This page will describe the Sacred Duty or Sacred Promise concept that emerges from Braucherei and Urglaawe. This concept relates directly to Blanzeheilkunscht. Much of the material on this page is drawn from A Dictionary of Urglaawe Terminology (Robert L. Schreiwer and Ammerili Eckhart, Lulu.com, 2012). This page will be updated as Urglaawe philosophical descriptions evolve.

This page was last updated on September 18, 2013.


The closest loose translation of "Zusaagpflicht" (TSOO-zawk-PFLIKHT, a feminine noun taking the article "die") or  of Zusaagfassing (TSOO-zawk-FAHS-sing, also a feminine noun) would be “Sacred Duty” or a "Sacred Promise." This concept relates to an unspoken moral and ethical “contract” among the plant, animal, human, mineral, and spirit realms (Tobin, Jesse. The sacred promise at erntedankfescht." Hollerbeier Haven: Newsletter for Herbal and Healing Arts, v. 1 no. 2, pp. 14, 16. Kempton, PA: Three Sisters Center for the Healing Arts, August 2007.). This concept of symbioses comes straight from Braucherei and relates to the Urglaawe virtue of Stewardship and conscious living of the world around us. While it is not certain that the terminologies or the organized concepts behind them are of Heathen-era origin, they are almost certainly evolved from a Heathen worldview of personal responsibility and virtue of Self-Discipline. 

Even though no one really knows how old this concept is, it is certainly consistent with Heathen worldviews. As part of a living culture, though, it has evolved within Deitsch culture (and presumably Palatinate, Swabian, Westphalian, Hessian, Silesian, Alsatian, and Swiss cultures prior to emigration) over the centuries. 

Each domain (humanity, plants, and animals) has had, since time immemorial, roles to perform in the cycle of life (Lewesraad). The roles evolved over the course of time and developed into an unwritten or spiritual social contract (to use Hobbesian terminology). The plants feed animals and humans. Animals feed humans and help to spread the seeds of plants. Humans nurture animals and cultivate plants appropriately, recognizing that their survival is our survival. Upon passing away, animals and most humans provide nutrition for plants. This arrangement brings stability to the Lewesraad, ensuring the ongoing cycle of life, death, decay, and rebirth for all of living creation.

This is not a trendy concept or political cause. This is the way the Deitsch folk have lived for centuries, and, in many communities, Plain and Fancy, this understanding continues in the culture, even if the traditional farmers are not conscious of the terms "Zusaagpflicht" and "Sacred Duty."

Our modern society separates us not only from the reality of the seasons but also from the plant and animal kingdoms. Although we are fortunate enough to live close to the land here in this area, much of our food is still processed and appears as convenient little meals. An understanding of the Sacred Duty includes recognizing and respecting the loss of life, whether animal or vegetable, that resulted in those meals. 

Recently, there have been efforts here in parts of Pennsylvania to reduce sludge farming (the disposal of wastewater on farmlands), to put an end to the inhumane treatment of puppy mills, and to end some of the more destructive practices of Big Agro that have resulted in a great volume of food but, very likely, in less actual nutrition. These efforts are all aiming to put an end to violations of the Sacred Promise. 

As almost any good, effective manager knows, being at the top of an organization does not mean that power can be used indiscriminately. Eventually, morale breaks down among the staff. Rancor develops, and the health of the organization grows sour. The same arrangement exists throughout the physical world. The fact that mankind can do something does not mean he should do it. Morale is breaking down throughout the physical world as a result of the abuses therein. In a manner of M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening (which was filmed not far in Pennsylvania from where this book was written, actually), the land may someday rebel or simply to die off. 

Living consciously and deliberately within the parameters of the Zusaagpflicht can also help to diminish the impact on our Wyrd (Wurt) that we draw simply from the need to eat in order to survive. The Zusaagpflicht is not a call to perfection or austerity. It is, however, a matter of maximizing respect for, and harmony with, the creation and life around us.


  1. This is completly amazing in it's scope and realization of our common world and impact upon it. I am honored to be involved in this new found link to my heritage. I am fully supportive and hold these truths in the highest import.