As without, so within: where we are, is who we are
Through the years I have written some articles, whose themes initially may seem to vary quite a lot. Yet they have all been inspired by the relation between human beings and their natural environment – by the fact that we are inextricably connected with it and completely embedded in it (like in a larger body), and how this shapes the experience of who we actually are. As is shown by the nature of most of the illustrations on this website, the power of the landscape can be experienced the strongest in remote, pristine areas. In this respect, the Irish (and Scottish and English) landscapes have touched me in particular, because in them the play between dark and light is often so I Istrongly present.
But of course it is important to experience the power of the landscape in one’s direct vicinity. City people like myself are also not excluded from these kinds of experiences. That’s why I have written regularly about Leiden – the city (in the Netherlands) where I live. But in a certain sense all my research is an attempt to minimize our sense of alienation and to make us feel more at home on our planet – and through that also more at home in the place we are living or staying at the moment. And naturally, this cannot be separated from feeling at home in our own body.
Most of my articles, like the ones about Leiden, have been written in Dutch (and the best ones are available on my Dutch website). At the moment I have written six articles in English. I intend to add some more in the near future.
Digging for my Dutch Ancestral Roots(2019). In the Dutch coastal region in the Roman era there was a settlement called Lugdunum (located at the mouth of the ‘Old Rhine’) and there were two temples with many altar stones devoted to the Goddess Nehalennia (found in the province of Zeeland). I speculate in this article about a relationship between the two. Indirectly, this has opened my mind to the pre-Roman indigenous worldview of my ancestors, to the power of cyclical nature and the presence of the living landscape around me.
The Hidden Wealth of The Virgin Mary(2018).In this article I discuss the different ways in which the Goddess heritage has survived in the figure and the worship of the Virgin Mary. I show that her symbolism is ancient and therefore does not belong to a specific religion. She expresses a balance between the feminine and masculine, which is mirrored in developments in ourselves and in the world around us.
The Rediscovery of the Landscape(2018). In this article I have tried to summarize my ideas about the Goddess heritage, as a kind of introduction to my book ‘The Survival and Revival of the Goddess Heritage’ . In particular I describe the way it is inextricably related to our experience of the (sacred) landscape. I show that the experience of being fully embedded in the landscape offers something very important for our time and is being rediscovered in our time. In 2016 I wrote a short version of this article, entitled ‘In the Beginning was the Landscape’, which is included in the wonderful anthology Awaken the Feminine! Dismantling Domination to Restore Balance on Mother Earth, edited by Karen Tate and published in 2018.
Sacred Marriage in the Stone Age(2018). In this article I pay attention to the very interesting ideas of the English meteorologist and archaeologist Terence Meaden about the meaning of the stone circles in the Neolithic. According to him the Stone Age people carefully chose the locations of their stone circles in the landscape, and also the locations of the individual stones within the circle, so that the sunlight and its shadow could give expression to their idea of the Sacred Marriage between the feminine and the masculine.
Nehalennia Worship in England? (2017). This article is the result of my search for the possible worship of the Dutch Goddess Nehalennia on the other side of the North Sea, in England. I have limited my search to the coastal area of Kent, but I have discovered some interesting things there.
The Goddesses of the Low Countries(2008/2018). I have written this article in Dutch in the period 2007/2008 to add my findings to the (rather limited) knowledge about the many Goddesses that have been worshiped in the river delta area of the Netherlands in the Roman era. I think Dutch researchers probably could not imagine what it means that in the religion of that period in this region a Goddess has been central instead of a masculine God. Yet the archaeological finds point in that direction. In 2018 I have translated my Dutch text and adapted it a little, but I haven’t changed the essence of the original text.