[Cauldron and Candle Illo]

Cauldron and Candle
Issue #27 -- September 2002

A Publication of The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum
website: http://www.ecauldron.com/
message board: http://forums.delphiforums.com/CUSTOM7999/start

With a little help from The Witches' Thicket
website: http://www.witchesthicket.com/
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  #27 -- September 2002

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

            With a little help from A Witches' Thicket
              website: http://www.witchesthicket.com/
    delphi forum: http://forums.delphiforums.com/thicket/start

In this Issue:

[01] Editorial: Defending Reconstructionism
[02] Cauldron and Thicket News
[03] Poem: Silly Love Song
[04] Ritual: Mabon Ritual of the Second Harvest
[05] Review: Egyptian Pyramid Oracle
[06] Review: Antagonists in the Church
[07] Review: A Book of Pagan Prayer
[08] Review: 2003 Moon Sign Book
[09] Review: 2003 Herbal Almanac
[10] Review: 2003 Magical Almanac
[11] Review: Mabon
[12] Tarot Column: Tarot and Children
[13] Article: Ritual Project for Solitaries
[14] Dragon Clan Witchcraft Course: August Lesson Index
[15] Humor: A Whimsical Grimoire
[16] Support The Cauldron by Volunteering to Help
[17] Newsletter Information
              (Including How To Subscribe/Unsubscribe)

 +++ Submission Deadline for next issue: September 25, 2002 +++
    Guidelines: http://www.ecauldron.com/cnc/submissions.php

========= by Sannion

Over the last couple months a curious trend has begun manifesting
itself within Pagandom: the Fluffy backlash against
Reconstructionism. At first it was just a few stray comments in
the chat rooms and on the various lists and boards. Nothing
special, really. Just the usual venting of "Recons are elitist
bookworms," which is actually a pretty accurate description of
us. I mean, back in the 1970s Asatru (one of the first Recon
religions) proudly proclaimed itself the religion with homework,
and someone who prefers their books to come from Harvard or
Cornell University Press instead of the likes of Llewellyn or
HarperCollins is bound to engender a reputation for literary
elitism. However, this anti-Recon trend is growing. There are now
several websites (for instance Why I Don't like The CRP Path!
[http://morriganscairn.tripod.com/CRPNoNo.html] and De Dannan
Magick and Lore [http://tuatha-witch.tripod.com/Index2.html]) and
even an anti-Recon banner
[http://www.webgurus.com/matic/graphics/53871.html] which people
can place on their sites. What was once a low murmur on the lists
and boards has now grown into a slightly asthmatic wheeze, that
could, possibly become a thunderous and indignant roar, but
probably won't. Even so, I have undertaken to answer their
charges, since I'm waiting on my copy of Gilbert Murray's Five
Stages of Greek Religion to arrive by mail, and have nothing
better to do in the meantime.

There are five common objections leveled by the Neopagans against
Reconstructionism. While much of my response will also apply to
other Reconstructionist religions, my focus is Hellenism, so my
examples and explanations will be drawn from my experiences as a

1. All Recons do is study: they don't actually live the religions
they claim to follow. While this couldn't be further from the
truth, I think that in some small way we have actually
contributed to this impression. I have a friend that I met on a
Hellenic Pagan list. He's actually a Wiccan, but is interested in
the Greek Gods, and was looking for others to worship with. He
had some very eye opening things to say: "I really like Recon
Hellenism. You guys are far more knowledgeable than most Pagans
I've met, but I've got to wonder: do you guys actually worship
the Gods? I've been on the list two months, and all I've seen are
arguments about the myths and which books to read. No one has
talked about their relationship with the Gods, or what you do to
worship them."

Now, part of that has to do with our nature. We are generally
modest, private people. I've been on general Pagan lists where
people shared everything. One person talked about how they
devoted their first menses to the Goddess, and another told this
long rambling story about how Thor had helped him find his lost
car keys. Most Recons would consider this trivial, and not the
sort of thing they're likely to share. Also, a lot of what we do
is fairly commonplace. My relationship with the Gods is very
natural, almost like a reflex, needing very little thought. When
I go for a walk, and a breeze comes up, I thank the Anemoi. When
I find a $5 bill on the street, I recite a quick prayer to thank
Hermes for his unexpected gift. When I rise in the morning, I
light incense and candles for whatever God is marked on the
calendar. Before I take a bite of food, I give that first portion
to Hestia. There are hundreds of little practices like these
which are part of my day-to-day routine. The Gods are so woven
into my life that I don't really think about it much. Like
brushing my teeth, it's not something I'd think to tell anyone
about unless they specifically asked for details.

The larger festivals are another matter, though. These should be
big, noisy, public affairs. Too often, they're not. Many of us
are isolated and alone, and have no contact with others in the
community - Recon or general Pagan. When there happen to be more
than a couple Hellenes in a 50 mile radius, and they get together
to worship, chances are the other Pagans in the area have no idea
that they exist. This is something we need to remedy. I would
like to see us have more contact with the broader Pagan
community: become active on lists, at pan-Pagan festivals, in
local papers, etc. Let others know that we're out here, and get
our voices heard. We've been trapped in our online ghettos long
enough. It's time to break out and make a difference.

2. Reconstructionism is too restrictive and doesn't allow for
personal expression. While there was some merit to the previous
charge, there is absolutely none here. Neopagans tend to believe
that anything goes, and you should do whatever you want. It's
perfectly fine to combine elements from different religions,
without worrying about how well they fit together. And no one
bats an eye when Brigid and Quetzalcoatl are invoked side by
side. Reconstructionists, on the other hand, limit themselves to
the religious practices of a single culture, and sometimes to a
specific period of time within that culture. We also only worship
the Gods of that culture. Neopagans find this too restrictive,
and often complain that it squashes their freedom and creativity.
To understand why we Reconstructionists accept the limits of
tradition, consider the example of the two musicians. The first
musician is a restless spirit. He picks up an instrument, and
begins taking lessons. But no sooner has he started than he gets
bored, and looks for something new to learn. When he writes
compositions, they include bits and pieces from everything, and
while it's certainly original, it is also discordant, noisy,
ugly, and says nothing profound. Now, the other musician finds an
instrument, and he sticks with it. Instead of jumping onto the
next new thing, he continues his lessons and learns how to play
that instrument like no one else. Because of his long familiarity
with the instrument, he can make it do things that nobody ever
imagined before. He breathes new life into old pieces, and when
he creates new works, he has the support of tradition behind him.
He may not have the range of the other musician, but he far
surpasses him in depth and skill.

And actually, this analogy is deceptive because although we limit
ourselves to a single culture, we still have a world of
opportunity open to us. With Greek Paganism, for instance, you
have roughly from 1500 BCE to 400 CE to consider. That includes
the Minoan, Mycenaean, Homeric, Classical, Hellenistic, and Roman
periods to choose from - which were all very different. You have
the rural cults of Pan and the Nymphs or the city religion of
Hestia and Athene Polias. You have the ecstatic orgies of
Dionysos or the asceticism of the world denying Orphics. You have
the magic of the curse tablets, the prophecy of the Pythias, and
the Mysteries of Eleusis promising a blessed future existence -
or the Ionian philosophers who taught humanism, rationalism, and
pantheism. You name it, you can probably find it among the
Greeks. And yet, the Neopagans still want more freedom. What will
they do with all this freedom, I can't help but wonder.

3. Recons are mean. I don't think that Recons are actually mean,
so much as there is a difference in the way that we communicate.
Neopagans tend to be very accepting. When someone makes a
statement, they usually take it at face value. When someone
expresses an opinion that strikes them as different or weird,
they often fall back on, "Well, we all have our own ways. Who am
I to criticize another?" They are more concerned with whether
something sounds true, not why it is or isn't. And they tend to
believe that everything is subjective and just a mater of

Recons, on the other hand, often come from an academic
environment, or admire the standards of academicians. This can
lead to a manner that appears very confrontational. When somebody
makes a statement, we often ask them how they reached this
conclusion, what sources they consulted, etc. We tend to believe
in objective reality and certain standards which should be
upheld. We correct obviously false historical or mythological
assertions when they are made. We require tangible proof for
extraordinary claims. We believe that the archaeological record
and established tradition are superior to someone's personal
opinion. And we do not pretend that it is normal for someone to
claim to be a 30,000 year old dragon or elf. This often makes us
unpopular. But none of it is done with hostility, or to demean
the person. Most of the time when a Recon asks for one's sources
it is because they are curious, and want to learn more about a
subject, not because they are trying to show what an ignorant
newbie the person is. (Though it can be an excellent way for
accomplishing the latter.)

4. Recons are too focused on the past. Many object to
Reconstructionism on the grounds that too great a distance
separates us moderns from the ancients. They point to
technological and societal advances, and suggest that we cannot
possibly know what it was like to practice the religion back
then. Others think that we're some kind of Pagan Luddites, and
want to go back to a life without computers and cars and that we
believe women are inferior, and slavery is okay, just because
these were part of ancient society.

Less time separates us from the Athens of Plato than separates
him from the entry of the first Greek speakers into Hellas. While
we have experienced rapid technological advancement in the last
couple centuries, so did the ancients, and theirs was far more
radical and disruptive. It may be impossible for me to grasp the
mindset of a Boeotian farmer during Greece's Dark Age, but I
don't think I'd have such a hard time understanding what
motivated the cosmopolitan artists of Alexandria. And let's not
forget that modern Western society is firmly rooted in Greece and
Rome. Our politics, law, art, science, and philosophy we owe to
them. It would be far more difficult to assimilate an alien
culture such as India or China's.

And anyway, we aren't pretending to be ancient people. We are
moderns, and gladly accept the positive things about modern
culture. The reason that we look back to the ancients is because
their religion and culture worked. It was based firmly on certain
eternal concepts, and many of the practices are still beautiful
and relevant in our lives today. Instead of reinventing the
wheel, we pay homage to our ancestors, and continue their
traditions into the future. Some things we no longer possess
information about, or like slavery, consider them firmly rooted
in the cultural experiences of their time. We have no problem
leaving the undesirable things by the wayside, and filling in the
holes with informed and poetic inspiration. Isocrates said that
piety consisted of changing what the ancestors have passed down
to us as little as possible. That shows that sometimes there is a
need for change - but that need is often far less than many
people realize.

5. Recons are just making it up. This accusation is made by
Neopagans who practice what they like to call Traditionalist
religions. Recons freely admit that in most cases there is no
continuity with the ancients. Christianity was very successful in
its attempt to eliminate other religions, and by the 1600s, the
last Pagan nation had been converted. It wasn't until the early
part of the 20th century that people began to openly practice
Pagan religions again, and not until the 1970s that people began
to break away from Neopagan Witchcraft and revive the ancient
culturally-specific Pagan religions. Traditionalists claim to
practice religions that survived in isolation, intact from
antiquity. They often cannot provide any solid evidence for their
survival, and frequently show great dependence on Wicca,
Theosophy, and popular authors such as Robert Graves, Margaret
Murray, and J. G. Frazer. Despite such apparent origins, they
will claim to possess an authentic tradition, and make snide
comments about Recons, who are making things up, have no right to
practice their religion, and are woefully misinformed about
ancient religion. It is easy to refute such individuals, since
they are really the ones who have no idea what the ancients were
like. One has simply to ask them for information about their
tradition, or for sources whenever they make blanket statements
about antiquity. If one supports everything they say by ample
quotations, and demonstrates a sufficient understanding of the
material, the Traditionalist usually gets the point, and stops
making such comments. At least, that has been my experience.

It should be interesting to see how things turn out. I imagine
that the Neopagans are only going to get more fierce in their
attacks on us. For a while now, we have been challenging them. It
is only proper that they should fight back. But hopefully,
through contact with us, they will learn, and change, and lose
some of their fluff. I would love to see them become more
knowledgeable about their own religions, apply the standards of
excellence and scholarship that suffuses Reconstructionism, and
grow stronger, better, wiser, and more artistic.

Copyright (c) 2002 by Sannion. Reprinted with permission.

===== About Sannion

Sannion is a Hellenic Reconstructionist who writes some
thought-provoking "rants" on Pagan issues. Sannion has kindly
allowed us to reprint some of these rants as editorials. You can
find more of Sannion's writings at Sannion's Sanctuary:


                      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.

========= by Cauldron and Thicket Staff

===== The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum Hits 100,000 Messages

The Cauldron's Delphi message board message counter hit
100,000 messages in August. (The actual count is about 12,000
messages higher as messages had to be deleted to keep the
total under 2000 messages in the early days of Delphi.)
Congratulations to The Cauldron's members and staff.

===== New Cauldron Staff Member

Bob (BOBTHESANE on our Delphi message board) has accepted a staff
position on The Cauldron. He'll be assisting on the message

===== Cauldron Delphi Forum Top Poster -- July 2002

The top poster on The Cauldron's Delphi Forum message board for
August 2002 was Seasons (SEASONS4). The Runner Up was Elizabeth Y
(LIZAYADA). There were several members hot on their heels: Jax
(LSALICYN), Star (STARCR), and Mojodiva (_MOJODIVA_). (Cauldron
staff members are ineligible for this honor and so aren't

===== New Cauldron Web Polls

Here are our latest Cauldron Web Polls:

=== August 16th Poll:

Question: President Bush has been in office 18 months now. Has
          the Bush Administration hurt or helped Neo-Paganism
          (and non-Christian religions in general) in the United
          States thus far?

Possible Answers:

  * Hurt a lot
  * Hurt some
  * No noticeable effect
  * Helped some
  * Helped a lot
  * No Opinion
  * Other

Vote at: http://www.ecauldron.com/cldpoll47.php

=== Current (September 1st) Poll:

Question: Does bother you when others question your religious

Possible Answers:

  * Yes, it usually bothers me
  * No, it does not usually bother me
  * Not unless the questioner is rude or wants to convert me
  * Not unless the questioner refuses to see that my beliefs are
  * Other
  * No Opinion

Our current polls will now appear on our main page in the narrow
right column:


===== Ecauldron Mailing List To Close September 31, 2002

You may have noticed that The Cauldron's mailing list is no
longer listed in the masthead. Although it is currently still
open, usage has dropped over 95% since problems with Yahoo Groups
started in April 2002.

Given the problems with Yahoo Groups and the rapid growth of our
reopened message board during the last few months, The Cauldron
has decided to drop support for the mailing list. The ecauldron
mailing list will remain open for the time being (mainly for
announcements that it will be closing). It will be shut down
completely at the end of September, having been open 2 years.

The Cauldron's Delphi Message Board:


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


========= A Poem by Elspeth Sapphire

It's just a silly love song
Sung to the magic in your soul
Just a silly love song
That makes my heart whole
Can you hear its whisper
Echo deep inside your wall?
Melting frozen emotions
Until the barriers fall.

Can you feel the magic
You weave around my heart?
Silly hopeless love magic
That stays when you depart
There's just silly foolish me
Caught up in shy, fearful you
Living this golden moment
That too soon will be through.

Hey, do you hear that love song?
The one that stirs my sleeping soul?
=Not= a silly love song
That makes two lives whole!
Where once two people dwelt
Only one now sweetly sings.
With words full of passion
How our emotions do ring!

========= by Moonsongstress

  [Visit Moonsongstress' web site for more of her material:

===== Tools for the Ritual

 * Russet and yellow altar cloths
 * Golden God candle
 * Silver Goddess candle
 * White altar candle
 * Quarter candles and corresponding stones
 * Matches, taper and snuffer
 * Simple feast - homemade bread and hot chocolate
 * A small fallen tree branch - and other materials (see below)
 * Cauldron or fire-proof bowl
 * Sprigs of Ivy in a small vase
 * An autumn incense, for example prinknash basilica blend

===== Tools for the Earth Healing and Peace Spell

 * Blue candle in a candle holder
 * Lavender oil

===== Preparation

Before the day of ritual take a small branch from the garden, or
a fallen one found locally. Place it in a vase. Find items that
represent things that you have begun, completed, or plan to begin
soon. These items can be physical things or words written on
strips of paper. You will also need some strips of paper that
have been left blank. The blank strips represent things that you
will begin this winter but have not yet planned. They are
ripening possibilities. Also find some yarn or thread in autumn
colors and cut it into enough 6" long pieces to fasten all the
items to the branch.

Think of things that you have left undone. Decide why this should
be so. Choose things that are no longer creative parts of your
life. Write these on small strips of paper. These are to be cast
aside during the ritual.

===== The Ritual

At the beginning of the ritual mentally cleanse and sweep the
area moving in deosil fashion. Set up the quarter candles and
stones symbolizing the elements of the quarters. Decorate the
altar with its cloths, and then the candles. Place the branch in
the middle of the altar, the golden God candle to the right back
of it, the silver Goddess candle to the left back of it. The
cauldron goes in front of the Goddess candle. The white altar
candle goes at the center back of the altar between the Goddess
and God candles. Place the items for the simple feast to one side
and the ivy in front of the God candle.

Take a shower or splash your face with water for purification.
Sit quietly and meditate for a while, then ground and center.

The ritual is begun. Cast the circle, calling the quarters and
spirit center. Invoke the Goddess and God. Bid them all Hail and
Welcome. Say:

  I come before you, my Goddess and God as the wheel of the year
  turns to the time of the autumn equinox once more. Green Lady,
  the earth has been weighed down with the bountifulness of your
  great harvest. My God, your creativity has brought forth the
  burgeoning fruits of nature that I have seen all around me. Two
  that are one, your joining has produced life that dances in the
  light, may the harvest nourish and sustain all living creatures
  through the coming time of darkness and winter.

  Many things have happened in the past summer, and many more
  will come in the autumn and winter. I stand in this place as
  the year balances between the dark and light times. I look back
  and remember, look forward and plan, and I balance the dark and
  light in my life.

Hold your hands lightly over the branch in its vase and say:

  You were grown in the time that is now past. You lived through
  the events that happened in that time.

  You have been cast aside as dead in the present time but your
  continuing natural beauty and form live and work in this

  You will go back to and re-nourish the earth in the time that
  is coming. In the future you will live again in the
  ever-turning cycle of life, death and rebirth.

  While looking at you in the coming weeks may I remember the
  past, present and future which are represented in all living
  things as they continue on the cycle of the ever-turning wheel.

  I look back as the past blazes in my mind. I see the things
  begun, the things completed and the things left undone.

  I give thanks for the things that are begun and I hope for
  their continuing.

Take the items that represent the begun things and decorate the
branch with them, tying them on one by one, using the autumn
colored yarn or thread. Say:

  I give thanks for the things that are completed and I offer
  them up as a harvest of my own creativity.

Take the items that represent the completed things and decorate
the branch with them, tying them on one by one, using the autumn
colored yarn or thread. Say:

  I think on the things that have been left undone. I cast them
  aside now in the hope that their loss will create space for the
  new things that will be.

Take the strips of paper with the unfinished things written on
them and, using the altar candle, set light to them one by one
and drop them in the cauldron. Watch them burn. The ashes are to
be scattered on the garden after the ritual. Say:

  I look forward as the future beckons with the coming time of
  introspection and continued inner growth. I see the things
  planned and look for the things not yet planned.

  I give thanks for the things that are planned and look forward
  to beginning their creative cycle.

Take the items that represent the planned things and decorate the
branch with them, tying them on one by one, using the autumn
colored yarn or thread. Say:

  I think on the things that are not yet planned. I hold myself
  open to new possibilities in the knowledge that I have made
  space for their existence.

Take the items that represent the unplanned things and decorate
the branch with them, tying them on one by one, using the autumn
colored yarn or thread.

Arrange everything on the branch in a pleasing manner. When you
have finished place the branch and vase back in their original
position on the altar. Say:

  The warm time is passing, when the green earth's creatures
  basked in the golden light of the sun. I remember times of
  bustling activity spent in the outer world of sunlight, and
  times of quiet exploration spent in the inner world of

  The cold time is coming, when the warm burrows of bed and
  fire-side beckon. I look forward to times of pensive and joyous
  reflection in the warmth of flickering candlelight, and busy
  activity in the safety and shelter of home.

===== Self Re-dedication


  My life is consecrated to the Green Lady my Goddess and her
  consort the horned God. I offer myself once more to your
  service, Green Lady.

Crouch on the ground in a foetus position. Place one hand on the
crown of your head and the other under you feet. Say:

  Everything that is between my hands is yours. I give it freely
  and with full knowledge and forethought. May everything that I
  am always be used honestly, truthfully, wisely and courageously
  in your service, Green Lady.

Uncurl yourself and continue, saying:

  May I listen for and hear you,
  May I look for and see you,
  May I reach for and touch you,
  May I wait for and find you.

  Teach me what I need to know, and what I am now ready to know.
  Your blessings are abundant, bless me abundantly.

===== Earth Healing and Peace Spell

Place the blue candle in its holder and anoint it with lavender
oil moving from the top of the candle to the middle, then from
the bottom to the middle, so that the whole candle has been
anointed, but no part of it has been anointed in both upward and
downward directions. Excess oil may be used to anoint your
breastbone with the triple moon.

Raise energy by visualizing that you are a tree. Extend your
roots into the earth and feel the rich abundance of energy the
earth gives to her children. Draw energy up through your roots,
through your trunk and into your branches. Allow it to cascade in
silver fountains back down to the earth.

Visualize the world as a place of freedom, peace, equality and
plenty. Opinion and belief may be expressed by all people in an
atmosphere of safety, tolerance and understanding. Nationality,
wealth, ethnic and social background are all irrelevant in this
place. Respect for all is the code by which we live. Everyone's
voice is equally heard and relevant. There is no need for
desperate action here because the deep belief in the heart of
each individual is that everyone is equal. There are infinite
numbers of different types of people who naturally band with
others who are similar to themselves, but each one is of equal
worth to the larger group called humanity. Difference is valued
for its role in the survival of the species - a sure antidote for
stagnation and stubborn sameness.

Explore this world, explore the feelings of it and create it in
your mind.

When you have finished exploring, direct your silver fountains of
earth energy into the blue candle through your hands. Light the
candle. Bind the spell, visualizing a cord tying around the
candle. Address the earth:

  I bind this spell by power of the three, may it harm none and
  bring good to thee.

Proceed with the simple feast to ground yourself.

===== The end of the Ritual

Thank the spirits of the quarters and center, and also the
Goddess and God. Ask them to go if they must but stay if they
will. Bid them all Hail and Farewell. Open the circle. The circle
is open but never broken. Allow the spell candle to burn down
without extinguishing.

The ritual is ended.


       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.


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

The Egyptian Pyramid Oracle
Designer: Verona McCall
Book and Card Set
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: July 2002
ISBN: 1567184480
US Retail Price: $21.95
View Sample Cards:
Amazon Link:

The Egyptian Pyramid Oracle is a unique divination deck. This
deck is a set of 25 cards full of Egyptian symbols. There are
about as many cards in this deck as runes in the set of Norse
runes. The available symbol set is much larger than that of the
runes as each card has a number of symbols on it. This oracle is
read much like a tarot deck, six cards are selected and laid out
in a spread. The meaning associated with each card mixes with the
meaning of the position the card is in to give the oracle's

The cards themselves are divided into five suits, called
"houses," of five cards each. The five houses are Change
(associated with water), Inspiration (air), Power (fire),
Temptation (spirituality), and Change (water). Each house has an
intricate border design which surrounds the symbolic design of
that particular card. As ancient Egypt doesn't fascinate me the
way it does many others, I don't find the artwork all that
inspiring. However, the art itself is good and the use of color
is excellent. I suspect someone more interested in Egypt than I
am would get a lot more out of this deck.

The Egyptian Pyramid Oracle comes with a miniature 3x5 inch book
of 172 pages describing the houses, the cards, their divinatory
meanings, and how to read them. A large appendix explains the
significance of the various symbols used on the cards which is a
nice aid to interpreting readings. Three extra cards are included
which summarize the houses, show the layout, and summarize the
meanings of the positions within the layout respectively. The
only thing really missing is a sample reading or two.

The box back claims that the Egyptian Pyramid Oracle offers a
system that is much easier to learn than the Tarot. With only 25
cards to deal with instead of the 72 card of the Tarot, this deck
probably is much easier for a complete beginner to learn and use,
even with the limitation of only one small book available to
help. With the Tarot, however, one has hundreds of books and
teachers available to help grow from basic knowledge to mastery.
The Egyptian Pyramid Oracle lacks this. Once one learns the
basics from the included book, mastery must come solely from
experience. While this has its good points, it is something one
should carefully consider before purchasing this deck just
because it is easier to initially learn.

           This review is available on our web site at

========= Reviewed by Jax

Antagonists in the Church: How to Identify and Deal with
  Destructive Conflict
Author: Kenneth C. Haugk
Trade Paperback, 189 pages
Publisher: Augsburg Fortress
Publication date: June 1988
ISBN: 0806623101
US Retail Price: $14.99
Amazon Link:

Pagan clergy encounter many of the same problems as clergy of the
mainstream religions. Attacks, rumormongering, lies, witch wars,
etc. all may occur within even the tightest knit communities.
Antagonists can cause disruption in both covens and communities
alike, leaving crushed ideals and bruised egos in their wake.
Unfortunately, there aren't any books written to help pagan
clergy deal with the problems that occur. Pagan clergy often do
not have the support system or resources available to them as in
mainstream religions. Antagonists in the Church, while written
for and by Christian clergy, is a valuable resource for those
clergypersons who encounter conflict in their groups.

Conflicts may occur in any group situation, be it a coven or some
other group dynamic. Antagonists in the Church offers many
solutions for identifying and dealing with these conflicts, as
well as advice on how to avoid conflict. Personality
characteristics, warning signs and prevention techniques are
presented, and the reader will be compelled to highlight full
blocks of text.

Haugk outlines the ways in which an antagonist attempts to usurp
and destroy the relationships built within the church
congregation. Leaders are shown how to prevent or reduce much of
the pain created by antagonism, as well as given techniques to
tell the difference between healthy conflict and destructive
situations. Coping skills are given to help deal with an
antagonists wake. Granted, since a Christian minister for a wrote
the book for a Christian audience, the situations and biblical
references may not apply to a pagan clergyperson, but the
techniques and advice are still beneficial to anyone who is in
the position of leadership in their community.

I highly recommend that anyone in a position of leadership,
whether it is in a coven situation or a larger community, have on
hand a copy of Antagonists in the Church. So that the next time a
troublemaker enters your midst, you have the skills and
techniques to deal with the negative impacts such a person can

           This review is available on our web site at

========= Reviewed by Jonobie Ford

A Book of Pagan Prayer
Author: Ceisiwr Serith
Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser
Publication date: June 2002
ISBN: 1578632552
US Retail Price: $19.95
Amazon Link:

Finally, a serious book for modern Pagan devotional practices!
More akin to the Episcopalian Book of Common Prayer than a
"how-to" or "what-is" book, A Book of Pagan Prayer has an
attractive, understated cover to match its content.

The book has two parts, called "How and Why we Pray" and
"Prayers". Although most of the theology is in Part I, there is
still some commentary sprinkled around the prayers in Part II.
I'd recommend reading the whole book all the way through, before
leaping to particular sections of prayers. One read thoroughly,
the book is easily structured so that a reader can go directly to
the appropriate section to find a prayer.

The first chapter focuses on the role of prayer, both in ancient
and in modern times. There is a short description of what we can
infer from historical sources of prayers, blessings, and oaths.
This is followed by some interesting, although short, description
of the "whys" of prayers and offerings, with some particularly
good material in the sections, "Why do we make offerings", and
"The 'politics' of giving". For newer Pagans who may worry that
making offerings is merely an attempt to bargain with the Gods,
there is some excellent theology here.

The second chapter discusses how to pray. It discusses prayer
through words, posture, motion, dance, music, and gesture.
Although there are other, more expanded texts on prayer through
dance, in particular, the second chapter of this book does an
excellent job of causing the reader to be aware of the whole
experience - not merely one aspect of the prayer.

The third chapter discusses preparations for prayer, such as
self-purification and creation of sacred space. What I
particularly enjoy about this chapter is the refreshing lack of
recycled liturgy found in too many Pagan books -- there are no
descriptions for how to cast a circle, open the gates, or any
other "opening framework" from particular Pagan religions.
Instead, short statements place the worshiper in an appropriate
frame of mind -- statements that are concise and adaptable for
daily solitary or family worship.

The fourth chapter is the crown jewel of Part I of the book --
the discussion of how to create your own prayers, litanies,
mantras, or rosaries. It features many useful suggestions, both
in the structure of a prayer, and in its content. For example, it
suggests the use of alliteration in prayer, something that is
easily done by a novice writer, and avoids many of the pitfalls
of attempting rhyming poetry.

The rest of the book focuses on prayers -- for calling and
praising deities, for the family, for times of the day, for times
of the month, for times of the year, for important events in
life, for thanksgiving and grace, for petitions and blessings,
and for litanies and mantras. The prayers are to a variety of
deities, and in a variety of styles. In particular, I found in
his book one of the best Pagan graces I've ever seen -- one that
I liked enough to regularly begin using at meals.

Some people may find the style of the poetry too sparse -- it
lacks some of the flowery phrases that seem common in other Pagan
poetry. However, in general, the short and elegant phrases are
more suitable for saying aloud than more elaborate poetry. I do
wish there were some rhyming prayers, though.

The book concludes with a table of offerings for different types
of spirits, a glossary of deities used in the book, and an
annotated bibliography.

One minor criticism of the book is of the endnotes. In general,
endnotes are acceptable if they mostly contain citations. For
actual new content (such as in this book), footnotes are
preferable to endnotes, as they can be read without knowing the
current chapter number and the page on which endnotes begin.
Without chapter numbers listed in page headers or footers, and
with the endnotes included in a whole host of back matter in the
book, it is often the case that finding a note requires
significant effort.

Even with this complaint, the book is one of the best Pagan books
I've seen; it makes an excellent start at filling a gaping hole
in Pagan literature. It does a particularly good job of
straddling the boundaries of different Pagan religions --
something rarely seen by Pagan literature. In short, I would
unabashedly recommend it to any Pagan wishing to improve their
personal worship habits.

I'll end with one of my favorite prayers (so many to choose from,
including a quaint one about tomato season), a prayer for

  In the morning, everything is new.
  The day's blank slate lies before me,
  ready for my writing.
  May it be words of beauty I write.
  May it be deeds of grace I do.
  May it be thoughts of joy I think.
  All the Holy Ones, listen:
  this is what I pray.

Copyright (c) 2002 Jonobie Ford. All rights reserved.May be
reposted for non-commercial use as long as the attribution and
copyright notice are retained.

           This review is available on our web site at

========= REVIEW: 2003 MOON SIGN BOOK
========= Reviewed by Randall Sapphire

2003 Moon Sign Book
Editor: Sharon Leah
Trade Paperback, 480 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: August 2002
ISBN: 0738700703
US Retail Price: $7.95
Amazon Link:

Everyone has seen the selection of "Sun Sign" books for the
following year that start flooding the astrology section of
stores around the end of summer. Some publishers sell a separate
book for each sun sign, others sell a large single volume with
information on all twelve sun signs. While sun signs help you
broadly understand yourself, other people, and the major effects
of the upcoming year, moon signs control the details: the best
times to do everything from plant a garden to visit annoying
relatives. Despite the usefulness of moon signs, you don't see
many moon sign books on store shelves. Llewellyn's 2003 Moon Sign
Book is one of the few you are likely to see in a mall bookstore.

The 2003 Moon Sign Book provides a lot of information. You'll be
able to easily determine the most favorable days for many common
activities from an easy-to-use table.  Other easy-to-use tables
cover gardening and weeding. However, far more complex tables are
provided for those who need more information. Those who use Moon
Void-of-Course information will be happy to know that complete
information for 2003 is provided. Instructions for using these
tables are clear -- but sometimes a bit complex, at least for the
more advanced tables. The introduction to the volume admits as
much and suggests carefully reading and working through the

As one would expect, the 2003 Moon Sign Book provides month by
month forecasts for each moon sign, written by astrologer and
author Gloria Star. Unfortunately, if you don't already know your
moon sign, determining it is one of the more complex procedures
in the book. It isn't that hard, but it can be error-prone. New
and full moons get charts and one page writeups. Astrologer Kris
Brandt provides US Weather forecasts based on lunar information,
while Dorothy Kovach provides an economic forecast for 2003.

In addition to all the above information one one expect in any
good book on moon signs, the 2003 Moon Sign Book has a number of
interesting articles such as "Moon's Sign is the Key to
Understanding Child's Emotional Nature" by Gloria Star, "Healing
Emotions in Troubled times" by David Pond, "Astrology Looks at a
Changing World" by Alice DeVille, "The Real Dirt on Earth Signs"
by Maggie Anderson, and many more. Like any anthology of
articles, some are very interesting and some, well, aren't.
However, this large collection of articles does make the book
stand out from the many other books on the astrology shelf.

If you are interested in the effects of the Moon's travels
through the Zodiac in 2003 or if you like to garden (or do other
things) by the moon, this book is a handy guide -- and the
articles are an interesting bonus. This book is also a bargain
price-wise: over 450 pages for about eight US dollars.

           This review is available on our web site at

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

2003 Herbal Almanac
Editor: Michael Fallon
Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: August 2002
ISBN: 0738700738
US Retail Price: $7.95
Amazon Link:

In a way, the 2003 Herbal Almanac is probably misnamed. When I
think of an almanac, I think of a book full of tables and charts,
either tables and charts of encyclopedic information (the World
Almanac) or tables and charts full of weather and astrological
data (the Old Farmer's Almanac). Except for about 15 pages of
Moon sign tables in the back, you will not find any tables in the
2003 Herbal Almanac.

Instead of tables of dry data, you'll find 30 articles full of
information on growing and using herbs. This book is divided into
six sections, each covering a different area. The first section,
"Growing and Gathering Herbs," has five articles including my
favorite article of the entire book: "Growing Unusual Herbs in
Containers." The second section, "Culinary Herbs," has seven
articles on using herbs in food and drink -- complete with many
recipes. The next section, "Herbs for Health," has four articles
with a stress on Asian techniques. The fourth part of this book,
"Herbs for Beauty," also has four articles including one on
"Herbal Aphrodisiacs." (You can make your own "herbal viagra."
Surprise. Well, at least with this article you won't have to buy
any from a spammer.) The fifth section of the 2003 Herbal Almanac
is "Herbal Crafts," with four articles including one on herbal
papermaking. The last part of the book, "Herb History, Myth, and
Magic," has six articles and the moon sign tables mentioned

As in years past, many of the articles in this year's Herbal
Almanac are written by people in Llewellyn's stable of writers.
However, I am happy to see more articles from professional
herbalists and gardeners in this issue than I've seen in years
past. Articles from these professionals give the book far more
solid backbone to build on than previous editions seemed to have.
I hope this trend will continue in future editions.

The articles themselves are a very mixed bag, but this is to be
expected in an anthology of articles. Only a few made me wonder
why paper was wasted on them. The majority were at least
interesting and a fair number were both interesting and useful.
Given its low price, 2003 Herbal Almanac is a good buy for anyone
interested in herbs. A few articles may make you roll your eyes,
but the majority are both readable and informative.

           This review is available on our web site at

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

2003 Magical Almanac
Editor: Michael Fallon
Trade Paperback, 384 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: August 2002
ISBN: 073870072X
US Retail Price: $7.95
Amazon Link:

The almanac section of the 2003 Magical Almanac is just over 60
pages in the center of this 384 page book. Each day's entry lists
the moon phase (and whether the moon is waxing or waning), the
moon sign, and that day's color and incense. Most days also list
a festival or holiday from somewhere in the world. While this is
useful information, it's obvious that almanac information is only
a minor part of this book.

The meat of the 2003 Magical Almanac is in over 300 pages of
short articles. There are about 80 articles, divided into groups
of articles for each of the four seasons. Over forty different
authors contributed to this book, so there is a wide variety of
styles, lengths, and topics. Here is a small selection of article
titles to give an idea of the wide-ranging, eclectic nature of
the articles in this book: "The Magic of Urban Legends" by Shari
Richerson, "Playing Card Divination" by Lily Gardner, "Isian
Religion Today" by Denise Dumars, "Money Powder Spell" by Eileen
Holland, "Belly Dancing, the Rite that Honors the Goddess" by
Emely Flak, "Butter Lamps: The Safe Alternative for Your Altar"
by Dr. John Mumford, "Wicca in Brazil" by Mavesper Ceridwen,
"Toe-Ring Charging Spell" by Ed Fitch, "Unearthing the Great
Goddesses" by Abby Willowroot, and "Folklore of Roses" by Magenta

Most of the articles are fairly short. Unfortunately, many of
them are therefore necessarily superficial if they try to cover a
subject of any complexity. Despite that, most of the articles are
interesting and some point the reader to more detailed (but
occasionally questionable) sources. As one might expect with such
a large anthology with so many authors, the quality of the
articles is quite variable. Most of the problem articles deal
with folklore, history, and mythology. Unfortunately, the authors
of many of the articles on these subjects tend to use
non-academic sources (if any sources are listed at all) and to
interpret myths in light of revisionist theories which leads to
articles that make interesting reading but whose strict factual
accuracy must be considered doubtful.

While the 2003 Magical Almanac makes interesting light reading
and has a number of magical spells, recipes, and rituals that
might be useful to some readers, it is the weakest of the three
Llewellyn annuals I've reviewed this year. It is a very
inexpensive book for its size, however, so go ahead flip through
it when you see it at the store. There might be enough articles
that interest you to make this book worth adding to your purchase

           This review is available on our web site at

========= REVIEW: MABON
========= Reviewed by Randall Sapphire

Mabon: Celebrating the Autumn Equinox
Author: Kristin Madden
Trade Paperback, 211 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: July 2002
ISBN: 0738700908
US Retail Price: $14.95
Amazon Link:

Mabon: Celebrating the Autumn Equinox is the eighth and final
book book in Llewellyn's series of books on the Wiccan festivals.
I'm not really surprised that Mabon was the last festival book
published as Mabon was a holiday I often skipped when I was
more-or-less Wiccan. Even more than most of the quarter days,
Mabon seemed to be a non-entity. I jumped at the chance to review
this book simply because I wanted to see what could be made of a
holiday I could so easily skip.

In the first chapter, Kristin Madden talks about the origins of
Thanksgiving in Canada and the United States. It's short and
interesting only in that it attempts to give a view of the first
US Thanksgiving and the years thereafter from a Native American
point of view.

The second chapter discusses fall traditions and holidays from
around the world. The chapter ends with a discussion of some of
the various modern Neo-Pagan holidays. It is nice to see
non-Wiccan Pagan holidays covered. "Myths and Deities," the third
chapter, talks briefly about some of the myths and deities
associated with the season. Written from a modern point-of-view,
these treatments are somewhat superficial due to space
limitations. However, a large number of deities from a variety of
cultures are covered.

Symbols (colors, animals, mythic beings, plants, etc) associated
in some way with the season are discussed in varying degrees of
detail in the next chapter. The seasonal connection of some of
these symbols is tenuous at best. For example, the gulon (a
creature from Scandinavian legend) seems to be mentioned only
because it was sometimes used to symbolize gluttony.

The fifth chapter provides a number of short rituals for Mabon
(or fall in general in some cases). Rituals are included from the
following religions or groups: Wiccan, Druidic, Norse, and
Neoshamanic. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that these
rituals actually work within the appropriate system instead of
simply being Wiccan ritual with the names changed. A children's
ritual and a eclectic ritual (that does feel very Wiccan) from
the Pagan Pride Project round out this chapter.

The sixth chapter is the one I look forward to in all of
Llewellyn's Wiccan festival books: the chapter on food. I was a
bit disappointed here. Of the 22 recipes included, none screamed
"you have to try me." I suppose I can't fault the book for this,
but I'm personally disappointed. The next chapter continues with
the recipes, but this time for magick.

The eighth chapter is another favorite section from previous
books in the series: decorating, and other projects suitable for
families, appropriate to the season. The last chapter is devoted
to science. The author discusses exactly what an equinox is in
astronomy and in astrology. Some ancient sites which may have
been used to track the seasons are briefly described. A number of
appendixes round out this book:  a seasonal calendar, information
on wildlife rehabilitation, and links and references.

Mabon: Celebrating the Autumn Equinox is well-written
coffee-table style of book on the autumn equinox. It has lots of
interesting information presented in short easy-to-read sections.
As with most coffee-table style books, academic accuracy isn't
stressed. This book did not make much of an impression on me;
however, I think this is due to the minor nature of the holiday.
Even after reading this book, I'd probably still skip Mabon if I
were Wiccan. I am, however, impressed by the efforts the author
made to include non-Wiccan autumn rituals. It is always nice to
see an author pay more than lip service to the many non-Wiccan
Pagan religions.

           This review is available on our web site at

                         UPCOMING REVIEWS
       Here are a few of the books we'll be reviewing in
       future issues: SEASONS OF THE WITCH, HEART OF
       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.

=========         TAROT AND CHILDREN
========= by TarotDeevah

I was fortunate enough to receive my first tarot deck in my
Christmas stocking when I was a child of around 12 years of age.
No one in my family read tarot cards or was Pagan. My immediate
family was Catholic (some Roman and some Anglican), and my
extended family consisted of a couple of branches of
Protestantism (mainly Methodist and Lutheran). My mother just
thought they were "neato!" No one impressed upon me how wrong
they were or that they were a tool of Satan. I fell in love with
the deck as a way to tell fortunes and dutifully memorized all
the meanings of the cards. I gave readings to friends and
neighbors and family members until people ran when they saw me
with that deck in my hands. As a child, I certainly didn't
utilize the cards to their full potential, in fact it was shallow
and superficial. However, the introduction to tarot was pleasant
and fulfilling to me at the time. It wasn't until college that
anyone told me the cards were evil, and by then I had already
discovered for myself that they were not evil at all.

Because of my own experience with tarot at a young age, I often
spread the joy of tarot by giving decks as gifts to adults and
children alike. These days, there are so many decks that make
wonderful gifts for children especially. I don't just give a
tarot deck as the gift. I usually include a deck in a gift
basket. It's easy to create a theme gift basket and include a
tarot deck -- so that the deck seems incidental in the gift
basket. All of my younger cousins have received such baskets, as
have my nieces. I've only had one parent take the deck away from
their child, but that parent didn't hold any ill feelings towards
me for giving the deck. She knew I intended no malice in giving
the deck, and I understood that she was perfectly within her
rights and duty as a mother to ban any items she felt were
inappropriate for her child. So, there was no animosity on
anyone's part. It is a shame, though, because her daughter adores
unicorns. I had given her a gift basket with a unicorn statuette,
a unicorn poster, a unicorn suncatcher, unicorn rubber stamps and
a deck of Unicorn Tarot. It was an adorable basket. :::sigh:::

Over the years, I've given many such baskets. To a child who
loves board games, I gave a basket of small travel games and a
deck of Hanson-Roberts Tarot. I've given Baseball Tarot (or was
it Tarot of Baseball) with baseball trading cards and other
baseball memorabilia to a young male cousin. Both of my nieces
received Halloween baskets (they were visiting from out of state
during Halloween) with all sorts of Halloween items and Halloween

A teenage cousin loves the Londa Tarot deck I gave her in a
basket with henna tattoos, makeup and nail polish in colors I
wouldn't dare wear, and glittery paint pens. Her mother was less
pleased, but it had nothing to do with the tarot deck. Angie (or
Angela as she now prefers to be called) was going through an odd
Gothish phase. A younger cousin got a Hello Kitty gift basket
with a Hello Kitty deck, and her twin brother got an artist
basket (colors, finger paints, artist pad, etc.) with a Stick
Figure Tarot deck. The possibilities are endless if you just give
it a little thought. Of all of the decks I've given as gifts
(probably 20 to 25 in all), only two still use their decks. About
half of them were interested for a while, but have since lost
interest. One has even purchased an additional deck or two. For
me, the point is not to recruit more tarot readers, but to expose
young people to what tarot is, so that they can learn for
themselves (as I did) that there is nothing wrong or spooky or
evil about tarot.

Times are changing, that's for sure. Now, people debate on
whether children should be allowed to dress up as witches or
devils or ghosts for Halloween -- or whether they should be
allowed to participate in Halloween at all. I feel it is
important to continue to present a different side, to present
what I know to be real. Tarot is not something bad, that it needs
to be hidden from children or kept from their reach. Tarot can be
a wonderful tool of growth for those children (and adults) who
take up an interest in it. There are so few of us able to present
them with the opportunity to experience what tarot can mean. If
my mother hadn't just happened upon that deck when I was 12 years
old, I may have never known I could be interested in tarot. Tarot
simply never entered my mind at that age, and may not have ever,
had I not been presented with a deck.

So, the next time you have to shop for a birthday present for a
niece of nephew or other child, keep tarot in mind. A little boy
who's collecting all of the Lord of the Rings cups from Burger
King just might love a gift basket with Lord of the rings action
figures and a Lord of the Rings Tarot deck. Little girls who
dream of fairies and dragonflies might adore a gift basket of
stickers, glitter nail polish, a suncatcher and Tarot of a Moon

===== About This Column

TarotDeevah's column will feature monthly articles or reviews
selected from her web site or written for this newsletter.
You can find TarotDeevah's web site at:

========= by Faerie K.
========= Originally published in Finnish in Vox Paganorum 1/02
========= translated from the Finnish by Faerie K.

At some point in the journey there comes a time when you feel
like you're ready to go beyond just reading and talking and to
proceed to actually doing something - in this case, to performing
rituals. There are plenty of pre-written rituals available in
books and on the net, so is it only a case of taking the texts in
one hand and starting to do ritual? Well, that is one approach
and nobody is saying that it couldn't be a workable and useful
one. However, here I'm going to suggest a somewhat different
approach - one stating from the idea that it's good to not only
know how something is done, but also why it is done.

===== Discover the Background

When you're practicing your religion and magick alone you are
lacking people (out of your own desire or simply due to the lack
of a suitable group) who would be teaching you the basics
hands-on. So, your own initiative is of prime importance. Texts
and descriptions of rituals tell a lot, but they don't always
explain the background closely.

To start your own ritual project, you need to research -- with
the help of various sources -- the basic meaning of ritual you
have selected: why you are supposed to say what is said in the
ritual and why you're supposed to do what is said you should do.
In every well-constructed ritual the words and gestures mean
something. You will get so much more out of the ritual when you
are aware of those meanings. Do not settle for knowing the right
words -- know why you are supposed to say them. Do not (for
example) just call on certain deities -- find out why you are
calling them in this particular ritual. Do not think gestures are
just gestures -- know what they mean. All this may take time, but
it is worth it.

===== Learn the Ritual

You can do a ritual while holding the script in front of your
nose, but it won't be that smoothly done.

You can split the ritual into suitable sized pieces, rehearsing
them one by one until you know them by heart. This way you can
eliminate the "but.... do I really remember what I'm supposed to
do?" factor by the time you move to actually doing the ritual and
concentrate on the actual rite. Rehearsing and refining gestures
can make a nice evening of study. Going over the texts in your
mind can give you something worthwhile to do while you are, say,
waiting for the bus to arrive. When the little pieces are going
smoothly, you can combine them to larger fragments and finally
piece all the fragments together to form a whole.

When you are at that stage, you can go through the whole ritual
"without the spirit" - that is, without trying to achieve
anything other than rehearsing - as many times as you need.

===== Make It Yours

When you have actually performed the ritual so many times it goes
smoothly and gives the results it is supposed to give, it's time
to make the ritual yours. In this context, making the ritual
yours doesn't mean developing your own versions of the texts and
gestures, as writing your own ritual is quite another subject.
You could compare this to the world of acting, as rituals could
be likened to plays. Psychodramas, one could say. The same play
can be performed in a multiple of ways, even if nobody changed a
single word in it. Each actor past the stage of mimicking another
actor's style brings in his or her own interpretation, making the
role alive.

When you're only starting out, you are always more or less a
"mimicker" while doing rituals other people have written. With
the confidence brought on by doing ritual, you can little by
little develop into a "virtuoso" of your own religion and magick


The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum is offering an online witchcraft
course in the Dragon Clan tradition on our Delphi message board.
This course is taught by Jet (aka Hawke). While this course
formally began on Monday, May 20, 2002, interested members can
join the course at any time as the course material is in numbered
messages in the Online Witchcraft Course folder on our Delphi
message board. You simply start with the messages with the lowest
numbers in the subject line and work your way through at your own
pace. New lessons will be posted to our message board every week
or two. Here are links to the lessons posted in August:

3.2 Ritual Work

3.21 Ancestor Shrines

3.22 Salt Water Purification

3.23 House Cleansing and Blessing

3.3 Extra Reading

3.4 The Ordeal

3.41 Ordeal - Ancestor Veneration

3.42 Wheel of Water Wheel Measure

4.0  Wheel of Fire

4.1 Meditations

4.11 Meditation on the Triskelle

4.12 Meditation on the Athame and Fire

4.13 Meditation on the Athame

4.2 Ritual Work

4.21 Raising Energy

4.22 Grounding Energy, Releasing Circles

4.3 Extra Reading

4.4 The Ordeal

4.41 Ordeal - Cone of Power

4.42 Wheel Measure

========= Author Unknown

===== Spell to Get Thee Into a Mental Ward

1. Take off your clothes. This is a "skyclad" ritual.

2. Run out in the middle of the street.

3. Say the following chant:(to the tune of the "ABC" song, or
   "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star") "A B THREE D E F C, U me W next
   why oh gee up above the street so high like a lollipop could
   fly now I know my sticky bees Next time won't you spackle me!"

4. Wait on the roof of someone's car.

5. They're coming to take you away, HAHA!

===== Spell to Control Others

1) Walk into the middle of a large group of people.

2) Yawn.

===== A Spell to Make Time Fly

1. Take your clock outside.

2. Hold the clock like a Frisbee.

3. Spin in a circle three times, then release the clock.

4. Watch time fly! Wasn't that fun?

===== Spell to Save on Gas

1. Cut holes in floorboards of car.

2. Remove shoes.

3. While still seated, pedal feet really, really fast.

4. Scream "Yabba Dabba Do!"

Optional: Invite passengers to join in the fun!

===== Spell to Become Thin

1. Get lots of food.

2. Stare at it.

========= Cauldron Info

The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum was founded in December 1997 to
provide a friendly but serious discussion area for Pagans on the
Internet. We've grown a bit over the years. We now have an active
message area, a large web site with around 700 pages of
information (including well over 150 book and divination deck
reviews), and a monthly email newsletter. To continue to provide
and expand these services, The Cauldron needs lots of volunteer
help from our members and supporters.

Here are some of the things members and supporters can do to help
The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum thrive:

===== Actively Participate In Our Message Board

While our Delphi message board welcomes readers, we encourage
members to actively participate by posting their comments and
views in our discussions. One of the easiest ways to help The
Cauldron is to actively participate in our message board. The
staff especially appreciates members who start new topics for
discussion based on their own questions, opinions, or interests.


===== Articles! Essays! Tutorials!

We are in constant need of original, well-written and accurate
articles, essays, tutorials, and other written items for both our
web site and for our Cauldron and Candle newsletter. There's no
real limit on length for web site articles. Here are a few areas
in which we always need articles:

* information on the beliefs and theology of the various Pagan
  religions, especially non-Wiccan religions

* information on holidays and festivals of the various Pagan
  religions, especially non-Wiccan religions

* recipes for oils, incenses, and food for the various Pagan

* magick, spells, and ritual information

* herbal information

* positive articles on dealing with other faiths

* information on historical pagan cultures

* editorial/opinion pieces

Non-Wiccan material is stressed not because we don't want Wiccan
material but because good non-Wiccan material has been hard to
find. We have a web form you can use to submit an article for
consideration: http://www.ecauldron.com/persontestart.php

===== Book Reviews

While The Cauldron receives some review copies from a couple of
Pagan publishers, there are many books that can only be reviewed
on our web site if a member has a copy and writes a good,
objective review. The Cauldron is interested in reviews on the
more academic books used by reconstructionist Pagan religions as
well as on the books one finds on the Pagan/New Age shelf in the
bookstore. We have a web form you can use to submit a book review
for consideration: http://www.ecauldron.com/persontestbr.php

===== Graphic Assistance

The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum is purposely a low graphics site as
we value page download speed over flashy graphics. However, we
are always willing to talk with artists who have ideas for
well-designed small graphics (small in both physical dimensions
and file size) that might enhance a specific article or page.

===== Invite Your Friends

If you have friends or acquaintances who you believe would find
The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum useful, please tell them about our
site. If you are active in our message board and have friends who
might enjoy them or have information to contribute, please invite

===== Link To The Cauldron

If you have a web site where linking to The Cauldron: A Pagan
Forum would be appropriate, simply providing a link to this web
site is a big help. Our Link to this Site page explains how you
can do this if you need help or want some simple graphic buttons
to use: http://www.ecauldron.com/linktous.php

===== Donations

As The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum uses as many free services as
possible, our need for money to operate our site is currently
lower than our need for the many items we list above. However, if
you have a few dollars to spare, we would be honored to have your
help in paying for our web site. You can donate by using the
Amazon Honor System button below (we get about 85% of what you


===== Amazon Purchases

The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum also receives a small percentage
(usually 5%) from most items purchased from Amazon.com when you
go to Amazon.com from one of the links to Amazon on our web site.
If you purchase a lot of books, CDs, and other items from
Amazon.com as many members do, going to Amazon.com through one of
our links when you are going to make a purchase there is a
painless way to help fund this web site.


===== Have Questions or Suggestions?

If you have specific questions, proposals or other ideas we
haven't mentioned here, please email them to
rssapphire@ecauldron.com. (Unfortunately, Randall has to answer
general "Tell me more?" type questions with a request for a more
specific question. He's not trying to be rude, he just can't
think of anything general and useful to say that isn't said

========= (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
interfered too often.

This issue of Cauldron and Candle as a whole is copyright (c)
2002 by The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum. Copyrights on individual
items in this newsletter are retained by their author, please
contact the editors if you need to contact an author for
permission to reprint an article and the editors will do their
best to put you in touch with him or her. No one involved in
producing this newsletter has any money to speak of so suing us
if you don't like something we do is a waste of time and money.


You are receiving a copy of this newsletter because you signed up
to receive it. You can subscribe or unsubscribe to this
newsletter via your web browser at:


Or you can unsubscribe via email by sending a blank message to


Be sure to send this message from the email account actually
subscribed to the newsletter. If you have trouble unsubscribing
by email, please use the web browser method mentioned above.

If you need to change your subscription to a new email address,
unsubsribe your old email address and subscribe your new email


The Cauldron and Candle web site contains information on this
newsletter and an archive of back issues.



If you have Pagan friends who you believe would be interested in
Cauldron and Candle please invite them to subscribe. You can
either drop them a note yourself or -- better yet -- send them
one of The Cauldron's email postcards with the information.

You are also welcome to forward a copies of this newsletter to
interested friends and associates provided you forward the entire


Don't forget that your suggestions for this newsletter 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!

Return to Cauldron and Candle Archive

Top | Home | Message Board | Site Info & Rules | Report Site Problems
Thanks to Cauldron Sponsors
(Sponsor The Cauldron!)

Cheap Web Hosting Report | Pagan & Magick Supplies
Witchcraft Course
Download Hundreds of Magic Spells