The charms of Saint Catharine

This is especially for all the unmarried maidens out there who are longing to know whom they will marry.  This ritual is to be carried out on the 25th November, which is Saint Catharine’s Day, so (as I post this) you still have a few days to gather the necessary ingredients and find at least two like-minded friends.  Then, carefully follow these instructions, which have been taken verbatim from Mother Bunch’s golden fortune teller, published around 1830 [CCD.7.56.127]


 “Let any number of young women, not exceeding seven, or less than three, assemble in a room, where they are sure to be safe from interlopers ; just as the clock strikes eleven at night, take from your bosom a sprig of myrtle, which you must have worn there all day, and fold it up in a bit of tissue paper, then light up a small chafing dish of charcoal, and on it each maiden throw nine hairs from her head, and a pairing of each of her toe and finger nails ; then let each sprinkle a small quantity of myrtle and frankincense in the charcoal, and while the odoriferous vapour rises, fumigate your myrtle (this plant or tree is consecrated to Venus) with it, go to bed while the clock is striking twelve, and you will be sure to dream of your future husband, and place the myrtle exactly under your head.  Observe, it is no use trying this charm if you are not a real virgin, and the myrtle hour of performance must be passed in strict silence.” 

Sweet dreams!

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