The Urglaawe Guild of Braucherei and Hexerei Practitioners is thrilled to announce that Staci Baisch of the Seattle area and Jo Spinks of the Pittsburgh area had the power passed to them this weekend at Trothmoot at Fort Flagler, WA.
They will continue to study and to expand their knowledge, and they may now each be known as a Braucherin by our community.
The question has arisen on the main Urglaawe group about how to honor those murdered in the Pulse Massacre. I am thinking this is a time to make use of our color associations. Perhaps six candles:
Red: Representing the blood spilled, calling to Ziu for justice and to Dunner for courage and strength.
Orange: A request to the deities, to the ancestors (our own and those of the victims), to each other, and to ourselves to attain the energy needed to surmount the polarization and hatred that is consuming this world.
Yellow: Our response needs to be appropriately angered, but our love of humanity must be victorious over these hateful actions.
Green: For the growth and expansion of messaging and ideas that toward putting an end to this sort of terror.
Blue: A call for peace and consolation to those who loved the victims.
Violet: Appeal to the sacred and to the things that connect us because, as much as our humanity is what got us into this world plight, it will be our humanity that gets us out.
Per Urglaawe funerary rites, one may also want to get some seeds or something to represent the victims, then wrap the seeds up in four pieces of paper or cloth of different colors. Say the name of a victim while adding each seed.
The first would be red. Set each seed onto a red sheet. The color and action represents the loss of life and blood and the journey to death. Draw a Raidho rune on the red paper pack with the seeds inside.
Then take the red pack and wrap it in yellow-green. Draw the Yaahr/Jera rune on the now yellow-green pack. This represents the commending of the bodies back to nature.
Then take the pack and wrap it in black. Draw the Kenaz rune on it. This represents the Higher Self's journey through The Mill.
Take the pack and wrap it in white. Draw Ingwaz on the pack. This represents the rebirth of those lost into new soul constructs.
Respectfully place the pack into a sacred fire, asking for Holle to bless the lost.
After that, perhaps add an uncounted number of seeds to a pack formed from purple cloth or paper. Draw the Mannaz rune on that pack, and add it to the fire along with pleads to Ziu, Zisa, and Dunner to aid the victims' loved ones.
I am going to work this into our Dingsege on Saturday. Perhaps if everyone performed the same -- or a related -- ritual at the same time (say, 2:30 PM EDT locally), we can strengthen our cause.
Feel free to make this idea viral. Perhaps this virus can combat the virus of hate, destruction, and despair that is becoming an epidemic throughout the world.
From the Urglaawe Customs Guild. Note that there will be a follow-up post in the next few days with some advisories on plants (do not put Elder in a Butzemann).
Folks who are planning to build a Butzemann may want to start the planning and preparation now.
It occurred to me that I probably never described the typical requirements of the physical Butzemann, so I am going to do this now.
Since he is a scarecrow until his spiritual activation in the Kannsege (Ceremony of the Corn), you can use any scarecrow pattern, size, etc. in the construction. Because I am artistically-challenged, I usually get hold of a muslin doll shell (AC Moore and Michael's have them). This year, though, I am again going to aspire to a larger Butzemann.
He can be as simple or as ornate as you wish him to be. The minimal requirements are the following:
He must be given clothes, and they are to belong to him and must be burned along with him later in the year. At a minimum, he should have a shirt, pants, and something to cover his head (typically a straw hat or similar).
He should have some sort of representation of eyes, ears, nose and mouth. The features can be drawn on or fashioned into the structure (holes, embedded items, etc.).
He must be given a heart (this always makes me think of a character mis-assignment from the Wizard of Oz). The heart may be a paper cut-out. Some folks use an acorn or other seeds or nuts to represent the heart. Most folks I know also put in Zauberzettel (charm tickets) that are blessings written on paper and built into him. They can be one word (the intention is imbued into the paper when you are writing the word or words) or a small prayer. Common themes are love, security, bounty, gratitude, etc.
He must have some representation of the plant life on the turf that he will be responsible for. While most of us try to construct him completely from remnants of the last growing season, even a simple blade of grass will meet the requirement. If you don't have a garden or a lawn, get an indoor plant and put a leaf or two into him while you construct him. The leaf of a nearby tree will suffice; just be sure to remember to include that tree when walking the perimeter with the Butzemann after he is activated. The rest of the body may then be filled with materials procured elsewhere (just be sure it will be safe to burn).
He must be given a name. Some of us have names in mind during creation; others wait to see what comes up during the Kannsege. One or two of us had a name in mind but had to change it at the Kannsege.
He must have a designated spot where he will be posted. It can be a perch, a chair, or, if you are going to have an indoor Butzemann, even a spot on a shelf (think "Elf on a Shelf" with shamanic tendencies. :)
This is not required, but I usually draw runes on his hands and his feet and insert them on charm tickets. Typical runes are Jera, Ingwaz, Othala, Ansuz, Berkano, and Laguz. After some consideration, I am also going to include Mannaz. While it is a rune that reflects humanity, human awareness, and human evolution, plants and animals are also on their own evolutionary courses, and our successes are all tied one to another.
There is no set requirement for the date of construction or for the Kannsege to take place. Most folks aim to do it at Groundhog Day (anytime during Entschtanning (sundown Feb 1 through sundown Feb 12) is fine. Even later if need be. I personally would usually advise that the Braucherei guild that retained the most detail (Palmerton-Harrity in Carbon County, PA), and their tradition holds that it would be best if the Butzemann were activated prior to sundown on May 12 so that the Butzemann can witness Dunner battling the giant Dreizehdax. This way, they say, the Butzemann will be able to train to fight threats spiritually and to join the Butzemann army of plant spirits (these stories and the insights about plant spirits can get pretty mind-blowing).
Once the shell is constructed, he is just a scarecrow (Lumbemann). The Kannsege is the last step to awaken the plant spirits within the shell, and he then becomes a Butzemann.
The rest of the process is described in a file called "Kannsege adapted 1.01.pdf" in the Files section of the Urglaawe Customs Guild group. We'll be looking at that file to make any updates.
This whole process is very much about connection and interdependence among plants, humans, and animals. It is also about the connection to the land wights (Landwichde) and the synergy that arises from understanding ourselves as belonging to physical and spiritual existence rather than trying to set ourselves above the world around us.
The Guild of Urglaawe Braucherei and Hexerei Practitioners is pleased to announce that Douglas Helvie has completed the requirements of the Urglaawischi Braucherei Freindschaft and has received the power this past Saturday in New Bern, North Carolina.
The passing of the power is not an end, but it is a major step for Douglas on his lifelong journey of the study and the mastery of all aspects of the practice. Douglas began his study of the historical context of Braucherei at the Three Sisters Center and then was given over to the Urglaawe Brauchers for his apprenticeship.
Let the community all know and recognize Douglas as a Braucher in the Guild of Urglaawe Braucherei and Hexerei Practitioners and in the Oley Freindschaft of Braucherei Practitioners.
It has been a busy summer, which, of course, makes it a little less difficult to make regular posts to this site!
Many of us are currently in the midst of the harvest. After a slow start, things like the passionflower are growing like crazy and are beginning to produce fruit.
There are many other herbs that are ready for a first, second, or even third harvest. This coming weekend, Urglaawer and many practitioners of Braucherei and Hexerei will observe the Erntfescht or Erntdankfescht, which is the original Deitsch day of thanksgiving for the bounty of the harvest. This observance was so deeply engrained in the Deitsch culture that many people resented the creation of the national Thankgiving holiday.
The national holiday is in danger of being eclipsed by the consumer frenzy of Black Friday, so perhaps we can take advantage of the historical roots of Erntfescht. Regardless of one's religious identity, ethnicity, or climate, we can all tap into the spirit of gratefulness for --- or at least appreciation of --- the bounty we have in our lives.
I want to encourage everyone to take part in this very important observance.
If you have folks nearby with whom to celebrate, then come together at or around the autumn equinox and have a feast. Give offerings of the land to the deity of deities of your choice, share and swap harvested food (store purchases are fine) or seeds, and take up a food drive, no matter how large or small.
If observing alone, a donation of any sort to a food pantry or an animal shelter would be appropriate.
All of us should recount the blessings we have in our lives and to share in those blessings with others.
Hail to the Harvest!
--------- Parsons, William T. Pennsylvania Germans – A Persistent Minority.
Collegeville, PA: Keschte Bicher, 1976.
Yoder, Don. "Harvest Home." Pennsylvania Folklife v. 9 no. 4, pp. 2-
11. Lancaster, PA:The Pennsylvania Folklife Society, Fall 1958.