[Cauldron and Candle Illo]


Cauldron and Candle
Issue #38 -- August 2003

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


Return to Cauldron and Candle Archive

C A U L D R O N   A N D   C A N D L E  #38 -- August 2003

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

In this Issue:

[01] Editorial Notes
[02] Poem: A Song to Hephaistos
[03] Cauldron News
[04] Cauldron Discussions
[05] Review: Mastering Candle Magick
[06] Review: The Wicca Cookbook
[07] Review: Garden Witchery
[08] Review: What's Your Wicca IQ?
[09] Review: Witch Crafting
[10] Review: Rocking The Goddess
[11] Received For Review (with Mini-Reviews)
[12] Article: Remembering the Journey
[13] Article: So You Want to Read the Bible
[14] Column: TarotDeevah on the Tarot
[15] Humor: Gilligan's Rite
[16] Around the Planes: Notes from All Over
     [16-1] The National Do Not Call Registry
     [16-2] Mercury Pollution
     [16-3] Getting The Lead Out
     [16-4] Wherever You Keep Your Medicines...Keep Them Ready
     [16-5] Beware Of Waterborne "Bugs" While Outdoors
[17] Support The Cauldron by Volunteering to Help
[18] Newsletter Information
              (Including How To Subscribe/Unsubscribe)

    +++ Submission Deadline for next issue: August 12, 2003 +++
     Guidelines: http://www.ecauldron.com/cnc/submissions.php

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

This looks like it will be the longest issue of Cauldron and
Candle ever. For that, I'd like to thank all of our authors,
columnists, and reviewers. It may be followed by a much shorter
September issue, however.

I will be visiting my fiancee, LyricFox, during the last part of
August and the first part September. This means, if there is
going to be a September issues at all, I'm going to have finish
it up before my visit. This is why the submission deadline for
the September issue is August 12th instead of August 25th. The
September issue will probably be somewhat shorter and either very
early or a few days late. There is a slight chance that it might
not appear at all, but I will try to avoid that.

                      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.

========= A Poem by Rob Andrews

Skillful Hephaistos,
nobly born, but cast down and broken,
we salute you.

Oft-forgotten, overlooked,
but we see your reflection all around us:
in orphans, whose dignity goes unseen,
in hard work and craftsmanship,
in orderly, beautiful things,
in the crippled and bent,
in the love-scorned.

Laboring at forge and anvil,
you sweat and create
deep in the fiery mountain,
hard at your handiwork.

You know the meaning of anguish
and yet you tire not.
Brilliantly you create.
In darkness and heat you work wonders.

========= by The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum Staff

===== Cauldron Delphi Message Board Top Poster -- July 2003

The Cauldron's message board had 6837 posts in July. Jenett
(JENETT) had the most posts of any non-staff member in June and
snagged our monthly "top poster" award. Our Runner Up was Li
Ferelwing (LIFERELWING). Loki (IKOL), Phae (PHAE_TALON), Meg
(PIXIEMEG), and Karen (DRAGONFAERIE) gave Li a race for that
runner up spot.

===== Donations Now Accepted via PayPal

The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum has long been able to accept small
donations via Amazon.com to help pay the costs associated with
running our large site, message board, newsletter and other
features. We are pleased to announce that we can now accept
donations via PayPal as well. In both cases we get about 85% to
90% of what you donate, the rest is eaten up by various
processing fees. If you like The Cauldron or our newsletter and
have some spare money, we would welcome a small donation if you
are so inclined. If you don't have any spare money, but would
like to help, please see our Volunteers Needed page for many
other ways you can help!

Donate via PayPal
Donate via Amazon.com
Volunteers Needed

===== New Special Topic Chat Logs Available

The Cauldron's "Special Topic Chats" (Tuesdays 8-10 pm US Eastern
Time) have been very popular thanks to all the effort Koi,
Shadow, and other staff members have put into them. We are trying
to log these chats and make those logs available on our web site
for those who cannot attend.

Logs of the following July "Special Topic Chats" are available in
the Chat Logs section of our web site:

=== Ask Anything To Pagan Clergy

The chat log for our July 1st "Ask Anything To Pagan Clergy" chat
is now available on The Cauldron's web site. This chat was an
opportunity to ask all the questions you've ever wanted to ask a
Pagan Clergyperson about being clergy and to learn more about
what it's like to serve as Pagan clergy in this world. If you
have a question or comment, be sure to join our message board
discussion of this topic.


=== What Do the Gods Want?

The chat log for our July 15th "What Do the Gods Want?" chat is
now available on The Cauldron's web site. This chat was an
exploration of the requests that Gods and the Divine make of
their followers. If you have a question or comment, be sure to
join our message board discussion of this topic.


===== Astrology Returns to Cauldron Web Site

Some time ago The Cauldron had basic sun sign readings directly
available from our web site. Then the third party providing those
readings ceased to provide them. The webmaster stumbled across
another astrology site that provides such services to other web
sites and set up the following pages:

Daily Sunsign Horoscope
Sun Sign Compatibility Readings

===== Cauldron Web Chatbot

Have you even wanted to chat only to find no one in The
Cauldron's Chat Room? The Cauldron now has its own Pandorabot
chatbot you can have some fun talking to. You can visit The
Cauldron's web chatbot, Sabrina, via this link:


===== Experimental FAST Cauldron Amazon Store

Long ago, Amazon.com was a very fast loading web site. However,
as Amazon.com has added more and more to each page, the site has
become slower -- especially for people on dailup connections.
Amazon.com makes its backend available to Amazon affiliates via
Amazon Web Services. We've taken advantage of that to set up an
experimental Amazon Store on our web site. It not only looks like
a part of our web site, many people think it is noticeably faster
than Amazon. You can try it for yourself via this link:



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


========= Recent Discussion Topics on our Message Board

In an average month, over 150 new discussion topics are started
on The Cauldron's message board. Here are a few of the more
interesting discussions from the last month. It's not too late to
join in.

Thanks to Bloglet, you can now receive an email every night on
days we post new site news items to the main page of The
Cauldron's web site. These emails contain a link to the new item
and the first couple of lines of the news text. You can sign up
for Bloglet's free news delivery via the form at the end of the
site "News and Updates" section of The Cauldron's main web page.

=== Satanism and Paganism

I'm not a Satanist in the strictest sense of the word. I am,
actually, a Roman Reconstructionist. Modern Satanism isn't the
most original philosophy in the world and certainly not the most
profound, but it does offer a straightforward, rational, and
perhaps somewhat cynical guide to life. While I don't believe in
all doctrines on Modern Satanism (a penchant for militant
Atheism, being one) I do largely agree with many of its

I see the (admittedly romanticized) archetype of Satan as a
metaphor for many of the different attributes and deities of the
Pagan world (if we ignore the Mystery Cults and Philosophies that
influenced Christians, et al.). In the archetype of Satan I can
see Pagan strength, Pagan valor, Pagan pride, Pagan ambition,
Pagan carnality, Pagan thirst for life, etc.

Modern Satanism is a reaction against major religions in general
and Christianity in particular. But ancient polytheism is usually
quite a different creature than those religions, and it seems to
me Modern Satanism owes something to Ancient Paganism.

Yet many Neopagans, witches, or even Recons tend to look at
Satanism either condescendingly ("It's not a real religion!") or
even with hostility ("Satanism is evil and it gives other Pagans
a bad name."). What is your opinion of Modern Satanism?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Ancestors and Local Spirits

In many pagan cultures, the worship of the major gods of the
pantheon was not necessarily the focal point of religion. For
example, in Ancient Rome every household daily honored the
spirits of the family and the home. The State festivals to the
major gods, while important, were a secondary concern.

In your own practice, do you honor ancestors and local spirits,
and if so do they take precedence over the major deities?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Can One Be Reborn Into A Science Fiction Novel?

While looking around the Net last night I saw a message in
another forum where the writer said when she died she wanted to
come back as a firelizard on Pern.

When someone laughed and pointed out that Pern was science
fiction, the poster replied that if their were infinite parallel
universes, every thing that could be imagined would be true in
one of them, so Pern actually existed somewhere and if it existed
there was no reason why she could not be reborn on Pern in her
next life.

What do you think of this idea? Ignoring the Pern bit, for the
moment, if there are parallel universes and humans do
reincarnate, do you think we always reincarnate in this universe,
or do we reincarnate in various universes? If the latter, do you
think the poster is correct and she could (in theory, at least)
be reborn as a firelizard on Pern (or as a human in Middle Earth
or a spacer in the Star Wars universe, or....)?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Is Your Life Ordained by God/Fate?

Some people go through life believing their destiny is entirely
in their hands: life is what they make of it. Others believe that
their destiny is beyond their real control, that their life is in
the hands of their God(s) or Fate: life is what the God(s) or
Fate decree. Others are somewhere in between, for example, some
people seem to believe that every thing good that happens in
their life is a gift from their God(s), while every bad thing
that happens is the result of their personal failures (or

What does your faith teach? Does your religion place your life
into the hands of the God(s)/Fate or into your own hands? What do
you personally believe? How closely do your beliefs in this area
match the teachings of your religion? And why do you believe what
you do?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Misbehaving Children and Ritual

Why do parents today have to drag small children everywhere?
Whatever happened to babysitters? And why, when their small
children decide to cause a scene, do they not deal with it? Do
they really feel that the rest of the people in the
theater/restaurant/etc want to hear this child throw a fit?

When I was little, I wouldn't have gotten away with pitching a
fit in public. My folks just would have taken me out to the car
and we'd have gone home. (And I've talked to my mom about this...
so I know it's true!)

With that in mind... has anyone ever run into the problem of
someone having disruptive kids at a ritual or teaching class who
wouldn't resolve the situation? How has that impacted your
group's policy on including children at it's events (if
applicable)? And what do you guys feel about parents who insist
on dragging their kids everywhere and insisting everything be
"child-friendly" for them, no matter what's planned at ritual?

Now, I know this will be a rather heated topic. I'm hoping to not
cause flames, just get an idea of where other people stand on
this issue.

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== The Body (and Physical Limitations) in Religion

What role does the body play in religion? Is the body something
simply to be ignored while one does faith stuff, or does body
movement and position important? Does one need to do, or just
think? Are they different?

If the body matters, what happens with those people that have
physical limitations? Are there ways around the requirements to
suit the person's physical limitations? Or are some religious
experiences (and even some entire religions?) simply inaccessible
to those with limited physical ability?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Are Converts From Pagan Religions Traitors?

I've noticed a very disturbing trend in the greater Pagan
community: more and more people are seeing people who convert to
a different religion as some type of "traitor." People who
convert from a non-Pagan religion to a Pagan religion aren't seen
as traitors, of course. Only those who convert from one Pagan
religion to another (or worse, convert from a Pagan religion to a
western monotheist religion like Christianity) seem to earn the
"traitor" title.

I simply do not understand this trend. One of the main tenets of
the "Pagan movement" has always been that there are many paths up
that "spiritual mountain" and whatever path a person feels is
right for them is the path they should be on.

What gives? Why are Pagans developing this double standard where
converts to Pagan religions are welcomed (and certainly not seen
as traitors to their original religion), but converts from Pagan
religions are seen as some type of traitor? Or if you think
Pagans who change religions are traitors, could you explain why
you think they are? Is this a common way of thinking in your part
of the country? What do you think causes it? What, if anything,
should be done to stop this behavior?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Hypothetical Animal Sacrifice Decision

Okay, a hypothetical question here. Let's say you were walking
through the woods, and Apollon (or your patron deity) appeared
and demanded that you sacrifice a rabbit. (The rabbit is just an
example. It could be a goat. Whatever. And assume that Apollon
made available everything you'd need, including the animal, who
would be a willing sacrifice. Work with me here.) Remember that
according to ancient Hellenism, the gods only received the
inedible portions, so you would actually get all the food

Would there be one less rabbit? Would you do it? And would you be
ashamed or otherwise hesitant to mention it on your friendly
neighborhood pagan email list? After all, it was a proper
sacrifice offered to a worthy god.

Perhaps the real question isn't whether you would sacrifice the
rabbit, but have we really given collective consideration to what
the gods want from us? Or have we already decided what they're
going to get from us? Do we really include them in the decision-
making process? Or is it all about what's convenient for and
acceptable to us?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Do You Believe Animals Have Souls?

Do you believe animals have souls? All living things (plants,
cockroaches, viruses, bacteria, etc.)? Do animals have to be of a
certain high enough order to have souls? (Dolphins, dogs, yes;
mosquitoes, fleas, no.) Same as human souls? Different? (For that
matter - do you believe humans have souls?)

What do you believe about the relationship of the Gods to living
creatures and living things other than humans? To non-living
things such as rocks?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:


       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

Mastering Candle Magick: Advanced Spells And Charms For Every
Author: Patricia Telesco
Trade Paperback, 220 pages
Publisher: New Page Books
Publication date: March 2003
ISBN: 1564146545
US Retail Price: $13.99
Amazon Link:

Candle magic is one of the most popular forms of magick, probably
because it uses simple tools and because almost everyone loves
candles. Because of its popularity, there are a number of books
on candle magick on the shelves. Patricia Telesco has followed up
her own book on this subject (Exploring Candle Magick) with a
book aimed at those who are ready for more advanced material,
Mastering Candle Magick: Advanced Spells and Charms for Every

This book is truly an advanced book. It assumes one already knows
the basics of candle magic. Telesco doesn't even start this book
with a long summary of basic knowledge; she jumps right into
designing one's own spells, first with information on adapting
and personalizing spells from others, then with a full step-by-
step explanation of creating a candle magick spell from scratch.
The first thirty or so pages is some of the best material in the
book. There's nothing really new here for an accomplished
magician, but this material will help beginners move beyond
looking up spells in a book or begging for them on the Internet.

The rest of the book, about 150 pages, is a candle magick
grimoire. There are spells for many aspects of life, or rather
there are spell ideas for many aspects of life. Since this isn't
a book for beginners, the author describes the central part of
each spell in a few paragraphs and expects the reader to be able
to build a full candle magick ritual. There are no fully scripted
and diagrammed 5 to 10 page rituals as is the norm in many books
on candle magick aimed at the novice. This allows a huge number
of spells to be packed into 150 pages. There are two appendixes
with helpful hints and correspondences. The book is indexed,
which makes finding things in the spell section much easier.

It's nice to see an author and Pagan publisher aiming a book at
something other than the complete novice market. People do not
stay beginners forever. Eventually they have to move beyond the
101 books. While Mastering Candle Magick: Advanced Spells and
Charms for Every Rite will probably only confuse a true novice
and will not help those with a lot of magick experience under
their belt, it will help those who have picked up a beginner
book, studied it, and are looking for a way to expand their

           This review is available on our web site at

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

The Wicca Cookbook: Recipes, Ritual, and Lore
Author: Jamie Wood and Tara Seefeldt
Trade Paperback, 192 pages
Publisher: Celestial Arts
Publication date: October 2000
ISBN: 0890879958
US Retail Price: $19.95
Amazon Link:

What happens when you combine Wicca and good food? If you are
lucky, you get an unusual cookbook full of recipes for each of
the Wiccan holidays with each accompanied by a bit of historical
information, folklore, or a ritual. There are now a number of
Wiccan cookbooks on the market, but The Wicca Cookbook: Recipes,
Ritual, and Lore by Jamie Wood and Tara Seefeldt carries out the
theme better than any of the ones I've seen.

Many cookbooks start out with informational material before
getting to the recipes. In most cookbooks, that is information on
how to measure flour, what wine goes best with ham, or the like.
In The Wicca Cookbook this introductory matter covers creating
sacred space, casting spells, cooking in the middle ages, and
growing herbs. The authors assume that their readers will more
likely be familiar with cooking than with magick.

The main part of the book is the recipes. There are over 100
recipes. They are a mix of the modern and the medieval. One of
the authors teaches cooking classes while completing her Ph.D. in
medieval history, so the medieval recipes are authentic in feel
without being offensive to the modern palate. There are no weird
ingredients that you'd need a time machine to easily acquire and
probably wouldn't want to eat anyway. Several recipes, however,
do make use of fairly expensive spices -- for example, saffron.
Speaking of ingredients, measurements are given in both the
English and the metric system -- which makes the book useful to
many more people. Here are a few or the recipes included:
Frumenty, Stuffed Nasturtiums, Beltane Oatcake, Ale Bread,
Potato-Corn Chowder, Vegetable Lamb Shanks, Apple Scones, Stuffed
Pumpkin, and Ginger Tea. There are a wide variety of recipes and
many of them look good even to a picky eater like me.

What makes this cookbook unique, however, is that each recipe is
introduced with a short discussion of history or folklore related
to the recipe or even a spell or ritual related (sometimes very
loosely) to the recipe. The discussions are enjoyable and the
rituals are presented in a brief but clear manner.

If you enjoy cooking and like to try new foods, The Wicca
Cookbook: Recipes, Ritual, and Lore is excellent even if you
ignore everything but the recipes. If you are interested in food-
related folklore, Wicca, or magick, you'll enjoy the recipe
introductions almost as much as you enjoy eating the results of
the recipes in this book. This is simply the best Pagan-themed
cookbook I've seen.

           This review is available on our web site at

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

Garden Witchery: Magick From The Ground Up
Author: Ellen Dugan
Trade Paperback, 268 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: February 2003
ISBN: 0738703184
US Retail Price: $16.95
Amazon Link:

Gardens have probably been associated with witches and cunning
people for centuries. Many people probably expect a witch to have
a "green thumb" simply because witchcraft is often associated
with herbs and natural magick. Wiccan witches reinforce this
notion by incorporating a love of nature into their religion.
Green thumbs, however, are seldom a matter of birth or luck.
Gardening is a skill -- and, like any other skill, it is learned
by study and experience. Ellen Dugan is a Master Gardener and
witch and her book, Garden Witchery: Magick From The Ground Up,
provides practical advice on both gardening and garden magic.

This book isn't an instruction manual on gardening or magick or
religion. Instead it is a collection of plant and garden
folklore, gardening advice, plant magick, garden crafts, ideas,
personal experiences and more packaged in an easy to read and
enjoyable format. That said, Dugan is a Master Gardener and there
is a lot of basic and practical gardening information in this
book. It just isn't organized for studying. It's organized for

Here are just a few of the many topics covered in Garden
Witchery: specialty  gardens (anyone for a Samhain Pumpkin garden
or a garden of poisonous plants?), flower and herb spells,
enhancing Wiccan Sabbats with material from your garden, keeping
a gardening journal, garden crafts (how about a fresh holiday
wreath?), container gardens, and gardens as sacred space. Along
the way you'll also learn what magically useful plants do best in
sun or shade, how to gather herbs and flowers while doing the
least harm to the plant, folklore and fact about many plants, and
much more.

Garden Witchery combines solid, practical gardening advice with
folklore, magick, and fun. While reading this book will not make
the reader a Master Gardener or a master magician, it will help
those interested both in magick and gardening combine their
interests and -- with a lot of work -- turn their "spot of
garden" into something the neighborhood can admire and they can
put to use in their magick.

           This review is available on our web site at

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

What's Your Wicca IQ?
Author: Laura Wildman
Trade Paperback, 296 pages
Publisher: Citadel Press
Publication date: January 2003
ISBN: 0806523476
US Retail Price: $9.95
Amazon Link:

When I was much younger than I am today, topic-oriented quiz
books and Trivial Pursuit were the in thing. I never really cared
for Trivial Pursuit as I found random bits of trivia
uninteresting, but I found quiz books on subjects that interested
me a fun way to test my knowledge and learn something new. Given
this background, you can imagine how pleasantly surprised I was
to receive a copy of Laura Wildman's What's Your Wicca IQ? for

Wildman has brought the old quiz book to Wicca. And she's done so
in the best way. The answer sections don't just list the correct
answer with a sentence or two of comment as they do in poor quiz
books, they discuss the answer in enough detail so that you might
be able to learn something new even if you got the answer
correct. There are over 550 questions divided into six areas:

* The beliefs of witches and Pagans
* Tools, circles, and celebrations;
* The history of witchcraft and modern Paganism
* Magick and spells
* Divination
* Ceremonial magick

The questions are excellent. Some are easy and some are hard.
Many are obviously designed to make you think. Most of the
questions are multiple choice, although some are "match items in
two columns" questions. The real test of a quiz book, especially
one on a subject where misinformation is often stated as proven
fact in books, is the answers. As in, are the answers the book
gives correct? The author is a third degree Gardnerian so I had
reason to hope for the best as I picked out questions on subjects
where there is often a great deal of incorrect information
floating around the Pagan community. My hopes were not misplaced.
While I had some minor quibbles about a couple of the questions I
selected to carefully check, I was pleased to find that nonsense
like ancient matriarchies and nine million burned were not being
passed off as factual information.

Not all questions are about facts, however, many are about what
is basically common practice or opinion. There's an old saying
about ask five Pagans a question and you'll get at least six
answers -- all correct. There's more than a little truth to this
saying where matters of practice and opinion are concerned. I'm
pleased to say that Wildman usually did a good job of handling
questions like "What is an Elder?" or "How many Gods and
Goddesses are there?" where there is legitimate disagreement in
the community on the "correct" answer.

While going through What's Your Wicca IQ? by yourself can be an
interesting way to learn, going though the book with a group and
discussing the questions and answers should be a lot of fun and a
very good way to spark interesting discussions.

I've seen a review or two of this book on the Internet where the
reviewers pan it as somehow trivializing Wicca and other Pagan
religions by reducing them to a set of questions and then having
the gall to inject some humor into a few of the answers. I can't
agree. I think What's Your Wicca IQ? is a splendid book that
presents information in a different and fun way. There's nothing
wrong with mixing fun with learning and this book does that quite
well. I'm happy to have it on my bookshelf. I suspect that most
Wiccans and many non-Wiccan Pagans will be just as happy to have
this book as I am.

           This review is available on our web site at

========= Reviewed by Rain

Witch Crafting: A Spiritual Guide to Making Magic
Author: Phyllis Curott
Trade Paperback, 352 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books
Publication date: September 2002
ISBN: 0767908457
US Retail Price: $14.95
Amazon Link:

Witch Crafting: A Spiritual Guide to Making Magic is written well
and is a lovely read in terms of writing and some of the content.
Curott manages to get across a concept of Wicca that is based on
connecting with the Divine rather than doing spellwork; a goal
that I think many books miss entirely. Despite that her first
chapter is called "Real Magic", which may mislead the beginner
into believing that's what Wicca is about, the rest of the book
manages to highlight the Divine in a way that is both beautiful
and meaningful for the reader. She discusses divination early on
in the book as a method of connecting with the Divine, which is
unique -- most books put divination further on if it's included
at all. She discusses nature, sacred space, correspondences and
tools, energy, sabbats, working as a solitary and coven member,
and spellcasting. She stresses the importance of living Wicca and
the Divine, rather than imagining or reading about them. She has
a large section of resources for further reading. Witch Crafting
is focused at newer Pagans and those who have been around awhile
-- providing a basis for Wicca with some fresh insights. I'm
actually rereading the book already because parts of it are so

All that said, it is a shame that I find such huge problems with
the book, and although I'm rereading it I do find parts that are
irritating (if I don't skip them altogether).

First, she uses the terms Wicca and witchcraft interchangeably,
which as many of us know is misleading. While she does explain in
the introduction that they aren't necessarily synonymous, she
doesn't give an excellent explanation (Wicca is "both a specific
tradition of witchcraft and a popular synonym for it", she says),
and never explains why she chooses to use the word witchcraft.
This has lead to much confusion in the Pagan community, and if an
author chooses to use the words a certain way, I feel they should
at least be able to provide some reasoning for doing so.

Second, Curott on many occasions discusses the problems of
Christianity. She blames it not just for the faults of society,
but also for the annihilation of the earth, as well as pointing
out what a lonely religion it is, and so on. Frankly, this
bothers me on two levels -- first and foremost, I don't buy a
Wiccan book to read about Christianity, and as far as I'm
concerned discussion of said religion in such a negative light
has no place in a book about Wicca. Secondly, Curott comes off as
ranting and raving in this book, and rather than discussing
Christianity in a well educated way seems to bash it. What place
does this kind of attitude have in a book that is aimed partially
at beginners?

Third, while I appreciate that Curott is expressing a form of
Wicca wherein magic is inextricably linked to the Divine, I do
feel she makes some comments that take this too far. She points
out that magic done without the Divine inevitably fails and leads
to egotism and selfishness. While that belief is quite valid, I
do know Pagans who work magic quite successfully outside
paradigms and myth of deity -- I feel it's unnecessary to insult
people who do it differently. This will also confuse newer folks
who aren't aware that magic and religion aren't necessarily one.

Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, one way Curott seeks to
"revolutionize" Wicca is by tossing all the rules out. She does
this summarily in one chapter of discussion on the threefold law.
She explains that people use the threefold law as a scare tactic,
and that such laws are based entirely on fear of power (here
taking an opportunity to discuss the "woman's holocaust" -- you
know, the burning times, "when hundreds of thousands of shamans
were tortured and killed"). She points out the term black magic
is racist and a term that "Witches condemn", and other than the
threefold law, only spends one or two paragraphs on the Rede (and
poor paragraphs at that). She concludes that Wiccans don't need
rules because anyone who truly knows the Divine would never think
of causing harm. Not only is this view naive, in my opinion, it
also downright ignores the concepts of the Magician's Manifesto,
and 13 principles of witchcraft, as well as nearly ignoring the
Rede. We're led back to people who believe the Rede means one
must never, ever harm anyone, as "anyone in touch with the
Goddess wouldn't think of it".

Here Curott focuses on one rule, as she interprets it -- a rule
of magnified karma, while we know that many Pagans interpret it
as return on the spiritual, emotional, and physical, based on
fear and punishment. She seems to be so intent on challenging
Wicca as it exists now as to ignore the Rede, and in doing so
replaces the opportunity for a deep discussion on ethics and
theology with an anarchist judgment of all Wiccan ethics and laws
based on her idea of the threefold law. This chapter, "Witchcraft
Without Rules", was definitely the one that disappointed and
angered me most in her book.

In summary, while I feel Witch Crafting: A Spiritual Guide to
Making Magic is a beautiful read most of the time, I'm not sure
I'd recommend it to beginners. The problems mentioned above
unfortunately cast a very dark shadow on an otherwise beautiful
book. While I feel the bulk of this book is excellent to work a
path that fosters a connection with the Divine on a daily and
personal basis, and while I feel the writing and personal
anecdotes are lovely, I would be concerned with newer Pagans
getting incorrect impressions on Christianity, the rules of
Wicca, etc. As someone who has been studying Wicca a bit longer,
I do feel this book is worth what I paid for it, but I wouldn't
feel comfortable recommending it to a beginner without discussing
the caveats above in depth.

           This review is available on our web site at

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

Rocking The Goddess: Campus Wicca for the Student Practitioner
Author: Anthony Paige
Trade Paperback, 224 pages
Publisher: Citadel Press
Publication date: September 2002
ISBN: 0806523565
US Retail Price: $12.95
Amazon Link:

Over the last several years, a number of books have been
published aimed at Wiccans in middle and high school. Most of
these books haven't been so much about how to be a Wiccan in a
middle school or high school setting as they have been typical
Wicca 101 books aimed at the teen market. When I saw Rocking The
Goddess: Campus Wicca for the Student Practitioner I thought, "Oh
no. Now we have Wicca 101 books aimed at the college age market.
Just what the world does not need -- yet another Wicca 101 book."
Judging a book by its cover (or its back cover marketing hype)
isn't always a good idea. Rocking the Goddess proves this rule.

My first impressions were wrong. Anthony Paige hasn't written yet
another Wicca 101 book. While there is enough basic information
on the Wiccan religion that someone unfamiliar with it could
follow this book, teaching Wicca isn't the author's main goal.
Instead, he has written a book on being Wiccan at college. Going
to college is a major change for just about every young adult.
One is quite suddenly an adult and often away from home and on
one's own for the first time. Navigating a college bureaucracy
can be hard enough without adding membership in a somewhat
misunderstood minority religion to the mix.

The style of this book reminds me of Adler's Drawing Down the
Moon in many places. There are lots of interviews and reports of
how Wiccans do things on various college campuses: the problems
and successes they have had. You'll find out why many people are
Wiccan and how they adapted to college life. You'll also find out
about Pagan student associations (and how to form one if there
isn't one at your college), deciding whether to be in or out of
"the broom closet," working around dorm limitations when trying
to do ritual, using Internet resources, dealing with college
officials, and much more.

The author is well-qualified to write on this subject. He wrote
this book while a student at Purchase College in the State
University of New York system. While there, he founded Campus
Coven U.S.A. His book is an informative and enjoyable read.

If you are Wiccan and in college or planning to go to college,
you will probably find this book invaluable. If you are a non-
Wiccan Pagan, this book is still worth a look as much of the
information on college life will still be useful to you --
although the information on Wicca will not be. Paige proves one
can take a tired idea, Wicca books for the young adult, and
breathe new life into them. Rocking the Goddess is apparently his
first book. Hopefully, it will not be his last.

           This review is available on our web site at

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

For the first time in many months, I received no new books to
review during an entire month. While this was a blessing in that
it allowed me to catch up on my backlog of reviews, it means this
section of the newsletter is very short as I have no new books or
Tarot decks to report on.

=========          Thoughts inspired by Zen and the Art of
=========          Motorcycle Maintenance
========= by Lindsay Vaughan

Something that seems very important to Pirsig is the fact that so
many people become involved in activities in order to reach a
goal of some kind, and don't appreciate the journey they must
make to reach that goal. He illustrates this point by using a
class he taught as an example. He took away the grading system,
so that he was the only person aware of the marks each student
was receiving. After the initial frustration, Pirsig began to
notice that the brighter students who normally received As were
the ones who continued to work their hardest even though they
didn't know how well they were doing. They stopped being
concerned with their marks, remained interested in the subject
matter, and continued to be active participants in class. On the
other hand, the students who normally received Ds and Fs
disapproved of the lack of grading system, which proved to Pirsig
that they were only in college to pass classes and reach their
goal -- graduation.

This immediately reminded me of a couple things I've recently
experienced. The most recent of these two things is a course I
was taking from the Open University in the UK. It was an
Introduction to the Humanities, and I was taking the course so
that when I passed I could use my credits to transfer to another
UK university. I was obsessed with my grades, and upset with my
tutor for being so harsh and nitpicky with me. The other students
in the class did everything by the book, obsessing to the very
last detail over the perfection of their papers, struggling to
write the closest resemblance to what they assumed the tutor
would write if she were writing the papers herself. The most
hilarious thing in this situation was the fact that the course
material provided us with the answers we were supposed to supply
in our papers, and I received information from students who'd
already taken the course that their tutors often marked them down
very heavily for disagreeing with the opinions portrayed in the

So basically, we were given a question to answer, and an answer
to supply in our essay, and if we didn't give the answer they
wanted in exactly the way the tutors would have answered it, we'd
get marked down a full grade or two. I despised this system, as
I'd never before been in a writing course where we weren't
allowed to draw our own conclusions and write creative essays. We
were told to write what they wanted, how they wanted, with a very
short word limit so as to ensure we would have no space with
which to be creative. This system forces students to focus only
on the goal, forgetting the journey, and obsessing over what the
grade will be. We all want to know: "Did I prove to my tutor that
I'm as intelligent as she is?" - "Will I pass the course?" Many
of the students were becoming disillusioned, and admitted that
for the rest of the course they were going to aim for the minimum
passing grade, because that's the only reason they were taking
the course anyway - so that they could say they passed the
course. It's complete nonsense, and I realized halfway through
that I couldn't participate in such a cynical system anymore. So
I withdrew. I'm sure that confused my tutor, as I was doing very
well, but I realized that I started the course because I wanted
to experience the journey. Sure, I was using it as a way into
another university, but I was also interested in the course
material outlined in the syllabus. I soon realized that I was
hating the assignments, and I'd been reduced to focusing only on
what I'd get when I completed the course. I felt dejected and
disappointed, and this is why I left.

Another example of how I forgot the journey is an event I took
part in last year, called Nanowrimo ( http://www.nanowrimo.org )
This was a month-long activity last November, the point of which
was to encourage everyday ordinary people to motivate themselves
to write 50,000 words of a novel, or a complete novel, in thirty
days. While unique and somewhat admirable, this project
inevitably ended up with thousands of people writing novels that
really weren't very good, because instead of taking time to
savour the journey of writing a novel and putting all of our
beings into the project, and cultivating it and ultimately ending
up with something that reflected our innermost thoughts and
dreams, we ended up with crap. My novel wasn't garbage, or
meaningless, but it certainly wouldn't ever get published and it
isn't something that I put much thought into. My main concern was
that I wrote at least 3,000 words a day so I'd be ahead of
schedule, and we weren't supposed to worry about the quality of
our novels in the slightest. While that was part of the point,
and certainly not everyone was interested in getting published (I
sure wasn't), I think it might end up disappointing some people
and leading them to believe that they can't write, because it's
hard for anyone to write a masterpiece in such a short amount of
time. Sure, Fight Club was written in two weeks, but that kind of
skill is pretty rare.

A big problem I've noticed lately is that this act of "forgetting
the journey" is becoming popular in many religions, particularly
relatively new ones, such as the many branches of neo-Paganism.
I've witnessed so many newcomers to Wicca arriving in forums on
the Internet, asking for spells and "quick fixes" to their
problems. So many people are concerned with what they're going to
get out of their particular religion, and this extends to other
faiths. So many Christians are concerned with whether or not they
are going to end up in Heaven or Hell, so they make sure that
their actions now will ensure them a place beside God. They go to
church to fulfill the requirements that will guarantee their
entrance through the pearly gates, instead of taking joy in the
practice of their faith. This is so backwards! People should be
focusing on the present, and enjoying the learning process of
life and religious and spiritual practice, and how the lessons
they've learnt can be used to benefit others, not just as a tool
to provide them with Salvation when the End Times finally arrive.

This may be a problem with more traditional Wiccan paths, which
provide newcomers with a very rigid outline of what Wicca "is"
and how it is "supposed" to be practiced. This may be extremely
detrimental to impressionable folks who haven't much experience
otherwise. I am afraid that there may be many people out there
who have forgotten what their journey is supposed to be, and are
relying on the rigid structure they are following to aid them in
reaching a specific goal. I believe that traditional paths can
and have been beneficial for many people, but there is always
going to be the odd person who believes what is spoon-fed to him
and spends the rest of his life walking another person's path.

Religious and spiritual practice should be part of a lifelong
journey for people to get to know themselves better, to cultivate
their talents, and to use these talents for the benefit of all
they come in contact with, not just as a means to an end. Before
making the important decision of choosing a path to follow, we
should spend as much time as possible researching different
systems and asking ourselves what it is we want and what changes
we want to make in ourselves, and in the world in which we live.
We should be keeping journals of our progress all the time,
making note of the subtle ways we're evolving throughout our
lives, noticing what we've learned, laughing at past foolishness
instead of denying the existence of it, and using these new
insights to help other people become more aware of their own
strengths and weaknesses, and aiding them in cultivating their
own talents. It takes a wise person to accomplish these feats,
and wisdom only arrives after a long and arduous journey, after
the "dark night of the soul" has come and gone, and when we
realize that the more we learn the less we really know. Everyone
is always changing, and the person I will be tomorrow is not the
same person I am today. That is the essence of the journey, and
it is important to remain aware that if our main focus is the
goal, we're not just forgetting the journey, we are ultimately
forgetting ourselves.

========= ARTICLE: So You Want to Read the Bible:
=========          A Guide for First-Timers
========= by Koi

   [Editor's Note: I managed to read the Bible straight
    through, but I'm very stubborn. The  method Koi
    suggests here would have made it much easier. I
    have one bit of advice to add: do not use a
    Scofield Study Bible as its notes are based on
    modern Fundamentalist theology which is very
    different from more standard ways of viewing the
    Bible -- besides, reading those notes will annoy
    you as much as an uninvited conversion spiel.
    -- RSS]

Reading the Bible is an admirable goal for a person of any
religious background; it's important to be familiar with the
texts that shape our world, regardless of what religious or
political group claims them. But most people sit down with the
intention to "read the whole thing right through" - the worst
possible way to go about it. This plan usually stumbles right
about Leviticus or Numbers, the reader drops the project in
disgust, and never begins again.

Because, let's face it: Large portions of the Bible are boring.
And large portions read like total gibberish. Plus, you're
telling yourself "I'm going to sit down and read this one book,"
when you're actually sitting down to read about seventy-five
distinct "books" that are all ancient texts. Talk about a recipe
for frustration and burnout!

In fact, reading straight through is a pretty useless way to read
the Bible. If you prefer to do it this way, there are a number of
websites that can provide you with a one-year reading plan (often
on bookmarks!) to help you keep your pace up. However, I suggest
that if you want to read the Bible and get a lot out of it, you
take up Koi's Recommended Bible Reading Plan for the First-Timer.

Before we begin that, you need to first find a Bible, preferably
a well-annotated one that will give you clues on obscure
metaphors and symbolic language. The two I recommend are the
Catholic Study Bible NACB translation and the New Oxford
Annotated NRSV version. Both are very readable, and both provided
excellent annotations. The differences between the two will not
matter much for the casual Bible reader. Both Bibles include
short introductions to each book before each one; the Catholic
Study Bible also provides a Reader's Guide at the front. You
should always make sure to read at least this short introduction
before beginning each book; it will provide you with an important
orientation to the purpose and nature of the book before you
begin reading it.

(As to practical matters: Stick a post-it on the page with the
table of contents so you can find books without having to search
for ten minutes for the book and then another five for the table
of contents when you can't find the book. If your eyes are bad,
you may want a magnifier.)

Secondly, I strongly recommend Stephen L. Harris's Understanding
the Bible as a companion text. The casual reader will be fine
with the in-Bible introductions, but someone who is curious or
really wants to get a lot out of their reading will want the
Harris text. It provides an excellent "non-sectarian"
introduction, that's really from an atheistic point of view,
making it very accessible to both Christians and non-Christians.
Harris provides information on the date, authorship, theological
content, archaeological data, and historical background for each
book. The introductions are generally fairly short and very
readable; he provides excellent and extensive bibliographies for
further study.

===== The Old Testament

The Old Testament (more properly called the Hebrew Bible or the
Tanakh, but called the Old Testament here for clarity) is by far
the more difficult of the two testaments, so I'll spend more time
addressing it here.

To begin your examination of the Old Testament, you first need a
coherent way to mentally organize the books. Bibles vary on how
they organize the Old Testament; I prefer the traditional Jewish
organization: the TaNaKh, which stands for Torah (the law),
Nevi'im (prophets), and Kethuvim (writings).

The Torah consists of the familiar five books of the law:
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. These are
the earliest writings.

The Prophets are divided into the Former Prophets and Latter
Prophets. The Former Prophets are what we usually think of as the
historical books: Joshua, Judges, Samuel (1&2), and Kings (1&2).
The Latter Prophets are the traditional prophetic books: Isaiah,
Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Book of the Twelve. The Book of the
Twelve was the twelve "minor" prophets whose books are so short
all twelve could fit on one scroll: Hosea, Amos, Micah, Joel,
Obadiah, Jonah, Nahum, Habukkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zecharaiah,
and Malachi.

The Writings, or Kethuvim, are a mish-mash of assorted books,
often with very different theologies. Many of the Writings are
very late books, though a few may be among the earliest texts of
all. The Writings are: Psalms; the wisdom books Job and Proverbs;
the festival scrolls Ruth, Song of Songs (Song of Solomon),
Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, and Esther; the apocalyptic book
Daniel; and the historical narratives Ezra-Nehemiah, and
Chronicles (1&2).

Begin your readings with story-books and narratives. Genesis,
Exodus, Numbers 10:11 to the end, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings,
Jonah, Ruth, and Esther. Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, and Chronicles
are also narratives, but are slightly more difficult than these
other books. Daniel is apocalyptic and therefore inherently
weird; Ezra-Nehemiah is post-exilic and can be confusing;
Chronicles is a retelling of King David's story with all the
juicy parts removed.  I particularly enjoy Genesis, Exodus,
Judges (crazy shit!), Jonah, Ruth, and Esther. Feel free to skip
the genealogies or other lists you find boring; if you want to
read them later, they'll still be there.

When you've made your way through the narratives and stories,
you'll want to proceed to more poetic works. You can read them in
any order you prefer, so I'll just suggest reading strategies.

The Book of the Twelve - the twelve minor prophets listed above -
is a good place to begin if you want to read prophetic works. I
particularly like Amos and Micah. Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel
are far more important, but it's hard to read too much prophecy
at one time, so start with the shorter books and leave the longer
ones until closer to the end of your reading.

You are probably already familiar with several Psalms; it's easy
to overdose on these too, but fortunately they're easily read one
or two or five at a time. Proverbs reads through in just a few
hours, but always leaves me exhausted after a straight-through
because it's just single unconnected sentences. I would suggest
opening to Proverbs and reading two or three at a time while
you're working your way through other books.

Song of Songs reads very nicely and quickly and is an excellent
introduction to the poetic style of Hebrew literature. (In fact,
you might try Song of Songs before the prophets.) Ecclesiastes is
the depressing book, and reads easily. You'll notice the lyrics
to several popular songs come from Ecclesiastes. Lamentations is
actually more depressing, but not very long and reads fairly
easily for a poetic book.

The beginning of Numbers is a census, Leviticus is law codes and
liturgical norms, and Deuteronomy is largely law codes. All three
have interesting pieces of narrative stuck in them, but are
mostly extremely boring. Don't feel bad for skipping them. If
you're interested later, or just want a sense of completion and
having read "the whole thing," come back to them later.

Your Bible may have a handful of other books in the Old Testament
or Apocrypha - Maccabees, Esdras, Ecclesiasticus, and so forth.
Get into these when you've finished the rest of the Old Testament
books. Many are very entertaining (I like Maccabees in
particular); others not as much.

===== The New Testament

The New Testament is much easier to read, and more unified in

I suggest beginning with the Gospel of Mark, the first of the
four to be written and the simplest. Mark was nearly illiterate
in Greek, so his Gospel uses simple sentences and simple words to
convey his ideas, so that it's almost jerky in style at times.
Follow Mark with Matthew, the most Jewish of the four Gospels
(and, ironically, the most anti-Jew). After that, Luke, the most
lyrical of the Synoptic Gospels. Mark, Matthew, and Luke together
are called the Synoptic Gospels and share much of the same source

After that, don't tackle John. Read the Acts of the Apostles,
which is written by the same author as Luke and intended as a
set. Acts is a history of the earliest church. After Acts, then
read the Gospel of John. John's theology (which is incidentally
pretty Gnostic) is extremely important to Christianity, but John
himself can be long-winded and pompous. He also has this verbal
tic so that Jesus is always saying "truly I tell you." It can be
really irritating.

After that, you have Pauline Letters, Pastoral Letters, Catholic
(General) Letters, and Revelations. The order in which you tackle
these is up to you. Most of the letters are fairly short, but
again, if they're boring you, try starting with the short ones
(Philemon) and working up to the longer ones. The Pauline Letters
are 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Romans,
Philippians, Philemon, Colossians, Hebrews, and Ephesians.
(Paul's authorship of the last three, and 2 Thessalonians, is
hotly disputed.) Probably the most important to read are 1 & 2
Corinthians, Galatians, and Romans. Romans is the most
comprehensive (and least tainted by classic Pauline anger issues)
survey of Paul's theology.

The Pastoral Letters are 1 & 2 Timothy, and Titus. The Catholic
(General) Letters are James, 1 & 2 Peter, Jude, and 1, 2, & 3
John. These are less referenced than Paul's letters and less
common to most Christians. They are probably not crucial to your
New Testament reading, but they also aren't very long.

Last of all is Revelations, and I suggest you read it last, with
a good non-literal commentary. If you don't read it at all, your
understanding of Christianity (other than the fundamentalist
literalist variety) will not be appreciably harmed, and you need
not feel bad - many Christians give Revelations up in disgust.

===== Conclusion

Reading the Bible doesn't have to be a tedious or boring
experience. Treat it as a set of 75 distinct ancient manuscripts,
and don't force yourself through the boring parts at the
beginning. Read with a good annotated Bible, and a good companion
text to assist your understanding, and you'll be through the
Bible in no time. Or at least all the interesting parts.

===== About The Author

Koi is a Catholic guaduate student in theology (at a Protestant
university) and is senior staff on The Cauldron's message board.

========= by TarotDeevah

=== MerryDay Tarot

by Louisa Poole
Published by Jackie and Rich McCabe
Copyright 1997 by Mill House McCabe, Inc.
ISBN 0965755304
See Cards From This Deck:
Amazon Link:

I really love the artwork in this deck. Unfortunately, I never
really warmed up to the system. There is no little white booklet
to aid in deciphering the system, nor have I found a book for the
deck. Keywords printed at the bottom of the cards do help in
getting their meanings, but I never was one who liked keywords.

The deck appears to loosely follow Rider Waite style, although
very loosely. The fool is titles Fool, Wizard and is numbered
both 0 and XXII. The cards of the major arcana, in order, are
Fool(Wizard), Apprentice, Oracle, Empress, Emperor, Mentor,
Lovers, Student, Strength, Teacher, Lady Destiny, Justice,
Journeyman, Metamorphosis, Time Lord, Tempter, Tower, Star, Moon,
Sun, Judgment, World, Wizard(Fool). Numbers at the bottom of
the cards reveal the order of the deck, an order I don't quite
get. After the majors, the minor's order is swords, wands, cups
and pentacles. Each suit is ordered King, Queen, Warrior and
Elemental, then Dragon (ace) through ten.  Definite associations
are also given: Swords are air, Spring, Pegasus; wands are fire,
Summer, Unicorn; cups are Autumn, water, Mermaid; and pentacles
are Winter, earth, Centaur/Satyr. The kings and warriors switch
midway through the deck. Swords and wands have kings associated
with their element (air and fire, respectively) and warriors
associated with their season (Spring and Summer, respectively).
Cups and pentacles have the kings associated with seasons (Autumn
and Winter, respectively) and warriors associated with elements
(water and earth, respectively). I have no clue as to why the
associations are not uniform throughout the deck, and find it a
bit annoying to this compulsive (borderline neurotic) Virgo.

The cards measure about 3 by 4.5 inches and handle well. I find
the cards to be on the thin side and wonder about their
durability. I suspect they may not hold up to regular use very
well. Also, I'm annoyed by the cut of the cards. My deck (which I
received new) has notches/indentations at the top and bottom of
the cards where sheets were separated into cards. Rough edges,
such as these, are generally a sign of poor quality. That being
said, I still really love the artwork in this deck, and am glad
to have it in my collection.

I recommend this deck for collectors and those inspired by
wonderful artwork. Beginners may use the deck as well, but may
have a hard time switching between systems when they move on to
another deck. The artwork alone makes this a worthwhile deck to

=== Motherpeace Round Tarot

by Karen Vogel and Vicki Noble
Published by US Games Systems, Inc.
Copyright 1981, 1983 by Motherpeace
ISBN 0961126280
See Cards From This Deck:
Amazon Link:

This is one of those decks you either really like or really
dislike. Unfortunately, I'm in the "dislike" category. I have
several friends who rave about this deck, but I just never cared
for it. The deck is definitely geared towards women (to the
exclusion of men in my opinion) of a Goddess-based faith. The art
is done in a primitive style, which I don't care for either, but
that's a matter of personal taste.

A couple of the cards have been renamed: the Hermit is called the
Crone and the Hanged Man is the Hanged One. Justice is VIII and
strength is XI. Suits are wands, cups, swords and discs. The
cards are round, so reversals (if you read them) tend to occur in
degrees. I like this aspect of the cards, that things aren't just
upright or reversed, but are varying degrees to the left or

The cards are about 4.5 inches in diameter, and are round. I find
them hard to shuffle, and handle in general. I'm told there is a
smaller version, which I would probably prefer over this large
deck that I have. The thickness of the cards is just right in my
opinion, and I feel they will be durable.

Although I don't like the deck, I feel I can recommend it for
women on a Goddess-based path (which I am not), especially if
they like art in a primitive style. I also recommend the deck for
collectors. Beginners may have a hard time with the degrees of
reversals. If you do get the deck, I recommend the book with it.

=== Mystic Tarot

by unknown
Published by someone in Taiwan
Copyright unknown
ISBN none
See Cards From This Deck:

All I can say about these cards is "cheap knockoff." I can't find
a publisher or ISBN or author or illustrator or anything.
Personally, I don't blame them. I wouldn't want my name on this
deck either. It's as if the creator wanted to create a tarot deck
without any knowledge of tarot. S/he looked at many decks and
tried to make his/her own. The fool is a clown, and his dog is
actually attacking him ... and that's just the first card.  I
can't even begin to point out all the errors in this deck.  There
are even typos in the deck: temperance is number XIY, the sun is
number XIL, and on and on. The court cards look the same on every
suit, except for minor changes.  There isn't even a little white
booklet with the deck. On a positive note, I really like the
coloring on the majors and courts. Pips are not illustrated.

The cards measure about 3 by 5.25 inches and handle fairly well.
They are a bit long for me, but certainly not longer than many
other decks. The stock is a good thickness and will probably be
durable. It actually appears to be good stock, and also seems to
be cut well. The edges are smooth and even.

I cannot recommend this deck to anyone. Symbolism is misleading
and the whole deck is almost insulting. This deck must have been
designed for the card game, not for what I use tarot for.

=== Mythic Tarot

by Juliet Sharman-Burke and Liz Greene
Illustrated by Tricia Newell
Published by Simon and Schuster, Inc.
ISBN 0671618636
See Cards From This Deck:
Amazon Link:

The Mythic Tarot is a wonderful new approach to tarot in my
opinion. Each suit tells a story from Greek mythology. Swords
tells the story of Orestes and the curse of the House of Atreus.
Even so, the deck follows Rider Waite style of ordering and
naming without deviation. All cards are illustrated, including
the pips. suits are wands, cups, swords and pentacles. Court
cards are page, knight, queen and king.

Cards measure about 3 by 5 inches and handle fairly well. I find
the cards too flimsy and question their durability. I have not
used my deck much, but the quality of the rest of the set was
rather poor. I got the deck and book set, and the book fell apart
rather quickly with little handling. I suspect the cards are of
equally poor quality.

Poor quality aside, I highly recommend this deck for beginners. I
think the story line will really help in learning cards. I also
recommend this deck for collectors and those who love Greek

I sincerely hope that this deck and book set will be reprinted at
a higher quality.

===== 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:

========= Author unknown

Just sit right down and you'll hear a tale
A tale of a fateful rite
That started in a temple room
On a dark, suburban night.

The priest was man with a way with words,
The priestess loved the runes.
Five coveners joined them that night
To celebrate the moon.

The priest he called Cernunnos and
The priestess, she called Bast.
The coveners got nervous when
The pair arrived at last.

"A hunter I am, brave and sure,"
Cernunnos said with pride.
"Oh, hiss!" spat Bast, "If you saw me
In the wildwood, you would hide!"

"Oh, Egypt's joy you are, I note
Cernunnos said with glee.
"A cat who cares for nothing but
Her napping spot and tea."

Bast she did prepare to pounce,
Cernunnos drew his bow.
The coveners withdrew to the west
To hide from the coming blows.

The priest he spoke up hastily,
Said "Let's bring this to an end!"
The priestess said with equal speed,
"Merry part and meet again!"

The circle did dissolve in mist
And the coveners drew breaths.
They'd been sure this was the last -
That this rite would be their deaths.

"That's what we get for mixing up
The pantheons this way."
The priest he shrugged and then he said,
"We'll all recall today."

The priestess rolled her eyes and said,
"Don't be a pompous ass!
It's just what happens when a hunter meets
A predator in the grass."

To ponder the mystery
Of what had caused the spectacle
Of battling deity.

Was it wrong to call a British god
With an ancient Egyptian cat?
Or was it just the gods' own way
Of having some fun with that?

In the years that passed no answers come
Though they try all that they may,
They just remember the final words
Of both the gods that day.

"Just sit back and enjoy the show,
And smile whene'er you might.
We are the gods of earth and sky.......
Here in Gilligan's Rite!"


Corporate America (and many large non-profits) keep a small army
of publicists busy writing copyright-free articles that busy
newspaper and newsletter editors can use in their publications.
Many are nothing but shill worthy only of a cartoon version of
used car salesman. Others contain useful information with only a
subtle plug. Your editor has found a good online source for these
and will be including a few that he feels may be of interest to
Cauldron and Candle readers in issues of this newsletter.
Remember that publication of an article in this newsletter is not
an endorsement of the authors' position or any products and
companies mentioned therein.

===== The National Do Not Call Registry
===== Reducing Volume Of Calls From Telemarketers

It's a familiar scene for most families: You've just gotten
supper on the table when the phone rings...sure enough it's
somebody trying to sell you something.

No matter what they're pushing, telemarketers often seem to call
at the most inopportune times. In a sense, this isn't surprising,
since these professional salespeople know that dinnertime is a
good time to catch people at home.

It's now possible to cut down the number of telemarketing calls
you receive. The federal government has created the National Do
Not Call Registry, which puts consumers in charge of the
telemarketing calls they get at home. You can register for free
by phone or on the Web.

The Federal Trade Commission-the nation's consumer protection
agency-and individual states will begin enforcing the registry on
October 1, 2003. That's when consumers who registered their
numbers by August 31, 2003, will notice a downturn in the number
of telemarketing calls they get. After August 31, telemarketers
will have three months from when a consumer registers to remove
the number from call lists.

How does it work?

The new law requires telemarketers to search the registry every
three months and "scrub" their call lists to remove phone numbers
that are on the registry. If you receive telemarketing calls
after your number has been in the registry for three months, you
can file a complaint; a telemarketer who disregards the National
Do Not Call Registry could be fined up to $11,000 for each call.

Placing your number on the registry will stop most telemarketing
calls, but not all. For example, phone surveys, political
organizations and charities are exempt and can call you even if
your name is on the registry. However, most calls come from
professional telemarketing companies, which are not exempt, even
if they're calling on behalf of an exempt company.

For more information, or to register for the National Do Not Call
Registry, call 1-888-382-1222, (TTY 1-866-290-4236) from the
number you wish to register or visit http://www.donotcall.gov/ To
register online, you will need an active e-mail address.

===== Mercury Pollution

From thermostats and fluorescent lights to medical supplies, many
products contain mercury that can pollute the environment. The
good news is that each of us can help reduce mercury pollution
and protect people and wildlife.

In both humans and wildlife, exposure to mercury through eating
contaminated fish triggers serious health concerns.

Mercury can be found in thousands of products used daily. When
these products are discarded, they are often incinerated. The
mercury they contain is released into the atmosphere and falls
back to earth when it rains or snows to contaminate lakes and
rivers and the fish that inhabit them.

Purchasing mercury-free products and disposing of mercury
products safely is easier with a new guide from the National
Wildlife Federation. The Mercury Products Guide is available
online at http://www.nwf.org/cleantherain

===== Getting The Lead Out

Federal and state officials are telling landlords to make their
properties safe from lead paint hazards or face the consequences.
Over the past decade, federal officials have forced landlords to
clean up deteriorating lead-based paint in nearly 160,000
apartments in 13 cities and have collected almost $1 million in
fines and contributions to community health projects.

"This settlement places sellers and landlords on notice that the
federal government will vigorously enforce the law and hold them
accountable if they place children and families at risk,"
Environmental Protection Agency spokesman John Peter Suarez said
of a recent settlement requiring lead clean up in 3,000 Los
Angeles, California apartments.

The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control shows the
efforts are bearing fruit. CDC says the number of children with
worrisome amounts of lead in their blood has fallen dramatically
from 88 percent in the late 1970s to 2.2 percent today.

Individual states with vigorous enforcement programs also report
sharp declines in the number of children with higher blood lead
levels. For example, Massachusetts reported a 72 percent drop in
elevated blood lead levels between 1995 and 2002, and Vermont
reported a decline of 59 percent.

Although there is still more to be done, CDC's Richard Jackson
calls the decline in blood lead levels "a public health success

A current threat to children comes from poorly maintained lead-
based paint in American homes, mostly those built before 1940.
Government agencies and public health groups agree that well-
maintained paint is not a problem. The best solution is
maintaining the paint, and governments at all levels are cracking
down on property owners who allow paint to deteriorate.

As Housing and Urban Development Department official David Jacobs
explained: "Every child deserves a healthy home."

===== Wherever You Keep Your Medicines...Keep Them Ready

Sixty percent of American medicine cabinets are likely to contain
expired or nearly empty over-the-counter or prescription
medications, according to survey results posted on
http://www.mymedcab.com/. The results support experts' advice
that consumers incorporate a "checkup" of their medicine cabinets
into their seasonal routine. This "checkup" will ensure it is
equipped to handle family members' potential illnesses and

More than half of Americans surveyed (54 percent) said they check
their medicine cabinet for expired medications only every few
months or longer. Even fewer check other places where medicines
are stored, including kitchens or refrigerators, travel bags,
bedrooms, purses or briefcases or workplace desk drawers.

"People should make a medicine cabinet checkup part of their
seasonal rituals, just like changing smoke alarm batteries," said
Dr. Robert Piepho, Ph.D., FCP, and dean of the school of pharmacy
at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. "And that checkup
should include everywhere medicines are stored."

"It's really important for people to examine all of their
medicines in cabinets, desk drawers or wherever they keep them-to
ensure that they are familiar with their medications, that all
medications are up-to-date and properly stored," Piepho said.
"It's also a good time to make sure that they are equipped with
essential products for when they need them."

The mymedcab.com survey confirmed that most Americans are
"drugstore dashers," waiting until symptoms strike to stock their
medicine cabinets with essentials. Fifty six percent of those
surveyed said they run out to get medicines as they need them.
Only 28 percent said they methodically stock up so they're

Check Up Check List

To assist consumers with improving the health of their home
medicine cabinets-www.mymedcab.com, sponsored by McNeil Consumer
& Specialty Pharmaceuticals, the makers of Tylenol and Johnson &
Johnson*Merck Consumer Pharmaceuticals, suggests they follow "the
three R's":

* READ the labels and expiration dates and check dosage
  instructions before administering any medications-following
  directions is crucial in ensuring accurate administration and

* REMOVE all items that are beyond their expiration dates and
  those that are no longer used-expired medications may lose
  their potency after time;

* RESTOCK expired medications and other essential items-as a way
  to meet the individual health needs of everyone in the home.

"Medicine cabinet checkup time is also a good time to ensure
medications are properly stored," said Piepho. "The best place
for most medications is in a dry place away from sunlight.
Bathrooms are often too damp and humid, which can break down,
degrade, or decrease the potency of medicines."

Medications should always be kept in their original packaging so
that consumers can easily see the expiration date, follow the
dosage instructions, and read the warnings on the back of the
bottle or package. Refilling travel-size bottles or combining
medications in one container can mean losing important
information. It is equally important to talk to a doctor or
pharmacist about any possible drug interactions between two or
more medicines that might be taken at the same time.

Medicine Cabinet Preparation

When preparing for the cold and flu season, experts suggest
stocking your medicine cabinet with medications from the
following categories:

* pain relief (acetaminophen and ibuprofen)

* allergy and sinus relief (antihistamine and nasal decongestant)

* digestive health (anti-diarrheal, anti-gas, antacid, and acid

* nighttime products (sleep aids).

For consumers who have children, it is important to have the
appropriate strength of children's medicine.

For more information about medicine cabinet essentials, visit
http://www.mymedcab.com/ or talk to your pharmacist.

McNeil Consumer & Specialty Pharmaceuticals, headquartered in
Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, markets leading products such as
Tylenol, Imodium A-D, St. Joseph, and Motrin IB. Johnson &
Johnson*Merck Consumer Pharmaceuticals Co., is a joint venture
between two of the nation's largest healthcare companies
marketing products including Pepcid Complete and Mylanta.

A total of 1,025 telephone interviews were conducted with adults
18 years of age and older via the ORC International weekly
telephone omnibus during the weekend of April 3-6, 2003. The
results are weighted to reflect the actual distribution of adult
population with regard to age, gender, race, and geographic
distribution. The margin of error is +/-3 percentage points.

===== Beware Of Waterborne "Bugs" While Outdoors

Mosquitoes and bees aren't the only kinds of "bugs" that can
cause problems when you're enjoying outdoor activities like
swimming, hiking or camping. Waterborne protozoa like
Cryptosporidium and Giardia are becoming increasingly common in
the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC). While an insect bite might only annoy you for a
day or two, these waterborne bugs cause a severe form of diarrhea
that can last for weeks.

Cryptosporidium and Giardia, the two most common waterborne
protozoa in the United States, are frequent causes of persistent
diarrhea among both children and adults. The tiny bugs easily
infiltrate pools, rivers and streams because small children
wearing diapers-even animals carrying the protozoa-can
contaminate the water system.

A recent CDC study reported that outbreaks of waterborne
illnesses roughly doubled in the U.S. within a three-year span,
and they estimate 100,000 to 2.5 million cases of giardiasis per
year. And children have a greater risk of illness because of
their level of immunity and risk factors for exposure.

"I call it the 'hidden epidemic' because so many children suffer
from these infections, yet so few parents have ever heard of
them," said Dr. Bryan Vartabedian, a pediatric gastroenterologist
who is on staff at Texas Children's Hospital. "We must see 10
cases per month in our practice."

Cryptosporidium and Giardia infections can even be difficult for
a doctor to diagnose. Warning signs include any combination of
these symptoms (usually occurring one to two weeks after
exposure): persistent diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fever, weight
loss, abdominal pain, gas, bloating.

Here are some quick tips for avoiding infection from these

* While swimming, even in a chlorinated pool, avoid swallowing
  the water. Cryptosporidium and Giardia are resistant to

* Be wary of pools where there are small children in diapers;

* Don't swim, or let your child swim, while suffering from
  diarrhea; and

* When hiking or camping, don't drink from rivers or streams.

In the past, doctors have had no drug to treat Cryptosporidium
and very few for Giardia. Recently, however, the U.S. Food and
Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new drug for treating
these infections in children. If you've been enjoying outdoor
activities and experience these symptoms, consult your doctor.

For more information on these waterborne bugs, call 877-925-4642
or visit http://www.alinia.com/

========= 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 over 250 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 either
PayPal or the Amazon Honor System links below (we get about 85%
of what you donate).

Donate via PayPal
Donate via Amazon.com

===== 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
rssapphire00@ecauldron.GETRIDOFEME.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 here.)

========= (Including how to subscribe and unsubscribe)

Cauldron and Candle is a free publication of The Cauldron: A
Pagan Forum. The Cauldron intends to publish this newsletter once
a month and often actually succeeds 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)
2003 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. The opinions expressed
herein are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily
reflect the views of newsletter, The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum, or
its staff. Publication of an article in this newsletter is not an
endorsement of the authors position or any products and companies
mentioned therein. No one involved in producing this newsletter
has any money to speak of so suing us if you don't like something
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Don't forget that your suggestions for this newsletter are always
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LyricFox (lyricfox@ecauldron.GETRIDOFME.com) or Randall Sapphire
(rssapphire00@ecauldron.GETRIDOFME.com). Typos are, as usual,
courtesy of the Goddess Eris.

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