Maidens at Worship: The Citadel
In ancient times, every Frisian state had a burch (citadel), governed by a burchfâm (Burgtmaagd, or Borough Maid) and her 28 fâmna (maidens), as priestesses. Seven of these were at worship, in 3-hour shifts, at all times (OLB, Ch. 7).

Kneeling before the foddik (lamp), with its eternal flame, priestessess offered their thricefold gratitude to Wr-alda, the All-father – “for what you have received, for what you do receive, and for the hope of aid in time of need.” (OLB, Ch. 5). Strictly celibate, they wore a short, white tunic known as the tohnekka (OLB, Ch. 36), and avoided all bodily passions, lest they polluted the light.

Iepenloftspul Oera Linda, Suwâld, Friesland, 27 June to 6 July 2019, concluding a series of events across Friesland in celebration of the Oera Linda Book.
Wr-alda (‘most ancient’), the All-father, created time, from which all things sprang (OLB, Ch. 4), including Jrtha, the Earth-mother, who brought forth the foremothers of mankind – Lyda, Finda and Frya. Frya, ancestress of the Frisians, lived among her descendants for seven generations before summoning them together and giving them her Tex (laws) in 2194 BC (OLB, Ch. 5), during the Great Flood.
The Frisian day comprised eight watches, each three hours long. Priestesses knelt in worship at the burch for two watches daily, and also worked, learnt and slept (OLB, Ch. 40). After seven years they became aldfâmna (elder maidens), taking on roles as teachers, guides and judges, and were eligible for appointment as burchfâmna. Chief of the burchfâmna was the folksmoder (Folk Mother), ruling from Fryasburch (Den Burg, Texel) in succession to Frya.
The burch at Noorderend 22, Suwâld, near Leeuwarden, Friesland.
Perfection through purity of body, mind and spirit. All priestesses must:
1. Abstain from meat products, intoxicants, orgasm and sex.
2. Bend knees in worship for six hours every day.
3. Wear a short, white tunic at all times.
The role of a priestess includes helping others, such as volunteering for a charity or hospital. A priestess will spend seven years in the order – unless she wishes to leave sooner – after which she returns to normal life as an elder and teacher. She may also have a calling to become a burchfâm (high priestess).
Priestesses’ training group – based on the teachings of the Oera Linda Book.
1. Priestesses follow a vegetarian diet consisting of two small meals a day. While fasting, on Fridays and during festival weeks, they serve communal feasts. Drugs, stimulants and sexual activity of any kind are strictly prohibited.
2. At worship, bending their knees before the foddik, priestesses draw down the energy of Wr-alda, the All-father, from above, and draw up the energy of Jrtha, the Earth-mother, from below. They channel both energies into the foddik, and from the foddik, purified, to the land, chanting: “Wr-alda t-Anfang t-Bijin” (mp3 file) – ‘Wr-alda, the Origin, the Beginning’ – for health and prosperity.
3. The priestesses’ uniform – a short, white tunic – is the tohnekka, and is worn at all times, along with appropriate footware, rucksack etc.
Priestesses kneeling in worship before the foddik at the Suwâld burch.
Yule: The Wheel of the Year
The Frisian calendar was based on the 6-spoked jol – Juul, or Yule – wheel. It had twelve months alternating between 31 and 30 days, and a festival on the first day of the six longer months (OLB, Ch. 35): Jol-fêrste – Juulfeest, or Yule Feast – (21 Dec), Jrtha-fêrste (20 Feb), Minna-fêrste (21 Apr), Litha-fêrste (21 Jun), Wralda-fêrste (21 Aug) and Hêlige-fêrste (21 Oct). In non-leap years, the third month was reduced to 30 from 31 days, though retained its festival.
The Oera Linda Book only mentions five months by name (OLB, Ch. 41). Those of the others can be reconstructed from later sources, though many regional variations exist. Days within the months were numbered backwards (OLB, Ch. 8).
Priestesses with the 6-spoked jol wheel at the Suwâld burch.
Frisian Month
English Name
Hard Month
Soil Month
Earth Month
Grass Month
Merry Month
Broken Month
Lithe Month
Corn Month
World Month
Yellow Month
Holy Month
Wolf Month
21 Dec
21 Jan
20 Feb
22 Mar
21 Apr
22 May
21 Jun
22 Jul
21 Aug
21 Sep
21 Oct
21 Nov
31 days
30 days
31 days
30 days
31 days
30 days
31 days
30 days
31 days
30 days
31 days
30 days
Years were counted from the submergence of Atland, also referred to as Aldland (‘Old Land’), in the Great Flood, 2194 BC – a date fixed at the beginning of the Oera Linda Book (OLB, Ch. 1).
Frisians had a 7-day week (OLB, Ch. 26). On ‘Frya’s day’ (OLB, Ch. 6) – or Friday the priestesses fasted while preparing and serving a communal feast for the people. They also fasted for the week preceding each festival, and during the festival itself, while preparing and serving a much larger communal feast.
(1) Spinning jol wheel. (2) 7th century bowl found at Oegstgeest, Holland, with jol motif.
Iepenloftspul Oera Linda: Suwâld, Friesland, 27 June to 6 July 2019