Tonight is the traditional night of the appearance of the Lutzelfraa ("lantern lady"), who appears as a beggar seeking aid in the form of food or clothing. Those who do not have the means to assist Her but engage Her respectfully are rewarded with luck in the New Year. Those who have the means and help Her are equally rewarded. Those who have the means but do not provide aid or show compassion are punished with a slit to the belly (probably a metaphor for illness or bad luck). This action reveals the link between the Lutzelfraa and Berchta, who is indeed roaming Mannheem at this time of year.
Our Yuletide Sock (and Underwear) Drive continues, with the first direct donations being planned for tonight in Philadelphia after the Parade of Spirits. These donations from the Urglaawe (and others) community reflect that need to be responsible to the welfare of those not in the position to help themselves. This topic led to a good debate among Distelfink about charitable donations (providing needed resources vs. enabling), and the community was in general agreement that we are responsible to do our duty and to allow others to exercise their free will. What someone "might" do with a donation does not absolve us of our requirement to ease the suffering within our own communities.
Again, there is a mirror between the actions of the community and the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. During Voryuul, we are observing and pondering the time prior to [re-]birth, after the soul has gone through the Mill and is split apart. The Lutzelfraa's appearance promises new light and integration of the self within a new soul construct. In a sense, that is what the Lutzelfraa demands of Her people: be the bringers of light and aid and help to reintegrate community.
I have found the first five nights of Voryuul to be tough with the recognition of shadow side motives and actions, and tonight posed its own challenges as well. However, Night 6 bridges that time between the shattering of the old self and the beginnings of integration.
Hail to the Lutzelfraa!