The Trudenfuß

This is a symbol from the most ancient times, and is full of marvelous potency against any kind of wizardry. It usually consists of two triangles nested within each other in this manner ✡ [a hexagram], but there are depictions that show it like this ⛧ [a pentagram], especially from older times. It is formed out or painted on of all sorts of materials, but the most common and popular approach is to form it out of red wax. This should be wax that has been blessed during Candlemas. Candlemas is particularly potent when it falls on a Sunday. For this reason, wax for a Trudenfuß is usually picked from such years, and thus it is stored for particularly long periods.

The name of this sign itself hints at what it is most commonly used: Against trudes. They are thus found at houses, stables, and particularly at beds and bedrooms. But since trudes not only prey on adult people, but also on children - and among these, children born out of wedlock in particular - there will be very few cradles which lack this ward against these malevolent female beings. Indeed, during the times when the child drinks from the mother’s breasts, the mother usually has a Trudenfuß made out of this potent wax lying on her chest. This is done to prevent the Trude from taking the milk away from the child. For they love to drink the milk from young, robust mothers for themselves, which likely makes them stronger, but which is to the great detriment to the poor infants.

In old houses, it is still possible to find the following incantation in the main chamber or the bedroom, surrounding the Trudenfuß:

“Trude’s head (alternatively, Bettzaierle), I forbid you my house and home, my horse and cow stables, I forbid you my bedroom, my flesh and blood, my body and soul. Trude into other houses until you have spread your legs for all hillocks, played with all waters, until you’ve milked all fence posts and counted all leaves on the trees, until the fortunate day arrives when the Mother of God gives birth to a second son.”

Source: Freiherr von Leoprechting, K. Aus dem Lechrain. Zur deutschen Sitten- und Sagenkunde. 1855, p. 25f.

Notes & commentary: Spirit Wards