Any exciting plans for the evening of April 30? Oh, come on. I bet you’ve been longing to get that Halloween mask out—you know the one that scares little kids and makes you laugh as they run away, screaming into the night.
You don’t have to be in Sweden to celebrate Walpurgis Night. Whip up a bonfire in the backyard and make the neighbors talk. Heck, add a bit of Finnish tradition and drink some sima. You do know about Walpurgis Night. Right?
Sigh…okay. I’d heard of Beltane, but not Walpurgis Night. It’s exactly opposite Samhein (Hallowe’en) in the calendar year and is steeped in ancient legends. If you’re into magic and the paranormal, this is a good night to break out the broom and spellbook, or maybe head off to Scotland and test out those standing stones. It’s rumored to be one of those special times when the barrier between the seen and unseen is at its thinnest and easier to cross, a not-quite-there transition from one season to the next. But watch out—this is a last chance for supernatural creatures of the nefarious sort to kick you where it hurts right before Spring takes over. And I wouldn’t recommend hanging out on the Brocken, the summit of the Harz Mountains on Walpurgis Night, unless you’re into meeting up with demons and their consorts. Of course, German witches nowadays might be less hostile. The strict no tolerance policy medieval citizens clung to has fizzled out some.
In case you’re worried that secretary with the evil eye at work might be plotting a curse against you on Walpurgis Night, here are a few tips to protect yourself:
Hang sprigs of ash, hawthorn, juniper or elder on your house—it’ll repel those pesky ol’ pagan gods.
Leave bread spread with butter and honey on your doorstep to keep the ankenschnitt (phantom hounds) from nipping at your heels.
Don’t hang around crossroads (demons lurk about at crossroads—but you know that right? From watching Supernatural—duh). Supernatural Crossroads Demon Clip
Grab the gasoline and roast some marshmallows in some frickin’ hot flames—evil spirits will stay away, I promise. Especially if you make a racket. Wait a minute…sounds kinda like a party.
A sprinkle of holy water always does the trick.
Make a straw man and bag that bad luck. Throw it on that wildfire in your backyard.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for love, Walpurgis Night might be able to help you out. Sleep with one stocking on. In the morning you’ll find a hair in the toe of your sock, the same color as your future lover’s. Or wash in the dew from the hawthorn tree in the morning and be drop-dead gorgeous. And if you’re looking to tie the knot, or just want to try it out, how about a quick handfasting? You’ve got 366 days to decide if you want him to stick around.
However you decide to celebrate Walpurgis Night, keep the magic alive and the fire hot. Do you have a Beltane tradition? Any supernatural stories from Walpurgis Night (or any other night) you’d like to share?
If you’re feelin’ a little witchy, be sure to check out Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft available at Amazon and Smashwords. Here’s a trailer to wet your whistle: Beltane. Or, if you’d rather just stick to magic, how about one of my own particular favorites, Spells: Ten Tales of Magic?