Thursday, October 1, 2020

Hollerbeer Hof 48 - Autumn 2020

A new issue of Hollerbeer Hof for Autumn 2020 is available here. Enjoy!


Call for Submissions!

 

Do you have a piece of art, poetry, devotional, or research article related to Urglaawe you'd like to be considered for publication in Hollerbeer Hof?

 

Submissions for each issue are: February 28 (Spring), May 30 (Summer), August 30 (Autumn), and November 30 (Winter). Please submit to sara@urglaawe.org. 

 

Artists retain all rights to their work. By submitting, the artist agrees to allow Hollerbeer Hof to publish their work within one year of the submission due date; after that year, Hollerbeer Hof must reacquire permission to publish.

 

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Zisasege: Continuity and Regeneration

I'd like to thank the Urglaawe community for the vibrancy and excitement that I am seeing as we draw nearer to the Zisasege observance (September 28, 2020, beginning at sunset on Sunday, September 27).

Erntfescht was a turning point for many of us. It was the first time we had gotten together as a group beyond the Ziewer (godsfolk) and their family members. Since then, I have slowly begun to feel reinvigorated, and it appears that others are sharing the same feeling. 

Obviously, we still need to be careful with the covid issue, but much of what is weighing many people down stems from a lack of hope or of something to look forward to. 

Zisa seems to have uncorked (another of Her ways of interacting with us?) a bottle of joy and is pouring it out widely. For me, this joy is coming in the form of continuity. For the first time in almost a year, I am seeing the ability to pick up the efforts from last year and to bring them through the crises and *not only to  carry them again but to expand upon them.* 

This is hope at work. 

I remember this feeling, and it's long seemed elusive.. Yet here it is again, hopefully to stick around.

Many of the Zisasege ideas being floated about the Urglaawe community relate to this continuity... beginning new creative offerings and adding to them each year...

... and now I just had a Clue x 4 moment with a flashback to Sacred Space 2017. Jennifer Milby and I were working on a PowerPoint presentation on Zisa, and the topic of continuity and regeneration came up. Some of Zisa's lore lived on through the centuries in the guise of Maria Knotenlöserin, or Mary Undoer-of-Knots. 

Although the Church and its successors attempted to suppress the belief in the old deities, the Church's own lore sometimes inadvertently provided continuity by preserving  some awareness of our gods and goddesses. 

Beginning in about 2008, Zisa's presence began to be felt among some folks in the community. By 2012, Her name was more widely recognized and came up in discussions at Trothmoot. But 2015 is when things really began to change. The course switched from continuity to regeneration. 

Some folks around here will remember that Pope Francis came to Philadelphia at the time of Philadelphia Pagan Pride Day in 2015 (September 5, 2015). Pope Francis is from Argentina, where Maria Knotenlöserin has a large following, and Pope Francis reveres her. Thus, we extended an invitation to Pope Francis to join our Zisasege that year, never expecting to hear back from anyone (we did, but that is a separate topic). This offer, though, seemed to trigger something in the relationship between Zisa and the Heathen community. Her name was spoken widely in Heathen circles, and more insights into Her areas of concern were developing into a community gnosis.

By 2017, there were quite a few dedicants to Zisa whom I knew of, and I would expect that there are many with whom I am not acquainted. Discussion had led to commentary that Zisa would play an increasing role, not only in bridging the ancient past to the present but also in regenerating the connection between humanity and divinity. Zisa had emerged from the darkness of suppression.

Fast forward to 2020 and jump back up to the first five paragraphs of this post. 

Hail to Continuity!

Hail to Regeneration!

Hail to Hope!

Hail to Zisa!


Monday, July 6, 2020

The 337th Anniversary


July 6 marks the anniversary of a major event in Deitsch history, and, as such I'd like to hail the Netherlands Dutch and their forebears and ancestors. 

The flag of the Netherlands

On this date in 1683, the first ship, the Concord departed from Rotterdam in the Netherlands. On this ship the first "official" settlers who would begin the story of the Pennsylvania Dutch nation.


Thus, on this date (it is July 6 in Rotterdam now), the Great Migration of the Germans to Pennsylvania began.


We Pennsylvania Dutch are ultimately mostly Germans speaking a German dialect and bringing together customs from many German lands. We have evolved as a unique "tribe" or "nation." The moniker of "Pennsylvania Dutch" confuses many people, and much of that confusion is due to a change of the meaning of the word "Dutch" in English, which once had a wider meaning than it does today.



Additionally, we call ourselves "Deitsch," which sounds a bit like "Dutch," and, as was the case with the Concord, many of our early forebears arrived on ships that departed Europe from ports in the Netherlands. The Concord's departure was an indelible moment in the settlers lives that lives on in the presence of the ship on the Deitsch flag today.

The Deitsch flag with the Concord in the center.


Our migration included many people from the Netherlands as well. Although the first arrivals on the Concord were German speakers from Krefeld, some of their surnames were decidedly Dutch.

In many ways, your ancestors were heroes. They got my ancestors out of the wreckage that was the Palatinate after all of the ravaging wars. So, on behalf of my ancestors who I know traveled through Rotterdam, I thank the forebears and the Dutch of the current era.

The Dutch and the Pennsylvania Dutch, though we have separate identities, share strong historical and cultural bonds that are only increasing as the gods and goddesses bring us closer together.

Hail to Holle!

Hail to Nehalennia!

Hail to the Netherlands and to the Dutch people!

May your light always shine brightly!


Friday, July 3, 2020

Ministry of Ideas Podcast on Heathenry


Ministry of Ideas is a podcast dedicated to investigating and illuminating the ideas that shape our society. It is an initiative of the Religious Literacy Project at Harvard Divinity School.

In Episode 23 (July 1, 2020), the podcast focuses on Heathenry, specifically the divide between inclusive Heathenry and folkish/exclusionary Heathenry.


Much of this podcast stems from the research work of NYU journalism and religious studies student (now graduate), Robyn Lanz. 

Robyn contacted Rob Schreiwer back in 2016 about using HAH (primarily), The Troth, In-Reach, and Urglaawe as case studies for her Master’s thesis: Mediating Heathen Identities: How Adherents of a Small Neo-Pagan Religion in America Engage with Formal Media Structures in Attempt to Legitimize and Discredit Specific Identities in America’s Public Discourse.

There is indeed an imbalance of reporting on Heathen-related topics in a manner similar to how anything related to Islam is generally handled in the media.

Robyn began to collect inform and data by coming down from NYC to the Philly area for our Pubmoots, for Distelfink’s rituals, and for interviews. She attended Frith Forge as a journalist. She observed HAH activities as a journalist in various contexts, including the Walk Against Hate in Philadelphia in 2019. 

She also attended the Parliament of the World’s Religions in 2018 for the HAH presentation.

Due to covid, the NYU students’ first drafts of their theses were approved, which means Robyn is still editing it for future publication. The first draft made some excellent points, particularly about how she had been advised to use the folkish/Nazitru types as the subjects because (Rob's own words here) those idiots cause more of a sensation with their stupidity and audacity than we do with our work to build welcoming communities.


We really hope she gets it published!

In the meantime, enjoy the podcast. Here's the link again!

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Hollerbeer Hof 47 - Summer 2020

Hollerbeer Hof #47 - Summer 2020 is now available! You can also find the link on the Hollerbeer Hof sidebar!

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Holle's Haven Expands to Apple Podcasts and Spotify!


Holle's Haven: The Urglaawich Podcast is now available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify! You can always find the pocast at it's home: https://holleshaven.com/

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Urglaawe Statement on the Murder of George Floyd (and way too many others)

When you see evil, recognize it as evil, and do not give your enemies peace. - Hávamál 127

We in Distelfink Sippschaft and in all of Urglaawe recognize the need to acknowledge current events--the deaths of several Black Americans at the hands of police and vigilantes, and the outpouring of grief and anger that has, at the time of this writing, erupted in every US state and in several other cities worldwide. This public grief has been met by an escalation in police violence.

These deaths are not isolated incidents. They reflect a broader and deeply embedded dysfunction. The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Atatiana Jefferson, Kayla Moore, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland and others are part of the same pattern of racism and violent disregard for black lives that killed Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner--whose final words, "I can't breathe," echo louder than ever with George Floyd's death.

And these are just the names we know of, who make headlines and hashtags. 

It is easy to denounce the obvious examples of racism. But it's also inadequate, especially as Heathens, to stop there. The historical context of Heathenry includes racist and nationalistic uses of the source material we often rely on. As current practitioners, we therefore inherit a responsibility to repair the damage done--to our faith, to the targets of the violence it was exploited for, and to those who suffer at the hands of the broader systemic racism that allowed these damaging movements to exist in the first place.

If we are to honor gods of justice, gods of wisdom, and gods of strength; then we must take an active role in  demanding justice, seeking wisdom, and finding the strength within ourselves and each other to turn towards this effort.

The victims of this brutality were our fellow citizens. Their lives still matter. Their pain still matters. 

Those of us who are of Caucasian descent (many of whom were not considered  to be “White” until our numbers were needed to keep the establishment in power) need to shake ourselves loose of the contentment that has been abetting this oppression and to see how it is destroying the integrity of the African-American community. What harms that community tears at the fabric of our whole society because the African-American community IS America. Our fates are bound together, and we need to stop watching as our institutions continue to perpetrate these crimes against our own people.

It’s time to put an end to this systemic racism and to force our police and leaders to adhere to the laws that they enforce for everyone else.

Today, Black Lives Matter and other groups joined together to organize a peaceful, highly inclusive march through Bristol Borough, Pennsylvania. At one point during that march, a lone, female voice cried out:

“What was his name?”

And the marchers responded, “George Floyd!”

And the calls back and forth of “What was his name?” and “Say it louder!” were reprised later with the names of others who lost their lives to police brutality. These exchanges alone were powerful. Too many names. Too many lives snuffed out. 

The march ended in the shadow of the Harriet Tubman memorial statue at Bristol Wharf.  Here, Tubman continues to point the oppressed to the North — to the safe houses and hinterland farms of her Underground Railroad.



Alas, even here in the North, justice can be elusive.

We must do better, folks, or the dreams and visions of the wisest of our forebears, including those of Tubman, will be rendered asunder.



As Urglaawer, we are charged by our goddesses and gods to call out the evil actions in our midst. Let us join together with all people of good conscience to tell our leaders and our law enforcement that enough is too much! This must end now! 

Black Lives Matter!
Schwatze Lewe Zähle!

What were their names?

George Floyd
Ahmaud Arbery
Atatiana Jefferson
Breonna Taylor
Eric Garner
Kayla Moore
Philando Castile
Sandra Bland
Tony McDade
Trayvon Martin
Tamir Rice
Michael Brown

Hail to the fallen! 

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Urglaawe and Discord



Urglaawe is now on Discord! If you'd like to join the Discord server, send an email to sara@urglaawe.org or victoria@urglaawe.org.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Urglaawe Live Gebt Acht (#8)

Urglaawe Live Gebt Acht is the eighth in our Facebook Live chatroom broadcasts. This weeks topic will be the Nine Sacred Herbs of Urglaawe / Neine Heiliche Gegreider, which are derived from Braucherei. 

Sunday, May 10, 2020
19:00 / 7:00 PM EDT


Presentation File: https://tinyurl.com/ycyhjcob



Friday, May 8, 2020

Wonnezeit Night / Day 8: American Chestnut and Blueberry/Huckleberry Pruning

Deitsch: Amerikaanischer Kaschebaam
Tax: Castanea dentata

The American Chestnut was once considered the finest chestnut tree in the world. The wood was highly prized among the Deitsch for use in furniture construction, and, of course, the nuts were widely roasted and consumed during the winter months.

Unfortunately, the American Chestnut was nearly obliteated by a blight that came in 1904 with introduced chestnut trees from East Asia. Thus, the American Chestnut, which is believed to have been 1/4 of the total tree population in the Appalachian Mountains prior to the blight, was reduced to a total population of about 100. 

American Chestnut
Source: https://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/trees/plants/am_chestnut.html

Alas, the blight is still here in the eastern US, so the trees numbers are not recovering except in some areas where conservation efforts are active. There are also pockets of the tree farther west in the US, where the blight is not present.

The tree is listed as endangered in the United States and Canada. There is a stewardship lesson in the tale of this beautiful tree. 

Since most of us do not have access to the American Chestnut, this is also the night/day when we prune back second-year blueberry and huckleberry bushes. 

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Wonnezeit Night / Day 7: Magnolia

WONNEZEIT NIGHT/DAY 7: MAGNOLIA

Deitsch: Maagnoli
Genus: Magnolia

Several types of Magnolia grow throughout the Deitscherei, and the Deitsch communities in Virginia, North Carolina, and other southern areas have certainly taken on some of the lore of the South that relates to the tree, such as representing nobility and strength.  In the Southern Diaspora, the flowers have come to represent the very land in which the people live, and white magnolias often are features of bridal bouquets to represent purity.

Magnolia acuminata
Image source: https://canr.udel.edu/udbg/?plant=magnolia-acuminata
Across the Deitsch culture, magnolias will turn up in artwork, often adorning the edges but sometimes also serving a the primary subject of the work.

Purinton Pennsylvania Dutch Honey Jug
Image source: https://tinyurl.com/y9veymlu

Medicinally, tea from magnolia bark has long been used as a remedy for anxiety. People chew the bark as an alternative to smoking. Even to this day, some people snuff the warm tea to aid in sinus issues, or they put a poultice of magnolia tea around the site of a toothache. Older uses also include serving as a replacement of quinine in the treatment of malaria.

If you have magnolias on your property, today is an appropriate time to pour libations to the tree in order to encourage strong blooming of the flowers. Folklore states that, if you honor the tree properly, you might get a second round of blooms within the same season. Indeed, some species of magnolia do sometimes bloom twice.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Wonnezeit Night / Day 6: Hawthorne

Deitsch: der Schpellebaam; die Weissdorn (specifially white hawthorns; several variants in spelling)
Genus: Crataegus

Hawthorn trees are common across the Deitscherei as ornamental trees with beautiful, fragrant flowers. During Wonnezeit, the tree is honored in its budding or blooming stage in order increase the yield of flowers and berries. Hawthorn is used as a medicinal herb by traditional Deitsch herbalists.


Hawthorn
image from: www.quickcop.ie

In Deitsch folklore, the tree's spirit can sense danger to itself or to one who bears the wood of the tree, and the tree's spirit will intervene to thwart energetic attacks. Hawthorn, therefore, is considered to have proactive defensive properties, which is consistent with some of its traditional medicinal uses.

Disclaimer: This information is for educational and discussion purposes only. Nothing in these posts is intended to constitute, or should be considered, medical advice or to serve as a substitute for the advice of a physician or other qualified health care provider. 

Contraindication: Patients taking digoxin should avoid taking hawthorn.

Hawthorn has served as a hedgerow plant for Germanic peoples from the ancient times to the present. Earlier uses included the herb as a remedy for kidney and bladder stones, but the primary medicinal use to this day is to aid in keeping a healthy heart and circulatory system. Hawthorn increases blood flow to the heat and can help to restore a normal heartbeat.

The parts used in traditional Deitsch herbalism are the berries (fresh or dried) and the flowering tops (fresh or dried). Most common methods are tinctures or decoctions, though the flowering tops can be ground into pills, too. 

Many studies have supported the versatility of Hawthorn use in addressing many different diseases and conditions. Please see the National Institute of Health's article on the "Effect of Crataegus Usage in Cardiovascular Disease Prevention: An Evidence-Based Approach."

-----

Hawthorn image viked from https://www.quickcrop.ie/product/common-hawthorn-bare-root-hedging-plants

Monday, May 4, 2020

Wonnezeit Night / Day 5: Crabapple, Apple

WONNEZEIT NIGHT / DAY 5: CRABAPPLE, APPLE 

Deitsch: der Holsabbel, der Abbel
Genus: Malus

Deitsch "rural legend" says that we are the "Pie People," who have more distinct variations of pie than any other cuisine in the world. Whether this is true or not, I cannot say. However, we really do have a lot of pies counted among our traditional fare.

http://www.welcome-to-lancaster-county.com/amish-pies.html

On Day 3, I could have written an article similar to this one about Pawpaw, of which I have three trees on my cemetery property, but I was otherwise engaged. So, tonight, as Night 5 has begun, I'll write just a bit about the Crabapple and Apple.

Image from Home Depot
https://tinyurl.com/yb5blxoo

Although Crabapple is a particular type of Apple and the whole of the Apple Blossom Blessing description could just have been listed under "Apple." However, the lowly Crabapple has a special place in Deitsch cuisine because the three species of Crabapple that are native to Pennsylvania were the only apples to which the earliest settlers had until trade and orchards became more established. Crabapple pies and Crabapples used as flavoring in meals my reach back to that time of the Colonial Era.

Apples play a large role in Deitsch food production and industry. Even today, many of the larger applesauce producers are Deitsch or stem from Deitsch roots. Apple Butter is a very traditional Deitsch food, and the vast majority of those producers are Deitsch.

Apples are a major component of Urglaawe Erntfescht celebrations in September, and, although Idunna is not known in Deitsch lore, the importance of apples most certainly is. The apples on the tree that cried to be shaken off provided one of the tests that the heroine of "Fraa Holle" passed, and there are many other references to apples' benefit throughout our lore. 

Apples play a large role in traditional Deitsch social practices. "Schnitz parties" were (and still are) multi-family or community events in which people cut the apple harvest to prepare for the processing of the apples for applesauce or apple butter. Similar community harvests were common for other crops as well.

http://www.lynnheidelberg.org/schnitzingshooting.html

In order for us to enjoy all the foods and social aspects that surround Crabapples and Apples, we have to have a bountiful Apple harvest. To that end, ritual blessings of Apple trees take place throughout the region, frequently during the beginning of May. The original article about the Wonnezeit blessings (https://urglaawe.blogspot.com/2020/05/wonnezeit-tree-shrub-and-plant.html) describes a few methods of blessing, but we are still working on taking a few of them and creating some Urglaawe rituals.  Since we have not yet finished that process, we suggest that folks who do not have other plans utilize one of the straw methods:

The more practical (and somewhat common) ways to honor fruit-bearing trees includes straw in the following manners: 1. tying straw around its trunk; 2. strewing straw among is branches (which I think is a contributor to tree garlands); 3. tapping the trunk of the tree, particularly toward the base, with wisps of straw. I have used option 3 during Wonnezeit in the past.

We will continue to write about the Wonnezeit blessings and to work on the rituals, and we'll post them to Urglaawe fora as soon as they are completed.

Hail to the Crabapple! Hail to the Apple!

Wonnezeit Night / Day 4: Linden, Basswood, Lime

WONNEZEIT NIGHT/DAY 4: LINDEN, BASSWOOD, LIME

During Wonnezeit (sunset April 30 - sunset May 12), many Urglaawer and other Deitsch folks will spend time engaging in traditions that honor and bless the trees, shrubs, and other plants around them. These actions hearken back to old German customs that were intended to encourage robust harvests from the orchards. In Urglaawe, we have a suggested honoring schedule for some trees, but people should be responding to their local flora and environmental conditions. 

Today is the 4th day of Wonnezeit, and we are honoring the Linden tree, also known as Basswood and, in the UK (and in some Deitsch variants but pronounced differently), as Lime. The lore applies across the genus.

American Linden

Deitsch: der Linnebaam
Genus: Tilia

The Linden is, perhaps, one of the more unassuming of our sacred trees. 

This beautiful, spry, and blithe tree has provided comfort and shade as the town center tree in many German villages since at least the 10th century. The relationship between the tree and the Germanic peoples has strengthened and evolved over the centuries. This relationship has carried forth into Deitsch lore, holding the protective and love-related aspects of the tree while also serving as a powerful medicinal herb against epilepsy.

The wood of Linden (Lime and Basswood, too) is prized for carving, and some Deitsch crafters use the wood for statuary, protective charms, or for beautiful artwork. There are references to strips of Linden wood to divine the future by wearing it on the finger or around the wrist while sleeping.

Disclaimer: This information is for educational and discussion purposes only. Nothing in these posts is intended to constitute, or should be considered, medical advice or to serve as a substitute for the advice of a physician or other qualified health care provider. Feverfew may thin the blood, so people on blood thinners should be careful with its use. Also, as the herb is used in inducing menstruation, pregnant women should avoid using this herb. As always, your health is your responsibility. Consult with a doctor before using any herbal remedy or preventative.

Linden is an antispasmodic and sweat-inducing herb. It can relieve tension, including sinus headaches. It calms the mind and can ease panic attacks. It is often used as a sleep aid. The parts used are primarily the flowers and the bracts, but the seeds are also used traditionally.

Early Deitsch herbalist and author of America's first book of botanical healing, Christopher Sauer, described Linden as having "the capacity to strengthen the head and nerves, to purify the blood, to sweeten all sour, sharp humors, and to still pain in the limbs" (Weaver 197). He also states that the distilled water of linden blossoms can remedy dizziness and, when taken in spoonful doses, prevent convulsions and seizures.  The blossom water can also aid to combat cardialgy, which is a form of acid reflux that can cause bloating of the stomach in children. The mistletoe of Linden is said to behave like the tree itself (Weaver 197),

The juice of the inner bark of Linden infused into plantain water (traditional) or spring water can serve as a salve for burns. In a sympathetic, if not medicinal, manner, the sap that runs from a wound on a Linden tree may be applied to a bald spot on a human to restore hair growth (Weaver 197).

The berries and powdered seeds of Linden can alleviate diarrhea and heartburn. Swallowing Linden seeds (no more than six) is said to be able to stop a nosebleed (Weaver 197).

All of these remedies are still in active use among some traditional Deitsch Hexes and herbalists. Modern herbalism continues also to use 

The tree is traditionally associated with protection in several forms. Planting the tree near the home or barn is believed to protect the buildings from lightning strikes. The same applies to it being planted in pastures to protect cattle. This, of course, brings up an association with Dunner, and, indeed, that association stands, though Oak still is the primary tree associated with Dunner. 

Another protective aspect of Linden, however, is active warning and alters. Dreaming of Linden trees can herald good news or warn of danger, depending on the context of the dream. In fact, of all the trees commonly used or honored in Deitsch lore, Linden has the most lore on dreams.

Dreaming of planting a Linden foretells a coming new love.

Dreaming of a budding Linden tree is an indicator that good news is coming. 

Dreaming of a blooming Linden tree is an indicator that a reversal in bad luck has begun.

Dreaming of lightning striking a Linden is a caution that ill luck or a dangerous event just narrowly missed you, and you should up your wards.

Dreaming of a Linden being cut down is a warning that your love life is in jeopardy.

Dreaming of a Linden withering is an alert that you are vulnerable to sickness or disease.

It also is said to repel baneful entities from the home.

Between the aspects of love and protection, we also see some associations with Frouwa and Freid. 

However, with in the context of the Deitsch culture, the strongest association between the Linden and an individual being would be the human spirit, Gedreier Eckhart. 

Eckhart remains in the service of the goddess Holle, whom he loves as much in death as he did in life. He is Holle's messenger, and he goes ahead of the Parade of Spirits / Wild Hunt to warn the living of the impending fury. Thus, much as Linden informs people in their dreams, Eckhart informs those who are awake. 

Based on the Wonnenacht and the Wonnezeit myth, reference to Gedreier Eckhart sleeping inside a "lone linden tree" on "the Mannheem field" (Hexefeld in Lancaster County), it is more appropriate to have the Linden Blessing earlier in the Wonnezeit than on the 12th. Thus, it has been moved to 4th Night/Day, which is, well, today. 

Hail to the Linden!
Hail to Eckhart!

Updated blog post on the Tree Blessing dates:

https://urglaawe.blogspot.com/2020/05/wonnezeit-tree-shrub-and-plant.html

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Wonnezeit Tree, Shrub, and Plant Observances


These dates are general because they are derived from a temperate climate which can result in wide variations of the appearance of blooms and blossoms from year to year. Other trees might be honored by different growers and orchards based on the stage they are at during Wonnezeit.

The Urglaawe community is still pulling things from notes and from research, but the blessings of fruit-bearing trees is actually an ongoing cycle, perhaps with its beginning point being, depending on the year, between September and November for trees for which it is advantageous to be in the ground six weeks before the first signs of hard frost. it is hard to predict a moving target six weeks in advance, so this brings us back to the old topic of using animal behavior for prognostication. In the Fall, it is more the fox that is looked to for an idea of when the first hard frost will strike. The thickness of the fox's fur is used to predict whether that frost will hit in October, November, or December, and then the depth of the den and the distance from water are factors that observers use to predict the date of the frost. Unfortunately, this facet of lore has not been as well preserved as Groundhog Day, so we are still doing some research on this.

Trees are again honored at Yuul in December and end with the harvests the following autumn. Conifers are honored in December and January. Birch in February, and Oak and March. 

The more practical (and somewhat common) ways to honor fruit-bearing trees includes straw in the following manners: 1. tying straw around its trunk; 2. strewing straw among is branches (which I think is a contributor to tree garlands); 3. tapping the trunk of the tree, particularly toward the base, with wisps of straw. I have used option 3 during Wonnezeit in the past.

One of the most common means of honoring orchard trees, even today, is New Year's shot into the each. I am not personally a fan of this practice, but it is common and an established tradition. It is our cognate of wassailing, and people do greet their trees with New Year's wishes. Bows and arrows would also work.

Hanging iron or stone from tree branches is believed to increase the bearing of fruit. This is likely a contributor to the modern Yule/Christmas tree ornament. The same also applies to the egg tees that are uniquely Deitsch and that we see at Oschdre and Easter.

This old tradition one is a little macabre: A lamb (or kid) that has dropped dead or died while very young is hung up in a tree with thorns, though any fruit-bearing tree will do. This hearkens back to older traditions of hanging animal skins in tree.

As the Urglaawe community strives to produce a ritual format (and it will be simple) for the honoring of trees in their bud, blossom, bloom and fruit stages, I'd suggest option 3 of the straw wisps for Wonnezeit.

Below is a starter suggestion list for dates to honor particular trees, shrubs, or plants if you have them. Plums on May 1 are fixed as the Deitsch cognate of the Maypole is the Gwetschebaam, which is literally a plum tree. Linden has been moved from May 12 to May 5 as a tip of the hat to Gedreier Eckhart, who sleeps inside the bark of a linden tree as the Parade of Spirits heads toward Hexenkopf. The linden tree is said to be on Hexefeld in Lancaster County, which occurs in the earlier part of Wonnezeit. This means that Urglaawe date of May 4 is more suitable for linden blessings.

The reckoning below pairs the solar and lunar calendar. The first date should be read as "sunset on May # is Urglaawe May #." For example, in the first entry, sunset on April 30 is Urglaawe May 1.

April 30-May 1: Plum Blessing and Harvest

May 1-2: Dogwood Harvest - Since today is May 2, let's also note that Dogwood is a medicinal tree that is one of the Nine Sacred Herbs of Braucherei, hence also of Urglaawe.

Hail to the Dogwood

May 2-3: Pawpaw Bloom and Blessing

May 3-4: Linden Bloom and Blessing [observing Gedreier Eckhart at Hexefeld]

May 4-5; Crabapple and Apple Blossom / Apple Tree Blessings

May 5-6: Hawthorn Bloom and Blessing

May 6-7: Magnolia Bloom and Blessing

May 7-8: American Chestnut; also, Blueberry and Huckleberry Pruning and Honoring (second-year plants have all budding flowers cut back.

May 8-9: Blueberry and Huckleberry Blossom - all remaining blueberry and huckleberry bushes are blessed [Observing the Hexedanz at Hexebarrick]

May 9-10: Cherry Bloom and Blessing

May 10-11: Serviceberry Bloom and Blessing

May 11-12: Strawberry Bloom and Blessing; Asparagus Harvest Festivals



Thursday, April 30, 2020

Wonnenacht and the Exchange / Wonnenacht un der Umdausch

This is a very busy time for Urglaawer and other Germanic Heathens. A pivotal annual moment is drawing near, and there are still some old tasks to complete and new tasks to prepare for. That moment is sunset on Thursday, April 30 by solar reckoning, which is 19:54 or 7:54 PM here in Bristol.

Although the cosmos are not beholden to our calendar, observances are important, and calendars help us to keep attuned to the cycles of the world we live in.

The final Lenzbutzerei (Spring Cleaning) chores are to be done by sunset today, April 30 by solar reckoning but May 1 by Urglaawe lunar reckoning. The last chore to bed done is the sweeping of any doorway area (porch, etc.) that goes from any living quarters to the outside.

Signs welcoming Holle adorn the windows and doors of
the home of Urglaawer on Wonnenacht. Windows and doors
are to be opened as much as possible (safety is paramount)
from sunset on April 30 through sunrise on May 1.

I have my front and back porches to do. Apartment dwellers typically sweep the area in front of their unit's door. The sweeping is to be as straight as possible from the door outward. If there is a walkway, the walkway is also to be swept.

Some folks extend this practice to include any building on their property. I do sweep in front of the door of my shed.

The literal and ritual cleaning and organizing, are in preparation for Holle’s return, which is described below.

The items listed below as targets for cleaning are not exhaustive but were drawn from many responses in interviews with Braucherei and Hexerei practitioners. Having had a jam-packed house myself for many years, the matter of Spring Cleaning was always somewhat stressful for me.

Deitsch folklore states that the Geischderschtruzt (Parade of Spirts, a.k.a. the Wild Hunt) passes through the homes and farms on the final leg of its journey, and there must be unimpeded passage from one end of the house and property to the other. Cleanliness is of particular note. Clutter to be set aside to make room for the parade of spirits to come through, but the presence of the clutter is secondary to the effort to put clutter in order.

Rule of thumb: If you think you have a clutter problem, then you probably do. It does not need to be resolved all at once or even in one season, but any problem that one has that is known yet not addressed can become a burden over time. It took me a few years to resolve the clutter issues in my home to the point where I am comfortable having people come in, and that effort was initiated as part of Lenzbutzerei. Much of this process is about intention and effort.

So, here's what our list consists of:

- Floors are to be swept free of dirt and debris.

- Paths through the house are to be free of obstacles. The path could have books and magazines stacked, narrowing the walkway, but, as long as none of those books or magazines is actually in the walking area, it meets the letter of the law.

- Items that can easily fall or be knocked over should be moved to a safer space.

- Items need to be donated or removed that you have known for three years (some say six, which I support, because six has some “sacred disposal aspects to it) are no longer useful yet you hold into thinking, but I might need this someday.”

- All dishes, pots, pans, etc., cleaned and put away.

- Oven cleaned. This would include microwaves, toasters, toaster ovens, etc.

- Clean other appliances, including refrigerators; check dishwasher, washer and dryer. This would also include the outside of the appliances

- Windows cleaned (safety is a factor to consider) and opened with signs welcoming Holle.

- Clean the bathroom.

- Dust furniture. Urglaawer should dust their altars.

- Porches swept. This is tied to April 29 on solar calendar but for Urglaawer would be by sunset on April 30.

- You do not need to do everything in the house, but try to do a bit more than you think you can.

Align disposal with the Lenzbutzerei season that begins at Entschtanning (begins with Grundsaudaag on February 2) and ends at Wonnenacht (sunset on April 30). This means almost three months to work on getting things into minimum order. This time is principally about cleaning up the physical environment, but the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual are all related.

At the opposite end of the calendar in October is Allelieweziel, where there is another major observance related to disposal, thought that tends to focus on the final removal of poor habits and items or events that weigh us down.

As each season approaches, make the cleaning an expression of your spirituality. It may take a few years to finish it, but, as you see the changes, you might find yourself feeling empowered.

So quite a few things happen at sunset on April 30:

- Since Urglaawe "days" begin the night before, May 1 on the Urglaawe calendar begins at sunset on April 30 on the solar calendar.

- Lenzbutzerei (Spring Cleaning) ends with the sweeping being the last rite of the season.

- Oschdrezeit ends along with the Dunkelheft (dark half of the year)

- Wonnezeit begins along with the Brechtheft (the bright half).

- We cross from the childhood phase of the wheel of the year and into the teenage/young adult phase. This is reflected in minor fertility rites (remnants of these appear in things like Cherry Blossom festivals) and early crop harvest festivals.

- The first observance of Wonnezeit begins at sunset on April 30 is Wonnenacht (Night of Joy), when the observance of the Parade of Spirits' return to Hexenkopf is observed and Holle and Berchta (who are understood as sisters in Urglaawe lore) embrace in the Wonnedanz (Dance of Joy, also called the Hexedanz (Witches' Dance, particularly in one instance described below) to "dance away winter" and reawakening the sleeping world.

- Although the terms Wonnedanz and Hexedanz are often used interchangeably because they happen on the same night, there is one rite that is directly tied to the Hexedanz that is not related to the Wonnedanz: the unfurling or disassembly of last year's Gwetschebaam or Maypole. The energies and intentions collected since last Moifescht are commended to the earth.

- The Germanic psychopomp, Gedreier Eckhart, leads the Paade to its final destination: die Miehl, or The Mill, where the souls are crushed and certain parts are sent on to their next experience in a unique soul construct.

- Sunrise on May 1 begins another observance within Wonnezeit: Moifescht (Mayfest or May Day), wherein the residents of Mannheem (home of humanity; where you keep your stuff) are celebrating the awakened energies and rising fertility and fecundity of the world around them. These observances often include a Gwetschebaam or a Maypole, which is assembled or furled until next year's Hexedanz.

There's a lot going on, and Braucherei lore states that Wonnenacht (also called Walpurgisnacht in different contexts, including some with very biased perspectives) is another auspicious night (after Allelieweziel and Grundsaudaag) for engaging in soul work, journeying, and other esoteric practices that work with those who have gone before. It follows that the deities most closely associated with this exchange (Umdausch) between the dark and bright halves of the year are the liminal goddesses, Holle and Berchta.

- Several other observances fall into the twelve-night, twelve-day observance of Wonnezeit. I'll write about them as they approach.

So, hail to the Mighty Dead!
Hail to Holle!
Hail to Berchta!
Hail to the reawakened land!

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Der Turmgebrauch / Tower Ritual

PLEASE NOTE: DUE TO IMPENDING INCLEMENT WEATHER for Thursday, we are moving this ritual to Wednesday, April 29 at 19:30 / 7:30 PM EDT.


Anyone wishing to complete the Tower Ritual form must have their entry submitted by 17:00 / 5:00 PM EDT on Wednesday, April 29. Please note that responses are confidential and relate ONLY to each person's own Tower/s, which is representing the obstacles that must be dealt with in order to progress toward where we want to be in our lives. Do you want to repair your Tower, to let your Tower fall, or to bring your Tower down? Along with identifying what the Tower/s are and what to do with them, each of us needs to know what is to be built from the rubble or in the footprint of a fallen Tower.

Folks can connect by 19:30/7:30 PM EDT so we can provide any information needed, etc. Sunset is at 7:52 PM, and that is when we will begin the ritual.

This is one ritual upon which the weather's impact must be taken into consideration. The ritual must take place (prior to sunset) on April 30. Urglaawe "days" begin at sunset the night before, so sunset on April 29 begins the "day" of April 30. We apologize for the short notice on the shift of date and time.


SCHEDULE

7:30 PM EDT: The move to April 30 affords us the opportunity to share in the final rites of Lenzbutzerei (Spring Cleaning), which is to be done prior to sunset on April 29. This is the ritual sweeping of the porches or entrance area around any doors that lead into a dwelling (people who live in an apartment could do the immediate area by the door/s that lead into their particular unit. This act is to prepare an orderly area for the Wild Hunt as it passes through, and it shows that respect and effort (even if not completed beyond the very minimum) have been put into Holle's demands for tidiness as She inspects this physical realm. Lenzbutzerei serves purposes on multiple levels;. First, it has the mundane physical benefits of cleanliness and allowance for air and energy flow. Second, its execution requires diligence, thoughtfulness, discipline, and occasionally self-improvement and steadfastness (like actually parting with unused objects that should have been repurposed or discarded more than six years ago). Although cleaning may sound like a relatively small endeavor, for many people (like me; take a look inside my Suburban sometime) it is a struggle. Lenzbutzerei is an expression of deliberate and conscious living.

7:45 PM EDT (approximated): We will have a very brief description of the Tower Ritual and its purpose. For a full description, please see https://tinyurl.com/ycbokypx,. That URL leads to an online Google Form in which you may post your responses to four questions about your personal Tower/s. This is completely optional and unique to each person. Because this form will be used in our ritual, we are asking that responses be entered prior to 17:00/5:00 PM EDT on Wednesday, April 29, 2020.
The role we are asking those who are joining us for the ritual is to put your energy behind our words and to focus on what you want to happen to the things that impede you (your Tower/s on a personal level. During the ritual, you will be given time to put your thoughts and plans out to the spoken word (everyone will be on mute for privacy considerations, but we will all be putting out the intention of our individual appeals being a united effort.

We are asking respondents to the online form to please focus solely on your personal Towers. What is impeding your progress and your happiness? Would it be better to allow that Tower to fall on its own? Would it be in your best interests to tear the Tower down? Or is your personal Tower something that can be repaired and allowed to stand? Please be mindful that life will always throw challenges our way. When we bring down any personal Tower that is impeding us, we need to be careful not to fall back into old, toxic behaviors that will lead to a cycle of the same Towers being destroyed and erected or to new Towers that hold us back. When your personal Tower comes down, look at your feet. What would you like to build in the old Tower's stead? Please take those options into consideration as you fill out the form.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Hollerbeer Hof 46 - Spring 2020

The Spring 2020 issue of Hollerbeer Hof is now available here.  You can also find a link in the sidebar.

Stay tuned as we format and publish back issues of our beloved newsletter!

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Urglaawe Live Vier

Tonight (Sunday, April 12, 2020) at 7:00 PM EDT we will hold another Urglaawe Live presentation/chat in the main Urglaawe group on Facebook.

We will be discussing the Deitsch runes tonight and will be referring to this document. Please note that this document in a work in progress and many of the runes have not been written up in ample detail yet.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Lenzbutzerei and Preparation for Wonnenacht

Although the cosmos are not beholden to our calendar, observances are important, and calendars help us to keep attuned to the cycles of the world we live in. The Lenzbutzerei, or Spring Cleaning, begins with Entschtanning on February 2, runs through Oschdret, and ends on Wonnenacht, which starts at sunset on April 30.

Lenzbutzerei begins at Entschtanning on February 2
and ends on Wonnenacht, April 30

Wonnenacht is the observance of Holle's return to this realm, of the end of the Wild Hunt, and the beginning of the Bright Half of the year. As Wonnenacht draws nearer, this question was posted to the main Urglaawe Facebook group:

So, we are cleaning and organizing, for Holle’s return; my question is; is here specifications she looks for, or is “cleaner that it was” acceptable to her?The items listed below are not exhaustive (other buildings on the property, including barns, would be included) but were drawn from many responses in interviews with Braucherei and Hexerei practitioners. Having had a jam-packed house myself for many years, the matter of Spring Cleaning was always somewhat stressful for me. The issue is that our folklore states that the Wild Hunt passes through the homes on the final leg of its journey, and there must be unimpeded passage from one end of the house to the other. Cleanliness is of particular note. Clutter to be set aside to make room for the parade of spirits to come through, but the presence of the clutter is secondary to the effort to put clutter in order.

Rule of thumb: If you think you have a clutter problem, then you probably do. It does not need to be resolved all at once or even in one season, but any problem that one has that is known yet not addressed can become a burden over time. It took me a few years to resolve the clutter issues in my home to the point where I am comfortable having people come in, and that effort was initiated as part of Lenzbutzerei. Much of this process is about intention and effort.

So, here's what our list consists of:

- Floors are to be swept free of dirt and debris.

- Paths through the house are to be free of obstacles. The path could have books and magazines stacked, narrowing the walkway, but, as long as none of those books or magazines is actually in the walking area, it meets the letter of the law.

- Items that can easily fall or be knocked over should be moved to a safer space.

- Items need to be donated or removed that you have known for three years (some say six, which I support, because six has some “sacred disposal aspects to it) are no longer useful yet you hold into thinking, but I might need this someday.”

- All dishes, pots, pans, etc., cleaned and put away.

- Oven cleaned. This would include microwaves, toasters, toaster ovens, etc.

- Clean other appliances, including refrigerators; check dishwasher, washer and dryer. This would also include the outside of the appliances

- Windows cleaned (safety is a factor to consider) and opened with signs welcoming Holle.

- Clean the bathroom. 

- Dust furniture. Urglaawer should dust their altars.

- Porches swept. This is tied to April 29 on solar calendar but for us would be by sunset on April 30.

- You do not need to do everything in the house, but try to do a bit more than you think you can.

Align disposal with the Lenzbutzerei season that begins at Entschtanning and ends at Wonnenacht.  This means almost three months to work on getting things into minimum order. This time is principally about cleaning up the physical environment, but the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual are all related.


At the opposite end of the calendar in October is Allelieweziel, where there is another major observance related to disposal, thought that tends to focus on the final removal of poor habits and items or events that weigh us down.


As each season approaches, make the cleaning an expression of your spirituality. It may take a few years to finish it, but, as you see the changes, you might find yourself feeling empowered.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Der Ziegdaag

ZIEGDAAG VIDEOCONFERENCE INFO:



Because we are unable to gather in  in person, we hold this event as a videoconference on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 at 18:00 (6:00 PM), and we'll change the time to 6:00 PM so that remote workers might be off the clock by that time. We will be videoconferencing again.

In fact, the significance of -- and the lessons learned from -- Ziegdaag are exactly the sort of thing we need to work through as we go through this unprecedented time of change and uncertainty.

Videoconferencing will provide folks an opportunity to engage with the community during this while physically distancing ourselves. One Ziewer (Rob) will be running the ritual, and the other Ziewers (Larry, Victoria, Michelle) may moderate the videoconference (who speaks in what order, etc.).

The program for this event will be posted to this site prior to the event's start.

Please join us at 6:00 PM on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, by clicking this link:

BE SURE TO HAVE A LIBATION ON HAND TO HAIL WITH!

----------------------------

Ziegdaag is an Urglaawe observance derived from the old Deitsch Moving Day, which typically fell on April 1. 

We are currently in an unprecedented transition time on a global level. Everyone is impacted, and some of the adjustments are difficult to make, and, as the COVID-19 virus continues to spread, things might continue to get more difficult to cope with.

Enter Ziegdaag. Ziegdaag was (and in some places still is) the “moving day” when tenant farmers and other business operators who rented their shops packed up to move to a new location. It was a very big deal as many families would be moving at the same time, leading to crowded roads, families helping each other, and a genera; fast pace to get things accomplished before sunset. The traditional date is April 1, so Ziegdaag for Urglaawe begins at sunset on March 31.

Der Ziegdaag is about change or transformation in all aspects: the need for change, the fear of change, the agents of change, those who think outside of the box, the trickster figures, the sagacious figures who solve problems, escape from traps, or change the world. This its about change in all forms, from the weather to the way in which one views oneself. This year, I would like to strongly advise participants to consider the changes that are emerging with the shutdowns, quarantines, and curfews. What will life be like on the other side of this crisis? Thinking about it actually makes me a little frightened, to be honest, but there are realities that we as individuals, as part of communities, as nations, and as inhabitants of Earth will have to go through as part of the recovery from this disruption in our daily lives.

Now is the time to use emerging information and to attempt to plan for the worst while striving for the best. All of this, of course, sounds great on paper; it’s not. For many of us, this time is going to really suck.It is important that we all prepare ourselves as much as possible for the trauma. It is normal and ok to feel scared, angry, lost, and depressed. Give yourself the time to recognize the harm that this disruption is doing to you as an individual. Some might find themselves having to grieve the life that they used to know. Go through the process; let it out. Then, over a few days, begin to remind yourself that what you are feeling is normal but that those emotions must begin to take a back seat to recovery efforts. The coping mechanisms will be different for different people, but, perhaps readers can share ideas about how they are coping with the crisis.

Otherwise, observance pairs nicely with April Fool’s Day and the unpredictable weather of this particular time of year. In terms of the Lewesraad, or the wheel of the year, this represents the time of transition from childhood into adolescence, when change is difficult and awkward, yet it is a part of life that we must go through.

Another adjustment is that this observance and ritual will need to be done via videoconference due to the realities of this time.

CHARACTERS


Unlike the Norse lore with Loki, Germanic lore does not have one particularly prominent agent of change. Instead, our folklore is riddled with innumerable characters, some of whom may be rooted in real people, others who have their origins in Heathen lore, and yet others who are entities whose lore we are still picking apart. This year, we will focus mostly on the Mountain Giant known as Riewezaahl, but we will look at a few others as well.

SCHADDE


Schadde (sometimes appears as Schaade) is a trickster figure in a broken Deitsch story in which he manipulates Schlumm, a deity or giant associated with sleep, into blowing darts that put starcrossed lovers Sunna and/or Muun to sleep, thus allowing for Schadde to place them into the sky so they will never be able to consummate their love. He does this out of jealousy, yet this action sets the tides that allow for life on Earth to thrive. Sunna and Muun meet at eclipses, and they are able to use light and reflection to have children on the Earth in the form of dandelions. There appears to be a
reckoning that results in Schadde having to restrict his own movement, but this part is unclear. This story is, unfortunately, missing some other pieces, too, and we have not finished putting what we do have in order as a result.

However, Schadde appears in at least two other fragments of tales, both of which appear to involve cunning and/or setting things straight for the betterment of all involved parties.

TILL EILESCHPIGGEL


Perhaps based in an actual human, the stories of Till are widely known in the German, Dutch, and Flemish cultures. Till isba true trickster in many ways. He thinks outside the box, engages periodically in buffoonery, and has a knack for overturning conventional wisdom. His name reflects the latter; “Eileschpiggel” translates to “owl mirror,” with the owl representing wisdom, and the mirror symbolizing the reflection or the opposite of that wisdom. In some sense, Till is an anti-hero, but, at this time of year, it is worthy to consider the wit and out-of-the-box thinking that are the inspirations for
this character.

DER BARIYEHARR - RIPS (KNOWN ALSO HISTORICALLY AS RIEWEZAAHL)


NOTE: Do not address him directly as Riewezaahl, Riebzaahl, Rübezahl, or anything similar. The term of respect is Der Bariyeharr or the Mountain Lord, but he calls himself Rips when in human form. 

This Giant, whose nickname means “turnips count,” is known in the lore of both Germanic and Slavic cultures. During an interview with a Hexerei practitioner, the topic of the Frost Giants' Wonnetzeit attack came up, and the elderly women asked me if I knew much of Riewezaahl ("turnips count”; using this name because she used it to ask the question.). I had not heard of this being prior to this conversation, and she told me she remembered from her youth her mother talking about Riewezaahl. She said that her mother described Riewezaahl as a irritable Mountain Giant who has a strong ability to bring about unstable weather and would occasionally simply cause trouble because "that is what Giants do." Since that time, I have come across a few other references to him, including him causing squalls and sudden windstorms, earthquakes, and more.

Rips appears in many Silesian legends, and there is a strong historical Silesian presence among the Deitsch in the particular area in which I was doing interviews. Although some of the information I am coming across treats him like a god, but even more information indicates that he is not a pleasant spirit and has more attributes that would place him among the Giants, specifically a Mountain Giant.
The lore emanates mostly from the Germans and Slavs of Silesia and Bohemia. Grimm (Volume II, p. 480) refers to him as a wood-sprite and has some notes regarding him that may link him to Knecht Ruprecht, but there is not an ample description there.

There are tales in which Rips is a helpful trickster and a shapeshifter (the theme of transforming turnips into people or vice-versa comes up occasionally in Germanic lore). Folks may be interested in checking out this article:


Further readings into Silesian lore turn up a very complex Giant who is capable of meting out his own forms of justice. In the book, Silesian Folk Tales (The Book of Rübezahl), by James Lee, M.D., and James T. Carey, A.M., we see the following:

- He is a Mountain Giant with trickster and shapeshifter characteristics.


- His stories frequently involve people in motion, people moving, people in need of change, etc., and he captures the spirit of the Ziegdaag "moving day" features in many ways.


- He appears as many different types of beings, including men, women, etc.
- He aids people who try to improve themselves or to help others.


- He is not to be messed around with, or one will find oneself being beaten to death and hanging from a tree or being rooted firmly into the ground in the middle of a busy marketplace.


- His stories feature a lot of common tasks, including herb collecting, spinning, etc.


- Blue cornflower, already connected to some long life and other magical concepts in Deitsch lore, turns up in at least one of his myths.


- Dreams and dream states turn up in quite a few of these stories, which reminds me more than a bit of Schlumm.


- He plays a prank on an abusive husband that changes the domestic situation in the house (although I think the husband deserved more punishment than he got).

So, in the context of the Ziegdaag observance, focus on this trickster figure’s ability to bring about change through appearing as common folk but performing uncommon tasks. One may also want to consider that he can be capricious; he starts off disliking some people he encounters but a curious aspect to a that person may cause him to give that person a chance. If you irritate him, it is at your own risk.


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Frouwasege un Grumbieredaag

Ebbes Griene, Ebbes Schwatze

Ebbes Weisse fer Ihre Katze.

Backt mer Datsch am Frouwesdaag,
*
Strae die Grimmle wu Sie mag,

Vum Eck zum Eck am Gaarderanft,

So wachse die Greider uff ‘s Land


Something Green, Something Black

Something white for Her cats,

One bakes Datsch on Frouwe’s Day,*

Scatter the crumbs where She wishes.

From corner to corner along the garden’s edge,

So the plants grow on the land.

Frouwasege/Grumbierdaag altar with Datsch bread
__________________________________________

Hallicher Grumbieredaag!
Happy Potato Day!

Hallicher Frouwasege! 
Happy Frouwa/Freya Sege/Blót!

Aspects of the goddess Frouwa (cognate of Freya) are believed to have been retained (accidentally) in the lore of the Church in the form of St. Gertrude of Nivelles and "Fraa Trudi," who shares some similar attributes of Frouwa. 

Ironically, it was Protestant and Plain sectarian churches that kept the lore most active upon arrival here in Pennsylvania. Today opens the planting season for hardy items, such as potatoes, cabbage, and spring onions. 

Urglaawe observes this day in the context of Frouwa rather than St. Gertrude. In either case, though, this is a distinctly Deitsch/Pennsylvania Dutch observance in form and function.

Frouwasege is also an observance of the sacredness of cats. Give your cats treats (tradition is something white in color, but any will do) and to leave some for Frouwa's cats and strays. Indeed, the barn cat plays a significant role in the success of the farm by controlling the population of the vermin that can destroy or consume the crops.

We also have rituals associated with specific land spirits today. The ritual program is available here on www.urglaawe.net.

If you plant today, be sure to honor the soil before using the shovel. Next year, we will put this rite into the program in a more pronounced way.

Heele zu der Frouwa!

___________
* In the original poem by Amanda Baer Stoudt, the spelling of some words was different. For the Urglaawe context, we have replaced references to Trudisdaag and St. Gertrude with references to Frouwa.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Grumbieredaag un Frouwasege 2020

The program for Grumbieredaag un Frouwasege has been posted!

ABOUT GRUMBIEREDAAG (POTATO DAY)

This is the traditional Deitsch holiday of St. Gertrude's Day, known also by the name we use in Urglaawe of Grumbieredaag (Potato Day), which is the day we will honor the Frouwa. This is one tradition that the Christians have inadvertently kept alive, and we benefit from it. The Christian expression has been edited to reflect the needs of the Urglaawe tradition and to return aspects this observance to their older roots.

Since the Deitsch population overwhelmingly identifies as Protestant or Anabaptist, the survival of this Catholic observance within the wider culture is interesting in its own right, even if it had been diminishing over time. Even many Christians acknowledge the heathen roots of the observance. While there are other connections that come up (particularly to Holle and to Freid/Frigg), Grimm (305) makes a connection between Gertrude and Frowa/Frouwa, and this is generally accepted by the Urglaawe community.

Potatoes have become a staple crop for the Deitsch since arrival, and tradition is that March 17 is the day to put potatoes in the ground. There are rituals to feed the Heinzelmenner or other Kowwold (kobolds) and to bring fertility to the garden. Specific foods include Datsch (a type of almost granola-like potato bread) and spring onions.

One thing I find important in this observance is the completion of the potato cycle. Potato bread from last year's harvest is consumed and offered to the land at the time that this year's crop is being planted.

Der Waldmops and some of the spirit entities were carried in the popular lore. Der Waldmops is an interesting character. He is described as a Zwarich (Dwarf) by many, and, indeed, the word Mops does mean Dwarf in Deitsch, so Waldmops would be the “Woods Dwarf.” However, others describe him as an Erdgeischt (Gnome), and still others see him as a Dwarf with Green Man characteristics. I fall into this last camp. As the Lord of Beasts, he awakens the animal kingdom from its winter slumber. He stirs the trees of the forest to shoot forth their greens, and he and his people cultivate the fertility of the land. We are most definitely in a symbiotic relationship with our land spirits, and they should be honored often.

ABOUT THE ACTUAL 2020 OBSERVANCE

Due to the Coronavirus, we are encouraging folks who can to do this ritual at home in their own gardens. However, I will be doing this ritual for a small group in Bristol with safety precautions in place. The Datsch that I bake will not be consumed by the participants; only commercially-baked potato rolls will be present, and we will take food-handling precautions with those. The libation (will only be non-alcoholic for this ritual) will not be consumed directly from the stein. Everyone may bring their own vessel or use a cup from here.

PLEASE: If anyone has a cough, fever, or other signs of any sickness, we ask you to tend to your health needs so you are feeling fit for when the pandemic's shutdown is over.

Please note: THERE IS NO MEAL AT THIS RITUAL. This is our simplest ritual (outside of the baking of the Datsch), and most people would be doing this in their own gardens. The recipes for the Antler Cookies and the Datsch have been posted to the Urglaawe Culinary Guild on Facebook. If you are not a member of it, please feel free to submit to join.  :)

IF YOU CANNOT BAKE A DATSCH OR ANTLER COOKIES THIS YEAR, feel free to replace them with potato bread and sugar cookies - for this year. The Datsch is an important devotional aspect of this observance and its baking should be part of the process in the future. The same applies, with less intensity, to the Antler Cookies.

We encourage folks to get hold of a copy of William Woys Weaver's Dutch Treats, wherein both of these recipes appear.