'Siss Midwinder. Viele vun de Blanzegeischder sinn uff der Wilde Yacht mit der Holle gange. 'Em Reifkeenich sei Griegsmenner sinn iwwer 'm Land am Haerrsche.
Wie waer's doch mit de annere Blanzegeischder? Sie sinn immer am Schiddle im reifiche Bodde. Wann en Eisgrieger die sehnt wett, er deet die in die Unnergegend schicke.
Wie duhne die driwwerkumme?
Der grie Harr Luul hiedt die. Sei Ochdem erbaeht die. Sei Hand beschitzt die. Die yingere Geischder buhle um sei Gunscht vun Ihm. Er iss die Waerming im Kalt. Er iss em Daagslicht sei Suh. Er iss der Lenzing im Winder.
It is midwinter. Many of the plant spirits are on the Wild Hunt with Holle. The warriors of King Frost rule over the land.
What of the other plant spirits? They are always shivering in the frosty soil. If an ice warrior would see them, he would send them to the Unnergegend.
How do they survive?
The green Lord Luul watches over them. His breath warms them. His hand protects them. The younger spirits court his favor. He is the warmth in the cold. He is the son of the dawn's light. He is the spring in winter.
One of the more mysterious beings in the Hexerei lore related from Central Pennsylvania by a small handful of respondents, the Luul is the defender of the winter greens and the early spring greens.
The respondents related to Him as a helpful entity, which is not uncommon among many practitioners of Deitsch folk healing and magic even with known deities such as Wudan, Dunner, and Holle. The text above is an amalgamation of several respondents' statements, but among the more curious comments was from a Sadie M. (not her real name) of Juniata County, who made the specific reference to Luul being the son of dawn's light and the "Lenzing" in winter.
Lenzing can mean "springtime," but it is also an alternate name for the month of March (and is of the same root as "Lent" and is of Germanic origin). March is also the time of the Spring Equinox, or the Oschdre, which is associated in other tales with a goddess of the dawn who brought color to the world. Could Luul be the son of this goddess?
During discussions on this topic among the Urglaawe community, we learned of the Frankish god known by varying names, including Lollus, Lullus, and Loll. We have looked into a possible link between Luul and Lollus. Lollus is depicted as holding His tongue, presumably because He is youthful (maybe even “Baby New Year” youthful?). Indeed, His name is linguisticlally related to “lollipop” and “lullabye,” so the tongue and the mouth appear to be important features.
Some scholars link Luul to Frey in terms of fertility. Grapes and earns of grain were given to Lollus, and He wore a wreath of poppy flowers around His neck.
Could an echo of the awareness of Lollus have been carried through into Deitsch lore in the form of Luul? Such a link cannot be proven, unfortunately. Nevertheless, Urglaawer honor Luul at New Year's Day, but it would be just as appropriate to honor Him during the month of Lenzing at the time when the weather is particularly capricious.
While native plants are acclimated to the fickle weather of late winter and early spring, many naturalized plants, particularly annuals, are at risk of germinating during extended warm spells and then being damaged by a cold snap.
If one accepts the connection between Luul and Lollus as likely, then grapes, grains, and poppies are appropriate offerings.
Some of the greens that Luul may be protecting include the following:
Among the greens that I'd place into this category, at least in this general area, would be Dead Nettles (Daabnessel, Lamium purpureum), Ground Ivy (Grundelrewe, Glechoma hederacea), Chickweed (Hinkeldarrem, Stellaria media), Cuckooflower (Schtruwwlichi Nans in Deitsch; in English, also called Pennsylvania Bittercress or Lady's Smock; Cardamine pensylvanica and related species). There are, of course, others.
There are medicinal uses for all of these, but among the more esoteric uses are the following:
Purple Deadnettle: A strong stand of Purple Deadnettle appearing in the Fall is said to divine a mild winter. Also, if someone is very ill, then the urine of that person is to be collected at night and poured onto Purple Deadnettles. If the Deadnettles were yellow or dying the next morning, then the ailing person should be expected to die from the current ailment. If the Purple Deadnettles were still green, then the person would be expected to overcome the ailment.
Ground Ivy: Sewn into the seams of skirts, this plant is said to increase the likelihood of pregnancy. Also, wreaths of Ground Ivy worn by elderly women around the waist while dancing on Walpurgisnacht/Wonnenacht are said to ward off old age. Similar stories apply to elderly men and women wearing wreaths on the head while dancing around the Midsummer fire. Also, this is one of the Nine Sacred Herbs of Braucherei.
Chickweed: Said via various methods to divine one's love or to attract love. I am not familiar with most of the methods, but one is similar to picking the leaves off of daisies. If you know chickweed, I am sure you can imagine the challenge presented in picking the petals off of the flowers. Perhaps more "Old World," though, is an odd practice that involves feeding a food chicken chickweed three days before it is to be cleaned and dressed, and then divining things from the entrails. The Deitsch name for the plant, Hinkeldarrem, does indeed mean "chicken guts," but most folks ascribe that to the often messy appearance of the plant.
Cuckooflower: Said to be sacred to any number of faeries and land spirits, likely because of the plant's quick, widespread appearance and the volume of seeds.
All of these can also be used alone or in combination with other herbs to detect witches, remove/block curses, and a couple of them can be used in actually casting curses.
Our understanding of Luul will continue to evolve over time.
Amstadt, Jacob. Südgermanische Religion seit der Völkwanderungszeit.
GardenStone. Gods of the Germanic Peoples 2, pp. 345-347.
Hasenfratz, Hans-Peter and Michael Moynihan. Barbarian Rites: The Spiritual World of the Vikings and the Germanic Tribes, pp. 113-114.
Mein Schweinfurt. Die Sage vom Lollus.