Apple Magic & Simple Divination Spells
Even as far back as ancient Rome, the apple and apple seeds were used for determining whether or not the one they loved loved them back. They would throw an apple seed into the fire while saying the name of the person they loved. If the seed popped loudly in the fire, their love was returned. If it burned silently, though, it was a bad sign.
A Scandinavian custom said that a young maiden should buy an apple from an old widowed woman. They would eat half the apple with a salted herring at midnight. The other half would then be placed under her pillow, which would cause the young woman to dream of the person she would marry.
On Halloween, women in Scotland could eat an apple in front of a mirror while combing their hair with the other hand. Doing so would cause the face of their future husband to appear in the mirror over their left shoulder.
Bobbing for apples was popular in Scotland, where apples would be thrown into a tub of water and the participants would try to pick one up using only their mouths. After catching one in that fashion, the person could peel it carefully and pass the long strip of peeling three times around his or her head, and then throw it over their shoulder. The Peel would fall to the ground in the shape of the first letter of their true love’s name.
In England, each person present would tie a string to an apple. The apples were then hung and twirled in front of the fireplace. The order the apples fall from the string tells the order in which people will be married. The owner of the last apple still hanging will be single.
Another bit of English folklore says that in order to find what direction the home of your true love is in, you squeeze an apple pippin between your finger and thumb, while moving around in a circle. As you squeeze the pippin, it will fly from the rind, in the direction of your lovers home. While you do this, you repeat the following rhyme:
“Pippin Pippin paradise,
tell me where my true love lies.
East west north and south,
piling brig or Cocker mouth “
If you hold an apple in your armpit until it is warm and then eat it, the one you love will love you in return.
If you can break an apple in two, you can choose whomever you want for a husband or wife. A variation on that superstition says that if you can break an apple in two after someone has named it, the person named loves you.
Peel an apple (some say a pippin apple specifically, though others say the type doesn’t matter) so that the peeling is all in one continuous strand. Throw the peel over your left shoulder. The initial the peeling forms will be the initial of the person you will marry.
When eating an apple, Snap it with your fingers and name it for a person of the opposite sex. Count the fully developed seeds (all of the underdeveloped seeds are “little kisses”) and the last seed must correspond to the following formula:
“Ones my love,
Two’s my love,
Threes my heart’s desire .
Four I’ll take and never forsake,
Five I’ll cast in the fire.
Six he loves,
Seven she loves,
Eight they both love,
Nine he comes,
Ten he tarries,
Eleven he goes,
Twelve he marries .
All the rest are little witches”
A variation on the end is:
“Thirteen they quarrel,
Fourteen they part,
Fifteen they die with a broken heart.”
You can also count apple seeds using this saying: “One, I love, two, I love; three, I love, I say; four, I love with all my heart; five, I cast away; six, he loves; seven, she loves; eight, both love; nine, he comes; ten, he tarries; eleven, he courts; twelve, they marry.”
To find your true love, lay four apple seeds in your hand and have someone else ascribe a name to each one. Then pick them up, saying the following lines:
“This one I love all others above,
and this one I greatly admire,
and this one I’ll take and never forsake ,
and this one I’ll cast in the fire .”
If you stick fresh apple seeds to your forehead by pressing them there with your hand, the number of seeds that stick will represent the number of days before you see your love.
Name the seeds of an apple and throw them at the ceiling. The seed that hits the ceiling is the person who loves you the most.
Likewise, name two apple seeds and put one on each of your closed eyelids. The first that falls is the person who loves you most.
A similar superstition says that if you name five apple seeds and place them on your face, the first to fall off will be the person you’ll marry.
You can also count the apple seeds to know how many children you will have. (This superstition was prevalent in the mountains of Kentucky, in the 19th Century, when such a formula was more likely to be correct than today).
If you can eat a crab apple without frowning, you can win the heart of the person you most desire.
An apple tree that blooms after its fruit is ripe is foretelling death: “A bloom upon the apple-tree when the apples are ripe, is a sure termination to somebody’s life.”
A Few Curious Customs and Beliefs About Apples Throughout History
The Scandinavian goddess Iduna is identified with the Tree of Immortality, which was an apple tree. When the gods felt old-age approaching, they only had to eat from the apples that Iduna guarded in a box.
The Apple was sacred to Venus, who was often represented with the fruit in her hand. The Thebans worshiped Hercules and offered at apples at his altar.
The Druids held the Apple in high esteem , as they believed that mistletoe thrived on only the apple tree or the oak tree. The Druids often cut their divining rods from the apple tree.
The Apple tree remains significant in much of Britain and until recently, the Apple tree was still “saluted” on Christmas Eve . In some places, parishioners would walk in procession, visiting large orchards in the parish. One tree would be selected, and while incantations were read, the tree would be splashed with cider, to ensure a plentiful harvest in the coming year.
In Montenegro, the mother-in-law of the bride presented her with an Apple . The bride would try to throw it on the roof of her husband’s house. If the Apple hit the roof, the marriage would be blessed with children.
In Sicily on St. John’s Day, every young girl threw an apple from her window into the street and watched to see who picked it up. If a woman picked it up, it was a sign the girl would not be married that year. If the apple was looked at and not touched, the maiden would become a widow soon after her marriage. If the first person who passed the apple was a priest , the girl would die a virgin.