Saturday, August 29, 2015

Philadelphia Pagan Pride Day

Philadelphia Pagan Pride Day is Saturday, September 5, 2015
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Clark Park
Baltimore Avenue and S. 43rd Street
Philadelphia, PA

2015 Workshops

2015 Vendors

2015 Schedule

2015 Requested Donation Items

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

GoFundMe for Heathen Presence at the World Parliament of Religions

A GoFundMe has been set up to help with the expenses of the trip to Salt Lake City for the World Parliament of Religions. 

Your funds will go directly to support the following four attendees of the 2015 Parliament:

- Diana L. Paxson, Elder in the Troth and Gyðja of Hrafnar

- Robert Lusch-Schreiwer, Vice-Steersman of the Troth, Ziewer of Die Urglaawisch Sippschaft vum Distelfink (Distelfink Sippschaft).

- Lorrie Wood, Þyl of Hrafnar

- Angela Carlson, Þórsgyðja, Othala Hearth

Funds are being collected by The Fellowship of the Spiral Path, a pan-pagan umbrella group and 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Berkeley, California. Spiral will receive 5% of the proceeds and administer the funds to Hrafnar (a heathen kindred based in Berkeley and affiliated with Spiral) and Distelfink Sippschaft (a 501(c)(3) non-profit heathen group based in Bristol, Pennsylvania).

Excess funds raised, if any, will be distributed to Hrafnar and Distelfink for their general use.

The group will run an information booth (#878) at which pamphlets and books can be distributed and sold.

At least two heathen related presentations have been accepted for the program:

· “Rebuilding the Altars: Reconstructing Indigenous Pagan Faiths for Today” (Diana Paxson, Rob Schreiwer, Erynn Laurie, Elisheva Nesher, Kirk Thomas and Gwendolyn Reese) October 18, 8:15 a.m., 

· "Staving off Ragnarök: A Heathen Response to Climate Change”, (Diana Paxson) on October 17th at 10 a.m.

This is an invaluable opportunity for The Troth, for Urglaawe, and for Heathenry to have representation among the worlds's religions. Your support is greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


The next major observance on the Urglaawe calendar is Erntfescht (Harvest Festival or Harvest Home in English), which is associated also with the Autumn Equinox.

Erntfescht, also called Erntdankfescht, is the original Deitsch (Pennsylvania Dutch or Pennsylvania German) day of thanksgiving. It is an age-old Germanic celebration of the harvest. 

Families and/or communities would come together to ensure that their loved ones and neighbors had ample food to carry them through the winter. The community took care of its own, which is a concept that is all too seldom practiced these days. Also, this event helped farmers specialize. One farmer may be particularly adept at working with wheat while another may have the perfect soil for growing broccoli. At this time, they would swap their specialized crop for items that were others' specialties.

One important element to note was that the provision of ample food for loved ones was a community effort, but we're not talking about people taking from others in an abusive manner. Folks were expected to be self-reliant when possible. However, there were many circumstances that left a family or part of the community vulnerable: the occasional crop failure; an illness; the advanced age of a person who gave to the community for many years, etc.

Within a community of participation by volition, there is no shame in taking when needed while giving when possible. The generosity of the local community helps to build frith and expand grith. In many ways, this an organic expression of the concepts of welfare and Social Security, which are tainted by their compulsory aspects, mismanagement, and the allowance of widespread abuses by people who cheat the system.

In its organic state, though, this is a beautiful expression of community and tribe. The concept of a harvest home comes from the pre-conversion era in Europe and continued to the present era.

Distelfink Sippschaft observes the harvest and the autumn equinox through food drives, seed swaps, and food exchanges. We also conduct a food drive at this time of year, and we encourage others to do the same to the best of their ability.

Typically honored on this day are Dunner (Thor), Siwwa (Sif), Idunna, and, increasingly, the Matronae.

Dunner, seen in thunder, lightning, and heavy rain, is also identified with crops, particularly as He wards the farmlands and the cattle. Siwwa (name backformed; unknown in Deitsch lore), Dunner's consort or wife, is said in Norse lore to have golden hair, which we may see reflected in the fields of wheat and grain that are so abundant at this time of the year. Lightning helps in the process of atmospheric nitrogen fixation, and the nitrogen oxides are dissolved into rain and brought to the earth as nitrates, which helps to make the soil more fertile. Here we can see Dunner's relationship to Siwwa, and Siwwa brings forth the grain crops that nourish us (and the cattle!). Thus, Urglaawe views Siwwa as a gentle goddess of nutrition and strength.

Tying in with the other deities at this time of year is the goddess Idunna or Idunn (also unknown by name in our lore, though some apple lore does play into our stories). Idunna is the keeper of the apples (usually seen as golden apples) that empower our deities. Without these apples, our deities begin to wither and age. Scandinavian lore (Skáldskaparmál) provides us with a story of how important these apples were to the deities. Apples, of course, are high in antioxidants, which can indeed help slow signs of aging. Add to it that most apples can be stored throughout the winter without rotting, and we can see how our ancestors viewed the importance of the fruit in their presence. As the apple harvest time sets in, we celebrate the deities' harvest of their important staple.

As we enter the latter portion of summer, and while we reap the rewards of our hard work and celebrate the gifts we have before us, let us also prepare for the coming winter. Let us look back over the year and see how far we have come with any resolutions or plans for the year. Let us ensure that our loved ones are secure and safe. Today we hail the deities, the wights, and certainly our ancestors, and we thank them for our successes and for seeing to our future.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Urglaawe Guild Topics

Over the course of the last several months, we have had many discussions within the Urglaawe guild groups on Facebook rise to a point where we needed to keep a more permanent record of them.

To that end, the guilds began to number some discussion topics, and those discussion topics were saved within the Files section of each guild's group page on Facebook.

Now we are beginning to see a need for this information to be shared beyond the guild groups. Thus, on Distelfink Sippschaft's Resources Page, the guild topics now appear as available selections listed under Urglaawe Guild Topics from Facebook. Please note on that page the comment regarding proper citation. 

Hail the Urglaawe!

Dr. Don Yoder passes away

Preeminent Deitsch historian and scholar, Don Yoder, passed away yesterday. This is a major loss to the Deitsch community. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Distelfink Sippschaft Grows

Yesterday at Distelfink Sippschaft's Hoietfescht celebration, we heard the oath of our new brother, Larry Goble, Jr.

Larry has long been a Friend of Distelfink and an active supporter of our community efforts. He is also the proprietor of A New Vibration, LLC, which is an holistic and healing shop in Blackwood, New Jersey.

Hail, Larry!