Previously: Stairway Ghost Stories.
We’ve been talking a lot about wishes and wish-granting here at TGIMM lately, so here’s another one for the books: The Three Wishes Ritual. It’s a bit more limited in scope than some of the other wish-granting rituals we’ve taken a look at lately, as it can only be used for wishes regarding three specific areas of your life; however, it’s also simpler to pull off than, say, the Copper Wishes Ritual, making it a good choice if you’re looking for an easy ritual game — one that doesn’t require much in the way of supplies, or which can be performed without needing to jump through tons of weird and bizarre hoops, procedurally speaking.
In this form, the Three Wishes Ritual first appeared on r/ThreeKings in March of 2018, courtesy of Redditor u/DaiyuSamal. I’ve been unable to dig up anything elsewhere with these exact details, so I’m unsure on whether this is an original to the sub or a version of an older, extant piece of folklore — but for what it’s worth, it plays on tropes common to superstitions and folkloric rituals surrounding wish-granting: It’s best played on the night of a full moon; ideally, there should be a body of running water nearby the location you choose to play; and, perhaps most importantly, you make your wishes on coins, casting them away from you once you have made your wish.
[Like what you read? Check out Dangerous Games To Play In The Dark, available from Chronicle Books now!]
The full moon is considered auspicious in many belief systems, so it makes sense to play a wish-granting game on the night of a full moon. Additionally, running water is considered good luck in some places and cultures; for instance, in Balkan folklore, spilled or running water is seen as a symbol of ease of movement or mobility, leading to the tradition of spilling water behind someone who’s setting off on a journey or something like that to ensure that they’ll have good luck along the way and a happy resolution at the end. Coins, meanwhile, are often presented as offerings to beings or entities you might ask a favor from — for instance, as in the custom of offering saisen when praying for something specific at a shrine or temple in Japan.
And all that is in addition to the tradition of the wishing well, which involves throwing coins into water, hitting both proverbial birds with one, shiny stone. (We touched upon wishing well lore in our look at the Copper Wishes Ritual, so head on over there for a refresher if you need it.)
Will all your wishes come true if you play this game? Who can tell? You’ll only find out if you actually try it.
As always, though: Play at your own risk.
- One principal.
- Three coins, each at least a full decade old.
- A large field or outdoor area, ideally near a river or other running body of water.
- A moon phases calendar for the current year.
- Three wishes — no more, no less. One must be for love; one for money; and one for health. (See: Additional Notes.)
Making The Preparations:
- Consult your moon phases calendar. Determine when the next full moon will be.
- Wait until that date.
- While you are waiting, use the time to acquire your coins, locate the field you will use as your playing space, and decide upon your wishes.
- Check the calendar.
- Is it the date on which the full moon is scheduled to occur?
- Ready your supplies. Put the coins in your pocket.
- Wait until nightfall.
- Travel to your chosen playing space.
- Observe the moon, high in the sky.
- And begin.
Wishing Your Wishes:
- Stand in the field in which you have chosen to play. You may stand anywhere within it you like. Make sure there are no other people present.
- Remove one coin from your pocket.
- Hold the coin in your hand.
- Concentrate on your first wish — your wish for love. Focus on this wish. You may speak the wish aloud if you like, but you need not if you prefer silence; it is enough simply to think the wish, as long as you wish for it fervently enough.
- Still concentrating on your first wish, throw the coin away from you as hard as you can.
- Now: Take a breath.
- Next: Remove the second coin from your pocket.
- Hold the coin in your hand.
- Concentrate on your second wish — your wish for money. Focus on this wish. Again, speak it aloud if you like, or remain silent if you prefer. Whichever you choose, though: Wish. Wish hard.
- Still concentrating on your second wish, throw the coin away from you as hard as you can.
- Now: Take a breath.
- Next: Remove the third and final coin from your pocket.
- Hold the coin in your hand.
- Concentrate on your third wish — your wish for health. Focus on this wish. Once more, speak it aloud if you like, or remain silent if you prefer. One last time: wish. Wish, wish, wish.
- Still concentrating on your third wish, throw the coin away from you as hard as you can.
- Now: Take a breath — and turn around. Put your back to the field.
Reaping What You’ve Sown:
- Once you have turned around — once you have put your back to the field — walk away.
- Walk away, and do not look back.
- DO NOT look back.
- Now: Wait.
- Good things come to those who wait.
- Soon — in days, perhaps, although perhaps longer — at least one of your wishes will come true…
- …As long as you wished hard enough.
- And, of course, as long as you did not look back as you walked away.
- …You didn’t look back, did you?
- I hope not.
Regarding the coins:
- The coins may be of any denomination or from any country or region. They MUST, however, be AT LEAST 10 years old.
- This is non-negotiable.
Regarding the field or outdoor area:
- You need not use a “field” in the traditional sense of the word, although you may if you have access to one. Suitable locations range from rural farmland to city parks and from clearings or meadows in forests to sports fields or pitches.
- Although the presence of a running body of water is technically optional, the chances of achieving success are much higher if your chosen location satisfies this condition. You may try playing somewhere without it — but know that the ritual is likely to fail if you do.
- You need not avoid returning to this location in the future after you have completed the ritual. As long as you wait at least until sunrise following the evening on which you have chosen to play, you may return to the location again as many times as you like.
- Do NOT allow yourself to be seen by ANYONE ELSE while you play. No bystanders, observers, or casual passersby may be present. Should you encounter another person during the course of the ritual, cease your activities, gather your supplies, and return home. You may try another time if you like.
Regarding the wishes:
- You may only make three wishes — no more, no less; they may only be in the three arenas specifically identified; and they may only be made in the precise order in which they are named in these instructions: Your first wish must be with regards to love; your second wish must be with regards to money; and your third wish must be with regards to health.
- However, there is some… wiggle room regarding what may be encompassed by these wishes. “Love” need not mean romantic love, for instance; it may mean familial love, or the love between friends, or even the love one has for one’s self.
- Note that it is recommend that your wish be specific, rather than general. The better you define the terms of your wish, the more likely you are to receive what you actually want—and the less likely it is to go… wrong, somehow.
Regarding multiple attempts:
- It is unknown whether this ritual may be played to completion multiple times. Sources have stated that “once is enough”; however, the precise meaning of this statement remains somewhat ambiguous. Once may be enough — but it does not explicitly state whether the ritual may only be played once, whether it will only be successful once, whether it may be played again successfully if your wishes have changed since previous attempts, etc.
- You may try a second time, of course.
- Just… be careful what you wish for.
Concerning The Full Moon:
There are many online resources for determining which phase the moon will be in, and when. You may find consulting one of these resources helpful when determining precisely when you may successfully play this game.
Note, however, that some full moons may be better choices than others. A full moon that falls on a Monday may be an especially auspicious time to play, for instance — but playing during a full moon that falls on a Sunday may have the opposite effect of what you intend.
Above all, do NOT fall asleep in the moonlight after completing this ritual.
You wouldn’t want to go and undo all your hard work, now, would you?
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[Photo via udit saptarshi/Unsplash]