Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken. — Oscar Wilde.
This is the first post on the blog that will be accompanying the Holle’s Haven podcast. Posts will vary, some may be transcripts for folks who have trouble hearing, some will be stand-alone pieces, hopefully in time we may have guest pieces as well.
The first things you may be wondering is “what is Urglaawe?”, and, “why should I listen to you?”
Urglaawe is a living Heathen tradition, created from the lore and lifeways of the Pennsylvania Germans. That doesn’t mean that we’re all from the greater Deitscherei area (which includes Ohio, Maryland, West Virginia, and even parts of Canada). It also doesn’t mean that we’re all of Pennsylvania German descent. We are a firmly inclusive religion, with members from a range of socio-economic and genetic backgrounds, spread across North America, and even in Europe.
If our Gods and Goddesses call to you, that is what matters. Not the colour of your skin, or where you were born, or who you love. Growing up in the Deitscherei, or the surrounding areas, can help with understanding our lore and beliefs, but it is not a prerequisite to know the Deitsch culture; if you hang around us long enough, you’ll start picking up our quirks.
And why listen to me?
I spent most of the first 30 or so years of my life looking for a home. About six years ago, I found it. An interview on a podcast introduced me to Rob Schreiwer, who is the Elder and co-founder of Urglaawe. Through interviews that he conducted, he found that there was more to the folklore and practices of Braucherei and Hexerei than was previously understood. After meeting the folks in the Distelfink Sippschaft (the mother “kindred” of Urglaawe), I knew I had found my home. In the spring of 2018 I was honoured to be elevated to act as a Ziewern (Godswoman) for Distelfink. So, I think I can share some insight into our lively, reverent, yet irreverent, colourful Urglaawe.