November 15, 2014 at 9:29 am 1 comment

Your favorite Pagan social science nerd here enjoys finding political, social, artistic as well as spiritual movements and currents to trace and connect (though sometimes rather tangentially) to modern Paganism. One such that I’ve come across is the Wandervogels (meaning wandering bird) a movement of German youth starting in 1896 that branched off into several organizations that emphasized a return to nature, freedom, independence and adventure and activities such as hiking and camping. Youth of varying political attitudes were involved- some emphasized freedom and individualism, others German national identity, and there were also Jewish youth groups that later developed into Zionist movements. In the wake of the 1929 crash, many youth were jobless and homeless, and some formed gangs for survival. They sported bowler hats with ostentatious ostrich feathers, and had sexual initiation rituals for entering into the gang. (Apparently sometimes homoerotic in nature) After the Third Reich arose, all youth groups outside of Hitler Youth or church-affiliated groups were banned. After World War II ended, some of the organized youth groups were revived, and there is a Wandervogel student group in Japan as well that engages in outdoor activities.

While It is speculated that this may have been an influence on the hippie movement in the United States. My mother-in-law grew up in New Ulm, Minnesota and there they even called hippies wandervogels!


Wikipedia entry (linked above)

Remembering the Wandervogels


Entry filed under: Pagan Blog Project, Sociology. Tags: , , , , , .

FYI: Ancestor Elevation Rite Purportedly of Cuban origin Transgender Remembrance Rituals

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