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Modern-Day Witches: Fewer Brooms, More Self-Determination

modern polish witches ceremony

Maria in front of the Palace of Culture in Warsaw. Image: Katarzyna Majak Source: Huffington Post

The word “witch” often conjures images of warts and pointy noises; broomsticks and cauldrons, and a woman whose ways should not just be avoided but punished. For a time, photographer Katarzyna Majak had precisely this same vision of what constitutes a witch.

Majak grew up in the primarily Catholic country of Poland, and wanted to explore the lives of those who failed to identify just as Catholic, but instead chose to live their lives as witches, druids and non-traditional healers. “I had realized there was something amiss around,” Majak explaines. “I intuitively felt what the mainstream offers to women does not satisfy their deeper search.”

And so Majak set out to create an alternate vision of the “Polish Mother,” a woman who gives up her own growth and freedom in order to dedicate her entire life to caring for her family. “When I started working on the project I felt some kind of attraction or ‘calling,’ to get deeper and stay open,” Majak explained. “This must have been the witch calling me, and I followed my instinct.”

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Canada’s Spotted Lake Is Seriously Out Of This World

Imagine a lake that features what seems to be oversized confetti on its surface. Now imagine that the color of the confetti changes with lake conditions–and that the lake is found in a desert…in Canada. That’s Canada’s Spotted Lake in a nutshell, and it’s one of the most surreal things we’ve seen in a long time.

The odd collection of puddle-like bodies of water changes colors based on the presence and concentration of minerals in the water. Sometimes the large “puddles” are clear, and at other times they are yellow, green or blue–though rarely as blue as the Potash evaporation ponds.

Kliluk Lake

Source: Avax News

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The Ghostly Remains Of Bodie, California

Bodie California

Source: Alex Browne

Tucked just east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Mono County, California is a sprinkling of empty, wood-paneled buildings that once composed the town of Bodie.

In the late 19th century, miners discovered astonishing quantities of gold ore within the area. Soon, people around the world traveled en masse to the site, extracting nearly 10,000 tons of ore from the mines.

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Inside Mount Kumgang Resort, North Korea’s Largely Abandoned Resort

Mount Kumgang Resort

Source: Daily Mail

When North Korea launched a surprise attack against South Korea in 1950, they triggered one of the world’s most polarizing wars, splitting up hundreds of thousands of families. Tensions between the two countries have remained high for decades, despite the war ending more than 60 years ago. So when North Korea allowed tourists from South Korea to visit the Mount Kumgang resort starting in 1998, it came as a great surprise.

North Korean Resort

Source: Reuters

Composed of ten hotels, ten restaurants, an 18-hole golf course, a hot springs spa and even its own hospital, Mount Kumgang resort once represented a positive shift in inter-Korean relations and significant income for North Korea. Even now, massive chandeliers drip from the ceiling, and the buildings’ walls are covered with scenic mountain visions that resemble the region. Yet amid this now-dated extravagance, its deserted rooms and unstaffed amenities make it obvious that something isn’t quite right.

North Korean Tourism

Source: Daily Mail

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