Walpurgis Night n. 1. The eve of May Day, believed in medieval Europe to be the occasion of a witches' Sabbath.
The writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) in Faust writes that the witches come on Walpurgis night and sing:
"Now to the Brocken the witches ride; the stubble is gold and the corn is green; There is the carnival crew to be seen, And Squire Urianus will come to preside. So over the valleys our company floats, with witches a-farting on stinking old goats."Well! A-farting on stinking old goats indeed! Typical of Goethe to see it that way. We merely wished to be left at peace but the Papal edict made that near impossible. We wanted to honour our goddesses in the old way. To gather altogether and rejoice that we had made it through another cold fearsome winter. That we could ask the land to give us sustenance and it would without celebrating her beneficence was a ridiculous and arrogant notion.
So we gathered in the mountains and drank our mead and talked to the newest crop of young women who wished to follow the ways. We talked, as women will, of how to help each other through this time of great tumult. Women are hated by the so-called one true church. We knew it for a fact - they wanted us on our knees from morning to night. If we weren't there to scrub floors or clean out the fireplace then we were there bending over for any knave that wanted relief.
Our young women had to learn the ways and rituals so that the harvests would be good, babies would be born whole and bellowing, sheep and goats would be plentiful and the sun and moon would ride through the heavens in an orderly fashion. If we let it about that there were sacrifices and bad-doings it was only to make the common folk from stopping us out of fear. They had given it all away for the new church and forgotten their old mistress. Well, we wouldn't.