Samhain: Gatherings and Games 1.2

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The abundance of nuts also led to their frequent use in Samhain and Autumn Equinox divinations. A favorite method determined the compatibility of a couple. If two nuts, named after a pair of lovers and thrown in a fire burned bright together, it foretold a happy marriage. Two nuts jumping apart warned of arguments. A nut failing to ignite meant the pair faced unhappiness.

Cabbage and kale also configured into popular divination and Halloween magickal practices. The most practiced of these involved young men and women old enough to marry sneaking into a kale patch at midnight and pulling up a stalk without looking at it. The youngest person hung the kale above the bedroom door overnight and then examined it the next day. The character of the kale purportedly revealed the character of the kale thief’s future spouse. For instance, a plant with lots of soil meant marrying rich. One with a black core meant the
future spouse had a temper. Longer plants meant a tall sweetheart.

One party game called for naming seven kale stalks after seven people present. The partygoers pulled the stalk, and then each person witnessed an examination of their own character through kale. If the person that pulled the kale hung it over a door on Halloween night, the first person to walk beneath it the next day could take it, place it beneath his or her pillow, and have an excellent dream about the future. Children in want of a new brother or sister would pile kale outside their parents’ door in hopes that it might result in a sibling.