[Cauldron and Candle Illo]


Cauldron and Candle
Issue #47 -- May 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  #47 -- May 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: May
[03] Cauldron News
[04] Cauldron Discussions
[05] Reviews
     [05-1] The Apple Branch
     [05-2] The Complete Guide to Divination
     [05-3] Tarot & Dream Interpretation
     [05-4] Karmic Palmistry
     [05-5] The Dark Archetype
     [05-6] Covencraft
     [05-7] The Circle Within
[06] Received For Review (with Mini-Reviews)
[07] Articles:
     [07-1] A Pagan By Any Other Name
[08] Columns
     [08-1] Humor: You Finally Know You Are A Witch When...
     [08-2] Poetry: Living In The Tower's Rubble
[09] Around the Planes: Notes from All Over
     [09-1] Reaching Common Ground After The Passion
     [09-2] Not All Credit Counselors Are On The Level
     [09-3] Polluted Stormwater: #1 Threat To Nation's Water
     [09-4] Girls Urged To "Go Tech"
     [09-5] Pointers And Products To Protect You
[10] Support The Cauldron by Volunteering to Help
[11] Newsletter Information
              (Including How To Subscribe/Unsubscribe)

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

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

This has been a time of major transitions. LyricFox has moved
from Dallas to Waco, I've moved from San Antonio to Waco, we've
finally gotten married, and we've moved The Cauldron's message
board off of DelphiForums. The latter was an unplanned transition
and could not have come at a worse time for LyricFox and myself.
However, it had to be done when DelphiForums decided to mess
customers over again -- only two years since the last time they
did it and with many of the things promised two years ago still

I'd like to thank Bob the Sane for providing the bandwidth and
server for our new message board and all of our staff and regular
posters for lending a big hand in moving the board and getting
conversations started there. I'd also like to thank the Beehive
development team for their assistance with a few glitches we had
with the software (and Mike, in particular, for coming over and
assisting our members in understanding a few of the Beehive
features and quirks. We don't regret the move at all now that
we've completed it (and we certainly don't miss the DelphiForums
management style and customer "service"), but we sure wish it
would not have had to happen shortly after we got married.

This newsletter is a bit larger and more complete than the April
issue, but the long-term future of the newsletter is still
unknown as I don't know if I will continue to have time for it
once I find full time employment given that my life now includes
a wife, three dachshunds, two cats, and a house. I'll try, but I
can make no promises.


                      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

I'm sure we all have old hobbies. Things we used to like to do,
but which we've let fall by the wayside. Maybe it's a kind of art
or craft, maybe it's spending time with a particular group or
person, maybe it's even as simple as making an effort to dress a
particular way or taking some time to just relax each day.
Whatever it is, we used to enjoy it, but somehow it just got away
from us.

Your Challenge for May: Pick something which fits that
description... and do it again. So -- what are you going to do?

I encourage participants to post their plans in the March
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

===== New Cauldron Message Board A Big Success

As we announced in our special second April issue, due to changes
in DelphiForums rate structure (and the paying customer surly way
DelphiForums staff handled these changes), we moved our message
board to a new board on Bob the Sane's server running Beehive
software -- which is very Delphi like. In the fifteen days in
April the new board was open, we had over 6000 posts made. Our
new home (at http://www.ecauldron.net/) seems very successful.

Our new board is particularly popular because it is FREE to all
registered members. No one has to cough up money just to avoid
being  buried in banner ads pretending to be messages, ads in
between messages, etc. as was needed on DelphiForums. All members
get access to all the features as well. This means that all
members of our message board are able to:

* have sigs

* use HTML in messages

* reply to "ALL"

* mark threads read

* search the forum message base

The software also allows for additional forum features like
private forum messages (with your own inbox) and a Internet link
list which allows members to post links and other members to
comment on them and rate them.

Our Java chat room is up and is available to all message board
members. Chat accounts are created automatically from current
message board accounts once a day in the wee hours of the morning
(US time). If you create a new message board account, you will
not be able to enter our chat room until this happens. Your chat
id and password will be the same as your id and password in the
message board. Note that if you modify your password on the
message board, you password will not change on the chat room
until the daily membership update process runs. Mac users should
try a current version of the Safari browser as many Mac-using
members report Mac IE does not work with our Java chat client.
(But Safari reportedly does not work with the message board.)



(Yes, that is an ecauldron.net address, our web site will remain
at the ecauldron.com address.)

We hope you will give our new message board a try, especially if
you've avoided our DelphiForums message board because of the
limited features and excessive number ads of that DelphiForums
saddled non-paying members with. Our message board as always been
the heart and soul of The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum and we hope
this move off of DelphiForums will enable it to be so for even
more people.

Again, the address of our new free, full-featured forum is:


===== New Staff Member: Chabas

The Cauldron is happy to announce our latest message board staff
member: Chabas. She's has been one of our Chat Hosts since we
started regular chats last year.



        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 Brought You to Your Gods?

I've always loved to hear other people's stories of how they came
to Paganism, so what brought you to your Gods and your religion?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== American Pilgrimages?

It's term paper time, and for one of my religion classes ("Myth,
Symbol and Ritual" is the name) I decided to do my final paper on
pilgrimages in the U.S. My professor was really enthusiastic
about the idea, especially since it deals with largely secular
expressions of a usually religious act (pilgrimage). There's just
one problem: I haven't been able to think of many examples or
find info on them. I'm told the Baseball Hall of Fame in
Cooperstown is a pilgrimage site for devoted fans, and I imagine
Roswell, New Mexico would be as well.

I suppose I should define what I mean by pilgrimage, then: I mean
a journey specifically undertaken to visit a site that is deemed
holy or special by the pilgrim. A man making a special trip to
Cooperstown to see the memorabilia (relics, if you will) of his
favorite player, having long idolized the player and anticipated
seeing said memorabilia, would be a pilgrimage; visiting the
museum as he passes through Cooperstown on the way to someplace
else would not be.

So I thought I'd come here and ask: what are some pilgrimage
sites in America, secular or religious? And if you can think of
any, do you know where I could find info on their function as
pilgrimage sites, or some personal accounts of pilgrimages to
those sites?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== What Does a Teacher Give?

A lot of people seek teaching in Pagan religions. In fact, in
some trads a teacher/coven is required to become part of that
group. What I'm wondering, both from those who teach and from
those that seek teaching... just what does that teacher do?
What's brought to the table here? Other than the actual act of
initiation, what does a teacher do that cannot be done alone...
or is it simply easier to have a teacher? What are people looking
for, and what are they finding?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Getting Support for Pagan Groups

There has been talked of building community here in Ireland, but
it seems to be hard to get pagans to give support for
organizations. There seems to be a few people pulling a lot of
weight and some people being a lot of weight.

I co-founded Ireland's first pagan society, it's a little over a
year old and a lot of its founding members are in their final
year at university. We tried to get speakers, but one druid
canceled on us at very late notice (an hour after the talk was
suppose to begin) and another pagan author agree to talk and now
seems to have backed out as a he has a new book out.

The attitude from the pagan community seems to be its a nice idea
but don't expect us to help. It's been accepted that if we don't
get enough new people next year, the groups will either disband
or change focus from paganism to religious discussion and stop
offering any particular pagan support.

I don't know, I suppose I'm asking how did organizations get off
the ground elsewhere? Is there any expectations of support for
the community as a pagan? I think there is, but maybe it's not a
popular belief.

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== The "Dangers" of Tarot Cards

I used to read tarot cards all the time. It was my icebreaker at
parties, and a good way to get to know people. But I stopped
reading them in those situations, and have put them away for good
now, because they work far too well. I used the Thoth Deck, given
to me by my husband.

My "ritual" is to let folks look at the cards face up, ask
questions about any that interest them, etc. I make them shuffle
three times, then ask them to pull out ten cards (Celtic cross).

Has anyone found a good use for these things yet? Cause they just
seem to distress people with information they probably don't

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Divine Interpreters?

Let's face it, most Pagan religions, even if they have a place
for clergy and laity, don't have enough people for a lot of
clergy and laity. So there isn't really the idea of some people
talking to god(s) for other people.

That said... Is there a place in your religion for a "Divine
Interpreter"? Do you think sometimes one person "hears" better
than another what's being said? Is it a job title, a life
calling, a prison sentence?

And if you have them, what do you do with them?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== What Makes a Good Newbie?

I see endless grumbling, jokes, etc. about all the different
kinds of awful (usually fluffy bunny) newbie pagans, but I think
I've yet to see anyone describe a good newbie. What do you think?
Who qualifies as a good newbie? Lots of people on this forum have
survived the new-to-paganism phase, so not all new folks can be

Alright, I admit it...I'm more or less a newbie myself, so I'm
partly curious to see if I fit your description of a good
newbie...but not that curious since I think I'm pretty
reasonable, so mostly I just want to see what you all will come
up with. (Actually, I'm really new in the sense that I'm still
learning and I haven't dedicated myself to any path, and I'm not
yet sure if I will.)

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== You're Not a Real Pagan, Because...

Koi, in the "Good Newbies" thread, said: 'My favorite folks who
do this not only claim they astral travel effectively but insist
if they haven't met you "on the astral plane" then you're not a
real Pagan and/or that they're receiving all their training "on
the astral plane" from some big hoo-hah of the plane that if you
were a real Pagan, you'd know about.'

What other kind of "you're not a real Pagan" comments have you
heard, seen or personally got? How did you react?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Pacifism?

Who here's a pacifist? Why? Does your religion play an important
role in your pacifism? If you are not, why not? Again, does
religion play a role?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Tea With the Gods

Let's just say that you were offered the opportunity to have a
face to face, in the flesh, visit with the deity of your choice.

Would you take it?

Who would you ask to visit you? Why?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:



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       or PayPal and help us pay the web site bills.

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

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

The Apple Branch: A Path to Celtic Ritual
Author: Alexei Kondratiev
Trade Paperback, 312 pages
Publisher: Citadel Press
Publication date: July 2003
ISBN: 0806525029
US Retail Price: $14.95
Amazon Link:

The Apple Branch: A Path to Celtic Ritual is the first book on
Celtic spirituality and its modern practice by a Celtic
Reconstructionist that I've seen. Unfortunately, I'm not a Celtic
scholar, so I can't really comment on its accuracy, but the
author seems to be a scholar in the Celtic field and fairly well
respected by the Celtic Recons I know -- even if they don't agree
with him on all issues. This is definitely not another Celtic
Wicca book written by someone with very limited knowledge of the
Celts. While it is not footnoted (an oddity given that it is
obviously aimed at those who would appreciate -- and even expect
-- footnotes), the bibliography seems well-populated with
scholarly books.

The book goes into the connections between the elements, the
Gods, and the festivals as the Celts saw them. It explores myth
and legend to see what they tell us about ancient Celtic culture
and religion. The back cover states that this book explains how
to start a Celtic group. I think that is overstating things a
bit. The author provides a lot of information that would be
useful source to a Celtic group but does not give complete
rituals or other information that many would expect after seeing
this claim on the back cover.

The book is not without its flaws. The author's "political"
opinions color a few parts of this book in ways that some Celtic
Recons I know have problems with. Kondratiev goes on at some
length about how Rome was the evil that destroyed Celtic culture,
about how the Christian tradition in Celtic lands is the
authentic carrier and preserver of that tradition, and about how
one must learn a Celtic language to be able to understand Celtic
culture. As I understand it, these positions (especially the
language issue) are not always accepted by Celtic scholars,
although it is hard to tell this from the author's statements in
the book. Nevertheless, the book is an interesting read and I'm
told the actual "meat" of The Apple Branch: A Path to Celtic
Ritual, the information on Celtic religion, is quite good. This
book is a must read for serious students of Celtic spirituality.

           This review is available on our web site at

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

The Complete Guide to Divination
Author: Cassandra Eason
Trade Paperback, 304 pages
Publisher: Crossing Press
Publication date: September 2003
ISBN: 1580911382
US Retail Price: $14.95
Amazon Link:

The title of Cassandra Eason's latest book is a mouthful, The
Complete Guide to Divination: How to Foretell the Future Using
the Most Popular Methods of Prediction. For "marketing department
speak," this is a fairly accurate description of the book. Like
most books claiming to be "complete guides," it really is just a
introduction to its subject. However, it is a very good
introduction to divination. This is especially true for someone
who is interested in learning enough about a number of popular
divination systems to actually use them a while to see which
ones click and deserve further study.

Eason's book covers ten divination systems: Tarot cards, playing
cards, the I Ching, numerology, palmistry, runes, tea leaves,
pendulum, trees, and crystals. The number of pages devoted to
each system varies by its complexity from about seven pages for
divination by pendulum to about fifty pages each for the Tarot
and the I Ching. In all cases, she gives enough information to
actually use the system completely, although at a basic level.
This puts the book miles ahead of the many multi-system
introductory divination books on the market that are so skimpy on
details of the systems they purport to cover that one often
cannot really use those systems. Easton's writing is clear and
easy to follow. The Complete Guide to Divination: How to
Foretell the Future Using the Most Popular Methods of Prediction
is a well-written introduction to many divination systems for the
complete beginner.

           This review is available on our web site at

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

Tarot & Dream Interpretation
Author: Julie Gillentine
Trade Paperback, 240 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: July 2003
ISBN: 073870220X
US Retail Price: $14.95
Amazon Link:

Tarot & Dream Interpretation is another book in Llewellyn's
interesting "Special Topics in Tarot" series. Like the other book
in the series, this book focuses on a more advanced method of
Tarot use. Julie Gillentine explores ways to use the Tarot to
help interpret dreams and vice-versa. The majority of the book,
the last two-thirds, is special Tarot interpretations for dreams
and a symbol dictionary which includes both dream and tarot
symbols. Explanations and nine special spreads make up the first
third of the book. It's really hard to say a lot about the
contents of this book as they provide what one needs to combine
the Tarot with dreams in a very straightforward manner. While
there is a lot of information, there's not a lot to talk about.

What really makes this book work, however, are the many example
readings in the fourth chapter. The author provides ten concise
sample readings that did more to show me how dream interpretation
and tarot reading can work together than all the preceding
explanations did. Tarot & Dream Interpretation is an interesting
book. If you divine either by dreams or tarot and would like to
expand your horizons, you will want to take a look at it, but
those familiar with both methods will benefit the most from this

           This review is available on our web site at

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

Karmic Palmistry
Author: Jon Saint-Germain
Trade Paperback, 176 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: June 2003
ISBN: 0738703176
US Retail Price: $14.95
Amazon Link:

In India and surrounding areas, the concept of karma is
apparently applied to many fields, including divination. While
karmic astrology has been the focus of a number of books in the
West, Karmic Palmistry: Explore Past Lives, Soul Mates, & Karma
is the first book I know of on karmic palmistry. While it
provides an overview of palmistry in the first chapter, this
really isn't the best book for complete beginners. It is too
specialized and lacks the huge number of illustrations that a
good palmistry book for beginners will have.

A knowledgeable palmist may find this book adds a new dimension
to palmistry by adding in karmic references and the I Ching.
Personally, I question the usefulness of karma considerations in
the West as most people haven't studied Eastern religions or
philosophies and therefore have a very warped idea of how karma
works and what karmic debt is. Adding karma to a reading may
simply make it harder for the average person to understand. Then
again, from reading this book, it's clear that using these
techniques can add insight to a reading. The I Ching methods are
really a separate idea and provide an interesting way to expand a
reading by using the I Ching. I like it, but my respect for the I
Ching may be biasing my opinion. Overall, this is an interesting
book that some palmists will find very useful and others will
consider a waste of time and money.

           This review is available on our web site at

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

The Dark Archetype
Author: Denise Dumars and Lori Nyx
Trade Paperback, 221 pages
Publisher: New Page Books
Publication date: September 2003
ISBN: 1564146936
US Retail Price: $13.99
Amazon Link:

The Dark Archetype: Exploring the Shadow Side of the Divine deals
with the "dark" side of mythology and magick, the part that is
often swept under the rug in the interest of making the universe
look safe and inoffensive. The first half of this book discusses
nine "dark" goddesses (Baba Yaga, the Black Virgin, Coatlicue,
Hekate, Hel, Kali, Lilith, Medusa, and Oya) and nine "dark" gods
(Anubis, Dionysos, the Grim Reaper, Loki, Lucifer, Set, Shiva,
Tezcatlipoca, and Volos. (Calling some of these beings "deities"
seems a bit much to me, but that's a minor quibble.)

While I can't vouch for the accuracy of the information provided
about all of these deities as I am not that familiar with them,
the information on the two I am most familiar with, Hekate and
Dionysos, does seem fairly accurate historically. The article on
Hekate even mentions that she was not seen as a crone or
considered part of a triple Goddess in ancient Greece. Relatively
recent books from university presses are listed in the
bibliography which is always a good sign for those looking for
more accurate information than is often given in popular Pagan
books. A spell or ritual created around each deity makes up the
latter half of the book. These spells are thoroughly modern.

Judging by the two deities I'm familiar with, The Dark Archetype:
Exploring the Shadow Side of the Divine is one of the better
deity books published for the Pagan marketplace. The authors seem
to have done some actual research into academic sources instead
of using the revisionist views of the Gods that seem to be so
popular with many Pagans. I wish more Pagan authors would do this
as it makes for a much better than average book.

           This review is available on our web site at

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

Covencraft: Witchcraft for Three or More
Author: Amber K
Trade Paperback, 528 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: October 1998
ISBN: 1567180183
US Retail Price: $19.95
Amazon Link:

Amber K's Covencraft: Witchcraft for Three or More, now in its
fourth printing and sporting a new cover, is a fairly rare type
of book. First, because it's a book of advice on the mechanics of
forming and running a Wiccan coven (as opposed to on the rituals
and practices of a coven). Second, because it's a coven-oriented
book aimed at eclectics -- when most books for eclectics today
seem to assume that if one is an eclectic Wiccan, one's primary
focus will be solitary. Despite a few odd suggestions and minor
problems, Covencraft is a very good book -- proof that Llewellyn
can publish quality Wiccan books that aren't aimed at the
complete beginner.

As this book is divided into 27 chapters and 42 appendixes, I
cannot review it as I usually do, by briefly commenting on each
chapter or section. I can only talk about the contents in
general. This book discusses organizing and operating a coven in
great detail. There are chapters on where to meet, coven
finances, coven officers, training new members, initiations,
group dynamics, dealing with conflict, networking and much more.
The appendixes provide sample coven bylaws, membership
agreements, sample degree programs, a sample budget, a list of
problem personalty types, lists of resources, and sample coven

Covencraft is a well written book. It is easy to understand and
generally gives good advice. Unlike many books on forming groups,
it is not dry and boring. However, on rare occasions this book's
advice seems to reflect the author's personal biases more than
reality as I know it. For example, the author seems to believe
that people who do not keep a neat home are unlikely to be good
coven leaders. In over thirty years in the Pagan community, I've
seen good group leaders with very neat homes and some good group
leaders with homes so messy I tried to avoid them -- and vice
versa. Neatness counts, but not that much. However, if you use
your common sense you can easily tell when the author's own way
of looking at the world is intruding in the book.

This book is a must have for eclectic Wiccans who would like to
start a coven. Reading it and putting its ideas into practice
will help prevent many of the problems many covens of eclectics
seem to have. Traditional coven-oriented Wiccans will probably
not find all that much of use in this book as their traditions
provide the specific information they need. Non-Wiccan Pagans
interested in forming small religious groups might find some of
the information on organizing groups useful. Covencraft:
Witchcraft for Three or More is an excellent book that is as
useful today as when it first appeared in the late 1990s.

           This review is available on our web site at

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

The Circle Within
Author: Dianne Sylvan
Trade Paperback, 189 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: September 2003
ISBN: 0738703486
US Retail Price: $12.95
Amazon Link:

There are a lot of books on the basics of Wiccan beliefs and
practices, but unlike most religions, there aren't yet many books
on how to be a better Wiccan. The Circle Within: Creating a
Wiccan Spiritual Tradition is a start. This book deals with
relationships with deity, ethics and behavior, sacred space,
daily practices, the wheel of the year, and creating personal
rituals and traditions. It's not the usual Wicca 101 discussion
of these things, however. Instead it is a discussion of how to
live as a Wiccan and grow spiritually closer to the Wiccan God
and Goddess. The second and much shorter section of the book
gives devotions, prayers, and minor rituals to help get the
reader started using the ideas in this book.

Dianne Sylvan's style is friendly and easy to understand, but not
so familiar that you think she is your mother. This book, while
not perfect (some of the theological concepts presented in the
first chapters are a bit dodgy, for example), is full of ideas
for incorporating Wiccan beliefs into everyday life. Solitary
Wiccans will find this book particularly helpful, but even more
coven-oriented Wiccans may find some personal insight in this
book. For most Wiccans, this book is definitely worth a look.

           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

========= A Pagan By Any Other Name:
========= Greek Pagan, Hellenic Pagan, or Hellenic
========= Reconstructionist?
========= by Rebecca Salek

Like many in the Pagan community, I began as your generic, run-
of-the-mill eclectic, borrowing from this and that and some of
that over there to create a satisfactory solitary practice. It
didn't take me long to realize, though, that I was more drawn to
the ancient Greek pantheon of Deities than any other -- and I had
been since childhood. My focus shifted to them. I now offer
regular prayers and thanks to Apollon* and Hekate and Hermes, to
name a few.

Immediately after realizing what I was, came a second problem:
how to _name_ what I was. What is someone called who honors the
old Greek Deities and tries to live according to that ancient
moral and ethical code? I was not the only one struggling with
this question: it remains an on-going debate within the community
today. Numerous suggestions have been offered, but all have their
problems. These titles have been individually embraced, but none
have been universally accepted. Among the most common terms used
within the community are Olympianist, Greek Pagan, Hellenic Pagan
and Hellenic Reconstructionist.

_Olympianist_ is probably the most immediately self-explanatory
to another Pagan or even a non-Pagan. But it is also the most
limited of the terms. It implies worship of only the twelve
traditional Gods and Goddesses who made their home on Mount
Olympus. Or was it only twelve? Some ancient lists have twelve
names: Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Hestia, Apollon, Artemis,
Athena, Hephaestus, Aphrodite, Ares and Hermes. Others thirteen
(add Dionysus). Still others add Hades and Persephone, the rulers
over the Underworld. And what of the "minor" Deities such as
Eileithyia or the Graces? Or Hekate or Pan, who were never part
of the traditional lists?

Unfortunately, while recognizable, Olympianist is applicable to
only a small portion of the community. To make a comparison,
"Odinist" applies to Norse Pagans who are particular devotees of
Odin. So it is with Olympianist: pertinent in a few cases, but
not all.

A second term that has been suggested is _Greek Pagan_.
Initially, it makes the most sense. A Greek Pagan, obviously, is
someone who honors the ancient Greek Deities. But what about the
foreign Deities who were honored by the Greeks? Dionysus and
Kybele, two "traditional" Greek Deities, most likely came from
abroad; and, if not, their worship was heavily influenced by
foreign practices. Isis was also extremely popular in Greece, but
She hails originally from Egypt.

There is also the problem of time. Does the term Greek Pagan
apply only to those Deities and practices known when the
peninsula was a series of independent city-states? Or does it
include everything up through the Macedonian conquest? Or the
Roman conquest? What about later philosophical and theological
developments such as Pythagoreanism and NeoPlatonism? Even in the
days before the Macedonians swooped in, there was no Greek Pagan
orthodoxy or orthopraxy; practices and beliefs and even the names
and origins of Deities varied widely across the peninsula.

Another problem arises from the nationalistic nature of the term.
Indigenous Greek Pagans today who honor the old Deities and are
attempting to win official recognition for their faith object to
the use of the term by foreigners. After all, most of us aren't
ethnically Greek. (Heck, most of us can't read or speak any form
of ancient or modern Greek, either.)

As such, Greek Pagan works. The term is recognizable and pretty
self-explanatory, even to non-Pagans. But it has a few problems,

One of the most popular terms in use by the community is
_Hellenic Pagan_. It is much more inclusive than Greek Pagan in
that it doesn't suffer from quite the same temporal and
geographical limitations. Hellenic civilization was that
flowering and fusion of native Greek, Macedonian and foreign
cultures which arose in the wake of Alexander the Great's
conquests. As such, it encompasses "traditional" Greek practices
and beliefs, as well as later developments such as Orphism and
Cynicism, and the worship of Deities such as Isis. Some even
include late Roman developments such as NeoPlatonism in the
definition, citing its Greek origins. Others in the community go
so far as to include Pagans who worship the old Greek Deities
without reference to historical practices such as festivals or
holy days (such a Greek Wiccans).

But that broad inclusiveness has raised doubts among some in the
community: the term might well be _too_ broad. Could worship of
Serapis (a fusion of the Egyptian Osiris and the Greek Zeus,
among other Deities) be included? What about other practices
which are an amalgation of Greek and something else? Could a
modern Hellenic Pagan conceivably honor Jesus, in addition to
Artemis and Hera and Ares, as some ancients did?

Which brings us to the other most popular term: _Hellenic
Reconstructionist_. A Reconstructionist is a very particular type
of Pagan: one who attempts to follow the rites and festivals of
the ancients as closely as archeological, anthropological and
literary data allows. Hellenion is one organization dedicated to
the reconstruction and re-establishment of those ancient rites.
Reconstructionists tend to be the most informed about ancient
ways in the community (impressive personal libraries) and quite a
few are fluent in one or another ancient Greek dialect.

But, like Olympianism, the term Hellenic Reconstructionist is
applicable to only a small part of the community. And there is
strong debate as to exactly how far one has to go to be
considered a reconstructionist. Just as an example, there is the
calendrical argument. Must a reconstructionist follow the ancient
calendar of festivals? If so, which calendar? The Athenian? The
bits of the Spartan that we know about? What if the practitioner
lives somewhere other than a Mediterranean climate? Harvest
festivals won't fall in the right place, then. Does that mean the
calendar can be adapted? And so on and so forth.

Settling on this particular Pagan path didn't take me long.
Figuring out how to identify myself to others has taken a little
longer. Personally, in conversation with Pagans and non-Pagans
alike, I call myself an Hellenic Pagan: I honor more than just
the Olympian Deities, I'm not an ethnic Greek, and I don't follow
any ancient liturgical cycle. At the same time, I'm
acknowledging my cultural debt to ancient Greece, and most
people learned enough in college history courses to have some
idea as to what I mean by "Hellenic."

My choice is not universal -- nor should it necessarily be. A man
who identifies himself as an Olympianist should not be forced to
call himself something else. Use of one term could drive away
potential new members who do not agree with it, for whatever
reason. To call everyone in the community by one name is also
misleading to outsiders, implying that we all think and act the
same. We do not. There is vigorous debate in the community as to
the nature of the Gods and Goddesses, the right ways to honor
them, the meanings of ancient myths, the place of personal
experience, and many other issues.

My community is a diverse one. I'm proud to be a member -- by
whatever name I call myself.

Next month: Ancient sources for modern Hellenic Pagans.

* In the original Greek, the God's name is Apollon. Apollo is the
more familiar Latin version.


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       books, candles, incense,  essential oils, jewelry,
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       They have a large  selection of Pagan-oriented
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       web site, a percentage any purchases you make
       while you are there comes back to The Cauldron to
       help support our web site.



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

========= You Finally Know You Are A Witch When ...
========= Humor by an unknown author

* Your BOS has spots on the pages from spilled brews.

* When cleaning house you have to specify. "Where is the broom?
  No, not THE broom, where is the one to clean the floor with?"

* Candle wax has dripped on your keyboard.

* There are more jars of strange smelling plants in your
  cupboards than there are cereal boxes.

* Friends know they can always give you candles and incense as a

* When watching old re-runs of Bewitched, you find you side with
  Samantha's mother Endora.

* When travelling, stranger and stranger strangers tell you their

* You find yourself making corn dollies in the checkout line at
  the grocery store (well, I thought about it).

* You ask for Halloween off, because it's a religious holiday.

* You start answering the phone with "Merry Meet".

* You cast a circle before brushing your teeth, watching TV,
  going online, etc.

* You know more things about people you've just met than friends
  they've had for 3 or more years. (Sometimes they blush.)

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

I view the world now through crystal dreams
     oh, broken dreams....
     wind swept dreams
Tear stained rubble held in my shaking hands.

The Tower is down -- tis time to rebuild
     but I am sooo old...
     sooo tired
Afraid to hear the whispers of hope.

It shattered once -- why not twice?
     so much work...
     so much pain...
I sigh as I cast the broken stones away.

Giving up is never an option.
     time to try
     time to strive
And with time, perhaps to again dream.


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.

========= Reaching Common Ground After The Passion

The Mel Gibson movie "The Passion of the Christ" spurred much
controversy and concern that it may have hurt Christian-Jewish
relations. In response, one young woman decided to create a
$100,000 student essay contest aimed at building bridges between
the two religions.

"A great opportunity had been missed," said Elizabeth Goldhirsh,
a 25-year-old Master's student in Theological Studies at Harvard
University. "The dialogue was entirely shaped by criticism and
divisiveness. No one made any room to talk about the common
ground shared by Christians and Jews."

With help from the Reverend Christopher Leighton of the Institute
for Christian and Jewish Studies (ICJS), Goldhirsh launched the
"Reaching Common Ground" essay contest. It's designed to
encourage 16- to 22-year-olds to explore the bonds shared by the
two faiths, with the goal of fostering mutual understanding.

Contestants must write an essay responding to one of three
theological questions posed on the organization's Web site.
Entries must be submitted by July 30, 2004. First prize is
$25,000; second prize, $10,000. The 10 third prizes are $5,000
each and 15 fourth prizes are $1,000 each. In addition, winners
will be eligible to become ICJS Fellows and participate in
weekend retreats of interfaith learning and dialog.

For contest rules and other information, see

========= Not All Credit Counselors Are On The Level

Often, consumers who have trouble living within their means turn
to the services of a credit counselor.

Many credit counseling organizations are nonprofit and work with
consumers to solve their financial problems. But beware-just
because an organization says it is "nonprofit" doesn't guarantee
that its services are free or affordable, or that its services
are legitimate.

In fact, some credit counseling organizations charge high fees,
some of which may be hidden, or urge consumers to make
"voluntary" contributions that cause them to fall deeper into

Experts at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) suggest that
consumers should steer clear of credit counseling companies that:

* guarantee they can remove your unsecured debt

* promise that unsecured debts can be paid off with pennies on
  the dollar

* claim that using their system will let you avoid bankruptcy

* require substantial monthly service fees

* demand payment of a percentage of savings

* tell you to stop making payments to or communicating with your

* require you to make monthly payments to them, rather than to
  your creditor

* claim that creditors never sue consumers for non-payment of
  unsecured debt

* promise that using their system will have no negative impact on
  your credit report or

* claim that they can remove accurate negative information from
  your credit report.

If you decide to work with a debt negotiation company, be sure to
check it out with your state attorney general, local consumer
protection agency, and the Better Business Bureau, which can tell
you if any consumer complaints are on file about the firm you're
considering doing business with.

Also, ask your state attorney general if the company is required
to be licensed to work in your state and, if so, whether it is.

The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive
and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide
information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them.

The FTC has published two free publications to help consumers
seeking credit counseling: "Knee Deep in Debt" and "Fiscal
Fitness: Choosing a Credit Counselor."

To learn more, visit http://www.ftc.gov/ or call 1-877-FTC-HELP.

========= Polluted Stormwater: #1 Threat To Nation's Water

Rain may be good for flowers but it also brings serious problems
to rivers, lakes, and coastal waters. Stormwater runoff from rain
or snowmelt can wash dirt, chemicals, fertilizers, trash, oil and
grease, and other pollutants into storm drains that lead directly
to our waterways. In fact, polluted stormwater runoff is the
largest cause of water quality problems in the U.S. today.

Because most storm drain systems provide no treatment to the
water they collect, preventing stormwater contamination is
vitally important.

Here are a few simple steps you can take to keep pollutants out
of storm drains and waterways:

1. Use fertilizers and pesticides sparingly, follow directions,
   and avoid applying them when rain is forecast. Sweep up any
   excess from paved surfaces.

2. Reduce paved or impervious surfaces around your home or
   business by planting trees or gardens to help rainwater soak
   into the ground.

3. Choose native plants and grasses that are drought- and pest-
   resistant. Native plants often require less water, fertilizer
   and pesticides.

4. Disconnect downspouts and route them to vegetated areas.

5. Sweep up yard debris and compost or recycle where possible.

6. Don't hose down sidewalks or driveways or sweep trash into
   streets or storm drains. Pick up trash and dispose of it

7. Pick up after your pet.

8. Use a commercial carwash that recycles water or wash your car
   on your lawn or other unpaved surface to minimize the amount
   of dirty, soapy water flowing into nearby storm drains.

9. Don't dump chemicals or oil down storm drains. Ensure that
   leaks from your car are corrected immediately. Dispose of
   household hazardous wastes properly.

10. Properly maintain your septic system. Have your system
    professionally inspected at least every three years and
    pumped as necessary (usually every three to five years).

"Preventing stormwater pollution is everyone's business and
everyone's responsibility. Homeowners and businesses can make a
real difference," says U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Acting Assistant Administrator Ben Grumbles.

To help raise awareness of the impact of stormwater pollution and
let people know how they can help, EPA has teamed up with The
Weather Channel to produce a half-hour educational program called
"After The Storm." Visit http://www.epa.gov/weatherchannel for
show times and for more information on preventing stormwater

========= Girls Urged To "Go Tech"

No matter where you live or what you do, math, science and
technology play an important role in everyday life. Reading the
stock market pages in your daily newspaper, turning on the
ignition in your car and depositing money in an ATM are just a
few examples of math, science and technology that exist all
around us.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, more than 60 percent
of all current jobs require some form of technology skills.
Additional studies show that most girls lose interest in math,
science and technology by the age of 12, and as a result, reduce
their chances for most future jobs.

In response to these concerning statistics, Girl Scouts of the
USA has partnered with the Ad Council to create "Girls Go Tech,"
a national, multimedia public service advertising (PSA) campaign
designed to encourage young girls to develop an early interest in
math, science and technology and maintain that interest
throughout their lives.

The campaign is part of Girl Scouts' ongoing effort to prepare
and encourage today's girls to seize the technological
opportunities and challenges of the 21st century, and it includes
a new, interactive Web site, www.girlsgotech.org, which has
activities for girls to keep their interests in math, science and
technology alive. The site offers games, quizzes, facts and
various other activities to educate and engage girls.

"Careers in math, science and technology are among the fastest
growing and most highly paid in our society. But, many girls do
not get the opportunity to compete for these jobs, having not
completed preparatory schooling in these areas," says Kathy
Cloninger, CEO, Girl Scouts of the USA.

Cloninger offers some tips to help parents and teachers encourage
girls to explore math, science and technology all around them.

1. Remember that you are a role model, so use technology in your
   daily life. For example, share with girls what you do at work
   and show them how science, math and technology are important
   in your job.

2. Whether at home, school or at the library, spend time sitting
   down with girls at a computer. Use that time to visit Web
   sites they might find interesting.

3. Encourage girls to take math, science and technology classes
   as they enter middle school and support them in those

4. Use your math skills to show girls how to save money from
   their allowances so they can buy a special item.

To learn more about Girl Scouts' math, science and technology
opportunities for girls, visit http://www.girlsgotech.org/

========= Pointers And Products To Protect You

For every accident in the workplace, 100 will happen in the home.
Before you start your next home improvement or yard project,
consider these five safety tips:

* Breathe a little easier. When painting, maintaining the pool,
  working on the lawn and when allergen levels are high, take
  special care. If you can see, smell or taste the substance
  you're working with, you probably need respiratory protection
  such as the AOSafety QuickLatch Pro respirator. It's easy to
  wear. Just flip the latch and the respirator slides off your
  face if you want to take a break. Then flip the latch again so
  the respirator slides back into place to protect you when
  you're prepared to tackle the project once more.

* Keep your vision clear. More than 90 percent of eye injuries
  can be prevented with the use of safety eyewear. Contemporary
  designs that are both stylish and comfortable are available in
  lightweight styles for prolonged wear and with lenses that are
  hard-coated to resist scratching. Use clear lenses indoors and
  chemical goggles if working with fine particles or liquids.

* Cover your ears. Hearing loss is a common disability in the
  United States and common household machines such as lawn
  mowers, leaf blowers and power tools can generate noise loud
  enough to damage hearing. If the noise is so loud you need to
  raise your voice to be heard three feet away, your hearing may
  be at risk. Regular and proper use of earplugs or protective
  equipment can help prevent hearing damage. A fun way can be
  with the AOSafety WorkTunes. It has a noise reduction rating of
  22 decibels and doubles as a portable AM/FM stereo radio.

* Be prepared. Nearly everyone will need a first-aid kit at some
  time, making it a necessity at home, at work and in your car.
  Instead of assembling one yourself, consider buying a ready-
  made kit designed to treat a range of common minor emergencies.
  The most efficient kits are tailored to fit your needs and
  feature such essential items as antiseptics, antibacterial
  wipes, adhesive bandages, scissors or tweezers, burn cream and
  a cold pack.

* To be safe, be seen. Being aware of your surrounding
  environment is only one step in being safe; the environment
  needs to be aware of you. Equipment such as reflective vests or
  safety cones can be lifesavers.

Following these tips and wearing the proper safety equipment can
help you enjoy your projects and protect your health and safety.
For more information about the appropriate safety products for
your project, log on to http://www.aosafety.com/

========= Cauldron Info

The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum was founded in December 1997 to
provide a friendly but serious discussion area for Pagans on the
Internet. We've grown a bit over the years. We now have an active
message area, a large web site with around 700 pages of
information (including over 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.


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The Cauldron and Candle web site contains information on this
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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
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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