Love was the word of the day this April 30th. The photos go through our visit to the tower, up inside it and back down again, to the basement, and finally a chalk circle in the courtyard.
Our models Damien and Jessica posed for a chalking below Edward Kelly’s tower on a special date — not only the symbolic end of winter,
not only čarodějnice (the burning of the witches),
but it was the night before the commencement of MikeFest, an annual tradition of celebrating our friend Mike Gisondi’s birthday.
For the uninitiated, MikeFest is composed of twelve calendar days of Fest’ing, and 353 days of penance & preparation.
That link again was MikeFest, make a note of it.
And moving right along, this was a fantastic opportunity to visit the stomping grounds of one of Europe’s most enigmatic characters: Edward Kelly.
Edward Kelly was a 16th century scientist, magician, astrologer, advisor to royalty, traveling charlatan, devil-worshipper, alchemist, and subject of wild claims both true and exxagerated.
If you are interested in turning lead into gold, speaking the language of angels, or general mystic debauchery, you will find your research into Kelly’s life well repaid.
The tower has eight sides and one of the most amazing spiral staircases in the world. The grapevine told me this staircase was carved from a single tree trunk with its roots intact in the ground below the tower. We found it to be pieced together in several sections which appear to be from the same wood, same tree perhaps, and perhaps even yet with its roots in the ground. It was not, however, in one single piece as the bedpost of Odysseus.
Who cares, it is beautiful and STEEP! Watch your step. The multiple spiral photos are at different windings of the stairs. The original tower is said to have been an open-topped platform, meaning the cupola we photographed was unlikely to have Kelly’s artifacts anywhere. physically.
The basement is under renovation. Rumor has it that there are secret rooms behind thin stone walls, a tunnel leading directly to the Castle above, and the remains of an alchemical laboratory where William Shakespeare, John Dee and Kelly performed their transmutations.
In Renaissance alchemy, it was understood that one prays above, and works below. We tried to document both ends, with the chalk circle in the middle as our resting place in between them.