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The Greater Sabbat of Beltane and Walpurgis Night By Michael W Ford

Walpurgisnacht (Walburga’s Night / Walpurgis Night) is a Germanic holiday which is celebrated at the same time as Beltane. Bonfires are kindled throughout the land with a celebration of life, fertility and renewal. May-Eve or April 30th (Walpurgis Night) onward to the 1st of May is the beginning of Summer and a time, like Samhain or Halloween, when the veil between the world of the living and the Otherworld are thin. The Spirits of the Dead, Ancestral Shades known as the Fae may communicate with ease to the living. The actual namesake of Walpurgis Night, Saint Walburga, has little to do with the modern Pagan and Magickial celebrations of the beginning of Summer.

The Germanic practice of Witchcraft around the 16th and 17th Century are remembered in the tales of the Witches Sabbat: the dreaming spirits of sorcerers, nocturnal gatherings in person along with ghosts and demons go forth to hidden places. The Sabbat is the carnal revelry of primal ecstasy, when the Maypole represents the Union of Sky and Earth, the raging passion of Satyrs and the Earth-Spirits who dwell beneath a shaded soil to protect the Oaks and wilderness.

Witches Sabbat and the Gathering on Walpurgis Night

Above: The Witches Sabbat on Walpurgis Night in the Middle Ages, like most symbolism and veiled knowledge.

Samhain, 6 months later, is the shadowing forth of the Winter, May-Day or Beltane is the bringing forth of Summer. As Celtic holidays, both are highly significant from the ancient time of the Druids to the multitude of practitioners today. The name of Beltane is derived from the Celtic god of light, Bel or Belenus (“The Shining One”). In Germanic practices, the Bel fires are perhaps associated with the Runes as Nauthiz. As they are kindled upon hilltops, the fires bring forth light to the sky and the invigorating power is vibrated down into the earth. These Bel Fires are associated with rituals of sexuality and fertility in which some would leap over in Sabbatic revelry.

In Germanic Magick, Odin’s death on Yggdrasil, hanging 9 nights earlier to sacrifice with great struggle to return to life on this night with the Knowledge of the Runes. Odin or Wotan is beautifully Luciferian is his entirety as a seeker of forbidden knowledge and a conquering warrior, necromancer and magician of the North. Accepting that you must sacrifice something, struggle and with the Will to conquer your obstacles to rise in the May Eve or Morning as one who indulges and celebrates life.

The Green Man, the Horned God of Witches, balanced gatekeeper between the raging growth of early Summer and the Chthonic realm of the Underworld/Otherworld; joined with the Lady of Phaerie (Fae), the May Queen brings balance to the earth in awakened union. For the Luciferian and Satanist, the Eve of May is honored as the night of when specters, fae, demons and the living witches gather in the Sabbatic circle.

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