Divination by Dreams

If an unmarried woman wishes to dream about the man destined to be her future husband, let her sleep with any of the following herbs beneath her pillow: nine ivy leaves; a sprig of mistletoe taken from a church; or a sprig of myrtle that she has worn in her bosom throughout the day.

Hotty Dream Divination

To have a dream about the man or woman destined to be your future husband or wife, perform the following divination on a Friday at the witching hour: Without speaking a single word and taking great care not to be seen, go into a garden and pluck nine leaves from a female (smooth-edged) holly plant. After doing this, knot each leaf into a three-cornered handkerchief. Return home and place the handkerchief beneath your pillow before laying yourself down to sleep.

Myrtle Marriage Divination

If a young woman wishes to find out whether or not her sweetheart will marry her, according to Sidney Oldall Addy's

Household Tales, the following divination should be performed on the Eve of the Summer Solstice (Midsummer Eve): "Let a girl take a sprig of myrtle and lay it in her Prayer Book upon the words of the marriage service, 'Wilt thou have this man to be thy wedded husband?' Then let her close the book, put it under her pillow, and sleep upon it." If the sprig of myrtle is nowhere to be found when she wakes the following morning and opens the book, this is said to be a sure sign that she and her sweetheart will soon be joined together in holy matrimony.

Yarrow Love Divinations

To experience a dream about the man or woman destined to be your future marriage mate, pluck 10 stalks of yarrow on Beltane Eve (April 30th), or on a night when the moon is new. Before going to bed, place nine of the stalks beneath your pillow and toss the remaining one over your left shoulder while repeating the following charm:

Good night, good night, fair yarrow, Thrice good night to thee.

I pray before the dawn tomorrow My true love to see.

A similar divinatory method from centuries gone by called for an ounce of yarrow to be sewn up in a piece of flannel or stuffed into a stocking and then placed beneath one's pillow before going to bed. The following spoken charm (or one of its many variations) would then be recited three times: "Thou pretty herb of Venus' tree, Thy true name it is yarrow.

Now who my future love must be, Pray tell thou me tomorrow. "

A rather unusual yarrow love divination practiced in England in the Middle Ages instructed young ladies and gentlemen alike to insert a serrated leaf of the yarrow plant into each of their nostrils while reciting a spoken charm. If a nosebleed resulted upon blowing the nose, this was taken as a sure sign that the affections of one's sweetheart were true. However, if the nose did not bleed, this indicated that the love was false.

Rose Dream Divination

Perform the following divination on Midsummer Eve, when the clock chimes 12 to usher in the witching hour: Without uttering a single word, walk backwards into a garden and gather the reddest rose in full bloom. Wrap it in a clean sheet of white paper, and then tuck it away in some secret hiding place where it will be undisturbed.

At sunrise on the day of the old Winter Solstice (December 25th), remove the rose from the paper and place the flower on your bosom. According to legend, the man who is destined to become your husband will then come and snatch it away.

Saint Agnes' Day Divination

Aristotle's Last Legacy (first published in the year 1711) contains a rather interesting divinatory ritual to enable a man or woman to dream about his or her future marriage mate: On Saint Agnes' Day (a time long associated with love divinations and amatory enchantments), take one sprig each of rosemary and thyme, and "sprinkle them with urine thrice." Put one sprig in your left shoe and the other in your right (it matters not which sprig goes in which shoe), and then place your shoes on each side of your bed's head. As you lay yourself down to sleep, recite thrice the following incantation:

"Saint Agnes that's to lovers kind, Come ease the trouble of my mind. "

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