Saint John’s Wort
On the Calendar
*Also known as chase-devil and rosin rose
Saint John’s wort is a shrubby plant that reaches two to three feet in height, and has pale green, oblong leaves. Bright yellow, star-shaped flowers grow in clusters at the ends of branches and have a light, lemon-like scent. You may find several types of Saint John’s wort at garden centers, but Hypericum perforatum is the one that is used medicinally.
This plant has a long history in medicine and magic that dates back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. In Christian times it was named Saint John’s wort because it blooms around the time of the saint’s feast day. The name rosin rose comes from a characteristic of the flowers and buds: when they are squeezed or bruised they ooze a red liquid that looks like rosin.”
Traditionally, a sprig of Saint John’s wort was hung above a doorway to protect a house from evil and lightning. The name chase-devil comes from the belief that it could ward off evil and prevent attacks from demons. During the Middle Ages, monks used this plant for exorcisms. It is thought that the attribute of chasing away evil spirits or demons from a person may have come from the plant’s ability to alleviate depression.
Grow Saint John’s wort near your front door or hang a sprig over it to repel negativity and invite abundance into your home. Burn dried leaves in a fireplace or cauldron and let its pungent smoke purify your house and/or ritual area. Burning the leaves also prevents enchantments. Use the flowers in love charms and spells to aid fertility.
Saint John’s wort is associated with the element fire and the god Balder. Its astrological influence comes from the sun.