30 Days of Women – Time to Collect Herbs

In 1965, I was a baby and therefore did not do much of anything, definitely nothing earth shattering. In the same year, men-folk with pointy white hats and dressed in robes shattered something, though. No, I am not talking about the KKK here, but the Pope and his Catholic cardinals and bishops, who wrapped up the Second Vatican Council.

What they broke was yet another reminder of the original balance between male and female divine energy the pre-Christian heathen world enjoyed. They did away with what was known – at least in the Alps – as the Three Women Day on September 16th. Officially, this day was dedicated to the three female saints Katherine, Margaret, and Barbara. But why it had to be eradicated from the Catholic calendar was that these three saints were actually the Christianized versions of the threefold Goddess, whose name may have been Wilbeth, Ambeth, and Borbeth (hard to say how these names were written, but it’s close.)

Like the Irish for example had actually the Brighid Goddess trinity, albeit with all three sharing the same name, their Celtic predecessors in the Alps seem to have worshipped the above mentioned trinity.

And because the Three Women Day was really about these Goddesses, it had to go.

What I find cool, though, is that it took one thousand nine hundred and ninety six years for the Church to feel safe to quietly remove this day of Goddess worship. So strong was the people’s attachment to the female divine energy.

And believe me, they tried. For example, in 1485 CE, the feared inquisitor Heinrich Institoris wanted to start a trial charging women in Brixen, Tyrol, with the practice of witchcraft because they would worship the (Three) Sacred Ladies, as they are still called in Alpine lore. However, the Bishop of Brixen had to nicely but firmly compliment the inquisitor out of the area because the farm-folk were about to lynch him.

I guess, the men with pointy hats and dressed in robes got lucky almost 500 years later, also maybe because they barricaded themselves behind the walls of Vatican City.

But why am I talking about September 16th today?

Well, because today, August 15th is not only Assumption Day, dedicated to the Christian Goddess, I mean virgin, I mean Jesus’ mother Mary, – yes the successor of the Goddess – today also starts a period of 30 days that are called in the Alps “Frauendreissiger.”

This is really impossible to translate, because it’s not an official German word. It only exists in Alpine/Bavarian dialect. Literally translated it would say “Womenthirty”, but that’s not even close. It means that the next 30 days are dedicated to the female divine power, which was then transformed into the Mother of God by the Christians.

And the end of the Frauendreissiger was marked by the Three Women Day in September (I know its not mathematically 30 days, just give that left side of your brain a rest and think like a farmer a couple of thousand years ago.)

Nice try eradicating the Goddess worship, men-folk with pointy hats and dressed in robes. Because anyone in the Alps who is seriously into herbalism knows that the Goddess charges the herbs during the next 30 days threefold.

Seven or nine or twelve (or multiples of these numbers) are – still to this day – collected and beautifully bound into Frauendreissiger-bunches and – ha! – brought to church to be consecrated there. They’re being blessed by invoking Mary, i.e. the Goddess.

Typical bunches are made from mullein (in the center,) mugwort, St. John’s wort, yellowhead, angelica, chicory, hazel, valerian, yarrow, lady’s mantle, cleaver, common horsetail, vervain etc. The consecrated bunch is still hung in attics or stables for protection, or people use the herbs for healing purposes. Because the threefold Goddess has strengthened the powers inherent in the herbs threefold.

Anyway, the Goddess is alive and well these days, in the next thirty even more, no matter what was decided in 1965.

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3 Responses to 30 Days of Women – Time to Collect Herbs

  1. sarahfuhro says:

    Christian, thank you for a delightful visit to the Alps. Those mothers are everywhere! And it’s a good reminder to harvest the herbs that have taken over my garden.

  2. Pingback: Smudging – Alpine Style | The Weekly Druid

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