In many agricultural societies, a popular pastime at Samhain was that of divining the name of one's future lover. Some revealed a face, others an initial or even a full name. These traditional methods were practiced in rural societies for centuries. You can use them today for your own divination.
Apples have always been popular tools for foretelling the future. There are a number of traditional methods in folklore for seeing who one's lover might be.
- Peel the apple, keeping the peel in one long piece. When the peel comes off, drop it on the floor. The letter it forms is the first initial of your true love's name.
- Wait until midnight at Samhain, and cut an apple into nine pieces. Take the pieces into a dark room with a mirror (either hanging on the wall or a hand-held one will do). At midnight, begin eating the pieces of apple while looking into the mirror. When you get to the ninth piece, throw it over your shoulder. The face of your lover should appear in the mirror.
- If a girl has more than one potential lover, peel an apple and pull out the seeds. Place a wet seed on your cheek for each boyfriend. The last one left stuck to the skin represents the suitor who is the true love.
Water has always been known for its magical properties, so it's only natural to use it for divination workings. Try one of these on Samhain night.
- At midnight on Samhain, go to a lake and gaze into the water. You should see your lover's face reflected in the lake before you.
- Fill a cauldron with water, and then light a candle. Drip the hot wax into the water, and see what shape it forms. The shape will indicate the profession of your future lover.
- Find a moving body of water like a stream or river. Select a piece of wood to represent the person you wish to be your lover, and throw it in the water. If it floats downstream, he will be true and constant. If the wood gets caught up on the bank, or sinks, your lover will be unfaithful.
There are a number of divinations that use foods, baking and cooking as their focus. Some of these are still practiced today.
- Scottish Bannock Divination: in Scotland and northern England, a girl would bake a bannock cake in the evening. In complete silence, she walked to her room and placed the bannock under her pillow. Her dreams that night would show her the face of her lover, and in the morning she ate the bannock.
- To find out if you'll find love in the coming twelve months, separate an egg and drop the white into a glass of water. If it sinks immediately, love is forthcoming. If it floats on the top of the water, you'll spend the next year alone.
- Take two nuts, one for yourself and one for your lover. At midnight on Samhain, place them on a grate over your fire. If they burn well, you'll have a long and happy relationship. If one nut pops or burns, it means one of you will be unfaithful.