The Walurgisnight

The Walpurgisnight takes place on the 30th of April to the 1st of May. It is a night full of myths, customs and folklore. The roots of this very important spiritual festival reaches far back in time, when Germanic tribes have settled the area around the Harz mountains in northern Germany. It was on this night that the death of winter and the arrival of spring, new fertility and the seed of new life was celebrated and honored. It might be one of those festivals that every pre-christian tribe and mythology celebrated in one way or another. The spirits of winter were banished, cast way into the abyss of the Underworld, very similar to the alpine-pagan tradition of the Perchtenläufe with the very same intent: To call upon new fertility and to cast aside the spirits of winter.

It was around 1000 years ago, that Christianity has condemned this festival as pagan, heathen, and as devil worship, similar to the greek God of Pan. The Goat was a spirit animal, phallic, referring to the potency of nature, the importance of procreation to ensure survival. Walburga from England was a very religious woman from a Monastery, and was declared holy by Pope Hadrian II. It was said that she had a profund knowledge in casting aside negative and evil spirits.

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The Brocken Mountain in northern Germany, also called Blocksberg, is a magical place full of myths, fairytales and dark folklore. It was here, that people were seeking communication with the spirits of the Otherworlds. The witches-dance-place in Germany, Hexentanzplatz, in a town called Thale is dedicated to this pagan Union and the folklore surrounding this place. It was here, that the image of a witch with a broom, flying around in the Sky, was created and brought out into the world. The symbolism is that a Hagazussa, is a woman who is capable of “flying”over the fence with a broom. It is a symbol for spiritual trance-like Astralprojection.

A lot of rural customs stem from this pagan festival. The Maypole, der Maibaum, is usually a birch tree and the birch tree had mythological relations to the Goddess of Freya and her spirit of fertility. The Walpurgisnight was known in Bavaria as well and declared as a Rauhnacht. A Rauhnacht is one of these few nights of the year, where the veil between our world and the world of the Dead, of Hel, of Berchta, was very thin and one could go out into the dark woods, the dark corners of the village and communicate with the spirits of this very dark world and realm. During a Rauhnacht, people seek to either caste aside all spirits via burning incense (thus the name Rauhnacht, from Old German Rûch, smoke), or they think of their beloved ones who have passed away and now reside within the spirit world.

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