In the Deitsch language used in Urglaawe: An Idis is a matriarchal spirit who watches over the progression of her clan (which is not necessarily defined by bloodlines; this will be covered in the write-up for Night 11). Many of those interviewed were aware of the fairy godmothers actually being ancestral spirits, but the term had been lost within Deitsch culture, so “Idis” is a backformation. The Idise are the equivalent of the Norse Dísir.
We do find remnants of concepts regarding deceased ancestors serving as guardians. Stories, legends, and folk tales of “guardian angels” and “fairy godmothers” bear some traits in common with both the Idis and the Walkyrie. There is a belief in Braucherei that spiritually-evolved forebears go to the Oschtbledder (Eastern Leaves of the Lewesbaam/World Tree). Whether this evolution removes them from the rebirth cycle is unclear, though most practitioners believed that an Idis is typically not reborn into a new soul construct.
Many of the understandings of these entities are most clearly described and presented in Scandinavian lore, yet it is quite possible that they became culturally encoded and were carried into some of the most famous “fairy tales.”
Theory: The Three Good Fairies in “Sleeping Beauty” remind me a little of the Wurthexe, or Norns.
Although the fairy tale of “Sleeping Beauty was authored by Charles Perraut and is thus French (the Grimm Brothers’ Dornröschen version was based on Perrault’s), the oldest known version of the story is from the 14th century. The gifts that the Three Good Fairies each intend to give to Aurora could be interpreted as Urleeg. Flora gives her beauty, Fauna gives her song, and Merryweather is unable to give her gift (which I believe was to be happiness), Maleficent appears and changes the expected future by cursing Aurora to die if she touches a spinning wheel’s spindle before sunset on her sixteenth birthday. The future flow was changed by Maleficent. Merryweather cannot undo the action that was done, but she is able to mitigate the damage (and to alter the expected course of the future again) by weakening the curse. Instead of dying, Aurora will fall into a deep sleep until awakened with a kiss.
It is interesting that the the plot is consistent with the Germanic understanding that the future is not written. It is also interesting that Flora is said to be the oldest of the three, Fauna the middle, and Merryweather the youngest.
The number of Wise Women is also unclear. While we tend to see the Wurthexe as a trio operating in the past, present, and future, there may well be myriad Wurthexe. One Hex asked me a question on this topic, “Why would the time be limited to the past, present, and future? We have other verb tenses in Deitsch and in English, and the nuances of each tense are very important. Could a Wurthex govern each tense?”
I am actually not sure that the Wurthexe operate by our grammatical rules and time concepts, but her question did make me think. Time is a baffling concept, especially when one believes that time is more of a spiral or helix than a line. And, to hearken back to Sleeping Beauty (Grimm 411): “…in the German kindermärchen (Dornröschen) it is twelve wise women, the thirteenth as been overlooked.” In this case, it appears the Wise Women have been reduced only to fairy godmothers. With all of the named Valkyries and all the evolved Idise, I am reasonably sure there are more than twelve.
Granted, this Sleeping Beauty part is all theory.
One thing that Idise, Fairy Godmothers, Wurthexe, and Valkyries all have in common is feminine energy. Historically they were called Wise Women (die Kluuche Weiwer). Trying to pore through Grimm’s Teutonic Mythology on some of these topics can be a little bewildering. The Wise Women chapter (XVI) runs from pages 396-437, contains comparisons and contrasts to numerous European cultures’ folklore, and tosses in all sorts of linguistic references. It’s actually fascinating stuff, but it is not something that is easily consumed for a small article such as this. Throughout that chapter, though, I can see a relationship between what Grimm describes and some of the lore on the Kluuche Weiwer that got passed down through Braucherei and Hexerei.
At Entschtanning, we honor all feminine energies. This is due, in part, to this time being the “baby bump” phase of the Lewesraad. We hail and honor the Idise, even if we do not know their names. We recognize and celebrate the feminine energies within each of us. We honor the women in our lives and recognize the sacrifices they make and the power they command.
Hail to the Wise Women!
Heelt zu de Kluuche Weiter