Friday, February 29, 2008

Blogging Between the Worlds

Perhaps you've noticed the new banner in my sidebar. Through Brook's Musings of a Witch I found Blogging Between the Worlds, a collection of Pagan blogs. Or as the website states: Insights, Ponderings, and Opinions from Pagan bloggers across the web. The sites can be rated and commented on. I liked what I saw and decided to sign up. I quickly photoshopped a banner for myself; feel free to make me a better one! ;-)

Curious? Just click on this banner!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

TT #75: trees


Thirteen of the many, many pictures I made of trees

I love trees, that's no news to you probably. Trees are beautiful in every shape and size. Wherever I come with my camera, the trees are never safe! ;-)
My dream is to make a trip to Dusty Miller and let him show me his woods in Kent, UK...
For this TT I chose 13 pictures of trees to share:


Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
~*~ Sue ~*~ Chelle Y. ~*~ Sandy Carlson ~*~ Nathalie ~*~ Greatfullivin ~*~ SJ Reidhead ~*~ ellen b ~*~ Hootin' Anni ~*~ Nicholas ~*~ Sandee ~*~ Natalie ~*~ Cricket's Heart ~*~ Chuck ~*~ Susan Helene ~*~ Open Grove Claudia ~*~ Linda R. Moore ~*~ Mar ~*~ Gattina ~*~ crushedglass ~*~ Kay ~*~ jayedee ~*~ Maribeth ~*~ Kat's Krackerbox ~*~ beeker ~*~ xakara ~*~ Lori ~*~ Mama Bear ~*~ Melissa ~*~ Kuanyin ~*~ Storyteller ~*~ sarah ~*~

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Witches' Cafe Utrecht

Sunday Wonder and I went to the Witches' Cafe in Utrecht. He would come to Haarlem, I'd pick him up to drive to Utrecht. Things didn't exactly work out as we planned though, so eventually I drove to The Hague and then we went to Utrecht. The cafe was at a new location, but it was easy to find. The cafe was from 4pm until 9 pm, so we had dinner while we were there.
There were a lot of people I know, but I also met some others for the first time. I enjoyed myself very much. Wonder and I had a very interesting conversation with Ina Cüsters-van Bergen, Magus of the Order of the Temple of Starlight (a modern Western Mystery school). Her path is not the one I have chosen, but very interesting nevertheless. I can recommend her book De Weg naar de Oude Mysteriën (The Road to the Old Mysteries), at the moment available only in Dutch but she's working on an English translation.
We left around 9pm. Wonder drove to The Hague and then I drove home. We had a great time, so it really bears repetition!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Halt Woman's Execution for 'Witchcraft'

To Those Who Share Our Deep Concern:
Please join us in calling for the immediate pardon and release of FAWZA FALIH [Falwah Faliz], a Saudi Arabian woman who has been sentenced to death by beheading for the alleged crime of "witchcraft". As Human Rights Watch has declared, the conviction of Fawza Falih is a travesty of justice.

A letter to His Royal Highness KING ABDULLAH has been drafted and signed by clergy and members of various faith traditions. The letter may be read online where you may also sign it. Please do so as soon as possible at: Fawza Falih Petition Online

Further information on the case is available at:
Please help to circulate this request for support as widely as possible -- time is of the essence.
I'm sorry to have to ask this, but PLEASE if you are Pagan or Wiccan, we would appreciate it if you do not make reference to that because, sadly, this will only make Fawza Falih's situation worse - it is the reason, after all, that she is sentenced to beheading. And when you post to e-lists or boards, please add that request.

Please join us in signing online, and help distribute this letter to others.
Thank you for your help!

  • Rev. P. W. Curott, J.D., Assembly of World Religious Leaders
  • Mike Mohamed Ghouse, President, World Muslim Congress
  • Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor of Tikkun Magazine, Chair of the Network of Spiritual Progressives
  • Gregory Gomez, Apache, Spiritual Leader
  • Sheila Musaji, Editor, The American Muslim
  • Ellen Evert Hopman M.Ed. Author
  • Elliott Dlin, Executive Director, Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education & Tolerance
  • Dr. Sushil Jain, President, Jain Society of Metro Washington & Secretary, Federation of Jain Associations in North America.
  • Ervad Ratansha Vakil - Zoroastrian Priest - Dallas, Texas, USA
  • Ashok Aklujkar, Hindu Community, Professor Emeritus, Vancouver, Canada
  • Rev. Dr. Rita Nakashima Brock, Director, Faith Voices for the Common Good, Visiting Scholar, Starr King School for the Ministry
  • Rev. Dr. Todd A. Collier, Presbyterian Minister
  • Rev. Dr. Kevin D. Huddleston, Episcopal Priest
  • Rev. Darrell E. Berger, Unitarian Universalist
  • Noor-ul Amin Ali Son of Jaffer Ali, Pakistan Karachi, Shia Ismaili Muslim
  • Naresh R. Shah, Jain Community, Nitro, WV 25143
  • Rev. S. M. Fox, President, Greater Madison Interreligious Association, Assembly of World Religious Leaders
  • Marylou Ghyst, Unity Church, Texas

Friday, February 22, 2008


ARA what? ARA R.A.T., or Ara Ritual Apart Together. The Journeys Apart Together we did (like this one) are a success, so we wanted to try something a step further: doing a ritual apart in our own homes but together in the astral temple we created some time ago! We prepared everything like we usually do for a real-life ritual together.
Because of personal stuff and stress my preparation was later and less thorough than planned. To get into it more I made a lay-out of the ritual from the several mails we exchanged beforehand. I made a cosy place in my room with a stove, nice blankets, candlelight, incense I got from Sorcha, cake & wine, notebook, etc. There I prepared myself before we started. Of course I made a picture.
We all started at 9pm as planned. It was a very interesting, fascinating experience. Visualizing everyone, everything went so easy; it really was as if the others were right next to me. When we cast the circle from hand to hand I felt the circle buidling up one by one. When we passed energy it felt very powerful; my hands were very warm and tingled. In the grounding exercise I became a tree. My roots went down into the ground, where they met the roots of the other trees in the circle. Six trees, but one ball of roots in the earth, one being, one spirit. It felt wonderful.
For the shamanic journey we planned I had to come back a bit to put on the CD, but it wasn't disturbing me or interrupting really. When I made myself comfortable again I was back in the temple. We were lying in a circle. There was someone drumming for us, but I didn't see him.
The journey itself was amazing. I did the exercise we discussed before. I also discovered a wonderful place. A green spot looking out on the beach, with trees behind me and surrounded by animals. I sat down and meditated with my eyes open. I felt good, at ease. My black panther told me I can always come back to this place when I need to relax and recharge. I know I'll go back there!
I stayed for a while until I had to return to the astral temple. Everyone was waking up quietly. Then all at once everything passed by faster and faster: the cake & wine, the thanking of the elements / God and Goddess, opening the circle. Before I knew it I was back in my room. I made notes and did a real cake & wine for myself.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Our godchild

Yesterday Ron and I have been to Groesbeek. Our friends there asked us to become godparents to their eight-year-old son Jaimie. We were very honoured and accepted with pleasure. His parents, uncle and perhaps his brother will be baptised later in the same church (Roman catholic). In April Jaimie will do his first communion.
The ceremony was in a beautiful church in Groesbeek. It was a private mass in which some members of another family were baptised too. The pastor was a friendly man and very good with the kids. Everyone present got involved. I have lit two candles for my mum and dad in front of the statue of mary.
Afterwards there was a little party for Jaimie. He got a cake with his picture. We stayed and chatted until late. We were home around half past 11 in the evening.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

TT #74: Looking at a Blackbird


Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

This poem by Wallace Stevens (1879-1955) is an excellent example of his willingness to experiment in the early 20th century. The poem is simple enough - a series of imagistic fragments, each one exploring a different thought that arises in the poet's mind as he looks out upon a blackbird - but for its time it was revolutionary.

Wallace Stevens

Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird.

I was of three minds,
Like a tree
In which there are three blackbirds.

The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
It was a small part of the pantomime.

A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and a blackbird
Are one.

I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.

Icicles filled the long window
With barbaric glass.
The shadow of the blackbird
Crossed it, to and fro.
The mood
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable cause.

O thin men of Haddam,
Why do you imagine golden birds?
Do you not see how the blackbird
Walks around the feet
Of the women about you?

I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.

When the blackbird flew out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles.

At the sight of blackbirds
Flying in a green light,
Even the bawds of euphony
Would cry out sharply.

He rode over Connecticut
In a glass coach.
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook
The shadow of his equipage
For blackbirds.

The river is moving.
The blackbird must be flying.

It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs.

While writing this post I kept singing "Bye Bye Blackbird"! :-)


Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
~*~ Mama Kelly ~*~ Chelle Y. ~*~ Sandy Carlson ~*~ SJ Reidhead ~*~ Nicholas ~*~ Chuck ~*~ Adelle ~*~ Sandee ~*~ ellen b. ~*~ Cricket's Hearth ~*~ Joely Sue ~*~ Alice Audrey ~*~ suchsimplepleasures ~*~ Susan Helene ~*~ Melli ~*~ Journeywoman ~*~ Lara Angelina ~*~ Sanni ~*~ WillThink4Wine ~*~ Darla ~*~ storyteller ~*~ Nancy J. Bond ~*~ JoyIsMyGoal ~*~ Aline de Chevigny ~*~ OneLuvGirl ~*~ Dane Bramage ~*~ Brenda ND ~*~ Kat's Krackerbox ~*~ Lisa ~*~ Xakara ~*~ The Bluest Butterfly ~*~ Moondancer ~*~ k ~*~ Byrning bunny ~*~ Serina Hope ~*~ julia ~*~ Vixen's Den ~*~ damozel ~*~

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Catching up

A lot is happening, I've been busy. The usual clichés but true nevertheless. What have I been doing...

Saturday I went shopping with Wonder in the old city centre of Utrecht. The weather was great and I love the historic character of the inner city. The canals have platforms almost on water level. The wharfs are still in use as store rooms, for little shops and restaurants. On top of the embarkment walls the main street is built with shops and houses. We lit candles for our parents in the beautiful Dom Church. I didn't buy much, just one book! Later two friends joined us. Afterwards we went home with them to Nieuwegein, where Ron joined us too.

Sunday was a difficult day. It would have been mom's 72nd birthday... So strange; you can't celebrate, but it also isn't and will never be just another day... In the evening we went out for dinner in her honour with my sister, brother and partners in restaurant De Stal (the stable) in Spaarnwoude. It's Ron's favourite restaurant, because they have very good, very big T-bone steaks. We had a wonderful time.

Yesterday we were busy, but also found time for a hike on the beach with the dogs. We walked around the inner lake on the beach. Boris went for a swim several times, he loves that. The weather was very good, almost spring: sunny and warm for the time of year. We walked for one and a half hour. I was exhausted, but still loved it!

Today is Foofur's birthday. He is 9 years old now. I bought big bones for him and Boris. I still remember meeting him for the first time, when I was at work in the pet shelter 9 years ago. It was love on first sight! Ron had to get used to a little dog, but loves him just as much now. Here's a picture of the birthday boy, made in 2003:

Thursday, February 07, 2008

TT #73: quotes by the Dalai Lama


Thirteen quotes by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Tenzin Gyatso (born 1935) is the fourteenth and current Dalai Lama. He is often referred to simply as the Dalai Lama. The title "Dalai Lama" is granted to each of the spiritual leader's successive incarnations. In 1989 he was awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize.
Here are 13 of his (many) quotes:

  • All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness. The important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.

  • In the society is too much violence. Now the national leaders are very much involved to do something about these things. But unless something comes within ourselves, within people themselves, the government or the law or constitution and police forces cannot do much.

  • Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

  • My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness. There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.

  • From the very core of our being, we desire contentment. In my own limited experience I have found that the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the principal source of success in life. Since we are not solely material creatures, it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness on external development alone. The key is to develop inner peace.

  • We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace within ourselves.

  • I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.

  • For those who may not find happiness to exercise religious faith, it's okay to remain a radical atheist. It's absolutely an individual right, but the important thing is with a compassionate heart -- then no problem. We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection.

  • It is necessary to help others, not only in our prayers but in our daily lives. If we find we cannot help others, the least we can do is to desist from harming them.

  • In the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher.

  • Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.

  • Today, more than ever before, life must be characterized by a sense of universal responsibility, not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life.

  • Sleep is the best meditation.

sources: Brainy Quote, ThinkExist


Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
~*~ Sue ~*~ Nicholas ~*~ pussreboots ~*~ Rhonda ~*~ Sandee ~*~ SusieJ ~*~ JoyIsMyGoal ~*~ the teach ~*~ The Gal Herself ~*~ Candy ~*~ MamaGeek ~*~ Chelle Y. ~*~ Joely Sue ~*~ Alasandra ~*~ Cricket's Hearth ~*~ Susan Helene ~*~ Sandy Carlson ~*~ Michelle ~*~ Miranda ~*~ pjazzypar ~*~ Brenda ND ~*~ mom huebert ~*~ byrningbunny ~*~ Adelle ~*~ Babystepper ~*~ Buck Naked Politics ~*~ Open Grove Claudia ~*~ Nicole Austin ~*~ SJ Reidhead ~*~ infinitygoods ~*~ Ivan Girl ~*~ The Bluest Butterfly ~*~ xakara ~*~ Lisa ~*~ suchsimplepleasures ~*~ Darla ~*~ Kat's Krackerbox ~*~ fullbodytransplant ~*~ Janet ~*~ storyteller ~*~ Robin ~*~ OneLuvGurl ~*~ Lara Angelina ~*~ Nancy Lindquist-Liedel ~*~ YummY! ~*~ Melissa ~*~ Starrlight ~*~ damozel ~*~ Jen ~*~ Tasina ~*~ Melanie ~*~ chanpheng ~*~ Christina ~*~ Yertle ~*~

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

COT #10: cats & computers

Cats On Tuesday
CATS ON TUESDAY is a group of cat lovers
who share pictures and/or stories about their cats once a week,
hosted by Gattina.


Cats and computers are a great combination.
Well, most of the time anyway.... ;-)
I'm a big fan of cat-blogs and all kinds of cat-sites!

On a random search I've found this:
USB Kitty with two infrared sensors to help its master to alert any intruders by shaking its head and producing many different sounds. When you walk away from your computer and there is somebody want to touch your PC, it will meow, hiss and sing melodies in order to scare away the intruders.

My own cats have a love-hate relationship with my desktop and laptop. They are very interested, but hate it when I'm busy too long! Then they try everything to get me to pause and pay attention to them!

Snoopy (still dearly missed...) just jumped on my desk and occupied the keyboard!

Bastet likes to chase the cursor all around the screen!

Maia is very interested in just about anything that's on the screen!

Another nice thingy I found here:

Happy (Cats on) Tuesday!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Natalee Holloway - case solved?

This case got worldwide media attention for almost three years now and I followed it all that time. I just watched Peter R. de Vries' astonishing coverage in which he reveals how he got Joran van der Sloot's full confession. You can read the whole story here.
I was shocked by the way Joran told his story to a friend. He just sat there looking and acting completely indifferent. He didn't even check if she was really dead. He didn't even lose any sleep over it. He doesn't feel guilty. I don't have words for this... As Natalee's mother Beth said in the report: "I hope his living hell is about to begin."
I hope Beth and the rest of Natalee's family and friends will find a way to cope with this awful outcome. They have my deepest sympathy...