Saturday, July 23, 2011

Witches over the Brocken

 O.K. the Brocken is no great peaked mountain. Its just the highest point of the Hartz. 

But anyone will tell you that is where the witches gather on the eve of May Day - Walpurgis Night.
In Goethe's Faustus the Brocken is where the witches gather:
Now to the Brocken the witches ride;
The stubble is gold and the corn is green;
There is the carnival crew to be seen,
And Squire Urianus will come to preside.
So over the valleys our company floats,
With witches a-farting on stinking old goats.
In the tourist towns shops are full of souvenir witches.
The pre-Christian religion seems to linger here.

In the Middle Ages they replaced the feast day of St Walburga on May Day and focussed on the light of the Christian faith driving out the darkness of evil. Walburga was a Devon girl, part of St. Boniface's mission to Frisia and Germany, she died in Heidenheim in Franconia.

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