Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Dictionary of Urglaawe Terminology

The first widely accessible Urglaawe book is now available on Lulu.com.

This book is a repository of the terms, concepts, symbols and mythological references used in the Heathen path of Urglaawe. The entries include the cultural values, spiritual awareness, and wisdom carried through the centuries in the oral lore of the Elder healing practice of Braucherei, which is also known as Pow Wow. Included in the entries are traditions and customs that are part of the living Deitsch, -- Pennsylvania German or Pennsylvania Dutch -- folk culture. Adherents to Heathen paths, including Ásatrú, Irminenschaft, Theodism, Forn Sidr, Odinism, and other traditions, will find these entries useful as they provide another voice to the totality of the Teutonic folk experience.

Monday, April 23, 2012

More on Walpurgisnacht

As Walpurgisnacht draws nearer, we begin to reflect on the spiritual significance of this event. Beyond the symbolic, if not literal, return of full fertility of the land, there is a related transition in the state of the mind and of being.

Urglaawe recognizes the cycles of life in the form of the Lewesraad (Life Wheel). While we usually describe it as the cycle of life, death, and rebirth, there are other spokes on the wheel that reflect other phases of life. 

If Grundsaudaag (February 2) represents conception or the potential for rebirth, and if Oschdre (Spring Equinox) represents the physical rebirth, then Walpurgisnacht represents the rise of awareness and the increasing maturity of the mind. This expansion of consciousness and of purpose and determination in our daily living is a central theme in Urglaawe. 

Although the physical rebirth is represented in March, the Bright Half of the year does not begin until the spark of consciousness turns into a growing flame. Holle's return from the Wild Hunt represents a settling of order that provides the environment in which the planted seeds (physical and spiritual) may take root and grow.

Interestingly, the arrival of the three Frost Giants in May serve multiple purposes. First, they represent the physical threat of frost to the tender plants. Second, they represent the threat of the forces of chaos to the survival of the Mannheim and to cosmic order. Third, they represent the forces of ignorance as a threat to the rising, yet tender, consciousness.

As Dunner forces the retreat of each of these Frost Giants, He defends the realm of Mannheim from the threats to the physical and to the spiritual. In this context, we see the interaction of the Wane (Vanir) and the Ase (Aesir) in terms of the physical representations of fertility and the ability to advance human consciousness. Holle prepares the environment; Dunner defends it, thus allowing for more the expansion of the creation.

Our role in this is to use the gifts bestowed on us by Wudan, Wille, and Weih to continue the advancement of the human life wave. The physical and spiritual provisions are not complete without the use of the mind to secure and to stabilize the order in our realm. In a manners similar to the proverbial horse and water, the deities give us the gift of consciousness and will help and guide us, but it is up to us to use our minds to take advantage of the gift.

We have the capacity to help the gods and the goddesses in their pursuit of cosmic order, enlightenment, and consciousness. The awareness of that capacity, and the rise in our ability to put it to use, is represented in the observance of Walpurgisnacht.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


We are a little more than ten days away from Walpurgisnacht, which is, perhaps, the highest holiday on the Urglaawe calendar.

 The Teutonic peoples used a lunar calendar, which means that Urglaawe's "days" actually begin at nightfall. Thus, Walpurgisnacht is the evening of April 30 on the modern calendar, but that reckons to the beginning of May 1 on the Urglaawe calendar. Throughout the Germanic lands (including the Deitscherei), Walpurgisnacht is known as a night of "witch's dances." Urglaawe embraces this concept in so far as it relates to Holle, the spirits of the land, and the spirits returning from the Wild Hunt.

 The month of May is called "Wonnet" in Urglaawish (to utilize a rare English adjective for our faith) Deitsch. This root of this word, which has cognates in other Germanic languages, means "joy" or "bliss" and relates to the joy of seeing the return of the warmth to the land. In Urglaawe, this is also extended to the bliss bestowed by Holle among Her people when She returns to Brocken and Hexekopp (Hexenkopf) and thence to the rest of the land.

Instead of "Witches' Dances," we celebrate the "Wonnetdanz," or the Dance of Joy. This dance can present itself in the threading of a Maypole or a Queschtbaam. It can also be as simple as the joy and peace in one's heart at the thought of the coming abundance. In this celebration, we join with the spirits of the land who welcome back their kin and their goddess.

The seeds of change in your life should be planted by Walpurgisnacht. This means straightening out anything that you want to have grow in a different direction or putting new plans into place. The Dark Half (Dunkelheft) of the Year is over, and it is time to turn away from introspection and isolation and to move into the Bright Half (Breechtheft) with our friends, family, kin, and loved ones.

By Walpurgisnacht, Spring Cleaning is to be completed. On the night of April 30 into May 1, open your windows and, if possible, your doors. Place signs under the windows greeting "Walburga!" or "Holle!," thus inviting Her into your home.

Although this year the Spring has come early, there are still obstacles that remain after Holle's return. Those obstacles are the coming of the Frost Giants (Reifries) in mid-May. We'll explore the lore that relates to them as the time approaches.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hollerbeer Haven

Hollerbeer Haven, formerly Hollerbeier Haven, the journal of the Three Sisters Center for the Healing Arts, is now a quarterly publication of Distelfink Sippschaft! 

We are making Hollerbeer Haven 14 - Volume 5, Issue 1 - Spring 2012 available in .PDF format at no cost. Former active subscribers to the Three Sisters Center guild will receive printed copies of the first three issues.

We hope you find it enjoyable!