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Mythology

Walpurgis Night: A Saint, Witches, And Pagan Beliefs In A Springtime Halloween For Scandinavia

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Walpurgis Night: A Saint, Witches, And Pagan Beliefs In A Springtime Halloween For Scandinavia
Photo Credit: www. sciencesource.com

Wu Mingren, Ancient Origins

Walpurgis Night is the eve of the feast day of Saint Walpurgis, a saint of the Roman Catholic Church. Walpurgis Night falls on April 30th and is a traditional holiday celebrated in northern Europe and Scandinavia. It may surprise you to know this festival has nothing to do with the saint, instead, it is a spring celebration with striking similarities to Halloween.

Who Was Saint Walpurga?

Walpurgis Night is known alternatively as Saint Walpurga’s Eve, Walpurgisnacht, and Vappu. Saint Walpurga (known also as Valborg, Wealdburg, or Valderburger) was born around 710 AD, probably in the English Kingdom of Wessex. She became a member of the community at the Wimborne Abbey, Dorset, and was later summoned by Winebald, her brother, to serve as abbess at his double monastery of monks and nuns at Heidenheim, in modern day Germany. She died in 779 AD and was buried in Heidenheim. Around 870 AD, her remains were transferred to the Church of the Holy Cross at Eichstätt. As this occurred on May 1st , this date has become associated with the saint.

Saint Walpurga. (1535/1540) by Master of Messkrich. ( Public Domain )
Saint Walpurga. (1535/1540) by Master of Messkrich. ( Public Domain )

The celebration of Walpurgis Night has little to do with either Christianity, or Saint Walpurga. Instead, the origins of this festival may be found in the period before the arrival of Christianity in northern Europe. As the festival falls during the period when spring arrived, the pagans conducted rituals to welcome spring and ensure the fertility of the land.

Witches & Walpurgis Night

For some reason, Walpurgis Night is also associated with witches . In German folklore, for instance, it is said that witches from all over the land would gather for a great sabbath on top of the Brocken (also known as the Blocksberg), the highest peak of the Harz mountain range. This notion was first recorded during the 17th century in Johannes Präetorius’, The Blocksberg Performance , a tome about the history and geography of the mountain and the region. It was, however, during the 19th and 20th century that the witches’ sabbath on the Brocken became popular in art and literature, most notably in Goethe’s well-known play Faust.

Lewis Morrison as "Mephistopheles" in Faust! – "The Brocken". Poster for a theatrical performance of Goethe's play showing Mephistopheles conjuring supernatural creatures on the German mountain, the Brocken (or Blocksberg), which according to the tale is the scenery for the Walpurgis night, from 30 April to 1 May. ( Public Domain )
Lewis Morrison as “Mephistopheles” in Faust! – “The Brocken”. Poster for a theatrical performance of Goethe’s play showing Mephistopheles conjuring supernatural creatures on the German mountain, the Brocken (or Blocksberg), which according to the tale is the scenery for the Walpurgis night, from 30 April to 1 May. ( Public Domain )
Walpurgisnacht Traditions

In line with the belief that Walpurgis Night was a night when witches and other evil entities were roaming freely around the land, certain practices were developed to keep them at bay. Thus, in Germany, on Walpurgis Night, people would dress up in costumes, and make loud noises. Additionally, to ward off these malevolent forces, people would also hang blessed sprigs of foliage from houses or barns, or leave offerings of bread with butter and honey (known as ‘ankenschnitt’) for phantom hounds .

“Walpurgisnacht. Der Aufbruch der Hexen” (Walpurgis Night. The Departure of the Witches) (1878) by Luis Ricardo Falero. ( Public Domain )
“Walpurgisnacht. Der Aufbruch der Hexen” (Walpurgis Night. The Departure of the Witches) (1878) by Luis Ricardo Falero. ( Public Domain )

Another typical activity carried out on Walpurgis Night is the lighting of bonfires, which, according to one tradition, was also a means of warding off witches. Another tradition states that the lighting of bonfires dates back to pre-Christian times. During that period, the pagan Germans would leave their livestock to graze around the spring equinox . In order to scare away wild animals, they would light bonfires, dance around them, and make much noise. When Christianity arrived, the bishops found that these activities were a little too pagan. Instead of banning it, however, the bishops decided to shift it to Walpurgis Night, so that it could be associated with the Christian saint.

A Walpurgis Night bonfire. ( CC0)
A Walpurgis Night bonfire. ( CC0)
Happy Walpurgisnacht! Happy Vappu!

Saint Walpurga was never associated with Scandinavia and Walpurgis Night originated in Germany, where she served as abbess for about half her life. Nevertheless, this festival spread to the north, and is today also celebrated in such countries as Sweden and Finland. Moreover, Walpurgis Night is an important holiday in these countries.

A large Walpurgis Night celebration in Heidelberg. (Andreas Fink/ CC BY SA 2.0 )

In Finland, for example, Walpurgis Night is known also as Vappu, and is one of the country’s most important holidays. Although it was initially celebrated by the upper class, during the late 19th century it became popular amongst university students. Today, Walpurgis Night is celebrated by all segments of both Finnish and Swedish societies.

People at a Vappu picnic in Kaivopuisto, Helsinki, on 1 May 2008. (JIP/ CC BY SA 3.0 )
People at a Vappu picnic in Kaivopuisto, Helsinki, on 1 May 2008. (JIP/ CC BY SA 3.0 )

This article (Walpurgis Night: A Saint, Witches, And Pagan Beliefs In A Springtime Halloween For Scandinavia) was originally featured at Ancient Origins and is re-posted here under Creative Commons.

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Mythology

The Anunnaki: Ancient Gods Or Powerful Manipulators?

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Anunnaki HD
Photo Credit: www.anunnaki.org

Who were the Anunnaki and why should we care?

The short answer is: The Annunaki “Those Of Royal Blood” are believed to be immortal gods that inhabited Earth during the ancient Sumerian time in Mesopotamia.

Anunnaki literally means, “Those who from heaven came down to Earth.”

Who Were The Sumerians?

The Sumerians appear on the archaeological record beginning around 4,500 BCE. Located in present-day Iraq, the region, a.k.a. Mesopotamia, has long been referred to as “the cradle of civilization.” Sumer was a handful of city states initially ruled by priests, each organized around a city and temple now called a “ziggurat.” The ziggurats, dedicated to Anunnaki worship, were layered pyramids with flat tops. These communities were considered to be “servant-slave” populations dedicated to serving the temple gods, the Anunnaki. Over time, priesthood ruler ship gave way to kings.

The Sumerians were skilled trade merchants, and acquired lapis from Afghanistan, cedar from Lebanon, and gold from the Indus Valley. Their agrarian culture gave us the plow as well as “time” — the 24-hour day and 60-minute hour.

Sumerian history is gleaned from archaeologist and geologic evidence — written records are in the form of cuneiform tablets. Reportedly, some half-million tablets have been recovered, but only a small number have been translated. Much was also learned from translations of Babylonian records; Sumer was considered “ancient” in Babylonian times.

Sumerians worshiped the Anunnaki, said to be the children of earth and sky; An, the sky god, and Ki, the earth goddess. Chief among them was Enlil, god of air. This pantheon was passed to the Akkadian, Babylonian, and Assyrian cultures. The Epic of Gilgamesh, the story of the historical king of Sumerian city-state Urek, is an ancient literary relic of Sumerian culture.

Above is the mainstream “narrative” regarding the Anunnaki — others have drawn different conclusions based on archaeological evidence, analysis of Sumerian mythology, and translations of cuneiform tablets.

Images and text descriptions of the Anunnaki gods generally portray them as human-looking men whose bodies are much larger than human beings. Image source: Reality Raiders
The Flipside Of The Annunaki Story

Author Michael Cremo (“Forbidden Archaeology”) has researched the history of archaeology for 40-plus years, documenting findings that have been excluded from mainstream, academic archaeology; findings that would disrupt the widely accepted story of human origins.

Cremo, along with author Zecharia Sitchin,  Erich von Däniken (author, “Chariots of the Gods”), author and researcher Michael Tellinger, and several others, makes compelling arguments that the Anunnaki were, in fact, off world beings posing as “gods.” This theory also asserts that these “sky” gods genetically engineered the human race a slave species, which may account for weak links in the evolutionary story. These theories gave birth to the “ancient astronaut hypothesis asserting that off-world beings have been posing as gods to influence human affairs for millennia.

Many believe that the Annunaki extracted massive amounts of gold using human labour — this is derived from multiple discoveries of ancient mining tunnels in South Africa, as well as relics and links to the Sumerians. “No one knows why they wanted gold, no one knows how much was taken,” said Tellinger. He added that the Annunaki introduced the concepts of money, finance and debt to human societies.

A theory that these beings originated from “Nibiru,” a.k.a. “Planet X has been added to alternate Anunnaki narratives, as well as the likelihood of the off world gods bringing advanced technologies that account for sophisticated mega structures such as the pyramids or Stonehenge. Out-of-place artefacts and tool discoveries contribute to these premises. The Sumerians are also known for sophisticated astronomical and mathematical knowledge, speculated to have passed from the Annunaki.

While no lists of the Annunaki pantheon exist, it is known that each Sumerian city-state had its own Annunaki god/overseer assigned by senior Annunaki Marduk.

Some, perhaps inspired by Theosophical Society founder Helena Blavatsky’s book “The Secret Doctrine,” assert that the Annunaki are/were a reptilian race that survives to this day, deeply entrenched in human affairs. In her book, Blavatsky wrote of “dragon men” who influenced the lost Lemurian civilization.

David Icke has been on the disclosure/conspiracy lecture circuit since 1999 — he accurately reported that U.K. TV and radio star Jimmy Savile was a rampant paedophile, proven true after Savile’s death in 2011.

Icke believes the imposter Anunnaki gods continue to manipulate humanity from seats of political, corporate, and financial power worldwide. He explains that these beings not only exploit humans, but feed off collective fear; Icke calls for a disconnect from mainstream media and Orwellian entrainment that triggers fear and anxiety — an aggregate hypnotic state.

Many share Icke’s view. On the surface, the Anunnaki/Reptilian narrative appears to be an completely unbelievable hypothesis. But follow the breadcrumbs for a fascinating story reaching from ancient times to modern, and draw your own conclusions.

Make sure to check out the below video that shares an independent point of view based on deep research on the topic of the Sumerians and the Anunnaki.

They Landed Somewhere in the Middle East, Then Things Get Really Weird!

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