Most Americans associate Halloween with scary things but a lot of the older folklore surrounding Halloween dealt with love-magic and divination, specifically meant for finding your true love.
Traditionally it marked the end of the harvest with a long winter stretched ahead, and young women in particular had plenty of time to ponder who they might marry. The old Celtic tradition of Samhainn marked a time when the veil between the worlds of the natural and the supernatural was lifted aside for a time. Tradition and timing came together, making Hallowe’en the perfect time for divination rites in Orkney.
Between the late 1800s and early 2000s Hallowe’en was advertised for finding your true love so, here’s a few fun examples of some common divination practices…
1. If you go secretly into a room at midnight on Halloween, cut an apple into nine slices, eat the slices in front of a mirror, holding each slice on the point of knife before eating. As you do this you will see an image of your true love over your left shoulder asking for the final apple slice.
2. Eat an apple while holding a candle, looked into mirror and you will see your future husband or wife over your shoulder.
3. Comb your hair while eating an apple, look into the mirror and your future spouse will appear over your shoulder.
4. On Halloween night an unmarried man or woman should hold a mirror while walking down cellar steps backwards, as you walk down the steps, repeat:
“Whoever my true love is to be, come and look in this glass with me.”
And a person’s face will appear in the mirror, looking over your shoulder, and this will be the person you’re going to marry. However, if a coffin appears in the mirror, you’re doomed to die.
Partake at your own risk, all parties are responsible for their own death, so proceed with caution 🎃
Vintage images collected from unknown sources