Saturday, October 10, 2015

And the winner is...

This morning at 10.10 AM I closed the blog contest to win "Suffer A Witch". I put the names of everyone that commented under the contest blog post here in a Random Name Picker. There were 13 names, a nice witchy number... :-)

And the winner is..............drumrolls...................

On behalf of both Claudia and me: thanks for your comments and congratulations to the winner! Please send your name and address to and the book will come to you a.s.a.p.

No winner? Of course you can still read Suffer A Witch, available as an e-book or paperback. Check the website for more info. Let us know what you think of it!

Thursday, October 08, 2015

National Poetry Day 2015

Today is National Poetry Day, a British campaign to promote poetry. The theme this year is 'light'. I want to share a poem of my favourite poet, William Butler Yeats (1865-1939).

"Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven", better known as "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven", is a poem Yeats wrote for Maud Gonne, a woman he loved for most of his life although she did not return his feelings. It was published in 1899 in his third volume of poetry, The Wind Among the Reeds.
The speaker of the poem is the character Aedh, who appears in Yeats's work alongside two other archetypal characters of the poet's myth: Michael Robartes and Red Hanrahan. The three are collectively known as the principles of the mind. Whereas Robartes is intellectually powerful and Hanrahan represents Romantic primitivism, Aedh is pale, lovelorn, and in the thrall of La belle dame sans merci. The character "Aedh" is replaced in volumes of Yeats's collected poetry by a more generic "he". (source: Jim Clark)

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths, 
Enwrought with golden and silver light, 
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths 
Of night and light and the half-light, 
I would spread the cloths under your feet: 
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet; 
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

In a TV commercial for the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) Harvey Keitel recites the poem:

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Bruegel's Witches

Last Saturday Ron and I visited a wonderful exhibition called "De Heksen van Bruegel" (Bruegel's Witches) in the Museum Catharijneconvent in Utrecht, The Netherlands. It is an exhibition about witches in art, a unique collection of scenes from the turbulent period of witch hunting in the Low Countries.

It turns out that it was none other than Pieter Bruegel the Elder who helped shape our modern idea of witches. There was no stereotype image of the witch until the sixteenth century. Bruegel changed all that with two prints (I posted them under this alinea), and they in turn became a source of inspiration for other Dutch and Flemish artists. And his witches are still with us, even today they feature in many fairy-tales and movies. The old hag, with a broom, a cat and a cauldron... The exhibition shows the prints by Bruegel, but also books, paintings and lots of other artefacts. It was very interesting!

We used the audio-tour on iPod (available in Dutch and English), which guided us through the exhibition.The texts are also in a little booklet. I took a ride on a broomstick and flew over the city (pics were too dark unfortunately) and I got weighed:

Afterwards I bought the exhibition catalogue (in Dutch, but also available in English), which shows all the features and even more info. The exhibition will be in Utrecht until January 31st and then it moves to Bruges, Belgium until June. If you have the chance to go, I'd say: GO!

Friday, October 02, 2015

Pagan Pages October

PaganPages is an online magazine or e-zine about all things pagan. The October Issue is up now!

My column is About Devil Worship, Flying Besoms and Such. Or Not?. What do you tell non-pagans about your path? How do you react when confronted with prejudice and misconceptions?
And of course I talk about Claudia's book Suffer A Witch! Don't forget the contest on this blog: just leave a comment here (until Oct. 10th) and you can still win the book!
Don't forget to read all the other interesting articles in this issue. To name a few: an interview with Z. Budapest, ThriftCrafting (Witching on a budget): how to make your own ink, Notes from the Apothecary: Cinnamon, Samhain correspondences and much more!
Do you want to contribute to PaganPages? Just send an e-mail to!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Super blood moon lunar eclipse

You've probably heard of the rare occasion we witnessed last night: a supermoon lunar eclipse. The last one was in 1982, the next one will be in 2033. So what is this phenomenon? I'll let NASA explain as they are much better in it than I am.

Over here in The Netherlands started at 2.11AM and ended at 7.24AM. The total eclipse was visible from 4.11 to 5.24AM. So I had to give up a night's sleep, but I have no regrets at all! The sky was very clear and the moon was beautiful and visible from our roof terrace. I tried to make pictures with my mobile phone and Canon Ixus. They were nice, but during the total eclipse Ron helped me to install his Canon EOS on a tripod. Lots of pics were bad, but still I got some acceptable and even good pics. I made a little video of them:

If you want to see the separate pictures, look at them here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

'Suffer A Witch' by Claudia Hall Christian (win a free copy!)

Blessed Mabon, Autumnal Equinox, Fall Equinox!

On this special day I have a treat for you: a guest blog by a dear friend AND a contest!

Claudia Hall Christian writes great stories about good people caught in difficult situations. She is the author of the romantic serial fiction Denver Cereal, the Seth and Ava Mysteries, the Queen of Cool, the Alex the Fey thriller series, and Suffer a Witch. She writes books and keeps bees in Denver, Colorado.

Today is the official launch date of 'Suffer A Witch'. To celebrate this occasion we give you a chance to win a free copy of the book (or e-book if you prefer). The only thing you have to do is leave a comment under this blog, it's easy as that! Any comment will do to enter, but Claudia and I welcome input and feedback on the subject in her guest post.

On October 10th, 10.10AM my time (CEST) I'll put the names of everyone who commented here (only here!! not on Facebook, not on PaganPages) in a bowl and pick one winner, who'll be announced on my blog.

Here's Claudia's guest blog for you:


I have spent most of the last two years immersed in the Salem Witch Trials for my novel Suffer a Witch, in which the Salem Witches are immortal and live in modern day Boston.  Cora (a.k.a. Tink) has been a key adviser to this project. Through her help, articles, and guidance, I've come to a key realization.

Everyone in Salem was a witch, and no one was.
You maybe shocked to learn that those who lived in New England in 1690 practiced much of what we think of as Wicca every single day.
I'll give you a moment to catch your breath.

Ready? Here are a few reasons everyone was a witch in Salem.
1. Celebration of pagan holidays: They were wealthy, literate farmers who'd traveled across a sea to wage a war against the native populations of New England. The Pagan Holidays are ancient seasonal holidays celebrated by most farming communities. I doubt anyone would have thought of these holidays as anything more than the natural celebration of the seasons. Midsummer was celebrated even under Puritan rule in England.
2. Herbs were used for health: They grew herbs for their essential health. They dried sage sticks which they used for smudging. Most households had an herb garden for health and good taste.
3. The Puritans were sexual. While sex was most often kept within a marriage and they had sex for fun and pleasure resulting in a lot of children. (John Proctor, one of the men hanged, had eighteen children by three wives.) In fact, one of the theories as to why the community went after the charismatic Reverend George Burroughs was that he loved the women of Salem Village and they loved him back. (Sex and witchcraft always go hand in hand.)
4. The devil was real and out there. While we tend to think of the "Indian Wars" as happening in the Western United States, the First Nations tribes fought tooth and nail against their invaders. Salem Village, where the trials took place, was on the bleeding frontier of the war with the Native Americans. There were frequent raids in town. People lived in horror of their women being raped and killed by bands of native warriors. Natives would kidnapped children and sell them into slavery. The Puritans returned the favor whenever they had a chance.
Thus, the devil was real, palpable, and lived in every dark wood and behind every corner. Whether due to religious fervor or traumatic process, the Puritans believed that the devil was a real creature who was lurking around every corner ready to lure them to his side.

Why was witchcraft the charge?
Like everything, it depends on who you believe. If you read the documents -- written and preserved by the perpetrators -- you'd believe that the fourteen women and five men were actually doing witchcraft. The event itself is considered to be a product of mass hysteria.
Carol Karlsen, in her book The Devil in the Shape of a Woman, provides evidence that the majority of the women hanged as witches were hanged for their land, and sometimes for their money. This makes the Salem Witch Trials a spectacular land grab.
In this way, no one was a witch in Salem. Not a single soul. The story that the slave Tituba was practicing spells in the forest is and always was pure fiction.

What does this mean?
There's no question that the Puritans were extreme in their desire to strip Christianity, and much of life, down to it's bare, "pure" essentials. There's no question that the Salem Witch Trials were one of the most repugnant events in history. 
The fact remains that Puritans followed a Pagan life because a Pagan life is very simply life.


Monday, August 03, 2015

Pagan Pages August

PaganPages is an online magazine or e-zine about all things pagan. The August Issue is up now!

My column is called Tink About It: What's in a name? about nicknames, magical names and how that works for me.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Pagan Pages July

PaganPages is an online magazine or e-zine about all things pagan. The July Issue is up now!

My column is about home cleansing: Tink About It: House Cleansing and Blessing.I share how I do a home blessing and give some tips on what to use for it.

Don't forget to take a look at the other articles. There's something interesting for everyone. Enjoy!

Pagan Pages is looking for new writers! Perhaps it's something for you?

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Missing Foofur

I miss him so much...
I missed his weight on my feet in bed last night
I miss his tripping on the laminate flooring
I miss his little nose touching my hand
I think of all the things we did together and smile
I think of all the future things he'll miss and cry
I miss his comfort now that I'm so sad...
I'm happy I meant so much to him
I regret the times I got impatient
I'm so proud of my big little friend
I cry because there's only one dog barking when the door bell rings...
I miss a part of me
I miss you, Foofie.. ♥

For more than 16 years he was my buddy. I can't imagine myself and life without him... Everything around me reminds me of him. So many people knew and loved him. I am very thankful for all the support and comfort people give us, but still I can't stop crying.
I know he misses me too, he didn't want to leave me yesterday... I know it was the right decision. He didn't deserve to suffer after all the love he gave us so unconditionally. He was always there for me and shared so many good and bad times. He forgave me when I snapped at him because he understood it wasn't about him at all. I always apologized to him after something like that. I know he understands and forgives me but I still feel bad in retrospective. I meant the world to him and he to me.
When he was our only dog I took him with me everywhere. And even when we had more dogs I took only him with me to meetings. People rarely minded, because he was such a sweet and lovable dog. He was friendly to everyone: people, dogs, cats, other animals... He knew how to attract everyone's attention, but was also happy to just sleep in my lap or somewhere close when I was busy doing other things.
I know he'll miss me too and hope he'll come to visit me. I imagine my mum and my brother-in-law waiting for him on the other side. He loved them and they'll spoil him for me until I meet him and all the others at the rainbow bridge. He'll meet all the cats again that shared our life and his. When we got him we had 9 cats and they raised him too. He had some cat-like habits like the way he washed himself, sitting in the window sill and other silly stuff. He knew I loved the cats so he loved them too. They often slept as one pile of pets around me. Foofur never minded to share my attention, he knew he was special anyway...

I've written about him a lot. He is mentioned very often in my blog and on my social media accounts. That's only logical as he is such a major part of my life. Was? No, IS and will always be.
I'd like to share just some of the posts here...

Rest in peace, Foofur
Feb. 12, 1999 - June 2, 2015

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Farewell to Foofur....

Foofur has left the building....
Today we had to make that dreaded decision... 
heart emoticon  Rest in peace, my sweet little friend... heart emoticon
We love you, forever...
I can't stop crying, I miss him so much...

Monday, June 01, 2015

Pagan Pages May & June

PaganPages is an online magazine or e-zine about all things pagan. The June Issue is up now!

I'm sorry, I forgot to update about the former issues... I skipped April because I was ill.
My May column was about a "Dutch" goddess: Tink About It: Nehalennia
My newest one for June is about meditation: Tink About It: Visualisation, Meditation and Journeying

Don't forget to take a look at the other articles. They are definitely worth it. Enjoy!

Monday, March 02, 2015

PaganPages March

PaganPages is an online magazine or e-zine about all things pagan. The March Issue is up now!

In This Issue…
  • An interview with author and Shamanic Healer Yvonne Ryves...
  • A Review of the Book “Breaking The Mother Goose Code: How A Fairy-Tale Character Fooled the World for 300 Years” by Jeri Studebaker...
  • Learn about the Fae this month in Witches Soul Work...
  • This month’s herb in the Apothecary is Rosemary...
...and much more!

My column is titled "Religious Tolerance" and that's exactly what it is about: my view, my concerns, my experiences on that issue.
You can read it here: Tink About It: Religious Tolerance

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Happy Birthday Foofur!

Our little old man is 16 today! There have been times we thought he wouldn't make it this far, but he's still going strong! Just some infirmities of old age, but he can handle those. As long as he enjoys life and doesn't have pain, we're here for him to spoil him rotten.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Update and PaganPages

I've been absent and I haven't even wished you a happy new year... Sorry! A lot has happened. I've had some issues with a new medicine for my blood pressure. I worked to lower the pressure, but I never felt worse! I tried it for a month, but we (GP and I) decided to stop. That was two weeks ago. Now I feel somewhat better, but my blood pressure is sky high again. So we'll continue to try and find new solutions to do something about it. All in all I've been out of the running for 4 to 6 weeks. Enough is enough. To be continued!

In between all this Ron is switching from paid employment to starting for himself. Same job though, transport guidance / pilot service. That way he can work more hours and hopefully make more money. :-) So this is an exciting but stressful time. Wish us luck!


PaganPages is an online magazine or e-zine about all things pagan. The February Issue is up now!

In my column I've shared some of my personal Imbolc traditions.
You can read it here: Tink About It: My Imbolc traditions

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Farewell to Kyra

On November 30th a wonderful woman passed over to the Summerlands. Kyra was my HPs, my initiator, but first and foremost she was a dear friend. Although most of you reading this didn’t know her, I want to share some stories and thoughts about her.

When I met her for the first time some years ago, she was already diagnosed with Hodgkin's. It came back several times and even then she was already living on borrowed time. That didn't stop her from fighting, on the contrary! She has been a fighter until the end. She tried alternative methods, special diets, everything within reach that looked promising. She has managed to live way longer than the medical world would think possible. It was hard on her, but she hardly ever complained. That wasn't really in her nature and if she did she always tried to end the conversation on a positive note.

I met her on several occasions, mainly on events organised by the Pagan Federation in The Netherlands, but we had more in common than our pagan path and shared a lot of interests. We also kept in contact through e-mail, social media, etc. She was a gifted artist and very creative, although she was often trivialising it if I told her that. She shared her knowledge and ideas freely, always willing to explain something. We had talks about health and a body that didn't cooperate with what we wanted. In that area I was the one trivialising, because I didn't want to compare my health issues with her way more serious ones. Sometimes she was angry about that, but we also laughed a lot and didn't take ourselves too serious!

Her pagan path started in shamanism and that stayed with her. We often talked about it. In the beginning I was studying with Phyllis Curott, who combines wicca and shamanistic techniques into her own tradition. Kyra was very interested and shared some of her own practices with me. Later on she met Ron, my husband, and they got along very good too. They shared the love of drumming and liked to drum together. When Ron and I made our own shaman drums from scratch, she promised to make drum bags for us by felting. Unfortunately she didn't feel good enough to felt and wasn't able to even start on them. Fortunately I have other felting objects and art she made.

After some not-so-nice experiences on my spiritual path I was questioning myself whether this really was the right path for me. I felt a bit lost. Kyra helped me to find myself and my path again. She never told me what I should do, but helped me to discover by myself how I really felt, how to deal with it and what I wanted. That was the kind of friend she was: never judgmental, always there to help. Oh sure, she had her own shadows to fight. She wasn't perfect, no-one is, but we shared the ability to play the devil's advocate, to see problems from different perspectives, not necessarily our own.
When I had found my way again, and decided that yes, this is definitely the right path for me, she invited me to join her coven after she discussed it with the other coven members. That was the final step I needed to take to get back on track. It is a Greencraft coven, an Alexandrian based traditional craft wiccan tradition. I was the last one she initiated, a bittersweet honour... Because of the coven our contact intensified, we met more often and I loved that. If only she could have had more time...

We knew she lived on borrowed time, but her death still came very fast and suddenly. I'm glad she didn't have to suffer any longer, the pain is finally gone... May she rest in peace in the loving hands of the gods, they know she deserves it.
She had left instructions for her final goodbye. It was a private ceremony with people who cared about her very much. Beautiful, with tears of course, but we also celebrated her life just like she wanted. She was (is!) loved and will be dearly missed by many...

She wasn't someone for ostentation, didn't like to be the centre of attention, let alone admiration, but I really wanted to share this, so I hope she'll forgive me...
RIP, Kyra - merry meet, merry part, until we merry meet again!

Elegy for a Dead Witch
(by Doreen Valiente)

To think that you are gone, over the crest of the hills,
As the Moon passed from her fullness, riding the sky,
And the White Mare took you with her.
To think that we will wait another life
To drink wine from the horns and leap the fire.
Farewell from this world, but not from the Circle.
That place that is between the worlds
Shall hold return in due time. Nothing is lost.
The half of a fruit from the tree of Avalon
Shall be our reminder, among the fallen leaves
This life treads underfoot. Let the rain weep,
Waken in sunlight from the Realms of Sleep.


Also published in PaganPages January issue:
Tink about it: Farewell to Kyra