Starting the New Year with Ancient Alpine Traditions – 12th Night

Perchten Run Kuchl near Salzburg, (c) Christian Brunner 2012

We have arrived at the last night of the Rauhnächte as we call the 12 nights after the Winter Solstice in the German speaking greater Alpine region.

This night is dedicated to the third of the three Goddesses of old, Borbet, Christianized St. Barbara, who is most prominently referred to as Mother Percht on that night.

Mother Percht is the crone and with that the death aspect of the three-fold Goddess. She leads the Wild Hunt and visits homesteads at midnight with her entourage. In some Christianized version that are the souls of the unbaptized children who died before the Church could make them her own.
In other tales a smorgasbord of creatures is with her: witches, the Habergeiss we talked about in a previous article, the Baumwercher, the bear and its handler, the king and all kinds of other characters, different from region to region.

In her honor (at least the way I see that), Perchten Runs are held in many a town or village in the Alps, where this train of figures walks/dances through the streets and, in smaller communities, enter the houses, sometimes challenge the people dwelling there, and almost always drink a shot of Schnaps (fruit brandy). Their function is to scare the remanences of anything old and no longer necessary out of the house to make room for good look and prosperity.
One can often see the witches sweeping the floor towards the entrance, to cleanse the house from “old dirt”.

And there is of course a lot of incense burnt.

Aside from these rather organized shenanigans, here is what you can do in this night:

  • Like in the 4th Rauhnacht, this is one where you assess what “went wrong” in the previous nights. An omen might not have been advantageous, or the divination you did revealed difficulties. Tonight, you can revisit, draw an extra card from your Tarot or toss an extra rune or Ogham stick.
  • If you have a well of your own, or have access to one, pull some water from it. The water’s powers for blessing and healing are particularly enhanced tonight.
  • Cut a divining rod today (best from a hazelnut bush, and such that you have nine “eyes” on the lower end before the fork) and dedicate it to Wilbet to find gold, to Ambet to find water, and to Borbet to find silver.
  • Cleanse important things, especially magical tools, with incense. Lots of it. Do the same with hats which makes you think clear and fends off headaches.
  • Open all windows and doors at midnight to let the wind in.
  • At the same time, only go outside if you dare.
  • Ask your livestock questions, you will get an answer.
  • In some regions, people talk into the fireplace or chimney to ask to be safe from lightning and storms.
  • And finally, put a white(ish) tablecloth on your table and prepare some milk and bread for Mother Percht and her entourage to take a break from their travels all over the land and to feast. As a thank you, she’ll bless your house.
    You could use the milk to bake cake the next day.

This is the night of miracles, so do expect one or at least the setting of the stage for a miracle.

Please follow this blog to read about many more Alpine traditions and to see what’s next.

More magical Alpine traditions can be found in my book “Mountain Magic”, available at (preferred) and distributers such as

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Starting the New Year with Ancient Alpine Traditions – 11th Night

Last night we have contemplated and blessed the twelve months leading up to the next Winter Solstice, lighting a candle for Wilbet, the Maiden of the threefold Goddess known to the people in the Alps and beyond in the German speaking world.

The Goddess we honor today is Ambet, the mother, the one who tamed the big worm, the dragon — the symbol of the awesome female power — and stood next to it in the very old paintings. Her Christianized version Margareth stands on it (often reduced to a snake) and holds it in chains.

In German speaking regions further north, Frau Holle is very similar in her meaning for land and people.

Frau Holle statue at the Frau Holle Pond near the Hoher Meissner in Northern Hessia.
Photo Dirk Schmidt, 2009

Let’s light a candle for her, who brings us the bounty of harvest — actual as well as metaphorical — and meditate over what that could be. Use your favorite divination tool for that.

Again, this night is a lighter exercise, especially compared to what comes tomorrow, in the 12th night.

More magical Alpine traditions can be found in my book “Mountain Magic”, available at (preferred) and distributers such as

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Starting the New Year with Ancient Alpine Traditions – 10th Night

This and the next two nights of the Rauhnächte are dedicated to three Goddesses, or three aspects of one Goddess, appearing as Wilbet, Ambet, and Borbet in old paintings. Many a waterway or town in the greater Alpine region are based on their name, most prominently the German City of Worms, known in Roman times as Borbetomagus.

In the Middle Ages, when Christianity settled into European households and life in general, these three Goddesses were replaced by the saints Katharina (or Catharina in her Latin form)(for Wilbet), Margarethe (for Ambet), and Barbara (for Borbet). While the name changed, the attributes (a wheel, a dragon on a chain, and a tower, respectively) remained even on later paintings and statues.

The names are also interesting insofar as on the day after the last Rauhnacht, kids dressed as the “Three Wise Men”, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, walk from house to house, sing something, collect donations for the Church, and then write 20-C+M+B-22 in chalk on the top of the door frame. “Coincidentally” the same initials as these three Christianized Goddesses, “coincidentally”, on the day also dedicated the death aspect of the Goddess in her manifestation as Mother Percht (Berchta).

The best way to celebrate this night is to light a candle dedicated to the Maiden aspect of the Goddess, to Wilbet with the eight-spoked wheel, and meditate over the following twelve months until the next Winter Solstice, blessing each month.

More magical Alpine traditions can be found in my book “Mountain Magic”, available at (preferred) and distributers such as

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Starting the New Year with Ancient Alpine Traditions – 9th Night

After a night of celebration, this ninth one of the 12 Nights after the Winter Solstice, the Rauhnächte, this one is calmer and does not really have much of the work we were used to in the previous ones.

Still, feasting is tradition, as is spending the day and night with families and friends. When I was a child and my grandparents still lived, we would visit them all and exchange little tokens representing good luck. Typically, those would be treats made of chocolate or marzipan, in the shape of fly agaric mushrooms (toad stools), four leave clovers, chimney sweepers, and pigs.

It is easy to make these little pig heads. You’ll need:

One or two bars of raw marzipan (but the one that is already mixed with sugar)
Red and green food coloring
Almond slices (optional)
Small pointy knife

Mix two thirds of the marzipan with red food coloring to make it pink, and the rest with green food coloring (you’ll need relatively more green color to make dark. Put it in the fridge to chill.

Form the two pieces of colored marzipan into 1-inch rolls. Cut off a 1/2-to-3/4-inch slice of the pink roll (a tip: work with chilled marzipan and use a wet knife to cut it). Lay it flat and cut out a pizza slice shaped section, about an eighth of the whole. Then roll each, the big and the small part into balls and press the smaller one against the bigger one, flattening the front of the small ball. Take a toothpick and make two small holes in the small ball for the nostrils and then on the bigger one for eyes.
By now you have the head and the snout of the pig. For the ears, take a small pointy knife and make two slits on top of the big ball. Carefully insert the almond slices for ears.
Alternatively, you can take a couple of more pieces of the big roll of pink marzipan and form small triangular shaped ears and stick them on the pig’s head.

For the base, a four leaved clover, cut a 1/4-inch slice from the green roll of marzipan and press it flat. Cut it like a pizza into five slices, but make sure that you only cut halfway into the center, so the slices stay connected. One of slices should be a little smaller than the other ones, it’ll form the stem of the clover leaf. I start with that one, and then make four even slices of the rest. Press the stem together a little, which also creates more room to increase the spaces between the four leaves. With your index finger, make a dent on the outside rim towards the center of each clover leaf, so that they appear heart shaped.

Put the pig head on the clover leaf with light pressure and voila.

One oracle practice, traditionally for women who want to get married in the coming year, is to stand in front of the house, facing it, and throwing their slipper over their left shoulder. If the point of the slipper faces away from the house, she will have a wedding.
I leave it up to you and your creativity to bring that old tradition into the current century and make it work for you. While that would allow you to fit your gender identity and sexual orientation etc., I would still recommend doing that only if you want to get married. Or at least a committed relationship. If your wish is something completely different, say going on a cruise, that might not be the right exercise.

Do take this night to rest and contemplate, for the next three ones are dedicated each to the three Goddesses Wilbet, Ambet, and Borbet, all leading up to the Perchtlnacht, the night of Mother Perchta, which finishes this cycle of sacred nights.

More magical Alpine traditions can be found in my book “Mountain Magic”, available at (preferred) and distributers such as

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Starting the New Year with Ancient Alpine Traditions – 8th Night

Tonight, we celebrate.

There are many ideas about what should be considered the New Year, and they are all legit in their own right. It seems that at least some Celtic groups, of whom we have some written or verbal information available, considered that the summer and with that the agricultural season came to its end at Samhain. The Gaullish term Samfuin appears on a calendar found in today’s France, in Coligny, and seems to indicate exactly that, summer’s end. But did that mean that “the Celts” thought of the day after Samhain as their “New Year”? Did they even have a concept of a year in our sense?
The ancient Romans seem to have started their year in March, which would explain why our ninth month today, September, was their seventh, our tenth, October, their eighth and so forth until December, their tenth.
In Astrology, we consider the Spring Equinox, when the Sun enters the section of the Zodiac that was named Aries (for the detail-oriented astronomer: no, that is not the same as the constellation, we have veered about 23 degrees off in the past 2,000 years), the beginning of a year-long cycle.

And in the 16th century, January 1st was pronounced the beginning of the year, a concept that eventually became a worldwide phenomenon, at least as far as computers as well as international relations and business are concerned.

In the end, it’s all what I call “arbitrary with a decent explanation”. So, why not take this night, the eighth of the Rauhnächte, to celebrate? You don’t have to celebrate New Year’s if that concept does not fit into your own calendar cycle. But you can still party, no?

There are a few things that you could consider.

Some are food related. (Everything in the German speaking Alps is food related — maybe in other sections of that mountain range with other languages too, but I can’t confirm. If a people says, “it is sausage to me” when they mean “I don’t care” and “I didn’t come here swimming through the noodle soup” when they mean “I wasn’t born yesterday”, then you can bet that food is also important when it comes to the Rauhnächte.

Typically, there is a good deal of food, often buffet style, served at parties that night, and much of it is fish. But with whatever you fill your plate, be sure to eat it all so that you are blessed with money in the coming year. At the same time, as a host, or if you are by yourself, leave some food uneaten to make sure you will always have enough to eat next year. So, empty your plate, but leave some of the dinner untouched (i.e. don’t put it on your or anybody’s plate so you don’t cancel one out with the other.)

Have some pork for good luck, and fish to go upstream. Sauerkraut, peas, or pea soup (big hard no for me, but peas as such, yes) mean wealth and prosperity.

But…avoid birds. Stay away from chicken, duck, goose, quail. “Luck is a little bird” as we say in Austria and as such it can fly away at any moment. Especially if you eat one tonight.
So, what to do when you’re invited to a dinner and the main dish is a bird?
Be sure to eat some bacon or ham for breakfast and lunch.

I honestly don’t know what to recommend for vegetarians and vegans in that respect. These are old traditions from the Alps…everything the farms provided was eaten. Everything. Have you heard of blood sausage? It’s not only part of “everything is eaten, “it is blood sausage to me” is also the superlative of “it is sausage to me.”
I easily digress when it comes to food. So, for vegetarians/vegans: Lots of peas, I guess? Or making cookies in the shape of little pigs. Or out of marzipan.

Also, once the feast is over and the guests have left (hopefully all of them, unless there is someone special who you don’t mind staying), do leave some of the food out for all the creatures of nature. If you have a fruit tree in your yard, put a little plate of leftovers there to attract a full bounty at harvest time.

Apropos that special person: if you happen to enjoy physical intimacy, wearing red underwear tonight should bring you hours of good sex in the coming year. One thing though, because that’s a form of Magic: When you put it on and if you care about with whom you like to enjoy making love, be sure to include that person in the intent when getting dressed. It could get complicated otherwise.

Some time that evening, probably before you go out (because who knows when you come home tonight) walk through your house with lots of incense and cleanse every room and every corner therein. This is something you do not want to do tomorrow, because you may smoke out the spirits of the new year, or the good luck, out of your house on New Year’s Day.

At the party or gathering, divination is a good way to pass time. Set up a little table with your Tarot cards, Ogham, or runes and whenever someone needs an answer, you can quickly be of service.

One particular version of oracle I enjoy is heating up tin (originally, people used led, but that’s not really the healthiest choice, especially if you have little children in the house) until it’s liquid and then dropping it in cold water. Divine the future from the form the metal made when cooling down suddenly.
I do recommend re-using last year’s tin oracle, for it’s precious metal and you definitely don’t want to throw it in the trash.

My 2020/21 Tin Oracle Figure

More magical Alpine traditions can be found in my book “Mountain Magic”, available at (preferred) and distributers such as

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Starting the New Year with Ancient Alpine Traditions – 7th Night

This 7th of the 12 nights after the Winter Solstice is the last night that fully falls in the old year. Tomorrow, New Year’s Eve, the Sylvester night, is the night of the calendar transition, and only half of it is in the past year, the other half in the new one.

In this night, we are advised to look at our dark side. It’s the last night of the year, and the last chance to do so. So, insofar that’s something which would actually better be done tonight than any other night of the Rauhnächte. At the same time, it’s always good to face the darkness every now and then, and there are other times in the year where it’s opportune to do so.

But if you have an opportunity tonight, take it.

Facing the darkness, where the unknown lurks — which is most of the time what frightens us most — is not an easy task. We have learned a lot of mechanisms throughout our lives to bury that deep inside us, never to surface.

But we are fooling ourselves if we think it’s not there, it doesn’t exist. It’s often like with little children who cover their own eyes and then claim nobody can see them.

Divination tools are a brilliant way to cough up that sticky hairball that we so like to ignore. I particularly like Tarot for such exercises, because the pictures on the cards give us so many clues. But Ogham and runes are as perfect to open our mind to our deepest unconscious. No matter the tool, it doesn’t have the inhibitors and blocks our mind has at its disposal, and just shows us flat out what the deal is.

So, now that you know your own darkness — what can you about your anger, vengeance, greed etc. (for some even lust, but personally, I find it debatable to include that in this list)? It is absolutely ok to have those dark feelings. Acting on them it where it becomes an issue.
Your fantasy, your creative abstract thinking is a tool that you can use to deal with them. In that sense, rather than raging over some inconsiderate person for hours or even days, play out in your head how their fate would change if you had all the powers in the world. And keep that in your head. You will see, at some point, after mulling over scenario after scenario, you’ll have dealt with the situation and can let go.

Mind you, I am not suggesting dealing with all situations only in your head. You have to voice what should be said, in proper form. The above suggestion is about how you can deal with your dark side.

When you are done with that, once again use the power of smoke issued by dry herbs and incense to cleanse yourself and your surroundings.

More magical Alpine traditions can be found in my book “Mountain Magic”, available at (preferred) and distributers such as

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Starting the New Year with Ancient Alpine Traditions – 6th Night

We are halfway through the Rauhnächte, the 12 nights after the end of the Winter Solstice (more about the correct calculation in the first article). We are still working on taking stock and cleansing what’s no longer needed.

Tonight is family night.

Last night, we worked on our best friends, how our relationships with them have changed in the past year, and whether or not they should be brought over to the next 12 months cycle. Normally, I would say that shouldn’t be a question — after all best friends are best friends for a reason — but I have seen the strangest (and saddest) things happen in this respect during the current pestilence.

And thus, tonight we do the same with family. That might be even harder. You can choose your partner, and with them more or less their family. But your own? Well, you can’t choose who they are, and what they are to you, but you can certainly choose if you want to be in contact with them.

Hopefully your family situation is such that sticking with them is a no-brainer, but I see situations all the time where the only healthy and safe course of action is a clear and hard break. I am especially saying that to all you folks out there who might feel guilty for breaking with (a part of) your family even though you know that your mental, physical, and spiritual health is in danger if you didn’t

Never ever feel guilty or ashamed for saving your own life. That is also part of self-care.

Once again, take your favorite divination tool, and start asking questions. Some relationships may be on autopilot and don’t really need any querying, and if time is scarce, I would recommend concentrating on those family members where a deeper dive is warranted.

So ask the Ogham, Tarot cards, or runes what, relative to (partner, mother, father, any grandparent, uncle, aunt, child, niece, nephew etc. etc.) needs to be

  • Cleared up?
  • Forgiven (both you and by you)?
  • Let go of?
  • Blessed?
  • Remembered as a lesson?

Do that for each family member you feel that this is needed for. It may take a while.

Once you are through with all of them, feel free to go berserk with the amount of incense you burn without harming yourself and others (particularly pets), walk through your house with the intent to cleanse and get rid of everything that in this practicum was revealed and needs to be moved out and smoke it all out.

More magical Alpine traditions can be found in my book “Mountain Magic”, available at (preferred) and distributers such as

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Starting the New Year with Ancient Alpine Traditions – 5th Night

This is the fifth of the 12 Rauhnächte after the Winter Solstice, and after last night (article here), this one is a little simpler in terms of what to do. Still important work, though.
And — please never restrain your flow of creativity. If this feels like you want to conduct this elaborate ritual you’ve just been itching to do, by all means.

Apropos…someone asked me if they still can perform magical work today they didn’t get around to in previous nights.


Think of the Rauhnächte as a whole time period for magical work. It is more important that you do the work than feeling restrained by the sequence of nights. Some of the things brought up for each night have become general suggestions because they correlate to certain Catholic Saints. Like today, they call it the Thomas Night after St. Thomas, who was a twin and therefore is associated with deep friendship.

But that does not really matter. What does matter is that this work has its roots in the Old Faiths — that you can tell for sure — and that it should be done at some point during this time period. But what if the Christian Church has shifted days around in the past 15 to 20 centuries? Who can really say?

The thing is that the Christians could as well have declared the night their Thomas Night because of what the pagans back then worked on magically. So, it might actually be the legit day. Or — “a” legit day.

In the end, your intent sets the parameters and your manifestation — ritual, divination, burning incense, what have you — sets that intent in motion, both carrying more weight than the number of the night.

Still, to bring some order in the chaos of this time betwixt and between — some see it as the sacred mathematical adjustment of twelve moon cycles covering on average 29.4 days and with that amounting to 353 days in a year, with the 365 days between one Winter Solstice and the next — I will keep with the suggested sequence of nights.

So, friendship.

Let’s start with our very best friend forever, our Self.
I did some amazing things last year. Have I ever praised myself for that like a friend would do?
And what about the screw-ups? There were certainly those. But have I forgiven myself for them? Like a good friend would do.

Self-care is not only a day in the spa and getting a manicure. It’s also being a very good friend to yourself.

And what about the actual friends. I hear more and more that in this second year of the 20th century plague, long and tight friendships have fallen apart because of all kinds of miscommunication, misunderstandings, and a lot of fear. Can we forgive? Can we cleanse ourselves enough to open ourselves up to look beyond what has happened?

But let’s also not fool ourselves. There are lines in the sand and when they are crossed even by bestes of friends — and partners are friends, too — there is just no longer room for that person in our hearts. For those situations, this would be the night to clean out old closets and throw away what is beyond repair.

As in every Rauhnacht, light as many incense sticks or cones or other means of creating smoke as your fire alarm system allows you to do and toss your Ogham sticks or runes. Pull a few cards from your favorite tarot or throw some bones or crystal or whatever divination method you use. Stand in your doorway and ask out aloud what is going on with your friend X — and then listen how the world responds. Do anything you feel drawn to, tonight or all nights, and let the Gods, Goddesses, Spirits of the land and of the place, and your ancestors in blood, faith, and profession guide and inspire you to clear you head and your heart. Make room for the next year, to strengthen what is appropriate to strengthen, and cut loose what you no longer need.

The sit down and write some letters to your besties. If you can, do actually write a letter. Send it by mail. It has a different vibe.
And then write to yourself. Don’t open the envelope until next year’s Rauhnächte.

More magical Alpine traditions can be found in my book “Mountain Magic”, available at (preferred) and distributers such as

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Starting the New Year with Ancient Alpine Traditions – 4th Night

Night number four of the Rauhnächte is coming up fast, and for that one we do need a little more preparation. It’s an important night in the 12-night cycle, and again you will need pen and paper, but this time also something to light one of the two sheets of paper on fire, and something to toss the burning paper in so that you don’t cause a disaster.

You might also need to set a little more time aside for tonight’s practicum.

But before we dive into that, let’s — like in the three previous nights (read about them here, here, and here) — talk a bit about general Rauhnächte things.

We have to look at these nights as a time that is not only fluffy where we sip hot coco or mulled wine while wrapped in cozy blankets in front of the fireplace. It’s a dark, icy, and wild time. Omens, good and bad ones, present themselves, and your divination work in the previous nights might have revealed stuff that you’d rather not know.
In addition to that, creatures like black dogs, lost souls, elementals, whisps and elves (and not necessarily the good ones), the Habergeiss and the Drudendrucker are out and about.

You don’t know Habergeiss and Drudendrucker? Well, the former is half bird and half goat, both male and female. They linger around on crosswalks, haunt homesteads at midnight and frighten children. They also predict disease, death, and suffering. The Drudendrucker looks just like you imagine whatever you are most frightened of loos like. He comes into your room at night and sits on your chest while you sleep, causing nightmares.

Habergeiss, Kuchl near Salzburg, 2012

They, together with Mother Percht, Frau Holle, and many others (we will get to know them in the Perchtlnacht, the night after the 12 Rauhnächte) form the Wild Hunt, who rides the winter storms and scare man and beast.

But it’s not only them who make the Rauhnächte difficult. Things that fall, particularly dishes, are omens for loss, little help, and generally bad luck the next year. Did someone slam a door (like my son today) in the past four days? That can mean strife and lightning strikes. Did a dog bark when you thought something? Let’s hope it was a good thought, because whatever it was, it may come to pass.
And a dog barking at midnight announces the death of someone.

So, what can you do about all this?

Well, in this fourth night you have the chance to counter bad omens and adversary divination results. (The good thing is you have the chance to do that again in the last Rauhnacht as well.)

Take one of the sheets of paper and pen down all the “bad” things that have happened since the Winter Solstice. I will, for example, list that my son slammed the door to his room.
Then, add to the list the bad things that happened to you in the past year. (I would stay away from listing things that are generally bad and pertain to many, not only you and your family. This is not the time to solve world problems, just your own. There are other times for that.)

Now comes the difficult part. On the other sheet of paper, write down how each one of the items on the bad stuff list can be turned around into something positive. Again, pull Tarot cards, toss Ogham or runes, or use any of your favorite divination tool to help you in that process. The Rauhnächte are all about divination!
It’ll be almost like writing a miniature theatre play. And don’t feel like you couldn’t actually play out this script that night, channeling your inner Shakespear and, incense smoke weaving around you, cry out something like “Oh slammed door, thou shalst protect my son from all his enemies from now on!”

But seriously, actually turn all these mishaps and bad omens into something good in your writing.

And once you’re done, the last step in this all-important exercise is to burn the list with the bad stuff ritually. More smoke. More Rauch.

Good luck. Don’t forget anything!

More magical Alpine traditions can be found in my book “Mountain Magic”, available at (preferred) and distributers such as

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Starting the New Year with Ancient Alpine Traditions – 3rd Night

We have arrived at the night that represents the month of March of the coming year, and with that the conclusion of the first quarter. Like with every Rauhnacht, anything that you encounter tonight will not only predict what happens next year, but also particularly the month that correlates with the number of the Rauhnacht. (Read about the previous nights here and here.)

In the Christian calendar, the official holidays are over and people begin their daily work again. (But remember, no spinning, no milling, and washing as little clothes as possible.) We don’t know to what extent that is a carryover from Pagan times (as so much of Christmas itself is), but I wouldn’t be surprised that even in olden times, the daily grind took over again after a few days of feasting.

This third Rauhnacht is a night of contemplation about the people around you. We all know that this can become fuzzy very quickly. Everyone needs a support team of family and friends, sometimes even strangers, and tonight is a good time to take stock who those people were last year. And who wasn’t. And even more importantly: with whom would you want to walk together in the coming year. There are a few of questions that you can ask yourself to figure out who was, and will be, what in your life. Use your Rauhnacht journal to dot down the questions and answers for later use:

  • Who was there for me when things were tough?
  • Was there someone who supported me in a particular issue or generally?
  • Whom did I support? And do I want to continue that?
  • Who made me happy, made me laugh, loved me? And whom did I make happy and put a smile on their face. Whom did I love?
  • Are their friendships I want to strengthen or are there acquaintances I want to let go of?

The third Rauhnacht is the night we can make our personal list of wishes. Now that you have contemplated the questions above and made a list of the answers, you can create a list of things and people you would like to have in your life. And then condense this list to figure out

  • What do I really want to do?
  • What brings me joy?
  • Who do I want to share that with?

As it would be typical practice during any of the Rauhnächte, you would seek help in finding answers to these questions from either your preferred divination method (pulling a tarot or oracle card or throwing runes or Ogham), or by using simple folk oracle methods.

For example, one of a few that were penned down in the past and previous centuries was to ask a question out loud into the night and listen to what happens next. Typically, you would stand in a doorway to do so. It’s a very intuitive method, for you would have to interpret what you hear relative to the question. So, until the early 1900s, if a young woman would call out into the night “Whom will I marry?” and she hears a carriage, it would be a carriage driver. Since we are talking about small communities, she’d probably know at that point which young man that was.
That’s usually not so easy anymore, especially in anonymous urban environments, so you would have to be more creative with your interpretation.

In farming communities, it was recommended to ask these questions standing in the doorway to the stables. The animals in there were said to be able to speak during the Rauhnächte and that they would tell you the answers.
But maybe a journey to the animal spirits?

Whatever you do, be sure to use a lot of incense as a gift to the Gods and Goddesses, Spirits, and Ancestors, and to carry your thoughts and wishes into the universe. We will talk about typical Alpine incense in one of the next blog articles.

Tomorrow is another important night where we can clear up what hasn’t boded well in the previous nights and even the past year, and how we can change that.

More magical Alpine traditions can be found in my book “Mountain Magic”, available at (preferred) and distributers such as

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