Posts Tagged ‘ghosts’

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…”)

The lovely DD who runs a wonderful blog (which you should definitely check out) recently wrote this post: http://fillingspaces.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/do-you-believe-in-ghosts/ which inspired me to write of an incident which occurred a few years after my nana’s mortal death.

Before I write of that incident, one should know the kind of woman my nana was.

In a word, she was a class-act.

One memory which sticks out very much happened during one of my visits home. Which incidently, was the last time I ever saw her.

During a family gathering, she was introduced to two female friends of my sister.

Driving home, the conversation proceeded as such:

“X and X are such lovely girls,” said nana.
me: “Yeah, they’re really nice.” (pause) “They’re a couple.”
Nana: “Yes, I know.”
me. “I mean, they’re not just friends.”
Nana (turning to glare): “Do you think your Nana is stupid? That she doesn’t know what goes on in this world?”

To say that shame instantly filled me is an understatement. Here was a woman who’d lived through the Depression, saw her husband go off to fight in World War II, raised a little boy alone until he thankfully came home, worked as a secretary in a school for the blind, saw presidents assassinated, men walking on the moon, the civil rights movement, womens sexual liberation, Vietnam, Korea, black and white t.v. with one or two channels expanding into cable. The Hays Code to All in the Family to HBO. Walls built, and Walls torn down. The fall of leaders, and the rise of the internet.

But she might not realize someone is gay??

Really!?

Yes, I’d insulted her.

But luckily, she wasn’t one to hold grudges.

Since she has passed, she’s come to me often in dreams. She rarely speaks, but just her presense is a comfort.

Your own thoughts many would say. But I don’t care what others think. I know.

And she’s come to me in other ways.

Some years ago, after coming home and having dinner with my husband, he broke out with “Uhm, uh….btw…uh, when you were out….uhm, that music box of your nana’s started to play on its own.”

me: “What? My nana was communicating from beyond the grave, and you’re just telling me now??”
hub: “Well, you said you were hungry.”

As one can imagine, I was quite disappointed not to have been here at the time. But a few days later, in the early hours of the night, her music box, with two white swans atop, began to turn on its own, and Für Elise began to play.

The windows were shut.
There was no breeze.
There was no banging anywhere in the apartment complex. No loud stomping.
No animals or children to have bumped into the commode.

“Nana?” I said.

There was no answer.

Only the beautiful tune we’d both loved so much.

It happened on one more occasion. Home alone, feeling a bit blue after receiving a rejection (the hazzards and realities of being a writer!) when the music began.

All I could do was say, “Thank you.”