Friday, April 28, 2017

Article on Frith Forge / Germany Sacred Sites

Dr. Karl Seigfried's latest article on The Wild Hunt discusses the upcoming Frith Forge conference (October 5-8, 2017, in Petzow, Germany) and Germany Sacred Sites Tour (October 8-14).

Frith Forge is sponsored by The Troth and several other organizations, including Distelfink Sippschaft. The Sacred Sites Tour is a separate, but related project, being run by Haimo Grebenstein, Ewart of the Verein für Germanisches Heidentum. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Preparing for Wonnezeit

Wonnenacht is coming (sundown on Sunday, April 30), which starts the Wonnezeit ("Time of Joy") observance! Here are ways that you can prepare for Holle's return and the end of the Wild Hunt!

1). In Urglaawe, we strive to stay attuned to the cycles of life, particularly the seasons. Around this time, we are seeing some plants grow from infancy to young adulthood, and this matches the phase of the year that we are entering. Young adulthood brings with it increased reasoning and logic abilities, which may be one reason that Holle carries an association with reason. Ponder the evolution of your mind over the course of your life, and continue to work on any resolutions set at New Year's Day.

2). Finish your Spring Cleaning. Clear pathways from the front to the back of your house on all floors.

3). Prepare signs welcoming Holle into your home ("Wilkum Holle"). The signs may be as plain or as elaborate as you wish them to be. Tradition is to place a sign outside on each window or doorway starting in the morning on April 30 and leaving them there until after sundown on May 1.

4). As far as it is safe and doable, open all windows and doors from sundown on April 30 into the daytime on May 1. Along with the signs, this is an old Deitsch/Braucherei tradition that appears also in our Wonnenacht myth. If you can only open a window or two, do so, but be sure a sign is on the windows that are open. 

5). Set out or plant offerings. May lilies (lily-of-the-valley) have an association with this time. Elder branches are acceptable offerings (do not burn), particularly if the flowers have not appeared yet; however, I tend to allow the elder to grow unless I have to trim it back from the sidewalk, in which case the branches become offerings. Mugwort (burned or otherwise) is also acceptable and traditional, as are molasses and honey. A linden branch or two in honor of the hero, Gedreier Eckhart, would also be acceptable. Various offerings to the returning Landwichde (landwights) are always appropriate.

6). Remember that in Deitsch myth and in our folklore, Berchta plays a major role in Wonnenacht, too. She is closing out the Dunkelheft, or the Dark Half of the year, and offerings of evergreens to Her are also encouraged.

7). If you are able to make a visit to Hexenkopf, the sacred seat of Holle in the Deitscherei, ask me for contact info for the owners and request permission to visit the site. Be respectful and honor any time limits that they may implement.

8). Celebrate life! This is a time of joy. Life is springing around us everywhere!

9). Do not put tender plants out yet. Three Reifries (Frost Giants) attack at the end of Wonnezeit (overnight on May 12, May 13, May 14). May 15 is the traditional date for all plants to go out.

Hail Holle!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Reviving an old site...

The Urglaawe Ning social group has been relatively idle since Facebook arose, but, as more people seem to be fleeing Facebook, our Ning group has become active again. The Facebook groups still are very active as well.

Saturday, April 1, 2017


Today I was driving up to the Urglaawe cemetery on back roads. It was a nice day to drive after several days of heavy rain. I noticed that the Hollenbach (the Deitsch name for Jordan Creek in Lehigh County, PA) was flowing particularly strongly (and it normally is pretty fast to begin with), so I pulled onto a side road, got out of my truck, and walked onto a bridge that looks over the creek.

While I was standing there, an old man walked up from the side road carrying fishing gear. He greeted me, and we struck up a conversation. Through the course of the chat, I mentioned the Urglaawe Folklore Research Project, which interested him immensely. This part of Lehigh County is Blobarrick (Blue Mountain) country and is thus Ewicher Yeeger's stomping grounds.

I asked him if he knew any folk stories from the region, and he replied that he did. When I mentioned Ewicher Yeeger, his face lit up, and he said that he knew a few stories. One that he told was very similar to the Ewicher Yeeger story of Allemaengel, but then he told me an anecdote that I found interesting.

He said that when he was a boy, his brother, some friends, and he used to fish in the Hollenbach, and there was an old man, whose name he could not recollect, who used to fish in the creek as well. He said the old man was very mysterious and he was not sure of much about him other than that he was from Werleseck (Werleys Corner) and that people considered him to be a hermit. The old man would talk to the boys and would tell them stories about the area (some of which he related to me).

He said that what he recalled vividly was that he thought some of the man's actions were peculiar. He would throw beans, corn, worms, flowers or plants, cheese, or other items into the creek before and/or after he fished, whether he caught something or not. He said that when the old man would catch a fish, he would utter a word of thanks to the Eternal Hunter for giving him a meal that night. He would then throw some food into the creek for the fish.

When I remarked on only having heard of Ewicher Yeeger in the context of the hunt, he replied, "Fishing is a bit like hunting, gell?"

He then remarked that he thinks of the mysterious old man occasionally when he is fishing or when he walks past the area where the old man used to fish. We continued to to talk as we walked along the creek so he could show me where the man used to fish, and he admitted that he on occasion whispers a thanks to Ewicher Yeeger when he catches a fish or has a successful hunt.

The description given to me about the mysterious man indicates that he was a Braucher or a Hex and that the man relating this story to me was witnessing the hermit's rituals. The man with whom I was speaking was born "during the time that the people were depressed" so he is likely at least in his 80s, and he said the hermit was very old when he was about age 11-15 or 16. This would put the hermit as being born sometime, perhaps during the 1850s-1870s.

The man said he would ask his brother if he remembered any other stories that the old man or anyone else told when they were boys and he'd contact me if he learned anything.