'Believe Between Reality'

 

The photographic work 'Between Believe and Reality' is a personal approach of photographs that searches to touch upon our imagination on faith and spirituality in different forms within the traditional old believes in Europe.

I photographed these works on the historic places know from spiritual beliefs and mythology. My aim is to capture or reflect the feeling and atmosphere of these people, places and beliefs and bring the viewers mind into this mystical world between belief and reality...

 

 

These works are photographed in Ireland, Germany, Iceland, Spain, Greece and are part of an ongoing project within Europe, with the final aim of an exhibition. The stories, communities, historic places, maps, attributes and ceremonies full of rituals collected during these many journeys will be combined into a book that shows the background of these works. This future book will be presented together with the exhibition.

Walpurgis girl during a ceremony inside the Hartz mountains in Germany. Walpurgis, in Germanic folklore also called Hexennacht, the night of the witches, who are meeting on the Brocken, the highest peak in the Harz Mountains.

 

Walpurgis girl

Photographed in Germany

Work is 90x90cm C-Print

Framed, signed and numbered

Sparkles from a Walpurgis witches fire fly up in the sky and take the form of a dancing witch. The night of Walpurgis is known as the night of the witches and still celebrated in Germany and many other northern European countries with a fire ritual and other ceremonies.  On Walpurgis night the modern witches and related pagan covens or groups perform rituals around big bonfires, hidden in dark forests and on mountain tops. The 17th-century German tradition of a meeting of sorcerers and witches on Walpurgis is influenced by the descriptions of Witches' Sabbaths in 15th- and 16th-century literature.

 

Walpurgis witches fire

Photographed in Germany

Work is 90x90cm C-Print

Framed, signed and numbered

Modern witches meet in the German forests like in the Hartz mountain,  but also around Berlin. In these forest you find devils stones, hexentreppe (witches stairs) and witches dance circles. These circles are meeting points for the Witches' Sabbath. A Sabbat is a meeting of those who practice witchcraft and other rites. They talk, eat and dance combined with bonfire and rituals. Witchcraft plays an important role in many European stories and beliefs. The witches covens vary in size and region but the numbers of followers are rising, specially amongst younger people.

 

Bippen forrest

Photographed in Germany

Work is 90x90cm C-Print

Framed, signed and numbered

According to the legend their is a ghost entity in the wicklow river. Many stones and rivers in Ireland have similar stories or sagas. From living nature creatures in the woods to misty entities in the lakes or around old houses, they all are part of the mystical landscapes and kept alive through vivid stories.

 

Wicklow river

Photographed in Ireland

Work is 90x90cm C-Print

Framed, signed and numbered

A modern druid meditating at the night of Samhain in front of the moon at Tlachta, also known as Hill of Ward. According to Irish mythology, Samhain is a time when the 'doorways' to the Otherworld open, allowing supernatural beings and the souls of the dead to come into our world; but while Beltane is a summer festival for the living, Samhain "is essentially a festival for the dead". Several sites in Ireland are especially linked to Samhain. The Hill of Ward (or Tlachta) in County Meath is thought to have been the site of a great Samhain gatherings and bonfire. Today still large groups gather at the night of Samhain.

 

Nigh at Tlachta

Photographed in Ireland

Work is 90x90cm C-Print

Framed, signed and numbered

In many places in Ireland you find megalith stones and stone circles. They are special places and raise many questions. Their exact purpose and role is still not understand but they still are visited by modern druids and used for ceremonies. An alternative hypothesis is that they were a form of amulet or talisman, i.e., an entity acknowledging and appeasing supposed spirits dwelling in nature, meaning that their ceremonial use was secondary to their talismanic value, or equal to it.

 

Inside the stone circle

Photographed in Ireland

Work is 90x90cm C-Print

Framed, signed and numbered

An Imbolc ceremony in the Irish Ravenwoods. Imbolc is a Gaelic traditional festival marking the beginning of spring and purification. The lighting of fires represented the return of warmth and the increasing power of the Sun over the coming months. It is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals, along with Beltane, Lughnasadh and Samhain. Imbolc is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature and there is evidence it has been an important date since ancient times. Today it's followed by believers with special fire ceremonies in woods and around holy wells.

 

Imbolc ceremony

Photographed in Ireland

Work is 90x90cm C-Print

Framed, signed and numbered

The Brocken, inside the Harz mountains, has always played a role in legends and has been connected with witches and devils. There are many witches-circles in the surrounding woods, devils stones and many special sites connected to witchcraft and ceremonies. The mountainous area is famous through history as a witches gathering-places and has many name references like the 100 km long Harz Witches' Path, the "Bad Harzburg Devil's Path", the Teufelskanzel (Devil's Pulpit) and the Hexenaltar (Witches' Altar) among many less known locations. The witches mountain is also named in Gothe's Faust. Then there is the Brocken spectre, a common phenomenon on this misty mountain, where a shadow casts upon fog and creates a series of optical effects.

 

Hexenaltar of Brocken

Photographed in Germany

Work is 90x90cm C-Print

Framed, signed and numbered

Ancient Greeks used to climb up to ‘profitis Ilias’ to sacrifice to the Greek Gods, they didn’t dare get close to the highest peaks (mitikas and stefani). These peaks are the throne of zeus, known as the meeting point of the Greek gods. Today the mountaintop ‘profitis Ilias’ is not used to worship the Greek Gods anymore but there is a small stone church. After it was built in the 16th century by Saint Dionysios the peak was called ‘profitis Ilias’.

 

Altar to the Gods

Photographed in Greece

Work is 90x90cm C-Print

Framed, signed and numbered

The Dionysian Mysteries were a ritual of ancient Greece which used

intoxicants and other trance-inducing techniques (like dance and music) to remove inhibitions and social constraints, liberating the individual to return to a natural state. By its nature as a mystery religion reserved for the initiated, many aspects of the Dionysian cult remain unknown and are lost or remain hidden.

 

Dionysian Mysteries

Photographed in Greece

Work is 90x90cm C-Print

Framed, signed and numbered

Zeus was the sky and thunder god in ancient Greek religion, who ruled as king of the gods of Mount Olympus. His name is cognate with the first element of his Roman equivalent Jupiter. Zeus is the child of Cronus and Rhea, the youngest of his siblings to be born, though sometimes reckoned the eldest as the others required disgorging from Cronus’s stomach.

 

Cloud gatherer Zeus

Photographed in Greece

Work is 90x90cm C-Print

Framed, signed and numbered

In Greek mythology Olympus was the home of the Twelve Olympian gods of the ancient Greek world. It is the setting of many Greek mythical stories. The Twelve Olympian gods lived in the gorges, where there were also their palaces. Pantheon (today summit Mytikas) was their meeting place and theater of their stormy discussions. The Throne of Zeus (today summit Stefani) hosted solely him, the leader of the gods. From there he unleashed his thunderbolts, expressing his godly wrath. On the picture you see Stefani and it’s peak is Mytikas.

 

 

Throne of Zeus

Photographed in Greece

Work is 90x90cm C-Print

Framed, signed and numbered

Tanit the Phoenician lunar goddess, worshiped as the patron goddess and of fertility, who became Ibiza’s patroness. Legend has it that specific sacrifices were made to Tanit during full moons on the shore of the island. Tanit's worship was spread from Carthage to Spain, Malta and Sardinia. She is still worshipped today on Ibiza where in 1907 her shrine was discovered in a cave with over 600 terracotta goddesses as well as a thousand figureheads and ceramic fragments.

 

Shrine of Tanit

Photographed in Ibiza, Spain

Work is 90x90cm C-Print

Framed, signed and numbered

According to local believers and mythology this is the place where Atlantis has been in the past. Today it's called the beach or stairs of Atlantis and it's hidden inside the cliffs of Ibiza. The nearby peaks are now known as Es Vedra and said to be magnetic and are still daily worshipped by people during sunsets. In old Greek mythology Es Vedra island is said to be home to sirens and sea-nymphs, who tried to lure Odysseus from his ship in Homer’s Odyssey. Today nobody visits the peaks and it's surround waters remain special.

 

Lost city of Atlantis

Photographed in Ibiza, Spain

Work is 90x90cm C-Print

Framed, signed and numbered

Zeus was the sky and thunder god in ancient Greek religion, who ruled as king of the gods of Mount Olympus. His name is cognate with the first element of his Roman equivalent Jupiter. Zeus is the child of Cronus and Rhea, the youngest of his siblings to be born, though sometimes reckoned the eldest as the others required disgorging from Cronus’s stomach.

 

God of mount Olympus

Photographed in Greece

Work is 90x90cm C-Print

Framed, signed and numbered

This is the valley of the 12 gods. It lays just behind the highest peak, known as the throne of Zeus. In Greek mythology, Mount Olympus was the dwelling of the Olympian Gods and it was created after the Titanomachy, the battle during which the Olympians defeated their predecessors, the Titans. The twelve Olympians that resided at Mount Olympus were Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Hestia, Demeter, Hermes, Aphrodite, Ares and Hephaestus.

 

Valley of the twelve God

Photographed in Greece

Work is 90x90cm C-Print

Framed, signed and numbered

Huldufólk or also known as hidden people: Icelandic hidden people and elf rocks or stories of encounters are still very present in Icelandic society. Building projects in Iceland are sometimes altered to prevent damaging the rocks where the hidden people are believed to live. Also according to  Icelandic folk beliefs, one should never throw stones because of the possibility of hitting the huldufólk. They believed to live in a parallel universe but can show themselves sometimes into our world.

 

Huldufólk or the hidden people

Photographed in Iceland

Work is 90x90cm C-Print

Framed, signed and numbered

Huldufólk or also known as hidden people: Icelandic hidden people and elf rocks or stories of encounters are still very present in Icelandic society. Building projects in Iceland are sometimes altered to prevent damaging the rocks where the hidden people are believed to live. Also according to  Icelandic folk beliefs, one should never throw stones because of the possibility of hitting the huldufólk. They believed to live in a parallel universe but can show themselves sometimes into our world.

 

Huldufólk or the hidden people

Photographed in Iceland

Work is 90x90cm C-Print

Framed, signed and numbered

This is a small collection of photographs that will be part of the book. Here you will find the background stories and meet the people and places I have travelled to capture these works.