95:ii, 1984


The WinterGoddess:Percht, Holda, and RelatedFigures

MOST of our knowledge of Germanic myth is derived from the Old Icelandic texts and especially from the Eddas. The Eddic tales centre their attentionon the trials and triumphs of the male membersof the pantheon and tell us little of the female forces.' That these wielded power we learn, however, from votive monuments,from the names of naturaland man-madeplaces, from Tacitus's Germania,and from the traditionsof the countryside. From these heterogeneoussources scholars have tried to reconstructthe featuresof the ancient goddesses, and have drawn figures which are to some degree related to fertility and, sometimes, death.2In these attemptsthe scholarshave made little use of the abundantinformationoffered by the long memory of folk-belief.I have turned, in contrast,to folk-customsand folk-legendsand I claim that the materialhas allowed me to discern the clearly defined form of potent female forces, imperious Ladies of the Woodland, who found their origin at a very early stage of social development. More specifically I assert: 1. The female forces, here discussed, are indeed divinities. 2. Behind the many local manifestationswe may recognise one basic form with vivid characteristics. 3. These forces belong to a widely diffused type: they developed from guardiansof nature and of animals, found among hunting civilizations, into a more complex godhead, and resemble in this development the 'Lady of Wild Beasts' of ancient civilizations. 4. The forces have arisen in indigenous belief and belong to the North and Northwest of Europe. I have taken my material,on the whole, from the collection of Viktor Waschnitius, entitled Perht, Holda und verwandte Gestalten.3 The figures under discussion appear under two main designations: Frau Holle, especially prominent in Hesse and Thuringia, and Frau Perchta who belongs, above all, to the Alpine regions. Various other names have also been recorded, such as Stampa, Rupfa, Luzie, Frau Frie, or Frau G6de. To affirm the claim of divine stature (i.e. that people had faith in these figures) I point to the following: The anger and ordinances the church.'They are sinners' we hear in a fifteenthof century source, 'who leave food for Perchta in the "night of Perchta" to obtain prosperityand well-beingin the coming year.'5And Christiansare earnestlyadjuredto believe no longer in 'frawen percht' or 'frawn holt,' in 'herodiasis' or 'dyana,' 'the heathen goddess;'6in anotherdocument Perchta is actually equated with Diana: '. .. diana quod vulgariterdiciturfraw Percht(commonly known as fraw Percht) . ..'7 A tractof the thirteenthcentury complains that the young would ratherchant of 'domina Perchta'than say their prayersto the Virgin Mary.8Luther also turns his disapproval against 'fraw Hulde' with her 'tremendousnose.'9

Though the feasts are Christianwe know that they coincide in time with earlierpagancelebrations. and that in some her strength has come more fully to the fore.for she causes snow to fall when she shakes her featherpillows.Food may be presented to Perchta and related spirits. and they are placed beneath their cradle for protection. such as Westphalia. placed on rooftopsin the night before during the same night the Stampaof Walschnovenreceives a dish named Epiphany. We must understandthat not all aspects are representedto the same extent in every region.Midwinter. is the season of honour to the spirits. in Voigtland. In Villn6s near Bozen in South Tyrol it is dumplings and eggs. The belief in Frau Holle left its imprint probablyfalls within the Christmasseason.26In Wiirzburg Frau Hulle chastises.And we may understandthat in such areasshe was the most importantof the supernaturalpowers in whose hands. The namedafterthe Chrungeli. the ill-behaved among the children. that the female force appearsin somewhat varied form in various places. We find the Perchtenlauf or of and of Perchtenjagd Salzburgand Tyrol. is fed to poultry and to cattle in Waidhofento give them vigour and fertility. Gstampanuden.'7while Hollenabend in designates the Thursday before Christmasin the Westerwald. the last designating either a masked of processionor a feast. Some parts of Germany.Some days.23 Powersattributedto the spirits."5 The nameof the spirithas enteredGermanspeech.In the village Triers of Tyrol she is thought to injure infantson ChristmasEve and in the night before Epiphany. it was believed. Theseasonof little evidence of her existence. milk from which Perchta and her the retinue had partakenin this night. In some Tyrolean villages Frau Perchtacomes at Christmastimeto inspect the orderof the household. It would thereforebe difficult to deny her a firm position in the faith of men.21 a the Frau Hullisteinis a rock on which she rests after having helped girls to carrytheir load.She is chargeof makingthe weather.'3 after her.such as the soiling of the flax on the distaff of the lazy spinstress. bearthe Lady's name. and the health and the well-being of the household.on those who have not eaten herring and dumplings in her honour on the last day of the year. with the feastsof wintertime.18 Chrungelinacht.'6Saturday is is Frauhollenabend the Rhongebirge. We shall now try to discern the characteristicqualities of the spirits.1 On this day also the Chlungeli of Switzerlandlooks to the state of distaffs and of spindles.'?Her angerand her punishment falls.'2 Offerings.25 The Perschtmilch. The power of the female forces may be directed to small does the Perchtenlauf in Salzburg.152 LOTTE MOTZ Thefigures appearin the contextof a sacredperiod. the Streggelejagen Posterlijagen Switzerland. named Frau Hullibaum. Frau Holle also is. and more often nights. especially the nights between Christmasand Epiphany. Perchtennacht in Styriathe night before Epiphany.19 on the landscape (especially in the mountainous region of Central Germany).24 Children must be quiet in the M6lltal of Carinthiaduring the same period so as not to rouse the wrath of Perchta.22 Customs and traditionshave receivedthe Lady's name. the night before Christmas.'4 food awaits Frau Bert in M6hldorf of Bavaria on and Shrove Tuesday on the kitchen table. or the bechtelen Switzerland and of Alsatia. the fertility of man or beast. while in others the customs observedin her name may dominatethe seasonaltraditions.20 pond is known as Frau HollesBadeplatz. would lie the prosperityof the population. Here stand the trees.27and she arrives in G6ttingen with .but it may determinealso the course of the entire year. in some parts of Germany.aboveall.

of dwarfs and giants. We frequentlymeet in Germanfolkloretales about this phantom hunting party or phantom army which rides at night in sound and fury through the sky. While the 'handsome'wearthe traditionalcostume of the region. the orgiastictrain and its leader is beheld by the frightened spectatorin the nights of wintertime. though not always. the ever-present elements of noise and speed of the regional traditions. usually black. their shouts of joy. through the valleys. In the Molltal Dame Perichtel herself. cloakedand masked.35 The Perchten are impersonatedby the young men of the village and appearin some places in double form.30On the Thursday before Christmas Bercht arrives in Ellwangen in Swabia with a wooden spoon in her hand and a crown upon her head. find a counterpartin the Wild Host or Wild Hunt of legend. and this host. A description of the wiittige heer.31 Shrove Tuesday she appearsin Mansfeld. most famous. The the Perchtenlaufor Perchtenjagd.40 Musical instrumentsand the voices of beasts create clamour as the ever-presentmark of the phenomenon. Frequently.a porridgecovered with a layer of honey. the 'frightful'may be cloaked in fur.42 Savage Hunt of Heidesheim is known for its music. takes place on the three Thursdays before Christmas in villages of Salzburg. or even from village to village. and aspects of the Wild Hunt. speaks of the blowing of horns.We have already remarkedon the gifts of food for Perchta. Relationbetween and legend.41Luther wrote of 'fraw Hulda' with her the fiddle. The legends also observe the presenceof mutilatedand fur-cladfigures.34on the Perchtentag(Epiphany) near and sometimes also during Shrovetide(Fasching). as 'handsome' (schdne)and as 'hideous' (schiache)Perchten.39 Legendsof the Wild Hunt or Wild Host.We have noted earlierthe close resemblancebetween rite some of the rites rendered to the goddess. which issues from the H6rselberg under the leadershipof Dame Holle. must partake. amidst the deafening clamour of their bells. fried cakes would be placed on the roofs of Tyrolean houses. such as the Bachlkoch.' and a later version of the canon names the 'witch Holda' as their .THE WINTER GODDESS 153 presents for the good on the last day of the year.43 We have some evidence that the Lady and her frenzied followers did. as well as master. is often headed by the goddess.32 On Let us now turn to the traditionswhich grew up aroundthese forces.33 Masked performancesmarkedby frenzy and noise are prominent in the Alpine regions. which takes place at Eastertime. in Lienz of Tyrol.37and the Posterlijagenof Entlebuch in December. their faces hidden behind masks of terrifying aspect. its wailing cats and howling dogs.29 while the Perchtenof Lienz run their rapid course on the Thursday before Lent. milk and dumplings held in readinessfor her and her 'children. servants.38 enacted in the same orgiasticmannerin the name of the are Streggele and the Posterli of Switzerland. of which all the members of a household. Their race proceeds from house to house. A church canon of the ninth century speaksin condemnationof women who assertthat they had ridden out with a crowd of nocturnal 'demons. In a close examination. the stories have it. The frenzy and the din. The Streggelejagen. of artisanscarryingtheir tools. in actual fact. the squealing of pigs. their whips.' Sometimes food is eaten in her honour. beginning with domesticand seasonal customs.36 as Kitzbuhel. go in procession through the village streets. the roaringof wild beasts. their heads covered by the Perchtenhaube. Otto Hofler has pointed to so many parallels between the two phenomenathat they seem to be indeed images of one another.sounds a cowbell before the houses of the village so that she may receive a gift.28During the twelve nights of Christmasone may find her roamingin the fields near Weimar. their belts hung with bells.

and she may also bestow on children. in its turn.or during the twelve days of Christmasin Swabia. but girls who are diligent in their tasks are given silver pennies by Frau Holle. 'commonly known as fraw Percht. the pleasure of her gifts or the pain of beatings with her switch.54 Often punishment is meted out to those who had turned the spindle at forbidden in times.'but the materialmust be worked off by Epiphany.46 And a sermon of the fifteenth century censures those who still believe that Diana. In the Voigtland Holda deals punishment to those who had not eaten of a certain porridge in her honour on the day of Epiphany. in the central area of her powers.In her supervision of the spinning girls the female force appearsas punitive or rewardingpower.48A woman was exiled from the town of Bern in the sixteenth century after she had admittedto having ridden with 'frow Selden' in the wiittisheer. and soon afterwardsgave up his life.61and to offer dumplings to Frau Perchtaon her special day (Epiphany) brings blessing in some villages of Carinthia.50 The expression 'to ride with Holle.62She also rewards .' meaning both 'to be dishevelled' and 'to participatein a witch's ride. Let us now turn to the functions and activities of the spirits. Ten reels are to be spun.55 Dealing punishmentor reward. Much flax is placed by girls near the H6rselbergupon their distaff at Christmastime when Frau Holle startsher round.154 LOTTE MOTZ A leader. While we cannot be sure that men or women did actuallyride in the nocturnaltrain. by the in Wednesdaybefore Christmas (Weihnachtsfronfasten) Switzerland.45We are told in a document of the seventeenth century of a 'multitude of maenads'in the wake of Werrain the Voigtland.56 The figures of the Alpine regions.57 In more general terms.60 Of rewardswe hear more rarely. according to their merit.52 Perchta may decree that she who did not complete her task would have ill luck with her spinning in the coming year.'58 Swift is the action of the Ladies upon insult. the mountain from which issues in legend the Wild Host of the Lady.44 Bavarianmanuscriptof the fifteenth the stomachof a girl to refill it with rubbishand with dirt.' is wont to wanderthrough the darknesswith her throng. for on her return she threatens'A bad year for every thread.on FrauHollenabend the Rh6ngebirge. for instance.9 Jacob Grimm reportsin his collection of folktalesthat the legendaryhunt of the Posterli is annuallyreenactedin her honour.' testifies to a belief in the existence of the army of the goddess and of the joining of humans in the host. The most important activity of the goddess is the supervision of the spinning by local girls and women. for instance. it is clear that there was belief in the existence of such activity. became disturbed in spirit. the Lady may determine weal or woe for the entire year.47 A man brought to a witch's trial in 1630 confessedthat he had become partof Dame Holle's retinue and had followed her on New Year's Day into the Venusberg. or the Streggele will seize the carelessgirl or woman.5 She may even. above all Perchta. for she promises 'A good year for every thread. Association with spinning. Sometimes they must accomplish a set amount of work. comments on the women under the leadership of Perchta who approach human dwellings in the Christmas season.51 Frau Holle soils with her excrementthe flax of the neglectful spinstress in Franconia.59 and a man who slighted Frau Holle near Hasloch. a girl who had laughed at Frau Berchta and her retinue lost her sight for an entire year. as in Salzburg. went astray. are given to the punishment of opening the stomach of the evil-doer and filling it with straw and stones. all spinning is to cease.

That the souls of unbaptized infants should follow in the wake of Perchta obviously is a Christian explanationfor her stronglymarkedalliancewith a group of childrennot her own. who is not herself a mother. is placed within a special habitation.on occasion. and this action is held up to them as a deterrent (in this role she is named Kinderschreck Waschnitius). of'belonging to the forest. a tree.66 story. of Hesse and Thuringia. Perchta is known as wild in some regions.for she is believed to rob parentsof their young.' For instancein her passagethrough Lower Austriaat Christmastime Perchtaseizes the children who had behaved badly. on the other hand.63 Punishment and rewardthus extend from the slight to the important.and linked also with a point of the landscape.70 Luzie of the B6hmerwald.69 the M6lltal of CarinthiaPerchtafrightens In by children who are noisy in the night before Epiphany. who also inflicts this punishment.64Berchta shares her cave in Tyrol with unborn babies and those who want a child must seek her in her dwelling place. fearedor honoured.72 the Lautenthalshe takes the She naughtyto her forest so that she may reformand reshapethem into betterbeings.except for glimpses we receive of her habitationin a cave. uses pebbles and straw for the In operation. The activitynoted in this section parallels. with the ill which she may bring clearly evident to men. Special alliance with the young. designatedas wild. . almost lost in our time. she is not stationaryor settled in a dwelling place. in Bergen she may even slash their stomach and fill it with a foreign substance. sometimes at a distance from their home of birth.68 TheLady as educator. Fertility is granted to those women who immerse themselves within Frau Holle's well. or arrangethe toddler's garment. on the other hand. it is said. that which was describedunder the heading 'Rewardand Punishment.we know of that the adjectivehad a meaning. who had to die before they could be blessed with the baptismalwater. Frau Holle brings on the last In day of the year gifts as reward for good behaviour.73 may also keep them in her well where she endows the virtuouswith unfailing luck and turns the nasty into changelings.71 the areaof Gottingen. As educative force we may view Frau Holle in a famous fairy-tale. and to those who have repairedher carriageshe gives payment of pure gold. the smallest lagging behind and burdened by a pitcher which is heavy with the tears of mothers.65 Perchtafrequentlyis surroundedby a throng of infants-those. for here she rewardswith gold the diligent and markswith pitch the slothful maiden. in the rearingof the young. claims that the dogs A which yelp and bark in the Lady's train are these children who had suffered transformation. We noted earlier how frequently 'women' are noted as followers of the nocturnal huntress. Frau Holle. In her strong association with the craft of spinning especially she concerns herself with women of all ages. and a spindle. indeed is a creatureof the woodland.recordedby the brothersGrimm. and adoredor appeased.67 Stampaof Nassereithterrorizesthe countryside. The goddess thus is seen as foster-mother. as in some extent.THE WINTER GODDESS 155 households if they are neat and tidy on the day of Epiphany in Lower Austria.a stone. and how frequently she attends to the work of women. Thedwelling-places the spirits.nurse or teacher to the growing. we may recall. the mountains KyfIhauseror Horselberg.74 The goddess.75 The role of educative force has also fallen to the Ladies in their supervisionof the spinning girls. current in Tyrol. Alliance with women. for hers is the entirety of groves and glens. thus is instrumental. Sometimes the salvationof the smallest is achievedthrough a kind villagerwho may call it by a name.'76 Perchta. such as dirt. is of some importance to the narrative. She is thus awaitedboth in terrorand in hope.

Percht as queen of the Heimchen in the Voigtland is of tall and stately figure.78 Stampa of Nassereith steals the young. we must also note that in places she is viewed as a fully evil spirit. Animal associations.We can conclude that we are dealing. but also is seen as a donkey or a witch.'8'the name Butzebrechtis used in Swabia to designate old and ugly women. on the whole. The dishevelled hair belonging to girls named 'Brechte'or 'Perhte'. Of though these may be a vehicle for lawless and for orgiasticbehaviour. on occasion.thus. We may conclude that dual aspect of characterand of appearanceis part of the nature of the goddess. children obviously walks or flies. and Dame Holle by her protrudingteeth.84 Yet the Ladies may be fair.77 Neither Holle nor Perchta. or goats.'Holle-braid' Nassau (Hesse). Relation with men. Near the KyffhauserFrau Holle may be old and In hunchbacked. dogs following her carriageor barkingin the We Wild Hunt. a swiftly moving carriageis recurrentlyvisualized. peering into houses to injure those whose lights are still burning in the later portion of the night. however. or wells. caves. as has been alreadysaid.89 Stampa may appear with a and horse's head before the villagers. In Tyrol Perchtaroams the fields and valleys in the Klocklerndchte December to destroy the man or woman of whom she meets. is of advanced in age.Sometimes .156 LOTTE MOTZ or a lake.91 small significance also are erotic features in the legends and the rites. find. possibly a goat or wolf. Frau Holle is fair when she is observedin her bath in Frau Hullis Badeplatz. Dual aspect:We alreadynoted that the Lady may bestow prosperityand happiness on those who pleased her and that she may be generous in her gifts to children.85 Dame Percht was beautiful when she rewardedwith gold the repairingof her carriage.and with the goat of pastorallife (the ibex is also native to the Alps). lives in closeness to the cornfield or the byre or the timberedsettlementsof men. who lives in the Frauwullenloch the mountain Schlachtenberg. with an unmated spirit.82 Frau Wolle. for they belong with the unplantedforest and with mountains. Few instances show the goddess as wife or partner in a love relation. Some of the featuresof the goddess recall the featuresof an animal. and the 'long teeth' of a mammal.86The girl who impersonatesFrau Holle in Wertheimwill dress in white and wear a crown upon her head. Near Lerbachin the Harz Frau Holle is visualised as a crone with glowing eyes. Perchta with her throng of Transport. the 'iron' nose being reminiscent of the beak of a bird of prey. Dame Perchta and Luzia sometimes appear as goats. might be broughtinto relationwith the ecstaticbehaviour of those who follow in the Lady's train. Perchtais in characterized.80 the Milltal Perchta may appear as grauer Wuzel.79 Dual aspectof appearance. visual form is less often of the lovelinessof youth than Her of the unpleasingcountenanceof age. She may also have a closeness with birds of with Frau Gode of the Altmark.'celestial the goat.' 'to ride with Holle'-mdtt de Hollefahren-means in Hesse 'to have one's hair in utter disarray. a girl impersonating Frau Holle in Leobschiitz is designated as Himmelsziege.83In Tyrol 'Percht' is a synonym for 'unkempt hag. The mode of progress is not always noted.'87 Posterli of Switzerlandmay be a goat. veiled and clothed in white. above all. as mentioned above.90We find the goddess thus in association with animals of the chase. For the repairing of such a carriagerich rewardis renderedby Frau Holle or Frau Perchta(of Thuringia and the Voigtland). 'grey.88Bergda is a hairy monster near Saalfelden. wizened wight.'a sense also expressedby the term Hollezopf. by her long or 'iron' nose. dogs and horses (both having wild ancestors in Central and Northern Europe).

Frau G6de's furious ride across the fields of Grabow increasestheir fertility. And we may understandthat Bercht and Holda frequentlyare visualizedin movement.It has not been possible to cite in this short examinationmore than a few instances of a given trait. but also mistressof a secret dwelling. sometimes she is beheld by the frightened wanderer as she roams the fields and valleys. possess a ruler and protectorwho usually is seen in human form.92 As leaderof the Wild Hunt the figure races over land or through the air.or a well. The supernatural ownersof nature. we have noted. She most stronglydiffersfrom Dame Percht in her association with points of the local landscape and with her settlement in a mountain or a well. and whose festival is clearly placed within the winter season. is. especially of girls in the supervision of their spinning. who receives offerings of food and is associatedin legend and in rite with ecstatic motion and with terrifyingsound.' who is mistress of a secret dwelling and is glimpsed only rarelyand only by a chosen being. but also may appear in the shape of the animals in his care. how few the motifs.In Hesse she even played a part in building the natural environment. As Frau Harke of North Germany she had introduced the cultivation of the turnip. That she is responsiblefor the falling snow underlines her aspect as goddessof the winter season. or bear. We have noted earlier that these spirits do not dwell within the settlementsof men. thus as a On reindeer. a mountain. she may cause the snow to fall or the fog to gather.94 Mighty are the powers of Dame Holle.93 In some instancesthe spirit exerts an influence on the produceof the earth. when a place of habitationis cited it is a cave. In the areasof her dominion Frau Holle is apparentlyof such towering importance that she has drawnonto herself talents and functions which are traditionallyattributed to a variety of folklorefigures. and we may consider speed of progressas one of their characteristic qualities. Demons or deities of the wild indeed are met in religious systems throughout the world as masters and as guardians of the natural environment. And we regardthe spirits by virtue of their habitationsas creaturesof the wilderness. in possession of a dwelling place and linked with features of the landscape.95 she has been observed. clustering especially around Frau Holle. of dual aspect. As leaderof the Wild Hunt the Lady is encounteredin her furious chase across the forest. Since we may consider Percht and Holda and their relativesto be figures of belief we shall now try to understandsome aspects of their religious significance. The folk-legends. for a stone falling from her shoe became a mountain. as she takes a bath in her lake. Even in her visitations of men's houses she has travelled from afar. in contrast to Frau Perchta.96The beasts of woodlandand water. in their turn. concerned with the education of the young. Dame Holle. She is thus not only a roving goddess. It has thereforenot been shown how very firmly drawn the outlines are.THE WINTER GODDESS 157 the Ladies are astridetheir horses. folk-customsand historicaldocumentsthus combine to rendera vivid image of a virgin deity of the woodland. as does Frau Holle's walk aroundthe ploughed land near the mountain Meissner. Summary. usually in the and middle of the day. and how consistently they recur.97 a higher level of the divine hierarchythere exists also a . for she rules even the elements. the Frau Hollenteich. Themes appearingonly in Central and Northern Germany. and often in swift movement. like Frau Holle and her female retinue in Kassel. wolf. She also merges on occasion with another important figure of German folklore: the 'White Lady.

for instance. and she is marriedto the 'wood-man'(om salvadegh) southern Tyrol.' or the genius of the locality may have dominion also over its animal inhabitants. one closer to the Lady of the Beasts of ancient time. the Despoina of Lykosura.and determinesalso which one is to fall to the hunter's arrow.That one name would appearin variousregions. the Riesen (giants) of northern Germany. so that in time they might concernthemselves even'withthe growth of planted crops while still keeping some of their most ancient attributes. the Buschweiblein Thuringia and Saxony. In pastoralcommunitiesthe protectorof the feralbeastsalso assumesvery frequently the guardianshipof their domesticatedkind.a 'Lord of the Beasts. primitivecommunities. with the rise of nationalstates. In some regions Perchta is characterized wild. usually. a special relationship with one of the superhumanmaidens in her train. We thus find in the ancient Mediterranean civilizations the worship of a great 'Lady of Wild Beasts' of many forms.'00These divinities of archaicorigins retainedtheir importancethrough the ages and extended the rangeof their activity. and the belief is encountered in its least adulteratedform among those nations which have stayed closest to the level of developmentof a hunters' culture. the And in the tutelary spirit of wild reindeerwatches also over the domesticatedherds. who tend the goats. would also point to a consolidation and coalescenceof severalfigures.'02Dame Harkeof the in Havellandof Northern Germanykeeps the forestanimalsin her cave at night and leads . but look to the stateof households. they have retained some elemental aspects. the Kretan Britomartis-Diktynna. In Germanicareasthe role of guardianof the wild and its animalshas fallen to many creatures. Among the Karagass. The inhabitantsof the Karakorummountainsin Central Asia adore the goddess Kurmuk who is mistressof the wild sheep and ibex of the rocky landscape. the Wildleute. and Fangenof the Alps. the Etruscan Artimis-Artumes. and. to the raisingof humanchildren.stags.g.This Lord or Lady of the beasts watchesout for cruelty towardshis fosterlings. the Holzleute or Moosleuteof Franconiaand Bavaria.98 course of time he even comes to the help of human hunters.9 With the development of civilization the demons of the wilderness would extend their carealso over human life. It is clear that the concept of the 'Lord of Beasts' would have originatedin a hunting civilization.she is also a source of blessing for the pursuer of game who enjoys. the some areasof Carinthiashe has coalescedcompletely in form and function with the 'wood-wives'of the region. or the Anatolian Ephesis. We cannot be surprised at such a development because we are not dealing with truly isolated. the Taurian Parthenos. therefore.would representa more developed form of the simple spirits.the hunter's fortune depends on the favour of the supernaturalguardianof beasts. In this belief. a belief in the supernatural owners of the wilderness.Dame Perchtaand Dame Holda also are rememberedin terroror adoration. to the huldreand the skogsra(ruler of the forest) of Norway and of Sweden.158 LOTTE MOTZ rulerover all the creaturesof the wilderness. and still hold to some extent. such as the Persian Artemis. appearingin areaswhich had clearly held.or chamois native to the region. While Percht and Holda no longer are concernedexclusively with the uncultivated forest. this designation or description she shares with other as creaturesof the woodland.the Lohjungfern of of the Harz. of Selige Frdulein.the Waldweibchen the upper Palatinate. e. as for instance the inhabitantsof northern Eurasia. some figureswould fuse to grow into national deities.'10 In just these places where an ancient form of faith is preserved. and even to the fertility of the fields. such as Percht in Salzburg and in Carinthia.The imperious Ladies of the woodland.

in their turn. the folk rites of Christmas in the Germanic areas. No other tradition is so frequently and consistently condemned as the customs of the 'Calends of January' which consist above all in men's masqueradingin the 'form of beasts. goats or grunting pigs sometimes belong with the Wild Host itself and show the Lady to be surroundedby her animals-the image pointing. a figure of Germanicand non-Germanictradition. frequently show no relation to Christian belief and thus affirm that here a festival had been celebrated before Christianityhad come to Europe. Fakse (a horse) is the leading spirit of Christmastime in Setesdal in Norway. often namedjol (Yule).and animalsmay travelin their retinue.since dogs areclosely related to wolves we might understandthe alliance of the Lady with her pack as a vestige of her more archaic form as Wolfshirt('shepherd of wolves').' and in the concomitantbelief that through this action they had shed their human identity.'07Wolves and wolf disguises are especially prominent in midwinter. and the followers of Percht. the former representing in Germanic areas the most important of the festivals of the Christian religion. The mentioned earlier. noted that the activity of the deities unfolds almost always in the winter season. The enormousor 'iron' nose of Lady Percht or Lady Holle is reminiscentof the beak of a bird. the Streggele of Switzerlandand Dame Holle of Leobschiitz appearas goats. called Isengrind. moreover. show through horns on their masks.Dogs especiallyare noted in the retinue.We know that such a transformation often takesplace in the developmentof the demons of wild nature. It is true that beast masqueradesalso formed part of the Roman midwinter festival. so that we may assume the traditionsto be native to the North and NorthWest of Europe. in the last part of December and the beginning of January. In their leadershipof the Wild Hunt Perchtand Holda arebroughtinto relationwith the woodland beasts.gathershis 'flock' at the time of the midnight mass to tell Wolfshirt. had been held in pagantime. The Synods and Penitentials of the medieval Church affirm. their fur-cloaksand their fur-hatsthat they wish to impersonatea beast.'04 In their ability to manipulatethe weather(Frau Holle of G6ttingen and Baba-Percht of Slovenic regions send the snows of wintertime) the spirits under discussion also show themselves to be mastersof the naturalenvironment. each of the wolves what he is allowed to seize and devour in the coming year.'05 The customs are deplored in documents dealing with the habits of Celtic and Germanic nations. We The seasonof thegoddessand its significance. haunts some . to her more ancient role of guardian. possibly.This period is dedicatedin moderntimes to the celebrationof the birth of Christ and the beginning of the solar year.'08 Olaus Magnus informs us that in the Baltic regions men are transformedinto wolves in the twelve nights of Christmas. We know through the Old Norse texts that in the Scandinaviancountriesan equally importantfeast.THE WINTER GODDESS 159 them out to pasturewhen the morning dawns.'06 Beasts and beast impersonations still prevail in modern folk traditions of the Christmas season.'03 The Ladies themselves may be visualized as animals.Cats and dogs. The julbukkand jolegeitiof Norway (the male and female 'goat of Yule') are straw puppets or young men disguised by strawor skins into the likenessof the beasts. though as hunter ratherthan as guardian. and the of Schnabelpercht Rauris possesses a beak of cloth. and more specifically. the presence and the importanceof the pagan mid-winter feast.'09 turning of a man into a werewolf belongs in many the areas of Germany to this time of year. but they are considered to be a foreign accretionto a celebration which had here assimilatedtraits from many distant quarters. the Perchten."0A wolf mask.

Mutilation often belongs with the actual initiatory rites and also with initiatory visions. boar. Initiatory themesand functions. or jolegeiti(Yule goat).4 " The impersonationof a woodland beast and thus the desire to achieve its identity implies a ritual relation between man and animal. Moreover. not her own. or goat."' In some areasof Germanythe name of the wolf is not to be pronouncedin December. the traditionsare best preservedin remote mountainousareaswhere archaicforms of life and archaiccustoms and beliefs are not easily swept away by the winds of progress."5In cases in which a domesticated animal is personified we may assume that a pastoral culture has left its imprint on the earlierconception."1Mutilated men and men whose bodies have been cut so that their intestines trail behind are noted in descriptions of the wild Host which so frequentlyis headed by the goddess. In these.At times Hulda takes children for their education to her dwelling in the forest. in Scandinaviathese pastries may be named julgalt (Yule boar). The initiatorwould be the spiritual parent or foster-parentof the child. i.Winter. We noted that it can be a function of Percht and Holda to punish or rewardthe young and thus show aspects of an educator. Such a relationship has been recognized as the mark of a hunting civilization. in the view of this study. and Percht is frequentlysurroundedby a group of infants. juleoksen(Yule ox).e. especially if it takes place in the wilderness. as in those of the future shaman of some Australiantribes.12 Midwinter celebrationsin which men assume the guise of beasts. It seems that in archaic thought the labour of producing thread from a shapeless mass of wool or flax created the same awe as the forming of a tool . as in the Balkans or the Pyrenean peninsula.16 It may be significant that in Norse mythology the hunting gods Skathi and Ullr are both designated as 'snow-shoegods.160 LOTTE MOTZ towns of Switzerlandon New Year'sEve. Stories of the educationof the young by a superhumanbeing."3 In Hungarian tradition two men dress as stag or bull respectivelyto wanderon the second day of Christmasfrom house to house to perform their play. We may understandthat the beast impersonations of midwinter originated in the context of a hunting culture. between hunter and his prey. Cakesbakedin the Christmasseason frequentlyare shapedto form an animal. bring to mind the practicesof puberty initiation of primitive societies. a stag. from such ancient roots. or of wolves. is the season for the pursuit of many kinds of game (wolves and stags both mating in the winter months). points to their initiatory function. In tracingthe traditionsof midwinterto the concernsof a society of hunters we may understandwhy the rites were enacted at a period that has no relation to agricultural activity or to the death and rebirthof vegetation. the snow covering in northerncountries facilitatesthe captureof the prey. in its turn. are enacted also outside Germanic areas.' If we find the origin of the midwinter feast in a hunting culture we may understand why the Lady of the wilderness is so closely associated with the midwinter celebrations. The refilling of the body with a new substance obviously takes place only in initiatory dreams. while in others December is designatedas Wolfsmonat-monthof the wolf. separation from parentaldwellings and experiences inflicted by superhumanforces are essential for the spiritual second birth and for gaining adult status. The recurrenttale of Perchta's opening and refilling of human stomachs appearsto be an initiatory motif. wolf. we must realize. for in the North the art of ski-huntingwas developed. of sheep."8 The associationof the Ladies with the craft of spinning.for she too has risen. the role in which the goddess often is presented. of stags.

the fur hats and cloaksof the schiache Perchten indeed point to animalpersonification. the horned masks. like the northernfigures. We note that the documentation does not pertain to the Germanic provinces.Just as in myth the creationof the world is often achievedwith the help of a specifically manufacturedtool or weapon. near Trier. Let us summarizethat the associationof the Ladies with the craft of spinning. as evidence. and. so that spinning. testimony to the cult of Artemis in Sicily and on the Balkan peninsula.The churchmenof the Middle Ages frequentlyequated of Percht or Holda with Diana. They may thus have representedin their fearful form the non-humancondition of their time of sacred separation. the traditionbeing brought through the Balkans.Artemis is.representsa time of suspensionof the ordinaryforms of life. The separationfrom villages and families which belongs to the rites of passage. Thederivation the spirits.we observenot only the absence of the name Diana but also the presence of a host of Germanic . as the smithy may become the meeting place of men's secret societies. in truth.shedding his human condition.WaldemarLiungman assumed that the cult of the Graeco-Roman godhead was imported into the Germanic their function in the rites of passage. Sicculus). may takeupon himself the form of a beast. If we turn to the manifestationsof Germanand Germanicfolk-belief.THE WINTER GODDESS 161 from stone or iron. since Percht and Holda are supernatural. Iliad 21. He also cites Gregory of Tours and Cesarius of Arles for their condemnationsof the Roman goddess. like smithcraft. their punitive and rewardingactions. And the violent activity.120 We also note that tests are sometimes set by Percht or Holda for the young.underlinetheir natureas educative forces and also point. there is much resemblancebetween the German spirits and the Roman deity who. this day they were attiredin the costume of the region. had fused with Artemis of the Greeks. moreover.D. was imbued with magical properties. and a deity who was adoredby masked devotees in orgiastic rites. and symbolize through his behaviourthe ferocity of the animal. in turn. that in Salzburg the men would show their frightful aspect on the On Thursdaysof Decemberand their handsomefeatureslater. a 'Lady of the golden Spindle' (Iliad 20. and in southern Gaul. possibly divine.which had preservedthe Graeco-Roman heritage.19 It has been observed by Mircea Eliade that instructionin spinning belongs with the traditionsof girls' puberty initiations.Iliad 21. so the destiny of men is wrought through the spinning of a thread. a nurse and teacher to the young (kourotrophos. or diligence to be proved. In this sacredperiod the candidate.and in the latter costume the state of young manhoodto which they had aspired. by the inhabitantsof what is now Bavaria. and we do not know whether in the Celtic regions the name Diana had not been used to designatea native mistress of the hunt.The place where girls and women gatherto spin may become the site of the enactment of the female mysteries. on the Perchtentag. and he points to cult places of Diana in the upper Rhineland.511).'2lLiungman adduces. Since passingtests forms an importantfeatureof initiation. a virgin huntressof the forest.70). as in the fairytaleof Frau Holle which was recordedby the brothersGrimm. we may find in these episodes more evidence of an earlierinitiatoryrole for Percht or Holda. like them a 'rushing' or a 'noisy' goddess (keiladene. as in the number of reels to be worked by a certain date. On the basis of such resemblances.471). their alliancewith the young. a creatureof the wilderness (agrotera. Diod.and assimilatedin the seventh centuryA. The scenario of initiation might also provide an understandingof the division into 'hideous' and 'handsome'Perchten.We may observe.

especially in the prose. Names. and the beasts tended by Th6rir in a secret valley are sleeker and fatter than the sheep of ordinarymen.'12 The names Mj6ll. Gjb and Torre of Norway and Gryla of Iceland. The Germanname Holle or Hulda finds a counterpartin Huld.on the eve of Yule Hedinn meets a troll-womanin the forest. form.' Frequently. In the medieval poetry and prose of the North there is much description of the form and function of the race of giants who inhabit the caves and glaciers of the uncultivated wilderness and who are designated as 'masters' of some 'rulerof the in the titles bergstjori. It is not likely that Germanic names were invented in many regions of Germanic speech for an imported spirit. The family is designatedas 'Rime giants' and its ancestorhad been generatedin melting ice. the name of a giantess of the Old Icelandic texts.the wood-dwellersof Norwegian folk-tradition. In the countriesof north-Germanic speech knowledgeconcerningthe ancient mistress of the wildernesswas transmittednot only through the ways of folk-traditionbut also through literarytexts. in north-Germanicmyth where they are vital to the creationand the destructionof the world. It is thus more likely that the Ladies Percht and Holda had arisen in and developed from indigenous belief. The designationmyrkrifur('ridersof the dark')for giantessesequals the Germannahtfara('night rider')for night-wandering . We are helped in this endeavourby the wealth of evidence of Scandinavian tradition. Fonn of some Saga giantessesactually have the meaning 'snow. and sometimes northern European.162 LOTTE MOTZ designations. with the supernaturalowners and rulers of the wilderness. and in huldre. with their retinue.'28Giants and giantesses lived on in folk belief and retained their strong association with the midwinter feast.Like the continentalfigures. Relationto night. and we may understandthat they had held a firm position in Norse belief. we are justifed in classing the race of giants. nocturnal. frequently. The membersof the race are especially active at midwinter-time.'or haugaherr.Frau M6re has a counterpartin M6rn.124 Theseasonof the spirits. 'lord of hills.astridea wolf. Giants and giantesses appear. Let us now point to some featureswhich are common to the northernand continental form of the female woodland spirits.moreover. Frau Harke in Herkja.'22 The women of the family are pictured. on the whole. Frau Gode or Gaue in G6i of the Icelandic texts and in the folklore figure Goemor of Denmark. Hit arrangesa Yuletime gathering of her relativesand friends. and which do not belong to the Roman goddess. so the folklore figures and the giantesses of the texts are creaturesof the night. the giantess Hrimgerdaof an Eddic poem meets her destructionthrough the rising dawn.'"26 Sudden cold and gusts of snow frequently precede a meeting between giantess and human hero. the giantessesbelong clearlyto the winter season.'27 a giantess intrudes into a farm house on ChristmasEve to and carry off a member of the household. part of the countryside.'23Since owning and tending wild beasts is a characteristic feature of woodland spirits throughout the world. The giantess Skadi moves on snowshoes and is named the 'snowshoegoddess. if the name was already present in the countryside it must have designated a local demon. also in this aspect. Drifa. membersof this race are guardians of sheep and goats. so that this animal is designatedin the languageof the skaldicpoets as the riding steed of the troll-woman (giantess).As Percht and Holda and their armiesare. An Eddic giantess is known as N6tt ('night'). To affirm this view we may point to some featureswhich are peculiar to the Germanic. haunt the snow-covered lands at Christmastime.

Though they may lead their nymphs in dance they are not associatedwith the legend of the Wild Hunt. Summary. The long or 'iron' nose of Percht and Holda appearsto be the vestige of a bird form of the goddess. one who had been turned by Christianity into a witch. Brian Branston. 7. 8.). We may understandthat. Turville-Petre. Percht and Holda share a particularlynorthernheritage. References to this work will be marked: Sitzungsberichte. 33. quoting: Discipuli Sermonesdominicales (fifteenth century). who represents.Die Hymelstrass(1494).Percht.' 6.Holda undverwandte in der Gestalten. Beakednoses are frequentlynoted with the northern giantesses. 47. Wasch. 3. 'Sister in the Cave. Wasch. 4. and some of these have claws and beaks of 'iron.The linkage with wolves of the northernspirits would find an analoguein the alliance of the German spirits with their dogs. 1956-57). quoting: Tractatusde septemvitiis. quoting: Stephanus Lanzkrana. Animal associations. 64. ViktorWaschnitius.'31The giantesses Vargeisa and Hrimgerdr are fitted with some aspects of a horse. the Ladies. 69. Wien.E. and we noted the goat form of some German spirits.'32We do not meet them. 60. a bird's beak. Jan de Vries. der 10. 12. usually. Myth and Reiigionsgeschichte Religionof the North (London. Wasch.THE WINTER GODDESS 163 spirits. historisch philosoph. 11. are related to the brightness of the day. in actuality. Wasch.' 30 The names Geit and Geitla of some giantesses. p. a centre of Frau Holle lore is found in Hasloch on the river Main (Lower Franconia). stags ratherthan wolves or goats belong with the image of Artemis and of Diana. Legends of the Wild Hunt aboundabove all in areas of Germanicspeech. 2. (In Germanic tradition. such as Percht and Holda. 1964). 64. 71. the force of naturewhich is both life-giving and life-taking. while of course partakingalso of the common features of a Mistress of Wild Things. the centre in Hesse is the mountain Meissner and in Thuringia the H6rselberg.129 Some giantessesmay assume the shape of birds. however. Wasch. night-timewas frequentlydevoted to religious rites).meaning 'goat'and 'little goat.' Arkiv for nordisk filologi 90 (1980).The feasts of the Graeco-Romangoddesses are always celebratedin the spring or summer. Wasch. and a horse's head belongs also to Stampaof Tyrol. Altgermanische (Berlin. Associationwith the WildHunt. G. as expressed in Der kleine Pauly. 5. Godsof the North (London. Wasch.' point to their associationor identity with goats. Klasse 174 (1913-14). quoting: 'der gewissen spiegel. O. n. Wasch. Dr. though less frequently. 9. and the giantess Margerdrhas an 'iron' nose. Auslegung Episteln(Basel. at least not easily. 1622). Akademie Wissenschaften. Lotte Motz. at least in the aspects named above. and the Schnabelpercht possesses.but here we are dealing with a degradedform of the goddess. NOTES provincesonce settled by the Celts. Martin Luther.d. Perchta is also known in Lower and Middle Franconia. 102. they are told. It is true that in the Middle Ages Diana would presideover nocturnaland forbidden ceremonies. . in the Mediterraneanregions.

89. 19. 14. in Lower Austria. 28. 93. 72. the version of Burchardof Worms. 89. Bavaria. 41. In Thuringia.d. Wasch. Wasch. 21. In other Tyrolean villages their time is usually Epiphany. 33. 46. Wasch. Wasch. 20. Wasch. 89. Anmerkungen Rhyakinus. 43. 18. Wasch. Wasch. Die deutschenSagen der Briider Grimm. 82. 78. See ref. the well is near the Meissner and had earlier housed the unborn children. 23. Or flax may be wound around a girl's arm and then burnt off. 56. 70. Wasch. 18. 9. quoting: Thesaurus Pauperumof the Tegernsee Manuscript (1458). and near the Meissner in Hesse. 131. 37. in Salzburg. Wasch. 24. 89. Near the river Main in Lower Franconia. This 'Lady' is clad in fur and wears a terrifying mask. 63. 29. 34. Oswald A. 80. de G6ttingen some of the produce of the field is left for her. 102. Wasch. in Nassau. 89. 99. 17. Wasch. this happened to a lad in Styria in the night of Epiphany. zu 47. 62. 36. 15. 33. Wasch. 106. northern parts we find Frau G6de. It is called Polse and is eaten in Reichenfels. Wasch. Wasch. Wasch. 36. 105. 73.164 LOTTE MOTZ 13. 80. quoting Discipuli Sermones(1480). Wasch. this took place in Hesse. 81. 61. 48. Wasch. Wasch. Wasch. Wasch. 79. men go into their orchards at this time and promise their fruit trees that Frau Holle will come. Reinesius. Wasch. Wasch. ed. Wasch. Krit. in southern Tyrol. 56. 22. 57. she brings six new undershirts for every child. 111. quoting: Blockesberges Verrichtung. 63-64. 26. 38. 40. 24. 1972). Wasch. Wasch. Wasch. 81. 50. 23. nr. entry: wildeJagd. in Thuringia. near the mountain Meissner. Hesse. this happened in Neidenberge in the Voigtland. 51. CanonEpiscopi. 60. 19. she may also take them with her in her bag. 43. 45. Kultische Geheimbtindeder Germanen (Frankfurt. 73. 56. (Berlin-Leipzig. Wasch. in Hesse. 31. in the M6lltal. p. 83. Otto Hofler. Ortssagen. 25. Wirterbuch deutschenVolkskunde der (Stuttgart. 55. Wasch. 59. quoted by Jeffrey Russell. Hermann Schneider. Fastnachtsdonnerstag. the area borders Hesse. Wasch. 73-74. 38. Wasch. 108. Wasch. sometimes as many as a hundred young men will band together to draw the Posterlion a sled to the next town. and Thuringia. Wasch. 32. 103. near the Hasloch in Lower Franconia. 72. 44. 83. 43. Wasch. 53.) I. 57. Wasch. Wasch. 270. the distaff has to be empty by Christmas Eve. pp. 87. n. H6fler. 27. 49. 65. Frau Holle leads the hunt in Franconia. Wasch. Frau Perchta especially receives food offerings. . Wasch. 82. 112. 64. Wasch. 129. 130. Wasch. As in Salzburg. 88. Frau Holle in Hesse. In Poltringen in Swabia. Wasch. 58. Wasch. quoting: Thom. Dr. Wasch. as in ref. 41. Erich und Richard Beitl. Witchcraft the in MiddleAges (Ithaca. 52. the night of the Streggele in Zurich is before Christmas. 16. 57. Wasch. Wasch. 1934). 1974). 37. Wasch. 77. Wasch. 80. 30. there is a frauen Hullenbaumnear Wertheim and another in the district Tarforst of Lower Franconia. 35. Wasch. 39. 78. or de M6re. Wasch.

Die Bussbiicher die und Bussdisziplinder Kirche (Mainz. entry: Tierherrin. you poor Zodawaschel. Schmitz. HermannJoseph Schmitz. 101. LexikonderAntike (Stuttgart. 104. 96. p. 89. of fourth ed. In Upper Austria. however. 119. Deutsche Mdrchen.Handworterbuch deutschen des Volksaberglaubens (Berlin. Wasch. 72.' it is possible that the word wild is linguistically relatedto the word Wald. 86. p. 113. Typenverzeichnis deutschen der Riesen-und riesischen FolkloreFellows Teufelssagen. 88.transl. Wasch. 95. the Scarapsusof Saint Pirmin. In the Rosenthal of Carinthia. Lutz R6hrich. 11. Such prohibitionsoccur in the EcclesiasticalDiscipline of Regino. 32. 81. McNeill and Gamer. p. p. 27. Wasch. McNeill and Gamer. entry: Wolfshirt: this figure is strongly present in Slavic tradition. the Roman-Penitential of of Halitgan. Often. Wasch. 82.THE WINTER GODDESS 165 65. 94. 1854-). in the Voigtland. 277. they are an Altaic nation. as in ref. II. 432. 237. repr. 54. Wasch. Wasch. Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. II. Wasch. 1968. p. Frau Holle. near Fulda in Hesse Frau Holle cries for her absent husband. 108. 87. 79-80.'Rheinisches 10 Jahrbuch fur Volkskunde (1959). receive a Christmas tree from Frau Holle in Wertheim in Bavaria. 76. quoted by Jacob Grimm. 11. entry: wild. the Fleury Penitential. 70. the Penitential. 18. 91. Wasch. p. McNeill and Gamer. Wasch. 1961). Wasch. 103. 113. 1938). 66. 1883-98). as ref. Wasch. of 93. Wasch.' 67. 90. Wasch. 272 ff. 92. Paulson. 89. 90. Wasch. Wasch. Teutonic Mythology. pp. A. 211.). Wasch. 40. 71.Schmitz. 78. Wasch. (Stockholm. Wasch. 369. or in the Harz. p. the Merseburg Anglo-SaxonPenitential. Communications 122 (1937). as in the valley of the Eisack. As in the area of G6ttingen. Nordeurasien.'forest. Ivar Paulson. Wasch. 'EuropaischeWildgeistersagen. The well-behaved. JadgtiereundFische. 80. II. the Corrector Burchardof Worms. 69. 97. 86.. Schutzgeister Gottheiten Wildes. Ake Hultkrantz. 1938-41). 84. 101. referencesare also found in of the BurgundianPenitentialof the eight or ninth century. Frau Holle.James Stallybrass. 32. 277. Wasch. Wasch. 360. Wasch. 102. in Bavaria. 97. 105. DeutschesWbrterbuch (Leipzig. Gamer.B. 89. Near the Meissner.' quoted by Russell. the three Thursdays before Christmas. 322. McNeill and Gamer. 31. As in Folgareit in Tyrol. 89. 102. p. 68. 73. HannsBachthold-Staubli. in Styria. 78 83. Wasch.ed. Valerie H6ttges. BriiderGrimm. MedievalHandbooks Penance(New York. WildeLeute. 85. p. 113. p. a farmer cried out: 'Oh.' in the same way as 'savage'is relatedto sylva. 79-182. in Silesia. 79. 81. The Fronfastenweiber Baden ride on brooms. pp. 113. 44. Wasch. 74. p. As in Kallwang. as in ref. or in the Harz. 41. 65. in Lusarn.ascribedto Albert of Bede. 1964). pp. The und des der in Owners Nature. Near Frankenhausenin Thuringia. as in ref. 82. 334. Wasch. lebend. Wasch. 119.entry: Wilde. Tieren und Damonen: 'im Walde wachsend. Vintler speaks of Perchta with her 'iron nose. 91. 44. the children have to perform heavy labour. Wasch. p. 74. 105.'wood') interchangeswith wildezwip in the translationof lamia. Wasch.. 51. 271. 77. von Pflanzen. As in Hesse.. Wasch. 1911). p. 97. 79. McNeill and Helena M. 75. 156. quoted by John T. 99. Wasch. Paulson. . 35. 305. (Ebenhausenbei Miinchen. Wasch. 44. p.Thilo-Wilken. Wasch. Middle High Germanholzfrouwe (holz. Wasch. 100. in Tyrol. 318. ed. Staubli. in Carinthia. 98. 107. in Silesia. with the Yukaghirof Siberia Supernatural of the guardian is in animal form. Der kleine Pauly. Wasch. 24. adj. II. (Mass.

the VanishingGod (Chicago. 8. 113.MonumentaGermaniae Historica. Gujni J6nsson (Reykjavik. TheSpinningAphrodite(New York. as in ref. . 2. Bdrdarsaga Snaefellsdss. 124.Die Mythologieder Ungarn. in Fornaldarsigur Norgurlanda.' or 'Horse of Leikn. Nash (Oosterhout. Finnur J6usson. the southern portion. Grettissaga. Elisabeth Blum. Hjdlmies saga ok Olvis. Turi'sBook of Lapland. as in ref. 117. 73 in ref. III. 65.' ReiselandOsterreich 1980). 125. as in ref. 125. 4 and 149. 120. Geitla appearsin a list of names of giantesses. 14. EddaSnorra. 1931). 34. p. pp. Histoire des Conciles(Paris. the Synod of Tours. and customs related to spinning and to wool.Hans Wilhelm Haussig. 92. 123. Rites and Symbolsof Initiation. Zalmoxis. RichardWolfram. 1971). The Wolfand theSevenKids and Little Red Riding Hood.'Weiberbiinde. 112. the original source of all these creationslies in the religious universe of the primitivehunter. (Stuttgart. Hversu Noregr byggdist. 61. 122. Mircea Eliade.'Zeitschrift Volkskunde (1932). 130. repr. Only one story of the Wild Hunt is found in Katharine Briggs's collection A Dictionaryof British Folktales(Bloomington. in Formaldersogur(as in ref. Karl Heferle and H. H6fler. p. the Synod of Rouen. 'Die Schnabelperchtgeht nur in Raurisum.' 116. it is nevertheless clear that no other custom received so much attention from the Church. pp. 41. Nils Lid.' Den Norsk-Islandske ed. Trask transl. 113. Eliade. Michaele de Ferdinandy. p. Finnur J6nsson (Copenhagen. entry: Regis. III. speaking about the wolf masqueradesof the Balkans:'. ch.Mircea Eliade. It is true that some prohibitions may merely be a repetition of earlier statements. Le Folklorede France(reprintedParis. 191. entry: Hirschkult. Hjalmfes saga. 15. 46. 569-704. IV. IV. A giantess changes into a crow in Vdlsungasaga ch. the opening and refilling of a stomach results in the rebirthof some creatures. speaks about wolf masqueradesin the Balkansat Christmastime. Skinnhufa and Vargeisa transform themselves into vultures with iron claws and beaks. Heferle and Leclerque. R. western and central France and are very rarely met in the Languedoc. 129. 118. 165-178. in Edda Snorra Sturlusonar. p. 1907-52). note 162. Rauris lies in the Austrian province of Salzburg. 119.ed. . Ch 1. 126.recordedby the brothersGrimm. 131. Die MythologiederAlthispanier. 453. 119 (1938). 127. p.166 LOTTE MOTZ the Penitentialof Theodore of M6rn and Herkja appear in lists of giantesses' names. The rites are also condemned in a letter of Bonifatius to Pope Zacharias. WaldemarLiungman. 288. 1928). in two German fairytales. 121. 1958). pp. 145. G. p. Grettissaga Asmundarsonar.. 117. ch. 115. Das staatlicheund kirchliche (1936). 3. 1969). Leclerque. 1968) I. ed. Other forbidden customs of the midwinter feast are the offering of gifts to rocks and wells. Paul S6billot. ed.translatedfrom a Danish translationby E. 126). Eliade. Skjaldedigtning. 1968. ch. 14. 110-13. in Fornaldarsigur (as in ref. 132. Jolebanden vegetasjonsguddom og (Oslo.Epistolae II. 12. 114. Jose-MariaBlazquez. ch. GdtterundMythenim alten Europe. The wolf may be called 'Steed of Jarnfaxa. p. pp. As vividly and proudly describedby Johan Turi. ojstolfs saga hamramma. Elmo Suhr. Gylfaginning12. 20. the Schnabelpercht carries large wooden also scissors to open the stomachof the evil-doer:Gerlinde Proier. 1972). 30. as in ref.).pulur. Legends of the Wild Hunt are found in northern. Haussig. 46. Geit is a figure of Jikuls fdttr Btasonar. 128. 113. (New York. I. 1. it is a universe dominated by the mystical solidarity of the hunter and the game. 42 fur p. 1973). p.McNeill and Gamer. 16. 112. p. Traditionswanderungen: Folklore Fellows Communications Euphrat-Rhein. in the Synod of Rechtdes Frankenreiches Auxerre. 126). 6. (1. 1959).

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