[Cauldron and Candle Illo]

Cauldron and Candle
Issue #10 -- April 2001

A Publication of The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum
website: http://www.ecauldron.com/
mailing list/board: http://www.ecauldron.com/fregmb.php

With a little help from The Witches' Thicket
website: http://www.cros.net/soraya/
message board: http://forums.delphiforums.com/thicket/start

Return to Cauldron and Candle Archive

C A U L D R O N   A N D   C A N D L E  #10 -- April 2001

           A Publication of The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum
                website: http://www.ecauldron.com/
     mailing list/board: http://www.ecauldron.com/fregmb.php
             newsletter: http://www.ecauldron.com/cnc/

           With a little help from The Witches' Thicket
               website: http://www.cros.net/soraya/
      message board: http://forums.delphiforums.com/thicket/start

In this Issue:

[00] Publisher's Note: Only One Issue In April
[01] Editorial: New Features Six Months On
[02] Poem: Going Home
[03] A Celebration of May Day
[04] Review: In The Circle
[05] Review: Isis Magic
[06] Review: Secrets of Western Sex Magic
[07] Review: Magick, Shamanism, & Taoism
[08] Magick: A Spring Meditation
[09] Magick: Irish Healing Waters Spell
[10] Lessons in Magickal Herbal Use (Part 1)
[11] Humor: Spell of Flying
[12] Software: Visual Pinball
[13] New Articles on The Cauldron's Site
[14] New Web Poll
[15] Support The Cauldron When You Buy at Amazon.com
[16] Cauldron and Thicket Chats
[17] Newsletter and Forum Info
              (Including How To Subscribe/Unsubscribe)

   +++ Submission Deadline for next issue: May 1, 2001 +++
   Guidelines: http://www.ecauldron.com/cnc/submissions.php

========= Only One Issue In April 2001

April is going to be a very busy month for your publisher. First,
my accounting clients will drive me crazy during the first two
weeks with all sorts of computer problems during "Tax Hell."
Second, if nothing comes up I'll be spending much of the last
part of the month in Dallas with my fiancee, LyricFox. This will
probably not leave any time for publishing a Mid-April issue.
Instead of hoping I'd find a way to do one and then feeling
guilty about not finding time as I did in February, I'm just
going to announce up front that there will be no Mid-April issue.
The first May issue may be a few days later than usual, as well.
Thanks much for your understanding.

========= by Randall Sapphire

It's now been six months since The Cauldron moved from Delphi
Forums to Egroups (now called Yahoo Groups). In general, the
transition has been successful.  Now that we are no longer having
to cope with Delphi's continuing stream of problems, we have been
able to devote a bit of time to expanding The Cauldron's web site
and are pleased to announce some new features.

++++ The Cauldron's Grimoire

We have had many requests for spells and rituals over the years
and are pleased to open a new section of our web site for spells
and magickal recipes: The Cauldron's Grimoire. This section is
aimed more that the causal web browser rather than members of The
Cauldron or The Thicket, but everyone is welcome to peruse it.
You will mainly find spells I've collected from the Internet,
Fidonet, Podsnet, and various BBSes over the years. About
one-tenth of what I have is there now, more will be added as I
have spare time.

We are experimenting with banner ads in this section of our site.
As I said, it's aimed at the casual spell seeker. I see no reason
why people looking for spells should not have to view a few ads
with their spells. The Cauldron's web site does cost money to

The Cauldron's Grimoire can be accessed from the menu on every
page of our main web site or directly at:


++++ News and Research Portal

Thanks to a number of free third party providers, we are
expanding our news section and have added a number of web
portal-like features.

Our news area now includes headlines from the New York Times
(which do not require registration with the New York Times to
view) and headlines from Moreover's Religion line as well as the
headlines from News Hub.  More headlines will be added in the
future. The portal area (provided by subportal.com) gives you the
ability to search a web directory, get the weather, find recipes,
get jokes, read movie reviews, download software, find
screensavers and windows themes, and more all from "within" The
Cauldron web site's "look and feel."

You can access all of these features from the News & Research
link on the menu of our web pages or directly at:


++++ Cauldron EzBoard Annex

A mailing list has one major annoyance, members have to be far
more careful about drifting into extensive off-topic discussions
that will just fill the mailbox of members who have no interest
in something like Buffy the Vampire Slayer's latest boyfriend
with junk.

To answer this need, we've opened an experimental Cauldron
EzBoard Annex message board. The Annex is intended to supplement
the ecauldron mailing list. It is not intended to replace it as
the hosts of The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum much prefer mailing
lists where they can read, think about, and reply to messages
offline in powerful email programs. :)

The Cauldron EzBoard Annex is intended as a forum for Pagans and
their friends (of all religions) to discuss issues which are
somewhat peripheral to the Pagan and Magickal topics we discuss
on the ecauldron mailing list. Some of the discussions
appropriate for the Cauldron EzBoard Annex include extensive
discussions of pagan arts and crafts, gardening, television shows
and films, politics, etc. While these topics are welcome on the
mailing list when they touch on broader Pagan or Magickal issues,
the Cauldron EzBoard Annex provides a place when you can discuss
non-Pagan, non-Magickal aspects with your friends from The
Cauldron without flooding the mailboxes of members who really
aren't interested in your opinion of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's
latest boyfriend.

Currently there are only a few topics available, so most posts
will go in the Off-Topic Discussions forum. Other Forums now
available are Gardening and Pagan Crafts. Other forums (on things
like X-Files, Cooking, etc.) can be opened if there is enough
interest and someone reliable volunteers to be moderator of the

EzBoard registration is NOT required to post messages (although
this may change in the future if this open policy causes
trouble). However, EzBoard's software will not allow you to post
under the id of any registered EzBoard member. Given that EzBoard
has a lot of members, if you think you will use our Cauldron
EzBoard Annex often, you'll want to register an id so you can
keep it.  EzBoard membership is FREE, but there is an option to
pay for a six month subscription (something like $8 for the
entire six months) to get Ezboard ad-free.

If you remember our Delphi board, EzBoard has most of the
features Delphi had -- plus many more (like 99% uptime, much
greater configurability, etc). It uses a more standard message
board design instead of Delphi's multiple frames, however.
Speaking of configurability, if you take a look at the site,
you'll see that it looks almost like a regular part of The
Cauldron's web site. A word of warning: EzBoard's spell check
option is provided by a third party and often does not work.

Again, the Cauldron EzBoard Annex is not a replacement for our
ecauldron mailing list. It is a supplement where Cauldron members
(and Thicket members too) can go and discussion all the stuff
that just doesn't belong on the mailing list but that you'd like
to discuss with your friends. In other words, it's optional.

The Cauldron's new Cauldron EzBoard Annex is now officially open.
You will find "EzBoard Annex" in the menu of all of The
Cauldron's main web pages or you can visit it directly at:


We hope you will enjoy our web site's new features!


        The Cauldron and Candle now has its own web site
        where we store our back issues for easy reading.


========= GOING HOME
========= A Poem by Elspeth Sapphire

There is a place where my heart lives
It calls me no matter where I roam.
I find my spirit flying there
To return to a place called home.

My home isn't a building,
Nor a house, lodge, or simple tent.
Home is a marble temple strong
With love and faith the only rent.

A man patiently awaits me there
Welcome light brightening his eyes.
I always know his comforting
No matter where our dwelling lies.

So I wing my way towards home,
Glad to travel, glad to return.
For home is where my life lies;
Home is where the love fires burn.

========= by Mike Nichols

 'Perhaps its just as well that you won't be here...
  to be offended by the sight of our May Day celebrations.'
  --Lord Summerisle to Sgt. Howie from 'The Wicker Man'

There are four great festivals of the Pagan Celtic year and the
modern Witch's calendar, as well.  The two greatest of these are
Halloween (the beginning of winter) and May Day (the beginning of
summer).  Being opposite each other on the wheel of the year,
they separate the year into halves.  Halloween (also called
Samhain) is the Celtic New Year and is generally considered the
more important of the two, though May Day runs a close second.
Indeed, in some areas -- notably Wales -- it is considered the
great holiday.

May Day ushers in the fifth month of the modern calendar year,
the month of May.  This month is named in honor of the goddess
Maia, originally a Greek mountain nymph, later identified as the
most beautiful of the Seven Sisters, the Pleiades.  By Zeus, she
is also the mother of Hermes, god of magic.  Maia's parents were
Atlas and Pleione, a sea nymph.

The old Celtic name for May Day is Beltane (in its most popular
Anglicized form), which is derived from the Irish Gaelic
'Bealtaine' or the Scottish Gaelic 'Bealtuinn', meaning
'Bel-fire', the fire of the Celtic god of light (Bel, Beli or
Belinus).  He, in turn, may be traced to the Middle Eastern god

Other names for May Day include: Cetsamhain ('opposite Samhain'),
Walpurgisnacht (in Germany), and Roodmas (the medieval Church's
name). This last came from Church Fathers who were hoping to
shift the common people's allegiance from the Maypole (Pagan
lingham - symbol of life) to the Holy Rood (the Cross - Roman
instrument of death).

Incidentally, there is no historical justification for calling
May 1st 'Lady Day'.  For hundreds of years, that title has been
proper to the Vernal Equinox (approximately March 21st), another
holiday sacred to the Great Goddess.  The nontraditional use of
'Lady Day' for May 1st is quite recent (within the last 15
years), and seems to be confined to America, where it has gained
widespread acceptance among certain segments of the Craft
population.  This rather startling departure from tradition would
seem to indicate an unfamiliarity with European calendar customs,
as well as a lax attitude toward scholarship among too many
Pagans.  A simple glance at a dictionary ('Webster's 3rd' or
O.E.D.), encyclopedia ('Benet's'), or standard mythology
reference (Jobe's 'Dictionary of Mythology, Folklore & Symbols')
would confirm the correct date for Lady Day as the Vernal

By Celtic reckoning, the actual Beltane celebration begins on
sundown of the preceding day, April 30, because the Celts always
figured their days from sundown to sundown.  And sundown was the
proper time for Druids to kindle the great Bel-fires on the tops
of the nearest beacon hill (such as Tara Hill, Co.  Meath, in
Ireland). These 'need-fires' had healing properties, and sky-clad
Witches would jump through the flames to ensure protection.

  Sgt. Howie (shocked):  'But they are naked!'
  Lord Summerisle: 'Naturally.  It's much too dangerous to jump
    through the fire with your clothes on!'

Frequently, cattle would be driven between two such bon-fires
(oak wood was the favorite fuel for them) and, on the morrow,
they would be taken to their summer pastures.

Other May Day customs include: walking the circuit of one's
property ('beating the bounds'), repairing fences and boundary
markers, processions of chimney-sweeps and milk maids, archery
tournaments, morris dances, sword dances, feasting, music,
drinking, and maidens bathing their faces in the dew of May
morning to retain their youthful beauty.

In the words of Witchcraft writers Janet and Stewart Farrar, the
Beltane celebration was principally a time of '...unashamed human
sexuality and fertility.' Such associations include the obvious
phallic symbolism of the Maypole and riding the hobby horse.
Even a seemingly innocent children's nursery rhyme, 'Ride a cock
horse to Banburry Cross...' retains such memories.  And the next
line '...to see a fine Lady on a white horse' is a reference to
the annual ride of 'Lady Godiva' though Coventry. Every year for
nearly three centuries, a sky-clad village maiden (elected Queen
of the May) enacted this Pagan rite, until the Puritans put an
end to the custom.

The Puritans, in fact, reacted with pious horror to most of the
May Day rites, even making Maypoles illegal in 1644.  They
especially attempted to suppress the 'greenwood marriages' of
young men and women who spent the entire night in the forest,
staying out to greet the May sunrise, and bringing back boughs of
flowers and garlands to decorate the village the next morning.
One angry Puritan wrote that men 'doe use commonly to runne into
woodes in the night time, amongst maidens, to set bowes, in so
muche, as I have hearde of tenne maidens whiche went to set May,
and nine of them came home with childe.'  And another Puritan
complained that, of the girls who go into the woods, 'not the
least one of them comes home again a virgin.'

Long after the Christian form of marriage (with its insistence on
sexual monogamy) had replaced the older Pagan handfasting, the
rules of strict fidelity were always relaxed for the May Eve
rites.  Names such as Robin Hood, Maid Marian, and Little John
played an important part in May Day folklore, often used as
titles for the dramatis personae of the celebrations.  And modern
surnames such as Robinson, Hodson, Johnson, and Godkin may attest
to some distant May Eve spent in the woods.

These wildwood antics have inspired writers such as Kipling:

  Oh, do not tell the Priest our plight,
  Or he would call it a sin;
  But we have been out in the woods all night,
  A-conjuring Summer in!

And Lerner and Lowe:

  It's May! It's May!
  The lusty month of May!...
  Those dreary vows that ev'ryone takes,
  Ev'ryone breaks.
  Ev'ryone makes divine mistakes!
  The lusty month of May!

It is certainly no accident that Queen Guinevere's 'abduction' by
Meliagrance occurs on May 1st when she and the court have gone
a-Maying, or that the usually efficient Queen's Guard, on this
occasion, rode unarmed.

Some of these customs seem virtually identical to the old Roman
feast of flowers, the Floriala, three days of unrestrained
sexuality which began at sundown April 28th and reached a
crescendo on May 1st.

There are other, even older, associations with May 1st in Celtic
mythology.  According to the ancient Irish 'Book of Invasions',
the first settler of Ireland, Partholan, arrived on May 1st; and
it was on May 1st that the plague came which destroyed his
people.  Years later, the Tuatha De Danann were conquered by the
Milesians on May Day.  In Welsh myth, the perennial battle
between Gwythur and Gwyn for the love of Creudylad took place
each May Day; and it was on May Eve that Teirnyon lost his colts
and found Pryderi.  May Eve was also the occasion of a fearful
scream that was heard each year throughout Wales, one of the
three curses of the Coranians lifted by the skill of Lludd and

By the way, due to various calendrical changes down through the
centuries, the traditional date of Beltane is not the same as its
astrological date.  This date, like all astronomically determined
dates, may vary by a day or two depending on the year.  However,
it may be calculated easily enough by determining the date on
which the sun is at 15 degrees Taurus (usually around May 5th).
British Witches often refer to this date as Old Beltane, and
folklorists call it Beltane O.S. ('Old Style'). Some Covens
prefer to celebrate on the old date and, at the very least, it
gives one options.  If a Coven is operating on 'Pagan Standard
Time' and misses May 1st altogether, it can still throw a viable
Beltane bash as long as it's before May 5th. This may also be a
consideration for Covens that need to organize activities around
the week-end.

This date has long been considered a 'power point' of the Zodiac,
and is symbolized by the Bull, one of the 'tetramorph' figures
featured on the Tarot cards, the World and the Wheel of Fortune.
(The other three symbols are the Lion, the Eagle, and the
Spirit.) Astrologers know these four figures as the symbols of
the four 'fixed' signs of the Zodiac (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and
Aquarius), and these naturally align with the four Great Sabbats
of Witchcraft.  Christians have adopted the same iconography to
represent the four gospel-writers.

But for most, it is May 1st that is the great holiday of flowers,
Maypoles, and greenwood frivolity.  It is no wonder that, as
recently as 1977, Ian Anderson could pen the following lyrics for
Jethro Tull:

  For the May Day is the great day,
  Sung along the old straight track.
  And those who ancient lines did ley
  Will heed this song that calls them back.

(This file contains eight seasonal articles by Mike Nichols. They
may be freely distributed provided that the following conditions
are met: (1) No fee is charged for their use and distribution and
no commercial use is made of them; (2) These files are not
changed or edited in any way without the author's permission; (3)
This notice is not removed. An article may be distributed as a
separate file, provided that this notice is repeated at the
beginning of each such file. These articles are periodically
updated by the author; this version is current as of 9/28/88.)

                     SEND A PAGAN POSTCARD

       You can send a Pagan Postcard from the menu of any
       of our web pages at http://www.ecauldron.com/. If
       you haven't tried our postcard site, give it a
       try. It has quite a few nice features.

========= Reviewed by Randall Sapphire

In The Circle: Crafting the Witches' Path
Author: Elen Hawke
Trade Paperback, 175 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: January 2001
ISBN: 1567184448
US Retail Price: $12.95
Amazon Link:

In The Circle: Crafting The Witches' Path is an example of what
many long-time Neo-Pagans call a "Wicca 101" book. That is, it is
a book written to introduce newcomers to the religion of Wicca.
There are a large number of these books on the market. A few are
good, some are mediocre, and far too many are bad.

This book is organized much differently than most Wicca 101 books
-- a refreshing change for someone like me who has had to read
far too many of these books. The first chapter isn't about what
Wicca is, it's a personal record of a Winter Solstice the author
celebrated, along with a brief exploration of what the
celebration is about. For the rest of the book, the author
alternates chapters with explanatory material with chapters like
this first one on the festivals and moon rituals. While this may
sound awkward, it is very effective in giving one a feel for the
religion instead of a barrage of facts.

In The Circle is much more forthright about the history of Wicca
and Wiccan practices than many Wicca 101 books. No stories of how
Wicca was handed down since the stone age. There's also an honest
description of the artificial, modern nature of the "wheel of the
year." The information in this book isn't perfect, of course.
For example, some of the information on the Gods and Goddesses
given is, while commonly accepted by many Wiccans, simply
incorrect.  For example, the ancients Greeks apparently did not
think of Hecate as a "crone."  However, there is far less
incorrect information here than in many Wicca 101 books I've read
and reviewed.

The author is British.  While this gives the book a slightly
different view of Wicca in places and a few British spellings are
used, this doesn't affect the book much. The only chapter where
the British focus is really noticeable is the chapter on scared
sites. All those mentioned are British. The description of the
damage being done to some of these sites by careless or
thoughtless Pagans is somewhat chilling. Too many Pagans seem to
be talking the talk without walking the walk. Hopefully, her
words will serve as a warning to Neo-Pagans everywhere to better
care for the sacred sites they use.

Some will not like this book because it does not provide
pre-written rituals for every festival and moon. Nor does its
chapter on magick provide detailed spells for every need. It's
not a book for beginners who want to be led by the hand without
ever having to really think. Others will not like this book
because it doesn't have a chapter on the Wiccan Rede. In fact, I
don't remember Wiccan Rede being really discussed at all. This is
a bit regrettable, perhaps, but far better it be not discussed
than be discussed as law (instead of as just good advice) as so
many Wicca 101 books unfortunately do.

When my copy of In The Circle: Crafting The Witches' Path
arrived, my first reaction was to sigh and say "Yet another Wicca
101 book from Llewellyn." After reading the book, I have to say
that while it is yet another Wicca 101 book, it is a very good
Wicca 101 book. In fact, it's probably the best Wicca 101 book
Llewellyn has published in many years, perhaps since Scott
Cunningham's Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner. If you
are new and need an introduction to Wicca and do not need to be
be led by the nose, this is one of a handful of truly good Wicca
101 books. I'd select it before one of the more popular books by
Ravenwolf, Conway, McCoy, Moura, etc. (I still would not select
it over Marian Green's A Witch Alone.) If you have already read a
Wicca 101 book or two, however, you really have no need for a
copy of this one. If only there were more Wicca 201 and Wicca 301

           This review is available on our web site at

========= Reviewed by Randall Sapphire

Isis Magic: Cultivating a Relationship with the Goddess
            of 10,000 Names
Author: M. Isidora Forrest
Trade Paperback, 624 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: March 2001
ISBN: 1567182860
US Retail Price: $29.95
Amazon Link:

Isis is one of the most popular deities of the ancient
Mediterranean world. While her origins are in ancient Egypt, her
worship spread though the Roman Empire in the first two centuries
of the Common Era, although in a form the ancient Egyptians might
not have fully recognized. Isis Magick attempts to bring Isis
worship to the modern world.

Isis Magick is a large book. Not only does it have over 600
pages, it is physically much larger than the average trade
paperback. The author, M. Isidora Forrest, puts every page to
work. This book is divided into two major parts.  The first part
discusses Isis and her place in history. The second part is a
detailed four stage magickal-religious path working with Isis.
The author has experience both in the Fellowship of Isis and in
Hermetic magickal lodges, so her point of view is not Wiccan.
This may upset those who are looking for just another variant of
Wicca, but Isis Magick is probably a better book for it.

The first part of the book -- some 240 pages -- discusses who
Isis is and the evolution of her worship from ancient times to
the present. This material is interesting and is generally
well-presented. While Egyptian reconstructionists will be
disappointed with this book's stress on the Greco-Roman Isis
cults, others will simply be pleased to see such detailed
material, complete with end notes listing sources. Unfortunately,
these notes are incomplete. While they list author, title, and
page number, they do not list publication data (publishing
company info and date of publication). This material can usually
be found in the bibliography, but that's less convenient than the
standard footnote form. Nevertheless, citing sources is a major
improvement over the average book aimed at the Neo-Pagan market,
more so because the majority of the materials cited are not other
books you'd find on the Neo-Pagan shelves in the bookstores, but
more academic materials.

The second part of Isis Magick presents a system of worshiping
Isis and working with her magickally. It is presented in four
stages or grades: Votary, Handmaiden/Servant, Magician, and
Prophet. The system, which reminds me in some ways of the Golden
Dawn, is far more complex than many Neo-Pagans are used to.
However, it is fairly complete and detailed, taking you step by
step through simple practices to very complex workings. Many can
be performed by a single person, although some of the more
complex rituals require a small group. I have no idea how many of
these rituals have a strong historical basis, but they all seem
well thought out and have a strong magickal basis.

Isis Magick is a very hard book to judge. As I am not an expert
on Isis, I really cannot comment on the accuracy of the book. The
citing of sources, though, many of them from university presses,
is an excellent sign. However, I am very impressed by this book
overall. It is well-organized and well-presented. It presents a
new and interesting Neo-Pagan path in a way that anyone truly
interested can follow. Please note the stress on the word
"truly." This book is not a light read. Nor is the path presented
in Isis Magick an easy or a quick one. This is a book for people
who are interested in hard work and study over a long period of
time, not a book for people who want to become an instant High
Priestess of Isis. I think that is a good thing. I would like to
see more Neo-Pagan paths presented in books like this one.

           This review is available on our web site at

========= Reviewed by Randall Sapphire

Secrets of Western Sex Magic: Magical Energy and Gnostic Trance
Author: Frater U.D.
Trade Paperback, 240 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: March 2001
ISBN: 1567187064
US Retail Price: $17.95
Amazon Link:

Secrets of Western Sex Magick is the third edition of a book
previously titled Secrets of Sex Magick. Frater U.D.'s book is
the standard handbook of practical sex magick for novice

This book does for western sex magick what Kraig's Modern Magick
does for the more general field of western ceremonial magick. It
teaches the basic theory -- and, more importantly -- the
techniques of actual magickal practice in a clear and orderly
manner. As sex magick is a popular subject, there are a large
number of books available on the subject. Unfortunately, most
fill many pages with hints, obscure theory, and (often
exaggerated) promises, but never seem to actually explain the
practical aspects. Secrets of Western Sex Magick is almost all
practical instruction.

While this book starts with a brief history of sex magic and a
section of handling sexuality intelligently, it quickly moves
into practical explanations and training.  Relaxation,
protection, muscle and breathing exercises, meditation, aura,
affirmations, creating sigils, and invocatory magic are covered
from the point of view of the sex magician. The second half of
the book goes into more advanced workings from 3 points of view:
autoerotic, heteroerotic, and homoerotic. This shatters the
common myth that sex magick requires male-female polarity. The
final practical material covers group sexual rituals.

The final sections of Secrets of Western Sex Magick deals with
the perils of sex magick and with the so-called "Chymical
Marriage" (the Wiccan Great Rite is a form of this ritual). The
author sums up the perils of sex magick as "no different from the
perils of magic and sex in general," but covers them briefly. My
only complaint about this section is that he only really covers
the magickal perils, completely neglecting the physical perils. I
think this is a sad omission given the AIDS epidemic and the
number of unwanted children born every year.

While this book is an excellent introduction to Western sex
magick, some people will find it does not live up to their
expectations. It is not about Tantra. It is not luridly written
or illustrated. It is not a sex manual. For most adults
interested in sex magick and not knowing where to start, however,
this book will provide a clearly-written and very practical
starting point. Secrets of Western Sex Magick ends with a fairly
extensive bibliography which provides material for further
research. Unfortunately, as the author is from Belgium, many of
the works cited are in German. In spite of such minor flaws, this
book is one of the best available on the subject.

           This review is available on our web site at

========= Reviewed by Randall Sapphire

Magick, Shamanism, & Taoism: The I Ching
        in Ritual and Meditation
Author: Richard Herne
Trade Paperback, 360 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: March 2001
ISBN: 1567182070
US Retail Price: $17.95
Amazon Link:

The I Ching has always been one of my favorite oracles because it
only gives advice on what to do instead of attempting to predict
future events. While the advice given is in terms of an ancient
Chinese culture, I've always found the advice useful, often
uncannily so.

In Magick, Shamanism & Taoism, Richard Herne presents a method of
using the I Ching in (fairly ceremonial) magickal work. For
example, Herne presents a method of using the I Ching as a map of
correspondences similar to the Qabalistic Tree of Life. This
makes it easy to use the I Ching in talisman magick. To be
honest, I have no idea if the ancient Chinese ever thought of it
like this or used other magickal material in this book in the
manner it is presented. While I'm certainly no expert on China or
the orient, much of this material really seems to have a western
flavor. However, the material hangs together well regardless of
its origins.

The first part of this book discusses the history of Taoism, the
I Ching, and magickal thought in China. These two chapters are
well-footnoted with sources. The second part deals with various
magickal tools used in China. Some are similar to western tools
in form, if not always in function. The ritual sword, for
example, is a symbol of the magician's Will. Others are somewhat
foreign to western thought. The fan and hand gestures are
examples of such tools. Unfortunately, footnotes on sources are
fairly scarce. The third part covers practical magick work such
as making talismans, meditation, and pathworking. The fourth and
longest portion is devoted to listing correspondences for each of
the 64 hexagrams of the I Ching. These are the author's personal
interpretations, based on his research into Chinese magick.

This is a very hard book to evaluate. The author covers a great
deal of complex material in a relatively small space. It is very
interesting material, although I don't have enough knowledge to
judge its accuracy. Overall, Magick, Shamanism & Taoism strikes
me as an average book. It doesn't scream "buy me," but it doesn't
scream "run away" either. If you are interested in the I Ching
and use talisman magick frequently, the I Ching correspondences
in the fourth part of the book will give you an entire new symbol
set to work with.

           This review is available on our web site at

                         UPCOMING REVIEWS

       Reviews of the following are planned for our next
       few issues: WILD GIRLS (Monaghan), A WITCHES' BOOK
       OF DREAMS (Allrich). Watch The Cauldron's web site
       if you can't wait as they will be appearing there
       as they are written.

========= Elspeth Sapphire

   [This can either be read by a leader to a group or recorded
   for personal use. Remember to speak slowly and pause
   between paragraphs in either case.]

You are sitting in a dark room.

It is bitterly cold and a hollow feeling in the pit of your
stomach reminds that food is growing short.

You stand and walk outside the one room cottage. Look around you.
The countryside is bleak. The ground is frozen and everywhere you
look, you see a world brown and lifeless.

Stop for a moment and reflect on the signs of winter around you.
Now look inside of you. Winter is there also. See the hold it has
on your spirit?

You walk on, the frost-bitten grass crunching under your feet.
The trees are bare branched, looking like skeletons reaching for
the grey sky.

Then you notice a touch of green. Could it be? You rush over to
the tree. YES! There =are= buds -- leaves. Flashes of green
against greyish brown of the branch.

Gently touch the infant leaf. How does it feel beneath your
fingers? Does it feel like life? Does it feel like spring?

Leaving the tree behind, you continue to walk -- your heart a bit
lighter. Perhaps it is just your imagination, but the sky looks
just a touch bluer.

The trail winds on and you follow it, aware as you do that it is
getting colder. The chill seeps in and you think about heading
back to the cottage and a roaring fire.

A single solitary candle appears on the path before you. Thinking
it would be better than no heat, you light the candle.

You set the candle down on the path and stare down into the
flame. It flickers and dances in the breeze and you begin to
realize that you aren't cold anymore.

You are warm and as you stare at the flame, it begins to grow.
That single candle becomes a bonfire -- the largest bonfire that
you have ever seen.

It towers over you -- flickering lights of gold and scarlet that
draws your eyes and mind.

Suddenly, you realize that there is a figure in the fire. A
stately woman with fiery tresses and a gown of gold. She beckons
to you and when you hesitate, a hand appears.

Take the hand. Feel the strength and comfort. She will keep you
safe. Go to Her as the hand gently pulls you into the heat of the

Flames surround you -- sear you body and soul -- but there is no
pain, no fear. There is only the Lady's arms wrapped tight around

It burns deep. Feel it burn. It touches upon the tiredness within,
consuming it in a flash. The weariness -- the winter -- is gone
in the holy fire.

The leaping flames begin to die, leaving you standing on a bed of
ashes. Like steel, the fire has tempered your soul.

The Lady smiles, gently kissing your forehead. You touch the
spot, wondering at the feeling of being free.

She whispers in your ear. Listen carefully and remember. It is
Her gift to you.

Now She is gone and you are alone.

But also wondrously not alone.

The sky is still grey -- the landscape dead. But there is a
spring to your step -- a lilt to your voice. Winter is ending and
Summer will come.

Meanwhile, you will cherish the summer in your soul.

As you walk back to the cottage, you make a list of the things
that you wish to plant. You write them on your heart, knowing
that they will grow strong and tall.

========= Author Unknown

Take equal parts of lavender, violet, and rosemary.  Empower them
and then boil them in a pot with about a quart of water over
medium heat. When the water is richly colored and the herbs are
scenting your kitchen, drain the water off into a jar.  A plain
coffee filter works great for this. Place the jar in sunlight for
an entire day to absorb the radiant energies of the sun. (You can
do this on a Wednesday to add the healing powers of Mercury to
the spell) Occasionally look at the jar and add your own energies
to it.

Just before sundown fetch the jar and hold it firmly between your
hands just below your naval.  Feel your desire to be well filling
the jar and with your minds eye see it glowing brightly as the
sun. Chant these words until you have filled the jar with as much
energy as it will hold.

  By the herb and by the sun
  wellness and I are now as one
  strengthening energies now are merged.
  Baneful energies now be purged.

Anoint spots where illness lurks or on your belly if you are
unsure where the source of discomfort lies. Or pour it into your
bath water.

========= by Leillan

Note: Some herbs used for magick are toxic and not intended to be
eaten, breathed in incense, or otherwise consumed. If you also
work with herbs for cooking or healing, be sure to keep your
magickal herbs separate and use a different set of tools to work
with them. You wouldn't use the same funnel to pour cooking oil
that you used to pour kerosene, after all.


The purpose of these texts are to introduce you to the Magick of
herbs. There is so much these plants and flowers can offer.
Working with herbs can be as simple or as ritualistic as you want
to make it. For example:  as simplistic as selecting a few herbs
for a bath sachet and putting them into cheese cloth, a tea ball,
or even a coffee filter for use, or as ritualistic as working
with certain herbs in Circle for a specific spell or talisman,
enchanting each herb and then the entire mixture. Remember,
however, that when working with things from the Mother Earth,
sometimes "less" is best.

There are no set rules here, save 2:

Rule No. 1:  Remember the Law of Three
Rule No. 2:  First learn rule Number 1.

I said there were no set rules and there aren't. But there are
some simple hints, as well as etiquette, that you should be aware
of before you start with the Magickal Herb lessons. Among these

* Magick is natural.
* Harm no one - not even yourself.
* Magick takes work. You get what you put into it.
* Magick should not be done for pay.
* Don't haggle over the price of your tools. If you can't afford
  them now, then wait until you can afford the price. Haggling
  lessens the worth of the tools in your work.
* Keep your ego in check. Remember, you are only a tool, as well.
* Magick is learning. Know not only how, but also why.
* Magick should be used for defense only. (The Law of 3 very
  much applies here.)
* Magick is Love! Do what you do because you love it in your
* When you use Magick in anger or hate, you cross the fine line
  from white to black, and therein lies danger.

Lesson One: Storage and Tools

I am starting very basic here. Some may want to breeze through
this. But I have been asked to start at the beginning, so here
goes. You don't have to store your herbs in any special way
unless you want to. I just use blue canning jars and interesting
bottles. I like a tight lid to keep moisture away from the herb,
and to keep the herb in the bottle. Nothing is worse that herbs
spilling out into the cabinet and all over the floor when the jar
is tipped over!

Always label your herbs. Even the most adept herbalist can get
confused once in awhile. The labeling method is another matter of
choice. As I use my herbs for many purposes, I generally just
label by herb name. However, you could also add a few lines
stating elemental properties, basic uses, etc. As you learn more
you may want to store herbal blends. Label these with the types
of herbs used and the purpose it was intended for when you
blended it. Maybe you found a certain natural incense you made
that you really like. Blend a bunch of it, label it, and jot down
the purpose for which you like to use it, e.g., power,
relaxation, etc. You'll find this simple step very useful in the
future; don't always rely on memory.

You more than likely will want a few tools. A mortar and pestle,
and a good knife should be among your first tools. I use my
athame to cut herbs. You may choose to use the traditional
sickle-shaped "Boleen."  If you intend to use your herbs for both
magick and cooking/healing, get two mortar and pestles
(especially if you choose something porous like wood). This way,
a mortar used to crush mistletoe and holly won't be used for
crushing pepper and garlic. Remember, some of the herbs you use
for magickal work are toxic if taken internally. With the
exception of the knife, I prefer to use wood, stone, or clay for
my tools, and tend to stay away from metals. Certain oils and
herbs have a reaction with some alloys.

Other tools you may want are pretty basic to the Craft in
general, and you may already have most of them. These include a
censor and incense, candles of various colors, and a bowl for
mixing. You'll need something to hold water (if needed), like a
shell or a bowl, and you may want to collect various sizes of
shells or containers for measuring your herbs. You may want a
colored cloth for a bag, string,or rubber bands for sachets, and
of course you will eventually want to make amulets and such. But
these things can be acquired as the need arises.

Other than what I have mentioned above, the purpose will tell
what supplies are needed.

Lesson Two: Basic Herbs

Most people will have at least the basic kitchen herbs in their
cabinet. Remember the term "herb" does not exclude flowers and
trees. You may be surprised to know how many different flowers
and woods fall into the magickal category.

Roses are traditionally aligned with water. They can be used for
psychic powers, love divination, luck, protection, and healing.
Use a single rose in a vase on the altar for powerful help in
love divinations. A cup of rosewater tea at bed time can help you
dream prophetic dreams.

Even a Daisy has power where lust and love is concerned, and is
said to bring love when worn. A simple divination that's been
done for years can be done with a daisy. Remember the "He loves
me, He loves me not?"  That is love divination in its most basic

Carnations can offer protection, healing and strength. Place
carnations on the altar during healing rituals, and use the
petals in amulets and incense.

Oak is good to use for money, protection, potency, fertility, and
luck. It is said that carrying any piece of oak will draw good
luck. Take 2 twigs from an oak tree and tie them together in an
equal armed cross; hang them in your house to guard against evil.
Make a small equal armed cross and carry it with you in your
wallet or purse for protection during the day.

So much for the garden, on to the kitchen.

Have you ever felt the need for just a little extra strength?
Take out the Bay Leaf. Bay lends strength to you or your purpose.
Use bay in workings involving purification and protection. Bay is
also used for wisdom blends. Burn bay in incense for help in
solving a problem, or use  it in a ritual bath when you'll be
facing a situation where you'll really need your wits about you.

Basil has been called "the Witches Herb" for centuries. Basil has
been used for exorcism, protection,  in "flying ointments", and
love potions. "Where Basil grows, no evil goes!" and "Where Basil
is, no evil lives,"  goes the old adages. Basil, given as a gift,
will bring good luck to a new home. Sprinkled around the house,
it wards off evil.

Sage helps to promote wisdom. It can also be used for wishes and
protection. Carrying sage is said to bring you wisdom. Some
traditions say it is bad luck to plant sage in your own garden;
instead, you should have someone else do it for you. If you take
a sage leaf and write your fondest wish upon it, then place it
under your pillow for three nights, it is said you'll dream of
what you wish, and your dream will come true. I use sage in
incense to help with learning.

Anise is good for protection and purification. I use it sometimes
in candles or incense for meditation and protection.

Last but not least, is Salt. Sea salt is best. Salt cleanses and
purifies. It can be used in cleansing rituals, and banishings.
Use salted water to purify new tools. If you have a fire place,
throw pine needles into into the first fire of the season. After
they begin burning, throw some salt into the flames. This will
help protect your house, dispel evil, and bring happiness to the

More Common Herbs

Chamomile gives relaxation, calmness, love, and purification.
This is an excellent herb to include in a ritual bath sachet. It
brings peace and protection to the user. It is a love herb but
what is so different about it is the fact that it can help get
rid of evil. (That's a little different for an herb that is used
in love and relaxation).

Use Pennyroyal for strength, protection and peace. Known as the
"Herb of Peace," pennyroyal given to two fighting partners will
cause them to stop fighting. Used in ritual, pennyroyal adds
strength to you and your working.

Use Wood Betony for protection, purification, and love. Betony is
added to purification mixtures and incenses. It is traditional to
burn betony in a bonfire on Midsummer and then jump through the
smoke to purify the body of ills and evil. Betony is also said to
help people be more attractive to the opposite sex.

Use Catnip for Love, Happiness, and (of course) cat magick. Given
to your cat, it will create a psychic bond between the two of
you. However, it can be intoxicating to the cat. Catnip and rose
petals are used in love sachets.

Damiana is burned for visions, and is also used in lust spells.

Ferns are good for protection, luck, riches, and banishings.
Dried fern is thrown upon hot coals to banish evil and protect
the home. Wearing Fern is said to draw the riches to the wearer.
You can also use it in natural incense for a little extra power.
Fern is like a little push; it kind of hides in the blend until
the right moment, and then comes out to add that last little
kick, just when you need it most.

Honeysuckle is used to increase psychic powers and provide
protection. A honeysuckle bush growing near your house will bring
good luck.

   [This is the first part of a two-part article. The second
   part is available on The Cauldron's web site and will
   appear in the next issue of Cauldron and Candle.]

========= Author Unknown

Upon 40 days of Prayre and Fasting, with Purest Faithe and
Calling unto the Gods...

   I. Clasp near thy rod of power (a.k.a. a telephone)

  II. Call forth for ye Spirits of Travelle and theire nefarious

 III. Yea, state and visualize thy destination --thrice, for the
      Agents of Travel to Comprhende Thee...

  IV. Yea, Task them and overcome them in Ye Test of Wills


  VI. Two weeks hence, take ye under New Moon to Clearing of the

 VII. Present Thyself in Trembling and Loathing to the Guardians
      of the Towers of the North, East, South and West and
      Present to them the holy scroll of the High Priestess:

VIII. Pass ye surely through the Elemental Detector and its "Ever
      Alert" guardians of Thy Safety (But not Thy Rights)

  IX. Wait Until the Stars show, the wind blows and the new grass

   X. When your Gryphon of Metal arriveth (and, ha, craven fool,
      it arriveth not when ye expect but only upon the winged
      beast's good and fickle pleasure), board it and fly away.

========= by Randall Sapphire

I like pinball. I always have, but I hate spending money playing
pinball. Therefore, I really enjoyed an old 1980s program called
Pinball Construction Set. It let people with much more talent for
art and design than I had design their own computer pinball games
and share them with others who had no talent. Others like me.
The graphics were primitive and the balls often crawled on early
home computers, but you could spend $30 and play pinball all you
wanted -- and on as many different tables as you could find on
computer bulletin boards.

Computer pinball games are still around and look much better.
However, there's been nothing like the old Pinball Construction
Set. I guess companies figure they don't make as much money if
people can buy one product and play umpteen different free,
user-created tables with it. Now, however, there's a freeware
solution to this problem: Visual Pinball.

Visual Pinball is a modern Windows 9x/2000 version of the Pinball
Construction Set. It allows anyone with a lot of artistic talent
and a bit Visual Basic scripting experience to create their own
pinball tables, play them, and share them with others.
Fortunately, as I have no artistic talent, the download comes
with two complete pinball tables. More than 15 tables created by
others are available on the Visual Pinball web site. Most of the
ones I've tried look nice and are fun to play. If you like
pinball games, this free program is worth the download time.

You will find this free Windows program at:


========= Cauldron Info

The following new areas have been added to The Cauldron's web
site since our last issue.

 * The Cauldron's Grimoire


 * Cauldron EzBoard Annex


 * Free MP3 Downloads


 * News & Research Portal


The following book and tarot reviews (some included in this
newsletter) are new to the web site:

 * Isis Magick


 * Magick, Shamanism, & Taoism


 * Secrets of Western Sex Magic


========= Cauldron Info
========= NEW WEB POLL

Our new polls are working nicely and without all the problems we
had when they were hosted offsite. You'll find them on their own
web page at:


Our newest poll, opened April 1, asks:

 * How do you view myths in general?

   Possible answers include:

   + True stories about the gods
   + Allegories actually about humans
   + Pure fiction
   + Some truth but much fiction|0
   + Equal amounts of truth and fiction
   + Cautionary/Teaching tools

Make your opinion known, take this poll today. You will find it


========= Cauldron Info

If you wish to purchase books or other items at Amazon.com, you
can help fund The Cauldron's web site by using this link to
access Amazon.com when you make your purchases:


Just use this link to go to Amazon.com via our web site and
almost every purchase you make that visit will earn The Cauldron
a small amount to help pay for our web page -- at no extra charge
to you. You can also use the Amazon link on the menu of every
Cauldron web page and not have to remember this long link.

Unlike the Amazon link listed in some prior issues of this
newsletter, you can simply visit this site and save the link in
your bookmark list. If you then use this bookmarked link every
time you wish to visit Amazon.com, any purchases you make while
there will help fund The Cauldron's web site.

========= Cauldron and Thicket Info


Cauldron Co-Host Randall Sapphire has been hosting a one hour
general chat almost every Tuesday evening from 10pm to 11pm
Central (Daylight) Time in The Cauldron's channel (#thecauldron)
on the PaganPaths IRC server. These chats are being suspended for
a couple of months, both to allow Randall to cope with tax season
-- he is a computer consultant with a number of CPA clients --
and to give him a "chat vacation."  Randall hopes to resume his
regular chats sometime in May.


The Thicket hosts several chats each week in their Delphi
(Java-based) chat area. You have to be a member of Delphi and The
Thicket to participate. You will find the chats by pointing your
browser to The Thicket's Start Page at:


Chats are normally being held on the following days and times
(all times are Central Time):

 * Monday at 11:30pm

 * Wednesday at 12:00 noon

 * Friday at 11:30pm

Please check on The Thicket's message board for changes to this

If "Central Time" doesn't mean anything to you, there's an online
time converter at http://sandbox.xerox.com/stewart/tzconvert.cgi
might help. I think Central Time is listed as something like "US
- Central" in the drop down box.

========= (Including how to subscribe and unsubscribe)

Cauldron and Candle is a free publication of The Cauldron: A
Pagan Forum with assistance from our sister form, The Witches'
Thicket. The Cauldron and The Thicket aim to publish this
newsletter twice a month and often actually succeed in doing so.

Copyrights on individual items in this newsletter are retained by
their author, please contact the editors if you need to contact
an author for permission to reprint an article and the editors
will do their best to put you in touch with him or her. No one
involved in producing this newsletter has any money to speak of
so suing us if you don't like something we do is a waste of time
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Cauldron and Candle is always looking for articles, reviews, and
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either drop them a note yourself or -- better yet -- send them
one of The Cauldron's email postcards with the information.

You are also welcome to forward a copies of this newsletter to
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If you like The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum please invite your
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Thanks in advance.


Don't forget that your suggestions for the forum are always
welcome, either posted on the message board or via email to
Elspeth Sapphire (elspeth.sapphire@worldnet.att.net) or Randall
Sapphire (rssapphire@ecauldron.com). Typos are, as usual,
courtesy of the Goddess Eris.

Merry Meet, Merry Part, Merry Meet again!
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