C A U L D R O N A N D C A N D L E #17 -- November 2001
A Publication of The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum
mailing list/board: http://www.ecauldron.com/fregmb.php
delphi forum: http://forums.delphiforums.com/CUSTOM7999/start
With a little help from The Witches' Thicket
delphi forum: http://forums.delphiforums.com/thicket/start
In this Issue:
 Editorial: Calling All Pagan Discussion Moderators
 Poem: Between Earth and Sky
 Feature Article: Witch Bottles
 Review: Lammas
 Review: The Grimoire of Lady Sheba
 Review: White Spells
 Review: Enchantments
 Review: Egyptian Scarab Oracle
 Review: 2002 Witches' Datebook
 Humor: Top Ten Reasons Athame Handles Are Black
 New Articles on The Cauldron's Site
 New Web Polls
 Support The Cauldron When You Buy at Amazon.com
 Newsletter and Forum Info
(Including How To Subscribe/Unsubscribe)
+++ Submission Deadline for next issue: November 20, 2001 +++
========= EDITORIAL: CALLING ALL PAGAN DISCUSSION MODERATORS
========= by Randall Stukey
At times moderating a Pagan discussion area on the Internet is a
lot of fun. At other times, it's a thankless job. Sometimes, it
is both at once. Moderating a list well takes skill and
While nothing but years of moderating discussion areas can give a
discussion area moderator experience, moderating skills can be
learned from watching how other moderators run their discussion
areas. LyricFox and I have recently started a mailing list for
moderators of Pagan discussion areas to exchange ideas on
Pagan-Moderators is an email discussion list for moderators of
mailing lists, message boards, and BBSes with a Neo-Pagan or
magickal orientation -- and, on a case by case basis,
Pagan-friendly interfaith (and other religious discussion) areas
with a good number of Pagan members. It is a place to discuss
moderating techniques and dealing with the day to day hassles and
problems all moderators put up with. It's also a place to let out
a primal scream when you have to, we'll understand.
You can look at information on the list at:
You can apply for membership there or by sending email to:
IF YOU WISH TO SUBSCRIBE, PLEASE BE SURE TO READ THE FOLLOWING
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please read them. One message is the list rules. (You can also
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info about the forums you moderate within three days or your
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Please read this message when you get it so you know what to do.
It is fairly simple, but you do have to do it. Once we get this
info, we'll probably be able to add you to the list fairly
quickly (but we don't live online ).
NOTE: If you subscribe by email, the process described above does
not start until you reply to the confirmation message Yahoo
Groups sends out to be sure you really wanted to subscribe.
The Pagan-Moderators mailing list should be a low traffic -- but
useful -- list. If you are a moderator of a qualifying message
board, mailing list, internet BBS, or other Internet discussion
area, we hope you will consider joining us.
SEND A PAGAN POSTCARD
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you haven't tried our postcard site, give it a
try. It has quite a few nice features.
========= BETWEEN EARTH AND SKY
========= A Poem by Elspeth Sapphire
On this autumn night I sit
My back against the tree.
Seeking perfect balance;
Finding more than I see.
Like the birds on wing I fly
No longer caught between earth and sky.
I come cloaked in sadness
But my deep grief can not stay.
There is more to living life
Than finding new games to play.
The ancient ones, they never lie...
No need to be caught between earth and sky.
Ray of warmth touched frozen heart.
Words of wisdom, friendship strong.
With help within and love without,
How can this possibly be wrong?
I needn't sit here and sigh!
Why be caught between earth and sky?
I raise my voice to the heavens;
A joyous noise fills the night.
The dark no longer frightens me;
It can't conceal *all* the light!
Does it matter that I live, then die?
No...I'm no longer caught between earth and sky!
CRITICAL READING FOR PAGANS
Learn to tell the wheat from the chaff when you
view a web site or read a book.
========= MAGICK: WITCH-BOTTLES
========= written by Faerie K.
========= translated from Finnish by Faerie K.
Witch-bottles are probably quite familiar to many Pagans, at
least as a concept. Witch-bottle isn't a poor little Witch in a
bottle, or hold something Witches drink in their gatherings. They
are more akin to a "bottled spell". The tradition originates from
British folklore, traveling with British immigrants to the
Americas, if not further. Many modern Pagans have included
Witch-bottles in their collection of spells, widening and
diversifying this old tradition - and making it more comparable
with their personal ethics.
=== A Bit on the History of Witch-bottles
The history of Witch-bottles goes back hundreds of years. The
origins of this tradition has been dated to the 1500's. They were
used most actively for a couple of hundred years. This is the
same time when the Witch-hunts were going on. After this period,
the tradition slowly waned. The last historical Witch-bottle was
found in a cabin built in mid 19th century, in Pershore,
The actual bottle of a traditional Witch-bottle during the 16th
and 17th century was a German stone bottle called "bartmann" or
"bellermine" bottle. Similar bottles of stone material were
manufactured in Holland and Belgium. The technique wasn't
mastered in England before the 1660's and bartmann bottle
manufacturing was rare in Britain.
The bottle got its name from a cardinal called Bellarmino only
after the Witch-bottle tradition had already begun. These bottles
had a round belly and they were decorated with a facial image of
a grim looking bearded man and a medallion of stylized floral or
Even though these bottles were being manufactured actively in
Germany long before the time of Bellarmino - who was against the
Reformation - these bottles were given their familiar name as a
satirical comment on the Cardinal. His bearded figure resembled
the typical bearded man depicted on these bottles. Later on,
the bearded image was taken to represent the Devil, which suited
well for Witch-bottles, after all -- witches were considered as
people allied with the Devil.
Glass bottles were also used, but according to my sources they
were never as popular as Witch-bottles as were the bartmann ones.
Old Witch-bottles contained things like bent iron nails, human
hair (head hair and pubic hair) and urine. Urine as an important
ingredient of a Witch-bottle has been long known in folk
traditions, but actual findings with the bottle still containing
urine have been rare. However, all of the Witch-bottles found in
England which were tested for urine, did prove positive. Other
traditional items contained in Witch-bottles include small bones,
thorns, needles, pieces of wood and in some cases heart-shaped
pieces of cloth.
The bottles were most often found buried under the fireplace.
Other sites include under the floor, buried in the ground there,
and plastered inside walls. The fireplace is, from a magical
point of view, a security risk as it has a straight connection
with the open skies above. It was believed that the curse of a
Witch or even a Witch herself in a shape-shifted form could get
into a house through the fireplace. Another security risk was the
doorway, as doors are opened and closed several times throughout
the day. In addition to the fireplace, the bottles were often
hidden near the doorway.
=== On the Original Uses
The most active period of Witch-bottle usage and the Witch-hunts
don't coincide by accident. The fear of Witches produced ways of
protecting oneself against them during times when slightest
misfortune was easily interpreted as being caused by a curse put
on one or another member of the family. From the point of view of
a present day Witch, the original purpose for building a
Witch-bottle wasn't that pleasant: they were intended to keep
Witches and Witches' curses away. The contents of a Witch-bottle
was designed to not only divert an attacking Witch, but also to
cause her to suffer the agonies brought on by all the nasty
things inside the bottle. To put it simply: to turn the curse
back to the curser.
The urine in the bottle symbolizes the target of the curse. The
curser and the target of the curse were believed to have a strong
connection and the curse was believed to target not only its
intended victim, but also the bodily fluids of the target. When
the bottle was placed in a way that made it easier for the curse
to meet with the urine (in the Witch-bottle) before the actual
target, the curse hit the bottle and not its intended victim.
This is why the bottles were usually hidden where they were. The
importance of pubic hair and hair was similar to that of the
Witch-bottles are very much a part of age-old traditions of
sympathetic magic with its intentions of causing pain for the
Witch with the contents of the Witch-bottle. According to folk
beliefs, the use of Witch-bottles sometimes brought the Witch
herself, writhing in agony, knocking on the door - begging for
somebody to break the Witch-bottle and promising to reverse the
The Witch-bottle was believed to be active as long as the bottle
remained hidden and unbroken. People did go though a lot of
trouble in hiding their Witch-bottles. Those buried underneath
fireplaces have been found only after the rest of the building
has been torn down or otherwise disappeared.
Very generally speaking, the modern day Witch-bottles are very
similar to historical Witch-bottles in their basic structure,
even though their intended purpose has changed. The most common
purpose for constructing a Witch-bottle today is capturing
negative energies targeted at the constructor of the bottle, her
family or her home. Even though some bottles are "mirroring" in
nature, they aren't normally built to cause agony to the sender
of negative energy/caster of curses. Some Witch-bottles are
intended to change negative energy into positive one and then
release it into the surrounding area. This kind of bottles could
be classified as "guard and protect"-bottles.
The basic structure of Witch-bottles can be used for purposes
other than protective: for financial gain, for helping with
artistic creativity, to call forth positive energy (instead of
"just filtering out negative energy"), for improving health, etc.
One could say that the basic principle is the following:
practically speaking, a Witch-bottle is a container of some sort,
usually a jar or a bottle, which is filled with objects and often
also liquids which fill a given magickal purpose. The person
making the Witch-bottle, or in other words, the one casting the
bottled spell, can charge the objects magickally beforehand and
build the bottle to work on this charging until the need of
renewing the spell arises. Witch-bottles can also be built to
recharge themselves by the energy they 'capture' for as long as
the bottle stays unbroken, whether it be years or centuries.
Instead of magickally charging the items, one can build a bottle
whose the powers are based on its contents, but cumulatively so,
resulting with powers stronger than the sum of its parts. Also
this version can be designed to be seasonal or "one time lasts a
=== What Do Modern Witch-Bottles Contain?
The typical contents of the basic protective Witch-bottle today
is quite similar to that of the traditional one: bent iron nails
(some say they are better if old and rusty while others say clean
and unused are best), thorns, rusty razor blades, broken glass or
pieces of broken mirror (some say breaking a mirror for
Witch-bottle use causes bad luck, others claim that breaking a
mirror for this particular use will not cause bad luck except for
people sending negative energies to the bottle builder), or other
sharp and dangerous "nasties", urine of the bottle's builder,
often also menstrual or other blood. One could use semen as the
masculine counterpart for menstrual blood. The bottle is often a
common tight-lidded glass jar, or a bottle with a rather wide
Other types of Witch-bottles may contain sand or different
colored sands, crystals, stones, knotted threads, herbs, spices,
resin, flowers, candles (no, you won't burn them inside the
bottle), incense (you won't burn it either), votive candles,
salt, vinegar, oil, coins, saw dust, ashes etc etc. Actually,
everything used in "normal spells" can be used in this bottled
version of a spell, the Witch-bottle.
Additional materials include candles and/or wax to seal the
bottle/jar with. The rest of the materials depend on the ritual
in question (if any) and the religion of the builder of the
=== On the Hiding Place
A Pagan living in their own house may be able to hide the
Witch-bottle in the traditional way under the fireplace, under
the floor, or in the walls. However, it is more common to bury
the bottle in the yard in a place where nobody will accidentally
break it while digging in the garden. One such place is behind
stones under the stairs. For a Pagan living in a terraced house
burying the bottle in the garden should work well - as long as
you are careful not to attract too much attention to yourself
while burying an odd object (the bottle) during the correct phase
of the Moon, at night, with just candle light, wearing suspicious
looking ritual garments.
Apartments can be a difficult place to live in when you're trying
to find somewhere to hide a Witch-bottle. Or, at least it may
seem like that! Digging a hole and burying the bottle in the yard
may be not only difficult, but also quite likely not allowed.
Nosy kids can dig the bottle up and hurt themselves on the
contents. Not to mention that in the right (or wrong, to be more
precise) neighborhood could cause lots of trouble for the Pagan
attempting to hide a bottle in the yard.
However, the situation is not that impossible! The bottle doesn't
need to be situated near the home in order for it to work. If you
are constructing a bottle intended to be a personal safety guard,
it can be buried in a forest or sunk in a swamp. With a
Witch-bottle designed to guard a given home and those living in
it, you can use a large flowerpot by the front door or on the
windowsill to bury the bottle in to. In this case, the bottle
should be small enough to fit in the flowerpot - with the plant!
Another idea I've heard is putting the Witch-bottle into a closet
next to the front door, where it could easily do its job as a
guardian and protector of the home and its inhabitants. However,
this solution might cause some trouble if the same thing that
happened to one Pagan happens to you: the Witch-bottle she kept
in her closet worked very well - until it one day literally blew
up. The bottle was of the very traditional type, so cleaning up
after this wasn't that pleasant, as you can well imagine! While
refining the idea further, we ended up putting the bottle in a
covered bucket filled with soil and then putting the bottle
inside the bucket in the closet.
For a Pagan still "in the closet" or living in something like
student housing with a room mate these ideas may not be that
usable. There's still no need to panic, as Witch-bottles can be
made in miniature size, too. One witch working with test tubes in
her professional life worked out recycling methods for test tubes
as miniature Witch-bottles small enough to fit in the flowerpots
on her windowsill. If you want to use test tubes, make sure you
can close them tightly. There are also miniature bottles and jars
available at various gift shops which can be used as well.
It should be noted that not all Witch-bottles are designed to be
hidden away. Some are intended to be left out in the open, for
example on the windowsill, on your altar or on your (work) desk.
=== Some Instructions
The next part contains some instructions for making
Witch-bottles. I won't be including any particular instructions
for rituals. First, because the exact rituals used depend on the
religion of the person crafting the Witch-bottle and rituals
aren't even always necessary. One doesn't even have Pagan
religious inclinations for constructing a Witch-bottle. One of
the persons who has made a Witch-bottle with my instructions is
completely unaffiliated religiously, doesn't consider himself a
Pagan, and is more or less an Atheist. He is, nevertheless, very
happy with the results. Second, planning the ritual (if one
decides to have one) can be considered an important part of
constructing a Witch-bottle. As important as planning and
gathering the objects used. Third, if you are using a pre-made
ritual, you can easily end up repeating somebody else's words and
copying somebody else's motions, without proper emotions.
Finally, modifying things to suit you better is in this context
not only allowed, it's recommended!
=== Basic Bottle for a Modern Witch
This is the tried and tested basic Witch-bottle, suitable also
for modern day Pagans. The bottle is intended to be one that
protects its maker, often also the maker's home and family, from
negative energies. Depending on how the bottle is made and on the
maker's Will, the bottle can be one that gathers the negative
energies in itself (capturing), one that sends the energies back
to where they came from (mirroring) or one that changes negative
energy into positive (transforming). I would say, however, that
this traditional Witch-bottle isn't the best suited one for the
- Glass, earthenware or stone bottle or jar, with a tightly
closing cap. Size depending on how big you can easily hide.
Size doesn't matter that much, so be reasonable.
- Protective gloves for handling items you'll be putting in the
bottle. A Witch-bottle won't help you much if you manage to get
a blood poisoning while constructing one.
- Wax or candles to seal the bottle. Black is a good choice.
- Another jar for "potty" if you don't have one. Aiming isn't
that easy, especially if you're trying to hit something like a
Witch-bottle. So, you'll need something to pee into - and of
course you'll need your urine.
- All kinds of "nasties": Nails, rusty and bent (you can bend
them yourself, too). Pieces of barbed wire, thorns, burrs,
pieces of glass and/or mirror, needles etc.
- Some things to choose from: Menstrual blood (if you are female)
or semen (of you are male). You can drain menstrual blood from
your menstrual pads or tampons, in order to get semen. Well,
you do know how to get it. Word of advice, though - if you are
using sex magick as a part of your Witch-bottle building
ritual, do try to remember that you were supposed to collect
some of the semen to use in the bottle. It's not that easy to
collect it out of your partner, you know. Other blood - get a
sterile needle from the pharmacist and remember to buy some
band-aids as well. You can also add your pubic or other hair to
represent yourself. An egg can also be included.
- Bandages should be readily available, in the case something
happens. A lot of the stuff you're putting into the bottle is
=== Preliminary preparations
Gather all the necessary items, your bodily fluids being the very
last ones as you don't want to store them even for a day. You can
collect other items intended for a Witch-bottle over a long
period of time, storing them until you have all the necessary
items and enough of them. Items found on the ground suit the
purpose well. Cut metal items into smaller pieces if necessary so
that they fit into the bottle you've chosen. If you're using a
very small bottle, remember that will need only a very very small
number of each item or alternatively small items (broken needles,
tiny nails etc).
Choose a date to suit your magickal workings best and plan your
ritual, if these things are important for you. Waning moon is
often considered a suitable time for building a Witch-bottle. The
ritual can consist of just the visualization of the bottle's
You can use the following to help with your visualization:
Your bodily fluids are intended to symbolize yourself, they are
part of your essence and are traditionally used in magick.
Instead of having the negative energies hitting you, they hit
your "representative" in the Witch-bottle, the part of your
For a capturing bottle: The "nasties" inside the bottle are
intended to capture the negative energies - the metal captures
them, the glass confuses and cuts them, the thorns puncture them
and iron (and egg) dissolve them. You can visualize the negative
energies drowning in the urine. If you are building a mirroring
bottle, visualize the glass and mirror mirroring the negative
energy back to its sender or to grounding it to earth. For a
transforming bottle you can use colored glass and visualize the
negative energy transforming into positive one before continuing
on its journey forward to benefit you, your home or the universe.
Choose the place to hide your Witch-bottle before you make it.
Be sure you have all the necessary equipment like a shovel. By
the time the bottle is finished, it's too late to start pondering
"but where will I put this thing?" If you are going to bury the
bottle in the ground, choose the place so that people or animals
will not dig it up.
===The Actual Making of the Bottle
Have all the necessary equipment and items at hand in a place you
consider best suitable for the task, at a time most suitable for
you. Cast a circle, if you feel one necessary. You can build the
bottle and have your ritual at the site of where you will hide
it or do everything else in one place and then take the ready
bottle elsewhere to be buried.
Fill the bottle with items you've chosen until they form a
disgusting mixture. Shake the bottle to mix the items, if
necessary. If you are including an egg, don't break it and add it
as the last of the solid items. Remember to leave enough room for
it as well.
After this, add urine, menstrual blood or semen, or prick your
finger with the sterile lancet and add as the very last thing a
few drops of your blood. You won't need large amounts, blood and
semen are considered potent, so few drops will do.
Close the cap or lid and seal the bottle. You can carve symbols
of your choice (for example runes, a sigil), being careful not to
break the seal. If this happens, remove the wax and start the
sealing process again.
If you are going to go to another place to hide the bottle, clean
up after yourself especially if there is any chance that somebody
else will get to the place where you were building your bottle
before you come back from hiding it! If you did cast a circle
before starting, take it down. Remember to ground yourself (if
you are creating the bottle at the place where you're hiding it,
you can do this afterwards).
Travel to the hiding place and hide your Witch-bottle in a
suitable manner. Banishing words suit the situation well and if
you don't know how or don't want to use traditional banishing
spells or something similar, you can even swear like a drunken
sailor! You can bury the bottle upside down, putting more nasties
in the hole you buried around the bottle before covering it all
up. If you are hiding the bottle somewhere inside your home, hide
it the right way up.
=== Wiccan Version
The Wiccan versions of the Witch-bottle which follow are more
suitable for the Wiccan view of the world, magick and ethics.
They are often intended to capture the negative energies or
prevent it from ever arriving and - what's important - prevent it
to harm the home and its inhabitants. Many of these Wiccan
versions are very much like the basic bottle described above, so
it isn't necessary to repeat everything over. However, you can
use wine, (apple) vinegar or blessed (salted) water instead or in
addition to urine. The nails used may be new, etc.
Many Wiccan Witch-bottles use herbs, with the herbs being chosen
according to their magickal qualities. There are sometimes very
specific instructions given for the gathering of each herb and
other items, including correct phases of the Moon. The herbs and
other objects may be put in the bottle the previous day, letting
the bottle stand by the witch's bed over the night. In the
morning, you can add (morning) urine to the bottle, after which
the bottle is closed and sealed utilizing Wiccan rituals. Some
instructions state that the bottle will be placed in a cupboard
or closet, so you don't necessarily have to carefully hide it.
The following instructions are a basic version of a Wiccan
version of the Witch-bottle, using herbs. You can do everything
using a longer/more complex or a shorter/simpler route, depending
on your own inclinations. You can for example start collecting
the necessary items on a given phase of the moon (for example on
the day before New Moon) and perform the ritual on the next Dark
Moon. Or, you can collect the items when you have time for it and
build the bottle at any phase of the moon (with protective
spells, you don't always have to wait for the right phase of the
moon - you do it when you have to). You can utter a suitable
spell with every item added to the bottle, summoning the spirit
of the item/accessory and meditate for a while - or you can speak
your chosen words after the bottle is filled. You can make the
bottle as part of a ritual, or you can construct a ritual
especially for this occasion. One reason why I'm being so vague
with the instructions is that I'm not Wiccan myself.
- Bottle or jar, with a tightly closing cap or lid
- Sea salt
- Crystal or stone, for example turquoise, obsidian or black
- Herbs, for example acasia, aloe, lilies, lime, lotus, agrimony,
corn, cayenne and black pepper, dried onion, salvia,
frankincense, basil, mint, myrrh, garlic, rosemary, mistletoe,
- A few nails or needles
- Wine, (apple) vinegar or urine
- Black candle for sealing
- The usual tools used in the ritual section
=== Preliminary Preparations
You can choose the herbs and crystals you are going to use
according to their special qualities or use some of those I've
listed. You can also use a drop or two of an essential oil
instead of a herb. You can choose the number of herbs and solid
items in general (in this case, essential oil is counted as
"solid") to put in the bottle on numerological grounds either so
that the number of all solid items is a specific one, or that you
will use a certain number of herbs. Suitable numbers are 7,
connected to protection, or 9, connected with the Goddess.
Gather the necessary items. Clean the bottle you are going to
use. Wash it with warm soapy water carefully (if you can use a
specific soap made for protective purposes, so much the better)
and dry it well. You can leave the bottle over night in the light
of a full moon to charge it. Choose a place to hide the bottle.
For a bottle to be filled as part of a ritual or ritually, it is
a good thing to have all the necessary tools at hand, on your
alter. You can also construct your ritual and spells and chants
The purpose of the crystal (which isn't absolutely necessary, the
list is given as an example - including the liquid items) is to
use it's magickal qualities, the same goes with the herbs. The
salt is there to purify and bless the target of the Witch-bottle
(the person(s), home to be protected). The nails and needles
ground the negative energy and you can also visualize it being
then sent back to its sender, threefold. The thread tangles the
negative energy in a knot similar to what you are tangling the
thread into and to bend the energies away from the builder of the
bottle. You can also visualize the negativity tripping over to
the thread. The urine represents the builder of the bottle. When
using wine or vinegar you can visualize the negative energies
drowning in the liquid, with vinegar acting as a purifying
element as well.
=== The Actual Making of the Bottle
If you're constructing the bottle as part of a ritual, you can
perform the ritual opening as usual.
Start filling the bottle with the salt. After the salt, add
needles or nails, bent or straight. After this, it's time to add
the herbs. The crystals and the thread you've tangled into a
"ball" can be added next. If you are adding liquids, that is done
after the solid items.
When the bottle is otherwise finished, you can raise energies
with a suitable chant (I've seen the traditional "Isis, Astarte,
Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Inanna" recommended for this
purpose) and directing it into the bottle, after which you close
the bottle and seal it with the wax of the candle.
End your ritual as usual and bury the bottle into a suitable
place or otherwise hide it. You can burn incense on the hiding
place to seal the spell properly.
=== Witch-Bottle to Show Off
Witch-bottles that are intended to be left out in plain sight are
not usually made to that much protect their makers, but to bring
the one who has cast this bottled spell something she or he
wants. The usual reasons are the reasons so common with other
types of spell as well: the wish the gain more love, material
gains, happiness, creativity.
I won't give any specific instructions, only basic principles:
Select the bottle or jar used according to its color, shape or
the simple fact that it is pleasing to the eye. Go through the
magical qualities of herbs, colors, essential oils, metals,
crystals etc and choose the ones you'll use in the bottle
according to how well they suit your intended purpose. You won't
normally use any liquids (except for a few drops of essential
oils) in bottles left in the open, they are "dry bottles". Aim
for a harmonious whole. That means: don't try to squeeze in your
bottle every single herb or crystal associated with, for example,
wealth. Too much is too much!
Pick a few suitable herbs or oils, one suitable crystal, one
suitable color. To represent the color you can add (silk)
ribbon to the bottle or tie a ribbon around it, or paint a symbol
representing your goals with the chosen color. You can also make
a "hat" to cover the lid of the bottle, making it out of black
cloth and painting a symbol on it with fabric paint or magic
marker, or use the color of your spell as the color of this
"hat". You can use colors as colored sands or salts. Even metals
have their own magickal correspondences, so you might want to use
metal dust or chips.
If you are following the phases of the moon or other celestial
objects in your magick, take them into consideration while
constructing the bottle. It is up to the bottle's maker whether
to use a formal ritual or not.
As a basic principle, it could be suggested that sands (and metal
dust/chips) usually go to the bottom, herbs and oils on the sand
and the crystal in with the herbs.
=== Final Words
You can easily develop a large number of versions of the basic
Witch-bottle to suit your (and others') needs and life
situations. Even during the time historical Witch-bottles were in
use, there were new versions being developed, so why not today?!
There is no One True Witch-bottle (even though there probably are
people who would like to claim so), only bottles more like the
traditional ones and bottles of more modern variety. I have run
into all kinds of bottles myself, some being love-raising bottles
on the brink of going over the level of good taste and ethics
(some actually going overboard) to bottles constructed to bind a
given bad person very tightly. The many varieties speaks volumes
for how effective this type of spell work can be and how
versatile it is.
 Oxoniana, vol. i. p. 232, tells how the bottle got its
name: "One of the Fellows of Exeter (College), when Dr Prideaux
was rector, sent his servitor, after nine o'clock at night, with
a large bottle to fetch some ale from the alehouse. When he was
coming home with it under his gown the proctor met him, and asked
him what he did out so late, and what he had under his gown? The
man answered that his master had sent him to the stationers to
borrow Bellarmine, which book he had under his arm; and so he
went home. Whence a bottle with a big belly is called a
Bellarmine to this day, 1667."
CAULDRON AND CANDLE WEB SITE
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========= REVIEW: LAMMAS
========= Reviewed by Randall Sapphire
Lammas: Celebrating the Fruits of the First Harvest
Author: Anna Franklin & Paul Mason
Trade Paperback, 284 pages
Publication date: June 2001
US Retail Price: $17.95
Lammas: Celebrating the Fruits of the First Harvest is the fourth
book published in Llewellyn's series of book on the Wiccan
festivals. The previous books in this series (Halloween, Yule and
Beltane) were aimed not just at Wiccans and Pagans but, by down
playing magick and ritual, at the general population. They were
books you could put out on the coffee table in your living room
without fear of totally freaking the average non-Pagan visitor to
your home. With about 100 pages of magick and ritual, this is not
really true of Lammas.
The first two chapters cover the history and folklore of Lammas
and related summer festivals in other cultures. As the authors
are British, there's a lot of interesting material on British
folk celebrations, including the reason why the days for these
festivals are grouped around both August 1st and August 12th.
The third chapter discusses Lugh in myth and legend. As the
stories vary somewhat by location, both the Irish and Welsh
legends are provided. As with much of Celtic mythology, the
stories are complex and even incomplete and contradictory in
places. However, the authors try to piece together a complete
picture from the differing accounts.
The fourth chapter is an overview of the second section of the
book. The authors discuss the themes in ancient celebrations of
the holiday and how modern Wiccans can adapt them.
The next chapter is about 40 pages of Lammas related magick. You
will find instructions for such traditional (and less
traditional) magick as corn dollies (to preserve the spirit of
the corn from one year to the next), incenses, dyes, making a
staff, home protection and more. Most are not complex and, with
the exception of some of the incenses, most do not use hard to
obtain or costly items.
I really enjoyed the sixth chapter on games. While most of these
have a traditional basis, the authors warn that some of them are
a bit too violent for modern use and are only included for
historical interest. My personal favorite of the "too violent to
play" games is shin kicking. According to the authors, opponents
held each other by their lapels and kicked each other's shins
with iron-toed boots with the loser having to buy the day's
drinks. Fortunately, most of the games described sound much more
fun to actually play.
Next is a long chapter on warrior magick. Much of the magick
described in the first half of this chapter is different from
what is found in most Wiccan books: body and face painting and
mask magick, for example. The second half of the chapter talks
about working with animal spirits.
The next to last chapter of Lammas is recipes appropriate to the
holiday. There are recipes for breads, bannocks, fish, potatoes,
and more. The final chapter covers Lammas rituals and provides
three. One is listed as a druid ritual, but seems as Wiccan as
the other two.
Lammas is competently written, well-illustrated, and parts of it
are quite interesting. Unlike the other books I've read in this
series, Lammas includes quite a bit of magickal and ritual
material. While this makes it less of a coffee table book, it
probably makes this book more useful to the average Wiccan. This
book can't be considered a "must-have" book, but it is worth a
look -- especially for Wiccan families with elementary or middle
school age children.
This review is available on our web site at
========= REVIEW: THE GRIMOIRE OF LADY SHEBA
========= Reviewed by Randall Sapphire
The Grimoire of Lady Sheba
Author: Jessie Wicker Bell
Hardback, 360 pages
Publication date: June 2001
US Retail Price: $19.95
This is the third edition of The Grimoire of Lady Sheba published
by Llewellyn. This edition of this long out of print book
originally published in 1972 is designed to celebrate Llewellyn's
centennial. It's a beautiful hardback book printed on high
quality recycled paper.
To truly understand this book and why it was so important, one
has to understand what the early 1970s were like in the Wiccan
part of the Neo-Pagan world. Wicca was an extremely secretive
religion. There weren't a couple of hundred books on published on
it. What few books there were talked about Wicca and had
interviews with fairly secretive Wiccans. A few described some
pieces of Wiccan ritual. There weren't any friendly Wicca 101
books telling one how to actually practice the religion. There
weren't any books telling you how to practice the religion at
all. The only way to become a Wiccan was to find a Wiccan coven
(and there were not very many of them at the time) that had a
space for you and was willing to train and initiate you. The
problem was that, due to the publicity and the general interest
in the occult at the time, there were far more people interested
in the Craft than there were coven openings.
In 1971, Jessie Wicker Bell (aka Lady Sheba) chartered The
American Order of the Brotherhood of the Wicca in Michigan with
the help of Carl Weschcke. As far as I know, this was the first
time a Wiccan group sought legal recognition of their existence.
Later that year, Bell's Book of Shadows (later included in The
Grimoire of Lady Sheba) was published. To say this caused great
controversy in the Neo-Pagan world is an understatement. The
rituals were said to be those of Gardnerian Wicca with some
copying errors and personal changes. Accusations of oathbreaking
started flying as fast as comments that the rituals were really
nothing like those of Gardnerian Wicca. This tempest raged in the
teapot for years. In the end, it did not matter. No matter where
Bell got her rituals, by publishing them she had let the cat out
of the bag. New Wiccan groups were springing up all over the
world basing their rituals on those of Lady Sheba.
In 1972, Lady Sheba published her second -- and best known --
book: The Grimoire of Lady Sheba. It included the Book of
Shadows, but also included material on making Wiccan tools,
casting magick, incense, oils, dances, and more. This book was
reprinted in modified form in paperback by Zebra in the mid-1970s
and sold on bookstore racks. Then it went out of print. In many
ways, The Grimoire of Lady Sheba is responsible for the growth of
Wicca from the secretive religion of the 1950s and 1960s to the
open religion of today.
While Lady Sheba is no longer the only book available on
coven-oriented Wicca, it is very nice to have this book back in
print. The form of Wicca presented in Lady Sheba is probably much
closer to Gardner's original vision of the religion than the
Wicca presented in most Wicca 101 books today. While today's
Wicca 101 books are generally far more reader friendly than Lady
Sheba, they pack much less information in.
Now that I have bored you with a lot of history, I suspect you
would like to know just what's in this book. The first half of
The Grimoire of Lady Sheba covers magick. There are instructions
on the power of magick, making tools, the language of witchcraft,
a large collection of spells and recipes for incense, oils, and
teas, and a section on Wiccan dances. This section is quite
eclectic in nature and somewhat disorganized, just as one might
expect from a personal collection of information. Some of the
material is quite useful while other material (the recipe for
flying ointment, for example) is silly, dangerous, or both. Some
of the spells and rituals given herein violate the Wiccan Rede,
at least for those who take the current popular view that the
Rede is moral law instead of moral advice.
The second part of the book is a fairly traditional Wiccan Book
of Shadows. For those whose only view of Wicca has been the
modern version of Scott Cunningham and later authors, some of
this material may come as quite a shock. Lady Sheba's Book of
Shadows is much closer to the traditional Gardnerian version of
Wicca than it is to the "Neo-Wicca" popularized in the Wicca 101
books of the last decade. In fact, in the few cases I've been
able to compare Lady Sheba's rituals with actual Gardnerian
rituals, the two have always been nearly identical. Most of the
differences are minor and are probably hand copying errors, but
some are divergent enough that they may have been deliberate
changes on the part of Lady Sheba. Like all Wiccan Books of
Shadows from this time period, all the rituals in Lady Sheba's
Do you need a a copy of The Grimoire of Lady Sheba? It is an
important part of the history of Wicca and one of the best
publicly available sources of information on what is now known
as "British Traditional Wicca." If you want to understand what
Wicca was like before the Wicca 101 books of the last ten or
twelve years, you will probably find this book useful. If you are
a Wiccan who learned your religion from a modern Wicca 101 book
and would like to form a coven and practice your religion in a
style closer to what it originally was, this book would serve you
well. If your paperback copy of this book from the early 1970s is
falling apart (as mine was), you will probably appreciate the
chance to replace it with a new copy. However, The Grimoire of
Lady Sheba is not a modern Wicca 101 book. While many people used
it as a Wicca 101 book in the 1970s, it is not one in the modern
sense of the term. It just presents raw information. The author
does not carefully order, present, and explain the material in a
This review is available on our web site at
========= REVIEW: WHITE SPELLS
========= Reviewed by Randall Sapphire
White Spells: Magic for Love, Money, & Happiness
Author: Ileana Abrev
Trade Paperback, 144 pages
Publication date: October 2001
US Retail Price: $9.95
White Spells: Magic for Love, Money, & Happiness is one of those
books that annoys a good-sized segment of the Neo-Pagan community
whether the book itself is good or bad. It's a book of spells
aimed at the beginner. Some Neo-Pagans seem to believe that
magick is a dangerous force which should not be taught without a
hefty dose of religion first. Others believe that all spell books
are a waste of time because everyone should create their own
spells from scratch.
As I've said in other reviews of books of spells, I don't fall
into any of these camps. I got my start along the Neo-Pagan path
from the magick end and believe that magick is completely
independent of religion. Anyone, regardless of their religion (or
lack of religion), can cast spells if they wish to learn how.
While I agree that a personally created spell can be better, I
don't think that spell books are a waste of paper. They are handy
guides for the beginner and can be a useful source of ideas for
the journeyman magician. They are probably useless for the
master, but most people aren't masters. Therefore, I'm going to
review this book solely on its merits as a book of spells aimed
at the beginner.
This small (wide pocket-sized) book book is obviously aimed at
the general public -- not just Neo-Pagans or Wiccans. Unlike many
such books I've seen, this book does not start with a lot of
background information about magick. There are no instructions
for casting circles or other complex pre-casting operations.
Instead of a complex circle, this book suggests a simple prayer
to banish negativity before casting a spell in its short
introductory section. This is nice because it makes the book much
The first chapter of the book is a short chapter on using color
in magick. At eight pages, it's the longest section of "magickal
theory" in the book. The author points out that the information
in this chapter can be used to enhance any spell in the book.
This gives beginners a way to personalize the spells in the book
without having to study lots of magickal theory.
The remaining four chapters of White Magic are devoted to spells.
The chapters are organized by spell form (crystal spells, bath
spells, herb and plant spells, and candle spells). While this
keeps similar to cast spells together, it means that spells for a
particular function (e.g. protection or love) are scattered
throughout the book. The book provides about 90 spells covering a
wide range of needs. There are spells for love, protection, legal
matters, money, healing, finding a job, fertility, enhancing sex
drive, luck, and more. All the spells live up to the book's White
Spells title as all but the most morally hung-up would probably
consider every spell in the book "white" magic. Most importantly
from the point of view of the beginner audience this book is
aimed for, the spells provided are generally short, simple, and
require only relatively common materials.
This small volume concludes with a short glossary, some sample
spell record sheets for recording what spell one did and the
results. There's also an index, although the easiest way to find
spells is probably the lists of spells in each chapter in the
table of contents.
While White Spells seems a bit pricey for its short length, it is
one of the better spell books for the absolute beginner who just
wants to use magick. It provides a good variety of simple but
useful spells in a religion-neutral manner and without boring the
reader with lots of theory. This lack of theory is also this
book's major weak point. As it doesn't provide much theory and
background, the reader really isn't learning magick, he's just
learning to perform spells from recipes. Of course, that's all
many people want and need.
This review is available on our web site at
========= REVIEW: ENCHANTMENTS
========= Reviewed by Randall Sapphire
Enchantments: 200 Spells for Bath & Beauty Enhancement
Author: Edain McCoy
Trade Paperback, 240 pages
Publication date: October 2001
US Retail Price: $14.95
Walk into any department store in the western world and you are
likely to find counter after counter of beauty aids for women.
Perfumes, soaps, oils, shampoos, hair conditioners, makeup, and
more overflow into the aisles ready to lighten the pocketbooks of
all who believe that just a bath with this and a dab of this will
make them truly beautiful. Edain McCoy's Enchantments: 200 Spells
for Bath & Beauty Enhancement provides homebrewed, magically
enhanced alternatives to buying expensive, name-brand beauty
The first few pages of Enchantments discuss the nature of beauty
in legend and in reality and the ingredients which will be used
in the rest of the book. Appropriate warnings that herbs are not
automatically safe because they are natural and that negative
magick usually causes as much harm to the caster as to the victim
The next eight chapters, the remainder of the book, are full of
magick. "The Magickal Bath" has recipes for magickal bath oils
and bath salts. "Soap and Shower Magick" provides recipes for
solid soaps, gel soaps, soaks, splashes, and scrubs. The "Lotions
and Potions" chapter gives recipes for magickal lotions, face
masks, facial steams, and massage oils. "Magick Hair" lists
recipes for magickal shampoos and conditioners. The chapter on
"Perfumes and Aromatherapy" has recipes for magickal perfumes as
well as general instructions on using scents in magick.
Given all the recipes in previous chapters, it may surprise some
that the author just provides spells for use with commercial
makeup in the "Ritual and Magickal Makeup" chapter, but McCoy
admits that commercial makeup and makeup removers simply work
much better than anything homemade. The last chapter of the book
covers Glamoury, the art of projecting a changed appearance. The
author admits in the chapter introduction that some consider this
type of magick manipulative and others consider Glamoury bunk.
Enchantments concludes with several appendixes: one on locating
materials, one provides brief information on the known side
effects of many common herbs, and a set of frequently asked
questions (and their answers).
While the magick in this book is all beauty product related, the
actual recipes and spells are not strictly beauty oriented. There
are recipes for bath oils for purification, courage and fertility
and for prosperity and finding a job soaps, for healing and
spirit contact lotions and many more such needs. This wide
variety of magickal purposes makes the book much more useful than
its title suggests.
While I am not usually a fan of Edain McCoy's books, this book is
not bad at all. It provides useful magickal recipes and
beauty-related information. Only a few points really annoyed me
about this book. One was the unnecessary reference to
"patriarchal rule" in the introduction that manages to imply that
there was a period of non-patriarchal rule before that, when
there's no real evidence to support that belief. Another was the
usual problem I have with many books: the author often manages to
imply that witchcraft and Paganism in general are somehow just
variations of Wicca. Finally, while this book provides more
information on the possible side-effects of herbs than many books
on magick, I believe even more detail would have been helpful
given that most of the recipes in the book will come into contact
with lots of skin, sometimes for long periods of time.
While I certainly cannot call Enchantments a must have book that
every person (or even every woman) interested in magick needs, it
is a nicely done book of magical recipes for beauty products with
no really stand out problems. If you are looking for information
on beauty-related magick or on making your own herbal soaps,
oils, lotions, and perfumes, Enchantments is a useful and
affordable addition to your library.
This review is available on our web site at
========= REVIEW: EGYPTIAN SCARAB ORACLE
========= Reviewed by Randall Sapphire
Egyptian Scarab Oracle
Author: deTraci Regula
Book and Oracle Set
Publication date: July 2001
US Retail Price: $34.95
The Egyptian Scarab Oracle is a unique divination tool. It is a
set of thirty small plastic scarabs (those beetles the ancient
Egyptians were fond of). Each scarab has an Egyptian symbol
carved on one side. This oracle is read something like runes are
read. You place the scarabs symbol side down, mix them up, draw
one or more of them, flip the ones you drew over, and interpret
the symbols thereon. With thirty symbols, the symbol set of this
oracle is slightly larger than that of the runes, but much
smaller than the symbol set of even the most symbol poor tarot
deck. The symbols on the scarabs include Egyptian deities and
items like the ankh and the pyramids.
The creator, deTraci Regula, makes no claims of ancient origins
for this oracle. She says she got the idea for it from a very
vivid dream in the mid-1990s. She originally published
information on this oracle in Llewellyn's 1996 Magical Almanac.
She expanded it from 20 to 29 scarabs when she discussed in her
her book The Mysteries of Isis. This set is a slight revision
from that. One piece was changed and another was added. The
scarabs for this set were created by Kerigwen and are excellent.
The pictures on the box do not do them justice. The scarabs are
small enough to be a choking hazard to small children, however --
as the box clearly states.
The Egyptian Scarab Oracle comes with the above mentioned
scarabs, a small bag to hold them, and a 144 page trade paperback
book, Sacred Scarabs for Divination and Personal Power. The early
introductory portions of this book describe the origin of this
oracle and some brief background information on scarabs and on
divination and magick in ancient Egypt. The rest of the book
covers using the oracle, including scarab layouts and the
meanings of the scarabs. Each scarab is described and its
possible meanings are given with respect to love, money, career,
family, health and spiritual path. A short chapter on using the
scarab symbols as amulets rounds out the volume. The instructions
and information are presented in a friendly and clear manner.
I found using the Egyptian Scarab Oracle to be somewhat like
using the runes. It is an interesting change of pace, but I
personally prefer the larger symbol set of a good tarot deck.
Those who find the large symbol set of the Tarot overwhelming,
and I know there are more than a few reading this who do, should
take a good look at this oracle. It has a large enough symbol set
to give good basic readings, but one small enough that one can
learn it fairly quickly and without feeling overwhelmed. Those
interested in an Egyptian feel to their magick and divination
will also want to look at this oracle. Overall, the Egyptian
Scarab Oracle is an interesting idea, done well.
This review is available on our web site at
========= REVIEW: 2002 WITCHES' DATEBOOK
========= Reviewed by Daven
2002 Witches' Datebook
Author: Thea Bloom
Spiral Bound, 144 pages
Publication date: August 2001
US Retail Price: $9.95
Upon first glance inside, you will discover that there is a world
of information on each date. Llewellyn did a good job in
forecasting the Moon phases, which sign the moon will be in at
any one point, where certain planets will be on the date
specified and so on. As I read the calendar through, I was
If accuracy in the planetary motion is not that critical, then
this will be a good reference for you. It does not contain a
complete ephemeris, but there is enough information to enable an
astrologer to know what planetary influences are occurring at one
point or another. But that's not all there is.
For the trivia alone, this is worth the price. Things like
"First airing of The Witching Hour, a Pagan radio show hosted by
Winter Wren and Don Lewis, on station WONX in Evanston Illinois,
1992" and "Rebecca Nurse hanged in Salem, Massachusetts, 1692"
abound in the pages of this datebook. It has birthdays listed
for those in the Wiccan/Pagan community listed (like the birthday
of Isaac Bonewits, Wren Walker, Scott Cunningham) along with the
founding of such organization as The Church of All Worlds and the
AURORA Network in the UK. Plus, there are dates listed for
things like handfastings of famous Pagan couples, death dates,
There are articles on each page of this datebook listing things
like bread recipes, incense recipes, spells for attuning with the
runic months and the Ogham months, as well as articles on the
different current holidays (Pagan holidays of course). There are
the usual notations for American holidays like Flag Day,
Veteran's Day, and even when Kwanzaa begins and ends.
At the back of the book, there is an address book. I think this
is a good addition, as I have very seldom seen addresses and
phone lists in a datebook of this nature. It has an additional
place for email addresses, and with the increases in email
communication, this can only be a bonus. This is something that
not even the expensive planners have as an addition to their
The true gem, and one of the reasons to keep this even when 2002
is over is the articles in the front. People like Wren Walker,
Estelle Daniels, Dorothy Morrison spice up the book with good
articles and information for the pagan who buys this book. I
loved the suggestions for Urban Pagans that Dorothy Morrison
gives, and the recipes and suggestions for gingerbread that Thea
Bloom gives us.
There is plenty of space for events and appointments in the day's
entry (so long as you write small) and it can be a valuable tool
for those on a time crunch.
One warning however, while it is not obvious, this book does
stand out. If you are still in the closet, you may want to
consider getting another book. With the amount of information
packed into each page, whipping it out to write an entry into it
in front of others who don't know about your beliefs could lead
to some awkward questions.
There is little artwork since there is a lot packed into these
pages, and the artwork that does appear is all black and white
line drawings. The artwork is good, don't get me wrong, but that
is not the primary purpose for purchasing this book.
All in all, I give this datebook 4 stars out of 5, for the amount
of information in it, the trivia and the mini ephemeris contained
This review is available on our web site at
Here are a few of the books we'll be reviewing in
future issues: SISTERS OF THE DARK MOON, RUNIC
PALMISTRY, ASTROLOGY & RELATIONSHIPS, SOLAR ARCS,
THE MAGICIAN'S WORKBOOK, WRITE YOUR OWN SPELLS,
PALMISTRY QUICK & EASY, THE CRAFT, MAGIC OF
QABALAH. Reviews often appear on our web site
first, so check there for new reviews if you can't
wait for the next issue of the newsletter.
========= HUMOR: TOP TEN REASONS ATHAME HANDLES ARE BLACK
========= Author Unknown
10. So they'll go with any color of robe.
9. So you can cover up nicks & scratches with shoe polish.
8. It's slimming (can't have fat athames, can we?)
7. It doesn't show dirt.
6. Because finding a dropped athame in an outdoor ritual in the
dark is a test of loyalty to your faith.
5. It's so much more dignified than chartreuse.
4. Seemed like a good idea at the time.
3. Someone spilled all the paints together and that's what ended
2. No, no! Black is for winter rituals -- use white before Labor
And the #1 reason athames handles are black....
1. So that we'd have something to argue about other than how
"athame" is pronounced!
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========= NEW ARTICLES ON THE CAULDRON'S SITE
The following new areas have been added to The Cauldron's web
site since our last issue.
* Celtic Reconstructionism
Another page in our new Reconstructionist Paganism section,
this page provides information and links on reconstructionist
* A Child's Book of Wicca
From the introduction: "This is a book designed for any Wiccan
attempting to raise a child or children in the Craft. It is a
collection of stories designed to introduce a five to eight
year old to the basics of our religion." This link is to the
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The following book and tarot reviews (some included in this
newsletter) are new to the web site:
* White Spells
* Egyptian Scarab Oracle
* Palmistry Quick & Easy
* The Craft
* Write Your Own Magic
* Solar Arcs
* Wiccan Roots
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++++ NEWSLETTER WEB SITE AND BACK ISSUE ARCHIVE
The Cauldron and Candle web site contains information on this
newsletter and an archive of back issues.
++++ CONTRIBUTE TO CAULDRON AND CANDLE
Cauldron and Candle is always looking for articles, reviews, and
announcements of interest to the Neo-Pagan community. Submissions
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++++ PLEASE INVITE YOUR FRIENDS TO SUBSCRIBE
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++++ LINK TO THE CAULDRON: A PAGAN FORUM
If you like The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum please invite your
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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.
++++ SUGGESTIONS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME
Don't forget that your suggestions for the forum are always
welcome, either posted on the message board or via email to
Elspeth Sapphire (email@example.com) or Randall
Sapphire (firstname.lastname@example.org). Typos are, as usual,
courtesy of the Goddess Eris.
Merry Meet, Merry Part, Merry Meet again!