“A WITCH ought never be frightened in the darkest forest.. because she should be sure in her soul that the most terrifying thing in the forest was her.” - Terry Pratchett
01. Nostalghia - Chrysalis, 02. Meg Myers - Desire (Hucci Remix), 03. Cults - Bad Things, 04. Hannah Cartwright ft. Ross Tones - All You Leave Behind, 05. Death in Vegas - Dirge, 06. Cousin Marnie - Cain, 07. Lisa Hannigan - You Haunt Me, 08. Austra - Spellwork, 09. Katie Kim - Wicked Game, 10. Of Monsters and Men - Thousand Eyes
Fear isn’t so difficult to understand. After all, weren’t we all frightened as children? Nothing has changed since Little Red Riding Hood faced the big bad wolf. What frightens us today is exactly the same sort of thing that frightened us yesterday. It’s just a different wolf. This fright complex is rooted in every individual - Alfred Hitchcock
Midsummer Celebrations in Lithuania: The Magical Night of Joninės
Nature was worshipped in Lithuania for centuries. Before the country became Christianised, Lithuanians were pagans who praised and venerated nature. They believed in nature deities because they were wholly dependent on nature and its whims.
It’s said that when the Teutonic Knights came to Lithuania in the 13th century, they were frightened to enter forests even in the daytime. They believed that the forests were swarming with devils and demons that could grab passers-by and carry them off, never to be seen again. Many legends were told about Lithuanian customs and the local reverence for nature. Newcomers believed that the health, beauty and bravery of Lithuanian people were gifts from the wondrous and generous nature of Lithuania.
June 23rd is a magical night that all Lithuanians wait impatiently for just as their ancestors did – the shortest night of the year, the sun’s victory against night and darkness. On this night, vegetation seems more lush and luxuriant than ever, with every single tiny plant reaching maturity, ready to create new life. It’s a celebration of rebirth for nature and every living creature.
Rasos, Kupolės & Joninės
In the past, the celebration was called Rasos, a name derived from rasa – the glistening droplets of dew that cover meadows at daybreak. It was believed that washing your face with dew collected from rye could rejuvenate the skin. Dew was also used to moisten the bed linen of the sick in the belief it would return them to health. It was also used to water vegetable gardens as it was thought to make the soil more fertile. It was even given to animals to drink.
At one point this special night was called Kupolės because in the evening people traditionally picked medicinal herbs – an activity called kupoliavimas. It was believed that on this night medicinal herbs acquire their healing properties. They would later be used to brew teas or placed near the roof. St. John’s wort picked on Joninės was said to cure 99 kinds of illness.
After Christianisation, the celebrations were associated with the birth of St. John the Baptist, and named Joninės (from Jonas – the Lithuanian equivalent of John). The century-long traditions and mystical rituals were not forgotten, however.
Mystical healing rituals
As you arrive at the festivities, you must first walk through the special gates of Kupolės, which are decorated with herbs. Walking through the gates is a symbol of rebirth, and as you pass, you might be asked to dance or sing a song, but a smile will do just fine.
Unmarried girls must make a wreath from nine or twelve different herbs before midnight – it’s not only a traditional accessory, but also a mystical charm to draw the attention of your true love. The wreath is later set afloat on a river, and the faster the current carries it, the sooner the girl will get married.
One of the main rituals is the lighting of the fire. The fire is lit on a high hill at dusk and kept burning all through the night until dawn. It’s believed that the lighter the fields are, the greater the harvest will be. Another important custom is jumping over the fire of Joninės, as jumping guarantees good health and cleanses you of your sins. So it’s essential to jump over the fire, but wait until it dies down of course! If you jump holding hands with your loved one, you’ll get married the same year.
The most important and mysterious tradition of Joninės night is the search for the fern flower. The fern is said to bloom at midnight and anyone who finds its flower, which only blooms for a short moment, will gain incredible power – they’ll understand all the mysteries of nature, read minds, see what’s invisible and acquire wealth and lasting happiness. Traditionally, people are supposed to look for the fern flower alone, but for certain reason most people return in pairs. It is also said that the person who finds the fern’s blossom, one must cut it’s hand and put the blossom in it, in that way it won’t be lost.
If it happens that you’re not allowed to jump over fires, make wreaths, or search for fern flowers, don’t worry – simply being part of this ancient Lithuanian celebration will fill you with long-lasting positive emotions and good energy.
Once upon a time, in a certain place, there lived a hated vampire known as “Vanitas”. Vampire are ordinarily born on the night of a crimson full moon, However for some reason Vanitas was born on the night of a blue moon, a symbol of misfortune. Everyone was afraid of Vanitas and they ran him out of the village. Vanitas was all alone in the forest…frightened of the darkness, freezing in the snow, he wandered and wandered…and in his heart of hearts he swore vengeance on vampires born on the night of a crimson moon. ‘‘foolish vampires who persecuted me! when this book is opened a curse more terrible than death will befall you!’’