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Home > Site Archives > Old Board Archives Search

Old Board Archives

The Cauldron a Pagan Forum started on DelphiForums in 1997. We moved to a Yahoo Groups mailing list in October 2000. We moved back to DelphiForums in June 2002 (as they had improved and many of our members really hated the mailing list format). We finally moved to our own forum in April 2004.

There are a number of interesting threads still available in a read-only format on our old DelphiForums forum. DelphiForums keeps threatening to delete them, they have not done so as yet as this page is being written. Here are links to some of the most interesting (or most important to forum history) threads on our old DelphiForums forum. Thanks to Firefly for finding links to these threads for us!

Note: Links to message threads will open in a new tab or new window. Note that DelphiForums can be ad-heavy.

Important Threads

These threads are important to our forum history. Some are quite funny. Others are very serious.

How to Deal with Fluff Bunnies?

Why is this thread important? The ADMs (Atlantean Dolphin Masters) make their first appearance in this thread.

From: Randall (GRAYLENSMAN)
To: ALL (1 of 119)
Posted: 12/9/1998 12:52 pm

I got a phone call from a local fluff bunny Pagan last night. She had seen this forum on her friend's computer and called to complain about all the nonsense Elspeth and I say and do here.

For example, we do not teach that Wicca came to Europe from Atlantis. She tells me that this angers the Atlantian Masters and that their anger is what is making Elspeth ill. We also make fun of current incarnations of those Atlantian masters (who apparently all write the worst of Llewellyn's books). Etc. Right before I was saved by an incoming call from my sister, she was trying to tell me how Elspeth could call on crystal aliens with the real version of the the Drawing down the Moon ritual (which was really meant to contact UFOs originally) to save herself from the curse of the AMs.

I really hate to be outright rude to people (well, on purpose) who aren't really doing anything wrong other than believe a lot of stuff I consider hogwash, but on the other hand I don't want to imply that I accept that type of nonsense either. Which brings me to THE QUESTION: How should we deal with polite and obviously sincere fluff bunnies?

Link: Read the rest of this thread

ALL Cauldron Members Warlocked?!

Why is this thread important? This is the thread where all members of The Cauldron were warlocked and doomed to "wonder" (sic) the grey mists.

From: Randall (GRAYLENSMAN)
To: ALL (1 of 580)
Posted: 8/6/2003 6:23 pm

I get all sorts of weird messages through the "Report Site Problem" form on our web site. This afternoon, I received one entitled "Warlocks all and be damned" from a "Lady Kismea" with the obviously fake email address of "guess AT". According the single massive run-on sentence message, we have all been declared "warlocks and traitors to the Goddess and The Wicca" apparently because we talk people out of believing the BS in many Wicca 101 books through "discussion and debate." I assume this is someone having a good joke because of how the message reads, but if not, we've all been "warlocked." LOL.

Read the message for yourself and see what you think. (And if the jokester who wrote this masterpiece wishes to come forward and take a bow, I think it is well-earned.)

Message follows:

For its many crimes against The Wicca, disputing the truth of the ancient knowledge of The Wicca, destroying the faith of those new to The Wicca by discussion and debate, failing to follow the Rede, denying the Great Goddess, etc, I, Lady Kismea, daughter of the Setting Full Moon, high priestess of the Coven of the Crystallized Tree, do declare by the complete will of the Goddess that the Cauldron, its so-called Pagan forum, and all its staff and members are declared warlocks and traitors to the Goddess and The Wicca, this status to follow them throughout all their lives, that none of The Wicca shall ever accept or aid them, may their souls wonder the grey mists forever.

Link: Read the rest of this thread

Pagan Unity Campaign

Why is this thread important? This thread explains why many members of The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum have major problems with the Pagan Unity Campaign and its attempts to define the term "Pagan" when speaking with elected officials. It starts out with a debate on reconstructionist religions, but it turns out there are other Pagan religions that do not fit the definition the PUC uses.

From: LyricFox (dachsylady)
To: ALL (1 of 438)
Posted: 3/11/2002 12:21 pm

Good afternoon all.

Several weeks ago, some of you may remember that I posted something on the Pagan Unity Campaign (PUC) mentioning that they had decided to drop the earth-centric portion of their definition of Pagan from their site since most Reconstructionists arenít in an earth-based religion. That avowal not to attempt to define Paganism can actually be viewed on their start page. ( )

Apparently, the topic has flared up again, and I've been contacted by the PUC's Texas representative informing me that it's under discussion. It appears one individual (whom I believe is one of the founders) is pushing hard to have "earth-centric" restored to the definition. He apparently stands firm by his statement that all Recons belong to earth-based religions and is unhappy making an exception for what he thinks is a small minority of Reconstructionists who aren't. (That's the gist of his statement.)

I can't copy emails in their entirety in here since it would violate copyright laws, however, I can give you a few pieces of them. The poster (StormBear Williams) has listed his email address for those Reconstructionists who disagree with the "earth-centric" definition.

"And if this is a sub group of a sub group of a denomination of Paganism, I would suggest not to let an ultra small minority wag the dog.

Also, if they are into a brutal form of religion, I would put forth that they also aren't that positive or life-affirming."

"The Greek and Roman reconstructionist paths ARE earth centric.

Vincent Bridges wrote an article on the subject for PUC's Voice last year."

(Apparently, Vincent Bridges has the following qualifications:

"Well, I'm a Christian non-denominational minister, a Wiccan initiate, a high ranking GD adepti, a member of the Al Haggagi Sufi Order of Luxor, Egypt, and a Nyngma-pa Buddhist terton holder. That makes me a Christian Wiccan Enochian Sufi Buddhist - am I a pagan?")

Link: Read the rest of this thread

New Definition of Paganism

Why is this thread important? The Pagan Unity Campaign discussion (one of the main threads in this discussion is linked above) lead Randall to create a new definition of "Pagan" for this site. The resulting discussion was very interesting.

From: Randall (GRAYLENSMAN)
To: ALL (1 of 473)
Posted: 3/17/2002 7:24 pm

I've decided to use a new definition of Paganism on our web site. It reads: "A Pagan religion is a religion that is not Jewish, Christian, or Islamic and self-identifies as Pagan."

Comments are welcome.

Link: Read the rest of this thread

Interesting Threads

These threads are interesting enough to all least some of our staff and regulars to be worth linking to so they can be easily found.

Should Pagans Build Churches

Why is this thread interesting? This was one of our more interesting discussions on the pros and cons of being "organized."

From: WoodlanSpirit (TENNESSEEGAR)
To: ALL (1 of 87)
Posted: 2/17/2000 7:51 am

Probably we have discussed this in the past...but since I've only been posting here for little over a year...I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject.

It seems to be that there is a movement to start organizing them strength in numbers...politically or otherwise. Also I have seen articles on the importance of churches/temples/structures...thinking it give us some sort of validity and credibility.

Personally, I would hate to see this come about. My belief system is earth based. I do not worship the earth mother...I honor her...and I honor her by caring for her and protecting her resources and wonderful gifts she has given each and everyone of us. To go inside a structure to honor something that is all about us does not make sense. In addition, I fear for the corruption that organized religions breed.

I guess what I'm really saying is that I am a free spirit...and do not need a church, or a High Priest/Priestess to dictate to me their interpretation of my beliefs....but of course, that is why I am solitary! What's you take on this??

Link: Read the rest of this thread

Being Pagan with Disabilities

Why is this thread interesting? This thread has some neat suggestions for ways around conventional ritual stuff that may not be workable, particularly on the subject of severe asthma, before morphing into a discussion of tarantulas somehow.

From: Anne Moore (ANNEMOORE1)
To: ALL (1 of 39)
Posted: 11/28/1999 9:34 pm

This is probably going to be a long and wandering posting. The issues in it are ones I've been thinking about for a while, and I've tried to put them into some sort of order, but I'm still rather confused, so it may take me a while (and more than one posting) to hit all of the points I want to.

Some of the things I want to talk about have come up when I've read other people's postings while others have come up in other readings I've done. For example, I picked up *A Witch Alone* when I spotted it in a used book store a day or so after seeing it mentioned here. The coincidence seemed too great to pass it by. Unfortunately, in reading the first chapter, I realized that I am not physically able to do the things the author suggests.

I have mobility limitations due to chronic pain problems and injure myself very easily. Walking for more than about 15 minutes can very often leave me laid up for the next few days unless I take a break of an hour or two between bits. I'm extremely sensitive to cold and heat and allergic to just about everything that has pollen or fur. I don't drive because I don't feel comfortable doing so and don't have ready access to a vehicle anyway.

I also have to avoid all types of smoke due to asthma (even candles can be too much which is too bad because I love them). I have to avoid most perfumes and essential oils due to various allergies (I had to make my husband switch shaving creams when we got married because the one he was using made my eyes swell shut). I also have to be extremely careful about herbs and teas because of my allergies (almost did myself in with a cup of commercial chamomille tea once... The stuff just does a number on my respiratory system).

Basically, I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions for how to interact with the natural world given the limitations I'm working under... I'm feeling particularly frustrated right now because I've been very sick with asthmatic bronchitis recently and haven't been able to do even a fraction of my normal activities. Just stepping out the door has been a major health risk even when I'm completely bundled up.

As I've gotten older (I'm 32) my health problems have gotten worse, and I'm not sure that I see an end in sight to that. I feel very strongly about having a need to connect to the universe at large, but I think I'm going to have to find a way to bring things to me rather than going out to find things. There are many things that I miss about being free to explore the outdoors.

Anyway, any suggestions about how someone with disabilities (including worse ones than I labor under) can really function as a Pagan? I'm a pantheist with a strong sense that everything is connected and alive, including the inanimate. I believe that all of us and all things are a part of a divine unity while still being independent entities. (I know there's a contradiction in that, and I'd love to discuss that with people in a different topic.)

Link: Read the rest of this thread

Isaac Bonewits Issues A Call to Arms

Why is this thread interesting? It shows a good cross-section of Pagan reactions to 9/11.

From: Randall (GRAYLENSMAN)
To: ALL (1 of 125)
Posted: 9/22/2001 12:43 pm

Isaac Bonewits has an (apparently new) essay up on his web site entitled "A Call to Arms or Treating the Disease." This will probably be one of the most controversial essays he has written (and almost everything he writes stirs up controversy in the Neo-Pagan community ).

I'd like to see this essay thoroughly discussed here, but I have to ask that you read the entire essay before commenting. As if often the case with Isaac's writings, the tone changes/moderates somewhat as the essay goes on.

Here's his intro to this essay:

"The attacks on the World Trade Center and Washington DC by Muslim Fundamentalists have crystallized a number of ideas that have been drifting around in my head for several years. This "911 call" wasnít just a wake up call about terrorism, it was a sign that the Culture War between Modernity and Fundamentalism has become irredeemably deadly. Though there are multiple non-religious motives behind Islamic terrorism, this essay will focus on the religious factors sanctifying and justifying mass murder."

The essay itself can be found at:

I have some definite opinions on this the various views Isaac expresses in this essay, but I'm not going to mention them here as I don't want to bias anyone. (I'll eventually mention them on our mailing list, I'm sure. LyricFox will probably copy them to here if I lack the time. )

Link: Read the rest of this thread

What about the Pope's Apology?

Why is this thread interesting? Members reactions to Pope John Paul II's apology for excesses committed by the Catholic Church over the centuries.

From: Randall (GRAYLENSMAN)
3/12/2000 8:11 pm
To: ALL (1 of 109)

While I haven't found a copy of the text of the Pope's apology for excesses committed by the Catholic Church over the last 2000 years, what I heard on the evening news makes it sound respectable. While it apparently doesn't apologize specifically for witch burnings or the like it reportedly does cover the excesses of the the Inquision and the the mistreat mentof women and others considered heretics. If the text lives up to the news reports, I think the apology will be a good thing.

Hopefully, it will help both Christians and Pagans (among others) to resolve both to never let it happen again and to put the past behind them. It always bothers me to see a few Neo-Pagans treat Christians as if the Witch trials happened yesterday instead of generations ago. That type of long-time grudge-holding is what has led to problems in places like Ireland, the Balkans, the Middle East, etc.

What do you think of the apology?

Link: Read the rest of this thread

What is the Purpose of Pagan Religions?

Why is this thread interesting? One of the more interesting questions from our "Ask a Pagan" program.

From: Cauldron Threadstarter (cldnthreads)
11/6/2003 2:23 pm
To: ALL (1 of 44)

I'm a Christian and the purpose of my religion is simple. By accepting Christ as my Lord and Saviour, I am accepting God's grace so that I will go to heaven when I die instead of hell as all mankind deserves. While a religion like Buddhism is a false religion in eyes of Jesus, it has a obvious purpose: to escape the wheel of life and enter Nirvana.

What is the purpose of the Pagan religion? As far as I can tell it doesn't seem to have one. Unless it is to exchange worship of pagan deities for magickal powers, but that seems an unlikely purpose for a religion.

Link: Read the rest of this thread

Needed: Concise Definition of Wicca

Why is this thread interesting? This thread was our attempt to come up with a definition for "Wicca" -- it was not all that successful.

From: Cauldron Threadstarter (cldnthreads)
10/10/2003 9:39 am
To: ALL (1 of 115)

A year or two ago we hammered out a definition of "Pagan" that The Cauldron could put on our Pagan Primer page. While this definition is not perfect, most people seem able to agree that it is true even if it is not their personal favorite definition.

Recent discussions here and elsewhere have convinced me that we really need to put a good definition of "Wicca" up on the Pagan Primer page as well. Too many people seem to think that just about everything can be "Wicca" -- that there are no boundaries, no point when something becomes "something else."

The problem, of course, is the same as we had with defining "Pagan" -- we need a short, easy to understand definition that while restrictive doesn't exclude anything most knowledgeable people would agree is a form of the Wiccan religion.

We're looking for a definition that most British Traditionals (on one extreme) AND most serious Eclectic Wiccans (on the other extreme) can agree is a fair definition -- even if it is not the one they personally would prefer. I know that Brock, Elfwreck, and perhaps others have discussed what beliefs and practices are required to be considered Wiccan and while a final version of those (assuming an agreement on what they are) would make a nice long article to refer people to for detailed information, that's not what we need here. Most people would never read it -- especially the people who most need to, I suspect. For this, we really need a short, concise, and accurate definition.

In summary, I'm looking for a short, concise, fair, and generally acceptable to most Wiccans definition of Wicca -- and I need your help. Please post your ideas for a good definition and discuss them. Hopefully, a good definition will emerge after a while. Okay, so I'm am optimist, but a usable definition finally did emerge in our discussion of a definition of Pagan. :)

Link: Read the rest of this thread

Secrecy and Wicca Commentary

Why is this thread interesting? Randall's Secrecy and Wicca editorial has always been contraversial. In this thread, several British Traditional Wiccans debate it with Randall.

From: cybele37
To: ALL (1 of 225)
Posted: 3/13/2003 7:31 am

I read the article Secrecy and Wicca that was posted on this site.

The author suggested that no one should join an oathbound tradition. Among the many reasons he gave he stated that "Wiccans tend to be against secrets." British Traditional Wiccans belong to a mystery tradition that is oathbound, so his statement is contradictory. While some of us may be against the government operating in secrecy, that really has nothing to do with our practice of secrecy about our tradition. His logic is quite faulty.

Mr. Sapphire makes many statements in the article that show his lack of understanding about BTW. One of the statements he makes claims that members of oathbound groups are more likely to be controlled by their leaders in term of who they work with, play with or sleep with. This is patently false. I work with an oathbound group and they have no interest or agenda in controlling me. I communicate with many members of an oathbound tradition regularly who would advise anyone to run not walk away from any group that tries to control who you have sex with or who your friends are.

I feel that this article does a great disservice to any pagan who might be attracted to BTW and yet might be foolish enough to swallow the claims of the author.

There are many excellent reasons for rituals and other information to remain oathbound. Mr. Sapphire claims having a secret makes people feel special and feel that they have a bond with others who share that secret and that, according to him, is silly. In fact, group members of BTW who share the knowledge of their oathbound tradition do have a special bond with one another that cannot be understood outside the context of the group.

It is a shame that this article, which was obviously written by someone with his own issues and agenda, and has no actual useful information but is filled only with evidence of the author's own insecurity was posted. This article would never have been written by anyone who had actually experienced BTW.

Link: Read the rest of this thread

Deities & Untraditional Representations

Why is this thread interesting? It discusses alternatives to statues to represent deities.

From: LyricFox (dachsylady)
6/13/2003 9:03 am
To: ALL (1 of 46)

I'm sure we've all occasionally run into the situation where the statues of a certain god/dess simply don't do anything for us or are just too expensive (I have that problem with Hekate).

If you have decided to use something to represent a deity instead of a statue, which deity is it and what did you settle on using as a representation? How did you decide what to use and where have you put it?

(This is one of those threads that I'm hoping to get some detail on since I know we've got members here who've run up against this problem.)

Link: Read the rest of this thread

Sillest Ritual Ever

Why is this thread interesting? It is amazing what silly rituals our members have seen or participated in.

From: Sperran To: ALL (1 of 40) Posted: 10/4/2003 10:04 pm

What is the silliest ritual in which you have ever participated? This could be intentionally silly (like when an acquaintence of mine wrote a "SouthPark" ritual) or unintentionally silly, like when the HP gets the giggles. What made it silly or funny?

Link: Read the rest of this thread

Mental Disabilities and Pagan Paths

Why is this thread interesting? Ideas on how Pagans with mental illnesses and disabilities can participate in religious activities.

From: Celeste (Celeste621)
To: ALL (1 of 95)
Posted: 7/16/2003 11:01 pm

I've been chewing over how disabilities fit into many Pagan paths and religions for a couple weeks now. The recent discussion about physical disabilities made me wonder about mental disabilities.

Have you ever known anyone with a cognitive disability who's shown interest in a Pagan path or has been raised by their parents/guardians in such a path? I'd have to think that there are least *some* mentally disabled folks out there who have been active in Pagan groups. I remember reading a story in Starhawk's "Circle Round" about a young boy in a children's Pagan group who was physically and mentally disabled.

What are your feelings on the issue? Are there some religions/spiritual paths that they could absolutely not be involved in? Are there some that could be worked with and "tweaked" to accomodate them? Does it depend on the severity of the disability? Do you consider them part of that path even if they're only able to grasp the basic elements at a certain level?

If somebody approached you about having a mentally challenged individual become involved in your spiritual path or religion (Even if you're the only member!), what sort of accomodations would have to be made, if any? If you felt it appropriate to turn them away from your religion, what sort of suggestions would you give them for their search?

Any comments or thoughts on the issue that I haven't thought to ask about, stories to share, ect...would be great. I'll post in a bit when I figure out how I would answer these questions for myself. :)

I've yet to deal with this issue from any POV other than the Christian perspective where I was taught that it didn't matter how bad the disability was- you could be baptised, raised in a Christian family, taught as much as you were able to comprehend and retain and God was ok with that. (Koi can correct me if I was taught wrong, this was more of the impression that I got over the years than any actual lesson.)

Link: Read the rest of this thread

What ARE the core elements of Wicca?

Why is this thread interesting? Brock and others list what they believe are the core elements of Wicca.

From: Ben Gruagach (bgruagach)
To: ALL (1 of 35)
11/5/2002 8:03 pm

There was a thread asking people to describe what they felt the core elements are of their own religious philosophies. In other threads, we've had people mention concern about core elements of Wicca being abandoned by some practitioners and traditions.

I think we need a thread devoted to the question: What ARE the core elements of Wicca?

In one thread it was mentioned that (quoting from memory, so it might not be exactly right) "Alex Sanders taught that it was OK to add to the tradition, but that the core - the Wiccan Rede, the Threefold Law, and initiation by another Witch - should not be removed." I've seen other threads where there was discussion over whether the Wiccan Rede and the Threefold Law were actually part of British Traditional Wicca (i.e. Gardnerian and Gardnerian-derived lineaged Wicca) or were a more modern inclusion. There has also been some discussion about specific things like binding and scourging, and the use of the Great Rite, being dropped by some Wiccans from their practice, and whether this was an instance of "core elements" being dropped.

I'm hoping that some BTW initiates can identify for us what those core elements are supposed to be (providing no oaths need to be broken to share this info). I'd also like to hear what non-BTW Wiccans have to say about what the core elements are from their standpoint.

Link: Read the rest of this thread

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