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Season Of The Witch

Many assume that the "Season Of The Witch" is around Samhain or Halloween for obvious reasons, though April 30th is known as Walpurgisnaucht/ Valborg's Eve, this evening has been thought of as the night the witches take flight and ride to a sacred space to practice their rituals and magic for the coming year. It was a time of celebration for the return of the sun and the fertility of the land, just as Bealtaine in the Celtic Traditions.

It was on this night that the Maypoles would be stood up and pyres would be lit by "wild fire", the traditional way of rubbing two pieces of wood together to create a spark for the kindling. There were many traditions that varied among the tribes, some would jump through the fire, as it was believed that fire was a cleansing, purifying force. Circle dances and singing the songs of summer were common, unions that took place on this night would be bound together till the following year where they could be renewed or not. It is also believed that the veil between this realm and the spirit realm would be at its thinnest, just it is during Samhain.

As christianity came into the picture though, the practices and rituals of this sacred time of year, were either blended into christianity or seen as dark or 'evil'. In Germany, Walpurgisnacht became a night that the evil witches would ride to Mount Brocken and it was there that they would meet with Satan to plot their evil doings for the year. During the late eighth century a nun known as Walpurga came to Germany with a mission to christianize the people. She was canonized on May 1st 870AD, she is known for putting an end to pagan sorcery and christians would pray to her for protection from witchcraft. Walpurgisnacht is even sometimes referred to as the Hexenbrunnen (the burning of the witches) due to its tragic past.

Today, there is a revival of the old ways and a return to our connection with natures rhythm and cycles. Fears and misunderstanding are being replaced with curiosity and exploration, the old traditions are being revived in new ways with festivals and celebrations once again being held. Mount Brocken has now become a site of pilgrimage for many and this sacred time of year is now celebrated without fears of persecution.


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