Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Holda


Fairy List is a resource being developed for Writers, Artists and those looking to better understand old traditions.

Frau Holle, Holda, and Holla is both one of the most important figures in Germanic folk religion, a goddess of domestic concerns she was found living within wells and lakes. At the same time, however she also lived within the heavens where she causes it to snow when she makes her bed, causing the frozen feathers to fly down to the ground. The Scythian's compaired snow to feathers as well which is interesting given that the lead deity of the Scythian's was said to be a goddess of the hearth who is likely much like Holda. 

As a goddess of the hearth Holda is of a very kind disposition, and only angers when people are lazy and refuse to get their household in order. Again, Holla is set before us as a spinning-wife; the cultivation of flax is assigned to her. Industrious maids she presents with spindles, and spins their reels full for them over night; slothful spinner's distaff she sets on fire, or soils it.

As a water goddess she loves to swim and bath in lakes and fountains and noon, further the easiest way to reach her dwelling place is through wells, giving her to be much like the Rusalka, Nymphs, and Celtic Sacred Well spirits.

Her most interesting roll is that of one of the bringers of fertility and good fortune during the twelve days of Christmas. In ancient times it was believed that the supernatural held sway during the twelve days of Christmas, that during this time the natural world ruled, so people were afraid to speak the names of animals such as wolves. During this time she woudl enter the land, and all distaffs would be well stalked, and all spinning must be finished off. During this time implements of owrk should be hidden away out orespect for her holiday, but everything should be cleaned and well done. If she finds things as they should be at Christmas time she brings blessings, if not she curses. (Her blessing goes "so many hairs so many good years." While her curse is "So many hairs, so many bad years.") 
Although she can ride about on the wind she also rides about in a wagon, in one case she tests the kindness of a peasant by requesting that he fix her wagon. Than when he complied she gave him chips of wood, which when he picked up had turned to gold.

Because she could, at times leading witches on a witches ride or fairy beings on a wild hunt. This leader of witches roll evolved over time to set her up as having another appearance, that of ugly old woman, long nosed and big toothed, with bristling thick matted hair.

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