Depression, Coronavirus, and Flashbacks

Easter came real close to Beltane this year. There is hardly time to catch our breath and then, boom!

Beltane is the worst day of the year for me. I think there are several reasons this is so.

First of all, it was a really big deal. It’s the opposite of Halloween, which was also a really big deal. Both are really ancient holidays, and there are layers and layers of symbolism and tradition. And both were multi-day holidays.

Also, they occurred on the same day each year. This means that the anniversary reactions piled up rather than being spread out over a matter of days, as happens with Easter.

On a more personal note, it was the first ritual I attended. What an impact that had!!! Also, almost two decades later, the last, I might add. 

It will be really interesting to see what happens this year, between being depressed and having reacted so minimally to all the other holidays over the last year. 


I’m feeling marginally better because I have taken steps to add on a supplementary medication. I contacted my primary care physician, and she said she would prescribe for me and chose Lexapro. I checked the side effects and medication interactions, we discussed my findings and decided it was best to check with my cardiologist first. I wrote him but haven’t heard back yet. Waiting is hard.

Nothing has happened yet, but the machinery has been set in motion. That, in itself, makes me feel less helpless. Except that as soon as I felt 1% better I started second-guessing myself. “Am I over-reacting? Maybe I’m not depressed after all. Maybe I’m doing this just to get some attention. I haven’t been getting much attention recently, which is great, because I don’t want attention. Oh wait, that’s a sign of depression – just leave me alone!!!!” Going around in circles can take all day.

I want to point out that all of this (depression, a world-wide virus, social isolation, more depression) involves a constant background chatter of flashbacks. Everything reminds me of something from the past. (I suppose that comes with having a long life!) Usually, it’s a feeling-flashback. I have felt this way before, many times before.

Here’s a dream I had last night that illustrates how the coronavirus and the cult merge together in my mind.

I dreamed that I was in the hospital with a really bad case of the virus and was writhing in pain. In the dream, I had a flashback to being tortured. I was begging for them to stop hurting me and screaming that I would do anything if they only would stop, anything they wanted. While I was pleading for the pain to stop, I was also deeply ashamed of myself and fearful of what they would make me do. It was a pretty awful dream made worse because it was triggered by present-day pain from arthritis, which then kept me awake. The dream kept circling through my mind for a few hours until I fell back into a fitful sleep.

How many times, as a child, did I feel hopeless, with no desire to live? I can’t possibly tell you. It wasn’t a one-time event; it was a constant state of mind. How many times did I feel distant from other people, forbidden to touch them? Constantly. Moment after moment, day after day, year after year. Today, I feel hopeless thanks to the depression. I feel isolated from others, like an alien, thanks to, well, being isolated from others for protection against coronavirus. This is very familiar territory.

Coronavirus, however, is a different experience for the vast majority of us. We have never lived through a pandemic and have no idea what to expect. This tiny little bit of almost-life started infecting humans only a few months ago. There has been nothing like it in my life, except perhaps for polio, which didn’t affect my daily life.

If I had been alive during days of the Spanish flu, I would be having lots of flashbacks to those days. People were terrified. My mother was twelve at the time, my father was ten. I don’t remember either of them talking about it. Looking back, anything to do with their childhood either was not to be mentioned or was presented as misinformation.

For example, I had always believed that my mother’s parents and her sister all died in 1918 during the flu epidemic. My mother was without any immediate relatives and started college alone. I figured she had a good reason to be depressed. Because I was not allowed to doubt what I was told or to ask questions, it didn’t occur to me that she was too young to enter college.

When I started researching, however, I found that my grandfather died in 1927, and my aunt died of the flu in 1920. (At the moment, I cannot find the date of my grandmother’s death.) My mother was born in 1906, which meant that she graduated high school in 1923 and that her father was alive when she graduated from college. The reality is a lot less dramatic than the myth.

Like most people, I wanted to find validation for what I believed. Yet what I learned was that my beliefs about my family were a myth. In a sense, this was a relief because the things I had been told didn’t quite seem to make sense to me, and I felt less crazy with the revised version. I guess you work with what you have at the time and adapt, as needed, to changing perceptions of the truth.


Upcoming Holidays

4/26 Grand Climax/De Meur
4/30 Walpurgisnacht/May Eve

5/1 Beltane
5/7 Full moon
5/10 Mothers’ Day
5/12 Armed Forces Day
5/25 Memorial Day
5/31 Pentecost

6/5 Full moon
6/5-6 Penumbral lunar eclipse. The moon will turn a shade darker during the maximum phase, visible in Asia, Australia, Europe, and Africa. Most penumbral lunar eclipses cannot be easily distinguished from a usual full moon. See
6/19 Summer solstice
6/21 Fathers’ Day
6/21 Annular solar eclipse. Visible from parts of Africa (including the Central African Republic, Congo, and Ethiopia), south of Pakistan, northern India, and China. Partial eclipse is visible in south/east Europe, much of Asia, the north of Australia, and much of Africa, Pacific, Indian Ocean. See
6/23 Midsummer’s Eve
6/24 St. John’s Day


Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups

4/20 Hitler’s birthday
4/21  Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day)
4/29 Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day)
5/8 V-E Day (Victory in Europe, WW2)
6/6 D-Day: invasion of France in WW2

(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices and the equinoxes.)

A Beltane Re-Birth Memory

* Detailed instructions for making comments are in “News Items.”
* A reader wants to know if anybody else was married to the beast. You can post it under “Feast of the Beast” or here if you prefer.
* Also, does anybody know how to get through a flashback when you have been stuck in it for months?
* Looking for people who have been used as breeders in a cult setting for submissions for an anthology I hope to put together. Even if you have not been abused this way, could you spread the word and tell all your survivor friends and supportive therapists or pastors about the project? They can write me at for more information. Thank you so much!

A Beltane Re-Birth Memory

I was going to write about Walpurgisnacht, but when I started to research it, everything sounded familiar. That’s because I wrote about it last year. You can read about it at

I found I couldn’t think of anything else to write about. I couldn’t focus: my brain wandered from one thing to the next. When I asked myself why, the answer was “because of Beltane.” Then I could focus again.

I told you-all that a memory was trying to surface. It made it! It is of an initiation ritual, being “born again” into Satanism at the age of four.

At Beltane that year, I was in a clearing in the woods at my grandfather’s country home in the Adirondacks. The carcass of a deer was brought in and I was shoved, naked, into the cavity. It was loosely sewn up so that I could breathe, the requisite words were spoken or chanted in unison, and then they started pushing me forwards by pressing on the deer skin. I came out, head first, born into the world of evil around me. I was then officially old enough to attend rituals.

I don’t remember what happened next. I do have a body memory of pressure around the top of my head, pressure from the deer skin. I may get more of the memory when that pressure passes.

I believe this is not a Beltane ritual at all, but one that is supposed to occur on the equinox. Beltane is about sex and conception, not birth, and the equinox is when lambs and calves are born. But since I lived in New York City, it was difficult, to say the least, to obtain a whole cow or a whole deer. My “birth” was therefore postponed until somebody could go shoot a female deer.

My mind wandered and I imagined transporting a cow carcass through the streets of New York. Too big to shove into a taxi, so they must have used a truck. Certainly it wasn’t delivered during the day, but there are still enough people around at night that somebody might have seen that. The city that never sleeps!

What explanation could they possibly have given? At least with a deer they could say they were taking it to a taxidermist and it was being prepared for the Museum of Natural History. Then they wouldn’t have to sneak around at night – unless the ritual called for a midnight delivery.

The cult I was born into was stingy and not  very imaginative. They wouldn’t have been happy shelling out money for a deer and trucking it into the city, all for a ritual for a measly four year old. And they didn’t like to take risks, either. So it would have been more expedient to postpone the ritual until May.

When I am half into a memory, I get to Googling things. I learned that the deer season in New York from 1940 to 1942 was November 1 – 30 and the limit was one antlered (male) animal per licensed hunter. And I learned that the Egyptian Book of the Dead, Alison Miller, Valerie Sinason, and Walter Bowart all mention this ritual but none discuss it at length. Also that daffodils bloom in mid May in the Adirondacks but there is much variation depending on when the snow fall melts and the ground warms. I Googled this because I have a photo of myself picking daffodils that year.

Okay, I feel a little better now that I have that information. I feel that I “always knew” that had happened to me. Certainly I have known about that birth-into-evil- ritual for decades and it is unlikely I read about it, since I have never read the Book of the Dead and neither Bowart, Sinason, nor Miller had written about it by the early ’90’s.

I wish I could trust that “always knew” feeling, or at least notice when I seem to know something that others don’t. Sometimes I trust it, other times I don’t. This time I didn’t even notice it for over twenty years. I hate to think what else I haven’t noticed…and how long it will take me to remember.


Upcoming Holidays
4/30 Walpurgisnacht/May Eve
5/1 Beltane/May Day/ Labour Day in Europe
5/13 Mothers’ Day
5/28 Memorial Day
5/29 Full moon
6/17 Fathers’ Day
6/21 Summer Solstice
6/23 Midsummer’s Eve
6/23 St John’s Eve
6/28 Full moon

Dates important to Neo-Nazi groups
5/8 V-E Day: Victory in Europe, WW2
6/6 D-Day: invasion of France in WW2
(Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lamas, Halloween, solstices, equinoxes, and full moons.)




Up-Coming Holidays
4/30  Walpurgisnacht/May Eve
5/1  Beltane/May Day/ Labour Day in Europe  
7/4  Fourth of July/US Independence Day
7/8  Full Moon

7/14  Bastille Day (?)

7/24  Pioneer Day (Mormon)

7/25  St. James’ Day/Festival of the Horned God
Important dates in Nazi groups
4/30  Anniversary of Hitler’s death
5/1  Beltane/May Day/
7/29 Hitler proclaimed leader of the Nazi party

There are a lot of Saints’ days on the Satanic calendar. I’ve tried to research them a couple of times and not found out much, if anything. This time I got enough information to write a post about Walpurga. for whom Walpurgisnacht is named.

Most of what I learned was on the New Advent’s Catholic Encyclopedia
Wikipedia and a post on the Alabama Media Group’s site by Beverley Crider on what appears to be a series of articles titled “Strange Alabama.”

Celebration of May Eve in Pre-Christian Times
Gaelic people celebrated Beltane, a fertility festival, on May 1. It is exactly six months from Samhain, which marks the beginning of the New Year.  Hibernating animals are now up and about and the seeds that lay dormant in the soil waiting for the days to lengthen once again have become healthy little plants. It’s time to think of making the next generation.

Back then, April 30, the eve of Beltane, was called May Eve. The veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead became thin and the dead came to visit the living (just like on Halloween.) It was an excellent time to ask their help in forecasting the future and in bringing good fortune to all things living – crops and animals as well as humans.

On May Eve home fires were extinguished and bonfires were lit. People stayed up all night and danced in the fields to ensure the crops’ fertility or went “a-maying” into the woods to ensure their own. At sunrise, home fires were lit from the sacred bonfires and then there were games and feasting.

In Germany, April 30 was known as Hexennacht, a night when witches gathered on a tall mountain. The bonfires helped keep them away from the people celebrating. As the centuries passed, the witches got more and more malevolent.

Today, May Eve is called Walpurgisnacht or Hexennacht in Germany. In Holland it is also Heksennacht. It is called  Valborgsmässoafton  in Swedish, Vappu in Finland, Volbriöö in Estonian, Valpurgijos naktis in Lithuanian, Valpurģu nakts or Valpurģi in Latvian, and čarodějnice and Valpuržina noc in Czech.

Where Walpurgisnacht Came From
When Christianity was introduced into these lands, the old feast days were renamed and celebrated with Christian meaning. Often the old ways could be seen underneath the Christian beliefs. May Eve became the feast of Saint Walpurga.

Walpurga was born around 710 AD in Devonshire, England. Her father and brothers went off on a pilgrimage when she was eleven, leaving her at a convent that her brother had founded. She joined the order and stayed 26 years. Scholarship standards were very high: so high so that she later wrote two books about her brothers, “St. Winibald’s Life” and an account in Latin of St. Willibald’s travels in Palestine. She’s considered the first female author of England and of Germany.

Her uncle, Boniface, was a missionary in Germany who established many monasteries and convents throughout the country. In 748 he called for English nuns, including Walpuga, to join him as missionaries. On the voyage from England to Germany, a terrible storm arose. Walpurga knelt on the deck and prayed, the storm lifted, and the seas became calm. This is why she is the patron saint of  sailors.

In  751, she was appointed abbess of the women’s monastery at Heidenheim in southern Germany, where she died on February 25, 777. Her feast day is February 25;  May 1 is the day she was canonized, in about 870. Her body was moved to a church in Eichstaett and in the process it was discovered that the remains secreted a holy oil, which was distributed to pilgrims. The oil was said to ward off or cure physical and spiritual diseases.

 Walpurgisnacht Today
I can’t see much in the life of St Walpurga to carry over into present-day Satanic May Eve. Perhaps her piety, gentleness, learning, and wisdom are perverted, but that does not ring a bell for me. Perhaps only the name was borrowed to mask and keep secret the activities of that night.

A fertility festival, however, easily lends itself to a Satanic orgy, gang rapes, and bestiality. and the creation of special children. In some cults it is believed that children conceived on Walpurgsnacht or Beltane are “Satan’s spawn” and will hold high office when adult. These babies will be due a little after Candlemass, and it is easy to induce them so that they are born on that day.

In any event, it is a horrible night.