Years ago I was trained in a spiritual organization by a teacher that was loved intensely by the students. I found that a privilege, and I learned very much. Then the time came to continue my journey. With all the spiritual fruits I had harvested, I raised the Temple of Starlight as an independent training institute. It is PARTLY based on the teachings of my previous school, but also on my work as coach and therapist in the past.

Because of this background I implemented some fundamental changes, which are often misunderstood by the community. I want to explain my vision in a series of short articles. The first important difference in vision is:



There is no winner holding the cup and being applauded. There is no end goal, only personal improvement. That means that the route through the temple is not a race for the top, it is not a competition. The degrees are no diplomas but a recognition of a specific INNER STATE of development, that can be achieved by every individual by inner WORK.

A spiritual trainer helps you to find that inner state of grace, by offering feedback and exercises you need to get to the next level, and helps you preventing losing time by making you aware where you walk astray. When you start, you begin at that point in your live where you are NOW.

Spiritual training aims to improve the quality of that NOW by transpersonal methods, that have been passed on since ancient Egypt, and were always adapted to the Spirit of the Time when the ages passed by.

That means that a teacher cannot be a guru. A healthy institute is built around the needs of students. That is why I don’t call myself a teacher, but a trainer. This also implies that there is practical work involved. Practical work that needs to be done by the trainee, and that needs to be overseen by those who reached the inner states of richness you want to achieve. The more you put into it, the more you will benefit and harvest the fruits.


Spiritual training is about YOU, how you improve your life with the help of ancient methods. It is about how you use the experiences life offers you to grow. Worshipping others, or blaming others are parts of the same coin; they are loser’s scripts!!! The Mysteries are about training yourself to a state of inner richness, that enables you to surpass your own needs and help others to achieve the same.

By worshipping or blaming others you give away your power, in the hope someone else rescues you; you get stuck in the victim role. The Mysteries are about KNOW YOURSELF. Spiritual work is most of all WORK.


In our modern days we can buy everything instant and ready. Seekers for spiritual enlightenment start their journey for the Milk of the Goddess with a consumerism attitude. They look for teachers who personify Her warm embrace, hope that it brings that spiritual state of inner richness, completeness and safety. They will end up disappointed and bitter. Why? I will reveal Her biggest secret; the Goddess does not spoon-feed, she helps you to raise your inner child to provide for yourself.

“THE VISION BEHIND THE TEMPLE OF STARLIGHT” appeared first on Facebook. Join the conversation at our Temple of Starlight group on Facebook!


Ina Custers van Bergen
For Enchanting Self-development


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The Enchanted Land

The Mage speaks to the Fairy Queen: “Take your tears and throw them into the velvet blueness.” Thus she does … and in the wild lands, where there is no light, on the dark waves, where seamen travel without hope; clusters of splendid stars start to radiate and illuminate the night with White Peace.

Ancient cultures lived close to nature. They left behind a legacy of beautiful myths, that have been preserved in the magical stories of farmers, fishermen, fairy tales and in literature. Their worldview contains great wonders, their tales hold immense beauty, their spells cause big miracles. We have inherited an awesome wisdom teaching concerning the Tides of the Magic of Life.

This worldview educates us about the magical laws of nature; laws that are still valid! This legacy offers us a helicopter view on present-day events and provides us with unexpected answers to contemporary issues. Mythical stories comment on the questions of life and hide precious magical techniques, that we can learn to apply ourselves; and they work!

Learn to see natural objects as living entities and become enchanted by a magical landscape filled with beauty, wonder and mystery, experience awe and fascination about our precious Enchanted Land.

During this weekend retreat you will learn to apply these lessons in your own life. You will become more conscious of the powers of nature at work within society. You will learn the skills of the Twelve Weavers, the Songs of Trance, the Magical Armor and much, much more. This retreat will be even more special, since it is planned on the Samhain weekend and includes an outdoor ritual wherein we will be taught directly by the forces involved.

Date: October 28/October 29 2017
Time: Saturday: door open from 9.00 a.m. Start 9.30 to 10.00 p.m., Sunday: door open at 9.00 a.m. Start 9.30 to 5.00 p.m.
(For members of the Hermetic Order there is a pre-retreat at Friday evening, October 27).
Price: € 250,00 Coffee, tea and workshop book included.
Venue: Western Mystery School Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Tel: (0031) (0) 610599875
Application via Email
More information at the website.

Ina Custers van Bergen
For Enchanting Self-development


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The Magical Art of Shapeshifting

Recently a few articles where published about the current situation of occultism. Nick Farrell and Jonathan Woolley published articles(1) that made my eyebrows hit the ceiling. Why?

I must say that I was completely flabbergasted. Not because of the symptoms they describe, because I see those symptoms too. But I was stunned because of the diagnosis; digging the grave of the entire tradition! I completely disagree. My analyses of the symptoms is entirely different. To my opinion we need to update our shapeshifting skills. Let me explain.

Surfacing and hiding
The Western Mystery Temples have been going through rough times in the past. We survived the Fall of Atlantis, the decline of the Egyptian, Babylonian and Greek Temples, the fires that destroyed the Library of Alexandria, the collapse of the Roman Empire, the Mass Migrations, the Christianization of Western Society, the Inquisition and the Second World War. Contrary to what everyone assumes we were always mainstream, apart from very brief periods of time in history where we had to hide. As a result of the Inquisition we went into hiding about 100 years and surfaced about 1900 AD with the expansion of the Golden Dawn. The next hiding was necessary for about 15 years as a result of WWII.

Reclaiming our cultural legacy
What you see when you study historical sources (and then I am not only talking about the Grimoire Tradition, but also about all the arts!!!), is that we have been high culture almost always. Have we forgotten our legacy? Let us reclaim those great works of literature, opera, paintings, ballets, sculptures, architecture, myths etc. that are based on magical principles and are expressions of the legacy of Magic and the Western Mystery Tradition.

The Art of Invisibility
The problem nowadays as I see it, is that today’s teachers are trained by teachers who needed to be invisible and worked from an underground position. They passed those survival skills to us. I clearly remember the warnings in the correspondence course that was part of my training: “Don’t vibrate the Words of Power too loud, because you could attract the attention of your neighbors.” Or instructions at workshops: “Don’t leave any rituals in the room, because they can be found by muggles”, “If an incident happens, first unrobe, then leave the building”, “The organization cannot find out who we are. If they ask questions, we are a theatre group”, and so on. Of course I will pass those skills on to my students in case these become necessary sometimes in the future.

But to my opinion, nowadays we need an opposite movement to pass on occultism to the next generation. The pagan movement was a fashion hype that is now declining, due to the fact that lineage holders have no strategy and network, to help people who are interested in the tradition, to find the ‘real deal’.
The examples how to do that are everywhere to be found in the Hindu and Buddhist communities. The Eastern Temple Traditions have been working at integration in Western Society from 1967 on when the Beatles declared that they were into Transcendental Meditation. Slowly yoga and meditation shapeshifted into forms that were not only attractive to the alternative community, but also were beneficial for mainstream society. Today in the Netherlands they are openly discussed and documented on national television.

Hide in plain sight.
What we can learn from the Eastern Traditions is, that it is necessary to translate the Western Mystery Tradition into terms and benefits that mainstream society can at least understand, and to offer beginning practitioners training in such a way, that people feel free to talk about their latest ‘hobby’ or ‘lifestyle’ at birthday parties without being made ridiculous.
I have a lot more to say to this subject. But first I want to throw this into the ‘Arena’ as my ‘two cents’ to exchange opinions.
(1) and

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Ina Custers van Bergen
For Enchanting Self-development








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The Mystery of Good Friday

In the Netherlands there is a discussion going on about the position of Christian feasts. At the same time there are discussions about the values of our Western Culture and how to explain them to newcomers. These two are not separable, the fundamental values of our Western Culture are based on myths and legends,: on Jewish and Christian stories, and on the myths and legends that predate them.

Myths and legends are metaphors that explain important patterns in the lives of individuals and cycles in social communities. Degrading these patterns as the sole property of just one religion or sects is throwing away the baby with the bathwater. But few people understand these fundamental legends; they need to be explained.

Let me give an actual example; today it is Good Friday. Years ago I faced some extremely difficult personal circumstances. In order to sort things out, I talked to one of the wisest people I ever met. After having explained the situation I was in, I asked him what was his opinion about my situation. He answered; ‘You are at Gethsemane my dear!”
‘Ohh, that sounds so not-cool. Does this mean that I am about to be hanged?’
‘Not only that. You will need to answer every question to yourself about how you got yourself in this position. Before they hang you, they will deny you, betray you, and condemn you. People will try to stand up for you, but they will not be courageous enough to pull through.’

From this man and from these events I learned that Gethsemane is a place in your personal life. The stories of the Mysteries are not about Jesus Christ or some other guy from the past. They are about me and you!

Today it is Good Friday. At twelve o’clock at noon the Crucifixion will take place on the mythical levels. In the Otherworld there will be a solar eclipse that will ‘reveal all the Secrets of the Universe’. The Mysteries of the Sun-at-Midnight will become visible for everyone ‘who has ears to hear’. And I will commemorate those events that took place years ago, where my ‘crucifixion’ took place. Where I needed to enter into the deepest realms of the Inner Worlds in order to find the Light that was captured there, and bring it back into the World.

The Legends of the Western World hold an inner wisdom that is not surpassed by any modern psychological explanation. They need to be recognized and explained, to become internalized wisdom. Only then we can explain the values of our culture to newcomers and safeguard the building blocks of our civilization.

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The power of imagination

In occult circles there is an interesting discussion going on, fueled by the need of scientific proof for esoteric assumptions and claims about historical legacy. First of all I want to state that I think scientific evidence for historical claims is very important.

At the same time I want to emphasize to protect a crucial aspect of the spiritual traditions: the power of imagination. Loosing that power would mean: throwing away the baby with the bathwater! The world i-magi-nation contains the word ‘magic’. The definition of Magic is “The art and science to create changes in consciousness”, causing changes in your life. That very art is endangered when the scientific movement within the occult community would tip the balance at the cost of the power of imagination!

The power of imagination is underestimated in mainstream society. In medicine, doctors talk derogatory about the ‘placebo effect’. Some of the illnesses that people suffer from, are located ‘between the ears’. Meaning: you have a psychological problem rather than a physical one. Expressions like ‘this only exists in your imagination’, or ‘he has an overactive imagination’ are no compliments.

At the other hand there are complete industries, whose only business it is to charm you by influencing you, using  imagination. First of all, think of all the arts: here the use of the imagination is purest. In its most positive form, arts use the power of the metaphor to create awareness about society and enchant by beauty. Soon it becomes dubious, and degrades in shades of grey.
For example in the fashion industry: from the genuine wish to create beauty the industries degrades into cosmetic operations on healthy people, and is co-responsible in causing eating disorders in insecure adolescents.
Think of companies who constantly try to influence you to buy their products and even pay scientists for a favorable outcome of scientific research.
Think of politicians who try to degrade their opponents by associating them with ‘nazis’ or other fearful archetypes. All these industries use the power of imagination to enchant you, so that you make choices that are beneficial for them. They do that by creating mindscapes.

A mindscape is a landscape in the mind. By a mindscape you define who you are, what you believe in, what motivates you and what stimulates you to action. Propaganda and marketing companies do that by videos consisting of powerful images, combined with melodies and spells. They abuse the powerful techniques that belong to religion, shamanism and magic. We are less and less protected by ‘beliefs’ embedded in the spiritual traditions, that – with all their failures – at least give us a structure of human values, personal development and stewardship over the planet.

Mindscapes in the imagination can also be are extremely important psychological and magical constructs, to observe the unfolding events around us. Creating powerful mindscapes of our own, makes us more independent and protects us against the ongoing propaganda surrounding us.

For this reason:  I consider it to be the job of modern magicians, to raise awareness in the audience, for this side of  a reality that we  are living in, or captured in. And when necessary: alter that reality and choose a better one!

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Ina Custers van Bergen
For Enchanting Self-development


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I teach Magic

For those who don’t know me yet, let me introduce myself. My name is Ina Custers-van Bergen. From 1975 on I started both my career and my mystical training. My path started at art school and I worked as an independent artist for years, creating exhibitions and working for festivals. As a hobby dancer I learned how to perform for an audience. As a mystic I started doing yoga and got really involved in Zen Buddhism.

Then a career switch became necessary and after a new education I started to work in psychiatric healthcare; I worked therapeutically at very complex situations and settings, worked as a manager of the closed section of a psychiatric hospital. Mystically I got involved in Bioenergetics, Pierrakos, Leary, Perls. I got interested in alternative therapies like Regression therapy and Timeline therapy.

In the psychiatric setting I learned a lot about alternate states of consciousness and how people can get off the rails when they are not able to manage their hypersensitive skills. I decided to learn more about expansions of consciousness like Psychism and how to use alternate states of consciousness to remove blockages to help people developing their talents.

This caused me to search for an education in Magic, because in Magic there is knowledge about a lot of interesting techniques to create and influence the subconscious mind and thus causing beneficial changes in your life. I became so interested and involved that gradually my profession changed from therapist to full time magician. This led in 2003 to my initiation as Lineage Holder of the Western Mystery Tradition. My lineage is different from f. e. the Golden Dawn. I chose the lineage of Dion Fortune because she was a therapist and in her writings and teachings there is that deep understanding of how the subconscious mind works; that part of the mind that determines our actions without us being aware of it.

I was trained and initiated as Lineage Holder in the SOL by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki. From her I learned how to integrate the arts and devotion as an undividable parts of magic! Magic works when you use devotion, trance and flow. Art is a method to get into that flow. So in this way my old love for art became fully integrated in my magical practice.

In 2007 I had developed an independent curriculum from the SOL that was mature. It was time to leave the mother-organization and the Temple of Starlight became an independent school.

Teaching challenges in a different way. You learn even more as a teacher. I found it necessary to take modules at university to educate myself better about the ancient historic sources of the Western Mystery Tradition. I also took post-PhD classes to link ancient magical techniques that I learned previously – like mesmerism and spell-work – with modern methods like NLP. I got a license as hypnotherapist, deepened my knowledge as system-therapist by training in family constellations, and made myself smarter in studying past-lives regressions.

Meanwhile I studied the ancient Western Mystery systems, such as ancient Egyptian Magic, Mesopotamian, Greek, Celtic, Nordic, Kabbalistic magic, and the patterns of Astrology and Tarot.

Today is my birthday and I will be 60 years young and still learning. The reason why I write all this down is that I want to make a statement:

As lineage holder of the Western Mystery Tradition I don’t teach any ancient or modern religion or philosophy. It does not matter to me whether the ancient Gnostics were dualists or not. I use ALL my knowledge about therapeutic techniques and art, from magical and mystical sources, both historical and modern. I use all sources of the Western Mystery Tradition as a wellspring of inspiration to teach and train people to use all these techniques for their health and personal growth. I am not a historian scholar, I am a magician!

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Ina Custers van Bergen
For Enchanting Self-development


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Frogs logics

It is silent in the frog pool, nothing happens there. Frogs live in murky muddy pools with standing water. But when there is no flow, the plants start to rot and the air begins to stink!. The problem with this particular pool is: there is no light there! Thus the frogs organize a board meeting and decide to send an explorer into the wide world to look for a solution bring life into the pool.

The upper frog – let’s call him Toad – volunteers to leave the pool. He crosses the reed fields to search for light and flow. Bravely he crosses the meadows and hops to the city, carefully avoiding dogs and cats. The city is but a desert of stone, full of stressed people. Dark clouds gather together when poor Toad desperately jumps further and further from home, in search for light.

Suddenly he sees a very sunny and bright place. He decides to knock at the temple doors where the Mages work. His tiny little brain starts to work like a little engine: “What if I steal some of their light!” The idea is so appealing that it sends shivers through his green slithery body. He decides to buy their course in Magic of the Light, in the hope this will enable him to take some light home to the frog pool.

Poor, poor Toad, he got really disappointed, because everyone knows it is not possible to steal light!!! True illumination does not come from reading books. True illumination comes from the inside out! It is the result of a good heart, compassion and hard work. On top of that, Toad finds out to his horror, that he cannot not bear the light! His eyes hurt, his stomach cramps together; he lived too long in a murky pool … On top of that his groins hurt from hopping for sooo long and travelling so far … He realizes that he has no option but to return to his pool as quickly as possible, without having achieved his mission.

Jumping back through the reed fields, the consequences of his failure painfully dawn on him. He realizes that, returning to the pool without any results whatsoever, would mean a big Mark of Infamy on his ego. His eyebrows rise, his heart shrinks. The next realization makes him shriek: “This can backfire on me; it can cost my position in the pool!!!”

So hopping home, Toad broods over a plan. He is exhausted, his skin is full of blasters, he almost got roasted by the light. His ego is severely wounded. Then, again, a flash of insight makes his day. “If I cannot steal their light, then let’s bring them down to our level!”
Hopping home he broods out an evil plan for his escape …

At his return at the pool all the frogs joyfully greet him. Hopeful; will Toad have found a solution for their suffering? As a hero they receive him. They throw a party where Toad can shine and reveal his new found wisdom, that will redeem them all. Severely hindered by his wounded groin, Toad tries to stride in, but lame he climbs the stage they have prepared for him. He takes out the course book he bought at the mages from his rucksack. He coughs to call for a silence, to make his great announcement:

“Dear Fratrefrogs and Sororfrogs, I have conquered the elements, I have visited the Mages of Light. Let me reveal to you; the Light does not exist. I have found proof.” Toad opens the course book: “Look here, I found typos in their course book! Since we have no course books of our own, and thus no typos, We Are Better! Let’s battle those bastards and bring them down!!!”

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