Saturday, 28 October 2017

“Supermarket Sabbats,” Michael Furie

           This book starts at winter and goes to autumn. I guess going seasonally with the start of the year, but does start with Yule. Before going to the seasons (split into sections with one or more holidays). There is more of an introduction – a basics and background. How to prepare things like brews and incenses. Information and recipes are not separated but in one chapter within the season section. Recipes for that holiday or time of year, where some other books may separate food, incense, spells and other types of recipes into their book.

            Within each chapter there is witchy wisdom section and at the end of each chapter there is a shopping list of the things needed in the chapter. The list is not exact measurements due to that some items are in a number of the recipes. Each chapter relates to one holiday/time of year relating to the sabbat. Like the title says, the chapters do include each sabbat within each section of the season. In section five – after going through the sabbats, other dates are talked about like moon dates and February 29. There is a small afterward, not a full conclusion. At the end there is two tables of correspondences – colour and ingredients.

            The book itself is like a cookbook and spellbook into one. For those just wanting recipes – food and meals, this book is not that. It has a few recipes as well as other items to make. This is more of a mix of a few recipes into one book. The rituals that are in this book are solitary, but could be adjust slightly with two or three people, maybe a few more but not a lot. Many books with rituals are more geared towards a group and not adaptable to solitary practitioners. This is a nice addition to other recipe books and books that make brews, incenses and other products. If you do not like having multiple books that are not brews or incense  - the book has that but there are (food) recipes. This book is a mix but not overwhelming with either topic.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Other Buildings of King Ludwig II

            In 1872, began construction for a special festival theatre dedicated to the works of Richard Wagner, in the town of Bayreuth. A few years later, he watched (alone, with no other public performance) early versions of Wagner’s Ring Cycle operas there.

            Ludwig also outfitted Schachen king's house with an overwhelmingly decorative Arabian style interior, including a replica of the famous Peacock Throne. There are stories, a possibility of truth or not, of luxurious parties with the king sometimes reclining in the role of Turkish sultan while handsome soldiers and stable boys served him as barely clothed dancers. Ludwig selected a unique setting with a view of the Zugspitzmassif for a mountain lodge. The wooden building with its modest exterior hides a hall on the upper floor fitted with oriental splendour. He sought the seclusion of the mountains to celebrate his birthday and his name day in the lavishly. The King's House can only be reached on foot, either from Elmau or Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
            Another planned castle – on the Falkenstein, "robber baron's castle" – was never executed. A painting by Christian Jank shows the building as an even more fairytale version of Neuschwanstein, perched on a rocky cliff. He planned for it to be on the Falkenstein near Pfronten in the Allgäu, a Byzantine palace in the Graswangtal and a Chinese summer palace in the Tyrol. By 1885, demolition for the beginning of the project was underway, and the road to the site had been graded.

            After his his death the Winter Garden, Residenz Palace, Munich was demolished in 1897 because water leaking from the ornamental lake went through the ceiling to the rooms below. Photographs and sketches still record this marvellous creation which included a grotto, a Moorish kiosk, an Indian royal tent, an artificially illuminated rainbow and intermittent moonlight.

            Lack of money prevented Ludwig from continuing to build ongoing or new buildings, and somewhere he had to find money. Everything was sacrificed to his fixation for his buildings. He made an entry that “I must build or die.”[i] All funds for the buildings had come from Ludwig’s private income was ignored. The money he gave to Wagner came from Ludwig’s Privy Purse, as there was no grant from the government. With the combination of spending money on both, his officials turned against him. They accused him of being incapable to carry out his duties as King, and soon the Bavarian government was discussing abdication and Regency.

[i]               “The king of hearts ludwig II of bavaria,” This story published 04/19/99, Written by Ursula Grosser Dixon,


Herrenchiemsee dates back to 765 when a Benedictine Abbey was build on the northern part of the island (Herreninsel - found in Lake Chiemsee) on the orders of Duke Tassilo III of Bavaria. By 969, Emperor Otto I gave the land to the bishops of Salzburg. The bishops had converted the abbey into a monastery for the Canons Regular (a different kind of monk) who lived under the Augustinian rule of poverty and seclusion. Then by 1215, the abbey-turned-monastery had another change in management. Under the orders of Pope Innocent III, this one-time simple residence would become the cathedral of the Bishopric of Chiemsee, a diocese of the Roman Catholic Church. The Catholic rule lasted until the early 1800s, when the Abbey became a secular place and the bishopric was disbanded. The new, non-religious owners had little need for a cathedral. So they destroyed it and put up a brewery in its place.

And by 1873, the entire island was slotted for deforestation. Luckily, Ludwig had stepped in and put a stop to any further demolition. He preserved the remaining structures as the “Old Palace” and began to construct a new one. But Ludwig sadly did not live to see the New Palace completed. A year after his death, the palace was opened up to the public. Construction stopped just after the king’s demise and many of the unfinished sections were later demolished.[i]

            On 21 May 1878, the construction his Versailles replica Herrenchiemsee (or New Palace) began. This castle was meant to outmatch Versailles in scale and luxury. The world that was lived by Louis XIV of France, the “sun king” and who famously declared “l’état, c’est moi.” Ludwig would have loved to have had such power since power was ceded over to the Prussian Kaiser, Wilhelm I. This reality pushed him away and into the world of his castles and their building. Up until his death, only a select few were allowed to marvel at the proportions of the Hall of Mirrors at Herrenchiemsee. This continues to this day where only a select few are permitted to see this room.

                It is located on an island in the middle of the Chiemsee. Most of the castle was never completed, due to Ludwig running out of money. He had lived there for only ten days before his mysterious death. He would not see the fountains in action, and after his death they were taken out. The fountains were reconstructed at the end of the twentieth century and now are highlights for visitors on the island. Beyond the Latona fountain lies the Chiemsee. Apollo was one of her children. He is the god of light and the sun, spring and the arts. Aspects that Ludwig tried to bring into his life and his country. The Latona fountain was created by Johann Hautmann in 1883. during the construction the king's impatience became legendary; he even had the unfinished bits of the terracing rebuilt in a kind of Potemkin village where he could escape into his dream world before the castle was finished. The arrangement and theme of the statues on the edge of this fountain in the park at the castle echo their models in Versailles. They symbolize the major rivers of France. It is interesting to note that tourists come from France to view the recreation of the famous Ambassador's staircase. The original Ambassador's staircase Versailles in France was demolished in 1752. The Council Chamber is based on the Salle du Conseil at Versailles. Having this shows that Herrenchiemsee is not and was never intended to be just a copy of the French castle. Ludwig had left behind a large collection of plans and designs for other castles that he planned to build, as well as plans for further rooms in his completed buildings. Many of these designs are housed in the King Ludwig II Museum at the castle. Herrenchiemsee's Hall of Mirrors was once lit by over two thousand candles when he came on his nightly visits. Unlike Versailles, no parties were thrown, he preferred to bask in the glory of creation on his own. The ceiling and upper wall in the Hall are smothered in frescos and stucco. They depict the deeds and actions of King Louis XIV of France.

            The bedroom is the core around which the castle was literally built. Embroidery was begun on the tapestries before the basic framework of the buildings had been erected. The particularly lavish embroided wall hangings in the State Bedroom began before the shell of the castle was built. He never wanted to actually sleep here, for him it was simply a homage to the Sun King and to the court protocol of “lever” (to rise) and “coucher” (to bed) when he received the first and last audiences of the day. Om the fireplace on the Bedroom is a statue of the sleeping Ariadne based on a figure at the Vatican. In German her name means “most holy one.” the huge candelabra next to the State Bed, its candles create the right atmospheric lighting. The many “arms” of the candlestick have given rise ti the German word “Armleuchter” (branched or poor light) which in colloquial use also means “dimwit.” In addition to the State Bedroom, more theatrical backdrop to sleep, he needed a bed to lay his weary head. He had a sumptous bedroom built in his living quarters or the Small Apartment. The blue nightlight is another legendary item in the castle, Ludwig's artists had to experiment long and hard to find the right shade of blue Ludwig was satisfied with. By way of embellishment to his bathroom, ludwig had “Diana at her Bath” painted after the work of French artist François Boucher. Ludwig's version was executed by Historicist painter Augustin Geiger. The eighteen-arm chandelier of Meißen porcelain in the Dining Room holds 108 candles. At Ludwig's express wish all of the moulds and models were destroyed to avoid this work to ever be copied. The mirrors in the Small Gallery create many interesting and unusual perspectives. The niches contain statues of the four continents of Europe, America, Africa and Asia. The Petite Galerie of Louis XIV in Versailles, which this is based, no longer exists. The five glass chandeliers hold 180 candles which are reflected in the many mirrors inserted into the walls.

                It is complete with furnishings, paintings, a bed/reception room and a Hall of Mirrors. Here, he could sit in front of portraits of his beloved “sun king”, Ludwig (the “moon king”) could imagine himself doing – and building – whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. In the study the astronomical clock shows the hours, minutes and the position of the sun, moon and stars. The voluminous glass chandelier with its ninety-six candles, mirrored around the room, once provided him with an impressive light by which to work by night. On the mantlepiece in the bedroom in the Small Apartment (his private residence there), stands a marble bust of Madame Pompadour – who was Louis XV;s mistress and the first 'official' royal concubine in France, even having a handbag named after her. The long sides of the State Staircase are decorated with various frescos. “Agriculture” depicts the harvesting of the grape and the grain. Ludwig also had thousands of lilies and roses strewn about the staircase on his rare and meticulously timed visits to this part of the castle. Outside gentle jets of water splash the figure of Roman goddess Latona, Zeus's lover who bore him the twins Artemis and Apollo. He was not able to enjoy the fountains because they were not finished until 1886. The ridge of the roof above the court d'honneur is crowned by statues representing war and peace. Fama triumphs over the two allegories, a laurel wreath in her hand in readiness for the departing of good tidings to people all over the world. The Latona Fountain in the park has a grand total of seventy-four statues which spew water.

In 1873 King Ludwig II of Bavaria acquired the Herreninsel as the location for his Royal Palace of Herrenchiemsee (New Palace). Modelled on Versailles, this palace was built as a "Temple of Fame" for King Louis XIV of France, whom the Bavarian monarch fervently admired.

The actual building of this "Bavarian Versailles", which was begun in 1878 from plans by Georg Dollmann, was preceded by a total of 13 planning stages. When Ludwig II died in 1886 the palace was still incomplete, and sections of it were later demolished.

State Staircase

The highlights of the large state rooms are the State Staircase, the State Bedroom and the Great Hall of Mirrors. The king's own rooms were in the intimate Small Apartment, designed in the French rococo style.

In 1876 Court Garden Director Carl von Effner completed the plans for a large garden resembling that of Versailles. When the king died, only the sections along the main axis with their famous fountains and waterworks had been completed.[ii]

State Bedchamber

The main rooms are some of the best examples of nineteenth-century interior design in existence, and are much more splendidly furnished than those in Versailles. No other porcelain collection is so comprehensive or of such high quality, and the magnificent textiles are equally unique. One of the artistic ideals of the nineteenth century, the "perfection" of historic styles, was realised in its finest form in this building.

The park modelled on Versailles by Carl von Effner was originally intended to cover a large part of the island. When Ludwig II died in 1886, only the central axis with its splendid fountains was carried out. The palace remained uncompleted.

King Ludwig II-Museum

The museum is housed in twelve modernized rooms on the ground floor of the south wing and was opened in 1987. It documents the story of Ludwig II’s life, from his birth to his tragic early death, with painted portraits, busts, historic photographs and original state robes.

The king also has a place in the history of music as the patron of the composer Richard Wagner. Portraits, written documents and theatre/stage designs record this aspect of his life.

The royal residences of Neuschwanstein Castle, Linderhof Palace and Herrenchiemsee Palace as well as Ludwig II’s other building projects are also covered. Highlights of the museum include the magnificent furniture that originally stood in the royal apartment in the Munich Residence (destroyed during the Second World War) and the first state bedroom in Linderhof Palace.

Elaborately handcrafted items, show-pieces that were commissioned by the king, document the European standing of Munich art in the second half of the nineteenth century.[iii]

State Rooms

Herrenchiemsee was to be the Bavarian Versailles. It has its own Hall of Mirrors, which is even larger than that in Louis XIV’s palace. Ludwig’s admiration of Louis is evident here as well, particularly in the ceiling paintings which are of none other than the Sun King himself.

The State Staircase is another impressive, unforgettable room in Herrenchiemsee. The State Bedroom and the Small Apartment of Ludwig are also highlights.

Castle Gardens

Much like the palace itself, the gardens were also intended to imitate and pay respect to the lovely grounds of Versailles. One of the fountains is an actual copy of the Bassin de Latone statue found at Louis’s palace. But the garden also has many of Ludwig’s own personality, with his penchant for fairy tales and the fantastic.

You’re likely to see dragons, legendary warriors and other mystical beasts as you stroll these grounds.

Ludwig Museum

The castle plays host to the Ludwig Museum. You can come and learn all about the rather tragic history of this Romantic Bavarian king. The museum holds some of the “mad” king’s portraits and documents from his collaborations with the famed German composer, Richard Wagner.[iv]

[i]           Herrenchiemsee Castle Was Mad King Ludwig’s Versailles Of Bavaria,
[ii]          Herrenchiemsee New Palace,
[iii]         Herrenchiemsee New Palace,
[iv]         Herrenchiemsee Castle Was Mad King Ludwig’s Versailles Of Bavaria,

“A Year and a Day of Everyday Witchcraft,” Deborah Blake

          This is a book that brings in small ideas to help the reader have a magickal life. Yes there are other books out there but this is another read. For me Deborah Blake is writing books around this idea to have practical ideas and items to add to your life. In this book you do not have to do everyday if it does not resonate with you. Overall, the book is a very nice book and a quick read due to the fact that ninety-nine percent of the days are less than a page. There is an introduction and no conclusion to wrap it up. So that may turn some people off if you like things summed up. If you want you can try and find it at a library or share it with a few friends.

            In the book it has some good ideas, and similar to the Llewellyn Spell-a-Day almanac and other yearly almanacs and datebooks. So if you like that set up, the book is familiar and in this book it is all her content. She brings in different categories and not copy and pastes how to relate to that category. She puts into the book different quotes from other people, colours, goddesses, crystals and a few other topics. With each day, there can be a sense that she has tried to relate many of the topics to that time of year or season. I would recommend this book to get ideas for your day to day life. It is a nice quick read even though you may be looking at the four hundred plus page count. Do not forget that there is an introduction and a categorized index at the back. The index is nice if you want to see or have the topic in one snippet (like recipes, about nature or what goddesses she talked about).

            It is not year specific which is good because you can use this book in 2018, 2019 or 2025. I goes from January first to January first including February twenty ninth because when/if you choose read this book you can use it in a leap year. Within the book she brings in something about the day and activity and put more of the things to do in the “try this” section at the bottom of each page. The “try this” page always relates to the topic above and continues on what she wrote about – like doing rituals, spells or recipes relating to that day. The dates and time of year is connected to the Northern Hemisphere but can be translated to the Southern Hemisphere to your date and time. If you get a physical copy of the book and not an ebook version there is two pages of lined paper at the end of the book. To me, I am not a person that does not write on the pages of a book. I sticky note almost the hell out of some books, which would have likely happened if I had this book physically because there is good ideas that you can adjust if needed to your situation.

Saturday, 14 October 2017


Ludwig built a reputation for renovation and construction of the royal palaces of Bavaria. He had three castles built under his direction - Neuschwanstein, Herrenchiemsee and Linderhof. Out of the three Neuschwanstein ("New Swan Stone") would be the more famous worldwide. More than six million people have visited the castle, yet Ludwig had no intention in allowing anyone in while he was alive. The Bavarian government lifted this restriction in order to pull itself out of the debt he made to build it. Visitors are not allowed to take photographs of the inside. The castle is the inspiration for three Disney castles – the logo, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. It is the most photographed castle and is a representation of a fairytale castle.  Ludwig wrote to Wagner, that is was castle in the “authentic style of the old German knights.” He also wrote to Wagner: "It is my intention to rebuild the old castle ruin of Hohenschwangau near the Pöllat Gorge in the authentic style of the old German knights' castles, and I must confess to you that I am looking forward very much to living there one day..." The Alpsee and Schwansee, near Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau, are great for swimming and with the Faulenbacher Tal form a nature reserve.

            Ludwig had named the castle "New Hohenschwangau Castle" (Neue Burg Hohenschwangau) but when he died the name was of the castle was named Neuschwanstein (New Swan Castle), unashamedly harks back to the German Romanesque of the 13th century. Neuschwanstein was built, starting in 1869, on a mountaintop next to Ludwigs' father's favourite castle Hohenschwangau, the construction to be only three years. A steam-powered crane and road locomotive (or steam tractoe) eased the movement of materials up the steep mountain. The castle is settled above the village Hohenschwangau close to the German-Austrian border and not far away from Füssen. Ludwig's father had already admired the scenery around Hohenschwangau. He had paths and lookout points built, as well as the "Marienbrücke" over the Pöllat Gorge which was present to his wife Marie, which was later renewed and made stable, these measures would not have improved its appearance in any way. But in 1866 Ludwig, despite it significance he found it ugly and had replaced the bridge with a more secure yet ornate filigree iron construction. The ruins of the two medieval castles, located on the narrow mountain ridge called "Jugend," had been visited frequently by Crown Prince Ludwig when he stayed at Hohenschwangau. There are numerous wall paintings depict scenes from Wagner's operas, that have dominant imagery of Christian glory and chaste love, and were likely intended to help Ludwig live up to his fathers religious ideals. Up until his death the castle was still being built, 200 to 300 workers a day, and one floor left unfinished to this day. For those outside of Germany it is by far the best known landmark there. The workers were covered by health an social 'insurance' that was exemplary for the time. Neuschwanstein was built on an island in the middle of Lake Chiemsee in the far east of Bavaria is in its own way equally remarkable. Ludwig chose Herreninsel on Lake Chiemsee because of its wonderful location, in the middle of Germany’s third-largest lake, within striking distance of the Alps. Near the end of 1873 the gatehouse, cased with red bricks, was completed and furnished, so Ludwig could live there during his visits to watch the further work on the castle. The chapel and the Moorish hall were amongst the objects abandoned after he died. Other structures were completed in a simplified form. Bavaria became a republic in 1918, and since then the Bavarian Palace Department managed Neuschwanstein. Thanks to its secluded location, the palace was not destroyed during the second world war.

            The design for the castle was planned by stage designer Christian Jank and Eduard Riedel was the architect of the project. Yet, during the building period Ludwig rejected original plans, he introduced new ideas and had so much control over the design that the result can be regarded as his design. Arcitect Julius Hofman provided the interior plans and in 1884 he took over to design both Burg Falkenstein and the Byzantine and Chinese palaces.  He would later be Luitpold's (Ludwig uncle) senior architectural advisor. The castle consists of several individual structures decorated with towers, turrets and sculptures. The castle stretches about 150m on top of the ridge. According to the plans, at the western end there should have more than 200 rooms, but only 15 rooms and halls were completed. Ludwig  dreamed of journeying to Neuschwanstein by balloon. There is a spacious two-story balcony that punctuates from the west front where he could bask up the beauty of the sunset. On the west facade only visible from a distance through a talescope or powerful telephoto lens, grotesque heads with wild eyes and fierce grimaces ward off evil here. The round arches of the loggia give the facade a Romanesque or Norman tinge. In one drawing of the castle by Jank a tall keep was shown but never built. A conservatory had also been built here, for it may be smaller than the one at the residential palace in Munich it has been preserved to this day – unlike the one in Munich.

            The Connecting Building links the Palas with the Gateway building. The latter was first to be completed and used by Ludwig as a temporary apartment during the construction. Richly ornamental capitals frame the grand view of the Bavarian mountains from the west balcony. The left building is still referred to as the Bower and the right as the Knight's House. In the middle is the Palas or great hall, as the main living quarters of a medieval castle is usually called. The doors to less important rooms are still elaborately decorative. In May 1884, Ludwig moved into his living quarters on the third floor of the Palas. His study was equipped with furniture by Anton Pössenbacher, textiles by the Jörres sisters and lights by Eduard Wollenweber. The murals show scenes from the Tannhäuser saga. The baldachin in the bedroom is an orgy of mock Gothic carving, its design highly ornate and beautifully intricate. Ludwig had a washbasin with hot and cold running water installed here – not surprisingly in the shape of a swan. The bedroom is the only neo-geothic room in an otherwise neo-Romanesque castle. Modern techniques, like the iron pillar, were decoratively hidden. In one painting one sees Tristan's farewell. Next to the bedroom is his small private chapel. The Salon (or living room) is the Swan Alcove where he liked to read. The Alcove has decoratively sculpted capitals top the pillars which separate it from the rest of the Salon. The large mural by Wilhelm Hauschild show the miracles of the Grail and Lohengrin's selection by the Holy Grail.

            The places open to tourists are the grounds, the king's residential quarters, the servant's rooms, the kitchens and the monumental throne room. The throne itself was never completed, although there are sketches showing how it might have looked when finished. Ludwig even chose to wallow in the Middle Ages at mealtimes. The dining room is decorated with motifs of the Wartburg Castle Singers' Contest, while the table is crowned with a centrepiece depicting Siegfried's battle with the dragon. His sleeping quarters show a clear Gothic influence and are even embellished with details referencing Wagner's operas. The dressing table even has a swan-shaped tap inspired by “Lohengrin”. The Grotto, located between the salon and the study, is by far the most unusual room. A small waterfall and coloured lighting created the impression of a mysterious cave and a hidden opening in the ceiling enabled him to listen to the music in the Singers' Hall above.

            The Singers' Hall is the largest room in the castle. When Ludwig visited Wartburg Castle in 1867, he was impressed with the Singers' Hall that he had one built in his own here incorporating aspects of a banqueting hall. The Singers' Hall is the largest room (27x10metres). Ludwig was able to enjoy the hall in its full construction – if only for a small amount of time. It was one of Ludwig's favourite projects, inspired by the Sängersaal at Wartburg Castle. Swirling patterns, miniature pillars with richly decorated capitals and huge murals between the windows adorn the long side of the hall. One being of Parsifal being made king if the Holy Grail by Kundry. Standard lamps lit with candles create an ethereal glow, and the murals illustrate romantic and heroic scenes like the wedding of Parsifal and Condwiramurs and Parsifal's battle with the Red Knight.

            The throne room and castle as a whole was Ludwig's nineteenth century attempt to revive the Middle Ages, with the employing some of the latest architectural techniques. The Throne Hall with 20x12 metres is the 2nd largest room in the palace. The designs for the throne room, some of the most complex of the nineteenth century, were even drawn up by Ludwig. Just like buildings today the supporting iron framework was concealed beneath plaster. Built from 1881, the splendid throne room was never actually used and still lacked a throne – a bad omen. The centre dome of the throne room is based off the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople (which is now Istanbul). The original had to be shored with supports as  it threatened to collapse. Ludwig use technology to build a supporting iron construction around it. This probably made securing the enormous chandelier easier and safer. The decorative and ornamental frescos on the rounded arches give the room a distinctive Byzantine appearance. Today some may find the blue and gold too much, but it was all the rage at the time. The apse was inspired by the church of All Saints Court Church in Munich. The symbols of the Evangelists are depicted in the transverse arch, with angels in the ceiling spandrels proffering the symbols of kinship. Among the six holy kings dotted amongst the palm trees is the French ruler St Louis, Ludwig namesake. Underneath the lower row of pillars, murals depict the deeds of the holy kings where they are continued on the upper story. The Singer's Hall is in the upper story is the climax of the tour to the castle, which is based on the Historicist room of the same name at the Wartburg near Eisenach.


This is what I have collected for my book. There is other information about this castle, but this is what I have so far.

In 1868 he was making his first plans one of two French inspired castles, Linderhof, neither the palace modelled on Versailles that was to be sited on the floor of the valley nor the large Byzantine palace envisaged by him were ever built. Linderhof was planned by architect Georg Dollmann and Christian Jank also worked on the castle. It is a grand setting from the mountains and by Carl von Effner's gardens. Instead, the new building developed around the forester's house belonging to his father Maximilian II, which was located in the open space in front of the present palace and was used by the king when crown prince on hunting expeditions with his father. It is an ornate palace in neo-Rococo style, with beautiful formal gardens. The richly ornamented façade of this simingly small castle conceals a world of opulence, radiant with gold and gleaming mirrors, with wall hangings and paintings, velvet and silk, crystal chandeliers, lapis lazuli, malachite and porcelain.

            The grounds contain  the magnificent Venus Grotto where opera singers performed on an underground lake lit with electricity, a novelty at the time. The Grotto remained in its original site, whereas the Hunding's Hut (Hundinghütte) and the Gurnemanz Hermitage (Einsiedelei des Gurnemanz) were intitally a few kilometres away in the heart of the forest. In 1882 painter Heinrich Breling, was promoted to court artist by Ludwig, painted a watercolour of the Hunding's Hut which was used in 1990 for its reconstruction. According to Richard Wagner the branches of a ash pierced the roof of the hut. Also a Romantic woodsman's hut built inside an artificial tree, that relate back to one of Wagner's operas. A Moorish kiosk/pavilion, also there, that reveals Ludwig’s love of Arabic exoticism. It is said that the he liked to sit in oriental splendour while being fanned by shirtless, in shape young men. The Moorish Kiosk was built by Berlin architect Karl von Diebitsch for the 1867 Paris Exposition. Ludwig manged to procure the kiosk for the park in Linderhof in 1876. The view of the grotto from the castle is blocked by the huge centuries old linden tree of which gave it name to the castle. Despite requests from builders and garden designers to have the tree removed he insisted that it stay. In 1875 Ludwig's architect Georg von Dollmann desgin a theatre for Linderhof and artiest Ferdinard Knab finished a sketch with the linden in the foreground. Ludwig not carry out the the theatre, not because he did not like the design but felt that Carl Joseph von Effner's gardens were enough of a “backdrop” and the theatre would spoil it. The strict axial symmetry of the steps leading up to the Temple of Venus is only interrupted by the tree. Down in the parterre fountains the goddess Flora looks up to her colleague Venus – the goddess of love – in the Linderbichl. Where the theatre was planned now stands a rouind Greek temple featuring a larger than life statue of Venus. She is flanked by two smaller amoretti (or goddess of love). In the middle of the Eastern Parterre in the palace gardens Venus and Adonis are surrounded by allegories of the four elements. Venus is in deep in converstion with her love, the god of beauty, while the gilt Cupid fires arrows of love in the background. The Music Pavilion acts as a northern viewpoint with the grand vistas of Linderhof, gardens, Temple of Venus and the Kuchelberg beyond. Fama, the goddess of fame and gossip, trumpets truth and loes into the air, her wings serving to aid the rapid spread of tittle-tattle. Respite from her malicious fanfares under the pergolas behind her. On the east facade of the castle has cupid aiming his bow at it, where the dining room is, here Ludwig could 'receive' Cupid's messages of love several times a day.

            The bedroom was lit by an enormous glass chandelier holding 108 candles and made by the Lobmeyer company. The ceiling fresco by August Spieß junior depicts the apotheosis of King Louis XIV of France – an elevation to the tank of a god. The bedroom id furnished with a state bed, but Ludwig was unable to see the room in its present state as the extension and redesign he ordered in June 1886 was incomplete at the time of his death. The staircase is lit by a glass roof, an absolute novelty in its day and age. From the Vestibule below doors leas off to the servants' quarters which is way the entrance hall is rater small for a royal castle. The Yellow Cabinet is a through room adjoining the Audience Room, where a portrait of the Duke of Belle-Isle (1684-1761) who was a successful general and marshal of France. His bedroom, complete with a state bed, was never to be seen by him in the present state due to extensions and redesign ordered in June 1886, being incomplete due to his death. Even if there was no throne in Linderhof, he was nevertheless reluctant to do his without a baldachin over his desk in his Audience Room. He saw this castle as his private abode than as a castle of royal representation and prestige, no audiences were held here in his lifetime. In the Dining Room is a white Meißen porcelain chandelier suspended like a crown over the table. It forms a charming contrast to the vivid colouring of the ceiling and the gilt stucco. The carvings on the panelling and the stucco on the ceiling depict the activities which once decked the royal table: hunting, fishing, agriculture and horticulture. Also in the Dining Room, there is a mirror with an elaborately carved frame above each of the two fireplaces made of Tegernsee marble. The candles on the fireplaces and the chandelier are reflected in these two mirrors and in a third tucked in between the windows, flooding the room with a warm and atmospheric light. The mirrors also reflect the gilt stucco and many paintings in this luxurious room. The Lilac Cabinet is also a homage to the kings of France. The pastels of King Louis XV and his mistress Madame de Pompadour have been given particularly lavish gold frames. The king's lady love was prudent enough to win the favour of the queen and become her lady in waiting. In the Moorish kiosk Ludwig had it refurbished according to his specifications. This is where you find what is missing in the castle: a throne. It could hardly be any more luxurious and thus one of the most famous attraction of all Ludwig's castles.

            In 1869 Ludwig II had the forester's house rebuilt and appointed as the "King's Cottage" (phase 1). The palace is a celebration to Louis XIV of France. In the palace, imagery reflects Ludwig's fascination with the absolutist government of Ancient Regime France. Ludwig saw himself as the "Moon King", a Romantic shadow of the earlier "Sun King", Louis XIV. There is a lavish bed/reception room, Hall of Mirrors and elaborate gilded tapestries. Under the supervision of the court building director Georg Dollmann,  in 1870 a wing with a single axis extension was added (phase 2). While this was still being completed, the original plans for the building were substantially revised. From spring 1871 a second wing was built to match the first extension, with a bedroom forming the connection between the two wings (phase 3). A wooden staircase on the west side provided access to the u-shaped complex built around an open courtyard, and the King's Cottage thus became superfluous; the initial retention of this building indicates the king's emotional attachment to it. The complex created forms the core of the castle. Its upper floor was a wooden post and beam construction clad with boards, while the lower floor was plastered; because of the wooden structures it was known as the "Alpine Hut Building". Its simple exterior gave no hint of the splendour inside. In February 1873, Ludwig approved a plan which began the final design of the castle. First the wooden construction was clad with solid stone and covered with a cross-shaped complex of new roofs (phase 4). With no interior staircase, this section of the building formed the core of the new palace. On 20 January 1874 the king gave permission for the "King's Cottage" to be moved to its present location, about 200 metres away, and the new south tract was built in its place (phase 5). By 1876 work completed on the interior of the south tract. In 1874 the final plans for the landscape park were submitted by court garden director Carl Joseph von Effner. In 1885/86 there was a final rebuilding phase. The bedroom was widened and extended to the north (phase 6). This required extensive rebuilding of the palace and a new central section for the north façade, including a new roof for this area. No further additions were made to the palace, which now measured 30 x 27 metres. He did not live to see the completion of the new bedroom. One of the most famous sights may not seen as such immediately. The famous dining table (Tischeindeck-dich) has a recessed top where the royal feast could be placed out of sight and served when required, creating the illusion that the table was laid as if by magic.

            Linderhof can be called a royal villa for compared to the generous proportions it looks a little like a summer house. The geometric arrangement of steps, fountains and hedging complements the irregular curves and contours of the Bavarian Alps. The fountains shoot twenty-two metres (seventy two feet) into the air. They operate on the pressure caused by the natural drop in the land. In this fountain behind the veil of the water is Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers and the spring season, gazing benevolently at the castle. Together with the cherubs seated at her feet, their hands over their ears to drown out the sound of the fountain, this group of figures is probably the most famous in the park. The French baroque border lined with hedges of box are paternally 'minded' by the enormous royal linden tree. It may seem that the castle is second best to this display of horticulture. It is from here that Ludwig enjoyed moonlit sleigh rides in an elaborate eighteenth century  sleigh, complete with footmen in eighteenth century uniform. The sleigh can be viewed today with other royal carriages at the Carriage Museum at Castle Nymphenburg in Munich. He was known to stop and visit with rural peasants while on rides, adding to his popularity. It is the most compact/ smallest and  the eventual result of a long period of building and rebuilding, the only castle of Ludwig's that was completed, it finished in 1878.

            Findings that have come out between 2008 and 2011 found that like a lot of other buildings, the climate has taken its toll. And the results have been published in at least three articles. The climate in the castle is extreme all year round due to the fact that it is settled near the Alps. The outdoor climate is affected by long periods of frost and snow in the winter, as well as by rapid weather changes in the summer. The span in temperature is consequently very wide. In 2010, outdoor temperatures ranging from -17.3°C to 30.5°C were measured. The relative humidity (RH) is constantly very high, in 2010 the average was 90.8%.[i] There is no air-conditioning system, so the indoor climate follows the outside climate, buffered to some extent by the building. Thus sub-zero temperatures in the state rooms occur regularly. The indoor climates of each room in the palace differ substantially. Two rooms located at opposite ends of the palace were chosen to illustrate the differences. The Hall of Mirrors is south facing, and the Lilac Cabinet is at the northwest of the palace. Climate data were captured from loggers located in the middle of each room. The differences in temperature, relative and absolute humidity between both rooms are illustrated by the grey line. In the Lilac Cabinet, the relative humidity was always higher than in the Hall of Mirrors, while the temperature was always lower. Paintings, particularly in oil and acrylic, can be strongly affected by temperatures below zero due to their low glass transition temperatures. They can become brittle and flake. In this case, the effect of temperature is far more detrimental than the effect of relative humidity. In the following table, the three major risks related to the indoor climate in the Linderhof Palace are analysed according to various guidelines taken from the literature. Data from the Hall of Mirrors and the Lilac Cabinet reflecting the indoor climate for a period of one year were used. As the guidelines referring to average indoor climates do not usually take into account local microclimates, data from the surface measurement in the Lilac Cabinet were used for comparison.

            Condition photographs were compared in order to evaluate deterioration and damage during recent years. A photographic condition survey of all immovable furnishings was undertaken in 1992. Certain types of damage were identified in this survey. For example, flaking and cracks in gilded surfaces, which indicate climate-related deterioration, as well as water marks caused by historic water leaks or surfaces which had been abraded due to touching by visitors. This type of damage was described and photographs of particular examples were taken in every room. These images allowed the condition of the collection in the 1990s to be compared with the present condition. Oil paintings and gilded surfaces were selected for particular investigation as these were best documented. Due to the risk of mould growth at high relative humidities, particular care was taken to examine corners with little air exchange or air flow. The gilded ornaments were composed of wooden supports, glue layers, priming, bolus, covered with gold leaf and a coating. Only the gilded wooden decoration on the walls in the bedroom was created with a different technique, here the wooden support had very thin priming and the gold leaf was fixed with an oily binding media. The oil paintings had a thin priming, with a thin occasionally opaque paint layer, covered with a varnish.

            This comparison of predictions drawn from an analysis of environmental data with a conservation condition survey has demonstrated that the predictions derived from the climate data alone are limited. The results of the environmental data analysis differ according to the particular guidelines used, which undermines the efficacy of such an approach. A room never has one single climate, and there is most potential for damage in extreme local microclimates. When predicting future damage, it is also necessary to take into account the specific characteristics of different composite materials. Last but not least, there is a considerable lack of knowledge about the risk of new damage posed by long-term deviation from the environmental guidelines. Further investigations are necessary to determine the limits of nonhazardous short-term fluctuations as evidence. The new method to analyse climate data should be further developed as a standard tool. This work will need to include a critical review of the definition of short-term fluctuation, the response of different materials and the applicability of experimental data obtained by step functions in climate chambers in comparison with real climates.[ii]

            The outer and inner walls of the building are made of bricks. On the inner side in every room a special construction made of wooden panels is assembled on the wall with a certain distance of a few centimetres to the wall. Gilded carvings, paintings and decorations are fixed on these wooden panels. The windows in the palace are still the original wooden single glazed windows of the construction period. All of them are in a good condition. The joinery work is well performed, all joints are closed and gaps are narrow. All windows in the ground floor are always closed. The windows in the upper floor are also all single framed. Only in the bedchamber there are boxed windows with two single glazed frames. Every day when the palace is shut down additional inner shutters on the windows are closed. This may improve the air tightness of the windows considerably. During opening hours the windows are opened by the tour guides. If the weather is not too bad the guides open the windows as required. This means during summer almost all windows are open during opening hours in the upper floor, where the showrooms are. Only in the bedchamber the windows are always closed. The palace is opened in summer period from 7.00 a.m. starting ventilation with opening of all windows in the upper floor due to odour and cleaning until 8.00 a.m. The guided tours lead only to the upper floor and the royal rooms with rich furnishing on interior surface.[iii]

[i]           Comparison of indoor climate analysis according to current climate guidelines with the conservational investigation using the example of Linderhof Palace
            Kristina HollJournal: climate for Collections: Standards and uncertainties
            Edited by Jonathan Ashley-Smith, Andreas Burmester and Melanie EiblPostprints of the Munich Climate Conference
            7 to 9 November 2012
[ii]          The moving fluctuation range – a new analytical method for evaluation of climate fluctuations in historic buildings
            Stefan Bichlmair, Kristina Holl and Ralf KilianJournal: climate for Collections: Standards and uncertainties
            Edited by Jonathan Ashley-Smith, Andreas Burmester and Melanie Eibl
            Postprints of the Munich Climate Conference
            7 to 9 November 2012
            Impact of ambient climate and visitors on room climate with a special
            focus on the bedchamber of King Ludwig II.
            Linderhof Palace, December 2nd, 2010Ralf Kilian, Tomáš Vyhlídal, Tor Broström (Ed.)

Saturday, 7 October 2017

The Element Water

Water is a heavy, passive element and is contrary to Fire. It is associated with the qualities of darkness, thickness and motion. Water affects the subconscious, emotions and dreams, it is the element of love and emotions. Constantly active beneath the surface, influencing our moods and emotional responses. It purifies, heals, offers emotional release, and removes all that is stagnant. Within the home the bathroom and kitchen sink are ruled by Water, it also governs the living room, the area of social activity. Water is the element of medical environments, and the healing and caring professions.

            Water personalities are spiritual, emotional, sensitive and very intuitive, often becoming involved in psychic work or mediumship. They approach life from a feeling perspective, rather than a thinking one, and can be quite spontaneous. In relationships they are empathetic and nurturing, but can be touchy. Too little Water makes them emotionally distant, with an inability to express themselves, causing them to keep people at arm’s length. In this instance they would be less empathetic, intuitive and psychic. Too much Water, takes all emotions to the extreme, making day to day functioning in the world difficult and possibly causing psychic overload.

ALCHEMICAL SYMBOL: Silver crescent with horns pointing up

ANIMALS: Dolphin, jellyfish, otter, fish, cat, frog, turtle, whale, seal, gulls, all aquatic creatures, dragon, water snakes, swan, crab


ASSOCIATIONS: Emotions, subconscious, dreams, compassion, love, sadness, psychism, healing, rest, cleansing, dissolution, astral travel, death/rebirth

BASIC NATURE: Flowing, purifying, healing, soothing, loving.

CHAKRA(S): Navel, (Heart)

COLOURS: blue, indigo, aqua, green, silver, purple, turqoise, grey, black

DAY(S): Monday, (Friday)

DIRECTION: West – the place of the setting sun.

ELEMENTAL BEING: Undines, Nymphs, Mermaids, Fairies of ponds, lakes or streams.


GENDER: Feminine, Receptive

GODDESSES: Aphrodite, Isis, Mariamne, Mari, Tiamat, Yemaya
GODS: Dylan, Ea, Manannan, Osiris, Neptune, Poseidon.

HERBAL: Ferns, lotus, mosses, bushes, water lilies, gardenia

HOUR: Dusk

INCENCE: Ylang Ylang, Myrrh, Onchya

INSTRUMENTS: Anything resonant, harmonica, bell, cymbals, also a flute made from real reed or willow bark

KERUB: Eagle

LIFE CYCLE: Adulthood, Reproductive years, Maturity


MAGICAL TOOLS: Chalice, Cup, Bowl, Cauldron, Ring, Sickle

METALS: Copper, Sliver, Mercury

MYTHOLOGICAL BEINGS: Mermaid, Merman, Sea Monsters


PLANTS: Celtic trees - Alder, Hazel, Willow.

            Herbs - Aloe, Lemon, Yarrow,  Aquatic – such as water lilies and seaweed; fleshy – as in succulents and lettuce; loving – as in rose and gardenia; Generally flowers

            Natives – American Elm, Cat Brier, Mesquite, Violet, Wax Myrtle

PLACES: Lakes, springs, streams, rivers, beaches, oceans, wells, swimming pools, bathtubs, showers, bedrooms (for sleep), health spas, steam rooms, fountains.

PLANETS: Moon, (Venus)

QABALISTIC SEPHIROT: Hod/Splendor, Chesod/Mercy, Binah/Understanding

QUALITIES: moist, cold, heavy, passive
RITUAL FORMS: Dilution, placing into water, washing (away), bathing, sprinkling, preparing cold herbal infusions

RUNES: Uruz, Gebo, Hagalaz, Isa, Pethro, Ehwaz, Laguz, Dagaz


SEASON: Fall/Autumn – the time of harvest

SENSE: Taste


STONES: Aquamarine, Lapis, Limestone, Moonstone, Pearl, Rose Quartz, Shells, Sodalite, Blue Tourmaline, Coral, Blue Topaz, Fluorite. Transparent or translucent, as in amethyst and aquamarine



TAROT TRUMPS: Moon, Death, Lovers, The Hanged Man

TATTWA SYMBOL: Downward pointing triangle

TREES: Apple, Apricot, Birch, Cherry, Elder, Elm, Rose, Willow

TYPES OF MAGIC/RITUAL: Divination, mirror divination, dreams, psychic powers/awareness, astral travel, healing, fertility. Purification, love, sleep, peace, marriage, friendships, magnet work, lucid dreaming, cleansing, protection spells

TYPES OF MAGICK RULES: Sea, ice, snow, fog, mirror, magnet.

ZODIAC SIGNS: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

POSITIVE CHARACTERISTICS: Compassionate, loving, forgiving, sensitive, easygoing, modest, flowing

NEGATIVE CHARACTERISTICS: Overly sensitive, weepy, dependent, indifferent, lazy, insecure, frigid

OVERBALANCE: Depresion, hypersensitivity

UNDERBALANCE: Cold, emotionless nature

RELATED PRODUCTS Water oil, Water incense

A Few Blogs to Look At

This list of blogs that I look at, go to more often than others and think are good to have a read. Here is just a quick look of blogs to read. Great articles, some are connected to what the author is selling through the company. There are many topics to look through, though some do not have a lot of posts under them. Red Wheel/Weiser blog If you love her YouTube channel you will love her blog. If you want to purchase one of her services you can through her 'work with me' page. Another blog from a YouTuber, to me she has a lot of spunk. She has a newsletter and podcast. A few links to what she offers. YouTuber cutewitch772's blog. a blog helpful if you want to spend less on sabbats. Also there is other good information. Youtuber Avalon’s Spiritual Odyssey's blog.