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The Brocken, also called Blocksberg is the highest peak (3,747ft, 1,142m) in the Harz mountains. This range is eight miles southwest of Wernigerode, Germany.

The Brocken Spectre, also called the Brocken Bow or Glory Ring is produced by a low sun, casting silhouettes on the fog surrounding the mountain peak. fog around the Brocken occurs on average 300 days a year. Often these shadows have rings of light surrounding them (due to moisture in the air) which are similar to auras. This phenomena has given the Brocken a mystical significance in German folklore.

Due to Magick connotations and stories surrounding the Brocken, witches began to celebrate the sabbath (April 30/ May 1st) midnight rituals there. The mountain even has a witches altar and devil's pulpit.

Decendants of the Brocken are known to have a sixth sense. They also possess the ability to feel poltergeists and perceive emotions in others. Equally sensitive to their powers, most are quiet about these abilities.

Goethe also made a trek to the Brocken in 1777 and the trail he took is now a tourist attraction. There is also a scene in Faust that occurs on the Brocken. Another (not so relevant or significant) literary reference is Pamala Hill's The Brocken

i m von brocken

If you have a strong light source (the sun) in your back, and you are looking into clouds or fog then you can see your shadow surrounded by a glory. This phenomenon is also called the "Specter of the Brocken". Everybody can see the shadow of himself and people nearby - but only one glory around his own head - the antisolar point. The glory is formed due to the favored back-scattering of light by the small waterdrops. The radius of the glory is dependent on the size of the drops - the smaller the drops, the bigger the glory. If the mist has a distance of more than about 50 m you also can see the more extended fogbow. It is similar to a rainbow, but without any colour.

see more at:
- http://sung3.ifsi.rm.cnr.it/~dargaud/Antarctica/AntarSky.htm
- http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/atmos/corona.html#c5

Brock"en spec"ter or spec"tre (?). [Trans. of G. Brockengespenst.]

A mountain specter, esp. that observed on the Brocken, in the Harz Mountains.


© Webster 1913.

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