Halloween Apple Bobbing
We're all old enough and hardy enough not to get spooked by women eating fruit and looking for sex? Surely the centuries of codified misogyny spread across pagan mysticism, layered over celtic lust can finally be un-peeled and appreciated for what it is: the chance to get your face wet.
There is also, according to Chambers, a "celebrated Halloween spell of eating an apple before a looking glass, with the view of discovering the inquirer's future husband, who it is believed will be seen peeping over her shoulder. On drugs perhaps.
It won't have escaped your attention, I'm sure, that the history of women and apples isn't, in the Christian tradition at least, entirely uplifting, when greedy Eve gorged without restraint, all was lost. It's unsurprising then, that for centuries, women have used apples to try and harness some magical, vaguely elicit, possibly carnal knowledge to see into the future, to allow love to slide into their lady garden like a serpent. The Trouser Snake.
Apple bobbing isn't, on the face of it, the most child-friendly game. But then, perhaps it was never intended to be. Perhaps, in fact, this watery Halloween ritual was the dominion of witches, sex, love, and women—an act of enchantment rather than simple pomaceous fondling, rather have the fondling.
When the Romans got to Britain, they adopted some of those Celtic traditions into their own pagan festival honouring Pomona, the goddess of fruit trees. It's as good an explanation for buckets full of wet apples on October 31st as I've ever heard.
When you slice open an apple, the seeds and fibrous membrane that make up the core are arranged in a pentagram—a five-pointed star. This is the kind of shit that makes celts and witches cream their gussets, as they believe the pentagram is not just magic but also a fertility symbol.
Some of these remarkable practices include a game that sounds like nothing so much as a hot round of oil-splattered foreplay. Namely, "hanging up a stick horizontally by a string from the ceiling and putting a candle on the other end, and an apple on the other. The stick being made to twirl rapidly, the merry-makers in succession leap up and snatch at the apple with their teeth, but it very frequently happens that the candle comes round before they are aware, and scorches them in the face, or anoints them with grease."
Scorched in the face and anointed with hot grease? Where do I sign!
Happy Bobbing Treat or treat be so sweet give me something good to eat, not an Apple.
Kristina J Bobbing away xxx