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


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,
gnaws on kind words
promised walks never taken.
Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold
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)

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Meet & Greet with Robbie Williams

Some weeks ago I got an e-mail about Upfront with Robbie Williams, a paid membership section of his website to ‘accompany’ him on the Swings Both Ways tour. For just 3.99 pounds a month members are treated to phone calls from Robbie, regular text messages, online chats and access to exclusive photos, videos and audio clips that can’t be found anywhere else. I joined immediately. At first I didn't even notice the possibility of winning a meet & greet with Rob during the tour, but once I did I entered and forgot all about it…

Last Wednesday I got an e-mail that said: Congratulations - you'll be meeting Robbie in Amsterdam! I couldn't believe my eyes. Read it, and read it again, and again. Googled the name of the person I had to contact just to be sure. ‘Artist & Celebrity Security’, that sounds about right… And then it sunk in…. OMG OMG OMG OMG Oh My Gods OMG OMG OMG OMG, I won!! I’m going to meet Rob!!! And I won two tickets too. I had ordered tickets months ago. It was the first time that Ron would go with me to a Robbie concert. He likes Rob and his music too, especially the swing songs. We sold our tickets to friends. And then the waiting started… I wasn't really nervous, just very much looking forward to it. I didn't expect too much of it, but that was totally okay! Who cares if it doesn't mean to him what it means to me…? Even if it would be just 5 minutes, they are MY 5 minutes with Rob and 5 minutes more than a lot of other fans had!

So last Sunday was The Big Day! We left well on time, wouldn't want to get stuck in traffic! We arrived early and talked to some friends that were waiting in line. We collected our tickets at the box office and met the other winner and her friend. Around 6.30 pm two security guys came to pick us up and then suddenly I got really nervous. I was so glad Ron was there to keep me grounded! We walked through some corridors and were led into an empty dressing room to wait for Rob. The jitters worked overtime in my stomach, but I managed to calm myself down a bit.
Rob entered the room with Josie (his PA), security and a photographer. One of the security guys touched the light switch with his bum and the lights went out. We all laughed about it, especially when he seemed a bit awkward! At first Rob thought Ron and I were from the record company and just gave us a quick hand. Then he kissed and hugged the other girls. I was too flabbergasted to say anything, but when he was pointed out his mistake he more than made up for it! It sort of broke the ice though, and my nerves faded a bit. He kissed and hugged me real tight.
He asked all of us where we were from and how long it took to get to the Ziggo Dome. While chatting with us he was standing very close to me. Part of me couldn't believe this was really happening, so I consciously used all my senses to record this experience… When he heard what we had to do to win this meeting, he laughed and joked “What?? That’s all? Just click a button? That’s not much, is it?” He was relaxed and really took his time to talk with us. He radiated a general sense of happiness.
The photographer was taking pics all the time. The dressing room had a blue wall, in front of which she took the ‘official’ pictures. First with each of the other girls, and then it was my turn. Rob put his arms around me and pulled me close to him. I didn't resist, on the contrary, haha! He gave me a soft squeeze, whispered something in my ear and put his cheek to mine. He smelled intoxicatingly sexy…
Ron joined us for another picture. He bent his back and knees, but Rob still had to stand on tiptoes to get his arms over our shoulders. After the pic was taken he asked Ron “Man! How tall are you?” When Ron said he is 2.04m Rob grimaced impressed and shook his hand again.
And then it was time to say goodbye. I thanked him from the bottom of my heart, we all did, for this wonderful and intimate meet and greet. It was fabulous and I enjoyed every single second of it for 100%! Wow, just wow….
Security escorted us back to the general corridor. I asked about the pictures. We will get them emailed later. Josie had made a few pics with her mobile phone for Upfront, so at least we have that one already. We talked about this unique shared experience, cried out happily and bounced around. I was quiet though, had a bit of trouble landing. I went to the bathroom and just sat there for a while, silently enjoying reliving that 15 minutes. Then I put a happy status on Facebook and went out again.
In the corridors Ron and I met our friends, who of course were very curious. We drank something and went to our seats. We had great view from second row. Around us were mostly English people, behind us sat the choreographer of the show. A man next to us made a picture of Ron and me and we made ‘selfies’. Just before 8 pm the speaker announced two minutes silence. May 4th is our national Remembrance Day and at 8 pm two minutes of silence are observed throughout the country. It was very impressive to witness complete silence in a venue filled with thousands of people.

And then…. The concert!!! I won’t write a minute-to-minute report of that, you can find those anywhere. I very very much enjoyed it. Loved the sets, loved the outfits (esp. the captain’s jacket), loved the songs… Opening with ‘Shine My Shoes’ is a great choice, as it does for a swing concert what LMEY does for a pop concert.
Although I missed some of my favourites from the swing albums I really liked the medleys (the one with ‘Shout’ was awesome!!). The swing versions of some of his pop hits were wonderful, although for some songs it worked better than for others.
‘That’s Amore’ was great; I’m a Dean Martin fan and hope Rob will do ‘Sway’ too one day… The whole wedding scene was very funny. He said he couldn't kiss a random fan on stage anymore, being 40 and a daddy and all… So he proposed to a fan,  married her on stage and then kissed her full on the mouth. J
I wasn't too impressed by the female singer that did ‘Empire State Of Mind’ (too piercing and shrill to my liking), but loved Rob’s  ‘New York New York’. Wouldn't it be awesome to have a Next Generation Rat Pack with at least Rob and Michael Bublé doing the old songs…? The close harmony part with Guy Chambers and the others was sensational too. I want more of that!
Together with his dad he sang ‘Do Nothing Till You Here From Me’. He looked so adorably proud when his dad walked on stage, aww… It’s no mystery where he got the entertainment genes! I really like those personal touches in Rob’s concerts.
I understand why Rob felt he had to do ‘Angels’ and although I like it a lot, it felt a bit out of place for me. A well-known and powerful swing ballad would have been better, but I’m afraid a lot of people wouldn't put up with missing ‘Angels’…
From time to time while I was enjoying the concert it suddenly hit me: hey, I talked to that man! Our bodies touched. We kissed and hugged, and there are pics to prove it. As if I’d ever forget…

I want to thank / Upfront, the crew, security and of course Rob himself for an incredible night to remember….!

Friday, May 02, 2014

Pagan Pages May

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

This time I reminisced about my first steps on the pagan path.
You can read it here: Tink About It: Beginnings.

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

Monday, April 07, 2014

Scandinavian Rock Art

Friday evening I went to a lecture with slide projection about Scandinavian rock art by Ellen Meijer (and Jurri Jurriaanse) of The Tanum Museum of Rock Carvings (Tanums Hällristningsmuseum Underslös). The prehistoric images were beaten into the rocks by people from the Nordic Bronze Age and early Iron Age (ca 2000 BC - 300 AD). Ellen showed us pictures and told us lots about the images and how they are interpreted. It can be hard to determine what they represent and especially about the animals not everyone agrees. Some of the images are filled in with red so the tourists can see them, but there are a lot more that are documented by volunteers.
both pictures © Tanums Hällristningsmuseum Underslös

It was a very interesting lecture, told by wonderful people with passion for all the work they do. I won't even try to reproduce the info here; that wouldn't do them justice anyway. I bought the booklets by Ellen & Jurri, so I can explore this subject a bit more. I would love to visit the Tanum World Heritage site and museums!
If you are interested too, here are some links:

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Pagan Pages April

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

I shared some of my thoughts, facts and feelings about the moon.
You can read it here: Tink About It - Moonchild.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Berner beach meeting

Yesterday we went to Noordwijk with Arwen to meet up with 135 other Bernese Mountaindogs on the beach for a walk. This time we didn't bring Foofur, because the loose sand is too tiring for him. Arwen loves it though! She has been running, swimming, playing, sniffing.... in short: enjoying herself thoroughly!

Arwen loves the beach!
We tried to make a group picture but with 100+ dogs and their owners that's not easy... :-)

Arwen and I among the others.

You can see all of our pictures in this album.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring Equinox

Ostara's Maiden by Michele-Lee Phelan

Happy Ostara & 

a Blessed Spring Equinox!

Once again, night and day are equal in length. Winter is officially over and spring flowers are everywhere. I'm still a bit reluctant to leave winter behind as we had NO winter at all over here. Mother Nature is confused... Area's that normally have little to no snow had the worse snowstorms and bitter cold. Over here we are used to at least some cold weeks with snow, ice and low temperatures. This year Skadi didn't leave her mark in The Netherlands. No snow at all and apart from some minor freezing over night no real cold. A seemingly endless autumn changed directly to spring. I really, really missed winter, still do. Don't get me wrong, I love spring. It just feels so strange. Ah well, I'll just have to adapt and hope for a better winter next time. :)

Monday, March 03, 2014

Pagan Pages March

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

This time I wrote about my power animals and how I met them.
You can read it here: Tink About It.

Bagheera & Knut on my altar

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The big 4-0 for Robbie

Happy Birthday Rob!

40 is just that, 40... 39 and some extra days. Nothing special, nothing to be afraid of, nothing to feel different. Just carry on doing what you're doing, because you're doing great. :-))

I hope you'll get the privacy to enjoy this with family and real friends!

See you in May, let's swing!

Sunday, February 02, 2014

My Imbolc

First of all I'd like to wish you a blessed and happy Imbolc or Lugnasadh, depending on which hemisphere you roam. I hope you have a wonderful celebration and a very happy day.

I had planned to go to an open Imbolc celebration today, but yesterday I felt the urge and need to do a personal Imbolc ritual on my own. I decided to include a thorough, elaborate home-cleansing and -blessing. Imbolc is all about cleaning, cleansing, getting rid of old stuff to make room for new, etc. so that fits perfectly.
First I walked through all the rooms and spaces with a smudge stick, widdershins (anti-clockwise) from top to the basement and everything in between, to cleanse the house. Then I did the same deosil (clockwise) to bless everything with the elements. The first round felt overdue and much needed, the second felt wonderful and light. Good decision!
Back in my circle I did a guided meditation called "Inner Journey to Brigid". It was beautiful, but somehow Brigid became mixed up with Skadi. It didn't feel strange or wrong, on the contrary. It felt very natural, as if Skadi was claiming her rightful place in the ritual and on my path. When I asked for a symbol to remind me of the message I got in this meditation she gave me a silver-white snow crystal...
For cake and wine I chose milk and chocolate cookies. Milk belongs to Imbolc and has the snow-white colour of winter. Afterwards I left some of it outside.
I'm so glad I decided to do this, it clearly was the right thing for me at this time.