Posts Tagged ‘bram stoker’

Walpurgis Night- observed on April 30th in Germany, Czech Republic, Finland, Estonia, Sweden and elsewhere.  A night when children light candles and play tricks on their neighbors.  A night in which Catholics honor Saint Walpurga.

Celebrated by modern day pagans as the night of witches.

“Walpurgis Night was when, according to the belief of millions of people, the devil was abroad—when the graves were opened and the dead came forth and walked. When all evil things of earth and air and water held revel.” ~ Bram Stoker, “Dracula’s Guest”

Gustav Meyrink's Walpurgisnacht

“WILD HUNT (Ger. wilde or wüthende jagd; also wildes or witthendet heer, wild or maddening host; nachtjäger, night huntsman, etc.), the name given by the German people to a fancied noise sometimes heard in the air at night, as of a host of spirits rushing along over woods, fields, and villages, accompanied by the shouting of huntsmen and the baying of dogs.” from 1900 The International Cyclopaedia: A Compendium of Human Knowledge, Volume 15.

Occuring exactly six months after Samhain, Walpurgisnacht is considered to be, the “other Halloween”, as it is also a time when the veil opens between the worlds of the living and the dead. It is on this eve that German witches were said to meet upon the Brocken.  This, the highest of the Harz mountains,  famous for casting enormous shadows of a person into the mists below.   There they would pay honor to their “devil” and celebrate the coming of spring. It is also on this night that the Wild Hunt ends. The collected souls, taken by the Goddess Holda into the earth so they may be reborn.

it is a time for speaking to those on the otherside.  Of divination and magic.  Of daring a glimpse into the dark.

Goddess Holda wild hunt

Walpurgisnacht- A lovely time to call upon Hecate as she has also long been associated with the Wild Hunt.  Roaming the nights with her sacred black dogsGoddess of the crossroads, the moon, sorcery, and ghosts. She who rules in the underworld, earth, and heaven.  She, Queen of the Witches.

hecate

Goethe’s Faust: “To the Brocken the witches ride…” (“Die Hexen zu dem Brocken ziehn…”)

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John_Henry_Fuseli_-_The_Nightmare

“Even if she be not harmed, her heart may fail her in so much and so many horrors; and hereafter she may suffer–both in waking, from her nerves, and in sleep, from her dreams.” ― Bram Stoker, Dracula

“Thus fortified I might take my rest in peace. But dreams come through stone walls, light up dark rooms, or darken light ones, and their persons make their exists and their entrances as they please, and laugh at locksmiths.” ― Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, Carmilla

As I continue my study of The Bohemian Gothic Tarot deck, it occured to me that it would make sense to discuss the cards in some chronological order.  However, since I’m not at all a linear thinker, that idea was quickly eschewed in favor of a more  instinctive bent. Hence, I’ll just be writing about whichever card strikes my fancy. And on this new moon, it is:

Nine of  Swords

keyowrds: Nightmares. Visions.  Terrors of the mind.   Delusions. Phobias and hysteria.   Fear of going mad.

bohemian gothic tarot nine of swords

Brings to my mind the works of Poe and Jackson. The artistic horrors of Bava and Argento.

Reflections on the card: While certainly most would consider this a negative card (and in many aspects it is), it also invokes in me a singular excitement. No doubt  because dreams and nightmares often fuel my own stories.

“I delight in what I fear,” Shirley Jackson once said.  Her Eleanor vance could have posed for this card.

We all have fears.  They can control us, or we can turn them into our own works of art.

Alexander Scriabin’s Black Mass (Piano Sonata no. 9)