Thursday, May 1, 2014

It's a Walpurgis Night

We've yammered before about Beltane, the Gaelic holiday on May 1 that traditionally marks the start of summer, as it's roughly halfway between the spring equinox and summer solstice.

But today is April 30, and across Europe, those who give a hoot are lighting fires and toasting to the "other Halloween" known as Walpurgis Night, or more frequently, Walpurgisnacht.

Sitting on the opposite end of the calendar from Halloween/Samhain, Walpurgis Night behaves in a similar manner. It's believed that the barrier between our world and other worlds, especially the spirit world, is virtually non-existent on this night. Ghosts, demons and strange things will roam the land after sunset.

A strong association with witchcraft comes with Walpurgis Night, again, echoing the All Soul's/All Saint's dichotomy of Halloween and November 1. See, the Walpurgis refers to St. Walpurga, who is feted on May 1.

Naturally, to make things fair, the night before her feast, witches gather to do er, witchy things and non-witch types build bonfires to welcome summer ... and probably ward off malicious creeps from the nether realms. And that's Walpurgis Night.

Now, The Typing Monkey can't resist an opportunity to embrace the day and indulge in a little apple-blossom scented spookiness.


Squeal! Can you stand it? If you didn't take us up on a previous Lovecraft recommendation, this is a workable compromise.

"The Call of Cthulhu" introduces Lovecraft's richly detailed horror mythology of the ancient Earth in a dynamite blast of fantasy pulp that reads like a mystery/adventure but delivers plenty of sci-fi haymakers in the form of wack-ass other-dimensional geometry, a sea-dwelling "god," and men driven insane by a totem that summons the beast.

Afraid of Lovecraft's text? Then take a short ride with deviantART madman DrFaustusAU* -- who has turned the tale into a Seussian nightmare, complete with illustrations.

His digital presentation starts at the bottom-right of the page, and moves up and to the left, so we've linked to page two of the collection, where the story actually begins. It's well executed and hits every vital part of the story.

A paper version is due eventually.

*It's pure kismet (or is it?) that we post DrFaustusAU's creation on Walpurgisnacht, as his user name reference the legend of the mad magician who sold his soul to the devil. You see, in Gounoud's opera, Faust, act two begins with a depiction of Walpurgisnacht in the devil's realm. Naturally, it's the sexiest part of the story.