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Halloween Divination in Ireland

A bit late I realize, but well worth the read.


1871-ireland-blindfolded-man-game-candle-light Illustrated London News, 1871

In Ireland Hallowe’en was the most popular night of the year to practice divination, which provided much amusement and excitement. As summer turned to winter on this night, the boundaries between this world and the Otherworld were believed to be less pronounced, and so on Hallowe’en many games, rituals and rites were, and still are, performed partly in earnest and partly in fun, with the object of gaining insight into one’s fate.

One activity involved setting several objects out in saucers or plates, which were then laid on a table. The objects in the saucers varied from region to region, and even between one house and another, but generally included some of the following; a ring, a piece of wood, clay, a bean, a coin, salt,  water, a button or a thimble. Once the saucers were set, a blindfolded person would pick one, the item which the person…

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