On one of the most beautiful and oldest parabolic dunes in Juodkrantė, Lithuania, the forest is alive with a vast array of fairy-tale creatures, witches, demons, kings, princesses, fisherman and devils. Known as the Hill of Witches (Raganų kalnas), this public trail through the woods takes visitors on a trip through the most well-known legends and stories in Lithuanian folk history.
Work began in 1979 on the sculpture park, and it now features over 80 different wooden carvings from local artists. Each beautifully hand-crafted sculpture depicts a popular character from folk and pagan traditions of Lithuania. The public park got its name long before the sculptures were placed along the wooded trails, and is in fact a reference to the pagan celebrations that take place on the hill during the Midsummer’s Eve Festival.
Each year on June 24th, people across Lithuania dance, sing and bring in the midsummer with the older folk traditions of the country. After Christianity came to Lithuania, the celebration was renamed Saint Jonas’ Festival, but many of the practices still have pagan roots, as echoed by the fantastic Hill of Witches sculptures.
In Oberstdorf, an old village in Southern Bavaria, a unique ancient pagan tradition is still alive – the dance of the wild men (Wilde-Mändle-Tanz), which is held only in this small town, once in five years.
Wilde-Mändle-Tanz is dedicated to the Germanic god Thor, and involves 13 men, all of whom belong to old local families who have been living in that region for centuries. The men’s costumes are made of moss, which grows only in the Allgäu Alps.
They dance to rhythmic drum music, building a pyramid, and at the end they drink mead from their wooden mugs, singing a ritual song.
A selection of incredible portraits from photographer Charles Fréger’s collection and book Wilder Mann, documenting the ancient pagan rites still being practiced throughout Europe today.
From the New York Times Lens blog:
About 10,000 years ago, humans began domesticating wild animals for both food and companionship. Over the course of centuries, animal species were bred for traits that made them docile and more useful to their masters. But as humans changed and fenced in animals, they were also domesticating themselves. The skills needed to survive in the wild were different than those needed to succeed in more complex social arrangements.
Mr Fréger was intrigued by the transformations of human being to beast that he witnessed in 18 European countries. They were, he said, celebrations of fertility, life and death and symbolized the complicated relationship between mankind and nature.
Amethyst: Powerful and protective crystal believed to protect its wearer from psychic attack and is a calming, stress- relieving stone that is good for mediums to work with. I recommend a piece of jewelry that you always wear for this purpose. Promotes claircognizance and clairvoyance, plus it helps to bring mind, body, and spirit into balance.
Apatite: Easily obtained multi- hued crystal most often found in yellow to olive- green shades. It is also available in deep blue, which is popular in jewelry. A good stone to work with as you begin to develop your psychic talents, it also enhances clairvoyance, clairaudience, and clairsentience.
Aquamarine: Fabulous for the psychic sensitive. It is classically used to sharpen clairvoyant abilities and is rumored to help mediums make a clearer connection the other side. Look for low- grade tumbled stones or finer specimens at gem and mineral shows. You could also invest in a piece of aquamarine jewelry.
Black Tourmaline: One of the best stones for psychic protection from others’ negative psychic energy. An incredibly powerful stone for protection work on all levels. If you feel particularly under the effect of other people’s psychic influences, set black tourmaline on your nightstand while you sleep.
Bloodstone: Deep green stone with flecks of red bleeding through. Bloodstones are used for healing work, as they promote both physical and psychic health. An excellent stone to work with if you need to recoup and recharge after a psychic overextension or for repairing tears or scuffs in your aura.
Labradorite: This blue- gray stone is used for transformation and for clear seeing. This crystal promotes clairvoyance, banishes fear and anxiety, and can help remove psychic gunk from your aura.
Lapis Lazuli: This dark blue stone is flecked with gold. Called the seer’s stone and known for opening up psychic vision (clairvoyance), it is also excellent for repelling psychic attacks. This stone helps restore a healthy emotional balance.
Lavender Quartz: A variety of rose quartz that is a soft opaque lavender color. It promotes clairaudience, clairvoyance, and clairsentience, and it bestows an extra boost of energy. A very loving, comforting stone, it’s well worth the search to acquire one.
Moonstone: Wonderful crystals to help open up your sensitivity to others. Used as a talisman for safe travel, this receptive and calming crystal heightens all psychic abilities, especially intuition, clairtangency, clairvoyance, and clairsentience. Moonstone would also help a psychic sensitive get a better read for locations and local ghosts, as this crystal opens up your ability to receive impressions.
Onyx: This stone is all about memories, which makes it a useful tool for postcognitive experiences, as well as for aiding the psychic ability of clairtangency and the art of psychometry. Onyx is also a very potent protection from psychic attack.
Quartz Crystal (Clear): This is a power stone, plain and simple. Quart crystal points act as clarifiers, power generators, and batteries for the times when you need a little extra “juice,” or energy. I like to keep a small crystal point with my tarot cards to add a little extra clarity to my readings.
Rhodocrosite: A beautiful banded stone in shades of pink with white, gray, and black. This is a stone of love and compassion. Rhodocrosite helps us learn from past mistakes and keeps our heart open. This stone is excellent for when you are healing from a psychic overextension.
Smoky Quartz: Smoky quartz is a gorgeous smoky- brown variety of quartz crystal. It neutralizes negative emotions and energies, plus it pulls positive energies into a space. This would be a fine stone to wear or carry while working psychic self- defense.
Tiger’s- Eye: The golden- brown banded tiger’s- eye stone is an energy- boosting, courageous stone, excellent for use in psychic self- defense. Tiger’s- eye will ward off jealous feelings from your detractors, as well as help you to stay grounded and complete your goals.
Turquoise: Well known for its healing and emotionally protective properties, turquoise is an aid for claircognizance. Turquoise is also a purification stone, and it bestows tranquility on its wearer.
used before ritual workings to aid in achieving a calmed centered state of mind before beginning work.
1 part Chamomile
1/3 part Mugwort
¼ part Lavender
1/3 part Peppermint
1/3 part Lemon Balm
1/3 part Elder Flowers
¼ part Spearmint
1/3 part Rose Hips
sweeten with honey
******Mugwort should never be used internally during pregnancy or lactation or by anyone who has pelvic inflammatory issues as it causes uterine contractions and can be passed through the mother’s milk.
If you bought a candle and it came in a jar and you’ve burned the candle but there’s still waxy clumps on the sides. But you want to keep the jar, then try this! (Just be careful and be smart about it)
Boil some water and then pour it into the jar, the wax should rise to the top. Let is sit for an hour or two and by the time you come back the solid wax should be floating at he top!