Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Goose-bumps songs

Last week a friend tagged me on Facebook and challenged me to post 5 songs that give me goose bumps. I know so many songs that do just that, it was hard to choose just 5... These are the songs that I posted:

I discovered Alison Krauss when this song was used in an episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer somewhere at the end of the 90's. I love most of her music, but this hauntingly beautiful song will always be my favourite...

I love this song, especially played very loud! :-) The symbiosis between the instrumental parts and his voice is so great.

No need to explain I guess, goose bumps! Especially when Freddie starts singing... wow...

I could have picked 'Creep' too or any other Radiohead song for that matter. Thom's voice and the music bring me to another dimension. I often used that place to hide when I wanted to... disappear completely...

One of my all-time favourite songs, so beautiful!

So this was the choice for now. I could have chosen so many others too; this list is by no means complete. Angel by Sarah McLachlan, some Dutch songs, Robbie Williams of course, but also classical pieces like Pavane by Fauré. Old songs, new songs... Music does something with me, for me. Thank you for the music!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Wendy Rule workshop and concert

We didn't have the best of times last week, but the weekend made up for that! We had a wonderful weekend...Friday evening started with the arrival of our friend Merel who stayed with us for the weekend.
Saturday afternoon Merel and I went to a workshop with Wendy Rule in Haarlem. The theme was the Underworld, perfect for this time of year. A lovely group of people and Wendy's music and stories created an intimate atmosphere that enabled us to go deep. We talked about how different people see the Underworld, what it means to us. The underworld can be a real taboo in society today, but life & death and dark & light simply belong together. They need each-other, they are one even. We shared some very personal stories. I won't share other people's stories of course: what happens in the circle, stays in the circle. That's a matter of respect and trust. I have told about my depressions, how sometimes you need to go even deeper to get out of it. The underworld can be a scary place then, but also a safe haven. Others don't always 'get' that, they want to help you. Wendy explained the myths about Demeter & Kore/Persephone, and about Inanna. She sang several of her songs that perfectly illustrated what we were talking about. The myths, darkness, death, depression... but also the underworld as realm of the ancestors, a hiding place and so much more... In a guided meditation we visited the crone. She showed herself to me as an old black panther with some grey hair. When I said goodbye she gave me a beautiful present: a veil. That can mean several things and I'll take my time to explore what it means to me and what I am supposed to do with it.

After the workshop we had a potluck dinner with lots of yummy stuff, what a treat! Ron and other people arrived and it was great to meet and re-connect with friends. Then it was time to enjoy a great concert by Wendy and her Timothy; beautiful songs interwoven with the stories behind them. I bought Wendy's last album, called Black Snake.

As always the end came way too soon! We helped cleaning up a bit and did some 'hangwitching' (Dunglish joke) before going home, where Merel, Ron and I had some fun time listening music together. We went to bed way past putting the clock back an hour!
Sunday I was tired and needed rest so we made it into a lazy day, not doing much. After dinner friends dropped in to bring me a bag full of chocolate, my favourite Milka Koeienvlekjes! The perfect ending to a wonderful weekend...

Saturday, October 10, 2015

And the winner is...

This morning at 10.10 AM I closed the blog contest to win "Suffer A Witch". I put the names of everyone that commented under the contest blog post here in a Random Name Picker. There were 13 names, a nice witchy number... :-)

And the winner is..............drumrolls...................

On behalf of both Claudia and me: thanks for your comments and congratulations to the winner! Please send your name and address to and the book will come to you a.s.a.p.

No winner? Of course you can still read Suffer A Witch, available as an e-book or paperback. Check the website for more info. Let us know what you think of it!

Thursday, October 08, 2015

National Poetry Day 2015

Today is National Poetry Day, a British campaign to promote poetry. The theme this year is 'light'. I want to share a poem of my favourite poet, William Butler Yeats (1865-1939).

"Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven", better known as "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven", is a poem Yeats wrote for Maud Gonne, a woman he loved for most of his life although she did not return his feelings. It was published in 1899 in his third volume of poetry, The Wind Among the Reeds.
The speaker of the poem is the character Aedh, who appears in Yeats's work alongside two other archetypal characters of the poet's myth: Michael Robartes and Red Hanrahan. The three are collectively known as the principles of the mind. Whereas Robartes is intellectually powerful and Hanrahan represents Romantic primitivism, Aedh is pale, lovelorn, and in the thrall of La belle dame sans merci. The character "Aedh" is replaced in volumes of Yeats's collected poetry by a more generic "he". (source: Jim Clark)

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths, 
Enwrought with golden and silver light, 
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths 
Of night and light and the half-light, 
I would spread the cloths under your feet: 
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet; 
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

In a TV commercial for the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) Harvey Keitel recites the poem:

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Bruegel's Witches

Last Saturday Ron and I visited a wonderful exhibition called "De Heksen van Bruegel" (Bruegel's Witches) in the Museum Catharijneconvent in Utrecht, The Netherlands. It is an exhibition about witches in art, a unique collection of scenes from the turbulent period of witch hunting in the Low Countries.

It turns out that it was none other than Pieter Bruegel the Elder who helped shape our modern idea of witches. There was no stereotype image of the witch until the sixteenth century. Bruegel changed all that with two prints (I posted them under this alinea), and they in turn became a source of inspiration for other Dutch and Flemish artists. And his witches are still with us, even today they feature in many fairy-tales and movies. The old hag, with a broom, a cat and a cauldron... The exhibition shows the prints by Bruegel, but also books, paintings and lots of other artefacts. It was very interesting!

We used the audio-tour on iPod (available in Dutch and English), which guided us through the exhibition.The texts are also in a little booklet. I took a ride on a broomstick and flew over the city (pics were too dark unfortunately) and I got weighed:

Afterwards I bought the exhibition catalogue (in Dutch, but also available in English), which shows all the features and even more info. The exhibition will be in Utrecht until January 31st and then it moves to Bruges, Belgium until June. If you have the chance to go, I'd say: GO!

Friday, October 02, 2015

Pagan Pages October

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

My column is About Devil Worship, Flying Besoms and Such. Or Not?. What do you tell non-pagans about your path? How do you react when confronted with prejudice and misconceptions?
And of course I talk about Claudia's book Suffer A Witch! Don't forget the contest on this blog: just leave a comment here (until Oct. 10th) and you can still win the book!
Don't forget to read all the other interesting articles in this issue. To name a few: an interview with Z. Budapest, ThriftCrafting (Witching on a budget): how to make your own ink, Notes from the Apothecary: Cinnamon, Samhain correspondences and much more!
Do you want to contribute to PaganPages? Just send an e-mail to!