Hexennacht or “Witches Night” is a celebration that seems to be growing in popularity. Or it could be I am just lucky to meet more people who are drawn to it. It is more commonly known as Walpurgisnacht or “Walpurgis Night.” Named for St. Walpurga. There are arguments that this day was sacred before the Christianization of the Germanic people and others speculate it was a Christian creation that was later led to have a different meaning. You be the judge. I have loved this night for more years than I ever was a Heathen. Though being a Heathen has nothing to do with it as most I know don’t celebrate it. Probably, because the origin seems to possibly be more in Continental Europe (though there are the Valborg celebrations in Sweden). I came to it through a group that discussed Traditional Witchcraft around 10 years ago. Though I had probably heard of it before that in connection to Beltane when I was a general Pagan. Until the last few years I have met very few pagans or heathens who celebrate it in America. In some countries in Europe there are still festivals where you can see its Pagan roots (in my eyes at least). There is a lot about this night that is very fascinating and I encourage you to read all you can! This isn’t a scholarly article so I suggest you read more if this peaks your interest.
On this night witches are said to meet with the Devil at Brocken (if we’re going the German route as I do because of my ancestry). A sacred mountain in Germany. For anyone who has more Occult or Pagan and not so much Christian leanings the Devil isn’t seen the same way and the same names are not always used. If you want more information there are MANY books on this topic. On this day I feel the wights stir, the air change, my energy become more wild and free as it breaks through the stagnancy of the remnants of Winter that have clung to Spring and I just feel “witchy.” Though I may be scoffed at for it I do practice witchcraft and folk magic as a Heathen. Not generally together but it happens. Like tonight. I usually have a bonfire or fill my room with candles, howl outside, do something adventurous, cook good food, give offerings and…spend time with my partner. That last part I’ll keep at that as our parents and some family read this blog. It is a great time to explore your primal nature and free yourself from the modern and mundane world. If only for a night.
Tonight, I made pretzel rolls to eat and offer to the gods/wights/ancestors as we had a power outage for 9 hours and I was unable to make a proper feast. My husband is on duty as well. So it’s my just my daughter and I with candles lit, offerings made, singing and dancing and lots of growling and howling in between story telling. How do you celebrate?
Ready for Witches Night!