[Cauldron and Candle Illo]


Cauldron and Candle
Issue #48 -- June 2004

A Publication of The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum
website: http://www.ecauldron.com/
message board: http://www.ecauldron.net/


Return to Cauldron and Candle Archive

C A U L D R O N   A N D   C A N D L E  #48 -- June 2004

           A Publication of The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum
                website: http://www.ecauldron.com/
              message board: http://www.ecauldron.net/
             newsletter: http://www.ecauldron.com/cnc/
            shopping: http://www.ecauldron.com/mall.php

In this Issue:

[01] Editorial Notes
[02] Cauldron Challenge: June
[03] Cauldron News
[04] Cauldron Discussions
[05] Reviews
     [05-1] A Wiccan Bible
     [05-2] Spirit of the Witch
     [05-3] Alice and Greta
     [05-4] The Training and Work of an Initiate
     [05-5] The Book of Thoth
[06] Received For Review (with Mini-Reviews)
[07] Articles:
     [07-1] Let the Ancients Speak
[08] Columns
     [08-1] Humor: The Charge of Chocolate
     [08-2] Poetry: It's A Fire
[09] Around the Planes: Notes from All Over
     [09-1] Recycling Nuclear Warheads Into Electricity
     [09-2] Depression and Anxiety Disorders
     [09-3] Safety Around Lawnmowers
     [09-4] Mortgage Servicing: Making Your Payments Count
     [09-5] Marfan Syndrome
[10] Support The Cauldron by Volunteering to Help
[11] Newsletter Information
              (Including How To Subscribe/Unsubscribe)

   +++ Submission Deadline for our July issue: June 15, 2004 +++
     Guidelines: http://www.ecauldron.com/cnc/submissions.php

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

The changes and transitions just keep on coming around here. I'm
now running Linux instead of Windows XP on my system. LyricFox
will probably switch the next time she reformats her system. We
have both looked at Microsoft's future plans for Windows and do
not like what we see. Longhorn is a complete rewrite of Windows
that will probably break a lot of expensive to upgrade programs
and will reportedly introduce all sorts of external control by
large corporations over what one can and cannot do with one's
computer. We simply are not interested in the Microsoft vision
any more.

Amazingly, my transition to Linux has been very easy. The newer
versions of Linux install easily and come with lots of software
that is easy enough to learn to use. For those interested in such
things, I'm using Mandrake 10. Even this newsletter, which has to
be done in an ascii text editor with a couple of very specific
weird features has been easy to do. Linux seems more than ready
for the desktop to me.I don't play many computer games, however
-- if I did my opinion of Linux would probably not be as high as
most games are designed for Windows.

This issue of the newsletter is about the same size as our May
issue. Unfortunately, the long term outlook for this newsletter
is less certain than ever. It takes a lot of time to do in its
current format -- more time than I really have any more --
especially once I find full-time employment. I'm neglecting other
things like book reviews and web site improvements to do this
newsletter now. I have not reviewed a single book since I moved
and married, for example.

Something is going to have to give. At this time, I don't know if
this will mean changing the format of the newsletter in some
major way that greatly reduces the amount of time it takes to put
together or simply ceasing to produce it. We've had 48 great
issues and I would almost rather cease to publish than change to
newsletter to some less useful form. A final decision will be
made shortly (if not in the next few weeks, by the end of the
summer). Your input is welcome on our message board or via email
(although I probably will not have time to reply to emails).


                      SEND A PAGAN POSTCARD

       You can send a Pagan Postcard from the menu of any
       of our web pages at http://www.ecauldron.com/. If
       you haven't tried our postcard site, give it a
       try. It has quite a few nice features.


========= by Star

June's Challenge is to go someplace new. I'm thinking that for
most of us this will probably be somewhere in our area where we
just haven't been before. Maybe a new route to work, a detour on
the way to the store, something like that. Maybe a picnic in a
park we've never been to. And yes, venturing into that room
where you shove all the junk you don't want to look at -- you know
which one I mean -- can count!

This Challenge is a little different from the ones we've had in
the past because it doesn't necessarily lend itself to a
continuous activity throughout the month. Therefore, I suggest
that people either try to go multiple new places, or go to the
same one multiple times. (For instance, I'm considering a new
route to work, so I might take it once or twice a week.)

So... Where are you going?

I encourage participants to post their plans in the June
Challenge topic -- I find it's easier to hold myself to something
like this (rather than wandering off to something else) if I've
told someone I'm going to do it. Also, as the month goes by, you
can use this topic to report your progress.


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

===== Doxy's Bazzar (Our Ebay Store)

LyricFox and Randall have opened an ebay store with some
collectibles and lots of used Pagan books (most in like new
condition and at half price). Merging two households leaves us
lots of duplicates and items we just don't have space for. Stop
in any take a look and see what we have to offer:


===== New Cauldron Message Board Reminder

For those who may have forgotten, we've moved off of Delphi to a
new message board of our own using some very Delphi-like board
software. Again, the address of our new free, full-featured
forum is:


The move has been very successful, we've only been opened since
April 15th and we already have over 400 members and have over
12,000 messages posted in over 500 threads. And no DelphiForums
weirdness or ads.

===== Main Web Page News Now Handled by Blogger

Goggle has really improved Blogger, so we have moved our news
system (the posts on the main page of our web site) from an
ancient, no longer maintained piece of software to Blogger. The
only noticeable aspects to this are the (temporary) loss of the
old news archive pages and the fact that our news feed is now
atom-based. If you subscribe to our news via Bloglet, you are
also getting full articles now -- instead of partial ones.



        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.

=== Silence

As a culture we have become unfamiliar with and uncomfortable
with silence. But I have found much value in periods of silence.
Do you feel the need for silence on occasion? What does silence
teach you?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Frazer's The Golden Bough

A friend and I were discussing possible relevance of James
Frazer's The Golden Bough to Paganism. A few questions:

1) Have you read The Golden Bough? If so, what are your
impressions or opinions about the book (or books if you've read
the entire 13 volume set!)?

2) What place (if any) would you say Frazer's book has in Pagan

3) Under what circumstances might you recommend The Golden Bough
to a student, friend, or fellow seeker?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== All Religions the Same?

I hear a lot that "All religions are basically the same". Do you
think that's true? Why or why not?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Pagan Magazines

Lately, I've been thinking of subscribing to a pagan or magic
magazine or journal. But I'm not really sure what's out there
(other than the really famous ones, like SageWoman), or which
would be of interest, because I've never subscribed or even
flipped through any (no big bookstores here).

So, I'm curious. What's your favorite pagan/magical interest
magazine or journal, and what sort of articles/interests does it
generally have?

As far as suggestions for ME go, I'm interested more in
scholarly articles about pagan religions (in general, I'm not
picky) or magic than interpretive articles or craft sort of

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Pagan Standard Time

Have any of you had to deal with this? In our community it is an
epidemic, we tell people that a ritual starts at 12 and there is
no way we will be able to start before 1215 because people are
still showing up. I have even had people show up as late at
1230-1245 for a 12 o'clock ritual. If questioned they always
pull the "well with pagan standard time I figured it would start
on time anyway". 

I personally consider this behavior rude and try my hardest to
start my rituals on time, but when I attend a ritual lead by
someone else it always starts late. 

I have a personal pet peeve against lateness, I consider it rude
and arrogant (My time is more valuable than yours, so you can just
wait for me to get there). Why does the pagan community not only
make lateness an acceptable habit, but even has a "cute" little
name for it? 

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Mission from God

What would you do if your God (or Gods) told you to go out and
change the world on some particular issue? Would your answer
differ depending on what is expected of you -- for example:

a) if your God asked you to publicly advocate for your God's
position on the issue.

b) if your God asked you try to get his/her position imposed by
law, but to do so only by getting a majority to truly support

c) if your God asked you to try to get his/her position imposed
by law and to use whatever means necessary to do it , even if
you could not get a majority to really support it.

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Pagan Parent Hassles?

Have you, or someone you know, run into problems from anyone in
regards to raising your children (as a pagan parent)? Was this
from strangers? Family? Friends? Ex partner (ie the other
parent)? Ex partner's subsequent partner? Children's school? If
so, how did you, or they, handle it? What was the outcome? Do
you feel the authorities (police, legal system etc) take pagan
parents seriously or see us as crackpots from whom our children
need protection?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Authorial Responsibility

When you pick up a book, what do you feel the author's
responsibilities are?

What do you hope/expect from them? I'm thinking about things
like 'accurate factual information/citations/distinction between
fact/analysis/opinion' but also things like tone, approach,
stuff like that. I know my expectations vary a bit depending on
the kind of book I'm looking at, so feel free to talk generally,
or get more specific.

Beyond that, what do you think about an author's behavior
outside of their books? For example, I've started picking up
Steven Brust's books simply because I like listening him talk on
panels at the local SF convention I go to (and I like what I've
read of his, I just haven't made it a priority before this.)

But when it comes to Pagan authors - do some things make you
more favorably inclined towards an author based on how they
interact with others? Do you have horror stories that really
turned you off? Does an author's website sway you in any
particular way?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== The Oogey Boogey Stuff

I'm talking about the stuff that gets lumped as
'black/dark/insert negative archetype here/we're fluffy and that
stuff doesn't ever happen because $RW says so' So, where do you
stand?  Will you defend yourself in any 'magical' way? Would you
cause deliberate harm to someone? Where would you draw the line?
Would you be worried about repercussions (psychic aftershock,
spells rebounding, rule of return etc)?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Jesus and Paganism

Apparently there are those who consider themselves Pagan or
Wiccan who worship the Christian Jesus as a god.

So..... doesn't this make them Christians? With Pagan/Wiccan
leanings? Or does it make them Pagan/Wiccan with Christian
leanings? Or does it simply make them rather confused? Which one
trumps the other?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:



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

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

A Wiccan Bible: Exploring the Mysteries of the Craft From Birth
  to Summerland
Author: A.J. Drew
Trade Paperback, 430 pages
Publisher: New Page Books
Publication date: August 2003
ISBN: 1564146669
US Retail Price: $
Amazon Link:

Several years ago I ate at a very pretentious Italian
restaurant. Unfortunately the food was awful and the service
even worse, but that did not stop the staff from having their
noses high in the air. Unfortunately, A.J. Drew's A Wiccan
Bible: Exploring the Mysteries of the Craft From Birth to
Summerland reminds me of this bad dining experience. Not only
does the book call itself a "bible," its chapters are called
books and given Latinish titles (Liber ab Nomen, Liber ab
Genesis, Liber ab Tres I, etc.). The pretension level would not
be so annoying if the writing and information were excellent.
Unfortunately, they are not.

While the book claims to be about Wicca, I doubt any of the more
traditional Wiccans and many of the eclectic Wiccans I know
would recognize all that much of their religion in this book --
at least beyond the more vague generalities. The author has his
own unique and different version of Wicca. There's nothing wrong
with that, but it is not fair to foist it off on the world as
standard Wicca in a book. Worse, the book is poorly organized
and includes lots of material that has nothing to do with Wicca
-- like Hellenic, Roman and Hindu holiday schedules and the
author's political views. Over 100 pages are devoted to a list
of deities from around the world with some (very general and
sometimes inaccurate) information on most of them.

While there is some interesting and even useful material in this
book, it is hard to find because it is buried in a morass of
less useful and questionable detail. If you are a fan of A.J.
Drew's version of Wicca, you will probably find this book a
welcome addition to your library. But if you are looking for a
good book on general Wicca, A Wiccan Bible is not the book you
are looking for.

           This review is available on our web site at

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

Spirit of the Witch: Religion & Spirituality in Contemporary 
Author: Raven Grimassi
Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: October 2003
ISBN: 0738703389
US Retail Price: $
Amazon Link:

Raven Grimassi's books often annoy me greatly. While Spirit of
the Witch: Religion & Spirituality in Contemporary Witchcraft
does not impress me greatly, it does not annoy me nearly as much
of some of Grimassi's other books have as there isn't as much
revisionist history. There is some, but it is not the main
thrust of the book. In this book, Grimassi discusses the
spiritual side of religious witchcraft (which is not quite the
same thing as Wicca).

This book attempts to get the reader to think about some of the
"whys" behind the practices of witchcraft. I believe it succeeds
in doing so to some extent, but a lot of space is wasted on
reexplaining the "how-tos" of things like dedication rituals,
consecrating tools, and even Sabbat rituals. I really can't
figure out what these things are doing in what many seem to
consider a more advanced book. It may come as a shock to many
authors and publishers, but it really is not necessary to
provide the basics in every book. Had these not been included,
Grimassi would have had more space to develop the spiritual
aspects this book is about. While I have to issue my standard
warning to check all historical "facts" this author provides
against current scholarship before accepting them, I found the
parts of this book which were not rehashed Wicca 101 to be a
more interesting read than I expected.

           This review is available on our web site at

========= Reviewed by Jia Starsong

Alice and Greta: A Tale of Two Witches
Author: Steven J Simmons
Hardcover, 32 pages
Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing
Publication date: September 1997
ISBN: 0881069744
US Retail Price: $
Amazon Link:

As a Wiccan I tend to look for children's books which shy away
from the usual perceptions, portrayals, and stereotypes usually
associated with witches. This is not an easy task. Either I find
a typical "wicked witch", or I might find a green-faced
wart-nosed witch with a good heart. Alternately, I might find
"regular people" portrayed as having supernatural powers. I have
yet to find a children's book which portrays a Witch outside of
all of these stereotypes, so I settle for books which are
enjoyable reads, convey an overall positive message, and along
the way seem flavored with something of the true heart of the
religion I call home.

    "Are you a good witch or a bad witch?"
    -- Wizard of Oz

At first glance Alice and Greta, subtitled "A Tale of Two
Witches", by Steven J. Simmons seemed to be no more than the
usual good witch vs. bad witch story. I could just hear Glinda
in her unnaturally-lilting voice. But, upon reading the text, I
immediately purchased it. And (gasp!) even paid full price of

Do you use white magic or black magic?

I've been asked this question more times than I can count over
the years. And while my response is not always understood I give
the same answer - magic is neither black nor white, the energy
tapped into is the same whatever the purpose, it is the intent
behind the magic which makes the difference. This book actually
illustrates this point.

Alice and Greta are two witches, each attending Miss Mildred
Mildew's School of Magic and growing up learning the same magic,
the same spells, the same chants. However, they used that magic
differently. For example, Alice uses hers to call a wave to lift
a stranded sailboat off a sandbar while Greta calls a wave to
ruin a sand castle.

Do you believe in Karma?

It is a premise often stated by teachers of Wicca and in related
texts that that which you send out will return to you
three-fold. This truism too is relayed in this slim volume.
Often misbehaving, and rarely paying attention Greta missed the
most important lesson that Miss Mildew taught her students, the
Broomerang Principle.

    "Whatever you chant,
    whatever you brew,
    sooner or later
    comes back to you."

What a great way to simplify the lesson for children, that in
life you may find that you get what you give.

So for it's attempt to illustrate two truths which I hold too,
magic being a neutral force/energy/power ... and the concept of
Karma .... I gave it a big ole thumbs ... maybe for the sake of
humor I should say broomstick ... up. Add to that brilliantly
colored illustrations by Cyd Moore rich with little details and
an awful lot of humor and an attention-keeping story line and I
would recommend this title to any Pagan family for whom these
truths are also shared.

However, the book does still fall victim to some stereotyping.

Bad witches are ugly, nice witches are pretty.

Again, "The Wizard of Oz" comes to mind. Dorothy meets a bad
tempered green faced hag and then when confronted with the
bubble-traveling pretty Glinda cannot accept, at first, that she
too is a witch. She is told that "only bad witches are ugly".
This is not an uncommon theme and it plays out here as well.

Alice, the "good witch", is cute and bubbly. Her hair is neat,
her clothes are pretty, her pet (familiar?) is an adorable white
kitty. Greta, the "bad witch", is portrayed as ugly and
scary-looking. Her hair is in ratty, bone-trimmed braids, her
clothes are ragged and putrid-green, her pet (familiar?) is a
nasty looking cat. I would have been happier if these two
witches were portrayed without good vs. bad turning into pretty
vs. ugly. They could have illustrated the point without
resorting to a long pointed nose and a wart-covered face.

Witches are girls, Wizards (or worse yet Warlocks) are boys.

Within Wicca, and many other modern Witchcraft practices both
males and females are called Witch. Wizard is a term more
associated with Ceremonial Magic and Warlock is an older term,
often translated as oath-breaker. While we only briefly see the
other students as Miss Mildew's school they are all portrayed as
girls. Call me picky, but in a perfect world we would have seen
a few boys in the class as well.

Real Magic is supernatural ... wave a wand, boil a brew and
Poof! there you go.

Real Magic, is more akin to prayer than anything portrayed on
TV, movies, books, or in this slim volume. It is the focus of
mind, will, and emotion toward a desired goal. While wands and
brews may play a part they are considered to be more tools to
focus concentration that items that hold any real power by
themselves. Spells too are mere tools of focus, the words
themselves do not hold the power, the witch herself, or himself,
does. Here we see that with the wave of a wand, and the reciting
of a few choice words, the desired result occurring instantly.

But this is not an instruction book on Wicca. It is not meant as
a child's primer on Witchcraft. And the fictional portrayal of
Witches have been with us for so long, any change will only be
gradual. While I may wish that the book portrayed my path in a
more accurate light, it would probably not make as entertaining
or humorous a book.

This is a light and funny story whose goal is to convey that we
should treat one another kindly. That when you are a good
person, that good things come to you --- such as friendship,
acceptance, and love.

Told in just over 30 pages, ranging from 1 to 8 lines of text
each, the story is told in simple language and would be great as
a read-aloud book to older preschool children and those in
kindergarten and would engage those in first and second grades
as a read-alone text.

The illustrations are vivid! Lots of different and bright hues
catch the eye and hold the attention. Look for the details:

    * a book titled "The Joy of Conjuring" held over a cauldron
    * a girl whose hair turns into snakes, each wearing a 
      different expression
    * a "vision" reflected in a cauldron's brew
    * the school girls meditating 

It held my daughter's attention, had her laughing out loud, so
all in all, I can't really find fault with it.

What I hope my children, and other Pagan children as well, take
from it:

    * That what you put into life, be it in word, deed, or 
      magic will return to you .... at a time you may not 
      expect in a way that might surprise you.
    * That outlook is oh so important. While Alice and Greta 
      lived on the same mountain, one was only inspired to be 
      mean and the other found joy.
    * That magic is neither good or bad -- like the wind which 
      in one form is a soft summer breeze delighting those who 
      are touched by it which in another is a tornado inspiring 
      fear and often bringing destruction
    * The wind itself is neither good or bad, like magic, it just 

What I hope other children take from it:

    * First and foremost I hope they giggle and laugh.
    * I hope that they learn to look at life through the eyes of 
      kindness always, to treat people in love and friendship.
    * And I also hope they learn that not all witches are "bad". 

           This review is available on our web site at

========= Reviewed by Loreley

The Training and Work of an Initiate
Author: Dion Fortune
Trade Paperback, 128 pages
Publisher: Weiser
Publication date: November 2000
ISBN: 1578631831
US Retail Price: $14.95
Amazon Link:

Last night I finished reading The Training and Work of an
Initiate by Dion Fortune. I was deeply moved and very impressed
by it.

The book is supposed to be an outline of how Fortune sees the
work seekers, neophytes and candidates to initiation should do
in her own mystical lodge (The Society of the Inner Light). But
it has so much more than that.

It's actually a great book about the theories of magic,
occultism, religious illumination and initiation. The book is
very abstract, highly theoretical and sometimes I had to read a
paragraph more than once to understand what exactly Fortune is
trying to say. But it was food for the soul. Finally, an
advanced book about the meaning of walking in the path of magic!

It deals with what it takes to become an initiate, what is
initiation, what the road of the initiate entails, how to live
life as an adept in magic, the importance of mental and physical
training, and many other relevant issues. All from an
explanatory and theoretical point of view. It's not a "how to"

Fortune's faith is Christian, and I suppose some pagans would
find it hard to swallow when she sometimes speaks of Christ as
the ultimate initiator. But for those students of magic who can
get past that, I recommend this book from the bottom of my

In Fortune's defense, she does not reject other faiths,
including pantheist ideas, but seeks to see them all as part of
an entire whole of Divinity.

I enjoyed every bit of The Training and Work of an Initiate, and
was very disappointed that it's such a thin volume. 

           This review is available on our web site at

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

The Book of Thoth
Designer: Etteilla
Card Set
Publisher: Llewellyn (Lo Scarabeo)
Publication date: 2003
ISBN: 0738704105
US Retail Price: $
View Sample Cards:
Amazon Link:

In the late 1700s, a card reader who went by the name of
Etteilla designed a Tarot deck which he claimed was a return to
the figures in the original (and legendary) Egyptian "Book of
Thoth" -- which he said was the true origin of the Tarot. This
deck was printed in a number of versions in the early 1800s. The
Book of Thoth is a reprint of the Grand Etteilla III deck which
first appeared in France under the title of "Great Game Oracle
of the Ladies" in the 1870s.

While this deck loosely follows the Tarot pattern of a 22 card
major arcana (here called "Superior Lames"), 16 court cards
(called "Median Lames") and 40 pip cards ("Inferior Lames"), the
major arcana are very different from a normal Tarot deck. The
"Superior Lames" are Folly, Chaos, Light, Plants and Birds,
Heavens, Person, Stars, Birds and Fish, Rest, Justice,
Temperance, Strength, Prudence, Marriage, Force Majeure,
Magician, Judgement, Death, Hermit, Temple, Wheel, and Carriage.
The multi-lingual booklet that comes with this set provides the
history of the deck, a traditional method of reading it, and two
one sentence meanings (one for upright and one for reversed) for
each card.

If one is interested in the history of the Tarot, The Book of
Thoth deck is probably a must have. I believe that this deck is
the origin of the "Tarot comes from the Book of Thoth" idea.
However, the cards themselves are nothing all that special. The
superior and median Lames are illustrated, although without a
lot of symbolism. The pip cards only have a standard fancy
border and the appropriate number of suit symbols. As I prefer a
symbol rich deck, I had trouble reading with this one. That
trouble was somewhat compounded by the strange cards in the
major arcana. Nevertheless, I am happy to have this deck in my
collection for its historical value. Those who regularly read
with Marseilles style Tarot decks will probably have less
trouble reading with this deck than I do. 

           This review is available on our web site at



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

Due to my move to Waco and marriage, I've received no new books
for review this month.


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

========= Let the Ancients Speak:
========= Classical Resources for Modern Hellenic Pagans
========= by Rebecca Salek

So, you've decided that you're an Hellenic Pagan of some sort
(maybe Athena has been dropping hints). Or, you're just curious.
Either way, you have a problem -- where to go for more

Of the untold thousands of plays, poems, histories and
meditations on science and philosophy and government produced by
the ancient Greeks only a fraction of a fraction of a percent
have survived. Some have been lost to time: while the Greeks
were certainly composing great works before Homer, the Iliad and
Odyssey of the 8th century BCE are the oldest surviving. Others
were lost to misogyny: Sappho's poetry was actively hunted down
and destroyed by disapproving Christians. Still others were lost
to arrogance: Christians and some Muslims in positions of
authority, who believed that they knew the word of the One True
God, felt no need to preserve or study the works of
unenlightened pagans. Finally, some works were lost to sheer
ignorance: in modern industrialized nations, literacy approaches
one hundred percent. Not so in the ancient world. An Athenian
grocer couldn't run down to the corner bookstore and buy a copy
of Aristotle's latest bestseller, or download a copy onto his
Palm Pilot. And the literacy rate was even more abysmal among
women and slaves.

It's tragic that so much has been lost. And miraculous that any
has survived at all.

Here, than, are a few authors whose poems and plays and
histories have survived, in pieces or intact. They offer us some
-- fragmentary -- insight into how the ancient Greeks lived,
what they ate, how they loved and hated and shaped the world
around them. These texts offer us some insight into what the
Greeks thought about the Gods, how they worshiped them and
honored them -- and how we might, too.

Oh, before we get started: a warning about translations. Some
are better than others. Try to find a text which translates the
ancient Greek directly into your native language, rather than
through a third language (English-speakers, don't pick up the
English translation of the French translation of the original
Greek). If possible, compare multiple translations. And also try
to find books from your native country: the same word can mean
one thing in British English, something else in American English
and something else entirely in Australian English.

Firstly, a few works of general reference. Apollodorus
(c.180-c.120 BCE) produced at least three texts: the historical
and philosophical Chronicle, the rationalization of religion
known as On the Gods, and the Homeric commentary Catalogue of
Ships. Oddly, he didn't even write his most famous work: The
Library of Apollodorus, an extensive retelling of myths from
throughout the Hellenistic world, actually dates from the first
or second century CE! Hellanicus (c. 480-395 BCE) was a
mythographer, ethnographer and historiographer. While he was a
prolific writer (penning Atlantis, Priestesses and Atthis, among
other works) only about two hundred fragments survive. To give
you some idea as to his importance: it was Hellanicus'
revolutionary idea to list the priestesses of Hera at Argos to
give the Greeks a common chronology. Finally, the great travel
writer Pausanius (mid- to late-2nd century CE), whose
Description of Greece chronicles numerous monuments and
sanctuaries from the Archaic and Classical periods, and examines
their historical and sacred origins.

If your interest lies more in the area of history, than there
are three giants to consider.  Herodotus (c. 485-c.425) is known
as the Father of History for a reason. His mammoth The Histories
chronicles the epic struggle between the cantankerous Greek
city-states and the super-power Persian Empire. He is also known
as the inventor of ethnography, as he often went off into
tangents to explore the customs, folklore and beliefs of various
peoples throughout the Mediterranean. Plutarch (45-120 CE) was
the last of the great classical historians. A priest at Delphi
in later life, he wrote essays on philosophy, science and
literature. His most famous works are his Parallel Lives (which
compares great Greeks and Romans) and the Life of Alexander the
Great. And, of course, Thucydides (c. 460-400 BCE), whose
History of the Peloponnesian War chronicles the bloody and
ultimately self-destructive war between Athens and Sparta.

Outside of archeological excavations, the surviving myths remain
our primary source for what the Greeks knew and wondered about
the Gods. Apollonius Rhodius (3rd century BCE) penned The
Argonautica (sometimes called The Voyage of the Argo), the only
major epic poem written between the time of Homer and the Pax
Romana. The Argonautica is our primary source for the myth of
Jason and the Argonauts, and features numerous examples of
divine intervention (or interference, depending on your point of
view). Callimachus (3rd century BCE) is traditionally credited
with writing over eight hundred books -- but only six hymns and
a few fragments of longer works survive. Of interest to modern
Pagans are the Aetia, which examines the mythical and historical
origins of cults, festivals and cities; the fragmentary Hecale,
which relates a lost episode in the life of Theseus; and the
Hymns which include odes to Zeus, Artemis, Apollon, Athena,
Demeter and Delos. Hesiod (c. 700 BCE) is even today considered
to be one of the greatest poets of myth; as such, a few works
have been attributed to him that he probably did not write.
First, and most likely his, is the Theogony, which explores the
creation of the universe, the Gods and humanity; it is also one
of our few sources of information on the Goddess Hekate. Next is
Works and Days, which uses myths to demonstrate a moral and
upright life. Finally, there are The Shield (about the demigod
Heracles) and the Catalogue of Women (which might not be
Hesiod's). The other giant of mythical poetry is Homer, whom
many scholars argue never existed, or if he did exist he
actually might have been a she, or he might have been two
different people. The Iliad, from around 750 BCE, chronicles the
events over four days during the ten year siege of Troy. The
Odyssey, dated to about 725 BCE, follows Odysseus as he journeys
home following the fall of Troy. More examples of divine
intervention, not all of them flattering, as well as compelling
human characters. The Homeric Hymns, from before 400 BCE and not
written by Homer, offer praise to numerous Gods and Goddesses;
the Hymns are also our primary source for the myth of Demeter
and Persephone. Lastly there is the lyric poet Pindar (c. 518-c.
446 BCE), author of processional songs, victory odes, dirges and
dance songs. Only the victory songs survive intact, each
containing a fragment of myth related to the victorious
athlete's triumph or his native city (for instance, the Orestes
myth in Pythian 11).

While a relationship with the Gods is the primary draw for many
Hellenic Pagans, others are equally drawn to the different
philosophical schools of the ancient Greeks. Philosophy to that
ancient people incorporated what we would consider many
different disciplines, including science, theology, sociology,
mathematics, physics, and political science, among others. As
such, you're as likely to find among the following philosophers
a moving meditation on the nature of divinity as a biting
critique of corruption in government as a complex mathematical
equation. Aristotle (384-322 BCE), a one-time student of Plato,
wrote so much that there is no way for me here to summarize it
all. A few key works: The Art of Rhetoric, Metaphysics,
Nichomachean Ethics, The Politics and Poetics. Diogenes the
Cynic (c. 412/403-c. 324/321 BCE) advocated a "natural" life of
few material possessions, physical endurance, indifference to
so-called civilized mores, and philanthropy; he was one of the
first philosophers to speak out against slavery and the
oppression of women, believing that all people were equal.
Epicurus (341-270 BCE) was a moral and natural philosopher who
wrote some thirty-seven books. Fragments of On Nature were
amazingly preserved in the ash of Mt Vesuvius and are now being
translated, slowly. Most of what we know about the Epicurean
school of philosophy actually comes to us via the later Latin
poet Lucretius, in On the Nature of Things. Epicurus' basic
tenet: ataraxia, e.g., a life free of disturbance. Pursue
pleasure, but only where that does not bring pain; avoid
competition, as that brings jealousy and distress; avoid intense
emotional commitments; the soul is mortal like the body, so
don't worry about an afterlife which will never come. Very
Vulcan-like, no? Plato (c. 428-399 BCE), one of the giants of
philosophy, authored numerous tracts on the nature of
government, human relationships and the soul. Single-volume
complete works are available in any fine bookstore or library,
but individual volumes can also be found. A few suggestions: The
Republic (his major political work, contains the Cave of Shadows
analogy); Phaedo and Phaedrus (the nature of the soul and
reincarnation, among other things); Symposium (erotic love and
truth); and the Timaeus (the nature of the world). Plotinus (c.
205-269/270 CE), was the founder of NeoPlatonism whose Enneads
brought together elements of Platonic, Aristotelian and
rationalist thought. In Plotinus' vision, The One and The Good
stands at the center of creation, the source of existence and
all morality; our world of matter is an imperfect "reflection"
or "expansion" of The One. Ecstasy, reunification of the soul
with The One through meditation and discipline, is the ultimate
goal.+  Pythagoras (mid 6th century BCE) was a legendary figure
in his own time, and his legend only grew after death.
Pythagoreanism contains what we would consider both religious
aspects -- the doctrine of transmigration, degrees of
initiation, dietary laws, burial rites, and so on -- but also
scientific aspects. Pythagoras is credited with the discovery of
that famous geometric theorem that we are still forced to learn
in school, as well as the octave and basic musical harmonies.
Unfortunately, it is unclear how much of Pythagoreanism can
actually be traced to the man himself, and how much should
actually be credited to later followers or detractors. Socrates
(469-399 BCE) wrote nothing -- surprise. Despite that, his
influence over the last few thousand years has been incredible.
What we know of the philosopher and his thoughts and personality
come to us via Plato and Xenophon, whose portraits differ
notably. A few of Socrates' tenets (we think): question yourself
and others in all things; the truth of the world is accessible
through thought, not the senses; right and wrong exist
independently of the divine; the Gods can never do harm or evil
to one another or humanity. Zeno of Citium (c. 340-c. 265 BCE)
was the founder of the Stoic tradition, which stressed logic,
physics and ethics. Zeno taught that individuals should be free
of passion and submit without complaint to that which is
unavoidably necessary. Again with the Vulcan thing.

Plays in ancient Greece were a major element of many religious
festivals; indeed, most the complete and fragmentary plays that
have come down to us were performed at religious competitions
dedicated to Dionysus. Aeschylus (c. 525/4-456/5 BCE), the great
Athenian tragedian, wrote beautifully of human pride and the
suffering inherent to life, but also of the ultimate justice of
the Gods. Among his works are the Oresteia trilogy and
Prometheus. Aristophanes (c. 447-c. 385 BCE) was a comic
playwright whose most biting satire was reserved for war
(Lysistrata, The Acharnanians), warmongers, the Gods (The Frogs)
and philosophy (The Clouds). Euripides (c.480s-c.408 BCE), whose
ninety or so plays were performed at the City Dionysia in
Athens, was apparently popular in his lifetime, but he rarely
won. He was critical of traditional religion, often rewriting
the standard myths. Among his surviving works: Alcestis,
Hippolytus and Medea. Menander (c. 343-292 BCE) was idolized in
his lifetime, then forgotten until the early twentieth century.
His plays, such as Aspis, Heros, Orge and Samia, feature
romance, slapstick and sophisticated social commentary which
translate well even across two thousand years. Sophocles
(c.495-406 BCE) was a master of the art of anagnorsis
(recognition): his characters realize too late that they have
misunderstood the nature of reality and that realization brings
pain and death. Among his surviving works: Ajax, the Oedipus
cycle, Philoctetes and Trachiniae.

Like playwriting, poetry was a high art in ancient Greece,
practiced by men and women alike, for religious and secular
occasions. The birth of a child, a victory in battle, a storm at
sea, first love, an old tree -- any could inspire a poem. A few
notable poets whose works survive, at least in fragments: Alkman
(7th century BCE) was a slave and poet so widely admired and
known in the ancient world that it was said that his poems would
live forever. Today, we have most of his long Hymn to Artemis,
most of his long Hymn to Hera and about fifty fragments.
Beautiful. Archilochos (7th century BCE) was a professional
soldier and poet known for centuries after his death as The
Satirist. He invented iambic verse, wrote the first (surviving)
beast fable, numerous marching songs, love lyrics and elegies;
about three hundred fragments survive. Bacchylides (c.520-450
BCE) was a lyric poet, a few of whose victory odes and
dithyrambs remain. Sappho (c. 620-c.565 BCE) was not the only
female poet of the ancient world, but she remains the most
famous. Sometimes called the Tenth Muse, her poems fuse physical
passion, appreciation of all things beautiful and devotion to
the divine. Only some two hundred fragments survive -- and some
of those in the form of mummy wrappings! Stesichorus (active
c.600-550 BCE), a Greek from southern Italy, wrote twenty-six
books, of which only quotations survive. Originally, his works
covered the entire epic cycle of Greek myth, e.g., Helen,
Cerberus, and Boar-Hunters.

Finally, if you're looking for something a little outside the
"mainstream" (if there was any such thing in ancient Greece):
look into Orphic literature. The poet/singer Orpheus was
entirely mythical; nonetheless, a corpus of hymns, poems,
theogonies and commentaries attributed to him gave rise to an
"alternative" mystical religious tradition centered around
Dionysus and Persephone. Among the loosely-linked Orphic works
are the Hymns, the Orphic Argonautica and the Lithica, along
with numerous fragments and inscriptions. 

There you have them: a fraction of the fraction of ancient
authors whose works survive. Many, many more are out there:
Heraclitus, Xenophanes, Symmachus, Cleidemus, Cleanthes -- in
pieces, yes -- but they survived. Don't allow them to be
forgotten forever.

Next month: Modern resources for modern Hellenic Pagans.

+ One of the most famous NeoPlatonists to follow Plotinus was
Hypatia of Alexandria (c. 370-415 CE). Renowned for her
intelligence and beauty, a learned mathematician and astronomer,
she was attacked by a Christian mob and torn apart, alive.


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

========= The Charge of Chocolate
========= Humor by an unknown author

Listen to the words of the Mother of Chocolate;
who was of old called: Godiva, Ethel M., Sara Lee,
Nestle, Mrs. See, and by many other names:
Whenever you have one of those cravings,
once in a while and better it be when your checkbook is full,
then shall you assemble in a great public place
and bring offerings of money to the spirit of Me,
who is Queen of all Goodies.

In the mall shall you assemble,
you who have eaten all your chocolate and are hungry for more.
To you I shall bring Good Things for your tongue.
And you shall be free from depression.
And as a sign that you are truly free,
you shall have chocolate smears on your cheeks,
and you shall munch, nosh, snack, feast,
and make yummy noises all in my presence.

For mine is the ecstasy of phenylalanine,
and mine is also the joy on earth, yea, even into high orbit,
for my law is "melts in your mouth, not in your hand".
Keep clean your fingers, carry Wet Ones always,
let none stop you aside.
For mine is the secret that opens your mouth,
and mine is the taste that puts a smile on your lips
and comfy padding pounds on your hips.

I am the gracious Goddess who gives the gift of joy
onto the tummies of men and women.
Upon earth, I give knowledge of all things delicious,
and beyond death,well, I can't do much there. Sorry about that.
I demand only your money in sacrifice,
for behold, chocolate is a business,
and you have to pay for those truffles before you eat them. 

========= POETRY: IT'S A FIRE
========= by Elspeth Sapphire

Fire's rush within my blood
Burning, searing, glowing red
Bringing me to a rolling boil
Sacred mist within my head

I grab the pen; fingers shake...
Words crowd to see the open air.
How can I give a spark of life?
I quake, I'll fail! Still I dare.

My Lady's voice sounds in my ear,
Overriding my poor mortal brain.
I mourn what self-control I lose
But praise my lone spirit's gain.

Now I am done...my pen goes down.
Heart's pace slows, sanity returns.
I can relax my tired mind and soul
Til muse's fire in me again burns.


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.

========= Recycling Nuclear Warheads Into Electricity

How many nuclear warheads does it take to power a light bulb?
The answer is no joke.

Since 1995, a joint U.S.-Russian government initiative known as
Megatons to Megawatts has recycled weapons-grade uranium
equivalent to 8,000 Russian nuclear warheads into fuel used by
American power plants to produce electricity.

That's enough fuel to power an entire city the size of Boston or
Seattle for about 300 years.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the 20-year, $8 billion
program, which is charged with eliminating the proliferation
threat from 500 metric tons of Russian weapons-grade
uranium-equivalent to 20,000 warheads.

The program has been so successful that today about one in 10
American homes, businesses, schools and hospitals receives
electricity from nuclear power plants fueled by recycled Russian

It works like this: In Russia, the bomb-grade uranium is diluted
into safe power plant fuel, which can no longer be used in
weapons. Then, the fuel is purchased by USEC Inc., the U.S.
government's executive agent. USEC sells the fuel to its large
base of power plant customers across America.

The program is completely funded by USEC, which has paid Russia
more than $3 billion to date for the uranium fuel. No taxpayer
funds are required. USEC, an investor-owned company, is the
world's leading supplier of enriched uranium fuel for commercial
nuclear power plants.

Through Megatons to Megawatts, commercial nuclear power plants
are proving to be the most effective means of eliminating excess
nuclear warhead material and reducing the proliferation threat.
To date, more than 100 American nuclear power reactors-virtually
the entire U.S. fleet-has used Megatons to Megawatts fuel.

Experts consider the Megatons to Megawatts program a "win-win"
idea: it helps eliminate stores of weapons-grade uranium, which
is actively being sought by terrorists and rogue nations. At the
same time, the program converts the warhead material into a
valuable resource: fuel used to light and power America from
coast to coast.

This is a unique example of how the private sector helps advance
national and world security.

For more information, visit http://www.USEC.com/

========= Depression and Anxiety Disorders

Each year, millions of Americans visit their doctor with
physical complaints such as headaches or fatigue, but few
realize that these symptoms can be common signs of depression
and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), which can result in an
improper diagnosis. In fact, a new survey has found that when
people were asked to name the symptoms of these conditions,
approximately 60 percent didn't recognize the potential physical
symptoms of depression, and approximately 75 percent didn't
associate physical symptoms with GAD. Although physical
complaints can be signs of both disorders, the survey indicates
that patients are not associating them with depression or
anxiety disorders, and a proper diagnosis and treatment could be
at risk.

"Many patients come to my office with vague aches and pains, and
frequently they respond to pain relievers or anti-inflammatory
medication," said Steven Lamm, M.D., clinical assistant
professor of medicine at New York University, Bellevue.
"However, if the patient also talked about emotional symptoms
such as feeling sad, a loss of interest in favorite activities
and in spending time with friends and family, or difficulty
concentrating, I may recognize these as symptoms of depression.
The good news is that when both types of symptoms are presented,
and depression or generalized anxiety disorder is diagnosed,
proper treatment for these conditions can be recommended and
remission of symptoms, which is the goal of treatment, can be

Although depression and anxiety disorders are prevalent,
affecting millions of American adults each year, many people
still do not know that both conditions can have two types of
symptoms: emotional, which can include a lack of motivation,
feeling overwhelmed, and excessive or constant worry; and
physical, such as fatigue, vague aches and pains, and digestive
disorders. For instance, digestive problems can be physical
symptoms of depression and GAD. However, only three percent of
people surveyed named it as a potential symptom of depression,
and only one percent identified it as a potential sign of GAD.
In addition, less than three percent of those surveyed named
fatigue, and less than two percent recognized headaches, both of
which are considered to be common physical symptoms of GAD.

Although people may know that their emotional symptoms could be
associated with depression and anxiety disorders, they don't
usually share both types of symptoms with their doctor.
Ironically, these often are the same patients who visit their
doctor seeking relief for their physical complaints. Depression
and GAD have a broad range of emotional and physical symptoms,
and it is important for patients to recognize and share them all
with their doctor..

Symptoms of depression and GAD can last for weeks or months at a
time, often interfering with daily activities. Anyone who
experiences symptoms of depression for more than two weeks, or
symptoms of GAD for more than six months, should consult their
doctor. An accurate diagnosis that considers all emotional and
physical symptoms can lead to an appropriate treatment regimen.

Depression affects more than 19 million American adults
annually, and more than half of these individuals also have an
anxiety disorder, such as generalized anxiety disorder or social
anxiety disorder. Furthermore, approximately three to five
percent of American adults suffer from generalized anxiety
disorder, while eight percent suffer from social anxiety
disorder annually.

The Omnibus survey was conducted in conjunction with the
national depression and anxiety awareness campaign GOAL! (Go On
And Live!), and was funded by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. GOAL! was
created to raise awareness about the emotional and physical
symptoms associated with depression and anxiety disorders, and
aims to encourage those who suffer from these conditions to seek
treatment that will help them achieve remission of their

To learn more about living beyond depression and anxiety
disorders, visit the GOAL! Web site at

========= Shriners Hospitals Encourage Safety Around Lawnmowers

With the long winter over, grass everywhere is in need of
attention. To ensure safe lawn- mowing, Shriners Hospitals for
Children are alerting parents that safety precautions should be

Shriners Hospitals treat many children each year who have been
seriously injured as a result of power lawnmower accidents. Many
of these incidents result in the loss of fingers, toes, limbs
and even eyes. Tragically, some lawnmower accidents can result
in permanent brain damage or even death.

Twenty-one-year-old Spence McArthur of Lovell, Wyo., knows the
effects of a lawnmower accident firsthand. When Spence was
3-years-old, he lost part of his right foot when he tripped in
front of a riding lawnmower. To improve his mobility, doctors at
the Intermountain Shriners Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah
amputated Spence's foot and fit him with a prosthesis. Many
years-and prostheses-later, the athletic teen is living proof
that amputees can compete with other athletes on the playing

His high school years were spent playing basketball and
football, and running track. In 2002, Spence participated in the
Wyoming Shrine Bowl, making him the first Intermountain Shriners
Hospital patient to compete in the game. High school seniors
play in the annual event, which raises money for Shriners
Hospitals for Children.

"Not thinking about my prosthesis gives me an advantage," he
said. "I know I'm just as strong as they are."

Today, Spence is doing church missionary work in Argentina
before heading off to Northwest College in Wyoming. He wants to
eventually work with children.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, on
average, each year about 20,000 people are injured on or near
power mowers, most of them riding mowers. One out of every five
deaths involves a child. The Commission estimates that most of
the deaths occur when a child is in the path of a moving mower.
Although tragic, these unfortunate situations could have been
avoided, if adults had taken the proper precautions.

To prevent injuries to children and adults from lawn- mowers,
please follow these safety tips from Shriners Hospitals and the
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:

* Do not allow passengers on a riding mower.

* Keep children out of the yard and indoors while mowing the

* It is recommended that children under the age of 14 not be
allowed to operate a lawnmower.

* Always prepare your lawn for mowing. Check your lawn for items
such as sticks, rocks, toys, etc. Make sure nothing is hidden in
the grass.

* Handle fuel with care. Wipe up spills. Never fill the tank on
a mower that is hot. Never smoke or use any kind of flame around

* Wear appropriate clothing and shoes. Wear long pants,
long-sleeved shirts, eye protection and heavy gloves. Wear
sturdy, close-toed shoes with slip-resistant rubber soles.

* Check guards and shields. Be sure to read the owner's manual
and know how to operate the equipment. Don't remove or disable
guards or other safety devices.

* Use a mower with an automatic blade cut-off. Stay behind the
handle until the blade stops. Never reach under a mower while it
is still operating. If you need to remove debris or check the
blade, disconnect the wire from the spark plug.

* Don't cut grass when it's wet.

* On slopes, mow up and down rather than across the slope.

For more information on lawn- mower safety, or Shriners' network
of hospitals that treat children with orthopaedic problems,
burns and spinal cord injuries, please write to Shriners
International Headquarters, Public Relations Dept., 2900 Rocky
Point Drive, Tampa, FL 33607 or visit
http://www.shrinershq.org/. If you know a child Shriners can
help, call 1-800-237-5055 in the United States or 1-800-361-7256
in Canada. Shriners Hospitals provide free treatment to children
under age 18 without regard to race, religion or relationship to
a Shriner.

========= Mortgage Servicing: Making Your Payments Count

A home may be one of the most expensive purchases you will ever
make. That's why it's important to know who is handling your
payments and that your mortgage account is properly credited.

In today's market, mortgage loans and the rights to service them
often are bought and sold.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's consumer
protection agency, wants you to know what a mortgage servicer
does and what your rights are.

A mortgage servicer is responsible for collecting your monthly
loan payments and crediting your account. A servicer also
handles your escrow account, if you have one. An escrow account
is a fund held by your servicer. You pay money into this fund to
cover charges like property taxes and homeowners insurance. The
escrow payments typically are included as part of your monthly
mortgage payments.

The servicer pays your taxes and insurance as they become due
during the year. If you do not have an escrow account, you are
responsible for paying your taxes and insurance, and budgeting

Within 45 days of establishing an escrow account, the servicer
must give you a statement that clearly itemizes the estimated
taxes, insurance, and other anticipated charges to be paid over
the next 12 months, and the expected dates and totals of those

The mortgage servicer also is required to give you a free annual
statement that details the activity of your escrow account.

If your loan has been sold, the new servicer must notify you
within 15 days after the transfer has occurred. The notice must
include the name and address of the new servicer, and the date
the new servicer will begin accepting your mortgage payments.

To help protect your investment, the FTC offers these tips:

* Keep records of what you've paid; include billing statements,
canceled checks, and bank account statements.

* Review your billing statements. If you have a dispute,
continue to make your mortgage payments, and challenge the
servicing in writing.

* Read all notices from your mortgage servicer carefully. If the
servicer asks for proof of homeowner's insurance, send it in
promptly, and keep a record that you sent it.

To learn more, visit www.ftc. gov, or call toll-free

========= Marfan Syndrome

Flo Hyman was the picture of good health. But, the captain of
the 1984 U.S. Olympic volleyball team died tragically on a
volleyball court in Japan during a tournament two years after
the Olympics, the result of an aortic dissection. The cause was
the Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder of connective tissue
that causes the aorta (the large blood vessel that carries blood
away from the heart) to weaken, tear and even rupture. Flo did
not know she had this disorder; it was diagnosed at autopsy.

Today, more is known about the Marfan syndrome in athletic
circles. The National Federation of High School Associations
(NFHS) urges doctors to look for the signs of the Marfan
syndrome when they conduct pre-participation screenings in young
athletes. The NFHS also encourages medical questionnaires to
include questions about family history of the Marfan syndrome
and other early heart deaths. The hope is to reduce the number
of preventable deaths on the playing fields of this country.

So, what does the Marfan syndrome "look like"? Ironically, many
of the physical characteristics caused by the Marfan syndrome
are traits that enable people to be good in sports-increased
height; long arms, legs and fingers; loose-jointedness. However,
in addition to these outward signs (which, alone, are common in
the general population), affected people usually have a weakened
aorta. Competitive and contact sports make this condition
worse-and there may be no sign of trouble until a fatal rupture.

People with the Marfan syndrome, including youngsters, are often
prescribed beta-blocker medications to reduce the force of the
heartbeat and to lower the blood pressure. Studies have shown
that this can slow down the growth of the aorta.

"While it is frequently heart-breaking for a youngster to be
told they can no longer play competitive sports, it can be
life-saving," said Alan C. Braverman, Professor of Medicine,
Cardiovascular Division, Washington University School of
Medicine. "They can still be active, as all people must be to
keep themselves in shape, but it is important that they are
limited to low-intensity aerobic (moving) types of exercise
performed in moderation. Exercise should be for enjoyment,
rather than to win or to test speed or endurance."

For more information about the Marfan syndrome, visit the
National Marfan Foundation (NMF) web site, www.Marfan.org, or
call the NMF toll-free at 800-8-MARFAN. The NMF is the only
comprehensive source of accurate, up-to-date information about
the Marfan syndrome for both the medical community and the
general public. It offers free educational information, as well
as support services nationwide.

========= 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 300 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 new 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)
2004 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
to receive it. You can subscribe or unsubscribe to this
newsletter via your web browser at:


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


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

If you need to change your subscription to a new email address,
unsubscribe your old email address and subscribe your new email
address. Note that you have to make these changes yourself. Yahoo
Groups does not allow the list owner to make them for you.


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



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

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


Don't forget that your suggestions for this newsletter are always
welcome, either posted on the message board or via email to
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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