People reveal things about themselves when they speak of their new year’s resolutions. Are they looking for love, unhappy at work, bored, over ambitious, disorganised? People spend obscene amounts of money on shrinks, trying to get to the bottom of their own feelings and trying to understand their own personality. Maybe it shouldn’t be this complicated. Perhaps who we are affects every single thing we do. So any action, no matter how small reveals things about us.
I attended a fabulous dinner party just before Christmas. The hostess owned an amazing collection of Christmas tree baubles, after the meal she invited us to help decorate the tree. Baublemancy is a very simple game. And a lot more fun than other forms of divination, such as reading tea-leaves. Players take it in turns to select a bauble, and place it anywhere they will on the tree. The other players then psychoanalyse them. The colour, shape, size and design of the bauble will reveal a huge amount about the player, where they place it on the tree, and their technique for placing it are equally important. As play progresses the position of the baubles relative to one another is part of the analysis, as is the player’s choice of bauble in the next round; is it similar or different to their last bauble?
One issue which came up was- should you decorate the back of the Christmas tree? No one will see the baubles, but should they be there anyway?
Some people would argue that it is a waste of good baubles, they should be seen and admired. Personally I feel that the Christmas tree is a platonic form, and that the baubles need to be symmetrically dispersed across the branches, they need to be there even if they are not seen. In the same way that the side of a cube which you don’t see still needs to be there, otherwise it is not a cube.
There was at one point a power struggle to see which bauble could be nearest the fairy on the top of the tree, and someone put an angel shaped bauble very close. I think this was symbolic of the battle between Pagan and Judeo-Christian faith (always very evident at Christmas).
Some players selected a bauble at random, or let others guide their choice. Some asked questions about where the bauble came from. The question is, do we choose the baubles or do the baubles choose us?
I selected a clear glass tear-drop shaped bauble, a dark velvety bauble and a delicate butterfly bauble, and placed them strategically on the tree. For those who are powerful enough to control the fates, Baublemancy is not about revelation, it is sorcery. Place the baubles just right and you can control the world. The spell is cast for this year.
What better way to celebrate Christmas than with a little black magic.