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WALPURGIS NIGHT

walpurgis night witches celebration

April 30, 2010

In the H. P. Lovecraft story "The Dreams in the Witch House", Walpurgis Night is referred to as "the Witches' Black Sabbath", when Hell's blackest evil roamed the earth and all the slaves of Satan gathered for nameless rites and deeds.

 

The Real Ghost Fire in the Darkeness

Many people wonder why ghosts and hauntings hit such a dramtic high at this time of the year.

Walpurgis Night is a holiday celebrated on April 30 or May 1.

Luis Ricardo Faléro’s “Departure of the Witches”

Departure of the Witches, 1878

Luis Ricardo Faléro’s “Departure of the Witches”

Story by Terry Avery

Walpurgis got its name from an 8th century saint. Walpurgis had nothing to do with witches, but April 30 was her feast day. In the Church’s effort to Christianize Germany’s tenacious pagan roots, they made Walpurgis Night about Walpurgis’ fight with the dark forces of paganism.



The Bram Stoker short story "Dracula's Guest" takes place on Walpurgisnacht: "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.

Walpurgis Night (or Walpurgisnacht in Germany) is a holiday celebrated on April 30 or May 1, in large parts of central and Northern Europe. Inyeresting note: Halloween (which falls six months to the day either before or after Walpurgis Night).

Every year on the night of 30 OFApril to 1 May it is believed and thought by many that real witches ghosts and goblins fly through the night. The historic Walpurgis Witch actually has been seen on Walpurgisnacht some reports of them riding on brooms, pitchforks, and animals as aircraft from all directions to decend only at the grand sabbath, to then meet with their lord and master, the devil, and through out the night consort with demons until dawn to celebrate a wild witchcraft party.

The Walpurgisnacht marks the northern summer. Therefore, the dark figures have be gone in time for the dawn to the domination of the luminaries leave

. The witches gather before the celebrations begin on the Hexentanzplatz in the valley and then fly together to black mountain The fragments to be married there with the devil. The name "Black Mountain" is as a synonym for the setting of the witches' celebration. The Walpurgis celebrations itself dates back to Germanic origins.

The Brocken the legend to dance to all the witches in a big circle around the fire and kiss then the devil butt. Then you can be with the devil to marry and receive from him a new magical powers.

Beltane or Bealtaine is an ancient Gaelic holiday celebrated around May 1. Historically, this festival was celebrated in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. There were similar festivals held at the same time in the other Celtic countries of Wales, Brittany and Cornwall. The festival survives in folkloric practices in the Celtic Nations and the diaspora, and has experienced a degree of revival in recent decades.

 

Audimax, Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany, 26th June 1970.

Planned to become title track of second Sabbath record. But this Demon Rockmonster wasn`t political correct, especially fourty years ago.
So they changed Walpurgis into the phonetically similar War Pigs. This was political correct, but not for the record company.
That`s why the "filler" Paranoid got a chance. Great decision, as we know it became a smash hit - until the end of times

Alternate Lyrics (not quiet correct, comments are welcome)*:

Witches gather at black masses
Bodies burning in red ashes
On the hill the church in ruin
Is the scene of evil doings
It's a place for all bad sinners
Watch them eating dead rats' innards
I guess it's the same whereever you may go
To black masses people go
Oh Lord yeah

verse two **
I don`t care if you don`t want to go,
They are the devil in disguise
Killing vandals will (turn out/denounce) the (lord)
They orderd/owed lucifer the time

verse three***
See me going like the aeronaut
Fear running down (love/laugh) now
It`s conceived evil , I want to run
I want to know what you`re gonna do

On the scene a priest appears
Sinners falling at his knees
Satan sends out funeral pyre
Casts the priest into the fire
It's the place for all bad sinners.
Watch them eating dead rats' innards
I guess it's the same, where ever you may go
Oh lord yeah

------------------------

* you can find a better known Walpurgis
version at The Ozzman Cometh.
The so-called basement tapes.
But the Berlin version is different in
the lyrics of the second and third
verse!

**Second verse of Ozzman Cometh Walpurgis version:
Carry banners which denounce the lord
See me rocking in my grave
See them anoint my head with dead rat's blood
See them stick the stake through me
Oh

***Third verse of Ozzman Cometh Walpurgis version:
Don't hold me back cause I just gotta go
They've got a hold of my soul now
Lords got my brain instinct with blood obscene
Look in my eyes I'm there enough
Yeah

GHOSTS AND THE OCCULT

Something wicked this way comes.
Macbeth (4.1.45-6), Second Witch

There was considerable grea tfear of hell, fire and damnation in the not too distant past. And many even in the Bible beleieve that witches communicated open and freely with the dead. Saul’s encounter with a witch from Endore. It would be helpful to read the account – I Samuel 28:3-25 The Witch of Endore

3 Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in his own town of Ramah. Saul had expelled the mediums and spiritists from the land.
4 The Philistines assembled and came and set up camp at Shunem, while Saul gathered all the Israelites and set up camp at Gilboa.
5 When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror filled his heart.
6 He inquired of the LORD, but the LORD did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets.
7 Saul then said to his attendants, "Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her." "There is one in Endor," they said.
8 So Saul disguised himself, putting on other clothes, and at night he and two men went to the woman. "Consult a spirit for me," he said, "and bring up for me the one I name."
9 But the woman said to him, "Surely you know what Saul has done. He has cut off the mediums and spiritists from the land. Why have you set a trap for my life to bring about my death?"
10 Saul swore to her by the LORD, "As surely as the LORD lives, you will not be punished for this."
11 Then the woman asked, "Whom shall I bring up for you?" "Bring up Samuel," he said.
12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out at the top of her voice and said to Saul, "Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!"
13 The king said to her, "Don't be afraid. What do you see?" The woman said, "I see a spirit coming up out of the ground."
14 "What does he look like?" he asked. "An old man wearing a robe is coming up," she said. Then Saul knew it was Samuel, and he bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground.
15 Samuel said to Saul, "Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?" "I am in great distress," Saul said. "The Philistines are fighting against me, and God has turned away from me. He no longer answers me, either by prophets or by dreams. So I have called on you to tell me what to do."
16 Samuel said, "Why do you consult me, now that the LORD has turned away from you and become your enemy?
17 The LORD has done what he predicted through me. The LORD has torn the kingdom out of your hands and given it to one of your neighbors--to David.
18 Because you did not obey the LORD or carry out his fierce wrath against the Amalekites, the LORD has done this to you today.
19 The LORD will hand over both Israel and you to the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. The LORD will also hand over the army of Israel to the Philistines."
20 Immediately Saul fell full length on the ground, filled with fear because of Samuel's words. His strength was gone, for he had eaten nothing all that day and night.

Some impression from the Valborg (Walpurgis night) celebrations in Uppsala 2005. Valborg is celebrated to greet spring. (more)


The festival is named after Saint Walburga (known in Scandinavia as "Valborg"; alternative forms are "Walpurgis", "Wealdburg", or "Valderburger"), born in Wessex in 710. She was a niece of Saint Boniface and, according to legend, a daughter to the Saxon prince St. Richard. Together with her brothers she travelled to Franconia, Germany, where she became a nun and lived in the convent of Heidenheim, which was founded by her brother Wunibald. Walburga died on 25 February 779 and that day still carries her name in the Traditional Catholic Calendar. However she was not made a saint until 1 May in the same year, and that day carries her name in the Swedish calendar.

Historically the Walpurgisnacht is derived from Pagan spring customs, where the arrival of spring was celebrated with bonfires at night. Viking fertility celebrations took place around February 25 and due to Walburga being declared a saint at that time of year, her name became associated with the celebrations. Walburga was honored in the same way that Vikings had celebrated spring and as they spread throughout Europe, the two dates became mixed together and created the Walpurgis Night celebration. The main mascot of Walpurgis Day is the witch.

THE GHOSTS OF SPRING

Art By Gillian La Hoya

The witches toward the Brocken strain When the stubble yellow, green the grain. The rabble rushes – as ’tis meet -
To Lord Urian’s lordly seat…

– Goethe’s Faust, “Walpurgisnacht”

 

 

In Germany, Walpurgisnacht (or Hexennacht, meaning witches´ night), the night from April 30 to May 1, is the night when allegedly the witches hold a large celebration on the Blocksberg and await the arrival of Spring.

Walpurgis Night (in German folklore) the night of April 30 (May Day's eve), when witches meet on the Brocken mountain and hold revels with their Gods..."
Brocken the highest of the Harz Mountains of north central Germany. It is noted for the phenomenon of the Brocken spectre and for witches' revels which reputably took place there on Walpurgis night.


The Brocken Spectre is a magnified shadow of an observer, typically surrounded by rainbow-like bands, thrown onto a bank of cloud in high mountain areas when the sun is low. The phenomenon was first reported on the Brocken.
—Taken from Oxford Phrase & Fable.
A scene in Goethe's Faust Part One is called "Walpurgisnacht", and one in Faust Part Two is called "Classical Walpurgisnacht".

In some parts of northern coastal regions of Germany, the custom of lighting huge Beltane fires is still kept alive, to celebrate the coming of May, while most parts of Germany have a derived christianized custom around Easter called "Easter fires".

The Anglo-Saxons called April Oster-monath or Eostur-monath. The Venerable Bede says that this month is the root of the word Easter. He further speculates that the month was named after a goddess Eostre whose feast was in that month. St George's day is the twenty-third of the month; and St Mark's Eve, with its superstition that the ghosts of those who are doomed to die within the year will be seen to pass into the church, falls on the twenty-fourth. In China the symbolic ploughing of the earth by the emperor and princes of the blood takes place in their third month, which frequently corresponds to our April. The Finns called (and still call) this month Huhtikuu, or 'Burnwood Month', when the wood for beat and burn clearing of farmland was felled.

April holidays and events April from the Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry

Buddha's Birthday is celebrated in April

Sexual Violence Month

National Child Abuse Month

National Board Game Month

National Poetry Month (United States)

National Arab American Heritage Month (United States)

Jazz Appreciation Month

National Grilled Cheese Month (United States)

April Fools' Day - April 1

April 1 is the first day of Japanese fiscal year. Major Japanese companies usually have Nyushashiki (entry ceremony for companies) for new employees those who newly hired after their graduation from schools, on this day.

Japanese school calendar also starts from April 1, although Nyugakushiki (entry ceremony for schools) are usually held later, around second week of April.

World Autism Awareness Day - April 2

Arbor Day (Korea) - April 5

End of Tax Year (UK) - April 5

International Month of the Fugue in honor of Bach's birthday at the end of the month of March. Many composers worldwide spend April writing a fugue a day for 30 days.

World Health Day - April 7

Buddha's Birthday - Traditional Date - April 8

Araw ng Kagitingan, also known as "Bataan Day" (Philippines) - April 9

Thai New Year in Thailand - April 13

Lao new Year in Laos - April 13

Khmer New Year in Cambodia - April 13

Tax Day (US) - April 15

Boston Marathon - Third Monday

Passover begins on the fifteenth day of Nisan, which in 2008 begins at sunset on April 19

4:20 - April 20

Patriots' Day - April 21

Earth Day - April 22

Conch Republic Independence Celebration (Key West, Florida) - April 23

St George's Day Patron Saint Celebration (England, Europe) - April 23

Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day Armenian Genocide (World) - April 24

ANZAC Day (Australia and New Zealand) - April 25

Carnation Revolution (Portugal) - April 25

Freedom Day (South Africa) - April 27

April 29 is a Japanese national holiday, as Shōwa Day since 2007. It has been celebrated as The Emperor's Birthday from 1927 to 1988, then renamed as Greenery Day after Hirohito's death in 1989. It is usually marked as the first day of "Golden Week", a week-long holiday period.

Koninginnedag (Kingdom of the Netherlands) - April 30

Arbor Day - last Friday of April in United States * Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day, usually fourth Thursday (United States) * London Marathon - usually fourth Sunday

Easter - two days after Good Friday * Opening Day - first Sunday in April

In rural parts of southern Germany it is part of popular youth culture to go out on Walburgisnacht to play pranks on other people, like messing up someone's garden, hiding stuff or spraying messages on other people's property. Sometimes these pranks go too far and may result in serious wilful damage to property or bodily injury.

Walpurgis (sw: Valborg) is one of the main holidays during the year in both Sweden and Finland, alongside Christmas and Midsummer. The forms of celebration in Sweden vary in different parts of the country and between different cities. One of the main traditions in Sweden is to light large bonfires, a custom which is most firmly established in Svealand, and which began in Uppland during the 18th century. An older tradition from Southern Sweden was for the younger people to collect greenery and branches from the woods at twilight, which were used to adorn the houses of the village. The expected reward for this task is to be paid in eggs.

Today in Finland, Walpurgis Night (Vapunaatto) is, along with New Year's Eve, the biggest carnival-style festivity that takes place in the streets of Finland's towns and cities. The celebration is typically centered on plentiful use of sparkling wine and other alcoholic beverages. The student traditions are also one of the main characteristics of "Vappu". From the end of the 19th century, "Fin de Siècle", and onwards, this traditional upper class feast has been co-opted by students attending university, already having received their student cap. Many people who have graduated from lukio wear the cap. One tradition is drinking sima, whose alcohol content varies. Fixtures include the capping of the Havis Amanda, a nude female statue in Helsinki, and the biannually alternating publications of ribald matter called Äpy and Julkku. Both are sophomoric; but while Julkku is a standard magazine, Äpy is always a gimmick. Classic forms have included an Äpy printed on toilet paper and a bedsheet. Often the magazine has been stuffed inside standard industrial packages such as sardine-cans and milk cartons. The festivities also include a picnic on May 1st, which is sometimes prepared in a lavish manner.

The Finnish tradition is also a shadowing of the Soviet Era May Day parade. Starting with the parties of the left, the whole of the Finnish political scene has nominated Vappu as the day to go out on stumps and agitate. This does not only include right-wing parties, but also others like the church have followed suit, marching and making speeches. In Sweden it is only the labour and socialist parties which use May 1 for political activities, while others observe the traditional festivities. The labourers who were active in the 1970s still party on the first of May. They arrange carnivals and the radio plays their old songs that workers liked to listen to. The labour spirit lies most in the capital of Finland, Helsinki.

The First of May is also a day for everything fun and crazy: children and families gather in market places to celebrate the first day of the spring and the coming summer. There are balloons and joy, people drink their first beers outside, there are clowns and masks and a lot of fun. The first of May includes colourful streamers, funny and silly things and sun. The first of May means the beginning of the spring for many people in Finland.

Traditionally May 1st is celebrated by a picnic in a park (Kaivopuisto in the case of Helsinki). For most, the picnic is enjoyed with friends on a blanket with good food and sparkling wine. Some people, however, arrange extremely lavish picnics with pavilions, white table cloths, silver candelabras, classical music and lavish food. The picnic usually starts early in the morning, and some hard-core party goers continue the celebrations of the previous evening without sleeping in between. Some Student organisations have traditional areas where they camp every year and they usually send someone to reserve the spot early on. As with other Vappu traditions, the picnic includes student caps, sima, streamers and balloons

The tradition which is most widespread throughout the country is probably singing songs of spring. Most of the songs are from the 19th century and were spread by students' spring festivities. The strongest and most traditional spring festivities are also found in the old university cities, like Uppsala and Lund where both current and graduated students gather at events that take up most of the day from early morning to late night on April 30, or "sista April" ("The last day of April") as many people call it. There are also newer student traditions like the carnival parade, The Cortège, which has been held since 1909 by the students at Chalmers in Gothenburg. In Sweden, Valborg is especially notorious because of the excessive amounts of alcohol people consume on that day.

 

BELTANE
For the Celts, Beltane marked the beginning of the pastoral summer season when the herds of livestock were driven out to the summer pastures and mountain grazing lands. In modern Irish, Mí na Bealtaine ('month of Bealtaine') is the name for the month of May. The name of the month is often abbreviated to Bealtaine, with the festival day itself being known as Lá Bealtaine. The lighting of bonfires on Oidhche Bhealtaine ('the eve of Bealtaine') on mountains and hills of ritual and political significance was one of the main activities of the festival.

Beltane is a cross-quarter day, marking the midpoint in the Sun's progress between the vernal equinox and summer solstice. Since the Celtic year was based on both lunar and solar cycles, it is possible that the holiday was celebrated on the full moon nearest the midpoint between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice. The astronomical date for this midpoint is closer to May 5 or May 7, but this can vary from year to year.

In Irish mythology, the beginning of the summer season for the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Milesians started at Bealtaine. Great bonfires would mark a time of purification and transition, heralding in the season in the hope of a good harvest later in the year, and were accompanied with ritual acts to protect the people from any harm by Otherworldly spirits, such as the Sídhe. Like the festival of Samhain, opposite Beltane on Oct. 31, Beltane was a time when the Otherworld was seen as particularly close at hand. Early Gaelic sources from around the 10th century state that the druids of the community would create a need-fire on top of a hill on this day and drive the village's cattle through the fires to purify them and bring luck (Eadar dà theine Bhealltainn in Scottish Gaelic, 'Between two fires of Beltane'). In Scotland, boughs of juniper were sometimes thrown on the fires to add an additional element of purification and blessing to the smoke. People would also pass between the two fires to purify themselves. This was echoed throughout history after Christianization, with lay people instead of Druid priests creating the need-fire. The festival persisted widely up until the 1950s, and in some places the celebration of Beltane continues today. A revived Beltane Fire Festival has been held every year since 1988 during the night of 30 April on Calton Hill in Edinburgh, Scotland and attended by up to 15,000 people (except in 2003 when local council restrictions forced the organisers to hold a private event elsewhere).

Wiccans and Wiccan-inspired Neopagans celebrate a variation of Beltane as a sabbat, one of the eight solar holidays. Although the holiday may use features of the Gaelic Bealtaine, such as the bonfire, it bears more relation to the Germanic May Day festival, both in its significance (focusing on fertility) and its rituals (such as maypole dancing). Some Wiccans celebrate 'High Beltaine' by enacting a ritual union of the May Lord and Lady.

Walpurgis gatherings from around the world

Germany

Alder Stand Coven Beltaine

Dance round the Maypole in this delightful cherry orchard to celebrate the season with Germany's Alder Stand Coven. But advance booking is required.

  • Dates: 29th to 30th April
  • Location: Geisenheim, near Mainz, Hessen.
  • Contact: Telephone Pandora + 49 (0)6722-7506752.
Burg Satzvey Hexenmarkt und Hexentanz
(Witches Market and Festival at Castle Satzvey)

"Mittelelalterliche Hexen- und Musikshow auf zwei Bühnen mit vielen Künstlern und dem Tanz um das größte Hexenfeuer des Rheinlandes." Stalls, various bands and a special programme for Walpurgisnacht in the grounds of a medieval moated castle.

  • Dates: 29th April to 1st May
  • Location: Burg Satzvey, near Bonn.
  • Contact: Burg Satzvey, An der Burg 3, D-53894 Mechernich-Satzvey. Telephone + 49 (0)2256 95 830. Website www.burgsatzvey.de.
Das Hexenbrennen (The Witch-burning)

"In Göda bei Bautzen wird durch Mitglieder des Deutsch-Sorbischen Volkstheaters eine Gerichtsverhandlung über die „Stara Jeba“ (alte Hexe), verkörpert durch eine Strohpuppe, inszeniert. In dieser Verhandlung wird sie für alles Schlechte im vergangenen Jahr angeklagt und muß dafür im Feuer büßen." (Source: http://www.bautzen.bz/index.php?site=regionales_details&objekt_ID=61)

  • Dates: 30th April
  • Location: Göda, Bautzen, near Dresden.
  • Contact: Bautzen.de.
Hexentanz Festival (Witchdance Festival)

"In der historischen Altstadt Ottweiler das Hexentanz-Festival mit historischem Mittelaltermarkt statt." Medieval rock festival featuring bands like Corvus Corax. The historic old town of Ottweiler will also play host to a medieval market.

  • Dates: end of April
  • Location: Ottweiler, Saarland.
  • Contact: Frank Schulz, Hauptstrasse 22, 66564 Mainzweiler. Telephone +49 (0)68 24 70 05 00. Website hexentanz-festival.de.
Walpurgisnacht im Harz

Various events throughout the Harz region. See the website below for details on the festivities planned for each village.

  • Dates: 30th April
  • Location: Harz.
  • Contact: Walpurgis.de.
    Highlights:
    Walpurgis - Die Nacht der Hexen (The Night of the Witches)

    From 3pm to midnight the Kurpark in Schierke transforms itself into a Witches' Sabbat. The day opens with a children's programme, but as it grows dark Teufelsmusik can be heard drifting down from the lonely Brocken. The Medieval folkrockers Spilwut put on a dramatic re-enactment of the Witches' Sabbat. Rock shows, dance music, food and beer stands and an explosive finale give this event something for everyone.

    Walpurgisnacht auf dem Hexentanzplatz
    (Walpurga's Night at the Witches' Dancing Place)

    From 3pm to after midnight the infamous Hexentanzplatz above Thale glows to the light of bonfires and rocks to the sound of music and laughter. Theatre, rock bands, Radio SAW Live, a Walpurgis Fantasy, Mythenrevue, and fireworks keep the party going into the wee small hours.

Italy

Day of the Devils

The isolated village of Prizzi, lying in the picturesque heart of Sicily, plays scene to the cosmic struggle between good and evil every Easter. Villagers wearing huge, grotesque iron masks perform 'The Dance of the Devils'.

  • Dates: 9-16 April.
  • Location: Prizzi, Sicily, Italy.
  • Contact: Pro-Loco Hippana, Piazza F. Crispi 90038 Palermo Italy. Telephone +39 091 8346901. E-mail prolocohippanaprizzi@virgilio.it.

United Kingdom

Edinburgh Beltane Fire Festival

Since the mid-1980s the Beltane Fire Festival has been held every year on the night of 30th April on Edinburgh's Calton Hill. A spectacular procession inspired by our mythic past draws a crowd of upwards of 15,000 when Calton Hill, with its neo-classical folly, becomes Scotland's Stonehenge.

  • Dates: 30th April.
  • Location: Calton Hill, Edinburgh, Scotland.
  • Contact: Beltane Fire Society, 19 Leven Street, Tollcross, Edinburgh EH3 9LH. Telephone +44 (0)131 228 5353 . E-mail scribe@beltane.org.
Birmingham Beltane Celebration

Family-friendly celebration held by the Midlands' Pagan Association with picnic, games, dancing round the Maypole and short Beltane ceremony.

  • Dates: 30th April.
  • Location: Moseley Bog, Yardley Wood Road, Birmingham, England.
  • Contact: Telephone +44 (0)7905 052954. Website paganassociation.co.uk.
Croydon Beltane Witches Sabbat

The Children of Artemis are holding their Beltane Witches' Sabbat, an open ritual to which all are welcome. There will be a facinating introductory talk on the sabbat and the meaning of the ritual itself. The experienced ritual team will then perform a traditional style Witchcraft/Wiccan ritual which you are invited to participate in. Guests are advised to bring food and drink to share after the ritual.

  • Dates: 27th April.
  • Location: Fairfield Halls, Croydon, South London, England.
  • Contact: BM Artemis, London, WC1N 3XX . Telephone +44 (0)870 442 290 or +44 (0)870 442 7290.
London Beltane Bash

Pagans, Witches, Wiccans, Druids, Odinists and Shamans gather at London's Conway Hall to welcome the summer. This extraordinary annual celebration of the changing seasons begins with an Opening Ritual and features the Pagan Pride Parade. The festivities close with a Grand Beltane Ritual.

Wimbourne Spring Festival

Family weekend of talks, workshops, complementary therapies, craft stalls and live music held at Gaunts House in Dorset.

  • Dates: end of April.
  • Location: Gaunts House, Wimbourne, Dorset, UK.
  • Contact: Gaunts House. Telephone +44 (0) 1202 841 522. E-mail info@gauntshouse.com.

North America

USA

St Stupid's Day Parade

The April Fool gets sanctified: St Stupid is the patron saint of the First Church of the Last Laugh, presided over by Supreme Pontiff Joey. The madness begins at the Embarcadero Plaza, San Francisco, where revellers in costume, carrying 'noise makers', flags, confetti and with a Devil-may-care attitude congregate.

  • Dates: 1st April.
  • Location: Embarcadero Plaza, San Francisco, USA.
  • Contact: San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau, 201 3rd St, Suite 900 San Francisco, CA 94103-3185. Telephone +1 415 391 2000. E-mail bishopj@saintstupid.com.
Apache Rattlesnake Festival

Every year Apache in Oklahoma throws a huge party in honour of the rattlesnake. The event features hundreds of stalls, an Indian Medicine Man, Country and Western band, a carnival, snake pit and, for those with strong stomachs, the opportunity to try fried rattlesnake meat.

  • Dates: 14-16 April
  • Location: Apache, Oklahoma, USA.
  • Contact: Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation, 15 N Robinson, Suite 801, Oklahoma City, OK 73102. Telephone +1 405 521 3981. E-mail information@travelok.com.
Earth Day

The annual event dedicated to raising awareness of ecological issues. Special events take place all over the city of Washington DC and especially at the Mall where rallies and speakers gather.

  • Dates: 22nd April.
  • Location: Washington DC, USA.
  • Contact: Earth Day Network, 1616 P St NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036 USA. Telephone +1 202 518 0044. E-mail earthday@earthday.net.

Canada

Body, Soul and Spirit Expo

The Body, Soul and Spirit Expo at Calgary's Big Four Building in Stampede Park is Canada's largest and longest-running alternative healing event. On show are a wide range of alternative therapies, natural remedies, astrology, intuitive arts and others with belly dancing and Buddhist chanting for light relief.

  • Dates: 21st-23rd April.
  • Location: Stampede Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Contact: Telephone +1 403 246 0668. E-mail info@bodysoulspiritexpo.com.

Africa

South Africa

Pagan Freedom Day Celebration

Celebrating religious freedom for Pagans in South Africa, this event features esoteric stalls, drumming circle, divination, pumpkin carving, competitions, talks and more. The end of April is also Samhain (Hallowe'en) in the Southern Hemisphere.

International

World Healing Day

At various venues around the world people gather to 'heal' the world through prayer, dance, ritual and magic.

  • Dates: 24th April.
  • Location: various venues around the world.
  • Contact: e-mail wtcqd2000@aol.com.

 

 

MORE ON WITCHES:

READ MORE HERE:

SEASON OF THE WITCH: CELEBRATING Mardi Gras

Each year on October 31st the world changes: Time, as we know it, ceases to exist and the veil that shrouds our world draws back for a brief span to open a doorway into the realm of shadows, mystery and ancient magick, of the dead and the dark Divine.

< READ MORE HERE>

 

THE HAGS OF NIGHT

Witches, too, it was long believed, were out in force upon this Night of Nights to welcome the Witch’s New Year in perfect fashion. When the last golden glow of the setting Autumn sun had faded, witches would take to the air riding upon broomsticks, spades, or butter churns, on the backs of airborne goats or huge black cats, some even upon the backs of flying pigs, all en route to the celebration of the Great Sabbat of Samhain or All Hallow’s Eve. This supernatural traffic was known as the Mardi Gras Rade and all good folk who did not want to fall under an evil spell, or worse, get swept up in the raid themselves, transformed into some animal for a witch’s transport, were secure inside their hushed and darkened homes.

<READ MORE HERE>

IN A WITCH'S GARDEN

Lesson One: Filling the Cauldron

"Eye of newt, and toe of frog, Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting, Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing, For a charm of powerful trouble, Like a hell-broth boil and bubble."

< READ MORE HERE>

IN THE WITCH’S GARDEN PART TWO: A BANEFUL BOTANICA

There are certain herbs and plants traditionally associated with witchcraft but which today would NEVER be used or administered for consumption because of their extremely poisonous nature. Because, however, witches did once use them in their magickal arts, they should rightfully be mentioned in this series. Witches classify those herbs and plants that produce death as “baneful” or “fell.” Modern herbalists will list them as poisonous and will warn against using them or, in some instances, even having contact with them.

<READ MORE HERE>

THE WITCH'S BESTIARY

Members of a dark sisterhood in servitude to Satan, witches relied upon their own servants to accomplish their nefarious tasks. These companion beasts, birds and reptiles were known as the witch’s “familiars,” animal servants that had been possessed by a demon or that had come as rewards from the devil Himself.

<READ MORE HERE>

 

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