Wednesday, December 31, 2008


The last day of the year... A day to look back, reminisce. Of course my parents are always part of that. Although they weren't there physically in 2008, they are always with me. This picture stands in our living room (without the heart). It reminds me of the good times. It is taken during the opening of christmas presents in our former home. It makes me smile. I love them, I miss them, but I know they love me and I cherish the memories!

papa & mama
Time for me to go now,
I won't say goodbye
Look for me in rainbows,
way up in the sky.

In the morning sunrise
when all the world is new,
Just look for me and love me,
as you know I loved you.

Time for me to leave you,
I won't say goodbye
Look for me in rainbows,
high up in the sky.

In the evening sunset,
when all the world is through,
Just look for me and love me,
and I'll be close to you.

It won't be forever,
the day will come and then
My loving arms will hold you,
when we meet again.

Time for us to part now,
we won't say goodbye
Look for me in rainbows,
shining in the sky.

Every waking moment,
and all your whole life through
Just look for me and love me,
as you know I loved you.

Just wish me
to be near you,
and I'll be there with you

sung by Vicky Brown

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

COT #23: Buddha for cats

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.

I moved my Buddha-statue/fountain from the kitchen to the top of my computerdesk. The cats adore it! They like to drink from it, sit in front of it (praying?), sleep close to it...

Maia drinkingBastet drinkingFreyja & MaiaBastet & MaiaMaya sleeping

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Awards shower

I have received several awards the last month and now I finally have the time to show them! Thank you to all who thought me and my weblog are worth an award!

I love your blogChica & Pumuckl gave me the "I Love Your Blog"-award.
  1. Those who have received this award, can add the pic.
  2. Add a link to that person’s blog who awarded you.
  3. Choose 7 others to receive this award and add links to their blogs.
  4. Leave a message to their blogs so that they know about this.

Lemonade awardDuni at Lovely Purses passed on the Lemonade Award to me.
  1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
  2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude.
  3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
  4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
  5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

I love your blogLorianna at Twilight's Muse awarded me with another "I Love Your Blog"-award.
  1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog.
  2. Link the person you received your award from.
  3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
  4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
  5. Leave a message on the blogs you’ve nominated.

Butterfly awardBoth Mike Golch at Rambling Stuff and Kat at Candles, Crafts & Whatnot gave me the Butterfly Award.
  1. Put the logo on your blog.
  2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.
  3. Nominate outstanding blogs that you follow.
  4. Add the links to those blogs.
  5. Leave a message for the nominees on their blog.

I want to pass the awards on to:
  • all Entrecarders who've dropped on my blog
  • all my furry-friends with a blog
  • all regular visitors
  • did I miss anyone? :-)

Saturday, December 27, 2008


As I told you before I had my xanthelasmata removed on December 24. They are a sharply demarcated yellowish collection of cholesterol underneath the skin on my eyelids. Harmless and painless, but I saw them with every look and all day. Time to get rid of them!
My appointment was at 7.45am, so I was the first in the OR. The local anaesthetic was the most painful, the rest wasn't. I could feel what the surgeon was doing, but without pain. Before I know it, I was in the recovery room! After some thorough cooling I could go home.
At home I felt a tear in the corner of my eye. It was blood. When I wiped it very carefully I looked straight into the wound on one side. Oops... stitching had come loose (before I wiped). I called the hospital and they told me to come back immediately.
Fortunately the surgeon was just starting with his last patient, so I was in time. I had to wait for a while and then I was back in the OR. The old stitches had to be removed, so I got a local anaesthetic again (ouch!). New stitches, extra adhesive plaster... ready, again!
Now it's getting better day by day. The worst day was the day after surgery, but it could have been worse. I'm not complaining. On the pictures you can see the progress up until this morning.

xanthelasmata surgery - progress

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

COT #22: Freyja loves tea

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 are known to be curious, but Freyja is even more curious! Last week I was rearranging my tea drawer in the kitchen, when she decided to come and help me. Being in the way, sniffling the boxes, playing with tealabels and strings, eventually taking over my drawer! :-)

Monday, December 22, 2008


I was way behind on posting. I started 5 posts in the last weeks, but didn't come to finishing them. Today I did! They are posted under the original dates.
So if you visited yesterday and think "hey, those weren't there before!", you're right! You now know why. :-)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Yule!!

May the returning light at Yule
bring you love, peace, joy and health
with all the best for the coming year.

Merry Yule!
Happy Winter Solstice!
(or Litha / Summer Solstice to my friends in the Southern hemisphere!)

artwork: Cynthia Rudzis

Today I celebrated Yule in a ritual with 3 people from the Olympia group (Marian Green studygroup) at Llwella's place. We each brought some stuff to make an altar and it looked beautiful. Obsidian had written the ritual and divided the roles by drawing lots. I got East / Air. I wrote my evocations in English, but we ended up doing the ritual in Dutch so I improvised. I brought incense and feathers.

We did a guided meditation which for me hit the nail on the head. I don't remember the exact words, but it was about your body. You may not like the way it looks, but it cares for you. It's always there, working for you. Of course I've heard those words before, but somehow it came through this time. I felt my body in a way I rarely feel it and realized I love it regardless of the way it looks. I offered my apologies to my body for the way I treated it in the past and in a way still do... My body showed me a warming light inside me that's always there; I just have to (want to) see it.

After the meditation we carved our own candle with the gift we got in the meditation. I realized the candle is the gift, symbol of the light inside me. I carved little suns in it and two sentences: "My body cares for me" and "I love my body". Together we chanted while blessing and lighting our candles.

We also had a Yule log on the altar. After the ritual we did our offerings in the garden and burned the Yule log. It wasn't a real massive log of wood, but birchwood tied together. That didn't matter though and it burned very good. Afterwards we had a late lunch and some treats.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Doctor's appointments

This afternoon I had two doctor's appointments in the CFS centre in Amsterdam. First I had to see the cardiologist. He asked me a lot of questions and did some tests. He made an ultrasound scan of my heart. My cholesterol was too high again (6, should be under 5) and my bloodpressure was also high (170-110). Together with my hereditary load and me being overweight there are a lot of risk factots. He wants to do more tests to look into it further.

The second appointment was with the internist. He also had a lot of questions. He doesn't trust the strange blackout episodes I have since I was about 14. The last months I didn't have one, but there isn't really a pattern. Sometimes I have three in a month and then none for months. I have had a lot of tests and specialists have looked at it several times, but no-one knew the answer except for what it is not. The last tests have been some years ago, so the internist wants me to visit a neurologist. It doesn't hurt to look at it again. I guess!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Midwinterfair 2008

Yesterday Ron and I visited themepark Archeon for the 6th Midwinterfair, a mix of fantasy, paganism, middle-ages, Celts, etc. with stands, demonstrations, live action role-playing, storytellers, bands and lots more. We were there around 11am. The weather was cold but dry.

First we walked around to see what's there. On our way we met a lot of people we know. In a yurt we listened with Wonder to Donderelf. When Theresia starts playing her harp I'm enchanted. When Philip is telling a story I'm under his spell. He told about Baba Yaga and the story of the Raven King.

In one of the buildings was a stand with Tisa Pescar and Mel Hartman. Tisa signed her book for me on Castlefest last August. I brought Mel's first book "De Fantasiejagers" (the fantasy hunters) with me and bought her second book "Droomloos" (dreamless). She signed both for me. If you read Dutch and like fantasy suspense, I can recommend them! This is the website.

At the end of the day we enjoyed a concert by Rapalje, celtic folk music. The hall was packed with people, all enthusiastic. They played a repertoire of requests from fans. I loved it. I was dog tired, but when Rapalje is playing I can't stand still!

If you want to see our pictures, you can find them here.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ara Global ritual

We did several RAT's (ritual apart together) with the Ara Lowlands group. Phyllis proposed to do one with the global community. So yesterday evening (9pm my time) people in the Netherlands, Italy and the USA all sat down at their homes to do a ritual together on the astral plane!

I had made a little altar in my room, burned some incense and sat in my meditation chair in front of it. When the drumming started, I was almost immediately in my little hut at the base of the hill. We were putting on our robes; not the usual green ones, but black and purple ones with a hood.
We started walking up the hill in the east. In the west was a sacred well against the side of the hill. The lid covered the well a bit and was decorated with the Ara-logo. The full moon reflected in the water. From the well some water was running into a little pond. A beautiful black horse was drinking from it. I drew some water from the well with a silver bowl. I saw the reflection of the moon in the bowl.
On the top of the hill we gathered around the altar stone on the meadow in front of our temple. I put the bowl with water on the altar. There also were a silver bowl with black salt, an Abalone shell with incense and a cauldron with (controlled) fire. We cast the circle from hand to hand, evoked the powers of the elements and invited the God and Goddess. The Oak Grove grounding exercise was very powerful. All our roots intermingled as one.
The Cone of Power for the Temple of Ara was a very special experience. When we were slowly walking around, the black horse was walking with us in a circle outside ours. When we picked up speed, so did she. At the zenith of power someone yelled “now!” and the horse pranced, while we released the power into the bowl with water. It was a splendid blue-silvery light, that in the bowl started to sparkle and twinkle. I raised the bowl to charge it extra with moonlight. Then all of us took a sip. The atmosphere was warm, friendly and cheerful.
After the cake & wine we thanked the powers of the elements and the God and Goddess. We closed the circle from hand to hand and sang “May the circle be open”. I made offerings on the meadow.
Slowly we walked down the hill. In the west the sea was wild. In the distance was an old four-master bravely defying the waves. At the foot of the hill we made a big campfire and sat around it. We chatted, ate and drank. Some people had drums. Later someone had a guitar and we started singing chants and old songs everyone knows. Until very late we stayed around the fire. When we finally went our own ways, the parting took a while with hugs and kisses. It really felt as if a deep and loving bond was forged.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ara Lowlands in Breda

Yesterday the Ara Lowlands group met in Breda. I picked up the girls from Amsterdam and drove to Breda. We chatted over a cup of tea. It had been a while since we came together, so there was some catching up to do!

The weather was cold but good, so we went for a long walk in the Mastbos. This time not to visit my beloved tree; we decided to walk a marked route. It was beautiful and relaxing.
On a clearing a lot of fir trees were cut. It hurts to see so many trees on the ground, but there was a sign explaining why it was done: to give the smaller trees and plants more light to grow, to get rid of foreign trees that don't belong there and to give the animals some open spaces they need. The cut off wood will be removed and new life can develop spontaneously. We took some of the fir branches to give them a place in our homes.
When we were walking somewhere on a path I saw something among the trees. It looked like a face. In fact it was a trunk overgrown with moss, but somehow it represented the Green Man.
Before we left we cast a circle near a pool and passed energy around.

When we came back, we warmed ourselves with ginger tea and made some plans for the new year. We have set some dates until the initiation. I also told the girls I'm not sure whether I can go to the initiation. I have the money set aside, but I'm not sure it can stay that way because of our current situation. Of course I'll do anything I can to be there, but I thought it was only fair to tell them. They were very sympathetic and kind, it was heartwarming.

After dinner we made a little altar on the table. My new statue ( a little copy in bronze of The Kiss by Rodin) was the centerpiece representing the god and goddess. We cast the circle with sparklers, from light to light; it looked splendid! We did divination, first for the Temple of Ara and then for ourselves. I had brought my Druid Plant Oracle, because I haven't used it a lot yet. For myself I took one card, meadowsweet. To make it short that stands for cherishing and celebrating the stable factors in your life. I have to focus on what Ron and I have together. Circumstances and jobs may change, but we always have each other.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

TT #92: update


Thirteen things about my life at the moment
I haven’t been participating in TT for quite some time. A lot has happened and I just didn’t have or make the time, so this week an update will be suitable.

  • The holiday season has started. Yesterday afternoon I finished writing the holiday cards. The tree is up, but nothing’s in it yet…
  • Ron’s nephew and his wife added a new baby to the family yesterday. It’s a healthy little girl called Iris Sophia. We haven’t paid a visit yet, but we will soon!
  • Talking of family news… My brother and his girlfriend are engaged to be married! The big day will take place in May next year.
  • On December 24th I will go to the hospital to have my xanthelasmata removed in surgery. My what??? Haha! They are a sharply demarcated yellowish collection of cholesterol underneath the skin on my eyelids. It’s hereditary, my whole family has them. They are harmless and painless, but disfiguring and awful looking.
  • Ron gave me the best holiday gift ever: a leather-bound, 5 cm (2 inch) thick Book of Shadows, filled with recycled parchment-look paper. I love it!
  • This weekend (probably Sunday) Ron and I will go to the Midwinterfair again in theme park Archeon. It is for the 6th time and I’ve been there since 2004. It’s a mix of fantasy, paganism, middle-ages, Celts, etc. with stands, demonstrations, live action role-playing, storytellers, bands and lots more.
  • Ron got very bad news from his boss. After two years of burn-out he was building up to fulltime working again. He felt good and enjoyed being active again. He was told they were looking for a good place for him within the company to make full use of his knowledge and experience. Well… not really… Last week he had a personal talk with the after sales manager and the head of the personnel department. They evaded to say it literally, but there is no longer place for him with the company. They’ll at least pay for outplacement guidance. To make it even worse, his salary will decrease with hundreds of euro’s, with retrospective effect from September…
  • This coming Sunday Ron and I will be married for 13 years. We are together for much longer (22 years), but that cold day in December 1995 will always be a warm and loving memory. It was a great day!
  • Ron is very happy to have his sisters and their families back after the death of his mother. Although I had my reservations at first because of the past, I must say I like it too. They seem to accept and respect me now. It still feels fragile to me at times, but that’s okay.
  • The aftercare self-help groups we were trying to start in Haarlem and surroundings didn’t work out. Although we were told all the time that there was a big need for these groups and we made a lot of publicity, the applications failed to come. Just a few people wanted to join in. After two years of trying we decided to take a long break. The motivation faded; a lot of work and almost no response. We’ll give it a try again later.
  • This afternoon Ron has an appointment in the Sudor clinic, specialised in hyperhidrosis (excessive perspiration). He has tried all the available tips and treatments, but it never really helped. This clinic does surgery, thoracoscopic sympathectomy, in which part of the nerve is burned. The success percentage is 98 %.
  • I spend a lot of time on Facebook. Staying in touch with people I know, but also playing the games. I have a virtual fairy garden, blue cove with fish, an army of snowmen, a green patch and lots more. I play word games, vampire hunting, slot machines, etc. I exchange all sorts of gifts with my friends. I save animals and square feet of rainforest (for real because of game sponsors). Everything is free! In short: I’m addicted! ;-)
  • Next Wednesday I’ll have my appointments with the cardiologist and internist of the chronic fatigue centre. I hope I’ll hear more about what they can do for me.


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

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Cats & Dogs Elf Dance!

I saw this at Gandalf & Grayson and decided to let our pets star in their own elf dance video! So without further ado I present to you: Boris, Foofur, Freyja, Bastet & Maia!!!!!!
Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Pen and paper

This was my daily horoscope for today:

"When's the last time you used a pen and paper? In this day and age of computers, the keyboard has all but replaced these wonderful tools. In the same way that walking provides much more than fresh air, the kinesthetic value of the rhythmic motion in writing with a pen is far more soothing and even healing than most realize. Moving your hand across the page can feel good and unlock places within you that aren't always accessed by typing. Try it today. "
Although I'm a computer addict, I still love to write pen on paper. The above is so right! For me typing on my computer will never replace pen & paper completely, as e-books will definitely not replace real books.
I took the challenge and did some real writing today. Not a form or a list of errands but a letter, a story or a diary; you get the point. So I ask you: when did you do "real" writing? How often and for what do you use pen & paper?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

COT #21: Maia locked in

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.

Maia loves to sit close to me when I'm at my computerdesk. Any place on or in the desk will do: in front of the monitor, on the mousepad, on the papers around me, on the keyboard, etc. Sometimes she just sits quietly behind the monitor.

Last week she was sitting there again, when Ron and I had to go out for a while. Maia jumped from her place to the table behind me. I closed the desk, as always keeping a crack open so the computer can release warmth. Ron and I went away and came back later that afternoon. When I opened my desk Maia ran out of it in a flash. The poor thing must somehow have jumped back in the desk and behind the monitor before I shut it. She must have panicked; the inside of my desk was a huge mess. There had been a big glass of cola, but that was empty... My keyboard had drowned in the cola, my 2009 daily planner and the other paper stuff were torn and soaked too. Fortunately my computer and printer are in separate departments in my desk, so they were okay. Ron got me another keyboard and I've ordered a new planner. To my surprise Maia still loves the desk, but I check it multiple times whenever I close it!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Welcome to my world

Jim & dadSometimes you hear a song and suddenly you are back in time. While doing all kinds of things on the computer I had my mediaplayer set on random when I heard Jim Reeves singing "Welcome to my world".
Within seconds I was sitting in my childhood living room, talking and making cryptograms with my dad. He was a big fan of Jim Reeves and he transferred it to me. Just like he did with the Rat Pack, although dad liked Sinatra best and I was more fond of Dean Martin. He liked more modern music too though. He watched "Toppop" and "Countdown" (Dutch shows, comparable with Top of the Pops) with me. We commented the songs together, but didn't always agree. :-)
I know I've inherited a lot from my dad, like the music preferences, love for puzzling esp. cryptograms, being good with figures & numbers and more virtues & vices. We had a great bond and I still miss him so much. If only I could talk with him again, hug him and tell him how much I love him. I guess he knows, I know he knows.
I have a 16CD box of Jim Reeves in my files. I just want to listen and reminisce for a while longer...

Welcome to my world
Won't you come on in
Miracles I guess
Still happen now and then
Step into my heart
Leave your cares behind
Welcome to my world
Built with you in mind

Knock and the door will open
Seek and you will find
Ask and you'll be given
The key to this world of mine
I'll be waiting here
With my arms unfurled
Waiting just for you
Welcome to my world

Waiting just for you
Welcome to my world

Monday, November 17, 2008

Dusty Miller the 14th

A few months ago I heard that Dusty Miller the 13th would come to The Netherlands again, this time with his son Dusty the 14th. He would be doing the talks and his son the walks. I've been to walk & talk meetings with Dusty 13 in 2006 and 2007. I was looking forward to seeing him again, introducing his son to the public. I decided to go to the Walk & Talk at Antropia in Driebergen.

Unfortunately Dusty the 13th couldn't come yesterday, because he is suffering from balance problems after a fall recently. Dusty the 14th and his wife Claudia took charge of the whole day. I must say I did miss the old Dusty, but his son makes a very good successor! Claudia adds her own touch and they work great together.

In the morning a group of people (and a lovely dog) started with a Walk. We did some exercises, feeling leylines and the boundaries of the tree spirits. We learned about lunar and solar trees, and tried to feel the difference. We raised and sent energy around a big tree and sent it to Dusty the 14th. It felt very strong and powerful. We ended the walk with a beautiful tree meditation, in which we met the dryad of the beech we were surrounding. After the meditation we sang a Native American song of thanks to the trees. Just before lunch Dusty had a talk on the phone with his father. The old Dusty asked what we had been doing, because he sparkled from energy and felt very good!

After a yummy elaborate lunch we gathered in a hall for the "Talk". Dusty told about his fascinating family history, about the livewood and lots more! He also answered questions from the public. I had heard some things before (from his father), but that didn't matter. He knows how to captivate an audience very well. He is so much like his father and still is very different!

Around 5.30pm I drove home, tired but very satisfied. I had a fabulous day!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My room and a ritual

Last Saturday three friends came to our home to do a ritual. Ron and I had cleaned the house and decorated my room to make it a bit cosier. I hung a celtic tree cloth on the bare wooden wall and put other cloths over cardboard boxes and such. The altar chest stood in the middle and I decorated the side cabinet. I put my lamp on some boxes. Last week I got this wonderful Lunar Calendar 2009 by fantasy artist Gwen Davies. I love it, so framed it and put it in a chair (afterwards I hung it on the wall).

Some time ago I decided I wanted to do a Cone of Power for a very good friend. I asked the friends we celebrated Litha with to join me. They all wanted but not everyone was able to come, so we were with the four of us. I had written the ritual, because the others aren't that experienced yet and I know our friend best. We divided the roles among us. I guided the circle from hand to hand, explained about the Cone and led the others into a guided meditation. I hadn't written anything down for the meditation; I knew what I wanted to accomplish with it, so I improvised while doing it. I think it went well, I got good reactions. The Cone of Power was very strong, we all felt it as almost touchable.

Afterwards we had diner together. Everyone had contributed something. We had chicken soup, french bread with garlic butter, Russian salad, salmon salad and a fresh salad. We were hungry and thirsty after the ritual! After diner they stayed for a while and we chatted about the ritual and other stuff. In the evening everyone went home.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Chronic fatigue

This morning I had an appointment at the CFS Centre in Amsterdam, a specialized centre for chronigue fatigue. In advance I had my blood tested and filled in a pile of questionnaires. Today I went to see dr. Vermeulen, the director / coordinator of the CFS Centre. He asked a lot of questions and explained several things. He was very friendly and made me feel at ease.
My case is complex, but that applies to all their patients. Before I do the physical test the team will discuss my problems and do a thorough analysis. I have appointments with the cardiologist and the internist in December. We'll see where we go from there.
Finally... I'm taken seriously! I feel so good about that.

Dona Nobis Pacem

Dona Nobis Pacem

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Congratulations, America!

This is no political blog, but for an historic moment like this I'm making an exception. Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States of America. I didn't stay up all night to follow everything, but early in the morning I watched his fabulous acceptance speech. I congratulate him with his victory and I congratulate America with what in my humble opinion is a good decision. Change is coming and it won't be easy; not on Obama, not on America, not on the world. He'll have to live up to the huge expectations and the promises he made. With that and his difficult task ahead I wish him success and wisdom. Yes, you can!

Monday, November 03, 2008


Long ago I started a Facebook profile, but somehow it disappeared. I never made a new one... until last Saturday! I heard (read) people talking (writing) about it and couldn't resist. And now I'm there every day. I found some pagan friends, Robbie fan-friends, joined some groups and so on... and on! It's so much fun, so much more to explore.

Are you on Facebook? Visit me here!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween & Blessed Samhain

I did a wonderful ritual tonight. I made a talisman for someone close that really needs healing and comfort. For the altar I used some special things: the glassware from her parents for the cake & wine, a big shell on the west from her mother and incense from her & her daughter's shop. It was the first time I used my new altar chest. The room was lighted by candles and a lamp I bought on a flea market recently.

I meditated and asked her ancestors for their blessing and protection. My mum & dad and my black panther led me into a cave. Behind a massive wooden door with old steel hinges was a space lit by torches. I sat down at a pond. Across the pond were her parents, grandmother, aunt and a lot of other ancestors I don't know. I was a bit nervous because in real life I wasn't exactly their favourite person. I explained my reason for coming. They smiled and said that they really appreciated what I'm doing for her. The atmosphere was friendly. They gave their blessing and promised to keep an eye on her and protect her. I thanked them and left with a good feeling.

In the talisman I did herbs, gemstones, a bindrune on wood (sliced from my big staff and marked by her brother), a goddess image and a fairy coin; all especially chosen for her and her situation. After making the talisman I presented it to the Goddess and God and then I charged it with reiki. I can't solve her problems, but I can try to give her comfort and healing, the arm around her shoulders she so desperately misses. The talisman is still on the altar; this blessed night when the veils between the worlds are thin will charge it with love from her ancestors.

A Good Cause / Een Goede Zaak

Goede zaak
I've been browsing paid blogging sites for something that fits in here. I only want to write paid posts about things I feel good about and support myself. Bloggerwave offered the perfect opportunity: free, easy and for good causes! I explored the Dutch site (logo on top of this post), but I know a lot of my readers are from abroad, so I included all the national sites at the end. is a global partnership between 700 of the worlds most important non-governmental organizations - charities like Save the Children, Red Cross, Amnesty International, OXFAM and many others. Together they want to make the world better, when it comes to animal welfare, human rights, fighting poverty and climate changes etc. And they do this by enabling online shoppers all over the world to support their favourite charity, when they shop online (in more than 5000 online stores!).

Users just have to download a small piece of software called AidMaker. Afterwards, everything works automatically, and your computer is turned into a charitable tool. After having downloaded AidMaker, you can support your favourite charity for free while you are shopping. You pay the normal store price for your product but the retailer donates part of the purchase to the cause you have decided to support. 75 percent of the total purchase price will then go to charity.
Good cause aGoodCause has just launched globally- in 8 countries:
United Kingdom:

What do you say? Let's go shopping!!! :-)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Book meme

Some weeks ago I read about this meme on Books and Other Thoughts. I really liked it, so I saved it to do it at a certain point. Now is the time! :-)

Do you remember how you developed a love for reading?
I can’t remember when I did not love books! My parents, esp. my father, encouraged me to read. As soon as I learned to read, I had to have books, magazines, papers… everything with letters! In school my love for books was nourished too. I was a member of the local adult library quite young, because I had read everything in the kid’s library.

What are some books you read as a child?
As a kid I liked Pinkeltje a lot, a Dutch series about a little man as big as your pink. I still collect the old versions of Pinkeltje; I don’t like the new ones!
Somewhat older I liked series by Enid Blyton, Nancy Drew detectives, a lot of non-fiction and so much more. In my childhood the seed was planted for the love of my favourite book(s) of all time: The Lord of the Rings. I read a children’s version first and soon tried the Dutch translation. As soon as I learned to read English I ventured upon the original and I never stopped re-reading it.

What is your favourite genre?
If I really have to pick one I guess it would be fantasy. I like most genres though, depends on my mood.

Do you have a favourite novel?
Lord of the Rings is my all-time favourite, but I have many novels that I read and re-read.

Where do you usually read?
Just about anywhere! A lot when I’m on the toilet, haha! During a long ride by bus or on the ferry, outside in the sun, snuggled up on the coach with a big pot of tea…

When do you usually read?
Whenever I can and want to.

Do you usually have more than one book you are reading at a time?
Sometimes I do. Often a fiction and a non-fiction one.

Do you read non-fiction in a different way or place than you read fiction?

Do you buy most of the books you read, or borrow them, or check them out of the library?
I buy all of my books, or get them as a gift.

Do you keep most of the books you buy? If not, what do you do with them?
Yes, I keep (nearly) all of them. It’s hard to say goodbye to any book. The result is boxes and boxes full around the house. When my room is finally ready and I have book chests, I want to sort them out. I have to, although I doubt I can put a lot of them away...
If a book leaves my home, it is going to a friend. I also release them through Bookcrossing.

If you have children, what are some of the favourite books you have shared with them? Were they some of the same ones you read as a child?
I don't have children, but I often buy books as a birthday present for kids. I think it's good to stimulate kids in reading books.

What are you reading now?
”Op fluwelen pootjes” (about Dewey the library cat) by Vicky Myron. I noticed it in the Early Reviewer batch on LibraryThing, but it wasn’t available for the Netherlands. When I saw the Dutch translation in the book shop, I bought it right away and I love it!!
I also have various pagan books around, because I’m currently writing two rituals.

Do you keep a TBR (to be read) list?
Sort of. I don’t have an actual list, but I always have books around that I just bought and haven’t read yet.

What’s next?
I don’t know! I have several to choose from, but I haven’t decided yet.

What books would you like to re-read?
Besides Lord of the Rings, you mean? ;-) I re-read a lot of my books: sometimes entirely, sometimes only my favourite parts.

Who are your favourite authors?
J.R.R. Tolkien, Anne Rice, Agatha Christie and W.B. Yeats are the permanent ones, but I also add ones over time like Kit Berry (Stonewylde series) and Jacqueline Zirkzee (Dutch author of history-based novels) during the last year.
Pagan authors: Phyllis Curott, Marian Green, Anodea Judith, Glennie Kindred.

I keep track of my books on LibraryThing. If you have a profile there too, let me know or send me a friend request. I like to explore your library!

If you want to do this book-meme too, please do so! Let me know and I'll visit to see your answers.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Olympia workshop

After a very relaxed week I had another busy weekend. Marian Green was in The Netherlands to give our group Olympia another workshop. The theme was "Ritual". We learned about the outline and construction of a ritual. Not only the basics were covered, but the more in-depth stuff was very interesting too. Everyone that works with magic should have certain subjects covered. It is an ongoing study, there's always more to learn.

We also talked about initiation, self-dedication and working in groups. We shared our thoughts and opinions and Marian hers. I don't think initiation is necessary to follow this path, but it can be a very special addition. What I've heard from others it can be life-changing. Personally I don't like levels of initiation. In the Ara-tradition there is just one initiation. Of course later on you can choose to go further to become clergy, but an initiate is an initiate.

For the first time the group planned a rirual together. Partly to practice what we'd learned, partly because we were ready for it. Because we are close to Samhain, that was our theme. We made a walk around the neighbourhood to collect autumn leaves. In a meditation Marian guided us to a closer contact with nature. We talked about our ancestors, our heritage. Everyone had an active role in the ritual.
On Sunday morning we did the ritual. It was very powerful. The group has good chemistry; everyone felt good enough to let the guards down. When we each took a tarot card I got the Eight of Pentacles, a card for the perfectionist I am... :-) We also talked about the harvest of the last year; Samhain is the witch's new year. For the cake and wine ceremony we didn't have wine. Usually I adjust and take a nip of wine (yuk!). This time the group adapted to me and we had delicious fruitjuice.

We planned dates for meetings to come; in December for a ritual, in April a workshop with Marian. We are blessed to have her as a teacher. She has a lot of knowledge, which she shares with us freely. She is down-to-earth, very friendly and has a great sense of humour.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bonewits seminar

Some time ago I had booked a seminar by Isaac & Phaedra Bonewits in Amsterdam. It was a 2-day seminar, but because of the Tink event (see post before this one) I had to miss the saturday. I found someone who wanted to take my place on saturday, but decided to go to the sunday sessions myself. I travelled by fast flying ferry and tram, but because of the Amsterdam marathon I had to walk the last part to Centrum De Roos.

Isaac Bonewits is a neopagan priest, magician, scholar, author, bard, activist, polytheologian and a leading experts on ancient and modern druidism, witchcraft, magic, the occult, and the earth religions movement. (read more here and here). In 2004 he was handfasted to tarot expert, writer and Wiccan Priestess Phaedra. Together they opened, where you can follow classes. There's also a free basic membership.

The theme of the morning session was "Ritual Critique Skills & Real Magic", which was very interesting. Isaac is a good speaker, has a lot of knowledge and sense of humour. Phaedra backs him up and adds her thoughts and/or experience. There was time for questions from the group and some discussion. Before lunch break Isaac signed my book: 'Best witches, Isaac'! :-)

During lunch I had a nice chat with Isaac and Phaedra. In 1970 Isaac graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in magic (and thaumaturgy), the first person ever to do so at a Westem educational institution. Unfortunately college administrators were so embarrassed over the publicity about his degree, that magic, witchcraft and sorcery were banned from the individual group-study program. I also found out that Phaedra is as fond of LibraryThing as I am! She has almost 2000 books in her profile!

The afternoon session was about "Neopagan Polytheology". I knew some things about it from Isaac's book 'Essential guide to witchcraft and wicca', but hearing it in real life is better. We mostly sat down, took notes and listened. Very theoretical and very tiring. It wasn't boring (on the contrary, very interesting again!), but at some point my head was full and I couldn't absorb anything more. After a break (with 2 Cokes) I could concentrate, but when we finished I was worn out. Nevertheless it was very worthwhile!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fall for Tinkerbell

Tink Today Ron and I attended the "WDCC Fall for Tinkerbell event 2008" in The Collectors Closet, my regular shop for Tink stuff in IJmuiden. Special guest was Jacqueline Perreault Gonzales (picture), sculptor for Disney. She made a sculpture from scratch (wire and clay), very impressive! She was also signing pieces from her hand. Here she is signing a Stitch-sculpture of Ron's niece. In the front you see a sculpture of Jiminy Cricket getting shape. Unfortunately she hasn't made any Tinkerbell sculptures. Ron bought me the limited event edition called Blithe Spirit (see picture above this text), Tink sitting on a fall leave. It's gorgeous and I'm very happy with it. I also got 3 Tink boxes. It was a great afternoon I wouldn't want to have missed!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary

Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary Some time ago I was dropping Entrecards and reading the blogs I visited, as I stumbled upon a post about the Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary in St. Pauls, North Carolina. They provide a safe place for blind cats that were deemed unadoptable by regular shelters and were going to be killed just because they are blind. They don't euthanize for space; it's only done if the animal is medically suffering and it is the advice from the veterinarian. They don't get any state or county funds, so they rely on sponsoring, donations and fundraisers.
The Meet The Cats page introduces all the current inhabitants (I spotted one named Cora! ;-) ) and their stories. All lovely kitties that deserve a good life. In the sanctuary they proof that life can be very good for a blind cat. See them play together, so cute! No need to kill them just because they are blind.
I really felt like showing my support so I looked into the ways to donate money. Your donations are tax deductible, encrypted and safe. Adopting one of the cats costs $30 a month, but there are a lot of other ways you can help too. You can even go shopping. Of course if you live in the neighbourhood they'd love to welcome you as a volunteer. I picked an item from their wishlist: I ordered and paid, the goods were delivered at the sanctuary. I got a nice e-mail and even a real thank-you note by snail mail.

NOTE: this is not a sponsored post! I simply want to give this very good work some extra attention.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

COT #20: Freyja wants attention

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.

Freyja has a way of wanting attention, just when I'm busy doing something. I can try to ignore her, but somehow I can't ever keep that up. Here's how it goes:

Monday, October 13, 2008

I say, you think... (week 298)

Unconscious Mutterings

Each week ten words are posted here. You respond with the first thing that comes to mind. "Rules are, there are no rules." There are no right or wrong answers. Don't limit yourself to one word responses; just say everything that pops into your head.

  1. Zoo - animals in cages

  2. Neighbourhood - friendly, safe

  3. Salute - soldiers greeting each other

  4. Immortality - who wants to live forever?

  5. Dominion - Gamma Quadrant (not a Trekkie? look here)

  6. Rhonda - Rhonda who? I don't know any Rhonda

  7. Parties - election

  8. Prince of Darkness - great horror movies

  9. Garbage - rubbish, I need to sort things out and get rid of the unneeded stuff

  10. Standard - normal, boring, ordinary

Do you want to play along? Copy the words in a comment, or post them on your blog (leave me a link).

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Ara weekend

After the weekend I was very tired, had some stuff to do and Ron is still home with the flu. So now there's finally time to share my experiences!

I left Friday after lunch and picked up Sorcha and Liza in Amsterdam. We had quite some traffic jam, so we arrived later than expected. We were spending the weekend in a cottage in the woods on the Veluwe again. I stayed at the home of our goddess-mother and her lovely Corgi with Foofur, the other five (and another dog) shared the hired cottage. Around dinner time everyone was there; we had Indian meals from the toko in Amsterdam. Yummy...!

The weekend theme was "ancestors". Friday evening we did a pathworking to find them and introduce ourselves. Some went outdoors but because I was only just feeling better it seemed more sensible to stay inside. Pity though! This is how my pathworking went:
First I made contact with energies from the earth and the universe. A bubble of energy formed around me, in which I sat comfortably. The bubble slowly ascended. Sometimes I was high above the ground, sometimes low. First it was as if I was in a fast car on a highway, later I was on a horse or horse and carriage. Next I was in my bubble again and floated above the clouds. It was beautiful and very relaxing there; I enjoyed the 'ride'. After a while I noticed smoke above the clouds. When I floated down, there was a huge campfire with people sitting around it. I landed a bit further and sat down. I respected their privacy and didn't want to disturb them. The back of my neck was sore, so I turned my head around. Suddenly I felt warm hands on my shoulders, that started to give me a massage. It worked, the energy and warmth did wonders. When I turned around I saw a man, smiling at me. It was a long man with a tawny upper body, that was tanned by hard labour outside in the sun. He took my hand and led me to the campfire. I told him I'd be back the next day and he smiled. Suddenly I was back in the room.
When everyone had returned to the cottage, we shared our experiences. We also talked about how to travel to Italy for our initiation in May. I think most of us will go by train. It's relatively comfortable and cheap. The Italian Ara-group will pick us up and furthermore we won't need a car. We can buy the train tickets soon, so we can spread the costs.
Just after midnight I went to my bedroom. I called Ron, made my report of the day on my laptop and went to sleep.

Saturday morning I went for a stroll with Foofur and his Corgi friend. The woods are a real treat early in the morning. The sounds of nature, two dogs walking around me, the smells, pure beauty... After breakfast the girls suggested a walk in the woods. No problem, I'm in! With six people and three dogs it was different anyway. This time I brought my camera. There were a lot of fungi, but I didn't take a lot of pics; I already did that last year!

Back in the cottage we made ourselves ready for a shamanic journey, back to the ancestors. Another significant experience:
When I went down I first came out at the beach as I normally do, but I felt I wasn’t at the right place. In an instant I was back and came out at another place. It was at the edge of a sandy plain, which was surrounded by trees. In the middle of the plain was a great campfire. People were dancing around it in two circles. The men were dancing widdershins and the inner circle of women was dancing deosil. They were very cheerful and happy. There was a lot of laughter. I was asked to join in and I danced for a while. Afterwards we sat around the fire as one big family. I couldn’t really distinguish people, didn’t recognise anyone. Yet they felt familiar and I was totally at ease. I felt welcome and they were very friendly. They were dressed like nomads. When I asked something I got an answer from the whole group. It was as if they answered as one by telepathy. I didn’t hear answers; I received them in my mind.
When I asked about my inherited shadow, the prompt answer was: self-induced perfectionism! They couldn’t tell me the origin of that problem but it was very common for all of them. Perhaps it was inherited for them too. Their “gold in the shadow” was survival.
When I asked them how they want to be honoured in ritual, they seemed a bit surprised. “We are no gods! Just be proud of your inheritance, remember us, acknowledge us, and be aware of us. You’re always welcome to come back to us.” Then I said my goodbyes and promised to come back.

Wow... I most certainly recognise the self-induced perfectionism. I have been writing about that recently. No-one forced me to get high grades in school, I pushed myself. Sometimes it is a pain, but it has also helped me to achieve things. Food for thought...

Afterwards we all drew a tarotcard; mine was the two of wands. The results of the journeys and tarotcards were used in the ritual we wanted to do in the evening. We put all of it in an e-mail to Phyllis (Curott) and when she read everything she called us. She was on speaker, so it was the Charlies Angels setting again: all gathering around the phone. "Hi Charlie, hi angels" or in this case "Hi Phyllis"! :-) We talked for a while about our progress, the journeys, etc. It was great to speak with Phyllis again. The distance and time difference with New York seemed insignificant.
We made an outline for the ritual and then went our own ways for an hour. I called Ron and took a well-needed nap.

In the evening we prepared for the ritual. The weather forecast hadn't been very good; they predicted lots of rain. We wanted to do the ritual outside anyway and... kept it dry! We drove to a wonderful place: a burial mound on the heath; what better place to do an ancestor ritual! It was an impressive ritual and it felt very good. Feeling happy and fullfilled we returned to the cottage. There we talked for a while with a drink and a snack. I almost fell asleep, so after calling Ron and writing my report I did just that!

Sunday morning after breakfast we shared our individual bio's with each other. We had to write those for the initiation. It was great to hear the stories of the others. That way we got to know each other even better. The group spirit feels very good. It really is 'perfect love and perfect trust'. Well, perhaps not perfect, but that's okay. ;-)

After cleaning the cottage, packing and saying goodbye we got in the cars and drove off. We made a stop at the burial mound, because Sorcha had lost something very important there. Fortunately she found it in no-time!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

My inner eye colour

What's your inner eye colour?
Blue eyes You're a relaxed, laid-back chick with a sweet, friendly nature. Your kindness puts people at ease and also wins you many friends, and you love to be surrounded by those who love you. You've also got a strong romantic streak, and when you fall in love, you fall deep. However, sometimes when the going gets tough, you can become a bit reclusive and try to stay out of important matters – generally not a good idea! You tend to rely on others a lot, and your mood hits rock bottom when they disappoint you. Not surprisingly though, when someone is relying on you, you go to all lengths to live up to their expectations, and because of that, you make a wonderful friend.
Fun quizzes, surveys & blog quizzes

Well, my eyes are greyish blue or blueish grey. I think most of it fits me, for the rest I hope it does! :-)

P.S. I don't have time for a proper Thursday Thirteen this week. I'm going away for the weekend with the Ara-girls on Friday and I have a lot to prepare and pack. TT-ers: see you next week!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

COT #19: cute kittens

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.

Last week I was visiting friends who had just added four kittens to their household. They also have five other cats and two dogs. They are so adorable, I just had to share some pics I made!


They are called Gaia & Moesje (the two black ones), Jakey (all red) and Ariel (red and white).

Gaia & Moesje

Gaia & Moesje are from the same litter, the reds are from another litter.

Ariel & Jakey

Ariel is a sweetie, but she follows her red brother in any mischief he invents. :)

Jakey asleep

Sleeping on my fleece jack that fell on the floor...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Why are we here?

Quite a question, huh? I'm serious though. Lately I've been thinking, contemplating, struggling with this question. I can't answer it for the whole of mankind, so I narrowed it down to: why am I here? What am I doing on this earth and what is it good for? What is my purpose in life? Call me philosophical, or curious, or both! I'm working on it. I'm even dreaming and journeying about it. :-)

Sooooo, I was wondering...
Do you know your personal answer to this question?
How did you find out?
Please enlighten me and share your thoughts! Whether you say one sentence or want to share a complete essay about your ideas on the subject... Feel free!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

TT #91: online purchases


Thirteen online purchases

I often buy things online. Mostly books, but also CD's, witchy supplies, Tink stuff, etc. I love second hand and auctions online, but I also buy new. Here are 13 of my purchases online in 2008!

  • Tarot of White Cats - The Tarot of the White Cats is very much in the tradition of the Rider-Waite Tarot - except for the blue-eyed, white cats drawn in the cards, instead of people. buy UK / buy US

  • Earth Pathways 2009 Diary - Celebrating the work of artists and writers who inspire our connection to the Earth and the healing we are all part of. The artwork and writing is placed within the context of the Celtic Wheel of the Year and includes UK astrological information, moon phases and signs, permaculture, environmental awareness, a page a week view, a page a month view and year planners. buy UK

  • Akshara Weave Reiki Healing (4 CD's) - Each CD represents one reiki symbol and works with different aspects of healing, based on The Reiki Principles. Cho Ku Rei offers healing on the level of the physical body, Sei He Ki on the emotional body, Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen on the mental body and Dai Ko Myo on the spiritual body. Each CD is sonically unique, as each one translates the geometry of the Reiki symbol into sound using sacred geometry, ancient tunings and phi ratio harmonics. buy UK / buy US

  • The Faeries Oracle by Brian Froud - Take a journey into Faeryland and enjoy beautiful scenes of elves, pixies, trolls, and of course faeries in the beautiful world of Brian Froud's art. buy UK / buy US

  • Luister naar je lichaam by Mirka Knaster - In English: Discovering the Body's Wisdom, a guide to the principles, theories, and practices of Eastern and Western body therapies explains how to get the most out of seventy-five different treatment approaches--from massage and yoga to Rolfing and reflexology. buy UK / buy US

  • Tetris for the Nintendo DS - Tetris is one of the most renowned puzzle games of all time, simple to pick up and play yet limitlessly entertaining. Very addictive and my favourite game! buy UK / buy US

  • The Cat in Magic by M. Oldfield Howey - An illustrated history of the cat as a powerful symbol of the supernatural throughout the ages, compiling manifestations of cat-worship in many parts of the world e.g. the Egyptians' two-headed cat goddesses. Examines the age-old relationship between man and cat. buy UK / buy US

  • Millenial Gaia Statue by Oberon - You can see it here. I wanted this statue for years. In the end I ordered it at Abaxion, but if you Google on "Millenial Gaia" you'll find European stores too.

  • Mindfold Mask - This eye mask is guaranteed to block at all light. Due to the unique design your eyes can be open or closed, allowing more comfort and allowing eye make up to be left untouched. I use if for meditation and journeying. buy UK / buy US

  • Chakra Energy Generator Crystal - The body's chakra alignment and balance can be improved by the use of an energy generator. Mine is hand-carved with 8 facets, finished in silver and adorned with 7 semi-precious gemstones which correspond to the Chakras. I ordered it at Astral Aspects.

  • The Stonewylde books by Kit Berry - I posted about this series in June: I was hooked from the first page and couldn't put it down. I love Stonewylde and I can very much recommend it to you! buy UK / buy US

  • When Twilight Burns by Colleen Gleason - The 4th book of the Gardella Vampire Chronicles, of which I'm a huge fan. It is described as "Buffy The Vampire Slayer meets Jane Austen", as the series features a vampire hunter in Regency-era England. buy UK / buy US

  • Moon Tides, Soul Passages by Maria Kay Simms - The book guides your understanding of your past and present, your power of personal choice and evokes new insights of soul and spirit. The Moon Tides software (included) provides all you need to apply the book's in-depth interpretative material—even if you have never before studied astrology. buy UK / buy US

Do you buy online? What? Where?


Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

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!