaks at conferences, moots and workshops around the country. She is the author of many books on witchcraft and Paganism, including the popular Pagan Ways Tarot, Sacred Circle Tarot, The Fairy Ring, Herb Craft, Magical Incenses and Oils, Personal Power, A Romantic Guide to Handfasting, Familiars, The Oracle of the Goddess, Hearth Witch, The Path of the Shaman and The Hearth Witch’s Compendium. Anna’s books have been translated into nine languages.
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