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Cauldron and Candle
Issue #19 -- January 2002

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

With a little help from The Witches' Thicket
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Return to Cauldron and Candle Archive

C A U L D R O N   A N D   C A N D L E  #19 -- January 2002

           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

In this Issue:

[01] Editorial: The "Perfect" Leader
[02] Poem: Patterns...
[03] Feature: Hellenic Ethics: Living Virtues in Community
[04] Article: Asatru: Meet the Heathens
[05] Review: Circle Round
[06] Review: The Craft Companion
[07] Review: The Tomten
[08] Review: Runic Palmistry
[09] Review: Celestial Goddesses
[10] Magick: Spell to Protect Good Health
[11] Magick: Enflame Desire Spell
[12] Humor: Redneck Church
[13] New Articles on The Cauldron's Site
[14] New Web Polls
[15] Support The Cauldron When You Buy at Amazon.com
[16] Newsletter and Forum Info
              (Including How To Subscribe/Unsubscribe)

 +++ Submission Deadline for next issue: January 20, 2002 +++
   Guidelines: http://www.ecauldron.com/cnc/submissions.php

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

At what point in becoming a high priestess did I cease to be
human? I remember rituals binding me to the coven. I remember one
to tie me to the desires of the gods. I even remember the one
where I received my cords as teacher and leader.

Yet I keep running into students that seem to feel that becoming
a leader makes me less prone to any of the "ills" of a normal
person. I am not supposed to ever become ill; at least, not if it
inconveniences the student. The gods forbid that I ever have a
personal crisis or that the needs of my family come before the
needs of the student! As for feeling emotional, well, that is
strictly not allowed.

The deities I follow are allowed to show more human traits
according to some students!

I am sorry to disappoint my students, but I am totally human.
While believing in balance and control, I am subject to the same
demands of body and emotions that they are. In fact, it can be
worse for me and many other leaders, because we are dealing with
much more than =just= our own emotions and problems; we are also
dealing with the emotions and problems of everyone that looks to
us as leader. In my opinion, that is why so many of us suffer
from burnout at some point in our practice.

Over the years, I have had several students that expect their
teacher to be something more than human. Some come to realize
that their expectations do not mesh with reality and move on to
become a person who is sensitive to others. Others refuse to even
acknowledge that their demands are unrealistic and stomp away
like a child when they don't get what they want.  I have come to
divide these people into the following groups:

=== The Sitter At Your Feet

This is the person that insists that you are so holy and blessed
that they are not worthy to sit beside you. They want to sit at
your feet and worship you along with the gods. When you try to
tell them that you are only a human, they just smile and talk
about how modest you are.

Besides being very irritating, these people are the ones that
will go from smiling at your feet to attacking you on all levels
if you do something that doesn't fit into their "reality". Once
knocked off the pedestal, you go instantly from "godlike" to
demon. It doesn't take much to create this crisis; I once saw it
caused by the teacher losing their temper and another time
because the teacher put the needs of her child before the

Sometimes these students aren't as easy to identify as one would
think. In one case, the student didn't show her true colors until
after her dedication ceremony. Once you have a commitment to
them, the best you can do is hope you can open their eyes without
an emotional crisis.

=== The Question Demander

I had a student like this. I still shudder when thinking of her.
This student is the one that has a million of questions and wants
answers to all of them. You think that doesn't sound too bad?
After all, isn't that what we as teachers are supposed to do? Yes
and no. In my Tradition, the teacher is there to guide the
student in finding the answers. It is the work done to find the
answers and then further questions that leads to enlightenment.
This kind of student is very impatient with any answers that
don't tell them exactly what they want to know. Spirituality has
so few precise answers. The student doesn't want to hear this;
the student just wants the answers. When the student doesn't get
the answers that he or she thinks they deserve, they become first
impatient, then angry, then explode. They want an interactive
Book of Shadows, where they can just punch in the question and
get an answer in return. Not being a robot or machine, my student
became very unhappy with me. I released her after an emotional

=== The Hanger-On

There is a kind of student that is there more for emotional
reasons than to learn. They aren't always easy to identify at
times.  They become part of the "family", in part because they
seem not to have anyone of their own.  They want to learn, but
teaching sessions are filled with accounts of their problems with
life and how that makes it difficult for them to grow
spiritually. Point out to them that difficulties give them a
chance to grow, and they will frown slightly, then change the
subject.  Nothing is really their fault and it is because of
their isolation and lack of "family" that things don't go better
in their lives. Given half a chance, you will start seeing more
of them than your real family.

They can slip into your life so quietly that you may not even be
aware of what is happening until it is too late.  They will see
your relationship as the most one in your life and do what they
can to break up any that they see as threatening. I had one
student become so jealous of my relationship with my mate that he
did what he could to part us. Another would become angry if I was
emotional about things going on with my kids. These can be messy
to deal with, but the sooner the better.

=== Expectations Meet Reality

There are other problem student types, including the one that
will pit two teachers against each other, then stand back and
soak it up. However, this brings me back to my original question
-- how did becoming a teacher and leader take away my right to be
a human being? I am not sure why people expect leaders to be
something more than human. We are not superheroes or supermortals
or anything more than men and women just trying to cope. We
became leaders because of some need within us to pass on
information or because of the desires of the deities we worship
or sometimes just because there is no one else to do it. None of
that negates our rights to a mundane existence or family or home.
If anything, being a leader means that we need it more.

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       try. It has quite a few nice features.

========= PATTERNS...
========= A Poem by Elspeth Sapphire

My life is full of patterns.
I feel like I am living a Simon and Garfunkel song
As I lie on the bed and stare at the ceiling

I can see patterns
Trace the triangles--see how they interlock?
Life is like that.
I move here and it affects you there
Can you see the patterns of shadow and light?
I do and I hurt.
I know it is necessary...a part of a pattern fulfilled...
Knowledge doesn't do away with the pain
And it creates patterns of its own
Swirls of hot color with the triangles on the wall
Fascinating me with their movement...
Pulling me in...
Driving away thought...
I see patterns.

========= Feature Article
========= written by Reverend Andrew Campbell

   [This essay was written for The Witches' Voice "Beyond
   the Rede" essay series and is reprinted here by
   permission of the author. Some Pagans mistakenly think
   that the Wiccan Rede is the basis of all Neo-Pagan
   morality. This isn't so. In this essay, Campbell
   presents a brief overview of the ethics of Hellenic

The ethical principles of Hellenic Reconstructionist Polytheism
rest on fundamental human virtues as expressed in community, and
are derived from the teachings of our ancient Greek spiritual
ancestors. Some of the virtues discussed below will be familiar,
and are indeed common to other traditional religious cultures.
Others may prove surprising and even challenging to modern pagans
who look to the Rede for ethical direction.

=== A Key Principle: Reciprocity

To most ancient Greeks, people fell into one of three categories:
friends, enemies, and strangers. Underlying all of these
relationships is the assumption of reciprocity. [1] Friends are
those who help you and whom you are obligated to help. Enemies
are those who harm you and whom you are likewise expected to
harm, for doing so also helps your friends. Strangers or
outsiders are those persons with whom you have no defined
relationship and will probably view with a mix of suspicion and
generosity, as they will you. Our relationship with the gods is
also based on reciprocity: our offerings for their blessings,
gift for gift.

Unlike both the Christian ethical ideal ("Love your enemy" [2])
and the Wiccan Rede ("An it harm none, do what ye will"),
traditional Hellenic ethics teaches that there is no shame in
interpersonal conflict or just retribution; indeed, these are
fundamental parts of life. (Nemesis is a goddess, after all, and
the myths show the gods in conflict with each other.) Further, by
not harming one's enemies, one harms one's friends, breaking down
the fundamental bonds of society. It is no surprise to find,
then, in one of the earliest pieces of Greek writing, a priest
calling down Apollo's wrath on those who did not honor his
request for reciprocity: the return of his captive daughter for a
fair ransom. [3]

The counterbalance to this seemingly harsh system is the virtue
of xenia, often translated "hospitality" or "the laws of
reciprocity as applied to hosts and guests." To offer hospitality
-- food, drink, clothing, shelter -- is a sacred imperative
overseen by Zeus and imposes certain obligations on both parties.
A host may not molest a guest, but neither may a guest steal
from, or otherwise wrong, a host. A social and ethical bond has
been forged.

In his Works and Days, Hesiod names the basic bonds of the social
order as those between parents and children, hosts and guests,
comrades, and siblings. To neglect these reciprocal bonds is to
court disaster, for the gods uphold these relationships as
sacred. Likewise, the whole community supports the standards of
reciprocity. Our personal honor cannot be separated from our
community's esteem.

=== Personal Virtue in Community: Moderation

In order for an agonistic society not to devolve into petty
feuds, individuals must show self-restraint. Accordingly,
Hellenic ethics praises this virtue (sophrosune) highly.

To exercise sophrosune, one must be able to view a situation
realistically and act in accordance with the principle of
moderation. Every virtue, suggests Aristotle, can be seen in
terms of the mean between two extremes. These extremes may not be
evils in the abstract, and indeed sometimes the mean will lean
more toward one than the other, but when moderated by
self-restraint and rational thought, they generate the best
solution. So, for example, the virtue of courage is the mean
between two feelings, fear and confidence, but leans toward the
latter. [4]

This call to moderation is also heard from Apollo's oracle at
Delphi. Two famous maxims were inscribed above its temple
entrance: Nothing Too Much and Know Thyself. The former is itself
a statement of the doctrine of moderation. The latter, often
misunderstood as an invitation to mere self-involvement, really
means, "Know that you are only human."

Yet even moderation must be practiced in moderation. In other
words, there are circumstances in which excess is appropriate.
The worship of Dionysos calls for ritualized drinking, for
example, and in this context, one may choose to drink more than
usual. But common sense and self-restraint must prevail: for a
recovering alcoholic, any wine at all may be too much.

=== Other Delphic Maxims

In addition to the two most famous Delphic exhortations, we have
copies of inscriptions from two columns at the temple itself.
Although some of these injunctions are offensive to us moderns
("Rule your wife"), others continue to inspire us to virtue with
the pithy common sense for which the Oracle was known.

Aid friends.
Control anger.
Shun unjust acts.
Acknowledge sacred things.
Hold on to learning.
Praise virtue.
Avoid enemies.
Cultivate kinsmen.
Pity supplicants.
Accomplish your limit.
When you err, repent.
Consider the time.
Worship the divine.
Accept old age. [5]

=== Hellenic Ethics Today

Modern Hellenic polytheists, although not wishing to recreate
ancient society, draw our ethical inspiration directly from the
teachings of our spiritual ancestors. We accept that our lives as
mortals are often harsh and that only strong social bonds based
on reciprocity and self-restraint can mitigate some of the
inevitable struggles of human existence.

=== Author's Note

Readers interested in traditional Hellenic polytheism are invited
to visit my Web site, http://www.nomos-arkhaios.org/, or
Hellenion at http://www.hellenion.org/ for more information. This
essay is drawn from material presented more fully in my book Old
Stones, New Temples.

[1] Joint Association Classical Teachers, The World of Athens
    (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1984), p. 142.

[2] Matthew 5:44

[3] Homer, Iliad 1.

[4] David Ross, "Introduction, " in: Aristotle, The Nichomachean
    Ethics (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1980), p. xi.

[5] David G. Rice and John E. Stambaugh, Sources for the Study of
    Greek Religion (Missoula: Scholars Press, 1979), pp. 96-97.


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


========= by Selvrtanni (some editing by Hadrea)

Asatru belongs to the group of religions known as
Reconstuctionist: pre-Christian polytheistic religions that
existed in history and are now being revitalized. The main method
of reconstruction for Asatru is through study of "the Lore," the
body of knowledge of the historical Asatru. The effect of this is
that Asatruar get very excited by articles with titles like "A
Re-Interpretation of the Use of the Word Agr in Njal's Saga".
This academic bent runs so deep that it is sometimes joked that
Asatru is "the religion with footnotes* (*of an academic
nature)." The key point is that Reconstuctionists are trying to
find out (and understand) exactly how their ancestors worshiped
and related to the gods. Similar movements can be found focusing
on various cultures. The largest (and with most in common with
Asatru) are those from Imperial Rome (Religio Romana), Ancient
Greece (Hellenismos) or the Celts (Senistrognata). There is some
common ground between these and Asatru, as all share a similar
attitude, comparable mythologies and common religious goals.
Importantly, they are all very different from various
non-Reconstructionist Neo-Pagan faiths that might draw on the
same cultures.

Odin gave mankind the Runes; one modern school of Asatru theology
suggesting that this happened in 250 BCE. Trance work (Seidr) is
also practiced, but neither this nor Rune work is central to the
religion of Asatru. What is central is a relationship with the
Gods (this term being gender neutral). Each Asatruar builds his
or her own network of relationships, ranging from a king-courtier
to buddy-buddy, even adopting the gods name as part of their own,
for example, Edred Thorsson or Weylandsdottir ("Weyland's
Daughter"). However, this does not mean exclusion of the rest of
the divine family. Asatruars are (generally speaking) hard-line
polytheists, considering each of the gods to be separate and
independent beings. When people first hear about Asatru, they
invariably get a glint in their eye as thoughts of Thor or Hagar
the Horrible comics start to run through their minds. To put it
simply, our gods are the same ones the Vikings honored -- the
Aesir. (Asatru literally means "Troth (loyalty) to the Aesir.")
Some you will know: Odin, the one-eyed chief of the Gods; Thor,
the red-haired muscular rugby-playing Thunder-God; Freya, the
Goddess of sex, death, and Rock' n' Roll. Others are less
well-known, such as Kvasir, Skadi or the ever enigmatic Heimdall.

Asatru does not have a clear and comprehensive view of the
afterlife. It is assumed most end up in the realm of Nifl-hel, a
misty and silent realm for the more-or-less innocent, much like
the classical Hades. However, the Lore also contains references
to everything from grave hauntings to zombies (draugr) to limited
reincarnation and, of course, Valhalla, a golden hall in Asgard,
the realm of the gods, built from weapons. Here Odin collects the
bravest warriors for his elite commando force -- they will be the
backbone of his army in the battle at Ragnarokk, the end of the
world. Until that time the Einherja (chosen warriors) feast all
night and fight all day, although the exact nature of this
warriors' paradise is debated. Modern thought also opens the
doors of Valhalla to various kinds of "hero." The qualification
is someone who will stand their ground when faced with a wolf so
big it fills the sky and a poison-spitting snake that can wrap
itself around the world. These images might give the impression
of a warlike and violent people. The impression is not wholly
deserved, although pacifism does not play a part in Asatru.  The
rather confused view of the afterlife means that Asatruar ethics
can, at times, seem strangely secular. There is no record of the
gods handing down a prescribed set of ethics. The Nine Noble
Virtues -- Courage, Truth, Honor, Fidelity, Discipline,
Hospitality, Industriousness, Self-Reliance, Perseverance -- are a
modern attempt at codifying ethics, however, their validity is
hotly debated in the Asatruar community.  There is also a
thriving philosophy built on Asatru, including the debate of
social concepts like Frith or the meaning of Wyrd (fate).

Holidays vary as do most practices, from group to group. Yule
(midwinter) is nearly universal, as is "Something in Spring" and
"Something in Autumn". The latter two tend to fall around May Day
and late September, commonly with the names Walpurgisnacht and

Asatru worship centers on the Blot (pronounced `Bloat'), or
sacrifice. This is not sacrifice in the Judeo-Christian-Muslim
sense of "appeasement;" it is more in line with inviting a friend
to a meal. Animal sacrifices are generally cooked and eaten. Due
to legal and cultural conditions, however, most people choose not
to sacrifice an animal. A liquid, especially beer or mead, is
more common. This is dedicated to the God (or Gods), some is
ritually drunk by the congregation, and some is poured away.
Sacral feasts are common.

There is a spectrum of beliefs in Asatru that range from the
"Universalist" to the "Folkish." A Universalist may say, "Anyone
can be an Asatruar, but it's nearly always people from Germanic
cultures who choose to be." The very Folkish might say, "Only
people from Germanic cultures can ever really understand a
Germanic religion." Because of the history of Germany, some
people have come to associate this view with White Supremacy.
Most annoyingly, some White Supremacists have come to the
conclusion that Asatru supports them. However, "Germanic culture"
includes not only Germany but also England, Scandinavia, most of
Europe (especially the north), and (to varying degrees) colonial
Australia, Asia and North America. In addition, most Asatruar
fall somewhere in the middle of these views. The net result is
that almost all Asatru groups you come across will have a
disclaimer to say, "We are not racists".

Asatru is a religion that sits well with modern society. It
teaches hard work, respect, self-control and moralism, but
doesn't precisely state what these morals are, and so gives a
powerful love of independence and freedom. In my opinion Western
culture is moving slowly towards the Asatruar mindset and it
might not be long before we start to see temples to Thor
springing up in our cities.

=== About the Author

Selvrtanni is an Asatruar and a member of Sword & Shield, a
multi-faith Reconstructionist forum. Sword & Shield can be found
at: http://forums.delphiforums.com/swordnshield/start

========= Reviewed by Jannessa Hall

Book Review:Circle Round: Raising Children in Goddess Traditions
Author: Starhawk, Diane Baker, and Anne Hill
Trade Paperback, 483 pages
Publisher: Bantam
Publication date: February 2000
ISBN: 0553378058
US Retail Price: $15.95
Amazon Link:

Although this book is obviously written with a Wicca-style
tradition in mind, it would be an excellent manual for most
parents in Neo-Pagan traditions to have on hand. It is a 438-page
book chock-full of ideas for incorporating the family into

The book is divided into four basic sections. The first section,
entitled "Welcome to the Circle" is about introducing children to
magick and/or nature based religions, and making religion
accessible to children. The second section entitled "Cycles of
the Sun and Moon" covers the cycles of the sun and moon, as well
as the eight Sabbats traditionally celebrated as part of the
Wiccan Wheel of the Year. The third section, entitled "The Life
Cycle" focuses on transitions from one part of life to another.
This section includes writings on pregnancy, coming of age,
handfasting, death, and other events that commonly mark important
changes in people's lives. The fourth section focuses on the five
elements of air, fire, water, earth and spirit.

I appreciate this book because if fills an important niche that
many Wicca 101 books seem to ignore.  People have children and
they want their children to become part of their spiritual lives.
This book provides ideas for structuring rituals with children in
mind, how to talk to kids about the nature of the Divine, how to
deal with tough spiritual questions such as when a family member
dies and many other important issues that all mommies and daddies
have to face.  The three authors (all parents) write in a very
down to earth style and share their own difficulties and how they
managed to overcome them.

If you are thinking of teaching religious courses to younger
Pagan children (or supplementing the instruction of your own
kids), this book is invaluable. It is full of stories from many
traditions, songs with words and music, games, crafts, rituals
and recipes to help explain and get kids involved with

Even if you are dealing with older kids, (like teens) I think
this book is still helpful. Many of the activities and stories
could still be quite useful. In particular, many of the sections
dealing with adolescence and coming of age are written by teens.
There are also ideas for helping teens to construct their own
rituals, such as first-blood rituals.

In summary, I found this to be an excellent book with ideas and
advice for adults, teens, and young children on how to more
thoroughly incorporate spirituality into daily living.

           This review is available on our web site at

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

The Craft Companion: A Witch's Journal
Author: Dorothy Morrison
Spiralbound, 240 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: July 2001
ISBN: 0738700932
US Retail Price: $14.95
Amazon Link:

This Dorothy Morrison book is obviously intended by the publisher
to be a companion to the author's recent book, The Craft: A
Witch's Book of Shadows. However, as this book is a journal
designed for recording one's own thoughts, magickal operations,
rituals, etc., it stands quite well on its own.

Most bookstores carry diaries and bound blank books designed for
recording one's one thoughts and ideas. The Craft Companion is
one of these blank books with a magickal twist. Only every other
page is blank. Facing each blank page is a simple spell. If I
counted correctly, there are 111 spells in this volume. Most are
purely verbal. None require elaborate rituals. There are,
however, a wide variety of spells. As with most Morrison spells,
the chants she gives are well-written and rhythmic. Most flow
well, helping the user to focus his or her full energy on the
magick intent of the spell.

Morrison has a brief introduction explaining how one might use
the book. Also included are a version of the Wiccan Rede and
glossary of one line descriptions of the deities mentioned in the
book. There is also an index of the titles of the spells
presented in the volume.

If you would like a nice, spiral bound, lined journal to record
your magical process, your thoughts, or to be a first Book of
Shadows, The Craft Companion might serve you well. The spells,
while nothing spectacular, are a nice bonus. My only real problem
with this book is the price. It's a bit high for a blank journal.
Even the spells can't quite make up for this. If you are mainly
looking for Morrison spells instead of a journal, I'd suggest
buying her Everyday Magic instead. It's cheaper, has more spells,
and goes into much more detail on each spell and on magick in

           This review is available on our web site at

========= Reviewed by Janna

The Tomten
Author: Astrid Lindgren
Artist: Harald Wiberg
Paperback, 32 pages
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
Publisher: Paper Star
Publication date: September 1997
ISBN: 0698115910
US Retail Price: $6.99
Amazon Link:

Astrid Lindgren is best known in the United States for her books
about Pippi Longstocking, the irrepressible little girl with the
red braids. However, she also adapted, from a Viktor Rydberg
poem, a tale about a tomten.

What exactly is a tomten? Nordic folklore has spirits associated
with virtually every natural feature or site associated with
human activity, including houses and farms. Popular depictions of
gnomes fit fairly well with how these latter spirits are

My first exposure to The Tomten was when my first grade teacher
read it to our class. I remember listening to her soft, sweet
voice read the story, and being perfectly content. This
particular tomten is associated with a farm, and the reader
follows him on a long wintry night as he makes his rounds. He
visits all the inhabitants of the farm (human and animal), tends
the animals, and generally sees that all is well.

It was one of those books that stay with you, and I was curious
enough to pick it up in a bookstore as an adult. Much to my
delight, I found that it was as charming a story as I remembered.

This book is an institution in Sweden, and well it should be. It
is prettily written, and endearingly illustrated. There is
repetition of language in the way that young children find
soothing, but not so as to bore adults.

It is a book steeped in winter, and might be a good story to make
part of your Yuletide tradition, yet another way of making the
season special and full of magic. In short, this book is highly
recommended, and happily, is widely available at a reasonable

Additional Notes of Interest

There is also a sequel called The Tomten and the Fox available.

Viktor Rydberg, the author of the original poem that inspired
this book, was a noted author and scholar in 19th century Sweden.
Among other works, he produced a book on Nordic mythology that
contains his highly personalized perspective on the Norse mythos.
This work could be best compared to Robert Graves' The White
Goddess, interesting, but to be read as poetic inspiration, not
as a scholarly work.

Web site, possibly of interest about The Tomten and Viktor
Rydberg: http://www.lib.chalmers.se/cthb/system/engtomten.html

Reviewed by Janna

           This review is available on our web site at

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

Runic Palmistry
Author: Jon Saint-Germain
Trade Paperback, 240 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: July 2001
ISBN: 1567185770
US Retail Price: $14.95
Amazon Link:

Although it may not be obvious, palmistry is traditionally based
on Greco-Roman mythology. Many of the mounds and lines are named
after Greek and Roman deities and their interpretations are
generally related to those deities. I'd never given this much
thought until I picked up Jon Saint-Germain's Runic Palmistry.
This book describes a system of palmistry based on the runes and
Northern European ("Norse") mythology.

In his introduction, the author says that the system has been
handed down in his family for four generations. His
great-great-grandmother learned it from a Scandinavian. Just
another "granny story"? There's no way to tell, but it doesn't
really matter. The system holds up well on its own, whether it
was passed down for generations or created just for this book.

The first part of Runic Palmistry describes how to read a hand.
The actual procedure is very much like standard palmistry. The
difference is in the interpretation. The mounds, lines (branches
in this system), and areas of the hand have their names and
characteristics drawn from Northern European mythology. For
example, instead of the mounds of Jupiter, Saturn, Apollo, and
Mercury, the Runic system has the mounds of Odin, Hoenir, Bragi,
and Loki. Often the interpretations aren't that different from
standard palmistry, but some of the subtle shades of meaning are
different even where the general interpretation is quite similar.
While this section is clear and has some illustrations, like most
palmistry books, it could benefit from many more illustrations.

The second part of the book, while shorter, is far more
interesting. The author begins with a description of the runes
and their basic interpretation. Then he goes into what truly
makes this system of palmistry unique, how to interpret the runes
one might find formed by lines on the hand. The interpretation
comes from the rune's traditional meaning combined with where it
appears on the hand and the importance of the branches (lines)
that form it. Runic Palmistry concludes with three case history
which demonstrate the system in use, an appendix loosely
retelling one of the stories of Thor and Loki from mythology, a
cheat sheet on runes, and a bibliography.

Runic Palmistry presents one of the few truly different systems
of palmistry I've heard of. It does so in a readable and
interesting manner. The only major problem with this book is the
lack of sufficient illustrations for this very visual subject, but
this is a fault unfortunately found in many books on palmistry.
If you are interested in applying the Runes to palmistry (which
is a very interesting idea which could be used in standard
palmistry), reading this book will give you an excellent start.

           This review is available on our web site at

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

Celestial Goddesses: An Illustrated Meditation Guide
Author/Artist: Lisa Hunt
Hardcover, 122 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: October 2001
ISBN: 0738701181
US Retail Price: $24.95
Amazon Link:

Lisa Hunt's beautiful artwork has graced a number of books,
games, and Tarot decks. Celestial Goddesses is a collection of
twenty watercolor paintings of Goddesses executed especially for
this volume. Each illustration is accompanied by a page of
information on the goddess and a very short guided meditation
about the Goddess, but I doubt many people will buy this book for
just these features. Most people are going to buy it for the
enchanting paintings.

Lisa says in the introduction that she has always felt drawn to
goddesses associated with the heavens. She has selected twenty
such goddesses from around the world for this book and
illustrated them in watercolor. While the quality of the
paintings varies, most are very nice.  Two of them, Amaterasu and
Luonnotar, could easily have spots on my wall if I were wealthy
enough to buy the originals. Only one painting (of Arianhod) does
nothing at all for me. The paintings vary stylistically. Some of
them are very realistic.  Others, more symbolic, would be right
at home on a Tarot deck.

The book cover is a montage of parts of four of the paintings.
Isis is at the top with Amaterasu, Artemis, and Mawu at the
bottom. While the cover can show you the quality of Lisa's work,
it only hints at the beauty of the full paintings of these four
goddesses. You really need to open the book and feast your eyes
on the wonders within. Any one of the paintings could serve as a
substitute for a goddess statue on a Wiccan altar.

As I mentioned in the first paragraph, each painting is
accompanied by a one page introduction to the goddess and a short
one page guided meditation. Lisa also talks about what meditation
is and how to meditate at the beginning of the book. While
Celestial Goddesses includes a general bibliography, it would
have been nice if a specific book or two were listed for each
goddess for readers who want to find out more information on a
specific goddess.

As a meditation guide or a mythology book, Celestial Goddesses
would be a waste of money. As an art book, it is worth every
penny if you like even a few of the paintings within it. If you
like art books, you owe it to yourself to take a look at this
one. Celestial Goddesses would also make a nice birthday or
holiday present for anyone who likes watercolors. One does not
have to be Pagan to appreciate Lisa's talent.

           This review is available on our web site at

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


  1 red candle
  1 black candle
  1 green candle


Light a red candle. Say:

  I invoke Gangida, great protector!
  May we look after your treasures,
  as our bodies are your treasures!

Light a black candle. Say:

  Nullify disease as it approaches this body
  Arm my blood with guards To slay all intruders!

Light a green candle. Say:

  Gangida, grant protection
  from all imbalances in the heavens,
  from the earth, from plants, from air;
  from my past and from my future.
  Protect me from east to south,
  from west to north!
  May my body be rendered healthy
  under Gangida's protection!

========= Author Unknown

Note: This spell designed to be worked on someone you desire who
      also desires you but is shy in expressing his/her feelings.

Timing: Perform this spell on a Friday night with a waxing moon


3 hairs from the head of the person
A candle in the shape of phallus (for a man) or a womb (for a
  woman) The candle can be red for sex and passion, or green
  for love and affection
Olive oil
Plain piece of paper


If you make your own candle, wait until Friday to prepare the
wax. Then add the three hairs to the soft wax as you mold the
candle with your hands. However, if you bought the candle already
made, just soften the wax a little with a lighter and then
embedded the hairs in it.

On a Friday night with a waxing moon, take the candle into your
hands and think hard on the relationship you desired to have with
your loved one. See yourself with this person in the present,
doing all you desire to do.

Now anoint the candle with olive oil, using sensuous, caressing
motion, as you were attending your lover. Never stop imagining
how it is when you are together.

Finally, light the candle and pray that your lover will come to
you. Write your lover's name three times on a plain piece of
paper, and burn it in the flaming wick. While the paper burns,
chant the name of your lover out loud three times. Blow out the
candle. Now be patient and wait for your lover to respond.

========= Author Unknown

It might be a redneck church if...

1. People ask, when Jesus fed 5000, whether the two fish were
   bass or catfish, and what bait was used to catch 'em.

2. The pastor says, "I'd like to ask Bubba to help take up the
   offering," then five guys and two women stand up.

3. Opening day of deer season is recognized as an official church

4. A member of the church requests to be buried in his 4-wheel
   drive truck because "It ain't never been in a hole it couldn't
   get out of."

5. The choir is known as the "OK Chorale".

6. Boone's Farm "Tickled Pink" is the favorite wine for

7. In a congregation of 500 members, there are only seven last
   names in the church directory.

8. Baptism is referred to as "branding".

9. There is a special fund raiser for a new church septic tank.

10. Finding and returning lost sheep isn't just a parable.

11. High notes on the organ set the dogs on the floor to howling.

12. People think "rapture" is what you get when you lift
    something too heavy.


       If you like The Cauldron and have a few extra
       dollars, please donate via the Amazon Honor System
       and help us pay the web site bills.


========= Cauldron Info

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

 * Witch Bottles

   The history, use, and creation of witch bottles, both
   traditional and modern.


 * What I Expect From My Church

   An essay on what should be expected from a Pagan church.


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

 * The Craft Companion


 * The Tomten


 * Runic Palmistry


 * Celestial Goddesses


 * Astrology & Relationships


 * The Pythagorean Tarot


                  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.


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

Two polls have opened since the last issue of Cauldron and

The first new poll, opened December 16, asks:

 * Which of the following do you believe is the most important
   reason that there is often conflict between followers of Pagan
   religions and followers of Christianity?

   Possible answers include:

   + A mutual fear of one another born of ignorance of the others
   + Resentment from wrongs done to one another throughout
   + Incompatible beliefs make it impossible to coexist without
   + The negative attitude of Christian Fundamentalists toward
     other beliefs
   + The negative attitude of new Pagans who had bad experiences
     with Christianity
   + Not Sure
   + No Opinion

   You will find this poll at:


Our newest poll, opened January 1, asks:

 * What would be your primary interest in joining an organized
   group of 100 to 200 people that followed your preferred
   religious path?

   Possible answers include:

   + Scheduled worship multiple times a month
   + Socializing with co-religionists
   + Group religious study
   + Other reason
   + Not interested in large groups

   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 35 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
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Unlike the Amazon link listed in some prior issues of this
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========= (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
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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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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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