Es Hoietfescht is the Urglaawish Haymaking Festival. It is a celebration of the first grain harvest. It is a time of revelry, celebration, games, joyous conversation, and community building.
Monday, August 1, 2022
Tuesday, December 21, 2021
Wednesday, December 8, 2021
Regional Timeline of Voryuul Events for the Eastern Deitscherei
Note: If you find yourself struggling with the realities of answers dredged up by some of the shadow-side work, please discontinue the exploration and reach out to me, to a trusted friend, or to any of the clergy of Distelfink Sippschaft.
NIGHT 1: Wednesday, December 8, 2021; Sunset Local Time
Night 1 of Voryuul begins. Start with twelve candles burning, consider the meditation of the day. Snuff or blow out one candle in the middle of your meditation and contemplate the change in the lighting, ambience, and atmosphere of the room. When meditation is completed, be sure to extinguish all candles!
Suggested Meditation 1
Nacht 1 - Night 1
Es 2020 waar ’n zaehes Yaahr gwest. Es 2021 (doch im Gang) iss en besseres Yaahr gwest. Bischt du noch gedreir de Lehre vun 2020, adder bischt du widder zimmlich desselwert es Mensch, as du im 2019 waarscht?
2020 was a tough year. Did you retain the lessons learned in 2020, or are you again pretty much the same person who you were in 2019?
NIGHT 2: Thursday, December 9, 2021; Sunset Local Time
Night 2 begins with eleven candles burning, and the number of lit candles will be reduced to ten by the end of the meditation.
Suggested Meditation 2
Wer bischt du heitich? Bischt du froh? Bischt vergniechlich?
Meditation Prompt 2
Who are you these days? Are you happy? Are you contented?
NIGHT 3: Friday, December 10, 2021; Sunset Local Time
Night 3 begins with ten candles lit and the number is reduced to nine.
Suggested Meditation 3
Kannst du net mehr aus me Trott haerauskumme? Wann du yuscht eeni Sach in deim Lewe umwandle kennt, was watt es sei? Weswegge? Wuzu? Zu wellem End?
Meditation Prompt 3
Are you stuck in a rut? If you could transform just one thing in your life, what would it be? Due to what? Why? To what end?
LUTZELFRAASLAAF: Distelfink Sippschaft will observe Lutzelfraaslaaf beginning at 6:00 PM EST at Rob Schreiwer's house in Bristol, PA.
BRISTOL BUGGY PULL will take place during Night 3 (approximately 7:30/8:00 PM EST behind Bristol Borough Junior-Senior High School, Bristol, PA
YULETIDE SOCK DRIVE begins at the Buggy Pull.
NIGHT 4: Saturday, December 11, 2021; Sunset Local Time
PARADE OF SPIRITS: Sunset on December 11 begins the Parade of Spirits though the streets of Northern Liberties in Philadelphia.
Night 4 also plunges us into the shadowy sides of ourselves. We begin with nine candles lit and end with eight.
Suggested Meditation 4
Be prepared to go a little bit meta and to think about the past few nights' meditations, particularly the aspects of confronting the shadow side of yourself and developing a better understanding of the totality of yourself.
Then ask yourself some of the tough questions.
What are my motivators? What are the causes of my actions?
All behavior can be boiled down to four functions: attention, avoidance, sensory stimulation, and access to tangibles. What impels some of the shadowy behaviors? Without going into too much personal detail, I sometimes see attention as a primary motivator, even more so than avoidance, which would have been a major player when I was younger. Of course, all of us shift from function to function throughout our lives, but it is the nagging, troublesome shadowy behaviors that I am looking at within myself.
Did you ever notice certain patterns in your life, particularly those that result in detriment to yourself? Are there things that you keep noticing are causing problems with relationships, jobs, self-fulfillment? The old saying is, "Do what you always do and get what you always get." Sometimes we need introspection (Selbschtreiguck) to move toward self-improvement (Selbschtverbessering). Tracking those things back to the behavioral function that they serve may help with some enlightenment and some positive change... Or, at the very least, understanding why we do the things we do can lead to more deliberate choices, even on the shadow side.
Voryuul is indeed the time for introspection, and confronting the shadow side is just about as introspective as one can get!
Note Again: If you find yourself struggling with the realities of answers dredged up by some of the shadow-side work, please discontinue the exploration and reach out to me, to a trusted friend, or to any of the clergy of Distelfink Sippschaft. Night 4's meditation an open up some old wounds, which presents all the more reason to come out to spend time in the community having fun embracing the dark and facing your fears.
NIGHT 5: Sunday, December 12, 2021; Sunset, Local Time
Night 5 begins with eight candles lit and ends with seven.
Suggested Meditation 5
Night 5's meditation starts with the question, "What do you do when you win the battle but lose the war?" By "battle" here I do not mean literal battle (though that could certainly apply here as well). Instead, I mean the struggles that we encounter with unstable friendships/relationships or the strains of improving one's career or whatever it is that we find ourselves vying to attain. How do you cope with loss of this type? What actions soothe you, and what impact does your self-soothing have on. yourself and on others? Do you give up on lost causes gracefully? Less than gracefully? Or do you plod forth hoping that tomorrow will be a brighter day?
Note: If you find yourself struggling with the realities of answers dredged up by some of the shadow-side work, please discontinue the exploration and reach out to me, to a trusted friend, or to any of the clergy of Distelfink Sippschaft. Night 5's meditation is meant to shake us out of our comfort zone. Being truthful with oneself on this meditation can stir up guilt and regret. Those feelings must be extinguished along with Candle 8 is blown out. If there amends that need to be made with other people, extinguish the guilt and work to correct the actions of the past. If no reconciliation is possible, then, when blowing out the rest of the candles for tonight, commit the guilt and the regret to the past while learning any lessons that the incidents in question are presenting to you.
----- Nights 6-12 will be presented in a later post -----
Saturday, November 27, 2021
Trenton Avenue, Bristol, PA
Behind Bristol Borough Jr.-Sr. High School
Monday, November 22, 2021
Traditionally, the time in mid-December prior to the winter solstice (Yule) was when the Pennsylvania Dutch held spooky parades and when children donned costumes and went "belsnickeling," or trick-or-treating. The Parade of Spirits is a modern expression of that old tradition.
The Parade serves as a depiction of the Wild Hunt from Germanic mythology, and features liminal and shadow-side entities, such as Belsnickel, Krampus, and the souls of the recently departed.
At the fore of the "Schtrutz" is the Germanic psychopomp, Gedreier Eckhart, who is a hero in German folklore and who serves the goddess Holle in death just as he did in life. Pennsylvania Dutch myth places him ahead of the Wild Hunt, warning the living of the impending fury as Holle travels the realms of the multiverse, seeking out the lost souls of the recently departed and capturing them to bring them back into the human evolutionary process.
Although the basic functions of the Parade are based in German and Pennsylvania Dutch myth and folklore, this is a secular event. All shadowy-side, shady-side, and dark-side traditions from all cultural backgrounds are welcomed and encouraged (please just keep in mind this is a family-friendly event, and please be careful not to engage in cultural appropriation from historically oppressed or marginalized cultures). This is an inclusive event and welcomes participants of all backgrounds; no bigotry tolerated.
While some costumes may be commercially produced (particularly Krampus, Perchten, or other traditional Alpine costumes), most are handmade, from the simple to the complex. Simply putting green or gray makeup on your face and participating as a ghoul on the Wild Hunt is fantastic!
BRING NOISEMAKERS! THIS IS A NOISY, FUN EVENT!
Arrive at Liberty Lands Park (913 N 3rd St, Philadelphia, PA 19123) at around 4:00 to enjoy the costumes and to talk with old friends and to make new ones.
Just prior to sunset (16:36/4:36 PM EST), the Parade will begin with opening remarks, and then the organizers will step off from the park onto the streets. Follow Gedreier Eckhart's "Boomba" (a Pennsylvania Dutch percussion instrument that is played primarily through bouncing) and enjoy yourself as we strut the streets of Northern Liberties.
In 2021, we will debut the Buggy in some form. We need to assess the speed at which it can be moved to see if we can have it on the street, but the Parade marchers will stay on the sidewalks.
After the Parade returns to Liberty Lands Park, please tarry around the bonfire for some fellowship (please have a face mask on hand and follow Philadelphia's covid-19 guidelines on outdoor interaction) until the performance begins.
In 2021, we are delighted to present a fire performance by bellydancer, Lorenda, and her partner, Aly Louise!
There is no cost for this event, but it is PARTICIPATORY, so... make yourself look dead and come out to the 'Schtrutz!
Sunday, October 24, 2021
DEITSCHE RAANE: How We Got Here
Focusing on the process of how the Urglaawe rune system came to be only in this post.
The Deitsch runes presented us with some significant challenges for several reasons:
- While some runes have definitely been in the Deitsch culture since migration (some being at the root of some hex signs, barn stars, or other symbols), the full alphabet is certainly not of antiquity; I suspect someone within the last 100 years tried to incorporate more symbols or knowledge, but, with the suppression happening after WWI, what we had in 2008 was badly broken or incomplete. Thus, what we are presenting now is inspired by older symbols, information, and/or lore, but it, of itself, is a new product.
- Very few respondents. A total of 31 contributed some input to the specific topic. Of those, 17 self-identified with Hexerei. Eight self-identified with Braucherei, and the rest did not claim an affiliation.
- Of those 31, 27 contributed a something significant. Of those, 9 were the primary contributors of the forms.
- None knew the names of all symbols.
- Of the 31, only three had a full complement of symbols, some resembling Elder Futhark symbols while others were very similar to Zodiac symbols.
- Only two had a nearly-complete alphabet devoid of Zodiac symbols, and some of their symbols conflicted with each other.
- Everyone thought there should be a symbol for "p" or "bb," but no one knew the name or the symbol.
- Confusion over the same name ("Geil"; "horses") being applied to two symbols (now "Hengscht"; "stallion"; and "Eiwe"; "yew").
- The runes tended to be drawn with more rounding than with sharper points, partially because they were usually written with the thumb of the person being interviewed.
- The inclusion of twelve elements, each having two runes associated with it, arose from a cluster of 11 self-identified Hexerei practitioners in Northumberland, Columbia, and Montour Counties, with five outliers in other states, plus one in Ontario. The elemental system was inconsistent; quite a few cited knowing that there were twelve, but the twelve that one listed would have differences with the twelve listed by the next.
- Of those who used any twelve elements, all but the one in Ontario ascribed a proactive (typically referred to as "positive") and a reactive (typically referred to as "negative") aspect to each, thereby (at least in theory since the whole system was kind of a mess) linking one rune as a proactive rune and another rune as a reactive rune to each of the twelve elements. In most cases, the proactive corresponded to the pushing of the dominant hand of the practitioner while the reactive corresponded to the shooing or non-dominant hand.
- Three elderly Hexerei practitioners, all from Northumberland County, associated the digits on their four fingers on their pushing hand with twelve runes (or other symbols to fill in the gaps) and the digits on their four fingers of their shooing hand with twelve runes (or other symbols to fill in the gaps). The thumbs were reserved for opening, utilitarian tasks, neutral energy manipulation, and sealing.
- I used their unique Hexerei methods of using the runes/symbols to sweep over the body from the beginning of a healing session to find imbalances of elements within the client. Concentrating on the digits, particularly those of my shooing hand, to be difficult, resulting in a depletion of energy. It was initially much easier to use broad Braucherei sweeps to seek energy blockages and then to use the individual runes to aid in the identification of elemental problems.
- As the work on the system continued, I revisited the rune/digit associations, and I am finding value in aligning the proactive rune of a particular element on one hand with the reactive rune of the same element on the opposing hand provides a bit of mnemonic aid, and I am becoming more skilled with the use of individual digits.
- The inconsistencies in the elements identified was a challenge, but coming across Ulf Asgardson's "YYggssbok" (YYggssbok, pp. 81-82. Bloomington, IN: Author House, 2007) in 2011 helped to frame the references. I know nothing about this author other than what I found in the mysticism within that book, and there was enough correspondence to the broken Hexerei lore that the author's elements were all to help to fill in the gaps.
- The system works!
Note: All runes have a Rechtdaub, or "upright" meaning and a "Driebdaub," or merkstave meaning; these interpretations are of current-era origin.
Starting with the rune (looks like Fehu with a missing arm) at 0:00/12:00 above the Distelfink's head in the logo, I am going to identify each rune and will include important points, as warranted.
Vieh: One of the better attested too in the group. The form is also described in the work of a Heathen rune author as having turned up in Germany. Whether the form was being used for the same runic concepts is unknown. Deity association: Fro (new)
Ur: No consistent name, but primordial power is an association. The form similar to the upside down U was known by a few respondents, but it was provided in the mirror image from the Uruz rune. Deity association: Holler (new)
Dunner (also: Dorn): The lack of either "th" sound in Deitsch gives this rune the same focal sound as Daag, but this was one of the better known runes among the informants. Deity association: Dunner
Antwatt: Perhaps the rune that started this entire quest. It was the first rune that turned up in an esoteric setting that had not also turned up in a mundane or physical-world setting. It was being used by a Braucherin to awaken the dormant plant spirits within her Butzemann in what is known as a Kannsege, or the Ceremony of the Corn. Deity association: Wudan
Reit: A few names for the form were given, but Reit was the most common. Deity association: Schlumm (new)
Kerze: Another problematic rune. The earliest informants identified this with a torch, or Fackel, but the consonant sound in the middle of the name complicated matters. The form was initially given to look somewhat like a K, but later informants proposed it being set onto its back, whereupon it more resembled a candleholder, and, thus, the Deitsch term for "candle," or "Kerze," became the preferred term, while still bearing the "harnessed fire" concepts of the earlier "Fackel" name. Deity association: Zisa (new)
Gewwe: Commonly used in Hexerei and in some Braucherei practitioners' uses for exchanges and in soul work. Entity association: Folyer/n; deity association: Weisskeppichi
Winsch: The earlier form (looked like a capital W with a line over the top) of this rune was cumbersome, even if more widely used than the current form. The current form, which mirrors Wunjo, was presented by two informants. Deity associations: Wudan, Holler, Fro (new), Frouwa (new)
Haagel: This rune turns up in esoteric and mundane contexts, including a potential link to the rosette hex sign that bears many of the rune's attributes. Deity association: Holle
Not: Widely used in Hexerei sealing and healing. Many associations with deities.
Eisich: Perhaps among the clumsiest names remaining, this rune's name focuses not on the "i" in the "Ei" diphthong but instead on the "i" in the -ich adjectival ending.
Yaahr: Multiple forms were given for this rune, with the current form being in the plurality. The other prominent form was akin to a spiral.
Eiwe: Troublesome at the beginning because the earliest informant gave the same name to this rune and to what became Hengscht. The determination of the name Eiwe ("yew") came after the emergence of the rune form that looks like a bit like a yew berry.
Peil: No name, no symbol was known to the informants. However, they all believed there had been a symbol to meet the Deitsch sounds of "p" and "bb." A few even had insights how to use the energy behind it, which is how the name Peil eventually became a
Schild: Reported in multiple forms.
Sunne: Not uncommon even outside of esoteric practice. The possible root of several other Deitsch symbols. Deity association: Sunna
Tuisko: Originally named Ziu, Schmitz, and Tarm by informants. The Tuisko was a later emergence from a minority (three in the same community) of those interviewed, and it was ultimately the element that helped to sway our team toward choosing Tuisko as part of our practice. As the rune of proactive Earth, the earth-sprung god (believed by some Hexes to be the child of the Sky Father (Ziu) and the Earth Mother (Erda) Tuisto or Tuisco, it led, over the course of a decade, to the use of this name. The debate is not closed, however. Deity associations: Tuisto, Ziu, Zisa
Baerke: Diety association: Strongest with Berchta and Freid; lesser with Holle.
Hengscht: Naming issue cited with Eiwe above. Deity association: Alcis (new). Form supposedly arose from the rider's head being higher than the horse's head.
Mann/Mensch: Several forms were given, including a human stick figure form, which reminded me a bit too much of the Blockheads from Gumby, and, since Blockhead is an old racist term for Germans and Pennsylvania Dutch people, well, the current form was the dominant on. Deity association: Mannaz
Loch: Rune was strongly attested to in form, but the name was hard to pin down. Loch ("hole") was provided as a name in later interviews. Deity association: Schlumm (new)
Engel: Despite the fact that English "angel" and Deitsch "Engel" look a lot alike, they are not derived from the same root. English "angel" has its roots in Greek "angelos" ("messenger"). Deitsch "Engel" is ultimately derived from the name of the Germanic god, Ing. Over the centuries, they have developed the same general meaning due to the religious hegemony of Christianity, but our use of the Engel name for the rune hearkens back to Ing. Form turned up etched into granary walls in Berks County. Deity associations: Ing, Fro
Daag: Several forms provided, but none as functional as the one we're using. Used as a concept in Hexerei (and some Braucherei) dissolution workings, this rune was actually among the most commonly known among the informants. Deity associations: Helling (new)
Ochdem: Several rune forms given. Deity association: Wudan
ELEMENTS AND THEIR RUNE PAIRS (Modern):
Spirit: proactively associated with the rune Haagel and reactively associated with the rune Schild.
Fire: proactively associated with the rune Vieh and reactively associated with the rune Daag.
Time: proactively associated with the rune Yaahr and reactively associated with the rune Peil.
Air: proactively associated with the rune Anwatt and reactively associated with the rune Gewwe.
Water: proactively associated with the rune Hengscht and reactively associated with the rune Loch.
Light: proactively associated with the rune Reit and reactively associated with the rune Sunne.
Yeast: proactively associated with the rune Winsch and reactively associated with the rune Engel.
Metal: proactively associated with the rune Kerze and reactively associated with the rune Mann.
Venom: proactively associated with the rune Eiwe and reactively associated with the rune Dunner.
Salt: proactively associated with the rune Ur and reactively associated with the rune Ochdem.
Ice: proactively associated with Eisich/Is and reactively associated with Not.
Earth: proactively associated with the rune Tuisko and reactively associated with the rune Baerke.
Element color associations are emerging mostly (but not solely) form my personal practice, so, this is new:
Air: light blue
Venom: light green
Following the method used by the three Northumberland Hexe mentioned in the main article, I am showing the rune-to-digit correspondence but adding the element colors in that are of my own practice.
Spirit is at the top of the index finger. Its opposite, Earth, is at the bottom of the pinky. The pattern takes the fiery (Fire, Time, Air, Water, Light) runes across the first digits of each finger, then moves down to the second digit of the pinky and moving to the ring finger); the icy runes (Yeast, Metal, Venom, Salt, Ice) move across the bottom digits from the ring finger to the index finger, then move up to the middle digit of the index finger and finish out in the middle digit of the middle finger.