Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Es Erntfescht

The "Yankee" Thanksgiving was originally widely rejected by the Deitsch, since we have our own observances of thanksgiving that fall around the autumn equinox. Erntfescht (Urglaawe use), Erntedankfescht, and Harvest Home are expressions of these observances, which are rooted in ancient practices and sustained into the current era.

This weekend, Urglaawe communities will conduct in their annual food drives, seed and crop swaps, and celebrations of the bounty of this wonderful land.

Of course, this does not negate the celebration of Thanksgiving in November; having two observances of gratefulness is a wonderful thing. It is, however, culturally and physically relevant to our location on the globe to keep our traditions alive. :)



Given the state of the environment these days, we cannot overstate how important the gratitude for the harvest is. Erntfescht features seed swaps, meaning that you bring seeds from your gardens or from your favorite foods that others can take to begin to grow the same plants in their gardens; you may take what interests you. Those of us who have gardens can bring what we grow for others to partake of. The altar features our harvested plants, so bring some with you, if you grow any. We also collect food for local pantries at this time, but only give if you are able and to the point at which you are able; no one is keeping track of donors. This is about community, community helping community, and us reaching outside of our closest circle to help to strengthen the wider community.

Hail to the Harvest! 

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Upcoming Distelfink Events

Below is a list of Distelfink events for the remainder of 2019. Other Urglaawe Sippschaft and Freibesitze may follow similar ritual schedules.

September 21: Erntfescht

September 26: Montly Heathen Pubmoot / Stammtisch (Newportville)

September 28: York Pagan Pride (actual Zisasege feast day)

Presentation at York Pagan Pride: Urglaawe and the Goddess Zisa

The Heathen tradition of Urglaawe arises from surviving Heathen-era folklore, “superstitions,” herbalism, and customs in the Deitsch (Pennsylvania Dutch or Pennsylvania German culture). Some of these elements are clear while others require reconstruction from Germanic lore or “dot connecting between our lore and information from other sources. The goddess Zisa falls into the latter category. Known as a goddess of the Suevi, Her feast day falls on September 28. She is believed to be the consort of Ziu (Tyr), and many Urglaawer and other Heathens honor Her as a central figure in their personal practice. In this workshop, we will discuss Urglaawe basics, share more about Zisa’s expanding lore in the current era, and honor this goddess justice on Her feast day.

October 5: South Jersey Pagan Pride Day - Running main ritual

October 6: 336th anniversary of the official beginning of the Great Deitsch Migration

October 19 AM: Pocono Witch Festival and Ball (Urglaawe/Braucherei presentation in the AM)

October 19 PM: Oak Haven Farm Haunted House

October 24: Monthly Heathen Pubmoot/Stammtisch (note date change to 10/24 due to Halloween)

October 26: Allelieweziel observance at Birch House

October 30 (sunset): Allelieweziel begins.

November 9: Ewicher Yeeger observance at the cemetery

November 11: Allelieweziel ends

November 21: Monthly Heathen Pubmoot / Stammtisch (note date changed to 11/21 due to Thanksgiving)

December 8: Onset of Voryuul

December 13: Lutzelfraaslaaf at Distelfink Gaarde Bristol

December 14: Parade of Spirits, Philadelphia

December 20 (sunset): Yuul begins

December 21: Yuulsege at Oak Haven Farm

December 26: Monthly Heathen Pubmoot / Stammtisch (Newportville)

December 31 (sunset): Berchtaslaaf begins

January 1 (daytime): Luulfescht (Feast of Frey)

January 1 (sunset): Yuul ends and Berchtoldsdaag begin

Sunday, July 28, 2019

To Erda at Hoietfescht


Grandmother Erda,

Show me the way.

Teach me to nourish the soil.

Guide my hand when planting.

Share with me the joys of a bountiful harvest.


Keep me grounded during the frozen winters.


I love the paintings you make on the land in wildflowers,

as well as the songs you write in the forests and the woodlands.


Guide my hands to do your work, so that I may revel in your work.

                                                           -- Rebecca Spille, Hoietfescht 2019


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Today I build an altar...

Today I build an altar...
A simple altar
Built in honor of the Shining Ones.
To those who have seen their shrines destroyed.
And their followers persecuted or killed for their beliefs.
This altar stands for the victory of freedom over terror.
Freedom of religion.
Sovereignty of conscience.
Integrity of personal and communal property.
It is built in defiance of the zealots and the missionaries
Who brazenly trod upon the rights and will of others,
And who attempted to remove the influence, memory, and history of the many deities across the continents.

Today I light a fire in the memory of these deities...

May the light of this small fire drive away the shadows that the prophets of jealousy placed around our gods and goddesses.

May connections, knowledge, and wisdom be restored.

May the names of these hidden deities be spoken by the people again, and may freedom to determine our beliefs be in the hands of the people again.
Today I utter the names of these deities aloud, and my voice shall join a throng of others who are honoring and hailing the hidden deities of their cultures, traditions, and beliefs.

Jecha
Stuffo
Biel
Lohra
Reto

Come today and be our honored guests!

Hail!

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Observance of the Desecrated Shrines 2019

Urglaawe "days" begin at sunset of the night before, so tonight (June 4) at sunset marks the beginning of the Observance of the Desecrated Shrines. This observance is in honor of those deities whose shrines were destroyed, damaged, and disrespected through the actions of missionaries and zealots. The lore of many of these deities was lost in the persecution of those who held to the old ways, and there may be many more deities who are now completely unknown to us.

June 5 is the feast day of the Christian missionary Boniface, who destroyed the sacred oak of Dunner and desecrated the shrines of Jecha, Stuffo, and Lohra/Lare. We hold our observance on this day to renew our ties to our deities and to assert our sovereignty of conscience and our right to religious freedom.

This is a pan-Pagan observance, and people of all traditions and backgrounds are invited to take part in the observance, honoring their deities in the manner to which they are accustomed. 

The Urglaawe ritual format is shared for convenience, but, again, adherents of all traditions are welcomed to follow their own formats and to honor their own deities.

For the Urglaawe ritual, some potential altar items:

Jecha: a bow and/or arrow

Lohra: a book of some educational value

Stuffo: image from GardenStone's book (Gods of the Germanic Peoples 2, p. 484). The image is a bit  peculiar to our modern eyes, and the age of the dedication stone is unknown. It is important to keep in mind that deity portrayals in many cultures often appear strange at first blush, particularly when the context is unknown.

Biel: a branch from a tree

Reto: an empty (yet honored) space to be filled as He becomes better known

Hail the gods! Hail the goddesses!


______________

GardenStone. Gods of the Germanic Peoples (two volumes). Norderstedt, Germany: Books on Demand, 2014.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Ziegdaag Reflection: The Troth's Spring 2019 (#119) Article

The Troth's quarterly journal, Idunna, is one of the oldest and most prestigious Heathen publications available. The Spring 2019 (#119) issue contains an article about Urglaawe's observance of Ziegdaag. Some seminal Urglaawe philosophy is contained in the article.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Wonnezeit Begins at Sundown

Tonight is Wonnenacht, more commonly known as Walpurgisnacht. It represents the end of the Wild Hunt, the end of the Dark Half of the year, and the return of Holle to this realm.

With some differences among faiths (Holle vs. Walburga, for example), Braucherei and Urglaawe traditions state that tonight the Hunt passes through the homes with Holle (syncretics and even some Christians identify this with Holle) doing Her inspections for order. As such hallways should be clear of debris. Spring cleaning should be completed. Signs welcoming Holle (or Walburga) are to be placed on the doors and windows of the house, and as many doors and windows are to be left open as is safe overnight (screens are fine).