Welcome to Day 2 of the Everyday Folklore 3 Day Challenge! Today is all about divination, love and the art of delayed gratification. And the queen of trapped wind prevention, the bay leaf.
Unlike yesterday’s fig, today’s bay leaves smelled delicious. Not enough to make me to want to cook with them, but enough to crumple them a bit and take several deep drags. Bay has many folkloric connotations from being thought of as a protection against evil spirits and lightning (especially if carried in pockets, planted near front doors, or hung above thresholds over New Year), it’s seen a bringer of prosperity, and, according to Culpeper (and a commentator on the instructions for today), bay can also ‘mightily expel the wind’ and help with itching. However, it’s bay’s association with the sun god Apollo which is said to imbue it with its prophetic qualities, not just in the coming week but also on dates like St Valentine’s Day, with various pillow configurations, by throwing the leaves into a fire and gauging how loud they crackle (it’s said the louder the better) and many more ways besides.
Anyhow, I’m lucky to live near a very manicured but very public bay tree so off I went a-plucking. Then activating my Top Five Laminated List, I scribbled five names on five leaves, single and a question mark on the remaining two, shoved them into an envelope, swooshed them around a bit to avoid accusations of cheating, then tucked them under my pillow. And now all that stands between me and my matrimonial bliss is the next seven mornings…
Did you encounter any hitches today? Is there anyone in particular you hope you’ll be plucking on Halloween? Let’s just say, if a 1970s Tim Curry is stuffing my envelope next Tuesday morning, I’ll be one very happy lady! Feel free to share your Top Five Laminated List in the comments below and I might even divulge a couple more on mine… See you tomorrow and congratulations on completing Day 2 of the Everyday Folklore 3 Day Challenge!