[Cauldron and Candle Illo]

Cauldron and Candle
Issue #8 -- March 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  #8 -- March 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: Changes upon Changes
[02] Poem: Why?
[03] Cauldron and Candle Submission Guidelines
[04] Review: Pagans & Christians
[05] Review: The Tree of Life
[06] Review: The Shining Tribe Tarot
[07] Review: The Buckland Romani Tarot
[08] Magick: Butterfly Medicine
[09] Magick: Yarrow Love Spell
[10] Basic Meditation Techniques (Part 2)
[11] Humor: Beyond the Necronomicon
[12] Software: Catfish Disk Catalog
[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: March 15, 2001 +++
   Guidelines: http://www.ecauldron.com/cnc/submissions.php

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

I'm sure most Cauldron and Candle subscribers noticed that we
published only one issue of this newsletter last month. In all
volunteer publications, one generally expects schedules slip from
time to time. After all, the real world bites everyone in the
rear end occasionally.

Often, but not always. Our missing Mid-February issue wasn't
caused by real world problems like illness or too much mandatory
overtime. As those of you who visit The Cauldron or The Thicket
probably already know, Elspeth and Soraya announced on February
14th that LyricFox and I were engaged.  We missed that issue
because I spent ten days in mid-February visiting my fiancee.  I
suspect everyone understands how easy it was to skip an issue for
time spent together.

LyricFox and I plan to marry in the late summer or early fall,
which seems far too long a wait to us.  As you can guess, we are
looking forward to being together instead of being about 300
miles apart.

Our marriage, however, will probably mean some changes for The
Cauldron, The Thicket, and this newsletter. Our first priority in
life will be each other (and our various four-footed "children"),
not our respective forums or this newsletter. As our forums and
this newsletter have been our main priority for the last couple
of years, this will mean things will have to change a bit.

With respect to this newsletter, it may end up being published
monthly. It would probably be larger if it were published
monthly, but some material would be a bit less timely. It will
definitely go monthly if we don't start getting more submissions.
At the moment, I have time to write material, find other material
and beg people to write items for each issue.  Once I'm married,
I'll have less time for this.  Our current submission guidelines
are the third item in this issue of this newsletter and are
always available at:


Finally, LyricFox and I would like to thank the many members of
The Cauldron and The Thicket who have congratulated us on our
engagement. We appreciate every message we have received. Our
members and subscribers are truly wonderful people and your
thoughts and well wishes have meant a great deal to both of us.


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


========= WHY?
========= A Poem by Elspeth Sapphire

I know what's right...
I know what's wrong.
I know my duty --
Have sang its song.
But here I sit
Pen in my hand.
Still not quite able
To understand.

Doing right is good
Or so they say.
Your duty strengthens
More than just play.
Then why sit here?
Tears like the rain...
Why does right hurt
Despite the gain?

My Lady is dark
But Light's my home
I do my best --
Try not to roam.
I walk the Path
She set for me.
I have no regrets --
Don't try to flee.

Duty's my watchword;
Honour's my key.
To be followed
Unto death of me.
Maybe that's when
I'll finally find
Of some strange kind.
Why fighting wrong --
Defending right --
Brings me sorrow;
Tears in the night.

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

The Cauldron and Candle email newsletter, jointly published by
The Cauldron and The Witches' Thicket, is always looking for
articles, reviews, and announcements of interest to the Neo-Pagan
community. Original submissions (as opposed to articles already
on web sites, see the final paragraph below) will normally be
considered for both the newsletter and our web site.

We are interested in publishing just about anything well-written,
informative, and accurate related to magick and Neo-Paganism.
Here's a list of a few of the things we are interested in
publishing in Cauldron and Candle. Please don't take this as an
exhaustive list, however.

 * book and tarot deck reviews
 * introductions to the various Neo-Pagan religions
 * spells and rituals
 * recipes for oils, incenses, and food for the various
   Neo-Pagan holidays
 * articles on Neo-Pagan beliefs and theology
 * articles on Neo-Pagan holidays and festivals
 * herbal information
 * reviews of Pagan-oriented movies and TV shows
 * reviews of music suitable for ritual or meditation
 * positive articles on dealing with other faiths
 * articles on historical pagan cultures
 * editorial/opinion pieces
 * reports on Neo-Pagan gatherings

Paste your contribution into an email and send to
rssapphire@ecauldron.com -- plain text is our preferred format.
Submitting material is considered to be granting us permission to
use the material in this newsletter and on The Cauldron's (or The
Thicket's) web site.

Also, if you have a web site with original articles that you
would like plugged in our newsletter, the best way to get a plug
is to offer one of the articles on your web site to our
newsletter. If we run your article, we will include information
on your web site with the article. We get an article for this
newsletter and you get publicity for your web site. If you would
like to do this, please query us first with information on your
web site and a link to the article you'd like us to consider
publishing in Cauldron and Candle.

                     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

Pagans & Christians: The Personal Spiritual Experience
Author: Gus diZerega
Trade Paperback, 242 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: February 2001
ISBN: 1567182283
US Retail Price: $14.95
Amazon Link:

Pagans & Christians is a wonderful, first-of-its-kind book that
belongs in the library of every Neo-Pagan who has to deal with
Christians who fear or object to their religious beliefs. This is
perhaps the most useful "interfaith" book published since Scott
Cunningham's Truth About Witchcraft Today. Where Cunningham's
book presents a gentle introduction to Wicca (and by extension,
Neo-Paganism) for those totally unfamiliar with it, DiZerga's
book helps Christians and Neo-Pagans understand the differences
and similarities in their theological and world views.

Pagans & Christians has three major sections: "The Nature of
Pagan Spirituality," "Christian Criticisms of Wicca," and "Pagan
Criticisms of Christianity."  These sections are followed by a
summary/conclusions chapter. Dr. diZerega has his doctorate in
the field of political science and teaches at the university
level. His academic training serves him well as his book is
clear, concise, generally respectful to both religions, and
well-documented with endnotes in each chapter.

The first section, "The Nature of Pagan Spirituality," is the
only one I have real problems with. It could better be titled
"The Nature of Wiccan Spirituality." DiZerega is a third-degree
Gardnerian Wiccan. While he makes an attempt to capture the
variety of non-Wiccan Neo-Pagan beliefs, his description of
Neo-Paganism often sounds like a description of Wicca. This
doesn't really detract from the useful nature of this book as a
tool for interfaith understanding and discussion, but as a
non-Wiccan Neo-Pagan I get somewhat tired of the wiccanization of
descriptions of general Neo-Paganism.

The second part of this book, "Christian Criticisms of Wicca,"
discusses and attempts to answer many of the questions and
problems many Christians have about Wicca and other Neo-Pagan
religions. DiZerega discusses the nature of suffering and evil,
spiritual authority, ethics and morality, clergy, and more. He
answers the standard Christian objections with respect and with
numerous quotes from the Bible. While this section is unlikely to
convince many Fundamentalist Christians that Pagans are not
following Satan, chances are it will help the vast majority of
non-Fundamentalist Christians see Neo-Pagan religions in a more
comfortable light.

The final major section of Pagans & Christians addresses the some
of problems Pagans often have with Christianity, such as it's
lack of respect for nature. This section is likely to make those
Pagans who get their jollies bashing Christianity just as annoyed
and upset as the second section likely will Fundamentalist
Christians. DiZerega explains how most of the objections many
Pagans have with Christianity simply aren't supported by the
Bible and Christian tradition. In other words, many of the
problems Pagans have with Christianity aren't really with the
teachings of Christianity in general, but with the teachings of a
relatively small number of Christian sects who shout down the
larger, quieter groups.

As my opening paragraph states, I strongly recommend this book.
Aside from my objection to the "wiccanized" description of
Neo-Paganism, my only real problem with this book is its US$14.95
price. Don't get me wrong, this book is worth every penny of the
price. The problem is that price is too high for most Neo-Pagans
to afford to buy copies of it to give away to those who have have
sincere theological questions on Wicca and Neo-Paganism. Many
Neo-Pagans I know regularly buy extra copies of Scott
Cunningham's The Truth About Witchcraft Today to give away, for
example. While Llewellyn normally does not do lower cost mass
market editions of their trade paperbacks, Pagans & Christians is
a book that begs for a low cost "buy to give away" edition some
time in the future. For now, I suggest one consider buying two
copies: one for your bookshelf and one to loan out.

           This review is available on our web site at

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

The Tree of Life (3rd Edition)
Author: Israel Regardie
Editors: Chic and Sandra Cicero
Trade Paperback, 513 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: December 2000
ISBN: 1567181325
US Retail Price: $19.95
Amazon Link:

Whenever I read that a new "improved" edition of a classic book
is being published, I cringe. All too often, modern revisions and
additions ruin classics. I am pleased to say that Llewellyn's
third edition of Israel Regardie's classic 1932 survey of the
practices of the Western (ceremonial) magickal tradition, The
Tree of Life, gave me no reason to cringe. The text is faithful
to the original and the additions and changes are useful.

The Tree of Life is the introduction to the Western magickal
tradition in its many forms and practices. It is a classic
because it is readable. Many authors have tried to present this
complex material in a manner that the average interested layman
can understand without devoting a few years to magickal studies.
Most have failed. Their works either require a great deal of
prior knowledge (Crowley's Magic in Theory and Practice, for
example) or they talk down to the reader.

Regardie was gifted with the ability to explain complex material
well without talking down to the reader. While this is true in
all of his books, he seemed to take special care with this book.
If you have any interest in understanding the practices -- and
even some of the basic theory -- of the Western magickal
tradition, this is probably the best book to start with. This
book will not teach you to be a ceremonial magician, but it will
give you much of the background you will need to understand books
by other ceremonial magicians. This book introduces the reader to
magick and yoga, Qabalah, the microcosm and the macrocosm, the
Gods, magickal correspondences and tools, the Will, scrying,
astral projection, grimoires, initiation, alchemy, and more.

The editors of this third edition, Chic Cicero and Sandra Tabatha
Cicero, have wisely refrained from trying to improve upon
Regarde's basic text. Instead these two adepts of the Heremetic
Order of the Golden Dawn have expanded upon Regardie's material

 * Informative annotations adding commentary and explanatory
   notes to the end of each chapter.
 * an extensive (over 50 pages) glossary.
 * many more illustrations.
 * a bibliography and index.

The only change made to the actual text of the book is that the
Askenazic Hebrew Regardie used in his early books has been
translated to the more common Sephardic Hebrew. Regardie used
Sephardic Hebrew is his later books, so I consider this change an

This edition of The Tree of Life is excellent, probably the best
one I've seen. Not only is the additional content worthwhile, but
the book is printed on heavy paper and seems -- for a paperback
-- designed to last. I strongly recommend this book (and
Regardie's A Garden of Pomegranates, an excellent introduction to
the Qabalah) to anyone interested in learning about the Western
magickal tradition. I especially recommend this book to Wiccans
who are interested in understanding some of the material that
Gerald Gardner understood and used when he created Wicca.

Many people dismiss Llewellyn as publisher because they seem
willing to publish an almost infinite number of Wicca 101 books,
some of which are very bad. If one looks beyond their
Wicca/Witchcraft line, however, one will find that Llewellyn
keeps an amazing number of good to excellent books on magick,
astrology, and other esoteric subjects in print. This is one of
those excellent books. The Tree of Life belongs on the bookshelf
of anyone seriously interested in magick.

           This review is available on our web site at

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

The Shining Tribe Tarot
Artist: Rachel Pollack
Author: Rachel Pollack
Book and Cards Set
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: March 2001
ISBN: 1567185320
US Retail Price: $34.95
Sample Cards Link:
Amazon Link:

The Shining Tribe Tarot is a slightly revised and renamed version
of the out-of-print Shining Woman tarot deck, with an expanded
(330 page) reference book. The original deck was named after the
"Shining Woman" card (its "World" card), but Pollack reports in
her introduction to the revised edition that the "Shining Woman"
name made many think that the deck was aimed at women.

Personally, I think the new name fits this deck much better. The
images on the cards are inspired by Stone Age rock art, Native
American art, Australian Aboriginal art, and similar
"primitive"/tribal sources. While the deck is firmly based in the
traditional tarot, it does not look very traditional at first
glance. The suits have been renamed. Instead of wands, cups,
swords, and pentacles, the Shining Tribe deck has trees, rivers,
birds, and stones. Each suit has four "vision cards" (place,
knower, gift, and speaker) instead of four court cards. Two cards
of the major arcana have completely different names (Tradition
for the Heirophant and Awakening for Judgement) and several
others have slightly different names.

The artwork can best be described as primitive. I've heard it
described as enlightened by those who like the deck and as
kindergarten art by those who don't. The cards are interesting
and fairly symbolic, whether one likes the primitive style of art
or not is a matter of personal taste. It doesn't do a lot for me,
but I know people who love it. One thing I like about this deck
is that the people on the cards are of multiple races. Like my
fellow reviewer, Symitar, I get tired of seeing decks where every
person is caucasian. Such decks don't resemble my neighborhood,
let alone the world.

The book that comes with this deck is truly excellent, as one
might expect from an author of Rachel Pollack's experience and
award-winning caliber. She has a number of tarot books to her
credit (including the classic 78 Degrees of Wisdom) and it really
shows in the book. Reading the Shining Tribe book really makes me
wish I liked the artwork on this deck better. Pollack makes the
material interesting. Reading the book makes it clear that she
knew what she was doing when she designed this deck.

The Shining Tribe Tarot is one of those decks that most people
will either love or hate on flipping through the cards. If you
are into shamanism or like primitive/tribal art, you will
probably want to strongly consider picking up a copy the Shining
Tribe deck. Even if you aren't, the deck is at least worth a look
if you see it in the store. You might just like it.

           This review is available on our web site at

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

The Buckland Romani Tarot
Artist: Lissanne Lake
Author: Raymond Buckland
Book and Cards Set
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: January 2001
ISBN: 156718099X
US Retail Price: $34.95
Sample Cards Link:
Amazon Link:

The Buckland Romani Tarot deck is a gorgeous deck. Artist
Lissanne Lake did a truly inspired job of bringing Buckland's
visions of English Gypsy life around the time of the Second World
War to life. The borderless cards allow plenty of room for the
art. If you collect tarot decks for their art, you'll probably
want to just skip the rest of the review and go buy the deck.
While some cards are more detailed than others (particularly with
respect to faces), the overall artistic quality of this deck is
high. The scan of sample cards I made does not do this deck

Although the symbols are drawn from English Gypsy life, this is a
fairly traditional deck which makes it easy for the average tarot
reader to use. The suits are renamed Bolers (Wheels), Koros
(Cups), Kosh (Staves), and Chiv (Knives) and the major arcana are
numbered but not named. While these minor changes only take a few
minutes to get used to, they enhance the Romani feel of the deck.
The deck can be used with the traditional "Rider-Waite"
interpretations, however, Buckland provides expanded
descriptions/interpretations for each card in the 239 page trade
paperback book that comes with the set.

I have often criticized Buckland books for talking down to the
reader. I'm happy to say that I did not really notice any of that
in the Romani Tarot book. In the book, Buckland gives long
description of each card filled with interesting tidbits about
Gypsy life (his father was a full-blooded English Gypsy). To
accompany the traditional meanings, he usually asks questions
about the card. For example, for the Two of Koshes he asks
questions like: "Is the Rom waiting for someone? If so, is that
person late in arriving? Or is the Rom seeing off someone who has
been there with him?" Buckland's intent seems to be to get the
reader to focus on the card image and the multiple things it
could be saying instead of on the traditional "book meanings."
The book also includes advice on giving readings and some spreads
to use.

The Buckland Romani Tarot deck is one of the better new decks
I've seen recently. Of course, I'm a bit biased because it looks
like one of the few decks that I will be able to read with
regularly. If you are in the market for a new -- or first --
Tarot deck, I strongly suggest taking a look at this one. The
Romani Tarot beautiful to look at, different enough to spark your
senses as you read with it, yet traditional enough to be easy to

           This review is available on our web site at

                         UPCOMING REVIEWS

       Reviews of the following are planned for our next
       few issues: BELTANE (Grimassi), SILVER'S SPELLS
       FOR LOVE and WITCHES' NIGHT OF FEAR (Ravenwolf),
       ISIS MAGIC (Forrest), IN THE CIRCLE (Hawke), BUD,
       BLOSSUM, & LEAF (Morrison), 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.

========= A Spell For Binding a Perpetrator From Doing Harm
========= by Catherine Sullivan


The intent of this spell is to prevent one individual from
harming others by word or deed.

Note, if the person you are aiming this spell at is not doing
anything to harm another, the spell will have no effect. It does
not limit or infringe upon the free will of the individual in any
way except to keep that person from harming another. It is
self-limiting, in that when the subject grows spiritually to the
point that he/she chooses freely not to harm others, the spell

1) A poppet or doll is made and identified as the perpetrator.
2) Appropriate herbs and oils are burned.
3) A candle is inscribed with appropriate symbols, anointed with
oil, and burned.
4) The poppet is wound with cord in a cocoon-like fashion while the
chant is repeated.
5) If more than one person is performing the work, the poppet and
cord are passed from hand to hand, each person winding the cord
as all continue to recite or chant the words of intent.
6) The poppet is the burned to release the energies of the working.
If burning is not feasible (as for many apartment-dwellers) the
poppet may be buried in a place where it is sure to remain

This work is ideally performed in the dark (waning) phase of the
moon (for limitations and for rest), or at the new moon (for
sleep followed by rebirth) and on a Saturday (for Saturn) or
Tuesday (if Tyr or Tiwaz, is to be invoked) but if the need is
immediate, any time will do.

Materials and Tools:

* A figure to represent the subject
  A poppet, or doll, may be made out of any flammable material.
  (You're going to burn it or bury it, so plastic or nylon is
  probably a bad idea!) Dried plant stalks or small dry twigs and
  paper towel or light-weight cotton rags held together with
  thread and wax work well, as does cotton stuffed with dry grass
  or any dry, flammable material. (I have used mullein stalk and
  fir twigs bound together with string and wax, with a "head" of
  dried mullein flower-head covered with bee's wax, and paper
  "clothing" to make a sort of miniature scarecrow.)
* A candle, black (to absorb negativity) or white (for purity of
  intent).  The candle should be small, as you must keep focused
  on your intent until the candle is burned completely.
* A stylus to inscribe the candle
* charcoal and a fire-proof container for the incense
  (WARNING: You need a ventilated area to use charcoal.)
* some safe container (iron cauldron, habachi, or barbecue grill)
  for a fire
  a piece of silk to wrap the poppet in if you have to transport
  it to the place where you will bury it
* black string or yarn (hemp is best; cotton next choice.  Again,
  do not use nylon or polyester if you plan to burn the poppet.)
* container of water.
* container of salt

Herbs and oils for incense:

Any of the following herbs/oils are appropriate, as are many
others. You MUST include at least one herb for cleansing and
purification and one for protection. Use what is available.

cypress &/or patchouli oil for Saturn
cedar, juniper or lavender oil for protection
peppermint leaf or oil for cleansing and purification
sage (Artemesia)  for cleansing and purification
sweet grass for cleansing and purification
basil for cleansing and purification and protection
bay leaves for cleansing and purification and protection
garlic or onion for cleansing and purification and protection
cedar or juniper for protection
nettle for protection
"dragon's blood" for protection and strength
mullein for protection and for Saturn
bindweed &/or morning glory for binding
hemp (shred a bit of cord) for binding and strength


Cleanse and ward the work-space.
Use whatever ritual you are most familiar and comfortable with
for this, OR
Light a cleansing incense (see above).  Circle your work space,
wafting the smoke into every part of it, concentrating on
cleaning and purifying the area. Say:

  With air and fire I cleanse this space.

Mix some salt into the water. Circle your work space, sprinkling
drops of salt water throughout, concentrating on cleaning and
purifying the area. Say:

  With earth and water I cleanse this place."

After preparing the workspace, invoke any entities you have a
personal relationship with and whose influence is appropriate to
the work. Invoke Butterfly spirit.

After making the figure (this may be done in advance), prepare
the fire-container, light your charcoal and sprinkle incense on

Inscribe the candle with symbols appropriate to your specific
purpose. (This may also be done in advance.) If the subject is a
criminal, particularly if the courts are involved, the rune Tiwaz
may be used to invoke the Norse deity Tyr/Tiwas who ruled that
culture's version of courts of justice. (WARNING: Before invoking
Tyr, it is best to examine your own conscience carefully.  Be
sure that Justice is what you want before you ask for it!) If
protection for the innocent is your whole purpose, the rune algiz
may be more appropriate. The inscription need not be runes. If
you have not studied the runes, other symbolism may work better
for you. Astrological glyphs (particularly Saturn, for
limitations) are appropriate. Use a symbol for which you have an
affinity, one which stands for your intent in your mind. You may
also use words or initials.

Apply a drop of oil to the candle with your finger.

Light the candle.

Concentrate on your intent. Visualize the doll as the person you
wish to restrain.

Begin winding the cord around the doll, cocoon-like, as you
repeat the following chant. If more than one person is working,
pass the doll to the next person as you reach the end of the
chant and begin again. Continue winding and chanting until the
doll is completely enclosed in it's cocoon. If there is cord
remaining, burn through it, rather than cutting it. If you are
going to burn the doll, do so now concentrating your will upon it
as it burns, visualizing the power spreading out, seeking the
subject and settling over him/her, binding as the doll was bound.
DO NOT visualize the person burning! If you plan to bury the
figure, do so while visualizing the power sinking into the earth
and spreading out to find the subject. (If you must transport the
figure to the place where you will bury it, wrap it carefully in
a scrap of silk to insulate it. Transportation, of course, will
be done after releasing the wards/opening the circle.) Continue
to concentrate on your purpose, chanting if you wish, until the
candle burns out.

Thanks any spirits whose aid you invoked.  Release the wards/open
the circle.

Chant for Binding a Perpetrator From Doing Harm

No harm shall you speak
No  harm shall you do
No hurt shall you cause to anyone

First Verse
By this spell  you  are bound
By our will you are bound
No hurt shall you cause to anyone


Second Verse
In this cocoon you will dwell
To transform your true self
'til you've learned for yourself to do no harm


========= Author Unknown

Take the leaves of the yarrow, which has qualities that comfort,
heal, and protect; and tickle the inside of the nostrils,
murmuring to yourself this old country charm:

  Green yarrow, green yarrow,
  you bear a white bow;
  if you love me, love me,
  my nose will bleed now;
  If my love don't love me;
  it won't bleed a drop,
  if my love do love me,
  'twill bleed every drop.

========= by Bill Witt

In this second section of the "Basic Meditation Techniques"
course, we will discuss various relaxation procedures and how
they will aid you in entering a trance or meditative state. You
will also be given some ideas about types of music and other
"tools" which can help you achieve these relaxed states of mind.
Let's begin.

First, let's set the stage for our meditation practice. You
should pick a place which is as private and safe as possible. An
altered state of mind, as in meditation, lessens your awareness
of the outside world. For this reason, it is not advisable to
practice these techniques in a public place where there is a
chance of being mugged, robbed, or molested. If you are at home,
with other family members or friends present, ask that you not be
disturbed and that all other noise in the house be kept to a
minimum. When you have found a place suitable for meditation, you
may begin.

"The seekers of new mind states-the mind control devotees, the
encounter group enthusiasts, the drug takers, the psychics, the
meditators - all are on a journey into the interior universe
trying to burst the limits of the socially conditioned mind.
Weither acceptable or unacceptable, moral or immoral, wise or
foolish, the mind of man is stirring toward a new evolution." --
Dr. Barbara Brown [New Mind, New Body, New York, Bantam Books,
1975, Page 17]

As I said in section one, trance or meditative states, alter the
way your mind deals with the realities it accepts as normal.
Things which are experienced in a trance state are often not
easily expressed in everyday language. You will at some level,
experience a heightened state of awareness.  Colors, smells, and
sounds may seem amplified from what they normally are.

People who can achieve very deep states of trance often leave
their bodies in astral projection, or have psychic experiences.

I highly recommend, that if you wish to enter deep states of
meditation, you do so under the guidance and teaching of someone
who is well trained in the practice of such techniques. The key
thing to remember is that it's not what level your working on as
much as what you are learning. There is a lot to be gained in
wisdom and knowledge at all levels of trance.

Now let's learn some simple and useful relaxation exercises.

You want to be sure that the time you pick to practice your
meditation is a time when you are least likely to be disturbed.
You should not be overly tired or have just finished eating as
both of those conditions may cause you to fall asleep. Even
though you wish to achieve an altered state of consciousness, you
do want to remain conscious to some degree. If you fall asleep
when you are meditating, no harm is done and you will awaken
quite refreshed and rested. Unfortunately though, you may not be
able to recall all the things you experienced while in trance.

If you are lying down, be sure your back and neck are properly
supported so as not to fatigue the body. If you are sitting, be
sure that both feet are flat on the floor and that you are
sitting as erect as possible without being too stiff or strained.
You should have your arms resting comfortably in your lap with
palms up.

In either case, it is important that your body not become
strained or fatigued for at least thirty minutes. This is a good
length of time to begin with as it should put neither a physical
or mental strain on your being.

Next, visualize a yourself in a cocoon of white light. You should
surround yourself completely. See the light as bright and warm.
You may play with this sphere of light making it bigger or
smaller until it "feels" right for you.  Say to yourself, "I am
protected by the pure white light of all that is good and
truthful. I am surrounded by the pure light which keeps out all
unwanted and evil influences."

This is a good idea to do for several reasons. There are those,
and I am one of them, who believe that each of generates an aura
which protects us from outside influences when we are in trance.
This aura may be strengthened by visualizing the light as growing
brighter at our command. Even if you do not accept this idea, the
practice lends a feeling of safety and security to you.  Nothing
which is outside of you may enter or touch you without your

Learning to control and pay attention to your breathing is the
next step.  You should start by taking a deep breath in through
your nose, hold it for the mental count of 4 and then let it all
out slowly through your mouth. Repeat this until you begin to
feel at rest and relaxed. Allow your breathing to settle into a
steady, rythmic rate. Just this simple technique can relax and
refresh you at any time. When you are only doing the breathing
exercise, it is not necessary to go through the white light
sphere visualization. Some people use a muffled metronome or
recording of some other rythmic sound, such as ocean waves, to
aid them in setting the pace of their breathing. A good source of
recorded sounds which can help you in meditation is a series of
records and tapes which have been produced under the title

Now, as you are breathing, see yourself lying in the warm light
of the sun.  The light is warm and pleasant to be in. Starting
with the tips of your toes, feel the light warming all of your
body, slowly moving up into your legs, your trunk, and then into
your arms and fingers. As you feel this warming become more and
more relaxed, going deeper and deeper into a calm and quiet

When you fell totally relaxed and at peace, bring a single
thought into your mind. It should be of a pleasant experience or
of an idea such as love, joy, peace, or compassion. Focus on this
one thought and if some other thought should try to intrude,
picture it as being written on a clear board between you and your
focal thought. Then picture it being erased from that board as it
might be from a piece of paper. Deal with any thought, other than
your focal thought, quickly. Try to maintain concentration on
your focal thought for at least five minutes. Picture it as being
real and experience it as if it were. When you are able to do
this and can exclude all other thoughts as they attempt to enter
your mind, you will have learned the single most important
technique of meditation.

It is now time to begin coming back to normal consciousness.
slowly let the thought fade from your mind and again become aware
of the warm light of the sun. As you feel the light bathing you
in its' warmth, start to reconnect your mind with the physical
sensations of your body. Become aware of your breathing and the
room around you. Do this slowly and calmly. When you are fully
aware of your surroundings, open your eyes slowly. Enjoy the
sense of calm and peace.

If you succeeded in doing this exercise, you should feel more
relaxed and calm than normal. It is important to remember that
you are comparing it to normal for you, not to what you think
others would or should feel.

If you do not feel you succeeded try again in a day or two.
Between meditation sessions, practice your deep breathing
exercises. If you keep trying, you will soon reach a calm and
meditative state. Do not attempt to meditate when you are ill,
tired, or hungry. Those feelings only serve to make your efforts
more difficult. A very important part to remember is that you can
not force yourself into a meditative state. You must flow into it
and surrender to it calmly.

Some things which are found to be helpful in meditation follow.

Try concentrating on the flame of a candle when focusing. You
could also use a crystal ball. The later is rather expensive but
small crystal window ornaments or pyramids also work well and
cost much less.

Music is also an aid to some. The music should be quiet and
rhythmic. It should bring on feelings of peace and comfort. Such
music may range from New Age recordings to classical.

Another useful device is to focus on a symbol which holds special
meaning for you. It may be an well known symbol or one you design
yourself. As long as it holds a special meaning or expresses a
special concept, it is a useful focusing tool.

This brings section two of this course to a close. In the next
part I will give you some practical ways in which to use what you
have learned. Also, a list of books for further reading will be

   [This is the second part of a three-part article written
   by Bill Witt and posted on the New Atlantis BBS in May
   1987. This material may be reproduced and distributed only
   if the by line, and BBS info remain part of any such
   reproduction. The first part appeared in the February 2001
   issue of Cauldron and Candle.]

========= Author Unknown

Ahhh....the dreaded Necronomicon!!

Veiled in mystery and surrounded by scandal and controversy, this
tome has always served admirably as a red herring to prevent the
uninitiated from discovering the true secrets of the universe
which are to be found, not in the Necronomicon, but in the even
more mysterious Necrotelecomnicon, the Book of Dead Telephones.

This dark grimoire reveals the hidden methods of establishing
contact with powerful extra-terrestrial intelligences through
worship and sacrifice at remote, faulty public telephone booths.
It is whispered that Aleister Crowley himself established ongoing
contact with Aiwass by using the foul incantations to be found in
this accursed book.

But I must say no more!! Even now, I can hear the sounds of
approaching technicians, coming to put me to a slow and
excruciating death for daring to reveal such things openly. I
fear it is too late for me now, so hear my final warning - stick
with the Necronomicon! Do not look beyond its obviously
fraudulent content, for fear that you may discover the dreadful
truth, that hanging around phone booths late at night is far more
dangerous than anything in the Necronomicon....

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

If you have purchased a new computer in the last year or so, it
probably came with a CD-RW or a zip drive. These are wonderful
replacements for floppy disks. Or they are until you have to find
a file you stored on one of your 15 or 20 CDs or zip disks.

Catfish to the rescue. Catfish is a small program that will store
disk catalogs of CDs, zip drives, and other large media on your
hard drive and let you quickly search through them to find the
file you are looking for.  No more slowly loading and unloading
20 or 30 disks to search each one separately.  You can find the
file in Catfish and then go right to it.  Well, you still have to
find the disk or CD-ROM you stored it on. The latest version
removed the 8000 directories per disk limit, so it should be
ready for the new (huge) DVD-ROMs just now coming to market.

If you write data to CD-ROMs, zip disks, or other large removable
media and have to find a specific file months later, you will
love this small program.

You will find this free Windows program at:


========= Cauldron Info

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

 * Moving Beyond Pagan 101


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

 * The Buckland Romani Tarot


 * Greek Religion


 * Pagans & Christians


 * The Shining Tribe Tarot


 * The Tree of Life


========= 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 March 1, asks:

 * Where have you obtained most of your religious instruction and
   training for your religious path?


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 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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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.



Cauldron and Candle is always looking for articles, reviews, and
announcements of interest to the Neo-Pagan community. Submissions
will normally be considered for both the newsletter and our web
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either drop them a note yourself or -- better yet -- send them
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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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