Sunday, 2 December 2012


In Germanic folklore as established by Jacob Grimm,[1] Frau Holda or Holle is the supernatural matron of spinning, childbirth and domestic animals, and is also associated with winter,witches and the Wild Hunt. Her name is cognate with Scandinavian beings known as the Huldra and the völva Huld,[2] and Jacob Grimm traced her to a goddess of Germanic antiquity.[3]
Frau Holle is an ancient figure. The name Hludana is found in five Latin inscriptions: three from the lower Rhine (Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum XIII 8611, 8723, 8661), one from Münstereifel (CIL XIII, 7944) and one from Beetgum, Frisia (CIL XIII, 8830) all dating from 197 AD- 235 AD. Many attempts have been made to interpret this name.[4] The most steadfast connections are with Frau Holle and Hulda on one hand, and the Old Norse Hlóðyn, a byname for the Earth, Thor’s mother, on the other. She is also frequently equated with Nerthus, who also rides in a wagon, and Odin's wife, Frigg, from her alternate names Frau Guaden [Wodan], Frau Goden, and Frau Frekke as well as her position as mistress of the Wild Hunt. The similarity of meaning and etymology between German "Holl(d)a" and Old English "Hella," as well as both being described as leading the dead, could point to a link between them.
In popular legends and fairy-tales distributed extensively throughout Hesse and Thuringia Frau Holle (also Holde, Hulda, Hulle, and Holl) is manifested as a superior being with a helpful disposition who is never cross unless she discovers disorder in household affairs. The legend of Frau Holle is found as far as the Voigtland, past the Rhön mountains in northern Franconia, in the Wetterau up to the Westerwald and from Thuringia to the frontier of Lower Saxony. She is also called Frau Bercht, Frau Percht, and Striga Holda, among other names.

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia,

Long ago, when the Germanic religion still honored Nature's power, both her blessing and devastating aspects, she was the rain-giving clouds, the spouse of the god of storms. Later, she became a sky queen who, besides mastery over clouds and winds, she also had the power of granting sunshine and prosperity to the fields, and also, as the motherly protector of women's life, she controlled feminine work, namely favoring spinning, and, as Frau Holda or Holle, she kept the souls of the unborn or dead children. In some countries it was said that her home was in a mountain, a magnificent cave, and still in some others, it was in the waters of some fountains or ponds, where it is still said that children come from [this water allows women to become fertile?].
At the turning of the winter sun, with her spouse Wodan, would she hold a procession through the land, which began as a blessing, turning later into a wild hunt.

Source: Nordic Magic Healing: runes, charms, incantations, and galdr; On Frau Holle; Taken from: Otto Freiher von Reinsberg-Düringsfeld, "Aberglaube-Sitten-Feste Germanischer Völker, das festliche Jahr", Reprint-Verlag-Leipzig (reprint of the original 1898).

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