Walpurgisnacht

While researching for A Sure Cure for Witchcraft, I discovered many things. One was Walpurgisnacht, pronounced Val-purr-gess-nach-t.

Exactly what is Walpurgisnacht?

It’s the German word for Walpurgis Night.

I know, so what is Walpurgis Night?

It actually began centuries ago as a celebration of Spring on April 30th and is exactly six months from Hallowe’en. Somehow along the way things changes and it became a time when men and boys would gather to light large bonfires and make loud noises all night long because they believed it would chase away evil.

It is said that Walpurgisnacht took place on “the Brocken” which was the highest peak in the Hartz Mountain. It’s supposed to be a place where witches meet to celebrate evil.

Walpurgisnacht is mentioned several time in my upcoming book A Sure Cure for Witchcraft, both in the past as well as the present-day story thread. Readers will learn more about the superstition surrounding it. I found it fascinating. I love reading about superstitions and the beliefs people once had. While I realize that people had all sorts of beliefs back in the 18th century, some of them seem farfetched today. You’ll find plenty of these outdated superstitions in the book.

I found this song on YouTube by a German band known as Faun. To learn a bit more about the band click the link HERE. The song is kind of catchy. I’ve posted the English translation below the video for anyone interested in what they are singing.

In the night-sky tonight

The witches rise

Wild folk and Lilith’s kind

Lurking, secretly ride the winds. 

Let us wander to the fires

Whispering, reach for the stars

Both the good and the bad word

Take us (further) on and on tonight. 

In the meadows our dreams will ring

And the winds will sing our songs.

Let us leap over the fires with the sparks

On Walpurgis Night! 

Hear the fiddles, hear the fiddles,

The fires are kindled!

Follow the round dance, follow the round dance

On Walpurgis Night. 

Unruly in the fiddles’ play

Our nightly round dance spins

And we join, wild and free,

This old magic.

 

Only once in great circles

We dance in that way

Until the first light of morning

Breaks our dream-web.

In the meadows our dreams will ring

And the winds will sing our songs.

Let us leap over the fires with the sparks

On Walpurgis Night! 

Hear the fiddles, hear the fiddles,

The fires are kindled!

Follow the round dance, follow the round dance

On Walpurgis Night.

Next month A Sure Cure for Witchcraft will be hitting the bookstores. I’ll keep you updated as the time get closer so check back on my blog from time to time and I’ll be sure to keep you in the loop.

A First Review

Did I say first review? Make that first and second.

Months before a book is published Advanced Reading copies are sent out to reviewers, to help build some buzz before publication day. The hope is that early review will be favourable and others will want to see what all the buzz is about.

As many of you know, my next book is due to be released in September. What started out as an idea of a story that would follow two characters across time, finally developed into a book that I’m excited to see released into the world.

The book already has a few ratings on GoodReads and a very first review has come in. You can read it HERE. As I was preparing this post another early review came in as well. HERE.

The cover was finalized a few weeks ago which means all that is left is for it to go off to the printer.

I’m excited about this book for a number of reasons. First and foremost because it was quite some time in the making, which I think I mentioned here already. But it is also about the belief in witchcraft that people had centuries ago, and when my German-speaking ancestors came here to Nova Scotia in the 1700’s, they brought many of those beliefs with them. Even in my lifetime, I have known people who believed a certain individual was a witch. That is something that has always fascinated me.

So now, as another book is about to make it’s way into the big scary world, I hope it will be welcomed with open arms. Of course, it doesn’t mean I can just sit back and wait for this to happen. I’m hard at work on a more contemporary YA novel, but I also have some other stories on the go. Hopefully, none of them will take over ten years to come to fruition.

Witchcraft

Just in time for Halloween, too! Here’s a look at the cover of Clary Croft’s new book, out from Nimbus this October. Clary Croft is a folklorist, writer, and entertainer. He is the author of several books, including Helen Creighton: Canada’s First Lady of Folklore, A Maritimer’s Miscellany, and Celebrate: The History and Folklore of Holidays in Nova Scotia. Clary lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Okay, so I totally got the bio from the Nimbus fall catalogue, but at least now ya know a bit about him.

Thursday night we attended a reading and talk by Clary at the Desbrisay Museum in Bridgewater. I was so taken by his speaking abilities that I even emailed my editor at Nimbus to say so. Seems like a silly thing to have done now, but I’ve got to say the man gives a good talk. He’s got a pretty good sense of humour, too. When asked if he learned any spells while researching this book, his answer was, “If I did do you think I’d still be bald headed?”

I’ve been interested in the topic of Witchcraft for a long time now. Lunenburg County is filled with stories of people who believed in witchcraft and I’m not talking about centuries ago, either. My grandmother actually believed that one of her neighbours was a witch, and would make my mum and her siblings wear dogwood crossed pinned to their undershirts whenever they had to walk past this woman’s house. To say this peaked my interest is an understatement. I only wish now my grandmother was alive so that I could ask her a few questions about some of her beliefs. But it seems these opportunities often slip through our fingertips, and far too often it is too late. Of course, to get this out of my system I did write an novel on the subject. So yes, you could say I was pretty excited to hear Clary speak the other night.

Witchcraft is in stores now and also available at Amazon.ca.

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