Sunday, 30 April 2017

Hail Waelburga!



Tonight will be Walpurgisnacht - a thinly veiled christian and deeply heathen holiday which is observed by many Germanic peoples across Europe, especially the Czechs, Dutch, Estonians, Finns, Germans, Latvians, Lithuanians, Slovenians and Swedes. I'm not sure whether the Germanic English observed this holiday, though we do know that there was an British nun who took the name  Saint Walburga, she was born in Devon (southwest England) and travelled to Germany to spread christianity. Like so many other 'saint's' the church deliberately infused pagan lore which christianity in order to spread their influence. This is of course why European christianity is so different to the christianity of South America or Asia. 

To us, Walpurga-Walburgis  is a Germanic goddess. Her name can mean Val (also Wal, Wael etc. ) 'Slaine' and Burga, hill, mount or castle. She can be seen as a goddess of the burial mound. A goddess who protects the fallen warriors who fall on this night (AH) thus she carries a role similar to that of the Valkyries. But in her name we can see a second meaning. Wal is the root of Wals/Walha  or 'foreigner' (it is where the name Wales derives) and Purgis or Purge. The Purge of the Foreigner'. So she can also be seen as a goddess who is invoked to drive the foreign invaders from our shores!

Her holiday is still observed this night. It is connected to the celtic Beltane and the Germanic May day feasts. It is certainly a fire festival, but most of all it is a holiday that celebrates the cult of the Witch.