Holda: The Mother Goddess of Children

Holda: The Mother Goddess of Children

Holda is a Germanic goddess who rides the winter skies in her wagon. She is referred to as a mother, maiden, ruler of the wild hunt, protector of her children souls and as a hag.


Other Names: Frau Holda, Frau Holle, Winter Goddess, White Lady, Mother Yule, Hulde

Season: Winter, Yule
Attributes: Virtue, Motherhood, Wisdom
Colors: White, Ice Blue
Symbols: Spindle, Apples, Milk, Spinning Wheel, Flax, Geese, Elder Tree, Elderberry Tea, Snow, Snowflakes, Well.

Holda, like many goddesses, does not have only one appearance. At first, she looks like the legendary Baba Yaga. A fairy-tale witch physiognomy for children. Not very pretty, busty and old. With a hard, but maternal look. Holda also has a stern look, like an authoritarian mother, and a matron. In her witchy appearance, she looks like an old woman with a crooked face, nose, and missing teeth.

Due to constant spinning of the wheel, she has a one-foot flatter than the other. As a lady of the house, she is usually seen with keys hung around her belt. She also has another appearance which looks younger and attractive. In this, she appears as a girl dressed in white and glittering like the snow on which the sun darts its rays.

During summer she appears as a radiant lady bathing in the lake and her best appearance is in the fairies where she appears with both bright and dark faces.

According to the folklore of Germany, she is a great patroness of the unmarried women who can spin. Due to this, girls in Germany were taught how to spin from a very tender age.

It is said that Holda rewards industrious spinsters who are able to finish their work on time while the lazy ones are punished. Holda’s sacred season is between Yule and New Year and it is expected that all spinning must be completed before the beginning of Yule and the spindles and distaffs should be put away. In some part of the North, during this time, every activity that involves the turning of wheel is suspended.

According to the legends of Perchta, the night before the twelfth day is her most sacred day as she visits spinning rooms to check all the flax that has been spun. It was also believed that Holda was the cause of many natural phenomena.

The snow was caused by her trembling in her feather bed, the mist was the smoke of her fire, when it rained it was because Holda was washing and the thunder was heard because she was working with the linen.

It is also said that she can make women, animals and the soil fertile. While the worship of other gods was suppressed for many centuries, the legends of Holda have adapted over the centuries. The tradition of honoring Holda is clearly a sign of the survival of a cult connected to the Teutonic deity.

Another record says that Holda was known for gathering unbaptized children who died before they were given a name. She takes the souls of dead children safely to the other side. Perhaps due to this fact, there are descriptions of witches flying at night with a procession of children following behind.

Holda was a goddess who fulfilled the role of a Witch and the Queen of Witches. She was also associated with dances, usually circular dances around a bonfire but this practice was later forbidden by Christian priests.

Celebrating Holda

This goddess can be honored every day in winter, starting from the day of the first snow. You can devote one day between Christmas and New Year’s Day, to worship her. On that day, do a thorough cleaning of your home, then give out those things you don’t use any longer. Make sure your living space is clean and tidy while preparing for the new year. You can offer her gingerbread, a red candle, an infusion of elderberry.

Below is a beautiful prayer to Holy Holda as written by Diane L. Paxson.

Holy Holda, in the Heavens:

A snowy featherbed you’re shaking –

Bless the earth with your white blanket,

Moist the mantle you are making.

Holda high above come riding,

Your Wagon rolls through the winter weather,

Bless us as we bide together.

Holy Holda, here we gather,

Send us skill in all our spinning,

Huldre folk to help in housework,

Wealth and health aid with you winning!


  • https://journeying tothegoddess. wordpress.com/2012/10/09/goddess-holde/
  • http://orderwhitemoon.org/goddess/FrauHolda/index.htm
  • http://odinismovisigodo.blogspot.com/2006/11/holda.html
  • http://fanafilh.blogspot.com/2007/03/holda-diosa-de-las-brujas.html
  • http://unefacemmillevisages.blogspot.com/2010/01/holda.html
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holda
  • http://www.northernpaganism.org/shrines/holda/about.html
  • https://hrafnar. org/ articles/dpaxson/asynjur/holda/
  • http://www.orderwhitemoon.org/goddess/Holda1/Holda1.html

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