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
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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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