I brought a calender this year – I know, not exactly thrilling news. I picked out one themed with witches because I liked the pictures, when I got it home I discovered each month tells a little story. Today I thought I’d share January’s. Sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin…
We are in the time of the Snow Queen, who is also known as the Northern Germanic goddess Holda. Holda, or Holla, is a deity associated with spinning, fertility, childbirth, and domesticated animals. Holda is the keeper of a sacred pool through which the souls of newly born infants enter the world. It was thought that if women bathed in Holda’s sacred pools, they would quickly conceive. Holda is also one of the leaders of the Wild Hunt. The season of the Wild Hunt began at the Winter Solstice and continues throughout the months of winter. Holda is a patroness of Witches, and she has a shamanistic type of energy, as Witches called on her for nighttime flights or to aid in astral projection.
Holda may appear as an old, bent crone cloaked in gray or as a beautiful young maiden dressed in shimmering white. According to folklore, when Holda makes her bed and fluffs up her feather pillows, it snows. This is how she earned the title of Snow Queen. When fog rolls in during the winter months, it is believed that this is the smoke for Holda’s fire. In southern Germany, this deity is known as Perchta (sometimes spelled Berchta). The name Perchta translates to the “bright one”. Also, a goddess of the Wild Hunt and childbirth, she was accompanied by and cared for the souls of children and babies who had passed to the other side. The festival day for Perchta/Berchta and Holda is January 6.
These goddesses of fertility and death walked here between the worlds of the living and the dead. During the month of January when the snows settle in and the night seems very long, you may call upon Holda to watch over and protect you.
Spell to Call on Holda
All around me now icy, winter winds do blow,
I call Holda and Perchta, the Queens of the Snow.
Leaders of the Wild Hunt, great ladies, please hear my cry,
Watch over and defend me as you sail through the sky.
By the powers of the earth, air, fire and water,
Guard and protect you magickal sons and daughter.
Animal: Snow goose; owl; bear
Flower: Carnation; snowdrop
Ruling planet: Saturn
(Not my own words, copied from ‘Llewellyn’s Witches Calender 2013’: Ellen Dugan)