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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

Monday, December 01, 2014

Pagan Pages December


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

In This Issue…
Read up on some Magick Mirror Work in a new column Witch’s Souls Work...
Channel the Beatles in an Interview with David Young...
Learn a little about Nan’s divining journey to PaganPages in her new column The Spiralled Edge...
Meet your newest secret best friend Jules our advice columnist in Dear Jules...
...and much more!

My column is titled "Happy New Year" and talks about the pagan new year, different ways and moments to celebrate it and of course my personal view.
You can read it here: Tink About It: Happy New Year!

Offerings at Modraniht
(Schutzmatronen von Nettersheim)

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

BlogBlast for Peace 2014


Today I'm joining hundreds of bloggers across the world in a movement called "Blogblast For Peace". Bloggers will unite in a global cry for peace in this annual event. One day. One voice. All it takes is one post. You can also join us by using social media. Post and Share, anywhere you are online. It's that simple. Join us.

This is my 7th year of participating. I started with a beautiful wallpaper called 'Top of the World', made by artist Emerald-Depths. I decided not to overdo it and give our slogan the center of attention it deserves. Dona Nobis Pacem, Grant Us Peace!


Blogblast for Peace links:

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Pagan Pages November


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

In This Issue…
Introduction of a new Oils, Incense, & Herbs column – Scentsations
Learn about the Magick in your Smile – Spellcrafting: Spells & Rituals
The Enchanted Cottage shares a Protection for the Witch’s Home
Make a Spell Board with Witchcrafting
and more!

These days people around the world are honouring their ancestors, remembering loved ones lost... No matter how you call it: Samhain, Halloween, All Souls' Day, All Hallows, Dia de los Muertos... there are more similarities than differences. In my column I talk about pagan elders, crone and sage.
You can read it here: Tink About It: Crown The Crone!


Sunday, October 05, 2014

Pagan Pages October


PaganPages is an online magazine or e-zine about all things pagan. The October Issue is up now!
There are lots of interesting articles, interviews, things about Samhain and much more.

My column is about a theme that keeps coming back in the pagan community. Every now and then someone ask the question and off we go...
You can read it here: Tink About It: Initiation & Dedication


Friday, September 05, 2014

Farewell to Aims

Amy Louise Cartwright 
August 13, 1983 - August 21, 2014

Last week I got a message from a friend, that our mutual friend Amy had died peacefully in her sleep. It was a big shock, she was just 31... 

We all got to know each other online in the original Robbie Williams forum on his website years ago. We called ourselves the F-gang (forum-gang) and had almost daily contact as regular posters there. We had a lot of fun, but also discussed serious matters and supported each other through good and bad times. Amy, or Aims as we knew her, was the only one that lived in Stoke, Robbie's place of birth. She happily sent out postcards and shared the recipe for oatmeal cookies, a local snack. She was ever there with a friendly word, advice or virtual hug for everyone. She talked about Robbie, her life and her passion for hamsters. On her birthday and for X-mas I always tried to get her a card with hamsters...

In 2005 I met Aims for the first time when she traveled to The Netherlands for the first F-gang meeting. It was a lovely weekend with a group of friends.
In 2006 a smaller group came together for a few days to go to the Robbie Williams concert in London (later transferred to Milton Keynes). Aims booked a room for all of us in a youth hostel behind Tavistock Place. At the concert we met a few others. We had a great time together, both in London and at the concert! Read my report here.

Although the old forum doesn't exist anymore I always kept in contact with Aims (and other F-gangers). First by e-mail and later on Facebook. Not frequent, but on a regular basis. We also exchanged birthday and x-mas cards, though we both missed a few. That was never a problem, lives get busy. A few weeks ago I almost forgot her birthday and placed a card on her wall. I didn't know her Facebook profile had been hacked some time ago and she didn't spend much time there. The next thing I heard was the sad, sad news of her passing...

I really wanted to go to the funeral to pay my respects and give my condolences to her family and friends. Unfortunately I can't afford to go. The F-gang and other friends from the forum got together and we decided to raise money for a flower arrangement and a donation to a charity in her honour.
Around the world several people will light a candle today at the time of her funeral, and again next week for the woodland burial of her cremated remains. Some of us also lit a candle online here.


Rest in peace, Aims....

as Robbie sings it: 
You're one of God's better people 
And you don't know 
That's why you're special

You were a truly special, amazing woman
who touched the hearts of everyone who knew you
You'll be missed
gone but not forgotten

~*~*~*~*~*~

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

PaganPages September


PaganPages is an online magazine or e-zine about all things pagan. The September Issue is up now!
There are lots of interesting articles, interviews, reviews, etc.

This time I wrote about 'my' goddess Skaði: how she came into my life, what I know about her, etc.
You can read it here: Tink About It: Skaði

Wake Skadi by Hagalaz Runedance
In the winter mountains high,
Where avalanches roar and frozen lakes sigh
The sough of the wind to hear
The howl of the wolves sweet tune to her ear
Wake Skadi, come patroness
Guide me through your crystal woods

Silvery goddess of the snow,
Your shining beauty melts the cold
Dress me in your white shawl
Kindle my fierce passions
Wake Skadi, proud northern giantess
I invoke your strength

Mistress of the hunt,
Raise the spirit of freedom
Led your sisters into the chase,
Arouse their untamed nature
Wake Skadi; light the flames of courage,
Wake your sisters' will to fight

Sister of wolves,
Seek your companions
You heard the call of the wild
I summon your instinct
Wake Skadi, defend your kind
Guard them from the hateful hand of the blind

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Wonderful weekends

We've had quite some wonderful weekends this August... We are blessed.

The first weekend started on Friday night with a very special and magical (almost) full moon celebration with friends on our favourite spot in the dunes. This time it was an international group of people with guests from Australia and the UK, so most of the ritual was done in English. Against all odds (bad weather forecasts) we only had a few drops of rain, thank the gods. After the ritual we had food and drinks, and chats and music, until it was time to go...

The next evening Ron and I went to Haarlem for an intimate living-room concert by the Australian singer-songwriter Wendy Rule. We had been to a similar concert in 2012 so we were very much looking forward to it. She has an extraordinary voice and sings about her pagan path, mythology, magic and more. Her concert feels like a ritual experience, you can feel the energy flowing. Wendy brought out a new cd this year called Black Snake, of which she sang several songs. I especially loved the enchanting "Home", it felt so vulnerable and personal that I didn't even want to make a picture... Unfortunately she had only 2 copies of the new cd left to sell, she almost sold out the stock she brought with her on the Goddess Conference in Glastonbury (where she performed before coming to The Netherlands). I really like her music, enjoyed myself very much and so did Ron. Afterwards we talked with friends and made music under the full moon on the terrace. A lovely night to remember!

photo: Astrid v.d. Berg
After a short night I drove to Haarlem again to do a workshop by Wendy Rule with 8 women (so 9 total, nice number). The workshop was called "Creative Divination", teaching us how to create and read our own divination kits: we all brought 5 to 10 small objects, and things from nature. We exchanged our ideas about the objects and did a round of divination for each participant with her own kit. It proved to be a very powerful tool for every one of us. I will definitely keep using my kit, and that's exactly what the others said too. :)

~*~*~*~*~

The next weekend the spotlight was on Kellianna, pagan singer-songwriter from the USA. On Saturday evening we enjoyed another living-room concert. Although there are definitely similarities with Wendy (they sometimes team up for a special performance), Kellianna's repertoire is slightly different. She performs song and chant inspired by myth, magic, sacred places and ancient times, honouring our Earth, deities and ancestors with her voice, drum and guitar. Of course everyone sang along with her best-known song "I Walk With The Goddess". We had a wonderful time. She did two sets, but time flies when you're having fun... Concerts always seem too short! Afterwards two friends went home with us to spend the night at our place, but of course we didn't go to bed immediately... :-)

photo: Astrid v.d. Berg
Sunday afternoon it was time for another wonderful workshop. Kellianna is a certified teacher of SpiritSong, a powerful tool for freeing your voice, for accessing the authentic sound that is you, and for entering into Spirit. Kellianna was trained by Shawna Carol in facilitating this unique approach to spiritual growth. You can read more about it here. Although I wasn't ready (yet?) to stand up and make my sound I really enjoyed holding the space for the brave women and men that did, and I loved the chanting together. Who knows, maybe next time I'll stand up... or not, and that's okay too! I already tried it several times (with varying success) when I was alone, just me and my sound.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Pagan Pages August


PaganPages is an online magazine or e-zine about all things pagan. The August Issue is up now!
There are lots of interesting articles, interviews, reviews, etc.

My column is about tools that pagans use: which one? why? bought or self-made? etc.
You can read it here: Tools of the Craft


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July

A lot has happened in July, still I didn't post on my blog. Why, you ask? Lots of reasons, all nonsense, all excuses... So better late than never, here's July in retrospective...

Ron and I went to Heartbonds Festival, a small-scale spiritual festival. Ron is part of the organizing team; he did practical things like first aid, electricity, technical stuff, etc. We arrived at Wednesday with the dogs and our new tent. Well, second-hand but new to us. ;-) Unfortunately Ron made a wrong move while lifting a table and he hurt his forearm muscles. He is right-handed and it was his left arm, but still he was very inconvenienced the rest of the festival. He still is now unfortunately...
Nevertheless we had a wonderful time with lots of old and new friends. The weather was great, sometimes a bit too hot for me but good for the festival. I attended several workshops, there was a labyrinth, an archery-range, market-stalls with great stuff, live music in the evening, great food and sooo much more. If you want to get an impression, just take a look at our pictures of the festival.


Of course we supported the Dutch national soccer team in the WorldChampionship 2014 in Brazil. A lot of people were very pessimistic, but our team did great! Louis van Gaal made great decisions and the team won a lot. My favourite was Arjen Robben, but of course Robin van Persie made the most beautiful goal of the tournament (see pic). We ended up 3rd. I think the team deserved more, but I may be biased...


And then there is the incident with Flight MH17, that was 'supposedly' shot down by a missile that was launched by Ukranian pro-Russia separatists. All people and animals aboard died; 195 of the 298 people were Dutch, so our nation is mourning... A lot has been written about it and I have my own thoughts about it... I think our government did its best to get the bodies over here to be identified and returned to their loved ones. A lot of coffins with remains arrived over a series of days. the victims and their next of kin were honoured in moving ceremonies that I watched in silence. On Wednesday July 23rd we had an official national day of mourning for the first time in decades.  Still, not all remains are recovered,  identification and investigations will probably take months. I sincerely hope investigators get the access they need and as much as possible can be recovered and investigated thoroughly. The next of kin need closure, and so does the rest of the world. My heart is sinking, but I can only hope for the best....


Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Pagan Pages July


PaganPages is an online magazine or e-zine about all things pagan. The July Issue is up now!
There are lots of interesting articles, interviews, reviews, etc.

This time I decided to write about black, darkness, dark sides, shadows, the night... and why they don't deserve the negative connotation they have. You can read it here: Tink About It: Shadows

It starts with a quote from a song:
   Hello darkness, my old friend, 
   I’ve come to talk with you again….
I'm sure you recognise it from this classic Simon & Garfunkel song:

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Happy Midsummer!


Nooo, summer doesn't start today...! According to the old folklore calendar, Summer begins on Beltane (May 1st) and ends on Lughnassadh (August 1st), with the Summer Solstice midway between the two, marking MID-Summer. This makes more logical sense than suggesting that Summer begins on the day when the Sun's power begins to wane and the days grow shorter. Litha or the Summer Solstice is usually celebrated on June 21st, but varies somewhat from the 20th to the 23rd, depending upon the Earth's rotation around the Sun.

Blessed Litha, Happy Summer Solstice!!!

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Pagan Pages June


PaganPages is an online magazine or e-zine about all things pagan. The June Issue is up now!
There are lots of interesting articles, interviews, reviews, etc.

Because I've been re-watching Charmed, Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel lately, I decided to do a column about the witches in these series. You can read it here: Tink About It: Charmed Forever.

Willow Rosenberg

Pagan Pages is still looking for new writers for the following columns: Parenting, Oils & Incense, Spells, Rituals, Meditation. Interested? E-mail addresses are on the about us / contact page.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Maya Angelou

The world lost a wonderful person once again.
A great author and wise crone...
RIP Maya Angelou, you will be missed!

Maya Angelou 1928-2014













When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.
When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.
When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly,
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
examines,
gnaws on kind words
unsaid,
promised walks never taken.
Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
nurture,
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance,
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold
caves.
And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.
(from Maya Angelou’s Celebrations: Rituals of Peace And Prayer)