An Urglaawe Thanksgiving Musing

I saw the post below (at the bottom of this commentary) on the Facebook status update of a friend. 

There are many truths inside this status. There are quite a few folks, many of whom I know personally, who are one missing paycheck away from losing their homes or cars, etc. These kinds of difficulties have many origins, including the current economy. Many aspects of these problems are beyond our immediate or even long-term control, and there are many people who need a hand up (not so much a handout) in order to get back on track. 

Some aspects are self-induced. We live in a culture that, for some odd reason, advances the chaotic force of rootlessness, encouraging people to shun totally any notion of being "too close to people" or having anyone "all up in my business." I can understand this to some degree, but, as a society, we are, to use an old expression, "throwing the baby out with the bath water." Akin to this rootlessness is the utter Blitzkrieg of Black Friday, which is now undermining one of major "connection" holidays of the year with the implied promise of satisfaction being achieved through going shopping. From the Urglaawe perspective, these forms of rootlessness are to be shunned because they destroy the very fabric of our social order. 

There are, of course, plenty of people going through grief, loss, or physical challenges that make the holidays rougher. Some of these are temporary conditions; others are chronic problems that are the largest challenges. Each individual has a responsibility to work through these problems and to attempt not to be defined by them. The wider community has a responsibility to recognize the existence of attempts to surmount these problems and to be supportive towards those who experienced recent challenges and towards those who are working hard to change their own definition of themselves in the face of adversity. 

This comment is meant neither to "rain on the parade" nor to urge everyone to be more appreciative of their life situation. Instead, it is meant as a reminder that we all have a role in changing our society's mindset from rootlessness to a sense of cooperative interdependence from a premise of appropriate compassion coupled with personal responsibility. This may be a utopian pipe dream, but there are no rules that say all dreams have to be small or easy. 

------ Quoted text below ------ 

 FOR any of my friends who may be alone: It's important to remember that not everyone is surrounded by large wonderful families. Some of us have problems during the holidays and sometimes are overcome with great sadness when we remember the loved ones who are not with us. And, many people have no one to spend these times with and are besieged by loneliness. We all need caring thoughts and loving prayer right now. If I don't see your name, I'll understand. May I ask my friends wherever you might be, to kindly copy, paste, and share this status for one hour to give a moment of support to all those who have family problems, health struggles, job issues, worries of any kind and just need to know that someone cares. Do it for all of us, for nobody is immune. I hope to see this on the walls of all my friends just for moral support. I know some will! I did it for a friend and you can too! (You have to copy & paste this one, no sharing.)

Plan Your Yuletide Meals Now!

While no meal rules cross all denominations of Heathenry or even all kindreds or individuals within a given denomination, this describes Distelfink's Yuletide meal practices.

In Urglaawe, "days" begin at sundown on the preceding night. Thus, Yule actually begins at sundown on Friday, December 20 and ends at sundown on Wednesday, January 1.

Friday, December 20: The meal Urglaawer eat at this time consists of goose, which is sacred to the goddess Holle. In Urglaawe, She is among the principle deities, and this meal is religiously important due to Yule's association with Her.  Because Yule is twelve days long, though, this particular meal can be done at anytime throughout the Yuletide. 

Tuesday, December 31: Zwelfdi Nacht, or Twelfth Night, starts at sundown. This is the Berchtaslaaf, or the Progression of Berchta. Berchta has a commanded meal on December 31 that consists of any sort of fish (herring is most typical) and gruel, dumplings, or oatmeal (Grimm's Teutonic Mythology vol. 1 p. 273). One may consume other food in addition to the Berchta's ordered feast, if they give portions of their food up as offerings.

Wednesday, January 1:  New Year's Day is also Zwelfder Daag, or Twelfth Day, and is the Feast of Frey. Pennsylvania German tradition and Urglaawe rule is the consumption of pork and sauerkraut on that day. Both pork and sauerkraut are sacred to the god Frey and represent blessings and bounty in the New Year. 

Macht's immer besser!

In-Reach Designated Beneficiary of Philadelphia Pagan Pride Day

The In-Reach Heathen Prison Services program is a joint effort by The Troth and Distelfink Sippschaft to provide books and materials with positive Heathen messages to incarcerated Heathens. Distelfink is currently in communication with inmates and administrators in five correctional facilities in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Distelfink visitation takes place in three facilities in New Jersey.

The Troth's inmate and administrator contact has expanded quickly to fifteen states with volunteers conducting visitation in seven states. Recently, the Western Canadian Steward, John T. Mainer, has opened contact with interested parties to expand prison visitation in Canada, thus making In-Reach an international effort.

The In-Reach program is in need of books and materials to send to administrators and chaplains and to place in facility libraries. As such, In-Reach is excited and proud to be a beneficiary of Philadelphia Pagan Pride Day. Heathen materials will go to facilities with which In-Reach is in contact. Donated Pagan materials will be turned over to allied Pagan networks for distribution to facilities in which they work.

A list of needed and requested donations is provided in a link in the press release below.

Folks who are in the Philadelphia area are encouraged to join us on August 31!

Macht's immer besser!


FOR RELEASE August 11, 2013 
Media Contact: Robert L. Schreiwer, 

Philadelphia Pagan Pride, Inc., is pleased to announce the return of Philadelphia Pagan Pride Day on Saturday, August 31, 2013, at Clark Park (4301 Chester Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19143). The event runs from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, rain or shine. 

Philadelphia Pagan Pride Day is a family-friendly celebration of the harvest and reflects a variety of Pagan, Heathen, Wiccan, and other religious beliefs and practices. The day's events will feature a variety of workshops and discussions on religious and cultural aspects from the various traditions.

We have an exciting array of vendors and performers who will exhibit their wares and their talents. We are accepting additional vendors, workshop leaders, performers, and children's activity ideas up until August 15, 2013. Please visit to participate! 

Entry to the event is free, but we do request the donation of a canned food item or other provisions for our beneficiaries. This year, our beneficiaries are the food bank at the Mazzoni Center, Forgotten Cats, and In-Reach Heathen Prison Services. 

In 2012, Mazzoni Center's food bank Mazzoni Center's Food Bank provided more than 11,000 bags of groceries for over 1,200 individuals and families. For more information on Mazzoni Center services, please see

Forgotten Cats is a humane trap, neuter, and release organization. the organization also provides adoption services. For more information on Forgotten Cats, please see

In-Reach Heathen Prison Services is a joint effort of The Troth and Distelfink Sippschaft to bring positive materials and messages to incarcerated Heathens. In-Reach also accepts donations of other Pagan materials and distributes them through alliances and partnerships with other Pagan organizations. For more information on In-Reach, please see

A detailed list of needed donation items may be found at:

Anyone interested in getting involved as a volunteer should contact us by e-mail at:

For more information, please visit

"Heil Dir, Holle"

At Trothmoot 2013 in Tehachapi, California, participants in the Holle Sege were treated to a wonderful experience. By Leticia Andreas' Holle Weih, Troth Elder Birgit Knorr shared her song, Heil Dir, Holle, to the group. I remember feeling the power around us rise as she sang her song. It was sublime.

Since that time, I was hoping that Birgit would make the song available. Thanks to Jan Hijatt and Birgit, the song is now on YouTube.

I am also working, with Birgit's permission, on translating the song into Deitsch for use in Urglaawe rituals. I am not sure that I can sing it as beautifully as Birgit does in the video, but music is something that we sorely need in rituals.

Birgit, Diana Paxson, and Michaela Macha (among others) are leaders in this area, and we at Distelfink hope to use the talent of some of our musically-gifted folks to add to the songs of Heathenry.

Thank you again, Birgit and Jan, for making this video available.

Oklahoma Tornado Relief Efforts

Expanded info on Oklahoma tornado relief efforts. Thanks to Destiny Ballard of Bifrost Way for this information.

Hollerbeer Haven Issues

All back issues of Hollerbeer Haven, Journal of Urglaawe, Braucherei, and Deitsch Wisdom, are now available on and on

Central PA HeathenCon 2013

Central Pennsylvania HeathenCon is fast approaching!

This is the first year in which we will have workshops and discussions added into our schedule. Our preliminary agenda is as follows:

Northland Motel and Northland Bowl
1521 Martin Street
State College, PA 16803
February 22-February 24, 2013



6:00 PM - Dinner Out

8:00 PM - Land-taking Blot/Sege (led by Hearth of Yggdrasil)

Night - Free Time

SATURDAY (All workshops in Meeting Room at Northland Bowl)

8:00 AM - Breakfast Out

10:00 AM - Blot/Sege (Northland Bowl Meeting Room)

10:30 AM - Re-enactment and Experimental Archaeology in Heathenry - Annie of Kindred of Mann

12:00 PM - Lunch In

1:00 PM - Braucherei in the Urglaawe Context Discussion - Rob of Distelfink Sippschaft

2:30 PM - Introduction to Traditional Poetry - Eirik of Hearth of Yggdrasil

4:00 PM - Round Table Discussion - Jo and Jeff of Hearth of Yggdrasil

6:00 PM - Dinner Out

Evening - Relaxation and Free Time

10:00 PM - Nachtsege/Blot led by Distelfink Sippschaft


8:00 AM  - Breakfast Out

10:00 AM - Closing Blot/Sege led by Community

11:00 AM - Checkout