The Night When Witches Are Celebrating

The title of this blog post might have fooled you a bit. This blog post isn’t a short story about a fantasy night. It isn’t the title of a Halloween night. It is the title of a night when the celebration of witches is going on with bonfires when rampant superstition and misunderstood beliefs lead to another Holiday celebration nobody exactly knows where its roots are:

 

Let’s find out if we can bring some light into a secret that’s hidden in the dark for centuries.

I found two quotes about Walpurgis Night, one as false as the other:

picture courtesy of http://www.google.com

 

 

Bram Stoker, the 19th Century Irish storyteller, barely got anything right. Walpurgis night has nothing to do with death, walking corpses and a devil’s dance. But Selena Fox isn’t right either. According to my research, Walpurgis Night and Beltane have two different roots and are just celebrated almost the same time. But let’s find out what I learned:

Walpurgis Night:

Walpurgis Night (the English translation of Walpurgisnacht [valˈpʊʁɡɪsˌnaχt]), also known as the Feast of Saint Walpurga, is the eve of Christian feast day of Saint Walpurga, an 8th-century abbess in Francia, and is celebrated on night of 30 April and the day of 1 May.[1] This feast commemorates the canonization of Sant Walpurga and the movement of her relics to Eichstätt, both of which occurred on 1 May in the year 870.[2] (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walpurgis_Night)

 

Beltane:

Beltane (/ˈbɛl.teɪn/)[3][4] is the anglicized name for the Gaelic May Day festival. Most commonly it is held on 1 May, or about halfway between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. Historically, it was widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. In Irish the name for the festival day is Lá Bealtaine ([l̪ˠaː ˈbʲal̪ˠt̪ˠənʲə]), in Scottish Gaelic Là Bealltainn ([l̪ˠa: ˈpjaul̪ˠt̪ˠɪɲ]) and in Manx Gaelic Laa Boaltinn/Boaldyn. It is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals—along with Samhain, Imbolc and Lughnasadh. (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beltane)

Walpurgis Night & Beltane:

Despite sharing the same date and many customs, there is a distinct difference between Walpurgis and Beltane. At its most basic, Beltane is primarily Gaelic and celebrated on May 1, whereas Walpurgis is Germanic and often celebrated the night before Beltane. If you were able to go back in time however, you’d realize you’re dealing with rural customs, in areas quite often cut off from much contact with the outside world. From that perspective you’d likely see little difference between the two holidays.
The primary difference between the ancient times and more modern history, is Walpurgis has developed a distinctly witchy flavor. Walpurgis in the Middle Ages concerned itself with protecting yourself from or driving away witches.
Today, as the fear of the craft fades slowly into the past, it’s all about celebrating witches. (source: Todd Atteberry of the Gothic Curiosity Cabinet)

According to these sources Walpurgis Night and Beltane are different, Walpurgis celebrating a Germanic Christian Abbess of the 8th Century, while Beltane is much older, of course, and is based on a Pagan Celebration. It started as a celebration of welcoming spring, exactly six months after Samhain (later the Christian All Saints Day.) and turned into chasing away evil.

I found out that Walpurgis Night is celebrated through not only the Germanic part of Europe but Northern Europe as well. (Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, even the Czech Republic, Hungary and Bohemia). It seems, one point in Europe is very much connected to the roots of Walpurgis Night: “Blocksberg,” in the “Harz,” in Germany. It is suspected that Pagans originally tried to find a place where they could celebrate Beltane without being disturbed by fanatic Christians. But of course, a secret never stays a secret if many people guard it. It is told that Christian bigots found the Blocksberg, watched the Beltane rituals and labeled them as celebrating evil, satanic masses, and witches would call Satan to practice dark magic and hold orgies.

All these rumors, of course, let me and many others believe that Walpurgis Night and Beltane are not different at all, but that Walpurgis Night has its roots in the Beltane rituals. It is said that some of these Christians liked and enjoyed the peaceful celebration of Beltane and just found a way to celebrate the feast in a Christian Way, while not much later, the very same Christians burned peaceful Pagan women to death for celebrating rituals that were marked as ‘witchcraft.’

Nowadays of course, in these modern times, the roots and meaning of as well Walpurgis Night as also Beltane have been completely lost. It seems our world hears “bonfire,” “celebration,” “witches.”, “evil” and it turns out into the grotesque glorification of witchcraft without questioning the origin. In many European countries that still remember Walpurgis Night, people light up bonfires, dance, drink and wear silly witch costumes.

I think it is a bit sad that the meaning and the roots of Beltane is mostly forgotten.

Whatever we celebrate now, does have nothing to do anymore with what Beltane meant. Neo-pagans have turned it into some witch celebration.

Nobody knows who Walpurga was and she is just considered another witch.

Once again, this year, April 30, I will remember that centuries ago the beginning of a new season was celebrated and I will smile about the silly turn this celebration has taken.

Picture courtesy of http://www.google.com

Platform: What IS It? Why Do Writers Need One? – Written By Kristen Lamb

Read what Kristen Lamb has to say about Writer’s Platforms.


A platform offers major advantage when it comes to selling books. Before social media, non-fiction authors had an edge. These authors already had an existing audience by the time their books were ready for sale.

Novelists, conversely, found themselves relying on a lot of pure luck, prayer, and alignment of the stars. The fiction author had little to no control regarding the business side of their business. The only way to build a platform was to not completely FAIL with book one.

Great.

Non-fiction authors, however, were not nearly as vulnerable because they had ways to cultivate a following ahead of time. Those ways also permitted them to KEEP growing the platform even bigger as they continued to publish more works.

For instance, if one happened to be an expert of some sort, it was far easier to build an audience interested in your topic. Therapists, psychiatrists, physicians, personal trainers, business owners, etc. obviously could begin with their ‘job’ (I.e. a private practice). Then these experts progressively expanded their platforms in a logical fashion.

They might broaden to speaking engagements, guest appearances on television and/or radio, serve as ‘experts’, and maybe even fold in lectures and seminars. With every expansion, the NF author added more numbers to their ‘platform.’

To read the full blog post go to:

http://authorkristenlamb.com/2018/04/platform/

AJ Needs Some Sunshine

I have been working 12 and 13 hour days in my job. Then I was writing, blogging, keeping up with friends,  working out, duties, supporting, helping, volunteering.

I was beyond busy lately. I was swimming in tasks and duties that I didn’t pick that way.

I think I deserve a break and some vitamin D.

I’ll be on vacation from April 24 through May 12.

But don’t worry, I won’t be disconnected. I’ll check in occasionally and I hope you’ll be entertained with the posts I prepared.

picture courtesy of: http://www.turismo.it

Akismet – Or the Secret Infiltration Of Our Blogs

A few weeks back I was going through my comments, since I had to approve a few of them, and was informed that I had something like 70 spam comments. You can see the spam file here, just when you’re in your comments:

Once again curiosity-driven I went through the spam file and scrolled through the different attempts. And I realized something: while a few months ago, these ‘cyber-impostors” were simply commenting on our blog posts, they had found out they might be more successful replying to one of the comments on our posts.

While a year ago, sales companies for mattresses, online drug stores, and internet Viagra were trying to use our blogs as a sales platform, this time I found that Russian sex sites tried the same thing.

I saw the statistics and realized that the number of spam comments was almost as high as my regular blog comments. Can you imagine if Akismet didn’t exist? We would be drowned in mattresses, bad internet Viagra and Russian whores.

 

I admit at this point I’m grateful for Akismet and WordPress protecting us from the worst. Some trigger words might make them turn a regular comment into a spam comment, but by going through our spam file regularly, we can still catch them.

Without Akismet our blogs were unreadable, and we would have to give them up.
I recommend you keep track of your spam folder to help them improve their service.

Happy blogging!

picture courtesy of http://www.twitter.com

 

This Week in Indie Publishing

Read the latest Indie Publishing news on Don Massenzio’s blog! Thanks for all the information Don!

Author Don Massenzio

Amazon Has Filed Suit To Stop The Six-Figure ‘Book Stuffing’ Kindle Scam

Some self-publishers slip entire books into the back of their latest ebook, taking a larger chunk of that month’s royalty fund as a result — as much as $100,000 per month.

Last Tuesday, an Amazon subsidiary filed suit in federal court seeking to confirm an arbitration award against British book publisher Jake Dryan and his companies, relating to claims that the publisher’s companies abused Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), the Amazon self-publishing program. According to Amazon Digital Services LLC’s petition, Law360 reports, the self-publisher breached Amazon’s terms by using bots or “clickfarms” to inflate page views and manipulate their ranking. However, the petition also identified another practice in violation of Kindle’s terms: The act of “combining selections of works they had already published into purportedly new books.” It’s a much-hated move called “book stuffing” by the self-publishing community, and this suit is the first indication of…

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Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – A multi-International cast, two cats, a dog and WI training.

Spreading Sally Cronin’s laughter. Another hysterical blog post with jokes that will make you laugh and giggle. Thanks so much Sally!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the first of the laughter lines this week.. some from the archives and a couple of new ones…

First it is time to catch up with that Englishman, Scotsman and Irishman… up to their usual shenanigans!

A Scotsman, an Irishman, and an Englishman are each sentenced to a year in solitary confinement; before being locked away, each is to be granted a year’s supply of whatever he wants to help him get through the long, long spell alone.

  • The Scotsman asks for a year’s supply of whisky; it’s given to him and he’s locked away.
  • The Irishman asks for a year’s supply of Guinness so he’s locked up with several thousand bottles of it.
  • The Englishman asks for a year’s supply of cigarettes and he’s given a pile of cartons and the cell door is shut on him.

One year later, the doors are all unlocked.

The Scotsman…

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Changes are Coming to WordPress

Steven Colborne informs us about changes on WordPress and how they influence our future blogging. Thanks so much for your article Steven!

 

Perfect Chaos

If you’re as passionate about blogging as I am, you’ll be curious and concerned about the fact that WordPress are working on a “revolutionary” new editor. In the coming months, the way in which you compose your blog posts on WordPress.com is going to change quite considerably.

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Vanity Book Publishing And Self-Publishing Are Not The Same – by Derek Haines…

I discovered this article ‘Vanity Book Publishing And Self-Publishing Are Not The Same – by Derek Haines’ on The Story Reading Ape’s blog. I think it’s important that we all know the difference. Thank you, Chris and Derek.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Just Publishing Advice:

Vanity book publishing has a bad reputation, and it is no surprise why this is so.

If you are a new author, beware of publishers who offer to publish your book.

Also be just as wary of publishers you discover that say a lot about publishing your book, but almost nothing about how much it will cost or how they will help you market your book.

There is a very big difference between vanity book publishing and self-publishing.

Continue reading HERE

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How to Create Evergreen Blog Content

Suzie Speaks tells us how to create evergreen blog content. Thank you so much for sharing your experience!

Suzie Speaks

How to create evergreen blog content

There are two types of content that I usually post on my blog:

Daily Experiences – things I see and do, journal-type notes, general thoughts etc. These posts are generally just for fun – I write them for enjoyment and they keep within the original purpose that the blog was intended for: therapy. I don’t pay much attention to SEO, keywords or images as I know that these sorts of posts will be seen over a period of about a month and then will be considered to be out of date. Essentially, non-evergreen content that has an expiration date.

Evergreen Content – posts that will be generally relevant over long periods of time and aren’t necessarily specific to my own life. Within these I am much more focused on keywords and SEO techniques, I spend a much longer period of time crafting beautiful and pinnable images and I make sure…

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Why I’m Unable To Write My Autobiography

I heard from three writer friends so far that they’re currently writing their autobiography – or memoirs… I wouldn’t be a writer if I didn’t consider writing my own after getting the idea. But I had to see that this won’t work.

We all know the saying when a writer has the idea for a story in his/her head, it needs to get out and be written. It is a true saying. And that’s why after I got the idea of writing my memoirs two minutes later the idea had been disappeared out of my head again. I figured this meant that this story doesn’t want to be written.

There are many reasons for not writing my autobiography: I always considered great minds, great personalities, famous and respected people do have an autobiography or biography… but me? Who would want to read about my life? It has been normal! In fact, it was extremely normal I think it would be boring to read about it. Yes, there were struggles, so many that it wasn’t an easy life – but these struggles are only important to me! Compared to other people’s problems and challenges mine were so minor.

I understand there are people traumatized as children or young adults and writing down their story might help. I heard about an actress who wrote her memoirs when she was 18 years old. Come on! 18? At that age, you discover that you are legally an adult. Was your life so freaking bad as a teenager? If yes, fine; if no, would I have to read about 15 years of overly dramatic boredom? With me, it’s different!

And I won’t write about a life that is so full of happiness, greatness, adventures and fantastic pictures, which would paint a completely wrong person. Like people who live their life on Instagram. Their lives are full of fantasy, greatness, fun, happiness and impressive pics. How many times do I see some friends of friends posting pics of their vacation in Australia! All people with Koalas on their backs! They all are happily beaming into the camera (except the Koala, whose 400th pic it is that day). One could almost think Australia was only built for Koala vacation. And yes, I’m just kidding.

But I refuse to write about a colorful life that I never had. I don’t need to impress anyone; I don’t need to publish my mistakes and wrong decisions in my life. I only need to make sure one person is going to be good with my life – and that’s my former child-self.

I want that little AJ looking into the future and saying: “Okay, this is the AJ I want to become later. She might not always do what society tells her to. She might not always have decided for the best, and sometimes she’s clumsy and a bit helpless; she trusts people too easily and when she was younger. occasionally she was blind when it came to guys. But hey – she is herself. She’s always been herself. She still has jokes in her head and has incomparable humor. And even though when she’s on the ground, flat on her belly, she gets back up and fights. With pride in her heart and her chin high.”

 

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And then there’s another reason: Writing my autobiography or memoirs, wouldn’t that mean, I never want to be forgotten? I want people to remember me. I figure, to the ones who have me in their heart, they’re going to keep me there. And I doubt I would ever find the impertinence to expect the entire world to keep me for eternity.

What IS eternity? – Yes, I know. The definition of eternity can be read in every dictionary, right? But that’s not what I mean.

From what I hear a priest has described eternity like this: “You see a dove picking up a sand grain at the beach, taking it into its beak, flying up to the moon, letting the sand grain fall. Then the dove flies back to the beach for centuries, picks up the next sand grain, flies up to the moon for centuries, lets the sand grain fall. And again it flies back to the beach, picks up the next sand grain, flies up to the moon, and so on; until it has transported the last sand grain of that beach up to the moon. By then – eternity has just started!”

Would I ever want to be remembered by people – in all eternity? (Or until the Earth explodes, but that’s another story). No, I don’t. I’m going to be at a place, where heaven is surrounding me. I wasn’t great; I wasn’t the best thing humankind has ever seen. Shoot the damned bird. LOL

I think you know what I mean.

Yes, my loved ones, my friends, and my family. Keep me in your hearts. But don’t expect me to write down all my life for people to read it. I keep secrets. At one point, let me go.

Do you write your autobiography or memoirs right now? What is your reason to write it down?

Picture courtesy of: https://www.wildgratitude.com/what-does-dove-mean/