Be The Smartest Person In The Room, Join The Just Launched All That Is Interesting Newsletter

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.”

Continue Reading

Las Médulas: Splitting Mountains In Search Of Spanish Gold

Las Medulas Sublime Vista

Las Médulas is a place of profound beauty with a surprising past. Source: Flickr

The Romans marched into Iberia in the second century BCE. The ruins of their architectural achievements are still scattered around the country, in Segovia, Mérida, Tarragona, Zaragoza, and many other places.

Las Médulas also bears a quiet testimony to the power of the empire. The mining site is located in the northwest of Spain, near where the region of Castilla y León meets the border of Galicia. The landscape here rises and falls in low, green mountains with slashes of orange cutting across them. These orange slashes are the scars of the Roman mining operations.

Las Médulas is where the Romans searched for gold. And they found it by tearing through the mountains of this verdant corner of Spain. According to ancient estimates, the Romans removed around 20,000 libra of gold from Spain each year, which converts to about 6,600 kilograms or 14,500 pounds. At current prices, this amount of gold is worth more than $27 million.

Continue Reading

Hope Among “The World’s Greatest Heap Of Debris”

Highwire Over Cologne 1946

World War II ravaged Cologne, Germany, destroying infrastructure, dozens of landmarks and–perhaps the hardest to rebuild–a sense of cultural substance.

After the war, sights like the one above–a woman walking a high-wire–were not uncommon, and were meant to offer those living within Cologne a brief reprieve from their quite literally ruined reality.

Continue Reading

Hot Air Balloons Dot The London Skyline For Charity

london air balloons rainbow river

Source: Rex Features

On the morning of June 7th, 2015, 40 hot air balloons ascended into the sleepy skies of London, England as part of the Lord Mayor’s Hot Air Balloon Regatta. The regatta was organized by the city of London and marketing agency Exclusive Ballooning, and marked the first time in more than 20 years that a mass of hot air balloons floated above the great city.

In an event lasting just over an hour, the 100-feet tall balloons left from Shoreditch Park in Hackney and moved across the Thames between Tower Bridge, the Shard and Canary Wharf before concluding in Gravesend. The event–as part of the Lord Mayor’s Appeal–raised $120,146 (£78,884) for two disabilities-oriented charities, Mencap and Scope.

Continue Reading

Close Pop-in
Like All That Is Interesting

Get The Most Fascinating Content On The Web In Your Facebook & Twitter Feeds