The Guilds of Practitioners

This blog is written and maintained by members of the Oley Freindschaft Guild of Braucherei Practitioners and of the Guild of Urglaawe Braucherei and Hexerei Practitioners.

The Oley Freindschaft recognizes the totality of the practice of Braucherei, which includes the contexts of Christianity and of Urglaawe.

The Guild of Urglaawe Braucherei and Hexerei Practitioners is dedicated to the advancement of these traditions within the Urglaawe context.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Die Weisskeppich Fraa

Die Weisskeppich Fraa, known in English as the White-Haired Woman, is the very personification of healing in Braucherei. She appears very frequently during healing sessions. When we are engaged in the healing of a living person with a personal issue, She often appears alone. When we are healing the souls of those who have passed on, or when we are dealing with a living person who has an an issue with one who has passed, She often appears with Holle, Wodan, or other entities.

The Urglaawe faith regards Her as a deity; more specifically, She is seen as one of the White Ladies, whom Jacob Grimm describes in Teutonic Mythology (vol. 1, 279-280; vol. 2, 962-968). There is some conjecture that She may be akin to the Norse Eir.

My first introduction to Weisskeppichi was during my first experience with time-cord journeying. I was contacted by a sibling of a direct ancestor. This sibling was being held to the physical plane by an overwhelming sense of guilt.

Throughout the course of the work, Holle and Weisskeppichi appeared and gave the soul of the sibling a choice: she could either be healed by Weisskeppichi and continue to watch over her clan line, or she could proceed immediately with Holle to her figurative mill. She chose the latter.

Since that incident, I have found a tremendous sense of spiritual calm. The White-Haired Woman can be difficult to describe. She appears as a young, beautiful woman with pure, white hair. Her entire countenance glows, and you feel a tremendous sense of love.

I was at the home of Susan Hess, a colleague in Braucherei from the Three Sisters Center and member of the Oley Freindschaft guild. Susan and I have a lot in common, including the fact that we are both of the sign of the Baer on the Deitsch lunar zodiac. We are also both born under the sign of Libra.

Libra by Mia Bosna
Susan showed me a picture that she had on the wall. It was a representation of Libra by artist Mia Bosna. I looked at it, and it was clear that the reason Susan had shown it to me was because it looked just like Die Weisskeppich Fraa!

Also interesting is the presence of the mills in the picture. Clearly their presence is due to Libra being an Air sign. However, in my journeywork, Holle's mill was present in the background, and that makes this image all that much more spiritually awesome to me.

Well, I purchased a copy of that same image, and it now is on my altar.

Mia Bosna does some amazing work. Check out

Monday, February 6, 2012

Ceremony of the Corn

The Ceremony of the Corn, called the Kannsege in Deitsch, is the Braucherei ritual in which a Butzemann is spiritually activated. This ceremony is also practiced in Urglaawe, which has also expanded its interpretation through ancillary lore and folk custom.

Hearth Goddess in Berks County. Photo by P. Donmoyer
There is no doubt that the core of the ceremony is of Heathen origin. Depending on the Braucherei lineage, there are variations in interpretation. Perhaps the most prominent of the variations is the identification of the "Haerdgedderin," or the Hearth Goddess. The clearest and most common association with this figure is the Teutonic Frigg. However, other interpretations assign this role to the Gnostic Sophia, specifically due to the eaves of at least one hearth structure including a votive image that resembles other depictions of Sophia. 

It is interesting to note, though, that both Frigg and Sophia are strongly associated with a cosmic wisdom, and it is possible that this is where the two became fused. However, one key difference is that Sophia is considered to be a virgin, while Frigg is the personification of motherhood, home, and hearth.

The juxtaposing of the Kannsege with Grundsaudaag (Groundhog Day) places feminine creative energies and motherhood in a central role of the creation of the Butzemann. Conventional wisdom would indicate Holle in the center of a Braucherei observance of this magnitude. However, Holle is still on errands involving the Wild Hunt at this stage of the spiritual calendar. Additionally, while Holle is associated with an orderly life and an orderly home, She is not typically seen in the role of a deity of the Hearth. 

Braucherei oral tradition from the Parryville-Harrity lineage states that the Hearth Goddess is the mother of the Butzemann. This concept is reflected in other oral lore, too, although the references are vague. Even the ambiguous references, though, provide support for the Butzemann being a product of the hearth as much as of the field. This arrangement is, in fact, a metaphor for human relations as well as for the interaction between wights and humans.

Although Deitsch culture has traditionally borne a stronger sense of gender parity than many neighboring cultures, gender roles have traditionally been distinct. This is evident today in Plain, Semi-Plain, and even many traditional Fancy Deitsch families. Women run the home; men run the fields. The woman is the keeper of the keys, which to many people would be a familiar reference to Frigg.

If nurturing the home (thence: hearth) represents feminine energies, and the working the fields represents the male energies, then one may see how the Butzemann is a product of both. The fertile field without shelter cannot sustain life. A home without food equally will not provide sustenance. 

When the Butzemann is created, he carries a portion of the soul of the corn (or any crop) forth with him. In a manner that is consistent with Urglaawe belief, this portion of the soul is the eternal Self and is reincarnated, or reborn, into successive generations of related kin. 

After the Butzemann is created, powwow chants and incantations are said over him. He receives the breath of life (a reference to Frigg's husband, Wodan (Odin)), and he is either given a name or reveals his name to his host. He is now prepared to become the "father" of this year's crops. He is given a series of instructions and is walked around the perimeter of his turf. The Butzemann will be the center of numerous rites, offerings, and rituals during his tenure as warder of the field.
Small but powerful: Urglaawe Butzemenner

The Kannsege ends with the Butzemann taking his post and beginning his watch. He will spiritually and energetically patrol the territory, and he will help to watch out for the home as well. Thus, like a dutiful child, he protects the totality of his family.

This concept is akin to the establishment of a respectful and harmonious relationship with the spirits of one's land. Appropriate offerings and diligent stewardship can lead to the wights having a vested interest in the stability of the human home.

 A longstanding Urglaawe belief is that a lack of roots leads to social disorder and to the ultimate collapse of society. This notion is visible in Braucherei traditions as well. All of the aspects of the Ceremony of the Corn relate to family, home, security, and the establishment of roots.

Robert Lusch
Oley Freindschaft

Ammerili Eckhart
Parryville-Harrity Freindschaft

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Der Grundsaudaag

In der Braucherei (un aa im Urglaawe) iss der Grundsaudaag en vielgsichtiches Fescht. Es Fescht watt vun sich in der weitere Deitsche Gesellschaft in de Feierlichkeede im Punxsutawney gschpiggelt; dese Feierlichkeede schtehne doch wie en Schadde vun der gedreiliche Bedeitung vum Grundsaudaag.

Die Braucherei verzehlt zu uns, as der 2. Hanning uns darrich en dinnerer Schleier zwische de neine Reich (koerperliche un geischtliche) bschenkt. Die erschde Landwichde (en Wicht = en Wese) erfasse die Gelegeheit, fer vun der Wilde Yacht zerickzukumme. Die Grundsau verdredet sich wie der "yenseitlicher" adder annerweltlicher Iwwerbringer, der (in me Aagschtalt aehnlich wie der Ratatosk uff em Lewesbaam in de Skandinaawische Saage) darrich sei Tunnel rennt. Daer Tunnel hot en Effning in yedem vun de neine Reich. Die Grundsau bringt darum die Bericht vun de annere Reich haer.

Zu eem landwattschaftliche Volk watt es uffkummend Wedder abaddich wichtich; sell gebt, vielleicht, die Ursach, as die Grundsau un ihre Weddervorhersaage noch driwwekumme sinn. Es Wedder iss doch ee gleenes Deel vun seinre Bottschaft. Ennichebber, der bei eem Grundsau-Lodsch am 2. Hanning mol gewest iss, weescht, as die Grundsau zaahlreiche Vorhersaage iwwerliefert. 'S iss vorausgsetzt, as dese Wadde im Schaerz rausgebrocht sinn, awwer etliche Saage zeige aa, darrich es Zeitschnurwaerrick in der Braucherei un in annerem esoterische Gschaff, as die Grundsau aa anschtliche Bottschafte haerbringt.

Es gebt aa am 2. Hanning en Feierlichkeet zu der "Haerdgedderin" (adder "Haerdziebin" im Urglaawe), die iss weiter in Teitonischer Gschicht wie Frigg bekannt. Am 2. Hanning sette mer aa die Schaffekraft vun de Midder un de Weibsleit. Alle Vorgengerinne watt aa geehrt; sell iss iwwereischtimmlich mit de Disir-Sege (en Dis = Idis = en Owwemudder vun re Familye adder Sippe un iss, wuher die "Fee-Geedel" adder in Englisch fairy godmother entschteht), die mer in Skandinaawische un Anglo-Saxische Breich finne kann.

Darrich die Braucherei weess mer, as mer am Grundsaudaag der Feierhard (Feierplatz, Feiereck, Lichterschtock, usw) uffbutze muss. Wann der Feierhard uffgebutzt warre iss, schteckt mer en neies Feier mit re Baerkezweig aa. Wann's en Haapthaerd waehrend der Gemeeschafts-Feierlichkeet gebt, kammer Zinderkaschde benutze, um die Flamm vum Haapthaerd nooch de Heemhaerd vun de Mitmacher zu draage. Yetz denn fangt die Friehlingbutzerei aa, un mer hot vum Grundsaudaag bis die Walpurgisnacht (30. Oschdret/Abrill), fer es Haus in die Ordning zu bringe.

As en Erfolk vun de Weibsleits-Schaffekrafte iss der Butzemann gebore; graad recht iss es besser "widdergebore" zu saage, weil der Butzemann schpringt vun de Iwwerescht vum vergangene Yaahr sei Ern. Es gebt weitleftiche Weihe, wu der Urglaawe hot vun der Braucherei geerbt, in welle der Butzemann wie der Landschirmer ausgschriwwe watt. Er bekummt der Vadder vun de kummende Feldfruchte.

Er bleibt in de Felder bis en Zeit zwische em Erntfescht (21. Scheiding/September) un em Allelieweziel (31. Gehling/Oktower), wann er muss darrichverbrennt warre. Es gebt deel erschtaunliche Gschpichte iwwer Butzemenner, die es Allelieweziel iwwerlewe, awwer dese warre bis en annerer Daag waarde.