Solstice, the day that the sun stops

On June 24, Florence celebrates Saint John, its patron saint. But the night of Saint John is a special night, enchanted, magical not only for the Florentines.

“The sun reaches its highest point on June 23rd: the night of Saint John is the time when the planets contribute to loading stones and herbs with virtue. It is a haunted night, the night of the impossible, of wonders”.

According to an ancient legend it was believed that the day of the solstice (solstitium means “sun that stops”) the Sun stopped to marry the Moon.

During the shortest night of the year, herbs should be harvested that only on that night are rich in properties that make them magical.

Here are the herbs to harvest and soak in the moonlight water:

. the Hypericum, to ensure peaceful sleep

. the Ruta, to keep witches and devils away

. the Verbena, symbol of peace and prosperity, heals from diseases

. Ribes, the “St. John’s berry”

. the Artemisia that protects from lightning and the evil eye

. Mint that guarantees long life

. Sage protects against evil creatures

. Vinca, used for the preparation of talismans

. the Mandragora, to prepare love filters

. the Rosemary, keeps the witches away

. the Garlic, a very powerful talisman

. the whole family Lavender

. the Carlina herb, which distracts the witches

. the Fern, its flower opens only the Night of St. John, remains visible for a moment and can only  be collected after having fought with the devil; it gives divinatory abilities, supernatural strengths and wisdom.

With these herbs you will make the Water of Saint John, the water of beauty: they must be placed in a basin full of water and left out all night, in the light of the moon.

If on the morning of June 24 we wash with that water, we will become more beautiful!