Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day."
       ~Vincent Van Gogh

Tomorrow is the feast of St. John the Baptist. Tonight is noc Kupaly, and if you go out at midnight to wander in the woods, it's possible to see the fern flower which opens the eyes of the finder to the hidden world of magic and fairy. 

The fern flower blooms only at midnight on St. John's Eve, and only rarely then. If a wanderer is lucky enough to see it, she must never let her attention be turned. All the evil beings of the forest gather around her, gibbering and whining, to catch her notice, frighten her, and cause the flower to wither before it blooms: cursing the viewer, and leaving her defenseless against the demons that surround her.

If she can wait with the flower as it opens - glowing in it's own red light - the finder will be blessed by it with all the good things the fairy-world can give: wealth, luck, discernment, and protection against witches, demons, and danger. The finder is also granted the ability to see the future in the fires that burn on noc Kupaly.  She can ask her questions and watch as the flames dance out the story of the years ahead.

I won't be hunting for the flower this year, though I can imagine finding it, blooming beneath our birches, where our three ghosts stay. But I don't know if it could keep my attention from the darkness all around. I'm afraid I would look at the evil ones, and right now, feeling the burden of my baby's weight, I worry about cursing the child before birth. Besides, I can see my future already - stretching out before me like a great lake of joy. I have no questions for the Kupaly fire this year.

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