Monday, May 14, 2012


Tonight is the observance of the arrival of the Frost Giant called Fuffzehfux (FUFF-tsay-FOOX, with the primary stress of FUFF and secondary stress of FOOX), whose name means “Fifteen-Fox.”

The Oley Freindschaft’s lore of Fuffzehfux again is very similar to that of Dreizehdax and Vatzehvedder, with Dunner’s presence again forcing the retreat, and the Giants give up their attempt to destabilize the land, thus allowing for the planting of all crops and herbs.

The Parryville-Harrity Freindschaft’s variation differs again.

In that version, Fuffzehfux is reputed to be more cunning than his two compatriots. Rather than coming forward boldly, he attempts to sneak around across the countryside to make sporadic attacks on the land. However, Dunner had trained the Butzemenner during the Vatzehvedder attack to combat the Frost Giants. Each Butzemann now defends his turf against Fuffzehfux. Fuffzehfux is said only to be successful on lands without a Butzemann’s presence, though Dunner does remain present to oversee the Butzemenner in their actions and eventually steps in to force Fuffzehfux to retreat into the mountains in the north.

The overarching theme of this version is that Dunner has now fully prepared each Butzemann to defend his land against any baneful wight attacks. If a Butzemann can thwart a Frost Giant, then he could also thwart entities like a Hexewolf. The Frost Giants desist, and the full planting  goes forward.

Rob  :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Now with Dreizehdax (I guess I should try to provide an approximate pronunciation: DRY-tsay-DAX, with DRY being the primary stress and DAX being a secondary stress) has fled, we observe overnight tonight the arrival of Vatzehvedder (FAHT-tsay-FED-dahw with the primary stress on FAHT and secondary stress on FED. The ending –er sound in Deitsch differs strongly from an –er ending in either English or Deutsch).

The interpretation of this Frost Giant’s name is one that has posed some challenges. A literal reading of it would present the name of “Fourteen-Fathers,” but that makes little sense in the context of the oral lore. An audio transmission of the name would provide another option: “Fourteen-Feather” or, perhaps more significantly, “Fourteen-Quill.” The current-era spelling of this name would thus be “Vatzehfedder,” however.

In the case of “Fourteen-Quill,” there is a possible link between the reference to the quill and a porcupine. If this is the case, then the understanding of the Frost Giant’s name would reflect upon his disposition as “Fourteen-Porcupine.” This is, however, only a theory.

The lore of Vatzehvedder, as transmitted with the Oley Freindschaft Braucherei guild, is very similar to that of Dreizehdax. The Frost Giant attempts to bring chaos to the land but is forced by Dunner to retreat.

A variation of the lore is transmitted through the Parryville-Harrity Freindschaft. The Dreizehdax portion is the same, and, indeed, Dunner does force Vatzehvedder’s retreat. However, in this version, Dunner provides instruction to the Butzemenner (plural of Butzemann or the scarecrow that was spiritually activated at Groundhog Day) on how to combat the Frost Giant. This is seen as part of the Butzemann’s preparation for protecting the property and crops throughout the season. The Butzemenner learn from Dunner and observe Him removing the chaotic threat from the land.

The last Frost Giant will visit tomorrow night.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Overnight tonight is the observance of the arrival and retreat of the Reifries (Frost Giant) Dreizehdax (Thirteen-Badger), who attempts to undermine the restored order of the land that was established by Holle's return on Walpurgisnacht.

Dreizehdax is thwarted by Dunner and is forced to retreat.

Hail Dunner! :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Glory of Walpurgisnacht and the Moifescht

This weekend witnessed a flurry of Walpurgisnacht activity across the region. On Sunday, Distelfink joined with the Norsewind tribe for a beautiful ceremony at the Sacred Oak in Oley, PA. Along with a tip of the hat to the site's Lenape predecessors, we honored our deities and ancestors. This was truly a blessed event. We celebrate the bonds of friendship and frith that are expanding throughout the Heathen community.

The tribes' combined altar by the Sacred Oak

The small stream (Heffners Runn or Heffner's Run, though there may be other names in English and Lenape) that feeds the roots of the great Sacred Oak carried away the flowers with our well wishes to the deities, the ancestors, and the Lenape warriors and tribe. We are honored to have access to two significant Lenape legacies (the Sacred Oak and the Warriors' Ring nearby), and their contributions to the Deitsch colonial survival must not be forgotten or ignored. Similarly, the long-standing friendship of the Deitsch and the Lenape is well recorded historically. We must reinvigorate these bonds and celebrate our shared love for this land.

Heffners Runn
Walpurgisnacht began at dusk on April 30 (30. Oschdret). By Urglaawe reckoning, dusk begins the next day, so the event starts actually at the onset of May 1 (1. Wonnet). We welcomed Holle back to the land with a large fire that represented the end of the Dark Half (Dunkelhelft) of the year. 

Feier im Brischtol

Holle's return to Hexenkopf (with visits to other locations, such as Hexebaerrick and Hexefeld) also means an end to the Wild Hunt (Wildi Yacht). In Urglaawe tradition, Holle now changes Her focus from seeking the lost souls of the departed to reinvigorating the land. The wights (Wichde) that accompanied Wudan and Her on the Hunt now return to the land and to the streams and rivers. 

At this time of the year, we focus on the compassion (Mitleid) that Holle holds up to us a virtue. This understanding is reflected in the "fairy tale," which is more aptly called a "folk tale," of Frau Holle. In the story, Holle rewards the diligent girl for her acts of compassion towards the baking bread and the ripened apples while punishing the lazy girl who ignores both. Industriousness and generosity are also known aspects of Holle's personality and disposition towards humankind, and it is our responsibility to embrace these virtues in order to build community and Fruchsfriede (frith).

Dawn on May 1 brings the Moifescht (Mayfest), also known as the Wonnetdanz (Joy Dance). The Wonnetdanz is represented in the decorating of the Maypole or Queschtbaam. Between now and the Midsummer (Summer Solstice), we are to recognize the joy of life. Celebrate love, family, and friends. By now, New Year's Resolutions should be in effect and the seeds of change should be planted. We are in the Rebirth phase of the Lewesraad (Cycle of Life), and our spirits should be rejuvenated along with the land.

Moifescht greetings and blessings to all!