the stuff of nightmares. His name comes from the German and is translated
as ‘claw’. This counterpart to jolly St. Nicholas is the son of the
Underworld Goddess Hel from Norse mythology.
size, he traditionally bears a dark and hideous mane, his body covered in
matted fur and hellish burning eyes. With a head possessing horns and the
all too familiar sharp fangs from his gaping mouth, his is
a frightening visage during this holiday season.
his bells and chains, he hurries down the streets and lanes swatting at
children with his birch bundle and peeks into windows in search of those who
were naughty not nice.
celebrations in Germany begin to get underway in early December; the 6th of
the month is known as Krampusnacht or Krampus Night. A shoe or a
boot was traditionally left on the doorstep by the child of the house in hopes
that it would be filled with goodies. To peek under the shade was risky
business as Krampus was about and he knew all to well if that child had
misbehaved. The family would explain to the quivering youngster that
"there would be no last minute reprieve and it would be down, down to the
Underworld with you if Krampus discovers how naughty you have been!"
Alas! Krampus night was forbidden eventually by the Catholic Church, not
because it was frightening for children, but due to its pagan origins.
never fear, the tradition has been revived in parts of Germany and the Festival
of Krampus is alive and well. Children
are still subject to a light swat and a scooping up but the Underworld
condemnation has been replaced by feasting and merriment.
“All acts of love and pleasure are my rituals” ~ The Charge
of the Goddess
All Acts of Love and Pleasure is a companion guide to
inclusive Wicca, which includes all participants regardless of sexual
orientation, disability, age, or other differences, not by erasing or ignoring
the distinctions, but by working with them creatively within initiatory Craft.
Tracing the development of Pagan and Wiccan ideas about gender and sexuality,
authority and tradition, we can see that the Craft has evolved since the 1950s,
and will continue to develop in the future.
The author examines different ideas in relation to
initiatory Wicca, such as eco-spirituality, science, truth, the sacred,
sexuality, consent culture, tradition, and magic, and how these concepts can be
explored as part of a liberal religious tradition and training as a priestess or
priest in Wicca. Each chapter offers further reading, a meditation or visualization,
and practical ideas for rituals and discussions. By examining the origins and
relevance of Wiccan concepts, the reader is challenged to explore their own
views and how they express their own spirituality.
Although the aim of this book is to act as a guide to
existing initiatory covens who want to make their practice more inclusive, its
scope is much broader as it deals with wide-ranging issues including group
dynamics, coven leadership, ritual, ethics, and Wiccan theology and
practice. It is sure to appeal to
Pagans, Magicians, Druids and Witches, of all persuasions and views.
Yvonne Aburrow was initiated into Gardnerian Wicca in
1991. She is an author and poet, with an
MA in Contemporary Religions and Spiritualities from Bath Spa University. All Acts of Love and Pleasure is her eighth
Perchta or Berchta, also known as Percht, is a goddess in Southern
Germanic paganism found in the Alpine countries and means "the bright
The word Perchten is the commonly used when speaking of her
entourage; it also refers to the type of masks worn in the mountains of Austria
that are animal or fantasy-like.
During the 16thcentury
it was believed that the Perchten took two forms, some were beautiful and
benevolent bringing prosperity and good fortune to the inhabitants.
However, there is a darker more demon-like variety of Perchten known as
'Schiachperchten' who were terrifying. They possessed ugly faces,
protruding eyes, sharp fangs and tail of a horse; these were the ones that were
called upon to drive out any demons or ghosts from the village.
A form of exorcists for home security, this particular form of
Perchten were invited into the home in order to find and drive out any
ill-spirits that might be hiding, causing misfortune and havoc for the
The tradition continues as part of the holidays of Salzburg and