Holda (also Holde, Hulda) Fierce Germanic goddess of the sky whose nocturnal rides with the souls of the unbaptized dead led to the Christian association of her with the Demonic aspects of the WIld Hunt. Holda was beautiful and stately, and bold as a Valkyrie. She also was goddess of the hearth and motherhood and ruled spinning and the cultivation of flax.

As host of the Wild Hunt, Holda was said to be accompanied by wItches as well as the souls of the dead. They rode uncontrollably through the night sky, shrieking and crying. The land over which they passed was said to bear double the harvest.

Holda, like other pagan deities, was linked to the Devil by Christians. In medieval times, she was transformed from a majestic woman to an old hAg, with a long, hooked nose, long stringy hair and sharp fangs. In folklore, she has been reduced to a bogey, a low-level bad spirit, and a tender of sheep or goats.


The Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft and Wicca – written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – Copyright © 1989, 1999, 2008 by Visionary Living, Inc.