[Cauldron and Candle Illo]


Cauldron and Candle
Issue #42 -- December 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  #42 -- December 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: Lykeios
[03] Cauldron News
[04] Cauldron Discussions
[05] Reviews
     [05-1] Earth Magic
     [05-2] Pagans and the Law
     [05-3] 2003 Wicca Almanac
     [05-4] Magical Meditations
     [05-5] Tarot for Beginners
     [05-6] Essential Energy Balancing II
     [05-7] Signs, Symbols and Omens
[06] Received For Review (with Mini-Reviews)
[07] Articles:
     [07-1] The Matrix of Connection
     [07-2] JOLT: An Exercise for Partners
[08] Columns
     [08-1] TarotDeevah on the Tarot
     [08-2] Humor: Ineffective Daily Affirmations
     [08-3] Software Watch: ieSpell
[09] Around the Planes: Notes from All Over
     [09-1] Stopping Youth Violence Before It Starts
     [09-2] Fire Safety Tips For Your Home
     [09-3] Stop Singing The Winter Blues
     [09-4] Prepare For Rough Weather Driving
     [09-5] Resolutions: Simple Tips To Help Keep Them
[10] Support The Cauldron by Volunteering to Help
[11] Newsletter Information
              (Including How To Subscribe/Unsubscribe)

  +++ Submission Deadline for next issue: December 20, 2003 +++
     Guidelines: http://www.ecauldron.com/cnc/submissions.php

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

The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum celebrates our SIXTH BIRTHDAY this
month. We opened our doors on December 10, 1997 but due to a
Delphi glitch only Elspeth and I could post until December 13th,
so we count December 13th as our official birthday. I hope you
will visit our message board and help us celebrate our sixth
birthday on December 13th.

It's hard to believe that our message board has been open and
running for six years. We've gone through a lot in that time and
have somehow managed to survive. Although we will be facing our
biggest challenge yet in 2004, we hope our message board will be
around for many years to come.

You are probably wondering what "big challenge" I'm talking
about. It's actually very good news. After a much longer
engagement than we had ever planned, LyricFox and I should be
(barring disasters) moving a house in Waco from our current
widely separated locations and getting married early in 2004.
This will greatly cut down the time we have available to spend on
the message board. We certainly hope the board will survive this
change, but whether it does or not will depend on mostly on our

Finally, I'd like to add a "Happy Holidays" to the "Happy
Birthday."  Whatever holidays you celebrate this season, I hope
they will be full of joy and peace -- and that 2004 will be a
good year for us all.

                      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.

========= POEM: LYKEIOS
========= by Todd Jackson (in honor of Apollo)
========= http://www.winterscapes.com/apollopoetry/main.htm


but the God who strikes dead
shall be Physician?

Who, but He who strikes the living down
shall be most beautiful?

Who, other than He whose name recalls Destroyer
Shall be fit to battle with the Furies?

Who else, God of prophecy,
But the very God who draws the bow?

His Sister, and closest blood, the Huntress.
His Son, who would revive the slain.

So that when the God and Eros contest before Daphne
That is Love-and Death-contesting.

Yes. And poetry.
No wonder that He shines so.

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

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

The Cauldron's message board had 7036 posts in November.
Gyrochaos (GYROCHAOS) had the most posts of any non-staff member
in November and snagged our monthly "top poster" award. Our
Runner Up was Karen (STARGLADE). Dragonoake (DRAGONOAKE),
Pillywiggins (TINUVIEL3), Vash (VASHNEVSKAYA), and Celeste
(CELESTE621) gave Karen a very close race for that runner up

===== Support The Cauldron As You Shop Online this Holiday Season
===== Shop Via Our Amazon.com and Cauldron Mall Links

The holiday shopping season is definitely here. If you are
planning to shop online for family and friends, you can help fund
The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum as you shop by shopping at Amazon.com
and other stores in our mall via the links on our web site. Each
time you visit Amazon.com or one of our mall stores from a link
on The Caldron's web site and make a purchase, a small percentage
of your purchase price will go to The Cauldron to fund our web
site and other expenses -- and it will not cost you a penny

New this month: Our Cheap Web Hosting Report! If you are tired of
putting up with the limitations of your ISP's web hosting or the
ads and limitations of the free web hosting services, you'll find
a selection of popular, powerful, and affordable web hosts here.

Shop at Amazon.com
Shop at the Cauldron Mall
Find an Affordable Web Host

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

=== 2003 Samhain Ritual

The chat log for our October 30th Samhain ritual is now
available on The Cauldron's web site.



        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.

=== What Does Your Religion Say About Suicide?

We've covered the subject of afterlives in general several times
recently, I think, but here's a little twist on it that I don't
think we've really talked about. Suicide. Does your religion have
any teachings regarding what happens if you commit suicide? Are
there penalties in the afterlife, or is it just something that
happens sometimes, or...?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Carols You Love To Hate

I'm sure some of you braved the crowds and managed to get in some
shopping today. It seems like the day after Thanksgiving is the
date the stores and radio stations start queuing up their
selection of holiday tunes... and lets face it, some of them are
just awful.

So, what is (are) the Christmas carol you just absolutely cannot

For me, it's "The Little Drummer Boy" in all its incarnations.
IMO, there's not a one of them that's worth a damn, and it seems
every store I walk into has to play it at least once when I'm

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== A Deity By Any Other Name...?

Have you ever met someone who professes to follow the same deity
you do, but gotten the distinct impression that you and they were
not interacting with the same being at all? Perhaps that came in
the form of, "That is not (deity)!" or perhaps it was "Well, I
guess that could be (deity), but certainly is very different from
the (deity) I know." If you've had this happen, did you discuss
it with the other person, with the deity in question, or do
anything else about it? Or did you just notice and move on? (I
guess the point of those last couple of questions is, how did you
handle it?)

And, since I'm so inquisitive tonight, how about the flip side --
ever met someone who seems to be following the same deity you
are, but uses a different name for said deity? (Completely
different, I mean, not just another form of the same name.)

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Paganism Causes Teen Promiscuity?

As I came out of the bathroom yesterday, I heard the preacher on
one of the TV church services my mother sometimes watches (well,
has on for the music in this case as she reads through the guy's
weird sermons) tell his congregation that STUDIES have shown that
teens who read books on Wicca, witchcraft, and other Pagan
religions are more likely to have sex before marriage and are
much more likely be "promiscuous sluts". I'm not sure what his
point was because after ranting about the evils of Paganism and
pre-marital sex for a couple of minutes he somehow moved right
into the rapture and weird end times theology with no transition
at all.

Naturally, he did not feel the need to actually mention which
studies show this. Has anyone seen any studies showing that Pagan
teens are any more likely to be sexually active than non-Pagan
teens? How about studies that show this is true of teens who have
simply read a book on Paganism? I haven't seen any, but that
doesn't prove anything.

What do you think? Do you think teen Pagans more likely to
sexually active (or even promiscuous) than non-Pagan teens?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Expected Afterlife? Just How Does This Work?

I hear a lot that we "go to the afterlife we expect".

What I'm wondering is: how the heck does that work, and why? Do
the Gods just allow us to pick? Is there one preferred afterlife,
but some humans are too stubborn to go there? Is it multiple
names for the same place?

Who's belief trumps? God, or human?

Do only those people that believe in it reincarnate? and if so,
how does that work?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Comments on Proselytizing Methods Wanted

I'm a member of an evangelical Christian church. Our religious
beliefs require us to save as many souls as possible from the
lake of fire, yet many of the people we approach now refuse to
even listen to our message. They call us rude or obnoxious and
close their minds to the truth. However, our methods don't seem
rude to us. We seem to be blind to the causes of the problem.

My church decided to ask the various groups we target what we are
doing wrong and how they think we could carry out the great
commission without offending. As I've read this message board
occasionally, I volunteered to ask Pagans and the hosts of this
board have graciously agreed to allow the questions. As I do not
want to taint your input with arguments, I will not be replying
to your answers. I will be reading and copying your messages for
our evangelism committee to read and study. I can promise that
each and every reply to these questions will be read and

Our questions are simple:

1) What do Christians do when they proselytize that you see as
rude or offensive?

2) What can Christians do to spread the Gospel in a positive and
non-offensive manner?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== What Do You Need to Buy as a Pagan?

We've been having the discussion about supporting local pagan
merchants vs on-line pagan merchants in another thread. This made
me wonder just what do you think you need to own/have to properly
worship as:

* an individual?
* a small group (3 to 25) of you (coven, demos, grove)?
* a large group (over 50 people)?

Please indicate what religion you are talking about (such as
Wicca, type of recon, Catholic, etc.)

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Assignments From Deities

Every once in a while a poster here (or elsewhere) will mention
that they have been told (or sometimes asked) by a deity to do
something. Has this ever happened to you? What sort of things
have you been told/asked to do?

I'm also curious as to whether anyone's ever been asked to do
something that, for whatever reason, they just couldn't or
wouldn't do. If so and it's not too personal, can you tell us a
little bit about what it was and how you responded to that?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Online Pagan Shopping and Guilt

Do you buy Pagan or magick supplies online from some of the
online supply shops (e.g. Azuregreen, Earthspirits, Whispered
Prayers)? If so, which online shops or shops do you use (and why
that shop)?

If you shop online and there is a local Pagan or New Age Shop
near you, why do you elect to shop online rather than at the
local store -- and do you feel guilty for doing so? Do other
Pagans in your area try to make you feel guilty for not
supporting the local store?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Is Religious Belief an Acceptable Excuse for Prejudice?

A friend asked me these questions. I'm curious as to what
everyone here thinks:

1. If a person acts upon prejudices, but these prejudices are
caused by sincere religious beliefs, is he or she still deserving
of the title of "bigot"?

2. If a person's prejudice is based on sincere religious beliefs
should he/she be exempt from the law for acting on them? such
as... housing, hiring, stopping abortions, other religions such
as Pagan/Witchcraft intolerance?

3. Do you believe religion should interfere in these matters?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:


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============    BOOK AND DECK REVIEWS

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

Earth Magic: A Book of Shadows for Positive Witches
Author: Marion Weinstein
Trade Paperback, 223 pages
Publisher: New Page Books
Publication date: April 2003
ISBN: 1564146383
US Retail Price: $13.99
Amazon Link:

I never saw the first, 1980, edition of Earth Magic. According to
the author, it was intended for a limited audience and she had to
be persuaded to release it for wider distribution. When that
expanded edition was released in 1986, I bought a copy and found
it valuable although even then I was no longer truly on a Wiccan
path. The book has apparently been revised and expanded a few
times since then, although this latest revision is the first I've
looked at since I bought my 1986 edition.

One of the most noticeable changes is the title of the book.
Previous editions of this book were titled Earth Magic: A Dianic
Book of Shadows. Weinstein meant to convey the fact that her
primary alignment was with the Goddess Diana. Unfortunately, the
term "Dianic" has come to narrowly refer to Goddess-worshipping
feminist female witches, so Weinstein has elected to change the
title to Earth Magic: A Book of Shadows for Positive Witches with
this edition. I think this is a good move that will prevent a lot
of confusion.

I was very happy to see that although a lot of new material has
been added to this book over the years, all of the original
material from my 1986 edition is still there in this 2003
edition. It may have moved around a bit and is often better
presented, but nothing seems to have been left out.

The first part of Earth Magick is what one would expect of a Book
of Shadows, information on the deities, the tools, covens, and
holidays. Next come chapters on various types of magick: cord and
string magick, animal and spirit familiars, visualization,
contacting the dead, and protection magick. Some will complain
that this book glosses over the details. Perhaps it does, but it
was first written back when people were expected to be able to
take the basics and develop their own rituals instead of having
scripts handed to them. It's also a Book of Shadows, not an
introduction to Wicca text.

The second part of this book, "Advanced Work," is the most
interesting part -- and the part that kept my 1986 edition on my
shelves all these years. The first chapter in this section,
"Aspects of Self," deals with the idea that while we have many
different lives they are effectively simultaneous from the point
of view of the self and how to deal with those various aspects of
oneself. To be honest, I never could quite buy this hypothesis,
but it is an interesting way to view reality. This is followed by
a short chapter that wasn't in my previous edition on working in
an astral castle. The last chapter in this section, "Advanced
Manifestation," is as extension of the affirmation magick
Weinstein teaches in her Positive Magic book.

This edition of Earth Magic concludes with several short chapters
that touch briefly on subjects like the true self, ethics and
choices, and remembering to serve the community as well as
oneself. Chapter notes, a bibliography and an index complete this

I'd really like to recommend this book strongly, but there are
two reasons why I cannot. First, I'm simply not sure that this
book will be as useful to the average Wiccan as it was when it
first came out in the 1980s. Second, in a three page section of
the Protection chapter entitled "History and Mystery," the author
knowingly chooses to perpetuate discredited historical claims.
Apparently upset that the old commonly accepted number of people
killed during the "Burning Times" (9 million) has been reduced by
scholarship to less than 150,000, she says that the exact numbers
do not matter because: "An entire religion was virtually stamped
out. The sacred Books of Shadows were all burned.... The Goddess
and all She stands for was gone -- or at least absent from
society for almost a millennium." I'm sorry, but Margaret
Murray's hypothesis of the persecution of an actual "witchcult"
surviving from pre-Christian times was shown to be incorrect over
60 years ago. We do not need more new books today telling Wiccans
this type of outdated and discredited material. There simply is
no excuse for it. (And when did Books of Shadows become sacred
texts like the Bible or the Koran?)

Overall, the latest edition of Earth Magic: A Book of Shadows for
Positive Witches is a fair book with one truly major flaw. It
will be of interest to many Wiccans, especially for the second,
"Advanced Work," part. But this book is no longer the must-have
book it once was. This edition would have been a much better book
if the three "History and Mystery" pages mentioned above had been
left out.

           This review is available on our web site at

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

Pagans and the Law: Understand Your Rights
Author: Dana D. Eilers
Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Publisher: New Page Books
Publication date: July 2003
ISBN: 1564146715
US Retail Price: $15.99
Amazon Link:

Pagans and the Law: Understanding Your Rights is the first book
written by a lawyer but aimed at normal mortals I've seen that
attempts to explain the rights Pagans (and non-Pagans for that
matter) have in the United States with respect to religious
freedom and religious discrimination. The author, Dana E. Eilers,
has spend 17 years in private civil practice.

Realistically, but unfortunately, the first chapter is on how to
find a lawyer willing and able to take your case if you need one.
This chapter points out what I see as the biggest hole in the
American system of civil rights, you really only have the rights
you have the large sums of cash you need to pay a lawyer to
enforce. If you can't come up with the cash, you really don't
have any way to enforce your rights. While I think this is a huge
flaw in the US legal system, it's not Ms. Eilers' fault. Assuming
you have the money, this chapter guides you through the process
of finding and working with an attorney should you be unfortunate
enough to need one. From watching my lawyer clients work (I'm a
computer consultant) over the years, I think the advice in this
chapter is excellent.

The second chapter briefly explains how the various state and
federal court systems work in the US. Given that each state has
its own ways of doing things, this chapter is fairly general, but
shows how complex even a simple case can become once it gets in
the system.

With the exception of a short final chapter on God and
government, the rest of the book deals with specific types of
issues: First Amendment issues, child custody issues, employment
discrimination, landlord/tenant issues, and land use issues. Each
is discussed in considerable detail with numerous examples from
case law. These examples come with appropriate legal case
citations which make this book very useful if you ever need to
hire a lawyer for a religious rights case as a lot of legal work
seems to consist of finding similar cases from the past to use in
legal arguments. Despite all the citations, Pagans and the Law
tries hard to be both readable and understandable by those
without a law degree -- and generally succeeds.

There are 39 pages of chapter notes and bibliography at the end
of the book. While these are mainly case citations, there are
some useful to laymen books, articles and web sites included. The
book is indexed.

Pagans and the Law: Understanding Your Rights belongs on the
shelf of every Pagan and should be required reading for everyone
who claims to be a Pagan leader (and probably for every minority
religious leader who isn't scared off by the word "Pagan" in the
title). Eilers has done a remarkable job of making understandable
legal information on religious rights available to members of
minority religions in the United States. Even if legal issues
bore you, this is a book you should consider buying as a form of
insurance. You pray that you never need to use any of the
information in it, but know that having it at hand will make life
so much easier if you ever do need it. If you buy it, resist the
urge to simply put it on your "just in case" shelf unread. Take
the time to read through it and find out just what rights you
have -- and don't have, as not all the "rights" you hear about in
Pagan discussion areas actually exist.

           This review is available on our web site at

========= Reviewed by Reni

2003 Wicca Almanac
Editor: Michael Fallon
Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: February 2003
ISBN: 0738702943
US Retail Price: $7.95
Amazon Link:

I didn't expect to like the 2003 Wicca Almanac nearly as much as
I did. The title alone made me wary. I expected it to be another
diatribe on the Wiccan faith, almost completely alienating other
forms of Paganism and Witchcraft. What I found instead was a book
of (mostly) well-written personal pieces on many different

In total, the book contains twenty-six articles in six different
categories. Article topics were of general interest to Pagans,
Wiccans, and others of "alternative spirituality". I have
articles that I like more than others, but there were none that I
distinctly disliked. The majority of the articles seemed to be
well-researched with resources listed where applicable.

As much as I liked this book, there were moments at which I was
disappointed with it. The title of the book gives a different
connotation from what is actually contained within. As much as I
enjoy the essays of others, it seems that the groupings were
rather loosely formed. There is no sense of connection between
the articles. The almanac section was pretty standard (running
from Spring 2003 to Spring 2004), but it did include small news
articles at the end of each month.

Overall, I did enjoy the 2003 Wicca Almanac. Will I buy it again
next year? Probably not. I can find similar articles through
discussion groups and other means.

           This review is available on our web site at

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

Magical Meditations: Guided Imagery for the Pagan Path
Author: Yasmine Galenorn
Trade Paperback, 240 pages
Publisher: Crossing Press
Publication date: September 2003
ISBN: 1580911552
US Retail Price: $16.95
Amazon Link:

Guided meditations have long been a tool of esoteric study. They
allow an experienced guide to take a group of students through an
otherworldly experience (for example, an exploration of the
Qabalistic Tree of Life or an element) that ensures the student
is in the right place, but allows each student to experience and
interact on his or her own. In Magical Meditations: Guided
Imagery for the Pagan Path, Yasmine Galenorn has attempted to
provide a series of guided meditations that less experienced
guides can use.

Except for a few pages of introductory matter and a short chapter
on meditation, this book consists of the text of 18 guided
meditations ready for the reader to read for a group or to record
with a tape recorder for individual use. Each of the meditations
comes with guidelines for its use (including a pronunciation
guide, if necessary) and some suggested exercises for further

The first two meditations deal with cleansing and protecting and
grounding and centering. These are generally useful regardless of
ones religion. These two are followed by meditations on each of
the four elements, each of the eight Wiccan Sabbats, and
meditations Artemis, Pele, Taliesin, and the Underworld. Despite
the "for the Pagan Path" in the title, the meditations in this
book are mostly aimed at Wiccans or those following a Wiccan-like
religion. An Asatruar or a Kemetic Pagan, for example, does not
celebrate the Wiccan sabbats or deal with any of the deities from
this book.

The meditations themselves are well thought out and generally
well-written. They are designed to be spoken aloud. This seems
obvious, but I've seen guided meditation texts where the author
seems to have forgotten this important point. For the most part,
these meditations seem to flow nicely and should work well if
read by someone skilled at reading aloud. Those who use these
guided meditations will be affected by them.

If you are part of a Wiccan (or Wiccan-like) Pagan group and
would like to use guided meditations in your group work but don't
really have the skills to design and write your own, Magical
Meditations: Guided Imagery for the Pagan Path would be an
excellent way to start. For solitaries, I don't really know what
to say. I've never had much luck recording a meditation and then
listening to it as I dislike the sound of my voice. If you don't
have this problem (or have a friend who could record them for
you), you might give this book a try as well. Note, however, that
this book is a revision of Trancing the Witch's Wheel. I don't
know how much was changed, but if you have that book, you may not
need this new edition.

           This review is available on our web site at

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

Tarot for Beginners: An Easy Guide to Understanding &
   Interpreting the Tarot
Author: P. Scott Hollander
Paperback, 384 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: April 1995
ISBN: 1567183638
US Retail Price: $12.95
Amazon Link:

There are hundreds of different Tarot decks and, at times, it
seems that there are hundreds of Tarot books for beginners. There
probably aren't that many books, but if you are new to the Tarot
and trying to select a book or two to help you learn to read the
cards, it can certainly seem like there are that many to choose
from. The late P. Scott Hollander's book, Tarot for Beginners: An
Easy Guide to Understanding & Interpreting the Tarot, is
apparently a popular choice as over 100,000 copies have been sold
since it was first published in 1995.

Hollander's book begins with a brief description of the history
and use of the Tarot and then jumps right into the cards. Each
card in the Major Arcana is well-described with at least three
pages of written material describing the appearance of the card
in general terms as this book is not deck specific, the esoteric
meaning of the card, and the meaning of the card in readings.
Black and white pictures of each card in at least three decks
accompany the text.

The second part of the book covers the Minor Arcana. This portion
begins with two fairly long chapters on the general meaning and
interpretation of Minor Arcana cards. Then each card is
described. If the book falls down anywhere, it is in the
descriptions of the individual cards of the Minor Arcana. Most
cards only receive one or two pages of specific meaning and
reading information, and half of that is usually taken up by
pictures of the card. The court cards are generally well-
described, but the pips often seem a bit short-changed.

The final -- and shortest -- part is on reading the cards. The
basic principles are stated and three spreads are presented with
a brief sample reading given for each. The first spread is the
Celtic Cross (called the "Ancient Celtic Method" here) and it is
described in fair detail. The second spread is a 5 card Major
Arcana only spread. The third is a 7 card spread designed for yes
or no questions. These two spreads are not given nearly the
detail that the Celtic Cross spread is given.

I really like the fact that multiple tarot decks are used in this
book. The ones used in this thirteenth printing are the Universal
Tarot, the Buckland Romani Tarot, the Legend Tarot, the Nigel
Jackson Tarot, the Witches Tarot, and the World Spirit Tarot.
This demonstrates the wide variety of card symbolism found in
Tarot decks. Given the large number of Tarot decks on the market,
this is an excellent practice for a beginner book. The days when
it was safe to assume that beginners will be using a Rider-Waite
deck are long past.

I can see why this book is popular with beginners. It is well-
written and enjoyable to read. The large number of decks used in
its illustrations is a definite plus. However, I'm bothered by
the somewhat skimpy information on the individual Minor Arcana
cards. The two introductory chapters on the Minor Arcana somewhat
make up for this, but I still suspect that many beginners will
find themselves wanting a second book with more complete
information on the Minor Arcana. Therefore, I can't recommend
Tarot for Beginners: An Easy Guide to Understanding &
Interpreting the Tarot as a stand alone book for the complete
novice. If one is willing to buy a second book with more complete
information on the Minor Arcana, however, this book is a fine
introduction to the art of Tarot reading.

           This review is available on our web site at

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

Essential Energy Balancing II
Author: Diane Stein
Trade Paperback, 172 pages
Publisher: Crossing Press
Publication date: October 2003
ISBN: 1580911544
US Retail Price: $16.95
Amazon Link:

Diane Stein is probably best known as the author of Essential
Reiki, an excellent book on non-traditional Reiki. Therefore, I
was really surprised and disappointed by the contents of her
latest book, Essential Energy Balancing II: Healing the Goddess.
The back cover makes the book look interesting, explaining that
the first book in this series covered healing the effects of
negative karma suffered on Earth and this book deals with
releasing the karma of past lifetimes. There was a bit about
releasing karma "through the universe" and bringing Goddesses to
live permanently with us, but I ignored that as marketing hype.
Sadly, it was not.

The first part of this book talks about how the human species
originated in other universes and traveled the stars to get here,
how various entities from beyond oppose us, and how a few people
on Earth, including the author if I'm reading this correctly,
have been selected to have Goddesses incarnate within them. The
BS detector in the back of my mind was sounding the same type of
alarms I get when I read books on UFOs or when I listened to
Nixon say he was not a crook. The second part of this book is
filled with twenty-four rituals for releasing karma and
protecting oneself, the earth, and perhaps the universe from the
various evils from beyond. Like Stein's other books, this one has
a pronounced feminist slant.

If you are a feminist who is into UFOs and is willing to believe
all of our problems might be caused by evil entities from beyond
our cosmos and their spawn in our universe, this may be just the
book you are looking for. Personally, I think it was a waste of
trees and is a waste of reading time for most people.

           This review is available on our web site at

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

Signs, Symbols & Omens
Author: Raymond Buckland
Trade Paperback, 244 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: May 2003
ISBN: 073870234X
US Retail Price: $14.95
Amazon Link:

In Signs, Symbols & Omens, Raymond Buckland provides an overview
of the signs and symbols of 25 different groups as well as
information on magickal alphabets and a brief description of
omens. Over 800 symbols from religions, magickal traditions, and
cultures from around the world are illustrated with line drawings
and, in many cases, briefly discussed. Symbols from alchemy,
astrology, ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, ceremonial magick,
Christianity, Freemasonry, Islam, Rosicrucian, and many others
are included.

Symbols are grouped in chapters by origin. Each chapter briefly
describes the group or culture that created the symbols and
provides commentary of some -- but usually not all -- of the
symbols depicted. Buckland did the symbol illustrations and they
are quite good. I wish the commentary were as good.
Unfortunately, from looking at the groups and cultures I'm most
familiar with, the commentaries are sometimes incomplete, lack
details and context, or give "minority" interpretations of the
symbols. Nevertheless, this book can be a useful resource because
it covers so many different types of symbols in one volume. The
book's bibliography often provides useful references to solid
books for further stuff. Academic books are even listed for some
of the groups. This book is not a must have by any stretch of the
imagination, but it is somewhat more interesting than I expected.

           This review is available on our web site at


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

The following books and decks have been received for review in
November 2003 and may be reviewed more fully in future issues.
"First Glance Comments" included with these listings are exactly
what they seem to be: my first impression of the item from a
quick glance through the book or deck. Be aware that these views
could change drastically after a more complete examination. If
you are waiting for a particular review, remember that reviews
appear on our web site as they are finished -- often a good while
before they are published in the newsletter.

The New Encyclopedia of the Occult
by John Michael Greer (Llewellyn)
ISBN: 1567183360
First Glance Comments: This book is 530 pages of encyclopedic
      articles on western magick and occultism. While I have only
      looked at a few dozen articles thus far, I'm impressed with
      Greer's efforts as I picked subjects both prominent (like
      "Wicca") and obscure (like "electric fluid") and found them
      well-written and acceptably accurate for an encyclopedia. I
      suspect my full review will say that this book belongs on
      the shelf of everyone interested in magick, the occult, or
      modern Pagan religions, but there's no probably need to
      wait for the review to get your copy.
More Info from Amazon.com:

Putting the Tarot to Work
by Mark McElroy (Llewellyn)
ISBN: 073870444X
First Glance Comments: I'm breaking my rule against reviewing
      advance copies again. Mark McElroy does corporate training
      seminars and has a Tarot practice on the side. This book
      provides a unique look at using the Tarot in the business
      world. McElroy tells how he's used the Tarot to aid in
      career planning, brainstorming, job reviews, building
      business relationships, and even making presentations --
      and he tells how you can do so with special spreads and
      case studies. With this book, you'll learn how to use the
      Tarot to get practical business insight -- and in today's
      economic climate, even a tiny bit of extra insight can make
      a big difference in the bottom line.
More Info from Amazon.com:

============    ARTICLES

========= by Conny Jasper

Before you were born, you were conceived by the connection of the
egg and the sperm. Your cells multiplied many times and stayed
connected. And then you connected with your mother's womb. For
about nine months, there you stayed connected. When you were
born, you were no longer physically connected with your mother,
but you were emotionally connected.

All of life is connected. The Universe is one great network of
connectedness. There is no such thing as separateness. There is
only the illusion of separateness. People are able to move about
freely, but without the rest of the system they would not exist.
We are interdependent with everyone and everything on this Earth.
And on a wider scale, with the Universe.

Yet our experience of modern life is one of separateness, where
we feel further and further removed from each other, from
ourselves, and from the natural world. We have become emotionally
and spiritually inaccessible to ourselves and to one another. Our
ability to reach out and to feel compassion has been impaired.
Loneliness and isolation are epidemic in our society. And all
this dis-connectedness is causing us a great deal of physical and
emotional distress.

Our present state of dis-connectedness is caused by many
variables, which include abuses by our social institutions, our
communities, and our families. And Big Business takes advantage
of our loneliness and isolation with their aggressive sales
pitches that promise us fulfillment with the purchase and
ownership of consumer goods. However, most of these products
isolate us even further, since we have to spend time using,
maintaining, and working to pay for them. Or we are offered
medications which are promised as magic pills that will make our
lives all better.

When we live with so much dis-connectedness around us, we
internalize it and become dis-connected from ourselves. We become
desensitized to our own physical and psychological needs. Yet
deep inside we still long for love, meaning, and fulfillment.
When we are not taught the healthy ways to have love, meaning,
and fulfillment, then we seek it in unhealthy ways.

Connecting with others begins with connecting with ourselves. And
connecting with ourselves means healing ourselves. As we peel
away the layers of our wounding, we become more present for
ourselves and for others at the same time. We can connect more
with who and what is around us. The more that we can support
ourselves, the more we can support others. This includes not just
people, but animals, plants, and all of the natural world.

Because we are not used to being connected, it can feel
uncomfortable when we begin to get in touch with it. When
connectedness is something that we are not familiar with, there
is often a tendency to run away from it. So, in order to have the
connections that we want, we need to be aware of our own
uneasiness that it brings up. We need to be aware of what
prevents us from moving toward genuine bonding, unity, and
relationship. When we can recognize those blocks, then we can
push them aside and begin moving toward connectedness. When we
are aware of our own issues, we are able to connect with others
in a mindful way.

We also need to be aware of who it is safe for us to connect
with, and in what ways we can connect appropriately. Healthy
connection must come from a place of inner strength, personal
security, and groundedness. Before we can connect in healthy
ways, we have to have stable boundaries. When we have healthy
boundaries, we know what our limits are for ourselves and with
others. We know the distinctions between ourselves and other
people. We need to have self-respect, and we need to know that we
deserve respect from others. We need to know how to be open to
others without being taken advantage of or abused by them. When
we have a strong sense of self worth, we can really connect with
ourselves. We need to give ourselves acceptance and compassion.
We need to accept who we are and where we are psychologically. We
need to be able to look at ourselves, and to appreciate what we
see, even if it is painful. We need to give ourselves permission
to be who we are in any given moment. The more that we are able
to do this, the more that we are able to do the same with others.
When we are able to accept others where they are, then we can
better connect with them.

The very basis of connecting is through grounding. Being grounded
means being in your body and being connected with the Earth. When
you are fully in your body, your awareness is centered in your
whole body, and not just in your head. Being grounded and
embodied also means taking care of your health, and treating your
body as the sacred vessel that it is.

We connect with the Earth through Earth-based spiritual practices
and by spending time outdoors. We connect by treating the Earth
and all of life as sacred. It is also important to connect
spiritually and energetically with the Sun, the Moon, and the
Stars. This can be done through visualization, meditation, and
ritual. Whenever you meditate, imagine that you have roots
extending down from your body and going down deep into the Earth.
And imagine that you have branches stretching upward connecting
you with the cosmos.

When you become an adult, the Universe becomes your parents. Your
caretakers are everywhere around you in the Earth and in the Sky.
We modern people must learn to connect with them, trust in them,
and allow them to give us love and support. We need to be open to
their care and guidance, and in return we must honor them in our
prayers, meditations, and rituals.

Loneliness and isolation is not the true nature of the Universe,
because we are all One. We are all woven together in the
energetic fabric of existence. Let us remember and reclaim the
matrix of connections. Let us love the being that is We.

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========= by Leafdaughter

The game is JOLT, we're working in a duo - both parties need to
agree that this is all right before beginning.

Each partner gets a turn to play each role, but probably not on
the same night.

Partner B, the joltee should retire to bed about a half hour
before partner A, the sender, joins them. Physical linking,
holding a hand -- touching foot to foot will help first timers.
After trying this a couple times though the goal is to eventually
be able to do it from remote distances.

Partner A should begin meditation, nothing in particular, just a
nice blank open meditation. The deeper you go the easier it will
be, so take your time. Usually to get a good game going it takes
me a half hour on top of the half hour my partner has already
been asleep.

Once you are at the right *level* for lack of a better word,
begin collecting energy. Once you get to a level you're
comfortable with you push it towards your partner in a wave --
JOLT The response will usually be a big twitch. I envision a
motorboat throttle, and I push it up to high -- or the swing
controller for playstation golf games.

After a few rounds, when you get better at holding at a depth of
meditation, you can begin asking questions, based on an already
agreed upon yes or no system. For us, a response within a time
frame is a yes.

Question one: Can you hear me? If the response is affirmative,

The next night or after you've both recouped energies -- switch
partners. A becomes B and B becomes A.

Remember partners work requires ethics. No inside stock trades
guys. Happy gaming to you! JOLT!!!

============    COLUMNS

========= by TarotDeevah

=== Robin Wood Tarot

by Robin Wood
Published by Llewellyn Publications
Copyright 1991 by Robin Wood
ISBN 0875428740
See Cards From This Deck:
Amazon Link:

I can't say enough wonderful things about this deck. This is a
deck that speaks to almost everyone who picks it up. The images
are inspiring and symbolism is readily apparent. This is THE
ideal deck for beginners (in my opinion), and is mature enough to
be a lifelong deck. This deck follows Rider Waite style of order
and naming without deviation.

Cards measure about 2.75 by 4.5 inches, which is a bit long for
me. Card stock is excellent. The cards have proven to be quite

I recommend this deck for all, especially beginners. More
advanced readers will love it as well. It makes an excellent
primary reading deck.

=== Rock Art Tarot

by Jerry Roelen
Published by US Games Systems, Inc.
Copyright 1996 by US Games Systems, Inc.
ISBN 0880791470
See Cards From This Deck:
Amazon Link:

This deck is just about everything I don't like. Well, actually,
it's just the art I hate. The art is in a sort of caveman drawing
style, which I dislike immensely. Otherwise, the deck is fine.
Rock Art Tarot loosely follows the Rider Waite style, although
many modifications have been made. The majors consist of: 0-
innocence, 1-illusion, 2-psychic, 3-intuition, 4-logic, 5-wisdom,
6-lovers, 7-journey, 8-strength, 9-meditation, 10-ritual, 11-
justice, 12-transition, 13-transformation, 14-harmony, 15-
deception, 16-unexpected, 17-terrestrial, 18-evolution, 19-
illumination, 20-awakening, 21-eternal. Suits are intellect
(swords), intuition (wands), emotions (cups) and sensations
(pentacles). Court cards are mankind (king), womankind (queen),
peacemaker (knight) and defender (page).

Cards measure about 3 by 4.75 inches and are a bit long for me.
Card stock is very good, not too thick but not flimsy either. I
haven't used my deck at all, but have no reason to doubt their

I recommend this deck for those looking for a whole new kind of
tarot, for those who love primitive art and collectors. Beginners
will have difficulty, as the art doesn't inspire the meaning
(even if keywords are present).

=== Royal Tarot

Made in Taiwan
Copyright 1995 by Kuo Kau Paper Products Co., Ltd
ISBN unknown
See Cards From This Deck:
Amazon Link:

All I can say about these cards is "cheap knockoff." I can't find
an ISBN or author or illustrator or anything. Personally, I don't
blame them. I wouldn't want my name on this deck either. Its 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. Except for the size, it is identical to the Mystic
Tarot. 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 2.5 by 4.25 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.

=== Russian Tarot of Saint Petersburg

by Yury Shakov
Published by US Games Systems, Inc.
Copyright 1992 by US Games Systems, Inc.
ISBN 0880795832
See Cards From This Deck:
Amazon Link:

Oh, how I love these gilded decks! Against the black backdrop of
these cards, the lavish gilding is fabulous. This deck follows
the Rider-Waite style with only a few deviations. The tower is
called the falling tower, wands are clubs, and pentacles are
coins. Even though this deck is large (for me), the art takes up
a small space in order to allow for the extensive gilding. I
wouldn't mind less gilding and larger pictures (gasp).

Cards measure about 2.75 by 4.75 inches, which is large for my
hands, but not impossible. Card stock is very good, and these
cards will definitely stand up to lots of use.

I recommend this deck for anyone who loves gilding, as I do.
Collectors will also want to add it to their collection.
Beginners should be able to use it, as symbolism is readily

===== 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:

========= Humor by "Eggnoramus"

Feeling blue or insecure? Losing sight of what's important? Still
searching for the real "you"? In this self-help age of soul-
searching, daily affirmations have been known to do the trick.
But you probably shouldn't try these ...

* I have the power to channel my imagination into ever-soaring
  levels of suspicion and paranoia.

* I assume full responsibility for my actions, except the ones
  that are someone else's fault.

* I no longer need to punish, deceive or compromise myself.
  Unless, of course, I want to stay employed.

* In some cultures what I do would be considered normal.

* Having control over myself is nearly as good as having control
  over others.

* My intuition nearly makes up for my lack of good judgment.

* I can change any thought that hurts into a reality that hurts
  even more.

* I honor my personality flaws, for without them I would have no
  personality at all.

* Joan of Arc heard voices too.

* I am grateful that I am not as judgmental as all those
  censorious, self- righteous people around me.

* I need not suffer in silence while I can still moan, whimper
  and complain.

* When someone hurts me, forgiveness is cheaper than a lawsuit.
  But not nearly as gratifying.

* All of me is beautiful and valuable, even the ugly, stupid and
  disgusting parts.

* I am at one with my duality.

* Only a lack of imagination saves me from immobilizing myself
  with imaginary fears.

* I honor and express all facets of my being, regardless of state
  and local laws.

* Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there
  are no sweeter words than "I told you so."

* A good scapegoat is nearly as welcome as a solution to the

* I am learning that criticism is not nearly as effective as

* Becoming aware of my character defects leads me to the next
  step -- blaming my parents.

* I will find humor in my everyday life by looking for people I
  can laugh at.

========= By Randall Sapphire

Our message board provider, DelphiForums, only offers a spelling
checker to those willing to pay for an expensive DelphiPlus
account. As that spelling checker works over the Internet, it's
often slow or even broken. If you use Windows and Internet
Explorer, you have another spelling checker option: the free IE
add in called ieSpell.

ieSpell is a free Internet Explorer browser extension that spell
checks text input boxes on a web page. It will do this on all
pages with a text entry box (such a blog entry form or webmail),
not just DelphiForums messages. It is fast and you can use custom
dictionaries easily.

ieSpell installs as a new button in the IE toolbar (as well as a
new menu item under "Tools") - after filling in a text entry box,
just hit the ieSpell button and it pops up a dialog, similar to a
word processor's spell check. ieSpell also works for many
browsers based on the IE engine (such as CrazyBrowser, MSN
Explorer, MyIE, NetCaptor, etc.) although you have to use a menu
as the button will not appear.

ieSpell is not spyware or adware. It's free for personal use.
Commercial use in business, government, etc. requires paying a
license fee. I believe dictionaries for a few languages other
than English are available, but I'm not sure.

As I write this, the current version of Messenger Plus is 2.01.
The installer is about a 2.5 meg download. You can read more
about it and download it at:



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.

========= Stopping Youth Violence Before It Starts

Thanks to sustained research, the causes and effects of youth
violence are increasingly becoming understood. This improved
understanding has led to the development of tools and techniques
that can help defuse conflicts before they escalate into

The National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center (NYVPRC)
has assembled current resources on the Web site
http://www.safeyouth.org/ to help teens, parents and other adults
concerned about violence committed by or against youth. This Web
site contains reliable information on all aspects of youth
violence prevention, as well as referrals or links to additional
related information.

With roots in international diplomacy, conflict resolution
techniques have been recognized as effective in preventing
violence in schools and workplaces as well as averting warfare
between hostile nations. The goal is to find solutions that all
parties to a conflict can accept. Children can begin learning-and
using-conflict resolution skills at an early age, at home, at
school and in their neighborhood or community.

=== What You Can Do At Home

Whether it's a routine argument at home, being teased at school
or being threatened by a gang at the mall, the knowledge a child
has on how to respond to situations can make the difference
between a minor incident and a potentially larger problem.

Here are some ideas to think about and explore with your child:

* Anger is OK; violence is not. Everybody gets angry at times;
  what counts is how the anger is managed. Channeling anger into
  problem-solving gives these emotions a constructive outlet, and
  helps defuse the situation.

* There are many ways to win. Keeping calm, responding with
  humor, walking away, or asking for help are some winning
  alternatives to heckling and fighting.

* Strong people don't need to fight. This is more than just a
  saying; research shows that children who feel powerless are
  more likely to fight than those who feel they have some control
  over their environment.

* Teach by example. Think about how you handle conflict; do you
  insist on winning every argument on principle, or do you look
  for acceptable solutions? In conflict situations, do you
  control your temper or "lose" it? Can you admit being wrong?
  Just as whatever parents say influences their kids, what they
  do also has an impact on their children.

=== School-Based Programs

Many schools throughout the U.S. have begun to integrate conflict
resolution education into their curricula-beginning as early as
the first grade. The U.S. Department of Justice Office of
Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention has developed a fact
sheet outlining four basic approaches to school-based conflict
resolution education. By choosing various elements from each,
educators can tailor programs to a schools' specific needs.

* Freestanding courses in which dispute resolution principles and
  skills are presented as a distinct class or study unit. This is
  also called the "process curriculum" approach.

* Peer mediation involves training young people to act as
  problem-solvers, helping to settle disputes among their peers.

* Peaceable Classroom incorporates conflict resolution education
  into a curriculum's core subjects; further, teachers use these
  techniques to manage their classrooms.

* Peaceable School programs integrate conflict resolution into
  every aspect of the school's operation, involving every level
  of staff.

As many as 10,000 programs using these techniques have been
implemented across the country-and have yielded significant

The National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center was
established as a central source of information on violence
committed by and against young people. For more information, log
on to http://www.safeyouth.org/, call toll-free 1-866-SAFEYOUTH
(723-3968), 1-800-243-7012 (TTY), 301-562-1001 (FAX), or e-mail

========= Fire Safety Tips For Your Home

Fire Safety Tips For Your Home

(NAPSI)-Fire safety is no accident. Whether it's the glow of a
single candle or the flames wrapping a bundle of wood in the
fireplace, open flames can quickly turn from cozy to dangerous.
Fire safety is of special concern during the winter months when
there is increased use of heat, electricity and appliances.
Heating is the second leading cause of residential fires and fire
deaths. The U.S. Fire Administration offers the following tips to
help reduce fire hazards in your home and protect you and your
family in the event of a fire:

Safe Heating:

* Don't use the oven to heat your home; it's a fire hazard and
source of toxic fumes.

* ONLY use the fuel recommended by the manufacturer. Never refill
a space heater while it is operating or still hot.

* Space heaters need space. Keep combustibles at least three feet
away from each heater.

* Have your furnace and chimney professionally inspected annually
and cleaned if necessary.

* Keep fire in the fireplace. Use a glass or metal screen in
front of your fireplace.

* Dispose of ashes in metal containers away from the home.

Fire safety around the house:

* Don't put flammable decorations close to heat sources.

* Don't overload your outlets.

* If you use lit candles to decorate or in case of a power
outage, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where
they can not be easily knocked over.

* Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home. Having a
working smoke alarm doubles your chances of surviving a fire.

* Develop a fire escape plan with your household and practice it
regularly. Know two ways to exit from every room in your home.

The United States Fire Administration, an entity of the Federal
Emergency Management Agency, and now a part of the Department of
Homeland Security, is the federal leader in public fire education
and awareness, fire service training, fire-related technology and
data collection. For further information on holiday fires or
other fire safety topics, visit the USFA Web site at

========= Stop Singing The Winter Blues

As the days grow shorter and the skies grayer, many find that
winter weather brings sunken moods, apathy and other sad
feelings-especially around the holidays. Even celebrities
experience this phenomenon, which is sometimes called the "winter
blues" or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

"I find the best way to keep the winter blues at bay is to get
proactive," says actress Camryn Manheim and star of the hit
television series, "The Practice." "I have dinner parties, go out
to the theater, plan scrapbooking days, organize my home and
catch up on all my reading. But the best way to kick the blues is
to hang out with my 2 1/2 year-old son and all his friends. If
that doesn't make you laugh, nothing will."

About 20 percent of the population is affected by SAD, which
usually begins in late fall or early winter. Women are four times
more likely than men to experience SAD, and the condition occurs
more often in northern parts of the country. According to
American Family Physician magazine, SAD is seven times more
common in Washington state than in Florida.

Doctors believe SAD hits in the winter because of the limited
sunlight exposure that accompanies the shorter winter days.
"People who have reduced exposure to sunlight often have low
levels of melatonin, serotonin and other compounds that support
the body's feelings of stability, emotional balance and well-
being," said Richard Brown, M.D., associate professor of clinical
psychiatry at Columbia University, practicing
psychopharmacologist and co-author of Stop Depression Now.

Dr. Brown adds that during winter, people stay indoors more, eat
more and become less active, particularly in the cold regions.
"These lifestyle changes can impact your mood, but there are ways
to combat the problem," he said.

To jump start your mood, Dr. Brown recommends the following tips:

* Monitor your diet. Take vitamins and make sure to get enough
  fresh fruits and vegetables with a well-balanced diet. Consume
  fish and other high-quality proteins. Avoid refined sugars,
  which can negatively alter your mood.

* Exercise and breathe. Exercise is an important part of feeling
  good. A 10-minute walk, three times a day is enough to help you
  to fight the winter blues. Exercise may release hormones and
  neurochemicals that restore your body's mood.

* Try yoga. The breathing and meditative practices of yoga may
  help relieve anxiety and tension.

* Consider a natural remedy. SAM-e (pronounced "sammy" and short
  for S-adenosylmethionine), is a naturally occurring compound
  found in all living organisms. It's clinically proven to help
  enhance mood and emotional well-being.

"Taking SAM-e regularly is one of the best ways to enhance mood,"
adds Dr. Brown. "Studies have shown that it often works in half
the time of prescriptive medications, and SAM-e has very few, if
any, side effects."

For more information on SAD and to receive a free SAM-e kit,
please contact the SAM-e News Bureau at 1-877-866-2539 or e-mail

========= Prepare For Rough Weather Driving

Winter driving can be dangerous and stressful, especially in snow
and ice. Advanced preparations can provide greater peace of mind
and help make trips safer, whether it's to the grocery store or a
faraway ski resort.

=== Get the Car Ready for the Cold

Whether you take your car in for a routine checkup at a service
center like Jiffy Lube or do it yourself, these are some
essential preparations for winter driving:

Check the battery's age to make sure the car will start on frigid
mornings. On average, a car battery will last about four or five
years. If yours is more than two years old, test it to see if it
will withstand the cold.

According to the American Automobile Association, a battery loses
35 percent of its power at 32 F and 60 percent of its power at 0
degrees F. To minimize the strain on your battery, start the
car with the heater, lights and window defrosters turned off.

Tire blowouts can be particularly dangerous, so make sure they
are properly inflated, have adequate tread depth and have been
rotated according to manufacturer's recommendations.

Make sure you have enough fresh antifreeze and washer fluid.
Check wiper blades to make sure they glide smoothly and do not
leave streaks or blind spots.

Check engine oil, differential fluid and transmission fluid to
see if they need changing according to manufacturer's

=== Carry the Essentials

A properly packed emergency kit is essential during the winter.
Make sure to have a flashlight, extra batteries, water, flares,
blankets, shovel, snow brush and ice scraper. Also, keep some
kitty litter or sand in the trunk-spreading it under your tires
will give you more traction if you get stuck. Bring wire and
cloth if you need to patch a leaking hose to make it to the
nearest service center.

=== Before Hitting the Slopes

Winding narrow roads and black ice (especially on bridges) make
mountain driving dangerous. Take extra precautions before driving
to your favorite ski resort.

Test your brakes on the mountain roads to get a feel for how they
react. Reduce your speed, brake slowly, and leave plenty of space
between you and other motorists.

Check the weather conditions before you leave and use sound
judgment. If you get caught in a sudden blizzard, stay in your
car. Do not idle your car for long stretches of time to keep

For more information on car maintenance and safety, visit

========= Resolutions: Simple Tips To Help Keep Them

For many, the New Year is a time to resolve to become healthier,
wealthier and wiser. Whether you decide to give up smoking, lose
weight or find a job, following a few simple tips can make it
easier to follow through on your resolutions.

"Keeping a New Year's resolution can be extremely stressful,
especially when people have unrealistic expectations," said Angie
DeLaCruz, a Dallas-based therapist. "You should set simple,
achievable goals and stick to them. If you want to run a
marathon, aim for running four or five miles first. Create
milestones that can lead up to your overall goal. Trying to make
too many changes at one time can lead to failure."

To help you get started, here are a few tips:

* Plan Your Resolution in Advance. Decide what goal you'd like to
  achieve in the New Year. Is it becoming healthier? Spending
  more time with your family?

  Once you zone in on that one goal, make sure it is realistic.
  If you want to start an exercise program, make sure you pick an
  activity that fits into your schedule. Draw up an action plan
  for how you will achieve your goal. Include a specific
  timetable and rewards for your road map for success.

  Write down your resolution and your plan of action. Stick it up
  on the fridge, in your locker, or wherever else you know you'll
  see it. That way you'll have a constant reminder of the
  resolution. You may want to revise the wording as you progress.

* Plan your strategy. Develop strategies for changing your
  behavior. Make sure you customize your goal to your lifestyle
  and habits.

  If you are trying to lose weight, try stocking up on low-
  calorie snack foods or diet beverages such as Diet Rite, Diet
  Dr Pepper or Diet Snapple Lemon Tea. If quitting smoking is
  your goal, stock up on sugar-free gum such as Trident or

  Several of these low-calorie snack foods contain the same great
  taste of their regular counterparts. Taste need not be
  sacrificed to meet your resolution. Small changes will help you
  obtain your overall goal.

* Share Your Goals with Loved Ones. Share your goals with your
  spouse, best friend or coworker. Empower him or her to remind
  you of your resolution if you begin to waiver.

  Or choose a goal that you can reach with a friend. This way you
  have a "buddy-system" approach to your goal.

* Be Realistic about Setbacks. Setbacks are bound to happen. If
  they do, don't get discouraged, DeLaCruz said. If you do slip
  up, acknowledge the slip and get back on track.

  One lapse does not equal failure. Keep the big picture in mind,
  and don't take resolutions too seriously. Remember that
  resolutions are goals, not absolutes.

These simple tips will help create a realistic way for you to
keep and stick to your New Year's resolutions.

========= 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
we do is a waste of time and money.


You are receiving a copy of this newsletter because you signed up
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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
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You are also welcome to forward a copies of this newsletter to
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Don't forget that your suggestions for this newsletter are always
welcome, either posted on the message board or via email to
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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