Sunday, April 7, 2019

En Wasserdaafiwwergangsgebrauch

Yesterday, Distelfink Sippschaft had the honor of conducting a Wasserdaafiwwergangsgebrauch, which is a particular rite within a Wasserdaaf ritual.

A Wasserdaaf literally translates to an immersion or dipping in water, and it is, therefore, a rite similar to a baptism. There is no original sin to wash away, though, so the word "baptism" is not entirely accurate for our context.

In our context, the ritual and the rites within it serve as a rite of passage (Iwwergangsgebrauch). In this case, the passage is into the acceptance and presence within the community. 


Runes are intoned to set the scene for the events to follow. The runes chosen yesterday followed the Wheel of Life from the perspective of one just setting out in the life cycle: Fackel (Kenaz), Engel (Ingwaz), Yaahr (Jera), Reit (Raidho), Mann (Mannaz). 


The purpose of the ritual is stated, and those who are presenting the child for the rites are asked to identify themselves and to bring the child into the center of the circle.


Deities, compassionate ancestors of the child, and sympathetic landspirits are invited to witness the ritual.

The community engages in a Sege to the goddesses. Hailed yesterday were Holle, Waahra, and Weisskeppichi. 

The Wasserdaafiwwergangsgebrauch

The libation from the Sege is mixed with the holy water and applied to the forehead of the child, first by the parents as they speak his name, then by the Ziewer.  

The child is given an object (in this case, a Sickle that was crafted by the child's father) that has been immersed in holy water throughout the earlier rites, and that object becomes a "Befeschdicher" ("fastener") for his name. It is an important object that the child should retain throughout life. 

Photo credit: Rebecca Spille
The community members then bless the child and pass on well-wishes for the child's life. Food and drink is provided so that the child may never know thirst or hunger.

The open rites are now closed.


A welcoming statement is made by a member of the community. This statement outlines the community's interest in the child's spiritual progress and in the child's welfare and the responsibilities that the community has to the child.


The last rite of the ritual is an open round of Sammel, in which the family and the community may be hailed alongside the child, who is now recognized as part of the community.

After Sammel was closed, the community members gathered for food and fellowship.

Photo credit: Rebecca Spille
It was a joyous day, and we are excited to have a new junior member within our community. 

No comments: