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

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.