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Cauldron and Candle
Issue #6 -- Mid-January 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
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Return to Cauldron and Candle Archive

C A U L D R O N   A N D   C A N D L E  #6 -- Mid-January 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:

[01] Editorial: Responsibility
[02] Poem: Shades of Grey
[03] Candlemas: The Light Returns
[04] Review: When, Why... If
[05] Review: Your Book of Shadows
[06] Review: Silver's Spells for Protection
[07] Review: Power Tarot
[08] Magick: Third Eye Ritual
[09] Magick: Herb Use in Magick: Part Two (M - Z)
[10] The Tarot in the Comics: Promethea
[11] Humor: Husband 1.0: Answers from Tech Support
[12] Software: PowerPro
[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: January 31, 2001 +++

========= by Elspeth Sapphire

"It's not =my= fault! It's =her= fault!"

"I didn't know... didn't research... didn't think..."

"You can't blame me... it wasn't against the Rede!"

"Why are these bad things happening to me?? I didn't do anything
bad... not really...."

Do any of these sound familiar? As a mother I expected to hear
them time after time. After all, one of my responsibilities as a
mother was to teach my children to deal with =their=
responsibilities. What has surprised and saddened me is the
increasing numbers of times I hear comments like the above from
people in the Pagan community.

Perhaps I am a product of the old school, but I was taught early
that we reap what we sow ... in this world and others.

I am not talking about something as simple as following the Rede
or the Law of Threes. I am talking about taking responsibility
for each and every action in our lives, both mundane and

My Tradition is big on responsibility. Our version of the Rede
states: "Do what you will, but be aware that every action comes
with a price tag. Be prepared to pay that price."  It is that
simple. Act as you feel the need, but be willing to stand up and
accept the consequences of your action.

Of course, this sounds simple, is simple, and still is sometimes
very difficult to deal with.

One of the examples I use with my students is a mundane one; my
daughter is raped. Now there are several ways I can react, both
mundanely and magickally. If I decide to go after the man who did
this and track him down and shoot him dead, then I have to accept
that I will probably get caught and sent to jail. That would mean
that I wouldn't be available to help my family through the
aftermath of the rape. I wouldn't be able to comfort my daughter
and help her reach past the experience and go on with her life.
But the man would be dead.

Would I do it? Probably not. Taking responsibility for my actions
would end up hurting my family as much as the rape. And, to me,
claiming that anger and grief drove me to it would be a denial of
that responsibility. And still hurt my family.

I see the same things happening magickally. A good example is the
growing trend of books encouraging people to use love spells. Not
wanting to debate the ethics of such spells, I would like you to
look at what can happen. I know one woman who used a sexual
seduction spell and then was surprised and horrified when the man
raped her. She had decided that she would decide when the moment
would be right for them, forgetting that magick often has its own
timetable. This lady-who was normally quite bright-- saw herself
as a victim, and didn't see how her own actions brought forth the
situation. She couldn't accept responsibility for what she set in

Another woman used a love spell and it worked. She got her man.
However, once she had him, she realized that she didn't really
want him. Two people were made miserable because she hadn't
looked forward to see what could happen. Did she then take
responsibility for what she had done and see what could be done
to make things better? No, she ran to someone like me and
expected them to fix things. After all, it wasn't really =her=

Sigh. I have lost track of how many times people have come to me
wanting help. I don't mind helping people, but it is the whining
that gets rough to deal with. I know that sounds harsh, but
whining is what it is. I would much rather deal with someone that
comes to me and says, "I acted like an idiot. Can you help me
figure out what to do now?" Instead, I often get people that say,
"Well, the spell was in a book! Surely that makes it all right to
use! It must be the author's fault!" Or the website, or their
teacher or anyone else.

Paganism gets a bad rep in part because of the refusal to be
responsible. What message does it send to non-Pagans when they
listen to Sally blame her problems at work on the fact that
someone must be doing a working against her? Of course, it has
nothing to do with that fact that she doesn't do her job well or
gossips about the people she works beside. What does it say when
John claims that he can't get a date because of his bad aura or
shielding? It couldn't have anything to do with the fact he is
shy and doesn't bathe regularly!

The coven I belonged to before I became a HPS actually had rules
about getting your life in order before dealing with the
magickal. Don't whine about no job when you haven't even made an
attempt to go out and look for a job. Doing a spell is not
enough, and blaming the spell only makes you seem like a child.

Being responsible is not easy. Sometimes it is hard work. And
often it is very painful. It is so much easier to blame your
lover, your parents, your boss, the universe. Easier, but often

When someone, even myself, asks, "Why me?", I usually tell them
to think about =why= them. The truth is often there if we but
take a look at it. The trick is to not look at your neighbor,
instead take a good look at yourself. Be honest with yourself.
Think about =why= you do the things you do, both mundane and
magickal. Realize what your true motives are. Then think about
what =could= happen as a result of your actions. Do you want any
of that to happen? Are you prepared to deal with the results?

I remember once I was prepared to do a justice spell. I had been
egged on by others and I was angry enough at the individual to
act. This despite the fact that I know very well that asking for
someone else to be judged, holds me up to be judged also.

Well, to make a long story short, on the way to do the spell, I
dropped the black glass candle that we had prepared. It shattered
all over the ground. This started me thinking with my brain,
instead of my emotions. I postponed the working and did some
serious thinking. I realized that I was doing the spell because I
was pissed and not because the person deserved it. I moaned when
I realized that if she and I were judged, then =I= would be most
likely found wanting. Having suffered through a justice spell
when I =was= in the right, I can only imagine what the gods would
have in store for me.

Our version of Rede dates from this experience. As does my
insistence on each and every member being responsible for their

It has changed my life for the better. I have gotten to know
myself. This wasn't always a pleasure. Some of what I saw
disgusted and shamed me. Some saddened.  And all of it gave me a
jumping off point for changing. Now when a fight is brewing
between my mate and me, I ask myself if I am refusing to talk to
her because of hurt feelings or because I am trying to "punish"
her for hurting me. In either case, I then ask myself if I would
rather be "right" or be close to the person I love best in the
world. When put that way, often the path seems rather clear.

Not all issues are as clear. Some require thought, questioning,
truth, and sometimes more thought. Being an adult is never easy,
but I believe it has perks. If nothing else, being able to stand
up for what I do with a free heart is worth the work and pain.

So the next time when the world doesn't seem to be going your
way, before you start to bitch and whine, or even ask why, take a
moment to look at your part in what is happening. You might just
find that you had a hand in your own problems. And that
knowledge might be enough to help find a solution.


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


========= SHADES OF GREY
========= A Poem by Elspeth Sapphire

Some come in sunshine,
And gather sparkling waves.
Some come in moonlight
With a boon they crave.

I come here in twilight
Which is proper and right
For greyness fogs my mind
and shrouds my every Sight.

The Lady whispers my name,
Sends a shiver up my spine
And I calmly accept Her Will --
Our purposes entwine.

I am more than I was, yet,
Less than I can truly be,
An empty messenger of fate
Kneeling by the raging sea.

I stand, chilled and alone,
Greyness now part of my heart.
And greyness follows, warm
And comforting as I depart.

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

It seems quite impossible that the holiday of Candlemas should be
considered the beginning of Spring. Here in the Heartland,
February 2nd may see a blanket of snow mantling the Mother. Or,
if the snows have gone, you may be sure the days are filled with
drizzle, slush, and steel-grey skies -- the dreariest weather of
the year. In short, the perfect time for a Pagan Festival of
Lights. And as for Spring, although this may seem a tenuous
beginning, all the little buds, flowers and leaves will have
arrived on schedule before Spring runs its course to Beltane.

'Candlemas' is the Christianized name for the holiday, of course.
The older Pagan names were Imbolc and Oimelc. 'Imbolc' means,
literally, 'in the belly' (of the Mother). For in the womb of
Mother Earth, hidden from our mundane sight but sensed by a
keener vision, there are stirrings. The seed that was planted in
her womb at the solstice is quickening and the new year grows.
'Oimelc' means 'milk of ewes', for it is also lambing season.

The holiday is also called 'Brigit's Day', in honor of the great
Irish Goddess Brigit. At her shrine, the ancient Irish capitol of
Kildare, a group of 19 priestesses (no men allowed) kept a
perpetual flame burning in her honor. She was considered a
goddess of fire, patroness of smithcraft, poetry and healing
(especially the healing touch of midwifery). This tripartite
symbolism was occasionally expressed by saying that Brigit had
two sisters, also named Brigit. (Incidentally, another form of
the name Brigit is Bride, and it is thus She bestows her special
patronage on any woman about to be married or handfasted, the
woman being called 'bride' in her honor.)

The Roman Catholic Church could not very easily call the Great
Goddess of Ireland a demon, so they canonized her instead.
Henceforth, she would be 'Saint' Brigit, patron SAINT of
smithcraft, poetry, and healing. They 'explained' this by telling
the Irish peasants that Brigit was 'really' an early Christian
missionary sent to the Emerald Isle, and that the miracles she
performed there 'misled' the common people into believing that
she was a goddess. For some reason, the Irish swallowed this.
(There is no limit to what the Irish imagination can convince
itself of. For example, they also came to believe that Brigit was
the 'foster-mother' of Jesus, giving no thought to the
implausibility of Jesus having spent his boyhood in Ireland!)

Brigit's holiday was chiefly marked by the kindling of sacred
fires, since she symbolized the fire of birth and healing, the
fire of the forge, and the fire of poetic inspiration. Bonfires
were lighted on the beacon tors, and chandlers celebrated their
special holiday. The Roman Church was quick to confiscate this
symbolism as well, using 'Candlemas' as the day to bless all the
church candles that would be used for the coming liturgical year.
(Catholics will be reminded that the following day, St. Blaise's
Day, is remembered for using the newly-blessed candles to bless
the throats of parishioners, keeping them from colds, flu, sore
throats, etc.)

The Catholic Church, never one to refrain from piling holiday
upon holiday, also called it the Feast of the Purification of the
Blessed Virgin Mary. (It is surprising how many of the old Pagan
holidays were converted to Maryan Feasts.) The symbol of the
Purification may seem a little obscure to modern readers, but it
has to do with the old custom of 'churching women'. It was
believed that women were impure for six weeks after giving birth.
And since Mary gave birth at the winter solstice, she wouldn't be
purified until February 2nd. In Pagan symbolism, this might be
re-translated as when the Great Mother once again becomes the
Young Maiden Goddess.

Today, this holiday is chiefly connected to weather lore. Even
our American folk-calendar keeps the tradition of 'Groundhog's
Day', a day to predict the coming weather, telling us that if the
Groundhog sees his shadow, there will be 'six more weeks' of bad
weather (i.e., until the next old holiday, Lady Day). This custom
is ancient. An old British rhyme tells us that 'If Candlemas Day
be bright and clear, there'll be two winters in the year.'
Actually, all of the cross-quarter days can be used as 'inverse'
weather predictors, whereas the quarter-days are used as 'direct'
weather predictors.

Like the other High Holidays or Great Sabbats of the Witches'
year, Candlemas is sometimes celebrated on it's alternate date,
astrologically determined by the sun's reaching 15-degrees
Aquarius, or Candlemas Old Style (in 1988, February 3rd, at 9:03
am CST). Another holiday that gets mixed up in this is
Valentine's Day. Ozark folklorist Vance Randolf makes this quite
clear by noting that the old-timers used to celebrate Groundhog's
Day on February 14th. This same displacement is evident in
Eastern Orthodox Christianity as well. Their habit of celebrating
the birth of Jesus on January 6th, with a similar post-dated
shift in the six-week period that follows it, puts the Feast of
the Purification of Mary on February 14th. It is amazing to think
that the same confusion and lateral displacement of one of the
old folk holidays can be seen from the Russian steppes to the
Ozark hills, but such seems to be the case!

Incidentally, there is speculation among linguistic scholars that
the vary name of 'Valentine' has Pagan origins. It seems that it
was customary for French peasants of the Middle Ages to pronounce
a 'g' as a 'v'. Consequently, the original term may have been the
French 'galantine', which yields the English word 'gallant'. The
word originally refers to a dashing young man known for his
'affaires d'amour', a true galaunt. The usual associations of
V(G)alantine's Day make much more sense in this light than their
vague connection to a legendary 'St. Valentine' can produce.
Indeed, the Church has always found it rather difficult to
explain this nebulous saint's connection to the secular pleasures
of flirtation and courtly love.

For modern Witches, Candlemas O.S. may then be seen as the Pagan
version of Valentine's Day, with a de-emphasis of 'hearts and
flowers' and an appropriate re-emphasis of Pagan carnal
frivolity. This also re-aligns the holiday with the ancient Roman
Lupercalia, a fertility festival held at this time, in which the
priests of Pan ran through the streets of Rome whacking young
women with goatskin thongs to make them fertile. The women seemed
to enjoy the attention and often stripped in order to afford
better targets.

One of the nicest folk-customs still practiced in many countries,
and especially by Witches in the British Isles and parts of the
U.S., is to place a lighted candle in each and every window of
the house, beginning at sundown on Candlemas Eve (February 1st),
allowing them to continue burning until sunrise. Make sure that
such candles are well seated against tipping and guarded from
nearby curtains, etc. What a cheery sight it is on this cold,
bleak and dreary night to see house after house with candle-lit
windows! And, of course, if you are your Coven's chandler, or if
you just happen to like making candles, Candlemas Day is THE day
for doing it. Some Covens hold candle-making parties and try to
make and bless all the candles they'll be using for the whole
year on this day.

Other customs of the holiday include weaving 'Brigit's crosses'
from straw or wheat to hang around the house for protection,
performing rites of spiritual cleansing and purification, making
'Brigit's beds' to ensure fertility of mind and spirit (and body,
if desired), and making Crowns of Light (i.e. of candles) for the
High Priestess to wear for the Candlemas Circle, similar to those
worn on St. Lucy's Day in Scandinavian countries. All in all,
this Pagan Festival of Lights, sacred to the young Maiden
Goddess, is one of the most beautiful and poetic of the year.

(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.)

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========= REVIEW: WHEN, WHY... IF
========= Reviewed by Elspeth Sapphire

When, Why...If
Author: Robin Wood
Trade Paperback
Publisher: Livingtree
Publication date: January 1997
ISBN: 096529840X
US Retail Price: $12.95
Amazon Link:

The subtitle on the title page explains this book well: "An
Ethics Workbook." Rather than a boring lecture on a personal
subject, we are instead treated to a series of thought provoking
questions that cause you to take a serious look at what you truly
believe and even more importantly, why you believe it.

For most Pagans and Wiccans, training on the subject of ethics
begins and ends with such items as the Rede and the Threefold
Law. We have no ten commandments to steer us around the rocks in
the Path. In claiming a direct line to the deities, we have also
taken onto our own shoulders the duty to act in a moral and
ethical manner. However, saying and knowing that doesn't make it
any easier to figure out answers to the questions that plague us

Often ethics is a subject that many people don't want to deal
with. It can make them feel uncomfortable, or perhaps the subject
confuses them. Sometimes they just don't know the correct
questions to ask. We all want to think of ourselves as ethical,
but how many of us go through a crisis of mind, heart, and soul
when life throws us a fast curve ball?

The beauty of this book is it forces you to take a hard look at
yourself. In this case, knowledge is a wonderful thing, giving
you guidance when the waters are rough.

Subjects covered include honesty, self, love, help, harm, sex,
will, and ethics. The questions in the exercise part of each
chapter are rarely easy and often less than comfortable to

Would I recommend this book? Well, my coven is currently halfway
through the book, and it is now on my reading list for new
students. I have been shocked, startled, amused, and deeply
confused by this book. Much of what I thought I believed has been
turned upside down. I definitely am looking at things in a very
different manner.

And I am a better person for it.

I highly recommend this book.

           This review is available on our web site at

========= Reviewed by Elspeth Sapphire

Your Book of Shadows: How to Write Your Own Magickal Spells
Author: Patricia J. Telesco
Trade Paperback, 160 pages
Publisher: Citadel Press
Publication date: May 1999
ISBN: 080652071X
US Retail Price: $12.95
Amazon Link:

One of the questions I am asked most often by students is how to
create their own personal book of shadows. It seems like it
should be an easy question to answer, but often it takes working
with the student to create something that they will use. Now
Patricia Telesco takes on the question -- with much better
answers than I usually came up with.

It was the author's name that caused me to first pull this book
from the shelves -- I have enjoyed many of her other books.
However, it was the sub-title that kept me from putting it back.
"How to Write Your Own Magickal Spells." Now, that sounded truly

Like her many other books, Ms. Telesco writes in a clear-cut, yet
not condescending, manner. She wants her readers to understand,
but she doesn't treat them like children. Given the writing of
certain other authors of 101 type books, her tone is indeed

Starting with the mundane subject of making your own paper, she
progresses to showing you how to make the mundane magickal. From
what kind of inks to use for what kind of results to how to
organize your information, there is something for everyone --
newbie to third-degree.

One thing that I have always loved about Ms. Telesco and her
books is that she is never out to cram "her way" of doing things
down your throat. In fact, she starts this book by pointing out
that before you start your book, you need to sit down and look at
who you are, what you believe, and where you believe you are

Very good advice in my opinion.

Exercises, challenges, reading lists, and space for personal
notes made this book very user friendly.

I highly recommend this book.

           This review is available on our web site at

========= Reviewed by Elspeth Sapphire

Silver's Spells for Protection
Author: Silver Ravenwolf
Paperback, 252 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: March 2000
ISBN: 1567187293
US Retail Price: $7.95
Amazon Link:

Protection seems to be a topic ever on the mind of mankind. From
ancient times to modern, we have sought to keep ourselves and our
families, clans, and loved ones safe from dangers of this world
and the spirit world. This book claims to make it easier to do
just that.

It is well known that I hold a less than favorable opinion of Ms.
Ravenwolf's work. Starting about the time of Teen Witch, I have
gone from recommending her writing to recommending against her
work. To be honest, as I begin writing this review, I'm not sure
whether or not to recommend this book.

A mixed up mess of information, poorly organized, the book seems
to swing back and forward between what should be common sense
reminders and spiritual magickal advice and spells. I often felt
that I was being talked down to -- like a child. I know that such
books are often aimed at beginners, but even a beginner could
resent the tone of some of her "reminders."

I am a firm believer in KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). Many of
these spells seem to go out of their way to break the KISS
principal at every turn. There are just too many steps, too many
long poems, too much to remember. Some of the spells you would
need a crib sheet to do -- or the book open in front of you. Some
people have no trouble with that, but I have preferred to teach
my students to create spells that flow from them instead of using
a "cookbook." Having to keep referring to a piece of paper can
interrupt the passion of the moment.

I shared a couple of spells with Ghost -- like the wolf one that
calls for protection of the Clan. (For those who don't know,
Ghost answers to the Great Wolf Spirit.) After she finished
rolling on the floor laughing, she admitted that the spell could
work, but added that if you called on the spirit of an alpha pair
of wolves, you best have something for them a bit more "meaty"
than sage smoke. Especially when the spell offers for them to
share in the bounty of the hunt. This is a common flaw of her
spells, in my opinion. Of course, I still haven't gotten over the
"Frost Giants are our Friends" from Teen Witch. As Ghost says, "I
call on the Frost Giants, but they sure as hell aren't my

Most of the book has a very heavy handed pseudo-Wiccan tone, but
while irritating at times, it can be ignored. She is now using
"magickal person" instead of witch in her work. For some reason
it irritated me as much and sounded so fluffy.

I think what bothered me most about this book -- despite the bits
of useful information -- was the feeling that I was being spoken
down to all the time. There were many "Mother knows Best" style
of comments, and too often I felt force-fed her brand of
religion/spirituality. I realize that the author considers
herself "Mama Silver," but she isn't MY mama.

I think that the one thing I did like about the book was the
practical tips scattered through the book. Mostly they were both
practical and interesting, though her tone still was a bit much.

Should you buy this book? Well, I probably wouldn't have if I had
to pay full price. There are much better books out there on the
subject of protection. If you have cash to spare and want a
cookbook of spells to use as a jumping off point, then this book
might be useful.

           This review is available on our web site at

========= POWER TAROT
========= Reviewed by Randall Sapphire

Power Tarot: More Than 100 Spreads That Give Specific
      Answers to Your Most Important Questions
Author: Trish MacGregor and Phyllis Vega
Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Publisher: Fireside Books
Publication date: June 1998
ISBN: 0684841851
US Retail Price: $12.00
Amazon Link:

Power Tarot is co-written by a friend and occasional member of
The Cauldron, Phyllis Vega. This makes it a hard book to review
fairly. This is especially true as it is one of the better new
books on the Tarot I've seen recently.

As one might expect in a Tarot book designed for mass market
appeal, a good portion of the book is taken up with suggested
interpretations of the cards. MacGregor and Vega simplify things
a bit by ignoring reversed meanings. This is a good idea as even
without reversed interpretations about a page and a half is
devoted the interpretation of each card. A general interpretation
and interpretations for specific types of readings (relating to
work, romance, finances, health, spirituality, and empowerment)
are given for every card. The court cards, which are often
glossed over with interpretations like "a powerful man" in other
books, are given the same full treatment as the other cards in
Power Tarot. As I've always had trouble interpreting the court
cards when interpreting them as a person just doesn't make sense,
this alone made Power Tarot a welcome addition to my library.

The most interesting part of the book, however, is the one
hundred Tarot spreads. Most of these spreads are original. They
range from one card spreads to twenty-four card spreads. While a
few do look like they were created just to round off the
collection to 100, most are interesting and might be useful to
answer specific types of questions. I haven't had time to try all
of them, but several of these new spreads have already become
favorites of mine: the Desire spread, the Ladle spread, and the
Treasure Chest spread. The only problem with this section is that
the explanations of various positions in each spread are often a
bit sketchy. While this is not a problem for more experienced
readers, it might be a bit of a problem for less experienced

Overall, Power Tarot is an excellent addition to the bookshelves
of anyone interested in the Tarot. I haven't been this pleased
with a new Tarot book since Mary K. Greer's Tarot For Your Self
came out in the mid-eighties. When you see it in your bookstore,
be sure to take a look.

[Watch for a review of Phyllis Vega's new book, Romancing the
Tarot, in a February issue of Cauldron and Candle.]

           This review is available on our web site at

========= A Spell to help improve your visionary abilities

Perform this ritual to improve psychic powers three days before
the moon is full, and preferably when it is in either the
astrological sign of Cancer, Pisces or Scorpio. Begin by brewing
a strong magickal tea made from yarrow or mugwort (herbs that
stimulate the psychic senses) and then light thirteen purple
colored votive candles to help attract psychic influences. Drink
the tea and then gaze fixedly into a magick mirror, black bowl
full of water, crystal ball, or crystal pyramid as you chant
thrice the following incantation:

   I invoke thee, oh Asarial,
   Archangel of Neptune
   And ruler of clairvoyant powers.
   I ask thee now to open my third eye
   And show me the hidden light.
   Let me see the future.
   Let me see the past.
   Let me perceive the divine
   Kingdoms of the unknown.
   Let me understand the wisdom
   Of the mighty universe.
   So mote it be!

After chanting, relax, breathe slowly and concentrate on opening
your Third Eye. Do not permit any negative thought to contaminate
your mind. The Third Eye, an invisible chakra located in the
middle of the forehead above the space between the eyebrows, is
the human body's highest source of power, supernormal sight and
clairvoyant vision.

========= MAGICK: HERB USES IN MAGICK (Part Two: M - Z)
========= Author Unknown

  [As usual, check with a reliable, trusted herbalist or
  recognized manual before ingesting herbs you aren't
  familiar with.]

MANDRAKE: (Mercury, earth) Strong protection for home. Carried by
women who want to conceive and men to cure impotency. Sleep with
it in the bed for three nights under a full moon. Carry for

MARIGOLD: (sun, fire) Renews energy wherever vase is placed. Wear
flowers to see who has stolen from you.

MARJORAM: (Mercury, air) Add to love charms. Put a bit in every

MEADOWSWEET: (Jupiter, water) Arrange fresh flowers on altar when
mixing love charms or performing love spells. Wear garland at
Lammas to join the essence of the Goddess.

MISTLETOE: Protective, anti-lightning.

MUGWORT: (Venus, air) Put into shoe for protection and to prevent
fatigue. Mugwort tea induces clairvoyance. Rub fresh leaves on
scrying mirrors or crystal balls to strengthen divination. Add to
scrying, clairvoyance, and divination incenses. One of the
strongest protectants. Hang in house to guard against lightning,
place under doorstep to keep unwanted people out. Fill pillow to
induce vivid dreams.

MULLEIN: (Saturn, fire) Wear to develop courage and protect from
wild animals. Drives away evil.

MYRRH: (sun, water) Purification, protection. Used to consecrate

MYRTLE: (Venus, water) Sacred to Venus, used in love charms and
spells. Grown indoors, brings good luck. Carry leaves to attract
love, or the wood to preserve youth. Make magick charms from
wood. Wear fresh leaves during love spells.

NETTLE: (Mars, fire) Stuff a poppet with nettles to send bad
vibrations or curses back to the sender. Carry for courage, add
to protection charms. An anti-toxin.

NUTMEG: (Jupiter, air) Carry one to strengthen clairvoyant powers
and prevent rheumatism.

OAK: (sun, fire) Sacred tree. Burn leaves for purification. Make
wands from wood. Carry acorns for fertility, youth, and wellness.
Hang in windows to protect house. Men can carry acorns to
increase sexual attractiveness and prowess.

OLIVE: Sacred to Athena. Symbol of peace and wealth, sign of safe

ONION: (Mars, fire) Protection, healing. Place cut onions in a
room to absorb illness. Leave overnight, discard in morning.

ORANGE: (sun, water) Dried peel is added to love and fertility
charms and used in solar incense. Good luck.

ORRIS ROOT: (Venus, water) add to love charms, baths, and

PARSLEY: Symbolic of death.

PATCHOULI: (sun, earth) Carry as an aphrodisiac and to attract

PENNYROYAL: (Venus, earth) Put in shoe to prevent weariness,
carry to prevent seasickness. Highly abortive.

PEPPER: (Mars, fire) Protection

PEPPERMINT: (Venus, air) Healing, good in bath. Used to cool off

PERIWINKLE: (Venus, water) Hang in house for protection.

PIMPERNEL: (Mercury, air) Wear to detect falsehood and to prevent
others from lying to you.

PINE: (Mars, earth) Burn as a winter incense. Nuts are eaten and
carried for fertility. Needles can be added to healing and
cleansing baths.

POPPY: (moon, water) Eat seeds for fertility. Carry for

ROSE: (Venus, water) Carry to attract true love. Drink tea of
petals for divinatory dreams. Add to charms for sleep, love, and
healing. Drink tea to promote beauty, mix petals with regular tea
to attract love.

ROSEMARY: (sun, fire) Protection. Wear to aid memory and
learning. Used in sea rituals and sea magick. Wash hands with
infusion before magick as a substitute for a ritual bath. Drink
tea to make mind alert. Linked to fidelity, love, and happy
memories. Place under pillow to ward off nightmares.

ROWAN: (sun, fire) Tie 2 twigs together with red thread for good
luck and protection charm. Use for divining. Berries can be used
in a good luck amulet.

RUE: (sun, fire) Add to charms to keep illness away. A sprig can
be dipped in water and used to sprinkle an area for purification.

SAFFRON: (sun, fire) Prosperity and healing.

SAGE: (Jupiter, earth) Prosperity and healing. Safeguards health,
promotes longevity. Grows best in the gardens of the wise.

ST.JOHN'S WORT: (sun, fire) Protective. Wards off fever and
illness. Burn as a banishing or exorcism incense. Wear to instill
courage and strengthen the will. Drink tea to cure melancholy.
Hang branches over bed to prevent nightmares.

SANDALWOOD: (moon, air) Use in purifying, protection, and healing

SUNFLOWER: (sun, fire) Brings blessings of the Sun into the
garden. Seeds can be eaten by a woman who wants to conceive.

THYME: (Venus, air) Purifying incense, use in magickal cleansing
baths. Sniff for refreshment and renewed energy. Wear to protect
self from grief during funerals.

VALERIAN: (Mercury, water) Use in love charms and spells, and in
purification baths.

VANILLA: (Jupiter, fire) The bean can be used in a love charm.
The oil can be worn as an aphrodisiac.

VERVAIN: (Venus, water) Sacred to the Druids, used for cleansing.
Hang above bed to keep away nightmares. Used in love and
protection charms. Incense brings good luck and inspiration.

VIOLET: (Venus, water) Mix with lavender for a powerful love
charm. Violet cures headaches and absorbs ill-will and evil

WALNUT: (sun, fire) Carry to promote fertility and strengthen

WILLOW: (moon, water) Make wand for healing. Brings moon
blessings when on your property.

WORMWOOD: (Mars, air) Burn to raise spirits. Used in divinatory
and clairvoyant incenses. Burn in fire on Samhain to protect
against roaming spirits. Give to the dying to enable them to go
in peace.

YARROW: (Venus, water) Love and marriage charms,keeps a couple
together for at least 7 years. Wards of negativity when worn.
Drink tea to enhance the powers of perception.

========= by Anne C. Moore

I follow a few comic books. The most recent issue of one of them,
Promethea Number 12, contains a journey through the major arcana
of the tarot. The main character is trying to learn approaches to
magick and power and understanding, and her most recent guides
take her through the major arcana as a way of seeing the history
of humanity and of the universe. I thought that perhaps those
interested in tarot might want to take a look.

I don't know enough about tarot to be sure, and there are no
explicit credits, but the text refers twice to Crowley, and a
friend I talked to briefly said that at least one card
interpretation that I'd never seen before was Crowley's ("Lust"
instead of "Strength"). The last several cards are presented as a
swing between extremes of the material and the spiritual with
neither really having good results.

The imagery on the "cards" appears rather crude and caricatured
to me. There are a lot of symbols and symbolism on some of the
cards (possibly on all, but I'm not very visually oriented and
often miss that sort of thing).

I wasn't particularly taken by the history as presented here. All
of it was Western European and/or US. Also, I just finished an
intro anthropology class so I didn't appreciate the evolutionary
view of civilization. Having recently studied just how much harm
those views have done in the past, I'm currently tending to react
pretty negatively to them. I think that what bothered me most was
seeing broad symbols presented with narrow interpretations and
then pulled so that those narrow interpretations seem broad.

The Tower is given as representing World War I, with the Star as
the period between wars. The Moon, then, is the Second World War
and is followed by the Sun representing the 1960s.

None of the issues of Promethea that I've read (I've missed a
couple) try to claim to present any grand universal truth. Works
of fiction can play all sorts of games with how "reality" fits
together without particularly upsetting me (well, that may not be
strictly accurate. I get upset if I think something's overblown
or takes itself too seriously). I've enjoyed watching Promethea
play with ideas even when I don't agree with them or understand

The series centers on a girl named Sophie who has somehow (I
missed that issue) gained the ability to become Promethea, the
avatar of imagination. She writes poetry in order to make the
change. Most of the issues have focused on Sophie's efforts to
understand all of the weird things that she now knows exist.
She's looked into the lives of previous Prometheas and visited
other levels of existence. She's also had to face powers that
want to destroy her before she learns how to use the powers she
has access to as Promethea.

It's published by America's Best Comics, and I'd recommend the
series to those who like this sort of thing. It's kind of
mystical, kind of superhero, kind of...

========= Author Unknown

Dear Tech Support

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and
noticed that the new program began making unexpected changes to
the accounting modules, limiting access to flower and jewelry
applications that had operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0. In
addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs,
such as Romance 9.9 but installed undesirable programs such as
NFL 5.0 and NBA 3.0. Conversation 8.0 no longer runs and
HouseCleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system. I've tried running
Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail.



Dear Desperate,

Keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an entertainment package, while
Husband 1.0 is an operating system. Try to enter the command


and install Tears 6.2. Husband 1.0 should then automatically run
the applications Guilty 3.0 and Flowers 7.0. But remember,
overuse can cause Husband 1.0 to default to GrumpySilence 2.5,
Happyhour 7.0 or Beer 6.1.

Beer 6.1 is a very bad program that will create "Snoring Loudly"
wave files. DO NOT install MotherInLaw 1.0 or reinstall another
Boyfriend program. These are not supported applications and will
crash Husband 1.0.

In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have
limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly.
Consider buying additional software to improve performance. I
personally recommend HotFood 3.0 and Lingerie 5.3

Tech Support

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

I've been using PowerPro (and it's predecessor, Stiletto) for
many years. The ancient Win31 version was freeware. The Win9x
version started life as $22 shareware, but became freeware in
June 2000. PowerPro is the most useful Windows utility program on
my computer. I would have a hard time living without it.

On the surface, Powerpro is a small footprint toolbar you can use
as a program launcher.  However, that only hints at the program's
power and versatility. PowerPro has many other features like hot
keys, menus, timers and alarms, notes, reminders, scripts,
wallpaper and sound control, virtual desktops, clipboard history,
and much more. The author updates the program every two or three
months with even more features. Toolbars (and menus to a lesser
extent) can even be "skinned" to give them a look and feel unique
to your system, although this requires far more artistic talent
than I have.

The current version is less than a 2 megabyte download. It's well
worth your download time and the time it will take you to learn
to everything you can do with it. My advice on learning PowerPro
is to look at the examples and to start slow. Configure it to do
what will help you the most, then add more as you have the time
and need. If you try to do learn everything at once, you'll be

You will find this free Windows program at:


[Warning: Inforamp seems to be hard to connect to at times. If
you can't connect, try again a few hours later. The program
itself is also available on the TUCOWS Network.]

========= Cauldron Info

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

 * 20 new humor items in our Pagan humor section


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

 * Silver's Spells for Protection


 * When, Why... If


 * Your Book of Shadows


========= 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 January 16, asks:

 * What effect will the Bush Presidency have on Neo-Paganism in
   the United States?


Make your opinion known, take this poll today!

========= 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 hosts a one hour general chat
almost every Tuesday evening from 10pm to 11pm Central (Daylight)
Time in our channel (#thecauldron) on the PaganPaths IRC server.
We usually have a pretty good turnout.  Discussions cover a wide
range of topics, depending on what the folks present want to

You'll find all the information you need to connect to our chats
either with your own IRC client or via the Java IRC client
(including images of the various Java windows which pop up) on
our Chats web page at:


You can open a Java chat client directly to #thecauldron by
clicking on the "IRC Chat" link in the menu of any of our web
pages, but we strongly suggest you visit the above page first and
read a few paragraphs on how to use it.  This page is also
available from the "[Info]" link right next to the "IRC Chat"
link on our web page menus.  If you have your own IRC client
program, the address of the main PaganPaths server is:

    madison.wi.us.paganpaths.org  (port 6667)

If you'd like to host a chat for members of The Cauldron: A Pagan
Forum on a regular, weekly schedule, please let us know.

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.


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 currently 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

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
and money.


You are receiving a copy of this newsletter because you signed up
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The Cauldron and Candle web site contains information on this
newsletter and an archive of back issues.



If you have Pagan friends who you believe would be interested in
Cauldron and Candle please invite them to subscribe. You can
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
friends to visit. If you have a web page, we'd really appreciate
it if you put a link to The Cauldron's web site on your web
pages.  If you'd like some graphic buttons to use to link to our
web site, check the following URL:


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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