Sun (Fire) and Water
St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum), known as Chase-devil. The plant has taken the name after the Saint for several reasons. It was associated with the wandering ascetic, because the plant is very enduring and can live in desert climate, like St John did. When flower buds or seed pods are crushed, a reddish liquid is produced, associated with St John’s blood. Finally, the colored flowers of the plant usually expose themselves on or before June 24, the nativity of the Saint, while its leaves are believed to get stained with red spots on August 29, the day of beheading of the Saint. The flower was widely spread as a protection from the witches, who arranged their convention on the St John’s night. During the witch trials of the Early Modern period, a handful of St John’s Wort was often put into the mouth of the witch to force her to confess. The plant was also used to heal the snake bites and some diseases, to treat the injuries during the crusades; hung over the doors and windows, it was supposed to keep away all evil spirits.
Picture: Divination using garlands. Miniature on a casket. Author: Ivan Ivanovich Golikov.
Taken from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PalekhGarlandDivination.jpg
Taken from http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/el-greco/st-john-the-baptist
The illustrations of the plants on this page are taken from http://commons.wikimedia.org, http://www.swsbm.com