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:
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 (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. 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. (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walpurgis_Night)
Beltane (/ˈbɛl.teɪn/) 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.
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.”
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?
March 5, 2018 I found a new achievement on WordPress:
I’m very excited to be a blogger of 3 years this month.
Writer’s Treasure Chest has grown significantly in the past year.
over 5,500 comments
almost 80 guests
I’m so lucky to be part of the blogging world with all your help. Without guests, friends, followers, supporters and people encouraging me again and again this blogging adventure would not have been progressing at this pace and wouldn’t have been as successful as it is.
A senior man decides to spend a decent part of his money on a new car and makes an appointment for a trial run at the BMW car dealership. On the freeway, there isn’t much traffic around that time, and he decides to go faster. He pushes the gas pedal down and gives it a go. Just when he enjoys himself most, he sees the blue lights behind him. He considers trying to get away, but at the end, his common sense kicks in and he stops the car rolls the window down and keeps his hands on the steering wheel just as he’s supposed to do.
The door of the police car behind him opens, and a cop gets out and walks to his BMW and looks at him. “Sir, you know why I pulled you over, right?” The man replies: “Yes, Officer. I was speeding, I guess. That wasn’t my intention. I’m on a trial run and got carried away. I never wanted to hurt anyone or did go too fast on purpose. I’m 70 years old now and never got even a parking ticket. I wish this had never happened.”
The cop felt sorry for the retiree and finally says: “I just don’t understand why you weren’t stopping earlier. It seemed you were trying to take off. But listen, I’ll let you go if you are telling me why you stepped on the gas instead of stopping. Make sure it’s a story I never heard before in my career.”
The man replied: “See, Officer, ten years ago my wife ran away with a cop and when I saw you I was afraid you’d try to return her to me.”
Three men arrive at the pearly gates. Saint Peter waited there, looking tired and yawning, telling them: “You know, I don’t feel like doing much today. I’m afraid you’ll have to wait.” – “But Sir,” one of the men said, We are, you know, dead.” Saint Peter looked at him, watery-eyed and replied tiredly: “You know, if you are telling me how you passed away and I like it, you might get in.
The first one starts: “I’m a lawyer. And today I got home early because I wanted to surprise my wife. We haven’t spent some private time in months. I found her naked in our bed. She’s never done that for me. I searched the entire apartment on the 7th floor, but couldn’t find anyone. But then, on the balcony, I saw that pair of hands holding on to the balcony rail. I took my shoe off and started hitting the fingers until they let go. The man fell off and through some tree which caught up his fall. When he hit the ground, I saw he was alive. So I unplugged the fridge we kept out there and threw it after him. But the cable of the fridge got somehow wrapped around my ankle, and I was pulled over the balcony rail down. Here I am.”
Saint Peter waved him through the gates. “You’re in.”
The second man explains: “I’m a window cleaner and working on a 12-stories apartment house today. I was on the 8th floor when I lost balance and fell. With all my strength I was able to hold on to a balcony rail on the 7th floor until some idiot started hitting my fingers with his shoe. I had to let go and fell. Thankfully a tree caught my fall, and I survived. But then a fridge fell on top of me, and now I’m here.”
Saint Peter waved him through the gates. “Go on. You deserve to get in.”
The third man takes a deep breath and says: “I was sitting naked in a fridge outside a balcony on the 7th floor…”
One morning a professor enters his clinic and finds his receptionist in tears. When he asks her what’s wrong, she sobs: “Johnson died… Johnson is dead.” The professor pats her shoulder and tries to calm her down before continuing to the third floor, where his office is.
As soon as he arrives, the floor head nurse throws herself into the professor’s arms and howls: “Oh, Professor. Johnson is dead. He passed away…” The professor comforts her too and then walks into his rooms where he finds his secretary in tears, crying. “Johnson died, OMG. Johnson is dead.”
After he had served her some tea and she finally had become calmer, he asks her. “I’m very sorry, Lydia. I don’t remember we had a patient named ‘Johnson’ here. Who is he?” His secretary replies. “Johnson is your laboratory assistant, Professor. He is unbelievable. His private parts are huge. I mean, really big. He’s in the morgue in our basement. If you don’t’ believe me, go see for yourself.” And that’s what the professor does.
He sure finds Johnson’s body and then remembers his face. When he takes a closer look, he discovers that his secretary was right. Johnson’s private parts are over-dimensional. He finds this very interesting, from a medical point of view. His wife is a doctor too and to hear her opinion about this phenomenon he amputates Johnson’s private parts and keeps them safe until he later returns home.
When he talks to his wife that evening about the case, he takes out the container and opens it to show her what he found. As soon as his wife sees the parts, she bursts out in tears and sobs: “Oh no! Johnson is dead!”
Today I was asked: Do you prefer to be called Aurora or Jean or both? It wasn’t the first time I heard this question, but it made me chuckle since it gave me the idea to this blog post.
My full name is Aurora Jean Alexander. From what I was told, since there is no hyphen between the two first names I cannot ‘demand’ to be called Aurora Jean. This is no tragedy since I prefer ‘AJ’.
Do I mind being called ‘Aurora’? No, of course not! Many do that. Do I mind being called ‘Jean’? Yes. Unfortunately it does remind me of denim and I don’t feel like turning around hearing someone yell “Jeeeeeaaaan” after me like I’d be a wet pair of pants.
But let’s start at the beginning: the origins of my names:
The origin of Aurora is Latin. The name means ‘dawn’. (which reminds me: Isn’t ‘Dawn’ a female name as well? I admit: I don’t think I’m a ‘Dawn’. But never mind that now.)
The origin of Jean is Hebrew and means “gift from God” (Or it’s related to the Scottish name Jane, it depends on which page you’re looking for.)
I like the origin of Aurora and I like the sound of Aurora Jean together. But what I still like most is AJ. – So, call me Aurora, Aurora Jean or AJ, they’re all good.
Just promise me: never ever call me “my little sunrise”, as a buddy of mine did – before he didn’t talk anymore for quite some time. His jaw surgery went well and he carefully started eating oatmeal last week. (LOL – Just kidding!)