Mother Holda  

Posted by Stella Clark

Mother Holda Image
In Germanic, pre-Christian folklore, Hulda, Holle, Holda, and Frau Holle were all names used to denote a single Goddess. Holda was both a light and a dark goddess....which is reflected by Her changing appearance. At time She appears as a beautiful young woman, clothed in a shining white dress while on other occasions, She is seen as a hunchbacked, old crone with long, tangled gray hair and glowing red eyes. The young Holda is invoked to increase fertility and bring prosperity into the home, but when She feels slighted, She becomes the Crone whose gifts are misfortune, illness, and death. It is in this form that She brings the snow and the fog. As the Crone, we find Her riding the winter skies in Her wagon and shaking out Her featherbeds to make the snow fall.

Holda was the protectress and guardian of the woodland animals. She has many totem animals which include wolves, hounds, pigs, horses, and birds of prey with the wolf being one of Her most sacred of beasts. December is Her month, and in Germany, December was well-known as the 'Month of the Wolf' or the 'Wolf Moon' in honor of Her.

She is your typical dark goddess of death, the underworld, and winter. She was the patronness of women who were spinners and weavers, and She punished those who failed at this craft or produced sloppy work. Women would pray to Her for help when spinning. She was a symbol of hard work and and virtue. She promotes the independence of housewives which is probably why She is much maligned today. Her sacred season is between Yule and New Years, and during the 12 days of Yule all spinning ceased in Her honor, and bad luck struck anyone who defied this custom.

You honor Holda anytime you give of yourself in your housework or cooking. Any work around the house can be done in honor of Holda. Take a day between Yule and New Year's to ready your home and prepare for your New Year's Eve celebration. Burn red candles with spicy scents throughout the home. Honor Her on New Year's Day with rest and relaxation.

You know, I have been thinking a lot about Holda, and I wondered as I wrote this if this is where one of my family's traditions came from. After all, my maternal grandad was German. My mother, grandmother, and now myself all believe that if your house isn't clean on New Year's Day and your laundry has not been done, you will be working hard throughout the year...forever cleaning house and doing laundry. So, everything is always completed in my home before the clock strikes midnight.

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This entry was posted on 26 June 2008 at Thursday, June 26, 2008 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .