If you grew up in the United States, you’re doubtless familiar with a custom that our German immigrants brought to this country when they settled in Pennsylvania in the early nineteenth century: coloring eggs for Easter. Did you ever wonder why in Germanic languages, like English, we refer to it as “Easter”, when other languages derive their words for this time from the word for “Passover”? (Hint: It’s got nothing to do with a certain Babylonian goddess, no offense intended to Her!)
In the Urglaawe calendar, we’re currently experiencing Entschanning, or the emergence, a 12-day observance beginning with Grundsaudaag on February 2nd. We complete lots of tasks during Entschanning. We’re busy cleaning out our hearths, stoves, and fire pits, in preparation for Spring. Then, we create a Butzemann!
In just a few short days, we’ll be celebrating my favorite holiday in the entire Urglaawe calendar: Grundsaudaag. In English, that’s “Groundhog Day”. Believe it or not, the history behind this holiday is a lot more interesting than most people think!
I’ve been approached too often lately by friends and acquaintances about the blight on the Heathen community: hate groups. Unfortunately, even though I’ve been writing about this topic, and working with others to support the fight against hate in Heathenry, there are still lots of people I know who think that “Asatru” equals “neo-Nazi”. So I interrupt your normal Barn Owl Broadside broadcast to explain some important points on this topic, and to share some terminology that people might not fully understand.
Our culture suffers from a drastic disconnect between human beings and the sources of the food they eat. I’m sure you’ve seen the memes where some poor misguided individual criticizes hunters for killing animals when grocery stores are full of food, blissfully oblivious as to the origins of that food. Lest you think that is mere exaggeration, just this week, an agricultural group I’m a part of online discussed criticism of farming by someone who was under the impression food in the grocery store isn’t also the result of agriculture.
Zisa is a Goddess well-loved in Urglaawe, but very little known in other traditions of Heathenry. This may be because of the very localized nature of Her worship, and the difficulty of obtaining detailed information on Continental Germanic deities.
The Pennsylvania Dutch brought from their homeland traditions such as bright and colorful clothing, vividly painted Fraktur and hex signs, folk medicine, a system of magic, and the names and stories of the Germanic Gods and Goddesses. It is within this community that even the Norse runes were brought over and passed down into modern times.