Thursday, April 28, 2016
April 30th, Walpurgisnacht or Hexennacht (Witches’ Night) – the night that belongs to the witch.
Celts referred to the eve of May as Cet Samhain – the opposite of Samhain or Halloween, as April 30th falls exactly six months after Samhain. It is believed that on these two nights the veil between the worlds separating the living and the dead – the seen and the unseen, thins, allowing spirits, and witches to mingle openly among us as they travel to their meeting places.
Mayday (May 1st) and All Soul’s Day, (November 1st), are known as cross-quarter days, as they roughly fall between the equinox and solstice – a crossroads of the year, as it were. Since the days of Ancient Greece, it is Hecate, goddess of witchcraft, who stands guard at these crossroads.
There, an unwitting traveler was likely to encounter spirits elementals, mysterious lights and music, and witness the celebratory cavorting of witches.
( A drawing of an "Elemental" done from life by your editor on a "Samhain" night.)
Many tales and traditions point to the figure of Walburga, who bears a crown and shoes of fire. It is said that she hides among the newly growing things in the fields or even within the small grains of wheat.
Through the years, many springtime festivals have contributed and influenced Walpurgisnacht, such as the Roman’s Floralia – a Medieval forest battle waged between King Winter and the May Queen. As dawn approached, the queen is triumphant.
The definition of a witch is a woman who wields wisdom, strength, and knowledge – all qualities equaling power – a magic in and of itself. So, on this Walpurgisnacht, I ask you to remember, honor, and respect witches and their place in the world, in our imaginations and most importantly, in ourselves.
(This lifted shamelessly from the net.)