Friday, December 27, 2013

Sunneraad

Distelfink's Yuulsege featured our annual Flaming Spinning Yuletide Sunwheel...

Video by Corrine Johnson

Distelfink also oathed in four new members, whom we welcome among our group with earnest pride and frith.

Photo by Jennifer Milby

Hail to the forthcoming year! 
Hail to Sunna's strength!
Hail to the Deities!
Hail to the Ancestors!
Hail to the Descendants!
Hail to Community!
Hail to Humanity!
Hail to Enlightenment!

Hail to Distelfink!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Embracing the Dark Half of the Year

This article was written by our kinsman, Daniel Riegel, in December of 2010. Dan passed away in 2011. The loss was painful and devastating, but his contributions to the Urglaawe community became central to the philosophies of the faith, and the community grew stronger through the grieving process.

Dan's words here are particularly relevant as we enter the holiday season. He was always advocating the shunning of the Consumer Culture (as much as possible), and Dan's remarks on the stress that the Consumer Culture has instilled into the holiday season resound loudly today. In fact, this aspect of the chaos of the Consumer Culture has actually worsened since 2010. I am sure most Heathens of all denominations are dismayed by the fact that Black Friday has evolved into a holiday in its own right and that Thanksgiving is rapidly turning into "Black Friday Eve." 

We Urglaawer - and all of our fellow Heathens - have the power not to allow ourselves to miss the treasures of life that occur in the Dunkelheft (Dark Half of the year) by getting caught up in the mayhem that Madison Avenue purposely creates in November and December. 

Hail to the Dunkelheft, and Hail to our brother, Dan!

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

Embracing the Dark Half of the Year

It is brought home to me this time of year a feeling and state of mind that only comes with the darkening of our world upon the entering of the dark-half of the year.  As Germanic lore passed down to us through Braucherei relates, Holle relinquishes her hold on the Year-Wheel and turns it over to Wodan and upon the doorstep of Allelieweziel/Halloween we recognize the Death of the Spiritual Year and the birth  of a certain darkness….of both the physical world and the spiritual world. 

As the days rapidly shorten and the weather grows colder, people retreat to the comfort of their homes  just as all of our ancestors did.  It is during this time of year that I find myself both gifted and vexed by a deep chance of thought, a shift in the way that I look at the world and myself.  The more I come to learn about how our ancestors dealt with this time of year the more that I come to better embrace and welcome this change in spirit and in mood and outlook.  

As was a custom for Germanic and perhaps many other Indo-European groups throughout history; the coming of Allelieweziel meant the culling of livestock herds; die Schlachtzeit or slaughter time.  In preparation for the lean times ahead those animals that were not required for milking, shearing or breeding next spring were slaughtered and most of their meat salted or smoked for storage.   On a personal level we are reminded too to sacrifice and get rid of that we don’t need for the winter ahead; mental and spiritual  burdens that we have collected and built up through the year before.  With the death of the Spiritual Year comes a chance for the  purging of our hearts and lives of that which is unnecessary to hold us over until the next year. We now have a chance to relinquish those distractions and troubles that demand our attention and energy.  

As the fields relinquished their last harvests and folks spent more times indoors the pace of life changed.  Though chores were always plentiful no matter what time of year the shortening days meant less time for that which had to be done outdoors, travel became increasingly difficult with the cold and the focus of mind, heart and hands turned inwards to hearth and home. 

Around the life-sustaining glow of the hearth, fire or woodstove the rhythm of life carried forward at a slower, softer pace. Clothes were sewn and patched, shoes oiled and mended, crafts and objects knitted and carved. Songs were written or sung, stories told and gossip traded.  With the growth of literacy in the last 500 years of Western Culture, journals were filled with thoughts and insights that had no time for the busier months of the year.  The usual business and work that were at the forefront of existence during the warm months slowed down and the focus of life turned in on itself.  While, no doubt the ring of the anvil resounded with usual vigor and the carpenter’s hatchet worked just as much and the overall trades carried on throughout the day there was much more down time.  

Today for most at least I see that this time of year means far more for so many other people.  The warm glow of the hearth and candle light has been replaced by the cold, sterile glow of the television and computer screens filling minds with an endless assault of commercials touting the merits of materialism and greed.    The traditional  anticipation of the warmth and Celebration of Christmas and Yule has become supplanted by an atmosphere of anxiety over the “Holiday Season”.  Rather than staying home and preparing a few meaningful gifts for loved ones they rush to giant box stores and gripe over traffic and credit-card debt in hopes to maintain that ever important material status-quo.  

Combining this artificial stress of the so-called “Holiday Season” with the very natural stress of reduced sunlight and hormone change resulting from the shortened days and one can put together an accurate picture of what this time of year means to so many people.  It is unfortunate that more do not appreciate this time for the spiritual gifts it brings.  

Our ability to be introspective and perhaps a little more detached and secure from  the outside world are gifts  that are free to be cultivated from our own hearts if we so choose and cost us nothing but a little effort.   While the earth gives little to harvest, our minds and hearts have much to offer if only we let ourselves look inside.  

Today’s world, or at least the social landscape is one that is always trying to draw our thoughts and focus outwards to all that is constantly happening throughout the world. News once spread by word of mouth and later by printed paper has now multiplied into several forms of fast-paced, constantly available media that uses sensationalism and urgency to catch our attention.  As perhaps as blasphemous as it sounds, there are very real drawbacks to this glut of information we so freely enjoy.  One’s mind space is increasingly crowded by information, so much of it not at all relevant to one’s immediate existence or well-being.  This information competes for space against rational, spiritual sobriety that is sovereign to every one of us as living beings.  The more we allow our mindspace to be filled with the sensationalism of advertising and media, the less we allow ourselves to contemplate our own existence and the depth of our hearts and minds.  

This time of year the cold evenings  and the early sunsets remind me that time has come to turn at least one ear away from the noise of the world and listen to that which is in our spirit; of all we were, all we are and all we one day become.  As our ancestors simply had more time to contemplate life, know silence and introspection as the days waned and the nights waxed so do we need to take the time to do so.  This time of year we should mend our minds from the turbulence that is modern world outside.   

So with the cold of winter that is knocking on nature’s door, comes not a time of remorse for the light that is lost, but a sense of quiet celebration for what should be a quieting of the world and a quieting of one’s spirit and hearts and the insight and wisdom we may discover in our hearts.  The time has come to embrace the darkness of the world and the darkness and mystery of our own selves.  

- Daniel R. Riegel
December 13, 2010

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Plan Your Yuletide Meals Now!


While no meal rules cross all denominations of Heathenry or even all kindreds or individuals within a given denomination, this describes Distelfink's Yuletide meal practices.

In Urglaawe, "days" begin at sundown on the preceding night. Thus, Yule actually begins at sundown on Friday, December 20 and ends at sundown on Wednesday, January 1.

Friday, December 20: The meal Urglaawer eat at this time consists of goose, which is sacred to the goddess Holle. In Urglaawe, She is among the principle deities, and this meal is religiously important due to Yule's association with Her.  Because Yule is twelve days long, though, this particular meal can be done at anytime throughout the Yuletide. 

Tuesday, December 31: Zwelfdi Nacht, or Twelfth Night, starts at sundown. This is the Berchtaslaaf, or the Progression of Berchta. Berchta has a commanded meal on December 31 that consists of any sort of fish (herring is most typical) and gruel, dumplings, or oatmeal (Grimm's Teutonic Mythology vol. 1 p. 273). One may consume other food in addition to the Berchta's ordered feast, if they give portions of their food up as offerings.

Wednesday, January 1:  New Year's Day is also Zwelfder Daag, or Twelfth Day, and is the Feast of Frey. Pennsylvania German tradition and Urglaawe rule is the consumption of pork and sauerkraut on that day. Both pork and sauerkraut are sacred to the god Frey and represent blessings and bounty in the New Year. 

Macht's immer besser!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Hollerbeer Haven 19 - Summer 2013

The .PDF version of Hollerbeer Haven 19 - Summer 2013 is now available on Urglaawe.com.

This issue includes a recap of Philadelphia Pagan Pride Day and a discussion of the Urglaawe Harvest festivals of Midsummer, Hoietfescht, and Erntfescht.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Zisasege


September 28 is the observance of the feast day to the goddess Zisa.

Zisa is seen as the founder and protector of the city of Augsburg in modern Bavaria. Augsburg was known earlier as Zizarim. Fraa Zisa was reported under various names (including Isis due to language confusion, apparently). She was particularly associated with the Suevi, who are the predecessors of the Swabians. The Suevi also mixed with the Alemanni and other tribes. There are quite a few locations in southern Germany and Switzerland named for Her. The tribes who knew Her were large contributors to the Pennsylvania German nation.

In the first century BCE, the Romans under Titus Annius laid siege to Zizarim just before Her feast day. Unfortunately for the Romans, many Swabian warriors were coming to Zizarim for the festival, and on Her day they attacked the Romans and throttled them.

Granted, the Romans years later did take the city, but the battle for Zizarim was a famous loss for Rome.

Zisa in the Christian era was depicted as the Virgin Mary with the extra appellation of "Undoer-of-Knots," which is drawn from the lore of the Heathen past. Images of Her from later centuries indicate that she has the ability to undo Urleeg if one's cause is just. Images of Her in this role have been restored in Augsburg's city hall.

She was so widely revered among the Suevi that their dialects called Tuesday "Zistag" not after Ziu but after Her. The Diocese of Augsburg banned the name Zistag and called it "Aftermontag" (After-Monday).

There are quite a few places that bear Her name as the root of their modern names. The church of St. Peter am Perlach stands on the grounds of Her temple at Zisenberg in Augsburg.

Her symbol is the pine cone and appears in Augsburg even in some churches. As the pine cone protects the seeds, so does she protect Her people. The pine cone symbolizes protection, regeneration, and continuity. Even though Augsburg was eventually conquered by the Romans, the Volk's relationship to Zisa continued, in symbolic form if not conscious form, into the present day.

In Urglaawe, Zisa is the consort to Ziu (Tyr) and is known to remove obstacles and undo knots for just causes. She is honored on Zisadaag (28. Scheiding/September).

Hail Zisa!

--------------
Sources:

Grimm, Jacob, James Stallybrass, Teutonic Mythology, volume I, pp. 291-299. New York: Dover Publications, 1966.

Pennick, Nigel. "The Goddess Zisa." Tyr: Myth - Culture -Tradition, Volume 1, pp. 107-110. Atlanta: Ultra, 2002.

Schreiwer, Robert L. and Ammerili Eckhart. A Dictionary of Urglaawe Terminology, pp. 72-74. Lulu.com, 2012. ISBN: 978-1-105-51712-9.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

In-Reach a Designated Beneficiary of Philadelphia Pagan Pride Day

The In-Reach Heathen Prison Services program is a joint effort by The Troth and Distelfink Sippschaft to provide books and materials with positive Heathen messages to incarcerated Heathens. Distelfink is currently in communication with inmates and administrators in five correctional facilities in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Distelfink visitation takes place in three facilities in New Jersey.

The Troth's inmate and administrator contact has expanded quickly to fifteen states with volunteers conducting visitation in seven states. Recently, the Western Canadian Steward, John T. Mainer, has opened contact with interested parties to expand prison visitation in Canada, thus making In-Reach an international effort.

The In-Reach program is in need of books and materials to send to administrators and chaplains and to place in facility libraries. As such, In-Reach is excited and proud to be a beneficiary of Philadelphia Pagan Pride Day. Heathen materials will go to facilities with which In-Reach is in contact. Donated Pagan materials will be turned over to allied Pagan networks for distribution to facilities in which they work.

A list of needed and requested donations is provided in a link in the press release below.

Folks who are in the Philadelphia area are encouraged to join us on August 31!

Macht's immer besser!

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

FOR RELEASE August 11, 2013 
Media Contact: Robert L. Schreiwer, 
philadelphiapaganpride@gmail.com 

Philadelphia Pagan Pride, Inc., is pleased to announce the return of Philadelphia Pagan Pride Day on Saturday, August 31, 2013, at Clark Park (4301 Chester Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19143). The event runs from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, rain or shine. 

Philadelphia Pagan Pride Day is a family-friendly celebration of the harvest and reflects a variety of Pagan, Heathen, Wiccan, and other religious beliefs and practices. The day's events will feature a variety of workshops and discussions on religious and cultural aspects from the various traditions.

We have an exciting array of vendors and performers who will exhibit their wares and their talents. We are accepting additional vendors, workshop leaders, performers, and children's activity ideas up until August 15, 2013. Please visit www.philadelphiapaganpride.org to participate! 

Entry to the event is free, but we do request the donation of a canned food item or other provisions for our beneficiaries. This year, our beneficiaries are the food bank at the Mazzoni Center, Forgotten Cats, and In-Reach Heathen Prison Services. 

In 2012, Mazzoni Center's food bank Mazzoni Center's Food Bank provided more than 11,000 bags of groceries for over 1,200 individuals and families. For more information on Mazzoni Center services, please see mazzonicenter.org/content/food-bank.

Forgotten Cats is a humane trap, neuter, and release organization. the organization also provides adoption services. For more information on Forgotten Cats, please see www.forgottencats.org

In-Reach Heathen Prison Services is a joint effort of The Troth and Distelfink Sippschaft to bring positive materials and messages to incarcerated Heathens. In-Reach also accepts donations of other Pagan materials and distributes them through alliances and partnerships with other Pagan organizations. For more information on In-Reach, please see thetroth.blogspot.com/p/in-reach-program.html.

A detailed list of needed donation items may be found at:

Anyone interested in getting involved as a volunteer should contact us by e-mail at:

For more information, please visit www.philadelphiapaganpride.org.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Der Froschmuun


Heit fangt der Froschmuun uff em Deitsche Muunraad aa. Darrich Urglaawischi Rechenschaft iss der Froschmuun der fimft Neimuun nooch die Oschdre. Fer Leit, die newe me Wasserloch adder re Dell wuhne, watt de Fresch ihre Schtimm glaar aa de schwuhle Summerowed gharicht.

Die, wu unnich em Froschzeeche gebore sinn, schpiggle ihre bezeechendes Gedier, laafend wie en gleeni, ruhichi Form aa, un wandlend, wie en Uffgwaxni, in en wohlbekannti (vielleicht aa iwwerheiflendi) Schtimm. 

Es gebt deel aabassungfehiche Zeeche am Muunraad, un der Frosch schteht zwische denne. Ebwohl en Frosch uff em Land lewe kann, braucht er schtarrick Wasser, um iwwerzulewe un sich zu vermehre. Die Erkenning vun unsere Nutz -- un Schutz -- vun de Wassermittel iss zum Volkbewusschtsei en wichticher Bschtanddeel in daere Yaahrzeit.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Die Aadacht zu der Waahra

Waahra (Norse: Vár) is the goddess who hears and records oaths, including oaths of marriage. Although the awareness of this goddess entered the Urglaawe awareness only in the past few years, we honor Her anytime that we engage in oath-taking, oath-amending, and oath-terminating (whether completed or broken (which has not happened yet, thankfully)). 

Anderson Hochzichaldaar
This devotional was inspired by Galina Krasskova's "Devotional to Vár," which may be found in her "Exploring the Northern Tradition." It was presented to Waahra as part of the wedding of Edward and Ren Anderson (hence their names in the text) on July 28, 2013.


Die Aadacht zu der Waahra

Ich heil Dich, Waahra!
Verwesern vum alles, wu kluuch un gerecht iss.
Du schtellscht unsere Seele an die Schpuhr
 vun der Waahrheit un der Rechtschaffeheit.
Mir wilkumme Dich wie en glensendi Fiehrerin.

Harich mol heit de Ren un Eddie ihre Eed.
Meege ihre Wadde Dich verehre.
Meege unsere Aagschtalt Dei Naame belowe.
Meege mir immer in der Waahrheit  laafe --
verbunne eenzich darrich ihre bschwores Ehrewatt.

Es watt wohluffe Zeite,
Doch aa watt's schweri Zeite.
Fiehr sie darrich die Farricht.
Meege sie immer Schutz un Fiehrung
unnich dei Schtaab finne.

Erleicht ihre Wadde,
hauch Lewe in die Vorsetz,
die sie daer Daag auslege.
Meege sie allzeit ken Ursach hawwe,
fer vor Dir in der Schaam zu schteh.
Schtatts meege sie immer zu Dir un zu sich
eensichscht brechter Ruhm bringe.

Translation of the Deitsch:

Devotional to Var

I hail You, Var,
Guardian of all that is wise and just.
You set our souls gently yet firmly
on the path of truth and integrity.
We welcome you as a shining guide.

Hear today the oaths of Ren and Eddie
May their words honor You.
May their actions praise Your name.
May they always walk in truth,
bound only by their sworn word.

There will be times of joy
And there will be times of difficulty.
Guide them through the fear.
May they always find shelter and guidance
beneath Your staff.

Illuminate their words,
breathe life into the vows
they make this day.
May they never have cause
to stand before You in shame;
instead, may they always bring to You
and to themselves bright fame.

-----------------
Inspired by Galina Krasskova's devotional to Var:
Exploring the Northern Tradition, p. 74. Franklin Lakes, NJ: New Page Books, 2005.

Friday, July 19, 2013

What Distinguishes Urglaawe...

... from other Heathen paths?  

There are quite a few things, some of which will exceed the scope of this high-level view. It is important to note, though, that no one can be sure that any one Heathen tradition has all of the answers. The mystery of life if one of the great gifts of existence, and having "all" of the answers would render that gift meaningless. 

Therefore, adherents to other Heathen paths are urged not to look at our viewpoint as a statement that their understanding is "wrong." This is merely a presentation of several (but not all) features of Urglaawe that originate in our cultural mindset.

Creation and Wurt

While we are compelled by the scarcity of Continental Germanic lore to embrace the Eddaic creation myths, there are some indicators that turn up in Grimm's analysis of syncretic-era and post-conversion writings that support certain features that turn up in Braucherei in the understanding of the initial creation process.

The primary difference is the perceived role of the universe in creating itself and in the creation of man. Scandinavian lore cites that the primal fire and the primal ice were already in existence from the beginning in the Ginnungagap (die Urlick), and the sparks from the primal fire began to thaw the primal ice.

The presence of the sparking fire and the blowing of the melting icy rime indicate motion, but how did the motion come to be? There is no definitive answer, but Urglaawe theory holds that Wurt (Wyrd) is the overarching force to which all of existence must submit. Whether Wurt is conscious or unconscious, it functions as a Creative Life Force and a Maker.

There is evidence from the Scandinavian lore and from the Deitsch lore of goddesses or other entities having a greater understanding of the function of Wurt than humans currently have. The Wurthexe (Norns), Frigg, and Holle all have an ability to manage (but not to surmount) Wurt or have a role in carrying out the goals of Wurt to move existence along from the past into the present while also arranging the likely future.

The understanding of the Teutonic creation myth will almost certainly evolve as more information is discovered, more dots connected, and more research is conducted.

Order and Creation of Humans and the Zusaagpflicht

According to Norse sources, the creation myth has the Giants and the Gods became manifest via heat thawing ice and the licking of a primal cow, named Auðumbla, while the Gods created the Dwarves and Humans. The Giants were the first product of the Cosmos; the Gods were second; Humans third; and Dwarves last.

The Giants were an imperfect creation that expended a huge amount of physical or energetic substance with a low capacity of consciousness. The Gods, on the other hand, were created with a perfect balance between capacity of consciousness and energetic/physical substance.

Humans were created by the Gods from two trees, Ask and Embla. Dwarves were created by the Gods from maggots from the flesh of the slain first Giant, Ymir. The Dwarves represented the opposite of the Giants: less physical/energetic substance with a higher capacity of consciousness.

In the Urglaawe view, the order of creation is slightly different, but it is important in our relationship with the Gods. The German Heldenbuch states that the Dwarves were created first, then the Giants, and then Humans (See Grimm's Teutonic Mythology, p. 563). Ultimately, Humans contain a balance among physical substance, energetic substance, and capacity of consciousness that parallel that of the Gods but at our evolutionary level. This is one reason that the Gods take an interest in the evolution of Humanity; we are Their creations and we have the capacity to evolve to their level. We are also the most likely of Their allies to take an active role in the struggle against chaos, which we will see below.

There are elements in Deitsch lore that indicate a different understanding of the creation of Humans. While the Gods created Humans from existing material, different parts of humans were taken from different materials (rather than just from trees), and not all parts were organic. Grimm (564-574) presents a plausible premise for the Deitsch lore in syncretic texts that may appear to be Christian in content while still containing Heathen concepts.

In all the samples Grimm cites, there is a doctrine of eight natural parts used for the creation of Humans. The most interesting of the citations is a poem from the 12th century on the four Gospels (see  Grimm 566), where the eight parts used are as paraphrased below. Although seemingly Christian, there are echoes of Heathen perspectives:

From loam is created flesh.
From dew is created sweat.
From stone is created bone.
From worts (herbs) are created veins.
From grass is created hair.
From the sea is created blood.
From the clouds are created mood and mind.
From the sun are created the eyes.

There is a ninth element that includes the breath of life, attributed, in this case, to the Judeo-Christian Jehovah, but, borrowing from Norse lore, this would be the soul and the spark of divinity, given to us by Wudan through His breath.

The salient line in this poem from the Deitsch perspective is the use of worts for the veins. There is an old tradition that plants and humans share a common bond that gives both plants and humans a stake in each other's survival. While the Urglaawe concept of the Zusaagpflicht (The Sacred Duty) lists nurturing of plants as part of our duty to existence, the inclusion of herbs in the process of creating humanity is remarkable. Although the primal cow, Auðumbla, is very likely a metaphor for the Milky Way, the concept of her as a cow ties the fate of humanity and plants to that of animals, too, thus explaining the presence of the three parties in the Zusaagpflicht.

The Zusaagpflicht is an element of Urglaawe not seen in any other Heathen path.

Tuisco vs. Ymir; Ziu

Over the years, I have seen quite a few references to the Tuisco mentioned by Tacitus in Germania being the same as the Norse Ymir. I have also seen theories about that Tuisco is the same as Ziu.

The relationship between Ymir and Tuisco is partially based on theories that "Tuisco" means "double" and be hermaphroditic, as Ymir was. It has come to my attention recently that research has been conducted in Germany, most likely including research from older theories, that indicates that His name means "son of Ziu."

If He is the son of Ziu, then He would be counted among the Ase. Urglaawe belief, unless countered by the new results of research, has held that He is more likely of the Wane, particularly since He is described in Germania as being an "earth-sprung god." One argument for Him being of the Wane is that His son, Mannus, begat the Ingvaeones, Istvaeones, and Irminones. "Ingvaeones" translates to "people of Yngvi" or the people of "Ing," and Ing is another name for the Wane god Frey.

Whether Tuisto/Tuisco/Tiusco is of the Wane or the Ase is, thus, unclear, but the connection with Ymir seems even more unlikely. To begin with, Ymir was slain by the other deities, which would render the celebration of him as a living god rather meaningless. Additionally, Ymir is generally presented in an unfavorable light, while Tuisco is apparently honored.

The role of Tuisco and Ziu are evolving in the Urglaawe philosophy. There is little doubt that Ziu's historic role among the Teutonic peoples was central and far greater than is known today. This is one aspect of our understanding of deity that is likely to change as more research and information emerge.

The Nine Worlds

The Nine Worlds, as presented in Norse lore, are as follows:

Asgard - home of the Aesir
Vanaheim - home of the Vanir
Alfheim - home of the Light Elves
Svartalfheim - home of the Dark Elves (some say Dwarves)
Jotunheim - home of the Frost Giants
Midgard - the realm of humanity; the physical world
Helheim - realm of the dead
Niflheim - world of primal ice
Muspelheim - world of primal fire and home of Surt and the Fire Giants

The Nine Regions cosmology of the Deitsch Lewesbaam (Tree of Life) differs somewhat:

Hohegegend: the realm of Divinity, including both the Ase and the Wane
Himmelgegend: the realm of spiritually advanced ancestors
Hatzholz: realm of the physical plane
Unnergegend: realm of earth-based spirits, evolving ancestors, and those waiting to be born or reborn
Dunkelgegend: realm of destruction and transformation
Naddbledder: place of ice
Suddbledder: place of fire
Oschtbledder: place of magic
Weschtbledder: place of spiritual journeys

This cosmology is presented through Braucherei oral lore and was reported by Braucherin Lauren Sicher in Hollerbeer Haven. There are other cosmologies, but this is the most complete and intact in our oral lore.

The Forces of Chaos and the Purpose of Life

The Giants, especially the Fire Giants and the Sons of Surt, are seen as the primary destructive opponents in Norse lore, and they will eventually be successful in their efforts to undo the order of the Cosmos (hence supporting Wurt as an overarching force).

This physical threat is certainly accepted in Urglaawe, but we face daily challenges from forces of chaos in our spiritual and evolutionary life, too. Among the most commonly confronted forces of chaos are Ignorance, Apathy, Rootlessness, and Unenlightened Self-Interest. From the Urglaawe perspective, it is these forces that concern Holle, Wudan, and the other deities most when considering human advancement.

The deities, as the creators of the orderly universe, are the pinnacle of creation. However, even they are evolving, as we see, for example, in Odin sacrificing His eye for the knowledge of the Well of Wyrd. Humans are also on a continuous path of evolution, and, hearkening back to the balance of our physical/energetic "footprint" and our capacity for advanced consciousness, the deities have a vested interest in us.

In Urglaawe philosophy, the Gods and Goddesses wish for us to be, at the end of this Cosmic Day, where They were at the beginning of it. The advancement of our understanding of the Cosmos and of ourselves matters. This is humanity's role in the Cosmic order: to continue existence through the next Cosmic Night and to aid those who come after us the same as the deities aided us.

The problem is that humanity is backsliding. When the majority of humans surrendered their freedom of consciousness and abandoned their responsibility for their own evolution to priest classes of religions that demand blind loyalty, the evolution slowed. Add to it that some of these religions actively discourage, forbid, or delude adherents from pursuing an advanced consciousness or from even questioning the tenets of their faith, and we have the bulk of humanity serving the forces of chaos.

This is not how it is supposed to be, and it is our responsibility to live our lives with a goal towards enlightening ourselves. We are to put our minds and our spirits to use for the improvement of the world (and all of existence) around us for ourselves, our communities, and our descendants. Discussions of how to set ourselves and our communities on a right path will be  included in future articles.

The Wild Hunt

Die Wild Yacht (the Wild Hunt) has some definite differences in understanding between the Norse lore and the Urglaawe perspective. In Urglaawe, the Wild Hunt begins at Allelieweziel (31. Gehling or October 31), which is a time of year when the veil among the worlds is at its thinnest. Deitsch oral lore describes this as being the time when Holle departs from the Hatzholz (Midgard, Mannheem, or the physical word) to lead the parade of souls through the sky.

While Wudan (Odin) does indeed accompany Her on the journey, Holle has a more distinct purpose for leading the hunt and for being followed by so many souls. The purpose of the Wild Hunt is to find the souls of the recently departed or to capture souls that have been lost or stuck. Holle bring these souls, who follow Her throughout the Dunkelheeft (the Dark Half of the year), back into the Lewesraad (Cycle of Life) so that they may continue to progress their advancement along with the rest of humanity. It is for this reason that Holle maintains an association with spirals and cycles in the Deitsch culture.

Wudan, for His part, is undertaking cosmically important endeavors at this time, too. He spends an inordinate amount of time among His people, checking the progress of the advancement of individuals and rewarding those whom He sees as deserving. It is in this context that He appears as Belsnickel (the aspects of the Seeker or the Riddler) and Santa Claus (the aspects of the Wish-Granter or the Rewarder).

Wild Hunt traditions are very much alive, even if disconnected from their original roots: tricks-or-treats at Halloween; King Frost festivals in November; the old Deitsch tradition of Belsnickeling; Mummenschanz at the New Year; Groundhog Day and the Uffdrede or Entschtanning (Fasching); the roots of some April Fools traditions; and certainly the Krampuslauf and Walpurgisnacht. All the costumed figures represent participants in the Wild Hunt. These parades all cease at the onset of the Wonnetzeit, when Holle returns to the physical plane and the Wild Hunt ends.

Lewesraad

The vast majority of Urglaawer believe in the rebirth of a part (or multiple parts) of the soul construct. This makes Urglaawe a "reincarnation" faith, but not in the way that many Eastern religions view it.

We discussed the Urglaawe view of this aspect of existence last month in the article on Holle's Mill, so there is no need to reinvent the wheel here. However, the distinction of part of the soul being reborn in order to attain higher consciousness versus going to the hall of a deity, as is often cited in Norse lore, is a distinguishing feature of Urglaawe.

It should be mentioned that Norse lore is not completely lacking the concept of partial soul rebirth, either, but it is not the dominant belief in Asatru that it is in Urglaawe.

"We Are Our Deeds"

This is an oft-cited Heathen slogan, and it is certainly not false. However, from the Urglaawe perspective, it is not that simple. Our deeds are woven along with our thoughts and words -- and our inactions -- to form who we are.

In a sense, it is plausible to say that a thought or a word is a form of deed. However, in the conventional sense, semantics imply that the thought is an internal event, a word is an utterance or expression of the thought, and the deed is the physical execution of the thought.

Intention and words are at the very core of healing and magical practices such as Braucherei and Hexerei. There is little dispute among Heathens that runic thoughts and utterances (galdr, Zauber, Bann) have impact on the world around us, yet they are conspicuously absent from the "we are our deeds" slogan.

Additionally, paying no heed to the thoughts and the words behind a deed can lead to a misconception about the nature of the deed. Suppose, for example, that a person performs a deed that seems, on the surface, as a well executed effort. However, according to Braucherei concepts, if the thought behind the deed was not consistent with the deed's projected outcome, then the deed is stained or corrupted. To put it another way (inexact but presented to make the point clearer):

Doing the right thing for the wrong reason results in the corruption of deed. Conversely, doing the wrong thing for the right reason also results in the corruption of deed.

The thought matters.

Similarly, the wrong word for the right thought and the right word for the wrong thought also result in corruption.

The word matters.

Our inactions also form ourselves and the world around us. Frequently, the choice not to act upon something is the result of a thought, but there are times when a stimulus is not sensed, so no response is elicited. Sometimes, doing nothing is the best response to a situation. Expending energy (Megge, megin, main) on thoughts, words, and actions towards some situations or people, particularly sappers, merely empowers them and their causes. Even a good deed in those circumstances may be detrimental to one's overall health or to the Fruchsfriede (frith) of a community.

Deeds matter, but whether to act or not to act also matters.

So...

These are just a few of the distinguishing features of Urglaawe. There are many more, particularly due to the agricultural nature (versus warrior nature) of our folk culture. There will, almost assuredly, be additional articles of this sort in the future.

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Please note: This article will be included in an upcoming edition of Hollerbeer Haven.
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Works Cited:


Grimm, Jacob, James Stallybrass, trans. Teutonic Mythology (4 vols). New York: Dover Publications, 1966.


Schreiwer, Robert L. and Ammerili Eckhart. A Dictionary of Urglaawe Terminology. Lulu.com, 2012.

Sicher, Lauren. "The Tree of Life: Der Lewwebaam." Hollerbeier Haven vol. 2 no. 2, pp. 6, 16. Kempton, PA: The Three Sisters Center for the Healing Arts, Fall 2018.

Tacitus, Pubilius Cornelius, Herbert W. Benario, trans. "Germany." Agricola, Germany, and Dialogue on Orators, pp. 63-88. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 2006.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Holle's Mill

This post is spurred on by an article in Denali Institute of Northern Traditions' May 2013 issue of True North. The article, The Magical Mill, referred to the presence and role of mills in various European mythologies, including Norse and Finnish.

As is the case with so many European folk religions and traditions, Urglaawe retains lore and knowledge of a major mill from Braucherei oral tradition. “Die Miehl” is by the hall of Holle, and it is in this mill that Holle takes the souls of the departed for processing between lives. 

The mill is said to separate the different pieces of the soul in order to release the returning components. In Urglaawe understanding, the portions of the soul that are released are the Urleeg (Ørlög) and the eternal Hoch (Higher Self; the divine spark). The Glick (Luck/Hamingja) is sometimes also passed from construct to construct. Additionally, the Folyer (Fetch/Fylgia), which, in Urglaawe, is seen as an independent entity that attaches itself to a new soul constructs, is freed to find another symbiotic host. The Urleeg, Glick, and Hoch may remain together or be separated into new soul constructs.  

The purpose for the milling is, in Urglaawe belief, to prepare the Hoch quickly for a continuing upward spiral of advancing consciousness. In the deities’ effort to thwart the forces of chaos (which in Urglaawe feature ignorance, apathy, rootlessness, and unenlightened self-interest along with the physical threats described in the story of Ragnarök), the advancement of human consciousness is one of their biggest investments. 

With each lifetime and variation in the interaction of the soul components, the Hoch is to increase its ability to understand existence and to assert its will into improving the existence. In short, the deities want us to be, at the end of this cosmic cycle, where they were at the beginning of it. It is, therefore, in the deities’ interests to keep the Lewesraad (the cycle of life, death, decay, and rebirth) moving along expeditiously.  

In fact, the Urglaawe view of the Wild Hunt pertains directly to this battle with chaos. In our oral lore, it is Holle who leads the Wild Hunt (though Wudan and She are often together, too). Her purpose is to find any souls that have fallen out of the Lewesraad cycle and to bring them back into it. She is followed through the skies by the souls that She has found or that have sought Her out. It is for this reason that the Deitsch culture associates Allelieweziel (Halloween) with the departure of Holle from this plane.  

In Braucherei, there are intervals in the spiritual year that the veil between the physical and spiritual planes (or among the worlds of the multiverse). Allelieweziel and Grundsaudaag (Groundhog Day), in particular, are times at which many Braucherei practitioners engage in soul work to direct lost or distressed souls towards the Miehl. It is also noteworthy that the same processes and cycles pertain to animal and plant spirit constructs, though they differ from those of humans.  

Holle’s Miehl plays a central, critical role in the purpose of human existence, purpose, and advancement. Many of us believe humanity is currently backsliding due to the dereliction of responsibility for one’s own advancement (another article unto itself), and it up to us to aid our deities’ efforts by striving to live our lives more deliberately, being conscious of the impact of our thoughts, words, and actions.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Dingsege and Vorsetz (New Year's Resolutions)

The Wonnetzeit (Time of Joy, May 1-June 21) is flying by. Even with the odd weather patterns, the gardens of the Deitscherei are overwhelmingly green, and many plants began to bloom early. We're finding ourselves harvesting some herbs a whole month earlier than usual. 

In the course of our daily lives, we must pause and remember any Vorsetz (New Year's Resolutions; singular is Vorsatz) that we made back in January. Throughout the course of the year, we have checkpoints that help us to keep our Vorsetz obligations. The Wonnetzeit is the time in which all resolutions should be in place and functioning.

Not all Vorsetz are created as equals. Some are simple and easily achieved. Others are a constant battle against one's life experiences. It is for this reason that Distelfink Sippschaft encourages people to undertake only one or two Vorsetz at New Year's Day and to make the Vorsetz small. 

For example, if, on January 1, 2013, you had not already been going to the gym at least four times per week for at least six months, it would be silly to make a Vorsatz that states that you will go to the gym every day for the entire year.  You would be highly likely to falter. A more reasonable oath would be that you will go to the gym three days per week for two months. That oath you may be able to plod through, even if you discover you are struggling with it.

Remember, it is better to succeed with a small oath than to fail with any oath. It is also better to request an amendment or adjustment to an oath than to let it fail. Keep in mind, though, that not all oaths can or will be amended or adjusted.

If you made a Vorsatz before the deities or the community and are not properly progressing, the time to adjust it is now. Distelfink's Dingsege (Thing Ceremony) is coming up on June 22, and one of the considerations we will be undertaking is any oath that a member has that is causing that person a problem in fulfilling. 

If the oath was to the community, we will hear the issue at hand and decide whether to allow for change or find ways to help make the oath successful. If it was taken to the deities, we will help the oath-taker to decide whether/how to proceed in petitioning and making appropriate offerings. 

Dingsege is the ceremony to Ziu (Tyr), and one way to honor Him is to take our oaths seriously. If you have an outstanding Vorsatz that is not progressing, please check yourself on it now. Find ways to make it work or let your community know that you are struggling. Oaths are a serious business.

If you have already completed your Vorsatz, you may always make another reasonable oath for making  personal progress. Hail to you in your success!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Oklahoma Tornado Relief Efforts


Expanded info on Oklahoma tornado relief efforts. Thanks to Destiny Ballard of Bifrost Way for this information.

http://thetroth.blogspot.com/2013/05/oklahoma-tornado-relief-efforts.html

Tornado Relief for Oklahoma

Hail!

Our fellow Heathens in Oklahoma have passed on information regarding Heathen efforts for tornado relief. This group is Bifrost Bridge, which is a kindred based in Enid, OK.

Whether one donates via this group or through other organizations, such as the Red Cross, it is important that Heathens jump in and help to the best of their ability.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Riebzaahl, Riewezaahl

Now here's an interesting, and confusing, shred of lore that stumbled upon me recently. I was at a memorial service for an extended family member. Some of the folks who were in attendance were elderly Deitsche with whom I had not personally been acquainted.

Somehow the topic of the Frost Giants' Wonnetzeit attack came up, and one of the elderly women asked me if I knew much of Riebzaahl ("turnip count") or Riewezaahl ("turnips count"). I had not heard of this being prior to this conversation, and she told me she remembered from her youth her mother talking about Riebzaahl. She said that her mother described Riebzaahl 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."

So, stepping back from the Deitsch names, I found the German-language Rübezahl in Silesian legends (which makes sense as there is a strong historical Silesian presence among the Deitsch in the particular area I was in). 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.

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.

That being said, I am sure many Germans, Czechs, and Poles may have more familiarity with the tales of this being. I am interested to find out how widespread this knowledge is in the Deitsch and other cultures. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Twelve Nights of the Wonnedanz


Every now and again, I come across short references that help to fill in some gaps in the understanding of our traditional practices.

One such gap is the time between Walpurgisnacht and the arrival of the Reifries (Frost Giants) thirteen days later. I think we finally have an answer.

On our current calendar, Walpurgisnacht falls on the night of April 30. However, since Urglaawe days begin at sundown, that night is actually 1. Wonnet (May 1) on the Urglaawe calendar. Deitsch tradition is that the Witches' Dances (Urglaawe: "die Wonnedanz," which translates to the "the dances of joy") take place at a variety of locations across the Deitscherei. Primary among these sites is Hexenkopf, which is located in Williams Township in Northampton County, but there are other sites as well.

In Germany, similar traditions relate to the Brocken, also known as Blocksberg, in the Harz Mountains. While I cannot speak to the exact meaning of the traditions at the Brocken, the impetus for the celebration in Deitsch culture is the return of Holle to the Hatzholz (also known as Mannheim, Midgard, or the physical realm). Hexenkopf is said to be Her home in this land. Her return brings order to the land and begins the growing season.

Tradition also holds that the Frost Giants become aware of Holle's return and attempt to destroy the order by freezing the land. Different Braucherei guilds have variations of this story, but the most cohesive version states that the first Frost Giant, Dreizehdax, arrives on the night of May 12 into May 13, which is actually 13. Wonnet on the Urglaawe calendar. Dreizehdax's efforts are thwarted by Dunner, and the Frost Giant is forced to retreat.

On the next night (May 13 into May 14), another Frost Giant, Vatzehvedder, makes his attempt. On that night, Dunner provides instruction to all of the Butzemenner (activated scarecrows) across the countryside in how to stop the Frost Giant. Vatzehvedder is also forced to retreat. On the third night (May 14 into May 15), Fuffzehfux makes his attempt and is beaten back by the combined efforts of the Butzemenner. After the pass of Fuffzehfux, it is considered safe to plant all crops outdoors.

I have often wondered about a few things regarding the variations of this story. For starters, there are so many locations where Witches' Dances and Wonnedanz were said to take place. Also, I wondered about the gap between the celebration of 1. Wonnet and the battle with Dreizehdax on 13. Wonnet.

Both situations can be explained by a small reference on p. 1619 of Volume IV of Grimm's Teutonic Mythology: "The Witches' Excursion takes place on the first night in May"... "They ride up Blocksberg on the first of May, and in 12 days must dance the snow away; then Spring begins."

This implies that the Wonnedanz is a multiple night occasion, perhaps symbolically beginning in the lowlands and working its way up the hills into the mountains. In our case, it would begin in places like Hexefeld near Riemeschteddel in the lowlands, up through Hexebaerrick in Berks County, and ending at Hexenkopf.

Although many Urglaawer have already been observing the Wonnedanz for several days after Walpurgisnacht, the reference in Teutonic Mythology provides some insight as to the likely cause of the delay between the restoration of order to the land and the Frost Giants' efforts to undo Holle's work. Henceforth, Distelfink Sippschaft will recognize the Wonnedanz will be a twelve-night celebration in a manner similar to the Yuulzeit.

Macht's immer besser!

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Editor's note: The term "Wonnetdanz" has also been used in the past, which implied the "dance of the month of joy." However, the term "Wonnedanz" has emerged as the more popular of the two.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Til, Elbedritsch, and April Fool

I am seeing many Heathens linking April Fool's Day to Loki, and, indeed, there are some grounds to make such a connection. However, Loki is not the only trickster figure to appear in Teutonic mythology. Deitsch lore carries the stories of two other trickster characters, Til Eileschpiggel and the Elbedritsch.

Til Eileschpiggel is well known in Continental German lore as Til Eulenspiegel. Although the origins are uncertain, historians have tried to establish connections between this trickster and historical individuals. General consensus is that the stories appeared around the year 1300, but the roots very likely run deeper than that. His name translates to "owl mirror," which perhaps reflects the reversal of traditional wisdom that Til Eileschpiggel represents. 


Til is either Lokian in nature, a complete buffoon, or a truth-teller, depending on the context of the tales. He was famous in Deitsch folklore for predicting the exact opposite of what would happen, and, with a semi-divine nature, people would follow his predictions and trouble would follow.


Elbedritsch is an altogether different being. "Elbe" is a prefix that may refer either to the Elves or the Dwarves. In fact, his name is known in no less than fifteen variants across the Deitscherei, with the meaning being roughly "Elf twitch," "Elf cricket," "Elf tic," and sundry similar meanings. In actuality, there is no evidence to indicate that there is only one Elbedritsch. It is possible that Elbedritsche make up an entire race of wights. While the "Elwedritsche" is certainly known as a mythic creature in the Palatinate, I am not sure that some of the lore from Braucherei survives in the Palatinate consciousness.


The Elbedritsch is most commonly seen in the game of snipe hunting, when some pranksters manage to convince a person of lesser wit to go out on a cold night with a bag to hunt for this mythic creature. However, the prank belies some aspects of this being that have almost slipped out of the folk consciousness.


In time-cord journeywork, the Elbedritsch can serve as a trickster guide. He can mislead the journeyer in the middle of the work and can confound the healer's attempts to aid his clients. To what end does he partake of these actions? The primary purpose seems to be his own amusement, but, in a manner similar to Wudan's Yuletide riddles, the Elbedritsch also tests the mettle of those who encounter him. As such, should one be able to conduct fair business with the Elbedritsch, he can become a most faithful ally in a particular journey.


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Til Eileschpiggel and the Dwarves

Eileschpiggel had made a nuisance of himself to the Dwarves so much that they decided that he must be dealt with, so they made plans to drown him. 


They made a casket and placed him inside it, and then they started to trek towards the sea. On their way, they came to a tavern, and they went inside to revel in their victory, leaving the casket outside. 


Along came a herder with a large drove of cattle. When Til heard the approaching hoofbeats, he began to call out, "No! I won't do it! I can't do it!"


The herder stopped and listened to the calls, finally answering, "What is it that you cannot and will not do?"


"They want me to marry the king's daughter, and I won't do it. They are taking me to the king to force me to marry her against my will. I won't do it!"


"Let me take your place," said the herdsman greedily, "I'll marry the king's daughter!"


The herdsman took Til's place in the casket and Til took the cattle towards his own home. 


When the Dwarves came out of the tavern, they took the casket to the sea and sank it. They then headed home joyously.


As they neared the gates of their home, the Dwarves were astonished to see Til alive, and even more bewildered to see him driving a huge herd of cattle towards his home. 


Til said, "Down on the bottom of the sea are many such cattle. These I drove from the bottom and up onto the shore, and I brought them home."


All of the Dwarves, eager to get cattle, ran to the sea and jumped in, heading for the bottom. Not one of them resurfaced.



Saturday, March 16, 2013

Hollerbeer Haven 17 - Winter 2013

The PDF version of Hollerbeer Haven 17 (Winter 2013) is now available.

This issue continues the discussion of Braucherei in the Urglaawe context with the first installment of a description of Urglaawe philosophy. As this is a complex topic, the next few issues will also continue this discussion.

The featured herb of this issue is Boneset, and, as always, news and pictures of Distelfink events are included.

This is a large file that is intended for professional printing, so please be patient during the download.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

"Frau Holle" from the Urglaawe Perspective

This is a rewrite of an analysis written a few years ago. I cannot find the original text, so I hope I am not omitting any insights that were present in the original piece.

The story of Frau Holle (or Fraa Holle in Deitsch) is beloved among Grimm’s Fairy Tales. On the surface, it appears to be a simple “ardent” versus “lazy” tale comparing and contrasting two character archetypes.

From an Urglaawe perspective, though, the tale goes much deeper. It reveals facets of the goddess Holle that were submerged within folklore for centuries after the conversion, and it reveals a Heathen mindset in the treatment of its characters. I am using the version of the story that is found on pp. 128-134 of Maria Tatar’s (with whom I frequently disagree in analyses of fairy tales) The Annotated Brothers Grimm (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2004), but most any version of the tale will suffice.

In the beginning of the story, we find a home in which a widow lives with her two daughters. As is often the case in these fairy tales, one is her natural daughter and the other is her step-daughter. The step-daughter is the conscientious worker who keeps the household in order. Every day, she sits near a well and is compelled to spin under her fingers start to bleed.

One day, her blood covers the spindle, so she walks over to the well to rinse it off. She drops the spindle into the well, and her step-mother forces her to go back and get it. In some versions of the tale, she falls into the well in her effort to retrieve it. In this version, she jumps in. Either way, she loses consciousness at the bottom of the well. When she recovers, she finds herself in a meadow.

From the Urglaawe perspective, the blood and the fall down the well represents the death of this girl. She loses her connection to the physical world, and, when she awakens, she finds herself in Holle’s realm at the other end of the well.

Our heroine then wanders around the home and finds an oven in which loaves of bread are baking. The loaves calls out to her for help, saying that they will burn if they are not removed from the oven. They also say that they had been done long ago.

Keeping in mind that this girl was the keeper of the order of the house while she was alive, she is keeping order immediately upon arrival in this new realm, too. Allowing the bread to burn would be wasteful and an act of inefficiency.

Our heroine continues wandering, and this time she comes upon apple trees that are calling out for someone to shake them in order to release their ripe apples. The dutiful heroine once again does what is requested of her.

In each of these scenes, particularly with the bread, the girl’s sense of order is coupled with acts of compassion. Tatar adds an aspect that I had not previously considered but do find to be interesting: the bread and the apples are coming to the end of a transition, as is the girl. From that, I can extrapolate that the the ripening of the apples and the completion of the baking are consistent with the end of one phase of existence for the girl.

It is at this point that the girl comes upon a little house and meets Mother Holle. At first, she is afraid of Holle’s appearance, which includes an attribute of large teeth (a discussion for another time and place). Holle introduces Herself and includes a reference that is consistent with Holle’s association with falling snow. Although the heroine was frightened at first by Holle’s appearance, she finds Holle’s disposition and nature to be very benevolent and loving.

Holle offers the girl to stay with her, implying that the girl will be rewarded if she is good with the household chores. The girl agrees, and she has a pleasant life with Holle, including no harsh words and meat on the table every night (at least one version of this story implies the meat is of goose, but most versions seem to be silent on the menu).

This segment is, from the Urglaawe perspective, reflecting the time of decay in the physical realm while the soul is undergoing transitions, growth, and reward in Holle’s hall.

The girl eventually becomes homesick. Although she is much better off in Holle’s realm, she longs to return to this one. She expresses her desire to Holle, who is so sympathetic that She offers to take the girl back herself. She takes the girl by the hand and leads to a large gate. When the girl passes through the gate, gold showers down upon her, covering her from head to toe. Holle tells the girl that this is her reward for working so hard, and returns to her the spindle that she had originally lost. The girl then finds herself suddenly near her mother’s house.

At this point, from the Urglaawe perspective, we’re looking at the Higher Self of the girl’s sould seeking to fulfill the purpose of its existence. Although the girl is in a state of bliss with Holle, the higher purpose of the soul’s existence is to advance the human consciousness and to make the physical realm a better place in which to exist, particularly since the deities want us to advance to the level that they are at now. The heroine cannot succeed to that goal without returning to this realm. As Holle is the goddess of the Cycle of Life, She leads the girl back to this realm.

The gold is the effect of Wurt (Wyrd) upon the girl. In her previous life, the girl lived conscientiously, keeping her home and family in order despite the harsh conditions that were presented to her by her step-mother and sister. While she was in Holle’s realm, she exhibited compassion and the same diligence with which she lived her last physical life. Therefore, her Wurt has placed her in a situation that is far improved. The location of being near her mother’s home indicates, from the Urglaawe perspective, that she has been reborn with her previous community.

The next stage includes a rooster crowing about the girl’s good fortune. Tatar states that this inclusion seems odd and tries to juxtapose it with a dominant male proclaiming the girl’s success. I am not so sure about her theory. This aspect has a fair amount of guesswork in it, but there could be a relationship between the presence of the rooster in this scene and odd fertility rites in the Deitscherei in past centuries. The crowing of roosters does have an association of predicting fertility in some Deitsch folklore, including an odd (and mostly bygone) practice of boys mimicking crowing roosters during the time of Fasching or Entschtanning (which has different implications in Urglaawe from the Christian Fasching).

This theory is by no means certain, but, if there is a link between this rooster crowing and Germanic fertility associations with roosters, then, perhaps, the rooster is implying that the girl will also be more wealthy and successful. The rooster’s crowing does include a statement that the girl is well-to-do, so this theory may not be too farfetched.

Now, although the Urglaawe perspective has the heroine reborn in this story, it cannot achieve its contrast with the negative Wurt of the sister if the girl does not talk to her step-mother and sister about her experiences. The girl relates what happened to her, and the step-mother decides she wants the same thing to happen to her natural daughter. However, this girl does not want to work.

Instead of spinning to make her fingers bleed, she uses a thorn to prick her finger. She throws the spindle into the well and jumps after it. She ends up in the meadow, but ignores the bread and the apples. She has no fear of Holle because her sister had already described Holle’s appearance to her, and she immediately agrees to work for Holle because she believes the payout will be worth it.

At first, the girl works hard, but she eventually slacks off. Holle ends her service, which is fine with this girl, who thinks that she will now get the gold. Holle takes the girl to the gate, but, instead of gold, pitch pours down on this girl. Holle tells her that the pitch is the reward for her service. The rooster crows some insulting words towards that girl, and the pitch stays with that girl for the rest of her life.

Once again, we’re looking at the effects of Wurt. The girls intentions are based in greed from the get-go, and that influences everything else she does. She does not even pretend to have compassion for anyone who cannot or will not give her what she wants. When she is in the presence of Holle, who can give her what she desires, she strives to create the facade of a decent, orderly person. She event engages in the ruse of being a hard worker, but she is unable to maintain the required productivity, even with the belief that she would receive the reward that her sister got. Instead, her true nature continues during her time with Holle, and her Wurt is to have her soul stained in her next life by her actions in her previous life. Much like the stains that are present when the Urleeg (orlog) attaches itself to the soul, the pitch stays with her for her entire life.

From the Urglaawe perspective, this tale is about life, death, and rebirth and the impact our actions have on our souls from one life to the next.