Saturday, December 19, 2020

Der Voryuul 2020: Necht 11 un 12: Der Greescht Mitlaaf

The Great Conjunction / Der Greescht Mitlaaf

Due to the vagaries of life, I have missed a few nights of public posts of Voryuul this year. However, Nights 11 and 12 contain what has developed into a nebulous personal cosmic mystery question for this year, and it all relates to the Great Conjunction of 2020, which presents some aspects of interest to Urglaawer from our own lore as well as from the lore of neighboring and influential cultures.

I know a bit about astrology, but I have to defer to people with more experience when it comes to events such as this. 

Astrologically (and astronomically) speaking, this IS a big deal. Conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn happen frequently (just a bit less than every 20 years); however, this is the closest they will appear to one another in the sky in 800 years. At 13:20 EST on December 21 (Day 1 of Yuul/Yule), they will be separated by just about 0.102 degree or 6.1 arc minutes.

This is not a Christmas Star. If anything, its a Yule Star. (After all, the Season IS the Reason.)

Now here's the part I am fuzzy on due to conflicting information. I am seeing statements that this conjunction will take place at 0 degrees 29 minutes Aquarius, thus "officially" ushering the Age of Aquarius. However, I see other sources stating that the event will take place in Capricornus.

The Age of Aquarius has no well defined beginning, it seems. However, there is a very (I mean very) small pool of Deitsch astrologers whom I had interviewed in 2013 (a bit too late to celebrate) who believed that 2012 year was the "true" entry into the Age of Aquarius as determined by "es Keenichli" ("the Little King") or "der naddlich Wachtmann" ("the Watchman toward the North"). These bynames refer to the star Regulus, which holds a position of esteem among the people I interviewed. 

Es Keenichli is a star credited with constants; in other words, its the metronome that emits the rhythm by which the cosmos is supposed to move. However, it is not an enforcer; it is merely a signal that bears messages and traditions from the ancient past. While the cosmos and the physical location of objects changes, Es Keenichli is said to be the bearer of the old ways.

One of the old ways included in his bailiwick is the equivalence of the solar signs from the Greek zodiac. In truth, the sun does not spend 30 days in each constellation, but the old ways say that it does. Thus, in 2012, es Keenichli moved from from Leo into Virgo. The belief was that every cog on the wheel shifted under the hand of es Keenichli, and that the shift also brought us out of the Age of Pisces and into Aquarius. They were also clear that the effects of the shift would increase as we moved through portals and deeper into Aquarius. Look for signs, they said.

Some of this stuff was well above my pay grade, so I had jotted down the notes and then promptly forgot about them until the topic of comets as plague horss came up earlier this year. Along the side of a note I had written "Der Wachtmann = em Ziu sei Suh?" It was a prompt for me to look into some sort of relationship between the North Star's association with Ziu and der Wachtmann/es Keenichli/Regulus, as in, perhaps, the latter is the son of the former.

I'd been all caught up in trying to get caught up after covid caught me last Spring. Now as I am emerging from the covid fog, I realized that this Great Conjunction (the Deitsch term for a conjunction of stars is "Mitlaaf" or "walk with," so this is "der greescht Mitlaaf" or "the greatest conjunction") was right upon us, and I had not really explored from a cultural standpoint, other than one or two posts, until just now. 

This conjunction is of the two largest planets in our solar system. Jupiter has a long and known association with chief deities, including our Ziu. The planet's association with justice, law, prosperity, education, intelligence are some of the same characteristics seen in the personality of the god and in the North Star, which is even more strongly associated with Him in Deitsch and related cultures.

Less known, though, is the association between Saturn and the god Holler and the goddess Berchta, though one can clearly see how Holler, the personification of Death can be drawn as a cognate to Saturn as Father Time or Grim Reaper, etc. However, at the end of the year, it is not Holler who represents the passage of time. It is the goddess Berchta. 

Berchta is the kickass goddess who roams our little corner (Mannheem or Mannheim) of the World Tree from the beginning of Voryuul (December 

8 until Wonnenacht (April 30). During this time, She is said to walk around in disguise as a beggar. Her feast night is December 31. She also has the only *required* meal that I know of in all of Heathenry, and it is She (some sources cite her sister Holle) who announces the death of the old year and the birth of a new one through the banging of pans, the crack of a whip, etc. She is a goddess concerned with death as opportunity, rebirth, evolution, order of the mind, and giving people swift kicks in the ass when they need them.

The conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn to such a close degree on the first day of Yuul could indeed be interpreted as a threshold into new era of some sort. 

The Urglaawe interpretation of the lore about the night of December 20 is similar to that of other Germanic groups, but it is quite specifically about the  moment of the solstice. We call that night "Muddernacht" ("mother night"). 

While it is good to honor mothers at all times, we have a specific time of year for the observance of females, feminine energies, matriarchs, etc., and that is in February. If the night of December 20 were about honoring mothers in general, it would have to be called Middernacht ("mothers night"). The presence of the singular form, Mudder, points us elsewhere. 

In fact, it points us to the night itself. This is when Nacht (the goddess associated with the night portions of cycles of light and darkness) metaphorically gives birth to the new sun. Thus, the pairing of Yuul and the Great Conjunction could be interpreted as the beginning point of a new era. 

>>One Interpretation<<

The current order is already crumbling around us. Many of us are holding onto hope during a time of a pandemic and all the chaos it has brought about. The deities are forcing us to wake up and pressing us forward, granted, with painful labor, toward the next step of the evolution of consciousness. It won't happen immediately; the structure of the collapsing structure (the Tower that we discussed so much back in April and in Byron Ballard's works) is still standing, but it is in flames. Allow it to fall on its own; just stay out of its way. It is time to turn our eyes forward; focus on what can be salvaged from ruins of this cosmic night and how it can be applied to the coming cosmic day. 

That is, though, merely one interpretation. The meditations for Nights 11 and 12 of Voryuul are about how individuals interpret these events. 

Some suggestions for meditation: 

Are these simply astronomical events that we are witnessing due to the accident of our births on a planet that just happens to have this view of the multiverse? 

Is there more to it? Could it be the actions of the deities or of the Maker, Wurt, at play here? How much effect can we have on these events as individuals?

What does change mean to you? Is Iwwermariyeland ("day-after-tomorrowland," roughly like Utopia) even possible?

Is the old "normal" worth returning to? 

One thing for me is essential: The grip that covid has had on my identity is going into the Yuul fires. I am a longhauler, yes, but, even more so, I am alive. I am here on this planet at this time in this unique soul construct to pursue happiness and to help others to find their way toward happiness.

"Make like Fraa Holle and pitch that bitch," my kin, India, once said to me. In this case, the bitch that needs pitching is my identification with covid. It stole my identity, but now I am reclaiming it. I am going to help others to reclaim it. Of course, I have to deal with the damages done by the disease, and we need to be practical about safety. However, I refuse to live in fear anymore.

Let's all focus on not dragging the fear into 2021. Let's instead aim for reasonable actions in a time of a pandemic. Find ways toward happiness, kinship, and joy, and help others find their moments of laughter and merriment. 

As Gedreier Eckhart said to the Parade of Spirits:

"'Hail to Life!' say the Dead."

Hail to Life, indeed!


Some articles to consider: 

The Great Conjunction Is Coming, and It's Major

Star Bright: The Jupiter-Saturn Light Show

Get ready for the 'Great Conjunction' of Jupiter and Saturn

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Holle's Haven Podcast: Yuul Episode


 A new episode of Holle's Haven Podcast is available. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and at

Hallicher Yuul!

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Der Voryuul 2020: Nacht 2


Nacht 2: Bedrachdungsvorschlack

Wer bischt du heitich? Bischt du froh? Bischt vergniechlich?

Night 2: Meditation Prompt

Who are you these days? Are you happy? Are you contented?

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Der Voryuul 2020

Heele zu de Grenzeziewe… Die, vun de dunkle Ort, vun unner der Schwell, un die datt im Draamzuschtand… Losset uns alldiweil darrich der Voryuul vun de lanne.

Hail to the liminal deities… They, of the dark places, from under the threshold of consciousness, and those in the dream state. Let us learn from them at this time of Voryuul.

Nacht 1: Bedrachdungsvorschlack

Es 2020 (doch im Gang) iss ’n zaehes Yaahr gwest. Was hoscht du iwwer dir glannt? Bischt du desselwert Mensch, as du im 2019 waarscht?

Night 1: Meditation Prompt

2020 (though ongoing) has been a tough year. What have you learned about yourself? Are you the same person who you were in 2019?

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Parade of Spirits 2020 (Philadelphia) Notice


Since its inception in 2012 as Krampuslauf Philadelphia, the Parade of Spirits has become a beloved grassroots, community-led event. 

I’m sure you’ve all heard this phrase before: “Due to covid.” Yes, due to covid, we are going to have to scale the parade down significantly.

- The “official” parade will consist of just the three organizers (Janet, Linda, and I). If others choose to don a costume and to follow the official parade, they themselves will be responsible for maintaining proper social distancing.

- We (or at least I) plan to use videoconferencing and to record our march.

- The first half of the parade will be in total silence (the Silent March in English or der schweiyend Marsch in Pennsylvania Dutch). This is to honor the many people whose lives were lost or drastically impacted by the pandemic. It is a moment to look back on 2020 and to recognize what we have lost and to try to find ways to take lessons learned from the lack of preparation and compliance and to use them to make, as a society, better decisions on the future.

- About halfway into the parade route, the Germanic psychopomp, Gedreier Eckhart (played by me) will begin the noise making, and everyone can begin to chant and to cheer as usual. This is symbolic of hope and the ongoing cycles of the ages. Ironically, the depiction is of dead beings affirming life. During the latter half, anyone around and on videoconference or Facebook Live, should set their intentions on making 2021  better year. What that will look like will vary from person to person. In my case, I had let a series of bad news (not the least of which was getting covid and later being designated as a longhauler) define my year for me, so my life was centered around those things. In 2021, I am still going to have to deal with those things, but they will not define me. I also plan to ritually hex the virus, but that’s a different post.

- This is the sucky part. We won’t have the bonfire or any entertainment in the park. We will also have to miss out on the vibrancy that the Philadelphia Women’s Slavic Chorus has imbued the march with over the last few years.

- The official parade still will start and end at Liberty Lands Park. The step-off time for the parade is 16:40/4:40 PM on Saturday, December 12, 2020.

Thank you for your time and support for this event.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Observing Allelieweziel

How can YOU observe Allelieweziel (sunset October 30 (tonight!) to sunset November 11) as a solitary practitioner of Urglaawe or as a new Urglaawer? 

A video containing the pronunciation of the Deitsch words will be linked at the end of the article.


Es Allelieweziel is a major observance on the Urlgaawe calendar. All observances are important, but a few of them have been growing in scope over the last few years, and Allelieweziel is one of them.

The first thing you might want to do is to understand the term. An old article from 2010 actually describes the term:

Last year or the year before, we learned that a cognate of the term does not seem to be found in German, but one can be found in Dutch in relation to All Souls Day. There likely is a connection between the word "soul" and the "Ziel" (literally, "goal") portion of Allelieweziel, which might have been an attempt at approximating the Deitsch word "Seel" (soul). At this point, though, it doesn't matter. Respondents and informants about the term and the observance were fairly consistent. This is the "goal of all love" in our modern understanding. This is Allelieweziel.


Many Urglaawer have an ancestor or forebear shrine, a generic term for which in Deitsch could be "die Vorgengersweih" or "die Vorfaahrersweih." 


Linguistic segue:

The semantic difference between "ancestor" and "forebear" is much more slight in Deitsch than in English. Both "Vorgenger" and "Vorfaahrer" can mean either "ancestor" or "forebear." Most Deitsch speakers, if asked to say the word for "ancestors" would use "Vorgenger" (in the plural form: "they who went before"). If asked for the word for "forebears," the response would be either "Vorgenger" or "Vorfaahrer" ("they who fared before"). 

It is important to note that forebears covers a wide range of people who have influenced our lives. They might be unrelated to you by blood, but there is more to life and existence than blood. We do venerate our ancestors (and each other's ancestors), but we have room on our shrines for our personal heroic figures and those who aided our ancestors, etc.

Note: I tend to use the term Vorgengersweih for the shrine to those who have gone before.


The Vorgengersweih can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. Because Urglaawe's understanding is that there is a general continuity from birth through life, through death, and through rebirth, it is not considered improper to honor the living alongside the dead, so living forebears (and even Noochkummer/Noochgenger - descendants) may be included on the shrine.


There are numerous blog posts on and articles in "Hollerbeer Hof," among other places. One place folks should always keep in mind for resources on observances is the Files section here in this main Urglaawe group. The two anchor rituals of the Allelieweziel observance are called:

-- Allelieweziel, but the main components here are the Butzemannsege, or the burning of the Butzemann, and Holle's departure. The 2019 ritual did not vary widely from the 2018 ritual, which can b found here:

-- Ewicher Yeeger Sege, the feast day of Holler, also known as the Ewicher Yeeger/Eternal Hunter (Death).

The 2019 program for Ewicher Yeeger Sege may be found here:

Thus, the two main deities associated with Allelieweziel are Holle and Her consort, Holler. 

Deities are not tied to calendars or calendar dates. Our observances are nailed to linear time concepts that might bear little true resemblance to the spirals or helixes of time and matter throughout the cosmos. Yet, while our calendars and our brains might not be able to wrap themselves fully around cosmic time and matter concepts, many of us see the "short cycles" of the seasons and of the life cycle. It is often said that we are "star stuff," born from the same matter that burns inside the stars themselves. 

Indeed. Stars are born; stars die; from the remnants of the stars' death comes the setting for the birth of more stars.


I could wax poetically more and more on the topic of spirals and helixes and how the very fibers of our being are connected to the larger spirals and helixes of the cosmos, but that is the sort of thing we consider during this Allelieweziel season. 

--- Why honor Death? (see:

--- What does Death mean in the great cosmic scheme?

One of the pitfalls of the meditations of Allelieweziel and of Voryuul is that we can feel very small and insignificant (which, in our world of vainglory, might actually not be a bad thing). Perhaps we can work on posting guided meditations so that folks don't get lost in the abyss of self-doubt and questioning of self-worth within the enormity of cosmic discussions that are increasingly likely to arise during Allelieweziel.


You know, after all these years of running Allelieweziel rituals, I think this is the first time I have ever fully framed it in the macro to the degree I am this year. Holle's departure signals the onset of the Wild Hunt, also known as the Furious Host and the Parade of Spirits (native Deitsch term: die Geischderschtrutzt).

All of our other observances, including Yuul, are focused on Mannheem (here, where we live) and on human activity and points of reference. Even Wonnenacht, with Holle's return, is mostly about the return of life to Mannheem, though it does hint at all of the realms joyously celebrating the passing parade). 

No, there is something unique about Allelieweziel and the departure. This is about that moment when the star explodes, or when we die, or about huge transitions putting out energy. Holle's journey is cosmic, not just limited to Mannheem. 

Perhaps this is about the spiral outward from Mannheem when we die? Or with each rebirth and stage in our evolution? What happens in those other realms as the Hunt approaches? Where are we as a race in our evolution? Are we any closer to being where the deities were when this cosmic day started? Is part of Allelieweziel about the point at which all of existence becomes a singularity?

Heck, as this point, I am not even sure "cosmic" is the appropriate term to use. 


Besides pondering the wonders of all of creation, we should also note that, historically, Allelieweziel was the time when male ancestors and forebears were honored (much like the Idise are at Entschtanning) for their work and sacrifices that helped to build the community. This goes alongside the beginnings of die Schlachtzeit, or the culling/butchering time. 

The actual culling and maturation of meat (beef takes 10-30 days) traditionally falls almost entirely in the time between Allelieweziel and Yuul. Often it is the bulls and elderly cows that were culled to serve as food for humans and domestic pets, and their culling also conserves food resources for the heifers and younger or healthier cows through the winter.

RESOLUTIONS (with a side trip into the weeds and the sandtrap)

Most Heathens know how significant oaths are. Whether they are called oaths, promises, pledges, or resolutions, they typically last for a finite period, at the end of which they should be completed. So goes it for most New Year's Resolutions. 

Many Resolutions are completed earlier in the year, but for many personal changes or improvements to be successful, many individuals (and Brauchers) will lay out smaller chunks of the overarching goal. These chunks are typically timed so that the entire resolution is completed by Allelieweziel and then the old habit is symbolically killed in the fires of Allelieweziel or of Hollersege/Ewicher Yeeger. 

Some of the people I interviewed felt that anytime prior to Erschdi Nacht/First Night of Yuul is acceptable because that finishes one resolution cycle right when it is time to consider any need for a resolution in the next cycle. 

Now I'll stray off of the fairway and wander into the weeds, while hopefully not getting stuck in the sandtrap that Voryuul can become.

A few of the people I interviewed believed that the deadline for a year-long resolution cycle to be completed is sunset on December 8, and the next is to begin at that time. This is when the time we call Voryuul (fore-Yule) begins, and the mindset is supposed to gradually switch from the darkness and isolation of the Schlachtzeit and to become more and more enlightened as Yuul approaches. 

Those of you who had front-row seats to the trainwreck that last Voryuul turned into for me (the blog posts are still up from last December) will probably agree with me that facing the shadow side during Voryuul can result in one finding many things about oneself that could use change and improvement. 

I think we should always be thinking of how to improve ourselves and to take on better habits, but some efforts to change are more sacred than others, and those often end up as resolutions. I think the lessons learned during Voryuul should become part of the stage of drafting the resolution, and, when one ties the drafting to the calendar, it falls within Yuul rather than Voryuul.

Whew... That's a lot to chew on for an event that starts tonight. 

Pronunciation of the Deitsch words

Hail to the Ancestors!

Hail to the Forebears!

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

New Holle's Haven Podcast Episode!

 A new episode of Holle's Haven Podcast is available! This episode covers Allelieweziel and Ewicher Yeeger. You can find the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and at

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 


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:

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 or

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:

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

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


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:
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:

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.

image from:

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

Monday, May 4, 2020

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.

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

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.

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 ( 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


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:

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.


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,. 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.