For hundreds of years, the Celts performed divination games to receive guidance on Samhain, the Celtic Halloween. It is a time when the veil between the worlds is thin, enabling us to see glimpses of the future and obtain loving advice from the ancestors.
Here are some playful traditional ways to connect with the ancient Celts and receive some useful guidance:
Peel an apple in one continuous strip. Toss the strip behind you, over your left shoulder. The initial it forms on the floor is that of your true love.
Ground and center yourself in a dark room. Light a single candle and sit with your back to a mirror. Cut an apple into nine pieces and eat eight of them as you hold a question gently in your mind. Throw the ninth piece of apple over your left shoulder, then turn to look over your left shoulder at the mirror. What do you see? The patterns of light and shadow may form an image or sign that will be of help to you.
Write your name on a stone and cast it into a bonfire. Next morning, find the stone in the ashes and take note of its condition. This can give you information about your state in the coming year.
Place two nuts in the shell (chestnuts, hazelnuts or walnuts) in front of the fire. If both nuts burn, all will be well with your relationship. If one explodes, there may be trouble ahead.
Choose a picture or memento of a beloved relative who has died. Sit quietly with the picture in your hands and think of an issue or question for which you would like to have guidance. Close your eyes and allow your mind to relax. Imagine standing face to face with your beloved relative and asking them the question. What is the response? An actual memory of your loved one may drift naturally into your mind. When you open your eyes, write down anything you remember.
By Cait Johnson, co-author of Celebrating the Great Mother (Inner Traditions, 1995).