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Cauldron and Candle
Issue #16 -- October 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  #16 -- October 2001

           A Publication of The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum
                website: http://www.ecauldron.com/
     mailing list/board: http://www.ecauldron.com/fregmb.php
     delphi forum: http://forums.delphiforums.com/CUSTOM7999/start
             newsletter: http://www.ecauldron.com/cnc/

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

                        SPECIAL DEDICATION
     This issue of Cauldron and Candle is dedicated to those
     who were wounded or killed in the September 11th attack
     on the United States, their families and friends, and
     to all peoples and nations who oppose terrorism.

In this Issue:

[00] Publisher's Note: September 11, 2001
[01] Editorial: In Time of Horror, Prayers
[02] Poem: The Mountain
[03] Samhain: All Hallow's Eve
[04] Review: Seasons of Magic
[05] Review: Tarot for the Healing Heart
[06] Review: Tarot of the Saints
[07] Review: Monsters
[08] Review: 2002 Goddess Calendar
[09] Review: 2002 Witches' Calender
[10] Samhain: Samhain Chant
[11] Samhain: Halloween: The Past in the Present
[12] Magick: Malice Mirror Spell
[13] Humor: The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Casserole
[14] New Articles on The Cauldron's Site
[15] New Web Polls
[16] Support The Cauldron When You Buy at Amazon.com
[17] Newsletter and Forum Info
              (Including How To Subscribe/Unsubscribe)

 +++ Submission Deadline for next issue: October 20, 2001 +++
   Guidelines: http://www.ecauldron.com/cnc/submissions.php

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

On the morning of September 11, 2001 I watched with horror on
live TV as the second plane crashed into the World Trade Center.
Realizing when the second plane hit that I was watching a
terrorist attack and not a horrible accident, I started writing a
message to The Cauldron's email list about what was going on. I'm
a slow typist (and having to run out to see news on the TV as it
happened did not help), so by the time I finished my message, the
Pentagon had been hit and the second hit tower of the World Trade
Center had collapsed.

Tuesday, September 11 was a horrible day that will live in the
memories of all freedom-loving people everywhere. I thought about
making this issue a special issue devoted to this cowardly attack
and how people involved in The Cauldron's mailing list and Delphi
Annex were affected by it and how they responded to it. However,
I finally decided that the best way to honor the thousands of
dead and their families would be to go ahead with our usual
October fare: our special Samhain issue.

I'd like to ask everyone reading this issue who celebrates the
Wiccan holiday of Samhain to remember in their Samhain
celebrations those whose lives were snuffed out so needlessly by
an organization of madmen with their sad dreams of a world war
between "Western" and "Muslim" nations. Also please remember
their families and friends whose lives will never be the same.

Finally, I'd like to thank all the members of The Cauldron and
The Thicket for not going off the deep end in the aftermath of
this cowardly attack. Unlike many places on the Internet, there
were no cries for wiping out all Muslims or other such silliness.
Everyone was angry (and some were far more expressive of that
anger than others), but everyone kept their head about them.
Thank you.

========= by Diane Verrochi

I wrote these two prayers a couple of days after September 11,
when my head and emotions finally cleared enough to address my
Gods with something other than wordless pain. I decided to share
them because I have spoken with others who still feel it hard to
find words, and even if these are not the words for them, perhaps
they will give a helpful idea or two. So, if you like them, by
all means use them. If you want to share them with others as is,
please just keep my name attached someplace or other. If you get
an idea based on them and want to modify them or use them as a
springboard for something else, go for it. And if they don't
speak to you at all, well, there is always the delete button.

+++ A Prayer to Kwan Yin
+++ In the wake of the horrors of September 11, 2001
+++ by Diane Verrochi

Lady Kwan Yin,
Goddess of Mercy,
Bodhisattva of Compassion,
She who hears the cries of the world,
Hear our cries.

Our people have been killed.
Brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers,
Wives, husbands, lovers, friends,
So many are lost, so many taking their journey too soon.
Hear our cries for them.

Our police and fire fighters are exhausted,
Injured, and determined to continue doing all they can,
And more.
They too have lost friends, family, and still they work
To save every life they can.
Hear our cries for them.

Our doctors, nurses, counselors, and clergy,
So many are stretched to the breaking point
As they struggle to heal all the hurt.
But who heals their hurt?
Hear our cries for them.

Our home has been hurt.
The ground is scorched, and ash and powder
Coat the remains and reminders
Of how home used to be.
Hear our cries for home.

We hurt.
We ache for those we have lost,
We ache for those others have lost,
We ache at our personal tragedies, and
We ache at the sight of others' tragedies.
And many of us ache with guilt at feeling these aches
When others have lost so much more.
Hear our cries for us.

+++ A Prayer to Apollo
+++ In the wake of the horrors of September 11, 2001
+++ by Diane Verrochi

Apollo, God of the Healing Arts,
We ask for Your help
Healing the wounded,
Healing the grieving,
Healing all who have been affected
By this hideous act.

Apollo, God of Music and Poetry,
We ask for Your help
Expressing our sorrow,
Expressing our anger,
Expressing our grief
Over this slaughter of innocents.

Apollo, God of Archery,
We ask for Your help
Sighting the right target for justice,
Aiming carefully for only that target,
Aiming with wisdom the correct bow,
Whatever that may be,
That we may not succumb to the hatred
That slaughters innocents.

Apollo, God of Forgiveness,
We ask for Your help
Forgiving when that is appropriate,
Forgiving without excusing abominable acts,
Forgiving without forgoing justice,
Forgiving with wisdom.

                     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.

========= THE MOUNTAIN
========= A Poem by Scott Bonner

I sit with my nephew under an infinite sky
With a flashlight and stars and ideas.
We are talking of the world and the people in it.

My nephew asks about the Grand Canyon and Washington,
The Sahara and England and Spain.
I offer Delhi and Istanbul and ancient Rome.

We pull out an atlas and his schoolbooks that we brought,
He and I, for just this occasion.
We sacrifice star-vision to look at the pictures.

Soon we see a panorama of New York City,
All glass and girders and morning mist.
I point out the Lady Liberty in the harbor.

"She's really tall," I share, "nearly thirty stories high."
He seems incredulous, but traces
The skyline with his finger, following ups and downs.

"It's like a mountain," he states, "the city; like people
made a real mountain to live inside."
This impresses me, somehow, that he sees a mountain.

I trace the skyline with my finger, the ups and downs,
And stop at the plateau that I know
Won't be in next year's book.  I think about the mountain.

I ponder whether to share what makes my heart heavy.
I decide no.  He is young, naive.
For a while still, he deserves to see that mountain.

-Scott Bonner


       Learn to tell the wheat from the chaff when you
       view a web site or read a book.


========= ALL HALLOW'S EVE
========= by Mike Nichols

     Halloween.  Sly does it.  Tiptoe catspaw.  Slide and
     creep. But why?  What for?  How?  Who?  When!  Where
     did it all begin? 'You don't know, do you?' asks
     Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud climbing out under the
     pile of leaves under the Halloween Tree. "You don't
     REALLY know!"
                 --Ray Bradbury from "The Halloween Tree"

Samhain. All Hallows. All Hallow's Eve. Hallow E'en. Halloween.
The most magical night of the year. Exactly opposite Beltane on
the wheel of the year, Halloween is Beltane's dark twin. A night
of glowing jack-o-lanterns, bobbing for apples, tricks or treats,
and dressing in costume. A night of ghost stories and seances,
tarot card readings and scrying with mirrors. A night of power,
when the veil that separates our world from the Otherworld is at
its thinnest. A 'spirit night', as they say in Wales.

All Hallow's Eve is the eve of All Hallow's Day (November 1st).
And for once, even popular tradition remembers that the Eve is
more important than the Day itself, the traditional celebration
focusing on October 31st, beginning at sundown. And this seems
only fitting for the great Celtic New Year's festival. Not that
the holiday was Celtic only. In fact, it is startling how many
ancient and unconnected cultures (the Egyptians and pre-Spanish
Mexicans, for example) celebrated this as a festival of the dead.
But the majority of our modern traditions can be traced to the
British Isles.

The Celts called it Samhain, which means 'summer's end',
according to their ancient two-fold division of the year, when
summer ran from Beltane to Samhain and winter ran from Samhain to
Beltane. (Some modern Covens echo this structure by letting the
High Priest 'rule' the Coven beginning on Samhain, with rulership
returned to the High Priestess at Beltane.)  According to the
later four-fold division of the year, Samhain is seen as
'autumn's end' and the beginning of winter. Samhain is pronounced
(depending on where you're from) as 'sow-in' (in Ireland), or
'sow-een' (in Wales), or 'sav-en' (in Scotland), or (inevitably)
'sam-hane' (in the U.S., where we don't speak Gaelic).

Not only is Samhain the end of autumn; it is also, more
importantly, the end of the old year and the beginning of the
new. Celtic New Year's Eve, when the new year begins with the
onset of the dark phase of the year, just as the new day begins
at sundown. There are many representations of Celtic gods with
two faces, and it surely must have been one of them who held sway
over Samhain. Like his Greek counterpart Janus, he would straddle
the threshold, one face turned toward the past in commemoration
of those who died during the last year, and one face gazing
hopefully toward the future, mystic eyes attempting to pierce the
veil and divine what the coming year holds. These two themes,
celebrating the dead and divining the future, are inexorably
intertwined in Samhain, as they are likely to be in any New
Year's celebration.

As a feast of the dead, it was believed the dead could, if they
wished, return to the land of the living for this one night, to
celebrate with their family, tribe, or clan. And so the great
burial mounds of Ireland (sidh mounds) were opened up, with
lighted torches lining the walls, so the dead could find their
way. Extra places were set at the table and food set out for any
who had died that year. And there are many stories that tell of
Irish heroes making raids on the Underworld while the gates of
faery stood open, though all must return to their appointed
places by cock-crow.

As a feast of divination, this was the night par excellence for
peering into the future. The reason for this has to do with the
Celtic view of time. In a culture that uses a linear concept of
time, like our modern one, New Year's Eve is simply a milestone
on a very long road that stretches in a straight line from birth
to death. Thus, the New Year's festival is a part of time. The
ancient Celtic view of time, however, is cyclical. And in this
framework, New Year's Eve represents a point outside of time,
when the natural order of the universe dissolves back into
primordial chaos, preparatory to re-establishing itself in a new
order. Thus, Samhain is a night that exists outside of time and
hence it may be used to view any other point in time. At no other
holiday is a tarot card reading, crystal reading, or tea-leaf
reading so likely to succeed.

The Christian religion, with its emphasis on the 'historical'
Christ and his act of redemption 2000 years ago, is forced into a
linear view of time, where 'seeing the future' is an illogical
proposition. In fact, from the Christian perspective, any attempt
to do so is seen as inherently evil. This did not keep the
medieval Church from co-opting Samhain's other motif,
commemoration of the dead. To the Church, however, it could never
be a feast for all the dead, but only the blessed dead, all those
hallowed (made holy) by obedience to God - thus, All Hallow's, or
Hallowmas, later All Saints and All Souls.

There are so many types of divination that are traditional to
Hallowstide, it is possible to mention only a few. Girls were
told to place hazel nuts along the front of the firegrate, each
one to symbolize one of her suitors. She could then divine her
future husband by chanting, 'If you love me, pop and fly; if you
hate me, burn and die.'  Several methods used the apple, that
most popular of Halloween fruits. You should slice an apple
through the equator (to reveal the five-pointed star within) and
then eat it by candlelight before a mirror. Your future spouse
will then appear over your shoulder. Or, peel an apple, making
sure the peeling comes off in one long strand, reciting, 'I pare
this apple round and round again; / My sweetheart's name to
flourish on the plain: / I fling the unbroken paring o'er my
head, / My sweetheart's letter on the ground to read.' Or, you
might set a snail to crawl through the ashes of your hearth. The
considerate little creature will then spell out the initial
letter as it moves.

Perhaps the most famous icon of the holiday is the
jack-o-lantern. Various authorities attribute it to either
Scottish or Irish origin. However, it seems clear that it was
used as a lantern by people who traveled the road this night, the
scary face to frighten away spirits or faeries who might
otherwise lead one astray. Set on porches and in windows, they
cast the same spell of protection over the household. (The
American pumpkin seems to have forever superseded the European
gourd as the jack-o-lantern of choice.) Bobbing for apples may
well represent the remnants of a Pagan 'baptism' rite called a
'seining', according to some writers. The water-filled tub is a
latter-day Cauldron of Regeneration, into which the novice's head
is immersed. The fact that the participant in this folk game was
usually blindfolded with hands tied behind the back also puts one
in mind of a traditional Craft initiation ceremony.

The custom of dressing in costume and 'trick-or-treating' is of
Celtic origin with survivals particularly strong in Scotland.
However, there are some important differences from the modern
version. In the first place, the custom was not relegated to
children, but was actively indulged in by adults as well. Also,
the 'treat' which was required was often one of spirits (the
liquid variety). This has recently been revived by college
students who go 'trick-or-drinking'. And in ancient times, the
roving bands would sing seasonal carols from house to house,
making the tradition very similar to Yuletide wassailing. In
fact, the custom known as 'caroling', now connected exclusively
with mid-winter, was once practiced at all the major holidays.
Finally, in Scotland at least, the tradition of dressing in
costume consisted almost exclusively of cross-dressing (i.e., men
dressing as women, and women as men). It seems as though ancient
societies provided an opportunity for people to 'try on' the role
of the opposite gender for one night of the year. (Although in
Scotland, this is admittedly less dramatic - but more confusing -
since men were in the habit of wearing skirt-like kilts anyway.
Oh well...)

To Witches, Halloween is one of the four High Holidays, or
Greater Sabbats, or cross-quarter days. Because it is the most
important holiday of the year, it is sometimes called 'THE Great
Sabbat.'  It is an ironic fact that the newer, self-created
Covens tend to use the older name of the holiday, Samhain, which
they have discovered through modern research. While the older
hereditary and traditional Covens often use the newer name,
Halloween, which has been handed down through oral tradition
within their Coven. (This is often holds true for the names of
the other holidays, as well. One may often get an indication of a
Coven's antiquity by noting what names it uses for the holidays.)

With such an important holiday, Witches often hold two distinct
celebrations. First, a large Halloween party for non-Craft
friends, often held on the previous weekend. And second, a Coven
ritual held on Halloween night itself, late enough so as not to
be interrupted by trick-or-treaters. If the rituals are performed
properly, there is often the feeling of invisible friends taking
part in the rites. Another date which may be utilized in planning
celebrations is the actual cross-quarter day, or Old Halloween,
or Halloween O.S. (Old Style). This occurs when the sun has
reached 15 degrees Scorpio, an astrological 'power point'
symbolized by the Eagle. This year (1988), the date is November
6th at 10:55 pm CST, with the celebration beginning at sunset.
Interestingly, this date (Old Halloween) was also appropriated by
the Church as the holiday of Martinmas.

Of all the Witchcraft holidays, Halloween is the only one that
still boasts anything near to popular celebration. Even though it
is typically relegated to children (and the young-at-heart) and
observed as an evening affair only, many of its traditions are
firmly rooted in Paganism. Interestingly, some schools have
recently attempted to abolish Halloween parties on the grounds
that it violates the separation of state and religion. Speaking
as a Pagan, I would be saddened by the success of this move, but
as a supporter of the concept of religion-free public education,
I fear I must concede the point. Nonetheless, it seems only right
that there SHOULD be one night of the year when our minds are
turned toward thoughts of the supernatural. A night when both
Pagans and non-Pagans may ponder the mysteries of the Otherworld
and its inhabitants. And if you are one of them, may all your
jack-o'lanterns burn bright on this All Hallow's Eve.

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


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


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

Seasons of Magic: A Girl's Journey
Author: Laurel Ann Reinhardt
Illustrator: Jan Stamm
Trade Paperback, 192 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: May 2001
ISBN: 1567185649
US Retail Price: $9.95
Amazon Link:

When twelve year old Erin has trouble explaining her family's
winter solstice celebration at school after the holidays, she
realizes that while she enjoys her family's seasonal celebrations
she really doesn't understand what or why they are celebrating
nearly as well as her best friend understands why her family
celebrates Christmas. Erin's mother her convinces to talk with
Evangeline, the now eighty year old woman who had taught her when
she was younger.

Evangeline agrees to teach Erin about the the holidays of the
wheel of the year, but makes her promise to work with her
throughout an entire year and warns her that she will have to
make small sacrifices in order to learn. The rest of the book
follows Erin through the year as she learns more about the wheel
of the year, the world around her, and herself.

This book is a well-written story aimed at pre-teens. Given its
style (a concentration on relationships rather than action), it
will probably be enjoyed more by young women than by young men.
Seasons of Magic is careful to remember that it is a novel and
not a textbook. While the reader will not be able to avoid
learning about the wheel of the year common to Wicca and
Wicca-like Neo-Pagan religions, this book never makes the mistake
of slipping into lecture mode just to be able to squeeze more
educational information in. However, the novel proper is followed
by the contents of a workbook which Evangeline supposedly left
for Erin which contains more organized, factual information about
the holidays.

The only possible negative point I see about this book that
parents should be aware of is that Evangeline passes over shortly
after the Fall Equinox. While most pre-teens will be able to
handle this, it might be a bit much for some younger children.

This book has several truly excellent minor touches. First,
Erin's best friend is a Christian, from a normal Christian
family. No raving "fundie" stereotypes here. Second, the workbook
notes that the holidays are on different dates in the southern
hemisphere and gives both northern and southern hemisphere dates
for the festivals. Oddly, however, the glossary immediately
following the workbook only mentions the "standard" northern
hemisphere dates. Finally, Jan Stamm's soft illustrations at the
beginning of each chapter set the mood nicely.

In summary, Seasons of Magic is a competently written, positive,
young adult novel with a strong Wiccan background. It would make
a fine present.

           This review is available on our web site at

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

Tarot for the Healing Heart:
      Using Inner Wisdom to Heal Body and Mind
Author: Christine Jette
Trade Paperback, 248 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: July 2001
ISBN: 0738700436
US Retail Price: $14.95
Amazon Link:

Tarot for the Healing Heart is a guide to using the Tarot as a
tool in a holistic healing process. The author is a registered
nurse and professional tarot reader who wrote this book out of a
frustration with the stress on mechanical process of healing in
medicine that often ignores the emotional, psychological, and
spiritual needs of patients. Jette seems to feel that while
poking, prodding, and injecting patients often helps cure the
physical issues of disease, it ignores the other non-physical
effects of illness -- especially when the illness is treatable
but chronic/incurable.

While this book makes no miracle cure claims, it does teach many
methods one can use with the tarot to supplement normal medical
care to help with the emotional, psychological, and spiritual
aspects of illness that the harried medical profession seldom has
time to deal with. Most of Jette's techniques only require a
tarot deck, some time, and an open mind.

The first half of Tarot for a Healing Heart contains activities
and exercises for using the tarot as part of the healing process.
Jette gives ten original Tarot layouts designed specifically to
provide information to help the healing process. She also
discusses tarot mediation, using the tarot to contact healing
guides, using the tarot to help deal with chronic pain, and more.

The second half of the book discusses each individual tarot card
with an eye toward healing. Jette lists life lessons, life
wisdom, and questions to think about for each card. "Actions to
support the healing process" are also given for every card in the
deck. The cards are not described nor are pictures given, so
those new to the Tarot may need another Tarot book to help orient
them to the cards. On the other hand, this lack of card image
descriptions makes it easier to use this book with any deck of
Tarot cards.

If you are looking for a book that provides miracle cures for
diseases beyond the help of medical science or for a book that
replaces medical science, this is not the book for you. However,
if you are comfortable with the Tarot and would like to learn
ways to use the Tarot as part of a holistic healing process, this
book certainly deserves your consideration. I think it would be
particularly useful for people with chronic, stress-related

           This review is available on our web site at

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

Tarot of the Saints
Artist: Robert M. Place
Author: Robert M. Place
Book and Cards Set
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: September 2001
ISBN: 1567185274
US Retail Price: $34.95
View Sample Cards:
Amazon Link:

As one might expect from the title, Robert Place's Tarot of the
Saints is a deck based on Christianity and Christian symbolism.
In my imagination, I can hear the complaints from some of Pagans
reading this review who cannot understand why a Pagan site would
review a deck so obviously based on Christianity. As there are
many magicians who work with a Christian symbol set and even some
Pagans who work with Saints -- and because I was intrigued by the
art on the box -- this deck gets a review.

Robert Place is a fairly well-known artist who has appeared on TV
and whose works have been displayed in museums and even at the
White House. Place's work on the Tarot of the Saints is spare but
beautiful. While each card is not overflowing with symbol upon
symbol as cards from many Tarot decks are, almost every card
makes a very strong impression on sight, which should make the
deck fairly easy for the inexperienced to read. Experts may miss
the multiple levels of detailed symbolism that many modern Tarot
decks have, however.

The Major Arcana and the court cards feature saints, generally
well-known saints, usually in a scene combining the traditional
symbolism of the card with something from the
historical/legendary actions of the saint depicted. While I'm
sure that some will disagree with some of the saints selected for
some of the cards, I really did not see any that made me think
"Huh? Why did he pick that saint for that card?" The numbered pip
cards simply depict the proper number of items of their suit,
although most have a scene of some type at the bottom. These
bottom scenes save the minor arcana from boredom. They are
usually strongly related to both Christianity and the traditional
meaning of the card.

A 248-page trade paperback book, entitled A Gnostic Book of
Saints comes with this set. Unlike many Tarot books written for a
specific set of cards, this book includes quite a bit of material
(over 60 pages) on the possible origins and history of Tarot
cards and their place in the Western esoteric tradition. Each
major arcana and court card is described is some detail with
lengthy descriptions of the saint depicted and at least one of
the legends associated with him. The non-court card minor arcana,
however, generally receive only a few sentences of description
and advice as to their meaning. I found this book very
interesting, but it is short on material on the meanings of the
cards and on how to use them in divination. A complete beginner
with no other Tarot books at hand would probably be lost.

My personal feelings about the Tarot of the Saints are mixed. I
really like the art on most of the major arcana and the court
cards. The pip cards, on the other hand, don't do much for me. I
found the book an interesting and enjoyable read, but know that a
beginner would not find the book nearly as helpful as it probably
should be. This deck would be useful for a Christian magician and
would make a fine gift to a Christian friend with esoteric
interests. Although, in the latter case, you'd probably want to
add a more practical book on divining with the Tarot unless your
friend was already familiar with the Tarot.

           This review is available on our web site at

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

Monsters: An Investigator's Guide to Magical Beings
Author: John Michael Greer
Trade Paperback, 312 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: October 2001
ISBN: 0738700509
US Retail Price: $19.95
Amazon Link:

In spite of John Michael Greer's reputation for decent books on
ritual magick, I shuddered when I saw this book. I was afraid it
would be written to attract viewers of shows like Buffy and
X-Files and be full of fiction disguised as fact in the name of
"entertainment."  Having done a small amount of investigation of
alleged haunts, spirits, and magickal attacks in my younger days,
I was also afraid that it would let loose a horde of people
unprepared for the fact that (in my experience, at least) about
99% of the time a serious investigation is not only a lot of
hard, boring work but ends up not with a "monster" but with some
natural phenomena originally misidentified by witnesses, a hoax,
or nothing at all. To be frank, I was expecting a fluffy book
full of tales of monsters just like the ones in horror movies and
instructions for investigation that one could get from watching
the early seasons of Scooby-Doo on TV.

To my relief, Monsters: An Investigator's Guide to Magical Beings
is -- for the most part -- a serious and well-done guide to the
various types of magickal beings reported in legends and to their
investigation. Greer's book is divided into four parts: a brief
but important introduction, a "field guide to monsters," a basic
guide to investigation procedures, and a section on magickal

In many ways, the short introduction is the most important part
of Monsters. It sets the tone for the book by explaining just
what Greer means by "monsters" and how it would be possible for
such beings to exist in our world. More importantly, it presents
the theory of levels from ritual magick. The theory of levels
divides reality into five levels: physical, etheric, astral,
mental, and spiritual. Understanding this theory is essential for
understanding the magickal explanations for many of the beings
Greer covers in this book.

The "field guide to monsters" is the longest portion of the book.
Sections in this part of the book cover vampires, ghosts,
werecreatures, faeries, mermaids, dragons, spirits, angels, and
demons. Each section provides information on the creature in
legend (and compares those legends to Hollywood images in some
cases), provides an explanation of how such creatures might
exist, how to identify such beings, creatures, phenomena and
medical conditions that could easily be mistaken for the being in
question, and how one might deal with the being if encountered.
Much of the information will disappoint those who believe in the
more modern images of these creatures from novels and film -- the
sign of a reasonable book in this field, in my opinion. I can't
personally agree with all of the origin and magickal explanations
the author presents, but nothing seems so far-fetched as to be
clearly improbable. However, some of the monsters themselves
strike me as far less probable than others.

The third part of this book, on actual investigations, is
somewhat disappointing. The information provided is very basic
and far less complete than I would have liked. Anyone planning to
actually investigate "monsters" or other unexplained phenomena
will find the information in this 38 page section of Monsters to
be a good survey of basic investigative skills and procedures. I
would advise anyone seriously interested in investigating reports
of the paranormal to do some further reading in the investigative
field before doing any serious work. The material here will
certainly put the reader a step or two ahead of the characters in
the Scooby-Doo cartoon in investigative skills, but more
information would have been very helpful.

The fourth major portion of Monsters talks about methods of
magickal defense from hostile entities. Greer discusses both
natural magick and ritual magick defenses. This portion of the
book is Greer doing what he does best: teaching magick. The
techniques provided are very basic, but effective. Provided, as
the author mentions, one has practiced them well enough to be
able perform them almost automatically before one needs to use
them under stress. The chapter on natural magick suggests a
magickal emergency kit of useful items. The chapter on ritual
magick describes three standard, but powerful, rituals: the
Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, the Rose Cross Ritual,
and the Middle Pillar Ritual.

A glossary and a long annotated bibliography round out this book.
The annotated bibliography provides a paragraph or so of
information about a great many books, but provides very little
actual guidance as to which books are most likely to be useful
and which are simply interesting books on monsters.

Overall, Monsters is an interesting book and one of the few
serious books in the "paranormal investigations" field I've seen
published in the popular press recently. For those interested in
magickal explanations for monsters of legend or those interested
in investigating reports of monster sites, it is a useful (even
if slightly flawed) book well worth buying. As Greer writes well,
I'd also recommend it as a possible gift for those who enjoy
monsters in horror novels and films. I know several fans of
X-Files, for example, who would probably love to have a book like
Monsters for their collection.

           This review is available on our web site at

========= Reviewed by Daven

2002 Goddess Calendar
Wall Calendar
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: August 2001
ISBN: 0738700371
US Retail Price: $12.95
Amazon Link:

Of all the calendars that will come out that show us what a
Goddess is, I think this one actually captures the spirit of a
Goddess better than any other.

Paul Mason, the artist, has done an outstanding job in painting
the Goddesses that are used in this calendar. The life and spirit
of each comes shining through clearly in each painting, almost as
though he had a Celestial Camera to capture these on film.

Of equal beauty are the poems by Patricia Monaghan wrote for each
of the Goddesses and the paragraph describing the Goddess in the
front of the calendar. Each of those paragraphs gave me
information on Goddesses that I had never heard of before and
enough information to get me started in finding my own
information on them if I were so inclined.

In opposition to The Witches' Calendar (also from Llewellyn),
there is little information on the days themselves. The moon
phases are marked, the holidays are also delineated, Pagan and
National. At least there will be no writing in of "Imbolc" on the
appropriate day.

The spaces provided for the calendar are generous, so using this
as a scheduling tool will be easy. THere are not horizontal lines
separating the days, so there could be some bleed over of events
from one Thursday to the next, but that can be a help rather than
a hindrance.

For the artwork alone, one should get this calendar. I have a
feeling that when 2002 is over, many who pick this calendar up
will be cutting it to pieces and hanging the pictures around
their house, or using them as their Goddess images on their

This calendar is also not obviously pagan, so it can be used by
those who are still in the broom closet with ease. The words of
the poems are large enough that a casual observer will be able to
read it while possibly missing the entry for "Mabon" on the
calendar itself.

I give this calendar 4 stars out of 5. This is one that I plan on
taking to work and displaying with pride.

           This review is available on our web site at

========= Reviewed by Daven

2002 Witches' Calendar
Wall Calendar, 36 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: August 2001
ISBN: 073870038X
US Retail Price: $12.95
Amazon Link:

This wall calendar is obviously the companion to the Witches'
Datebook also from Llewellyn. Much of the same information is
passed from one to the other. Some of the information is
eliminated in the interest of space limitations (such as some of
the magickal trivia), but that is secondary.

What is present in generous measure is the excellent articles
that appear next to each month's artwork. I found them to be
humorous and inspiring, useful and timely. There are articles at
the end of the calendar that I believe every Pagan and Witch will
find useful, like one author's thoughts on those of us who have
to remain in the broom closet for one reason or another.

In this case, while there is less artwork, the artwork is
colored, and that makes a somewhat drab drawing in the Datebook a
beautiful painting in the calendar. One piece that I did not
understand when I saw it in black and white in the Datebook
turned into obvious and beautiful drawings in the Calendar.

This is not a calendar for those who are in the broom closet. By
necessity, this calendar would have to be displayed, and it would
draw some questions from those who don't know about our religion.
This is more likely a calendar that would find good use in the
home. However, if you use a wall-calendar as your primary means
of scheduling family activities, this will not be useful for you.
The squares are too small to be able to put more than just bare
information into, things like personal birthdays and so on.
Appointments and such will not fit into a majority of the spaces

However, if you want a wall calendar that will tell you the moon
phase at a glance, tell you when it is good to plant or harvest,
show you when John Dee's birthday is and when Jacques de Molay
was arrested, as well as when CAW was incorporated, when the
Celtic Tree Month of Rowan begins and when Mercury is in
retrograde, then you would be well advised to pick this up.

I give this calendar 3 1/2 stars out of 5 for the usefulness of
it, as well as the information provided. The reason that I score
it lower than I do the datebook is due to it's limited usefulness
in scheduling things. But for the articles and the artwork, you
will want to keep this calendar long after 2002 is over with.

           This review is available on our web site at

                         UPCOMING REVIEWS
       Here are a few of the books we'll be reviewing in
       OWN SPELLS. 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.

========= Author Unknown

This chant can be used outdoors around a bonfire or inside around
an extra large altar candle.

Fire red, summer's dead,
Yet shall it return.
Clear and bright in the night,
Burn, fire, burn!

Dance the ring, luck to bring,
When the year's aturning.
Chant the rhyme at Hallowstime,
When the fire's burning.

Fire glow, vision show
Of the heart's desire,
When the spell's chanted well
Of the witching fire.

Dance the ring, luck to bring,
When the year's aturning.
Chant the rhyme at Hallowstime,
When the fire's burning.

Fire spark, when nights are dark,
Makes our winter's mirth.
Red leaves fall, earth takes all,
Brings them to rebirth.

Dance the ring, luck to bring,
When the year's aturning.
Chant the rhyme at Hallowstime,
When the fire's burning.

Fire fair, earth and air,
And the heaven's rain,
And blessed be, and so may we,
At Hallowstide again.

Dance the ring, luck to bring,
When the year's aturning.
Chant the rhyme at Hallowstime,
When the fire's burning.

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

The days are shortening and dark comes early. There is a certain
crispness to the air as we stroll the streets. Before long, the
leaves are turning bright colors, only to slowly drift down to
cover yards and streets.

Yes, autumn is here.

And with autumn comes a holiday enjoyed by both old and

What is the appeal of this night?  Why do we find people ranging
from infants to grandparents donning costumes and for one night
forgetting the mundane?

Halloween, or Samhain to the Pagans, has caught the imagination
of people throughout the ages. From the ancient rituals honoring
the dead to our modern custom of trick or treating, this one
night is our time to put aside any fear of the dark and embrace
any that walk there as welcome.

The ancients chose this time of year to celebrate the dead. The
harvests were done and the fields laid empty. The days of sun
were at a end and the days of dark were beginning. What better
time to celebrate the powers of darkness.

This was not a celebration of fear; not always has darkness
equaled fear. Instead for those who believed in rebirth, it was a
time to reach and touch those beliefs. Just as the fields now
laid bare, they would flower again in the spring. And so it was
with us, dying only to be reborn.

So many of our Halloween customs can be traced to the past and
the habits of our ancestors. Each time I look at the jack-o-
lanterns shining with devilish grins, I can picture the original
lanterns. Turnips were hollowed out and candles placed inside to
protect them from the wind. These lanterns were placed on window
sills to guide the dead back to their kin.

Since the apple harvest was celebrated at this same time, apples
often played an important place in the festivals. When you bob
for apples or dangle apples on strings, you are walking in the
footsteps of other people and other times.

What would Halloween be without costumes and masks?  Yet, have
many of us wondered why we so enjoying the wearing of costumes?
Dressing up frees us from the ties of our everyday life. For a
brief moment of time, we become a princess or an Indian or a
cartoon character. This gives us a freedom of action that we
normally wouldn't have.

Masks have also long been associated with death and the gods. Was
early man trying to understand death when he put on a mask of a
dead one? Perhaps, donning a mask could put us in touch with the
gods themselves.

The black cat, familiar to many a storybook witch, was priced
because cats could sense the dead. They could be used as a kind
of early warning system. Why black cats?  What better color for
this time when the darkness rules?

Every where I look, I come face to face with the stereotyped
image of the witch. Wicked or not, they all looked alike:
greenish skin, a wart, misshapened face, dressed all in black. In
these days of striving for the politically correct, many are
trying to remove this image from Halloween celebrations. I guess
they don't see what I do. I look at the Halloween witches and
remember pictures of the dark Goddess, dressed in black and with
her high pointed hat. She would wait at the crossroads to guide
the dead to their rest until the time of rebirth. Evil?  I don't
believe so, anymore than I believe death is evil. Instead it is
one more symbol that has passed down through the years to spice
October 31st.

Just look around. We are surrounded by symbols of the past that
we take for granted. The brooms the witches rode. The cauldrons
that bubbled with potions vile. Even trick or treating could be
traced back to Celts who went house to house collecting treats of

It has been truly said that there is nothing new under the sun.
However, this doesn't have to hinder our enjoyment. On Halloween
night, you can find me walking the night. Without fear, I will
travel, listening to the laughter of the children, as I go back
to another time and place.

                  PAGAN SHIRTS, CAPS, AND MUGS

       Check The Cauldron's Gift Shop for an assortment
       of Pagan-oriented shirts, caps, and mugs from
       CafePress. The Cauldron gets three dollars from
       each item sold which goes to pay web site costs.


========= Author Unknown


  Hand Mirror
  Black Candle
  Black string


Cast your circle by whatever method you normally use. Hold the
mirror so it reflects your face and say:

  I am immune to their hate,
  their malice.
  I will not accept their guilt
  or their intolerance.
  Their words and thoughts
  are no bane to me.

Light the candle. Hold the mirror behind the candle and say:

  As this mirror reflects back
  the light of this candle
  so shall these things be reflected
  back to their sender(s).
  As the mirror neither adds nor subtracts
  from the reflection
  I shall add no malice to nor subtract any
  from that which I send back.
  As it comes to me
  so shall it return to them.

Tie the black string in three knots. As you tie each knot

  With this string I bind this spell,
  As I will it, So mote it be.

Let the candle and incense burn out on their own, then close your
circle. As soon as possible, bury the mirror and the string
somewhere off of your property in a place you will not return to.

========= Author Unknown

To prepare for this ritual, clear a space for the circle in the
center of the kitchen. Then don your ceremonial apron and hold
your ceremonial spatula in your right hand. Stand in the center
of the circle and face east. You are ready to begin:

1) With your spatula, draw a banishing pentagram to the East.
Then, thrust your spatula through the pentagram and say,
"Microwave dinners, be gone!"

2) Move to the South. Again, draw a banishing pentagram and
thrust your spatula through it. "TV dinners, be gone!"

3) Move to the West. Draw the banishing pentagram and thrust your
spatula through it. "Ramen instant noodles, be gone!"

4) Move to the north. Draw the banishing pentagram and thrust
your spatula through it, "Mystery meat in a can, be gone!"

5) Move to the center of the circle and stand still. Chant the

   Before me, Martha Stewart.
   Behind me, Betty Crocker.
   To my right side, Julia Child.
   To my left side, Martha Stewart, AGAIN!

6) Visualize yourself standing in a giant casserole and proclaim,
"For about me bakes the casserole, and around me shines the
6-course meal."

7) Clap your hands three times and say, "It's a good thing."

The rite is over.

If the ritual is not effective, please order take-out ASAP.


       If you like The Cauldron and have a few extra
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========= Cauldron Info

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

 * Pagan Children

   The Cauldron has another new section: Pagan Children. This new
   section has resources for Pagan children and Pagan parents. To
   start this section off well, we've added seven completely new
   pages, including some pagan-oriented stories for children and
   the first of Janessa's KidCraft articles.


 * Egyptian Reconstructionism

   Another page in our new Reconstructionist Paganism section,
   this page provides information and links on reconstructionist
   Egyptian religions.


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

 * Seasons of Magic


 * Tarot for the Healing Heart


 * Tarot of the Saints


 * Monsters


 * 2002 Goddess Calendar


 * 2002 Witches' Calendar


 * 2002 Witches' Datebook


 * Lammas


 * The Grimoire of Lady Sheba


========= Cauldron Info
========= NEW WEB POLLS

Two polls have opened since the last issue of Cauldron and

The first new poll, opened September 16, asks:

 * Does the Wiccan Rede require Wiccans to be pacifists and to
   seek conscientious objector status if called to military
   service in time of war?

   Possible answers include:

   + Yes
   + No
   + Do Not Know
   + No Opinion

   You will find this poll at:


Our newest poll, opened October 1, asks:

 * If hostile magick is successfully cast upon you, can you remove
   it yourself?

   Possible answers include:

   + Yes
   + No (a third party must remove it)
   + No (only the person who cast it can remove it)
   + No (other reason)
   + Not Sure
   + No Opinion

   You will find this poll at:


Make your opinion known, take one or both polls today.

You'll find a list of all of our polls (over 25 now) at:


========= 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
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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.

========= (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 once a month and often actually succeed in doing so.
We tried to publish it twice a month for a while, but real life
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Copyrights on individual items in this newsletter are retained by
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Cauldron and Candle is always looking for articles, reviews, and
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Thanks in advance.


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

Merry Meet, Merry Part, Merry Meet again!
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