[Cauldron and Candle Illo]


Cauldron and Candle
Issue #52 -- October 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  #52 -- October 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: October
[03] Cauldron News
[04] Cauldron Discussions
[05] Reviews
     [05-1] The Witch's Circle
     [05-2] Mastering Witchcraft
     [05-3] Positive Magic
     [05-4] Modern Magick
     [05-5] 21st Century Wicca
[06] Received For Review (with Mini-Reviews)
[07] Articles:
     [07-1] Helpful Insight for the Beginning Tarot Reader
     [07-2] October -- The Eighth Month
     [07-3] Covens: Or the Legacy of Issobell Gowdie
     [07-4] National Witches Days of Prayer (Oct 31 - Nov 2)
     [07-5] Samhain
[08] Columns
     [08-1] Humor: Raven's Rules for (Very) Proper Pagans
     [08-2] Cheap Web Hosting Report: October 2004
[09] Around the Planes: Notes from All Over
     [09-1] Recycling Nuclear Warheads Into Electricity
     [09-2] Teaching Kids the Importance of Voting
     [09-3] A Familiar Symbol Of Good Works Gets A New Look
     [09-4] Young Americans Help Children Around the World
     [09-5] A New Law Changes The Way Checks Clear
[10] Support The Cauldron by Volunteering to Help
[11] Newsletter Information
              (Including How To Subscribe/Unsubscribe)

  +++November Issue Submission Deadline: October 20, 2004+++
   Guidelines: http://www.ecauldron.com/cnc/submissions.php

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

Like in September, there's not a lot to report with respect to
the newsletter in this issue. Your editor has spent most of his
spare Cauldron time working on The Cauldron's web site. When you
check the "Cauldron News" section of this newsletter, you'll see
some of the changes and additions we have made. Heck, if you have
been to The Cauldron's web site recently, you have probably
noticed some of the changes. With the staff reorganization (see
the Cauldron News section for more information) meaning that I
should not have to spend as much time on the message board, even
more web site changes are planned for October, so watch for them.

I'm still way behind on book reviews, But I have managed to get
"First Glance Comments" written on the few books we have received
for review recently. They have been included in this issue along
with reprint reviews of the last five the top ten readily
available books I often recommend to people interested in
investigating Paganism -- especially Wicca-like Paganism.

We really do need your book reviews and articles for this

Book Review Submission Form:

Handy Article Submission Form:

While we have not decided for sure yet, we may be renaming this
newsletter starting with the November issue. Just in case we do,
I thought I had better mention that the next issue of this
newsletter might have a different name. If it does, however, it
will still be issue number #53, will still come from the
cauldronandcandle email address (assuming YahooGroups does not
change things, of course), and will still have all the usual
features you expect.

Finally, I would like to urge all US citizens reading this
newsletter to go to the polls and vote on November 2nd. Even if
you are not in a swing state, you can make a difference in the
makeup of Congress and your state legislature. If you think the
US is moving too far to the right or too far to the left, here is
your chance to have your say. VOTE ON NOVEMBER 2ND!


                      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

You might recall that I hinted, back when I announced the
September Challenge, that the October Challenge would be related.
Well--in September we decluttered our time, got rid of all the
unnecessary stuff. In October, we're going to put that newfound
free time to good use. Your October Challenge is to find some of
those things that you've been meaning to do, but your clutter has
prevented you from doing. Now that the clutter's gone, you should
be able to at least make a dent in some of those things!

A note, though. Don't try to do more than you're able. Remember
that the Challenges are supposed to be fun in addition to getting
things accomplished. Burnout is not fun. If you've got a lot of
things to do and/or the decluttering hasn't freed up that much
time for you -- pick one or two of the most important tasks and
try them. Or maybe one or two of the most manageable tasks. The
point is to get something done, not to clear off your entire to-
do list.

So. What are you going to get done in October?




       We use DreamHost because it is affordable and
       reliable, but mainly because its terms of service 
       allow web sites with anything legal: our web site 
       will not be pulled because we review a few books 
       on sex magick or an erotic tarot deck. It's a 
       great host for Pagan web sites. 



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

===== Major Staff Reorganization at The Cauldron

A long time ago when we first started The Cauldron: A Pagan
Forum, the plans were that Elspeth would mainly handle the
message board and I (Randall) would handle the technical stuff
(website, etc.) and the newsletter. As the saying goes, the best
laid plans of mice and men do often go astray. For various
reasons, I ended being the main person behind almost every aspect
of The Cauldron: the message board, the web site, the newsletter,
etc., etc. When LyricFox became our third Co-Host she got over-
involved as well.

LyricFox and I have tried to step back before, especially since
our marriage. However, we have not had a lot of success. I
especially have not had a lot of success stepping away from the
message board (which takes a huge amount of my time). Therefore
it is time for some drastic measures.

No, we aren't shutting down the message board, we are
reorganizing staff to divide up the tasks and authority better.
These changes described below are effective immediately.

The Hosts primary duties are now to set site/board/chat/etc.
policy, hear final appeals from staff decisions, supervise senior
staff, and handle things that no one else can (like the web
site). Just as we are not involved in the day-to-day running of
the chats, we will no longer be as directly involved in the
running of the message boards.

The day-to-day operation of the message board is now in the hands
of our new Message Board Coordinator (Star), our new Assistant
Message Board Coordinator (Koi) and our message board staff
(currently Chabas, Loreley, and Sashapablo). If you have problems
with a staff decision, you now need to email Star about it. Only
after Star has issued a ruling may a message board problem be
appealed to the Hosts.

The day-to-day operation of chats remain under the control of our
Chat Coordinator (Shadow). Shadow hopes to expand our chat
schedule sometime soon.

You probably will not notice much change immediately, except that
there will not be nearly as many posts from me -- nothing like my
current 700 or 800 posts a month, at least. Other changes will be
coming in the future, however. Some of those changes are now
planning are:

* news posting to be handled by multiple people (probably as a
weblog with just selected items being posted to the message

* a way for selected members to directly post reviews of books,
films, cds, etc. to the web site.

* a way for selected members to post articles, poetry, etc.
directly to the web site.

* adding editorial staff to the newsletter.

You discuss these changes or ask questions in the thread linked below.


===== New Message Board Coordinator: Star

As first mentioned in the staff reorganization announcement
above, Star will now be handling the day to day operations of The
Cauldron's message board as our new Message Board Coordinator.

===== New Assistant Message Board Coordinator: Koi

As first mentioned in the staff reorganization announcement
above, Koi will now be assisting Star in coordinating the day to
day operations of The Cauldron's message board as our new
Assistant Message Board Coordinator.

===== New Message Board Staff Members

Sasha and Loreley have joined The Cauldron's message board staff.
They will be assisting Star, Koi, and Chasbas in managing out
message board.

===== Major Web Site Reorganization: Books and Reviews Area
The Books & Reviews section of The Cauldron's web site has
received a major update with some streamlining and new
functionality. When we added the new Academic Reviews section in
early September, LyricFox noticed that the main Books & Reviews
page had gotten huge with over 200 links to reviews. This sparked
the revision:

Changes and New Features:

* The section index page has been redesigned. The long list of
links to reviews are gone. They have been removed to three
separate index pages (for Pagan Books, Academic Books, and
Divination Decks). Now these index pages can grow instead of the
main section page. The links to articles, online books, and book
lists have been moved from the narrow column where they were
likely missed to the main column.

* The bread crumb trail on all the individual review pages have
been updated to include the new review index pages. (Thank the
Gods for a good multifile search and replace program. )

* As some of you may have noticed, the direct links to the Amazon
in the book reviews (e.g. the book image, the "Price and More
Info" link) were replaced with a XSLT page "Amazon Item Page"
Amazon generates a few weeks ago. This page has been made to look
more like the rest of The Cauldron and the link that will take
you to the regular version of the Amazon site for that book has
been made more obvious.

* In order to make it easier for our Canadian and European
members, the above mentioned Amazon Item Page" has been turned
into one of our new-fangled tabbed pages (like on the News and
Member Weblogs pages) that will let people switch between seeing
the item on Amazon.com (via our fancy generated page), on
Amazon.co.uk, and Amazon.ca.

* Amazon.ca? Yes, the Amazon Canada site decided that Randall's
Social Security Number was okay after objecting to it for reasons
it never would explain many times over the past year or two and
let us have an Amazon.ca associate account.

* We've added an Amazon Book Browser. This is an easy way to
browse Amazon's collection of Pagan books by subject, by
publisher, or by selected authors from within our web site.

* Given the importance of book reviews on our web site (we have
over 200 pages of reviews), we have given our revised Books &
Reviews section of our web site its own section of the left
column main menu on the web site.

There are probably some other minor changes I have forgotten
about, but these are the major changes. Here are some quick
pointers to major areas of our revised Books & reviews area:

Books and Reviews Index Page

Pagan Book Reviews

Divination Decks Reviews

Academic Book Reviews

Pagan Book Browser
===== New Java Chat Room Schedule

Our Chat Schedule has been expanded from two moderated chats a week
to three. All times listed are US Eastern Time.

Monday:   2pm - 4pm
Tuesday:  8pm - 10pm
Thursday: 8pm - 10pm

===== Message Board and Chat FAQ Pages

We have started Frequently Asked Questions pages for our Message
Board and Chat.  You will find them here:

Message Board FAQ:

Chat FAQ:



        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 is Tameran?

I have a friend who work almost exclusively with Egyptian
deities. So in my usual newbie ignorant way, I asked her if she
was a Kemetic? She denied being Kemetic but said she was more
like a Tameran - a sort of cross between Kemetic and Wiccan.

I've got a few links that my friend gave me and waded my way
through a forum or two and a few yahoo groups, but they really
haven't told me anything more than my friend. So here's the

Is Tameran a well known path or a new thing that has sprung up in
the last few years?

Has anybody heard of it before at all?

Is anybody here Tameran?

Would anybody care to enlighten me to what it really is rather
than the bulk standard spiel I seem to be getting of it's a cross
between Kemetic and Wicca, I want to know how it is a cross; is
it just a case of non orthodox Kemetics practicing a more earthy
form of magick rather than a ceremonial form?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Science Fiction Based Religions?

I know we all talk about people that claim "Jedi" on their census
every so often -- and the usual sense is that they're rather
silly, or just playing, or pointing out a problem with the census
or whatnot.

That said... Do you think there's ever truth in religions created
for science fiction? Are these religions a sign of what we're
moving to, a plot device ... a plot device that's more real than
they meant it to be? Do you think any of them may someday be

For that matter, what do you think of things like Church of All
Worlds which is based off a science fiction book? Do you think it
has any legitimacy? and if so, is it because the book's religion
was legit, or something else?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Ouija Boards

I would like to ask if anyone has ever used a Ouija Board, and
what the sensation and experience was like?

It is quite difficult for me to believe that Ouija Boards can
work. I still think, that there is a trick behind it all. Then,
in a recent TV show, a well known Swiss person was interviewed
and, among other questions, asked if she ever assisted to such a
seance. She agreed but would not give any further explanations.
She only mentioned only that it was very interesting.

What do you think about Ouija boards? Do they work?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Pagan Children and The Bible

Should the children of Wiccan or Pagan parents read the Bible?
Why or Why not?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Would The Real High Priestess Please Stand Up?

Somebody I know online just told me they have just become a high
priestess. Now I'm a bit confused/concerned about this as I know
the person is solitary and has only been studying the craft for
about a year, she only cast her first circle a few months ago.

So is this a title one can just give yourself? I was under the
impression that to reach that level was as a result of years of
training and study and normally because you belong to a
coven/grove/circle and have earned the name.

If this is a title you can just give yourself, how on earth does
a seeker make sure that the title is not just self imposed.

I ask because I am considering getting in touch with some local
pagan groups as I feel I may benefit from some teaching. However
I am now really worried that the teacher may not be any further
along than me and we could end up with "the blind leading the
blind". I fear that, that situation could be quite

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Fitting Pagan Practices Into A "Normal" Life?

How do you practice within the 'confines' of your so-called
normal lives? If you have a 9-5 job, how do you fit in the
god/dess? How do you fit Pagan practices into the modern world?

I need help assimilating my practices into my life, so, I'm
asking advice for me.

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Beliefs and Superstitions

Something that happened last night at a holiday dinner party
(Jewish New Year/Rosh Hashanah) made me think about the
differences between beliefs and superstitions.

I have been instructed by the hostess not to sit at the corner of
the table because I'm a single girl and it would be bad luck. The
corner of the table, apparently, has the power to prevent me from
finding a husband for 3 years.

My first thought was "oh what a silly superstition!" My second
thought was that as a witch, who believes in all sorts of
incredible things not completely based on solid facts (like
magic, or the astral light, or that the gods can manifest
themselves in humans) - I really have no right to laugh off the
hostess' beliefs or even call them superstitions.

So, I'd love to hear thoughts about this. Where is the borderline
between a belief and a superstition? Are all religious people
really superstitious? What makes something a superstition? What
do you think?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Judgement and the Pagan Norm?

In another thread, it was mentioned that the current Pagan norm
is to not judge anything. Do you agree--is this what is expected
of us by "the Pagan community" (such as it is)? Do you believe
the Gods expect it of us as well?

And of course the big question: Do you try to follow that
guideline, to not judge anyone?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

=== Source of Magick?

Something Isi said in the Magick Without Religion thread made me
think. A poster expressed a belief that God is the source of
magic (hence, magic being religious in nature -- but that's a
different topic). I said that I disagreed -- and I do, I don't
see deities as the source of magic -- but then I realized

I'm not sure where it does come from. "The Gods" doesn't feel
like the right answer to me, and neither does "nature". I do feel
like it just is there... But where is it? We pull energy in from
somewhere, push it out to somewhere... Where? (Did that make

What do y'all think? Where does magick come from?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:
=== Casting a Circle?

A lot of information I read, admittedly fairly Wiccan based, lay
heavy importance on casting a circle. Whilst I understand the
need to shield/protect your self, is a circle really necessary?
Why not a triangle, Square, hexagram etc?

Is any symbol really necessary? What about just asking for
protection from the deity or deities? What about making
oils/incense whilst visualizing intent and using them?

I would be really interested in how others do it; as much as
anything whilst I like a lot of the Wiccan concepts, the mere
idea of it makes me feel like a prize idiot and I keep baulking.
This means that I am reading a lot but the practical experience
is lacking and I feel that it is time to take a step beyond basic
meditation and visualization techniques (my cubes, spheres etc.
are now looking A1 and I'm getting a dab had at visualizing
situations persons etc.) but will not take this step until I know
I can protect myself from negative energies.

* Read (or join in) this discussion:
=== Do Animals Have Souls?

There are representatives from many different faiths here, and
so I wanted to ask a question. My question is this; Does your
faith regard animals as having souls, and if so and if you are
part of a reconstructionalist faith, how does this concept fit in
with ritual sacrifice?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:



       If you like The Cauldron and have a few extra
       dollars, please donate via the Amazon Honor System
       or PayPal and help us pay the web site bills.

                       Donate via PayPal
                     Donate via Amazon.com


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

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

The Witch's Circle: Rituals and Craft of the Cosmic Muse
Author: Maria Kay Simms
Trade Paperback, 496 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: June 1996
ISBN: 1567186572
US Retail Price: $19.95
Amazon Link:

On the first page of The Witch's Circle: Rituals and Craft of the
Cosmic Muse, the author states:

    This book started out to be a "Book of Shadows" of my rituals
    based on astrological themes. Somehow, along the way, it
    became the story of my own spiritual evolution, then the
    development of my circle, and also the changes and evolution
    in my mother circle and its other daughter circles.

Maria Simms did a much better job than most authors of summing up
the important features of her book. While the majority of this
book is astrological based rituals written for and used by her
group, the Circle of the Cosmic Muse, some of the most
interesting parts have nothing to do with Wiccan ritual. The
early chapters trace the author's slow change from a Catholic
astrologer to a Wiccan astrologer and establish the author's own
views of astrology, magick, and religion. The reader sees the
evolution of her ideas as well as the evolution of the groups she
works with.

Readers just looking for rituals will not be disappointed,
however. Unlike many of the books full of Wiccan rituals on the
market today, the rituals in this book truly present an original
point of view. Ms. Simms has fully integrated astrology into all
of her rituals. This book has astrologically based group rituals
for each of the eight sabbats and the thirteen full moons, along
with special purpose rituals for dedication, Wiccaning,
handfasting, and more. While these rituals may not have the
lyricalness of an Ed Fitch ritual, they are well-written,
interesting rituals.

The Witch's Circle also has a chapter covering everything from
advice on finding or starting a circle, to making robes, incense,
and oils, to songs and a brief outline of her circle's three
degree training program. The book concludes with a chapter of the
author's personal reflections on children in the Craft, social
change, religion, evolution, and networking.

While I would not give this book a "best of class" award, it is
interesting and useful -- particularly for those Wiccans
interested in astrology. I consider it well worth the money I
spent on it. This is something I can't always say about books
published by Llewellyn these days.

           This review is available on our web site at

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

Mastering Witchcraft: A Practical Guide for Witches, 
   Warlocks, and Covens
Author: Paul Huson
Trade Paperback
Publisher: Perigee
Publication date: December 1980
ISBN: 0399504427
US Retail Price: $14.95
Amazon Link:

The year was 1970. I was 13 years old. I had picked up books on
astrology and fortune telling as well as books like Zolar's The
Encyclopedia of Ancient and Forbidden Knowledge. This was the
first book on witchcraft I had ever seen. I bought a copy. My
parents, used to seeing me regularly buy all sorts of strange
books with my allowance and newspaper route money, didn't even
bat an eye. This book, more than any other, is responsible for
setting me on the path I'm on today.

Mastering Witchcraft isn't really about Wicca. It is simply a
fantastic introduction to Witchcraft as magick, with very little
on the religious aspects. Unfortunately, this book has a poor
reputation in some sections of the Pagan community because it
teaches attack and control magick. Huson leaves the ethical
decisions on whether or not to use such magick up to the reader.
He usually warns of the possible dangers, but does not make the
decision for the reader by leaving the material out or glossing
over it as most other books seem to do.

The first two chapters introduce the reader to magick and the
magickal tools of a witch. The next four chapters contain more
actual magick spells than most of the rest of my Pagan library
combined. Divination magick, love and lust magick, countermagick
and protection, and vengeance and attack magic each receive a
long and detailed chapter. The final chapter is on forming a

If you are a Wiccan, you may want to avoid this book because of
the many ethical problems you will have with it. If you aren't a
Wiccan, have an interest in magick, and have the pocket change to
buy it, I strongly suggest you pick up a copy. Even if you would
never cast a love spell or an attack spell to flatten your
enemies, you will probably find a good number of useful spells
that you can add to your personal grimoire or book of shadows.
I'm one of the people who believes that one's magickal education
is not complete if you do not at least know how such things as
love and attack spells work. For example, just reading the
chapter on attack magick will make you better at defensive
magicks as you will know far more about what you are defending

In summary, Paul Huson's Mastering Witchcraft is a classic and
useful text on low magick. If you have a good moral sense, I
think it will make an excellent addition to your library. I just
wish that it was still printed in hardback.

           This review is available on our web site at

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

Positive Magic: Ancient Metaphysical Techniques for Modern 
Author: Marion Weinstein
Trade Paperback, 302 pages
Publisher: New Page Books
Publication date: October 2002
ISBN: 1564146375
US Retail Price: $14.99
Amazon Link:

When the first edition of Marion Weinstein's Positive Magic
appeared in 1978 it soon became popular as a simple introduction
to magic and divination. The 1981 revision has remained on my
list of recommended basic books for over 20 years, despite a
chapter on the history of witchcraft that was long out of date.
Therefore, I was both hopeful and worried when I heard that New
Page Books was publishing a newly revised edition for the book's
25th anniversary. I was hopeful that the author would update the
troublesome and out of date portions and fearful that the author
might accidentally change the mysterious something that has made
this book a Pagan classic despite its more "New Age" orientation.

My first scan through the revised Positive Magic: Ancient
Metaphysical Techniques for Modern Lives convinced me that my
worries that Weinstein might change too much were unfounded.
While some of the information and references have been updated,
the book is still basically the same gentle and friendly
introduction to the occult and to magick that made it one of my
favorite introductory books -- especially for people who were a
little hesitant about getting involved in something like
divination or casting spells.

Positive Magic is still divided into two sections. The first
section is a general introduction to the occult, complete with a
chapter on how to detect and avoid negative groups, teachers, and
magick. Unfortunately, the chapter on the history of witchcraft
in this section was not revised much. It still talks about the
works of Margaret Murray as if scholars consider them
authoritative and continues to talk about 9 million people killed
during the Burning Times. There is really no excuse for errors
like these any more. Twenty years ago, more recent scholarship in
these areas was unknown to most in the Pagan community. By the
start of the 21st century, that was no longer true. Authors do a
disservice to the Pagan community when they do not update such
material in revisions. However, this is really the only major
disappointment in the book.

While the first section is mainly discussion, the second gets
very practical, covering astrology, Tarot, and the I Ching as
well as "Words of Power" magick. While the author is Pagan, her
magick instructions often come with both Pagan and "generic"
examples. The generic wording would be acceptable to many open-
minded individuals who are Christian or some other non-Pagan
religion. While this may annoy some Wiccans, magick is religion-
neutral. One need not become Wiccan just to practice magick.
Weinstein simply recognizes this and exploits it to open the
benefits of magick to a wider audience. The magick Weinstein
teaches is simple and among the forms least likely to backfire or
go astray. It does not require expensive tools, but is still very
effective. It can be a first simple step on a lifetime study of
magick, or all the magick one ever needs to know.

This newly revised edition of Positive Magic is every bit as good
as the 1981 edition. I only wish that the "Witchcraft: A Living
Heritage" chapter had had more revision and updating so I would
not longer have to recommend it with the warning that the
information on the history of Wicca is out of date and should be
taken with a very large dose of salt. However, as the book is the
best gentle introduction to magick for the hesitant newcomer I've
seen, I have recommended the 1981 edition with that warning for
many years. I will, unfortunately, have to continue to issue that
warning when I recommend the new 2002 edition -- and I will
continue to recommend it. Despite the historical information
problem and occasional other imperfections, Weinstein's Positive
Magic is still one of the best practical books available to the
cautious beginner, especially one more interested in using magick
and divination than changing religions. No one interested in
magick is likely to regret having the 2002 edition of this book
in their library.

           This review is available on our web site at

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

Modern Magick: Eleven Lessons in the High Magickal Arts
Author: Donald M. Kraig
Trade Paperback, 592 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: October 1988
ISBN: 0875423248
US Retail Price: $17.95
Amazon Link:

If you've ever read a "How-To" book on ceremonial magick, chances
are you've been lost. Most books on ceremonial magick are written
for those who already understand the basics of the Art. They are
therefore very hard for a novice mage to fully understand. Donald
Michael Kraig's Modern Magick is designed and written for
beginners at ceremonial magick. If you follow this volume's
eleven clear lessons, in a year or two you will not only have the
knowledge and skills needed to understand other books on
ceremonial magick, you will be a practicing ceremonial mage.

Ceremonial magick is not your path in this life? Modern Magick
might still be a very worthwhile addition to your library. Most
modern Pagan religions draw a lot from ceremonial magick, even if
they are unwilling to admit it. Kraig's book with teach you to
recognize and understand those elements in your path.

           This review is available on our web site at

========= Reviewed by Tony M.

21st Century Wicca: A Young Witch's Guide to Living the 
   Magical Life
Author: Jennifer Hunter
Trade Paperback, 219 pages
Publisher: Citadel Press
Publication date: July 1997
ISBN: 0806518871
US Retail Price: $14.95
Amazon Link:

I will admit to a big bias about this book. I went to college
with Jen. I am even in the book, although not mentioned by name.
The part where she talks about the Jehovah's Witnesses who came
knocking on the door as we were preparing for out Samhain Circle
happened in my apartment. I also co-wrote one of the rituals she

I can tell you three things based on my familiarity with Jen to
recommend this book.

One, she is a good writer. Even back in college she was getting
published in several Pagan publications. When you read her stuff
it is like having a conversation. Some authors, when you read
them, come across like you are getting a lecture, but not Jen.

Two, she is very serious about the subject. I don't mean stuffy.
I mean she really cares about Paganism in general and Wicca in
specific. She is not a fluff bunny, and has many years of
experience. Her knowledge is based on many years of very hard
work. She has practiced both solitarily and as a member of a
Gardnarian Coven, and has gathered many insights from a multitude
of perspectives.

Three, she is good. I mean really good. I have not just attended
rituals with her, but have co-led and written rituals with her.
She is not an armchair Witch. She can back up her talk with
actions. She has a real flair for ritual, and a deep
understanding of what she is doing and why she is doing it. I
think this comes across in her book as well.

As I admit, I am biased. But I will tell you this. It is rare
that I have come across a book on Wicca that gets such a broad
range of Wiccans, of all backgrounds and traditions, who praise
it. I have heard only one or two opinions from people who really
did not like this book. But I have heard dozens and dozens of
people who just love it, and with good reason in my opinion.

           This review is available on our web site at



        Shop Amazon, Catalog City, Abebooks, and other
        stores at The Cauldron Shopping Mall. Every
        purchase from our one of our mall links helps
        support The Cauldron and this newsletter.



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

This month has First Glance Comments on the books listed in the
September issue and a couple of other new books.

=== Your Magickal Name 

by Phyllis and Debra Vega
New Page Books
ISBN: 1564147231
Amazon Link:

Many Pagan religions and magickal schools have their members
select a new name at various points in their life. This book
makes the task of finding the perfect name easier. After a couple
of introductory chapters, the book discusses using astrology,
mythology, and numerology to select the right name. The vast
majority of the book, however, is two long lists of names: one
list for men and one for women.  Listed with each name are the
name's language of origin, meaning, and numerological value.
Given the number of traditions that urge their following to
select a name based on numerology, this list can save a lot of
calculation time. If you are looking for a "magickal name," from
first glance this book looks like a good source. (Reviewer's
Note: One of the authors in a long time personal friend.)
=== Past Life & Karmic Tarot

by Edain McCoy
ISBN: 073870508X
Amazon Link:

This book deals with using the Tarot to understand the karmic
issues and questions that follow one from life to life. Assuming
one (or one's Tarot clients) believe in reincarnation, this book
seems useful enough at first glance. Most chapters in this book
present a special Tarot spread for dealing with specific types of
questions and issues -- and sample reading using the spread.
There is also some basic information on pathworking and past life

=== Alchemy at Work

by Cassandra Eason
The Crossing Press
ISBN: 1580911587
Amazon Link:

From first glance, the title of this book is a bit of a misnomer.
At least I don't see a lot of what I consider "alchemy" in it,
just some psychic and magickal techniques for dealing with the
trials of business and the workplace. Once I quit looking for
"alchemy," however, and started to figure out what the book
really was about, it looks interesting -- if basic. I doubt there
is anything in this book that will be major news to a long-time
student of magick. That said, from my first glance, this book
looks full of useful ideas and practical information about using
magick in the business world for the magickal novice.
=== Magic for Lovers

by Selene Silverwind
The Crossing Press
ISBN: 1580911528
Amazon Link:

This is not a book of spells for attracting a lover or mate, it's
about using magickal techniques to keep a relationship going on
an even kneel. There is magick in this book for all periods of a
relationship from dating to marriage to raising a family. Despite
the hype on the back cover, from my first glance through this
book, most of the magick is not about sex -- it's about a good
and lasting relationship that includes sex.

=== The Women's Book of Healing

by Diane Stein
The Crossing Press
ISBN: 1580911560
Amazon Link:

When I glanced through this revised edition of The Women's Book
of Healing I was relieved to find that I did not immediately
notice any of the weird stuff about a goddess inhabiting the
author's body that has been in some of the author's other recent
books. Instead, I found a nice update of the original version of
1986 edition of this book. This book still teaches women, in a
friendly but clear manner, how to use alternative healing methods
like chakra work, meditation, and laying on of hands to prevent
or heal diseases before they reach the point of requiring western
medicine to cure. However, it has been updated to reflect what
the author has learned in the last 15 to 20 years.

=== Totem Magic

by Yasmine Galenorn
The Crossing Press
ISBN: 1580911161
Amazon Link:

While animal/totem magic is not a part of my personal path, I
found this book very interesting as I glanced through it and am
looking forward to reading it. As is typical with Galenorn's
books, this book takes a very practical approach with lots of
rituals, spellwork and activities along with a lot of basic
information. This book appears at first glance to be very useful
for anyone who wishes to learn ways to discover and work with
their "totem animal".

=== Understanding the Tarot Court

by Mary K. Greer and Tom Little
ISBN: 0738702862
Amazon Link:

I remember having a lot of trouble reading the court cards when I
first started reading the Tarot. Meanings listed in books were
often something like "A dark haired man" which often was of no
help at all. From a first glance through this book, I can promise
you I would likely have given my right arm for it when I was
learning the Tarot. It is over 300 pages of information on the 16
most enigmatic cards in the deck co-written by one of my favorite
Tarot experts, Mary K. Greer. I suspect that anyone interesting
in reading the Tarot, beginner or expert, will be able to gain
something by reading this book. I've been reading for many years
now and I have already picked up some new ideas just with this
first glance through it.

=== Grimoire for the Green Witch

by Ann Moura
ISBN: 0738702870
Amazon Link:

Ann Moura presents a formal "Book of Shadows" for her personal
version of Wicca/Witchcraft, Green Witchcraft. While the rituals
still seem a bit ceremonial in places for the natural religion
she is presenting in her Green Witchcraft books, the information
presented herein is useful for anyone interested in following her
path. It is also appears at first glance to be mostly free from
the revisionist history and biases against other religions that
marred many of the author's earlier books. If you are looking for
a complete presentation of the practice of Green Witchcraft, this
looks like the book you will want.

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

========= by Paul Carr

For over twenty years I have been interested in all things mythic
and magic. Naturally, when I first witnessed a fortuneteller
using cards to predict someone's future, I was more than curious.
I wanted to know how it all worked. So (off and on) for the past
fifteen years, I learned. I discovered each card's meaning, how
each card could relate to other cards, and how each card means
something different depending on its position in a spread or if
it is inverted or not.
Not wanting to accept just one edition of the Tarot as the
correct one, I tried out several. Backed by this understanding
and knowing how the Tarot can be difficult for a novice when
beginning to work with these wonderful cards, I decided to give
some helpful advice to our future diviners.

As I mentioned, there are several books and Tarot editions on the
market just waiting for the right fortuneteller to pick them up
and begin reading the future. But finding the right deck might be
a little harder than expected. So for the beginner, I recommend
one or more of the following three Tarot editions and/or books.

For the truly beginning Tarot reader (one who has never picked up
a Tarot deck in his or her life), I recommend one of these two
books: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Tarot and Fortune-Telling by
Arlene Tognetti and Lisa Lenard or The Instant Tarot Reader by
Monte Farber and Amy Zerner.

Don't let the name of the first book discourage you. The Complete
Idiot's Guide (Alpha Books, 1999.) teaches you all the basics in
understandable language and uses the universal Waite Tarot Deck.
This book teaches the beginner the meaning of each card, the
meaning of each position in a spread (and lists several spreads that
can be used), and the meaning of inverted cards. You do not
receive a Tarot deck upon purchasing this book, but you can buy a
separate deck that you prefer.

The second book: The Instant Tarot Reader (St. Martin s Press,
1997) is slightly more advanced than The Complete Idiot's Guide,
but is more to my liking. This book also list all the important
information needed to begin reading Tarot cards. The meanings of
each card are listed next to the card so that they can be
referenced quickly. The deck (standard playing card size) that
comes with the purchase of this book is reproductions of the
seventy-eight mixed media fabric college tapestries created by
Amy Zener. I do not prefer the artwork of this deck to others I
have seen (mentioned shortly), but they can still be used until
another deck is obtained that is more to a person's taste.

The final book and deck I d like to mention is The Mythic Tarot:
A New Approach to the Tarot Cards by Juliet Sharman-Burke and Liz
Greene (Fireside Books, 1986.). Tricia Newell illustrated the
cards in this deck. The book is not very useful to the beginner
because the meaning listed with each card is slightly vague and
left up to the reader s interpretation. However, one could not
ask for a better deck. The cards are well designed and
beautifully colored depicting artful characters and objects. The
deck is also slightly larger than a standard deck of playing
cards, which makes them seem more than just cards. This Tarot
edition even includes a black cloth to wrap your deck in to
protect it.

All three books contain information on the history of the Tarot,
although, the later two contain more useful insight to the
creation of the Tarot. All three books are worth reading. But if
you are just starting out, you might just want to get your hands
on one of the first two books and a deck you like.

========= (Chapter X of The Stories of the Months and Days
========= by Reginald C. Couzens [1923])

In this, the "eighth" month, was held a great festival at
Eleusis, a town twelve miles from Athens, in honour of the Greek
goddess Demeter. The Roman name for Demeter was Ceres, and she
was worshiped as the Goddess of Agriculture, since the fields and
their crops were thought to be under her special care. The Greek
name Demeter means "Earth Mother", and the name Ceres has given
us the word "cereals", a general name for wheat, barley, rye, and

Ceres had a daughter, Persephone, who spent a great part of her
time wandering with her companions on the slopes and plains of
Sicily. One day, as Persephone and her maidens were plucking
flowers and weaving them into garlands, Pluto, the God of the
Underworld, rode by in his dark chariot drawn by four black
horses. Attracted by Persephone's beauty, he determined to carry
her off and make her his queen.

One story says that he caused a most wonderful flower to spring
up, and Persephone, seeing it in the distance and wishing to
gather it, was thus separated from her companions. As she stooped
to pluck the flower the earth opened, and Pluto in his chariot
came up from the Underworld and, seizing Persephone, carried her
down to his dark and gloomy home.

Another story says that as soon as he saw Persephone he walked
quickly towards her, and before she could guess his intention,
caught her up and, carrying her in spite of her struggles to his
chariot, drove away at topmost speed. He at length reached a
river, whose roaring torrent it was impossible to cross. Afraid
to turn back lest he should meet Ceres, he struck the earth such
a blow with the two-pronged fork which he always carried as the
emblem of his power, that the ground opened beneath him, and thus
he was able to reach his dark kingdom of Hades in safety. This
Hades, the Underworld to which Pluto had brought Persephone, was
the home of the dead, the place to which came the spirits of
those who had died, there to receive a fitting reward for their
deeds on earth.

From Pluto's throne flowed five rivers:

1. Styx (the Hateful), a sacred river, and one by which the gods
"fear to swear, and not keep their oath". It was also the river
which had to be crossed by the spirits before they could reach
the throne. They were ferried across by an old boatman named
Charon, who charged them an obol, about d. of our money. It was
the custom, when a man died, for his relations to put an obol
under his tongue, so that he might have no difficulty in crossing
the Styx. Those who came without their obol had to wait a hundred
years, after which time Charon would take them across free of

2. Acheron (Pain), a dark and very deep river that also had to be
crossed by the spirits.

3. Lethe (Forgetfulness), which had the power of making all those
who drank of its waters forget the past.

4. Phlegethon (Blazing), a river of fire which surrounded
Tartarus, that part of the Underworld to which were sent the
spirits of evil-doers, in order that they might suffer punishment
for their wicked deeds.

5. Cocytus (Wailing), a river of salt water, the tears of those
condemned to the torments of Tartarus.

In a distant part of Hades, far removed from the place of
torment, were the Elysian Fields. Here dwelt the great and the
good, in perpetual day, and amid the ever-blooming flowers of an
eternal spring.

While the frightened Persephone was thus, against her will, made
queen of this sunless kingdom of the dead, Ceres, with many
tears, was seeking her daughter in the flower-strewn meadows, but
all in vain. After many wanderings in Italy, and even in Greece,
where she visited the city of Eleusis mentioned above, Ceres at
last learnt of Persephone's fate, but her joy at finding that she
was safe was turned to grief by the thought that Pluto would
never allow her to come back to the happiness of the sun-lit

Meanwhile the goddess had neglected all her duties; the flowers
withered away, the trees shed their leaves, the fruit was fast
falling from the branches, and the crops could not ripen. The
time of harvest was quickly passing, and the people, threatened
with famine, and finding that their prayers to the goddess were
unheeded, appealed to Jupiter to save them from starvation and
death by allowing Persephone to return to the upper world.
Jupiter at last consented, and said that Pluto must give up
Persephone, provided that she had not eaten anything since the
time when she had been carried off. Unfortunately that very day
she had tasted a pomegranate which Pluto had given her, and she
was compelled to stay with her husband one month for each of the
six seeds she had eaten. So for six months she has to live in the
Underworld, and there in the thick gloom, never pierced by a ray
of sunshine, she waits for the time when she may return to the
sun-kissed hills and plains of her favourite land, where, happy
in her mother's smile, she dances with her companions amid the

  "Persephone to Ceres has returned
  From that dark god who stole her for his bride,
  And bids the Earth, that for her coming yearned,
  Its sombre garb of mourning lay aside.
  The sun o'ertops the clouds with wonted speed,
  And so to give the goddess honour due,
  O'er hill and dale, o'er mountain-side and mead,
  Now scatters flowers of many a wondrous hue.
  The trees that shed their leaves, each leaf a tear,
  Now deck themselves again in bright array,
  And Man delights to see the Winter drear
  Yield place to Spring, and Night to gladsome Day."

At length comes the time when once more Persephone must return to
her desolate home, and with heavy heart she leaves the sorrowing

  "Persephone is called away,
     And Ceres weeps
  That she must go; while o'er the Earth
    Now slowly creeps
  The gloom of death; fled is that smile
    Of love that made
  All Nature waken into life,
    And all things fade."

The Old-English name for October was "Winterfylleth", that is,
"winter full moon", because winter was supposed to begin at the
October full moon.

========= by Seren

Many aspects of witchcraft and Wicca today are based directly, or
indirectly, on the information we have from historical accounts
of witchcraft trials during the medieval period. These accounts
were based on the concept that witchcraft was devil worship, and
involved various nefarious, and even depraved acts - all centered
around Satan, or the/a devil.

From these accounts, we find many unique and interesting aspects
of medieval witchcraft, and this includes the concept of a
"coven" consisting of thirteen witches, it seems.

One of the most important accounts of witchcraft comes from
Scotland, from a woman named Issobell Gowdie. She gave us the
word "coven", referring to a group of witches (specifically
thirteen, she said), who worked together to commit terrible deeds
in the name of Satan. Or so the records tell us.

On April 13th, 1662, records show that Issobell Gowdie of
Auldearn, Nairnshire, gave a voluntary confession of her
association with witchcraft. Her confession involved a lurid and
detailed account of everything she got up to in the dark arts;
shapeshifting, sex with the devil, flying on straw, using wax
images to kill people, raising winds and consorting with elves
and faeries.

To top it all off, Issobell claimed that her association with
witchcraft had begun in 1647, when bored by her marriage to a
dull farmer, she had made a pact with the devil at the church of

For the last fifteen years, Gowdie claimed that she had been
attending Sabbats with other witches, in a coven of thirteen
members. The coven was led by a man and a woman (the officer and
maid), and they would frequently meet on top of a hill with
another coven of witches where they would dance in honour of the
devil. On one occasion when her coven met, Issobell admitted in
her confession to yoking toads into a plough and used it to take
the fertility of the soil in an effort to make the crops fail.

Gowdie also claimed that she had been baptized by the devil, who
had sucked blood out of her shoulder, and then spouted it into
her hand and sprinkled the blood over her head. As he did this,
the devil then gave her a new name - "Janet".

She also claimed to have been entertained by the Queen of Fairies
in a howe, or pre-historic burial mound (considered to be an
entrance to fairy, or the underworld - Elphame), who showed her
how elves made elf-arrows with the aid of the devil. These elf
arrows were thought to be responsible for spreading sickness and
disease amongst the population.

Gowdie also admitted that she had used the body of an
unchristened baby to make a magic potion. She then described how
the devil would beat her and her coven-mates if they failed to
attend Sabbats for whatever reason, and how he would give them
money that would later turn into dung.

The younger members of the coven (including Issobell) engaged in
intercourse with the devil, whose penis was apparently "great and
long". Issobell claimed that all the women enjoyed sex with the
devil more than with their own husbands. No doubt Issobell
herself would, if her husband was that dull...

As well as being able to affect the crops and milk of cows,
Gowdie said she and her covenmates could also raise a wind with a
wet cloth and a beetle in water, which was then beaten against a
stone as a charm was sung.

Each witch had a spirit that would wait on them to do their
bidding, and Issobell's was dressed in black and called "the Read
[red] Reiver". In addition, Issobell claimed that she and her
fellow witches could change into a number of different animals
such as a cat, hare, jackdaw, crow or horse.

In order to turn into a hare, for example, she would chant the

  "I shall go into a hare, 
  With sorrow and sych and meickle care; 
  And I shall go in the Devil's name, 
  Ay while I come home again. " 
 (sych: such; meickle: great) 

In order to change back, Gowdie sang: 

  "Hare, hare, God send thee care. 
  I am in a hare's likeness now, 
  But I shall be in a woman's likeness even now." 
Other charms were used to heal ailments as well, and Issobell
said she also rode through the air on a piece of straw by singing
the charm "Horse and hattock, in the Devil's name!".

Issobell said she rode on a piece of straw, rather than the more
typical broomstick, because if she brought it with her, then her
husband would notice she had left the house. The straw meant that
she could attend the Sabbats without her husband ever noticing
something was up. This was presumably because the broom either
had some magical charm on it to make her husband not notice, or
that she placed the broom in bed in a way that would fool her
husband into thinking she was asleep.

Gowdie and another accused witch in the area, Jonet Braidhead,
implicated at least forty-four other people in practicing
witchcraft. Jonet named her own husband as being a fellow witch,
and said that he was the officer of her group. Her mother-in-law,
and many other men and women in the area (often belonging to the
same families) were also implicated. Unfortunately, there are few
records that show the fate of all these people who were accused,
after they were tried.

Jonet described a baptism by the Devil that was much the same to
Issobell's, but Jonet was given the name Christian, and said that
the Devil paid her for sex but the money would turn red later on.
She described the Devil as being "as cold as spring well water
inside of her." Like Issobell, much of the magical practices she
engaged in were aimed at destroying the wealth and prosperity of
the local lairds, Laird Lochloy and Park. This included
destroying the fertility of the soil - and therefore the yield of

Many of the elements described in the confessions of Issobell and
Jonet have become integral to the popular perception of
witchcraft, and to a certain extent most of these elements are by
no means peculiar to Issobell and Jonet's descriptions. The
practice of witchcraft in groups was not unknown before Issobell
s confession - or the idea of it, anyway. But people were just as
likely to be found guilty of practicing witchcraft on their own,
as well as in groups (and especially in Britain, witches tended
to practice alone outside of Scotland).

According to Hutton the term "coven" had never been seen or heard
before Gowdie's use of the word, at least in the context of
witchcraft. It was not used in any other trial records after
Issobell's confessions either.

"Coven" is apparently a Scottish word, known to have been used
from the fifteenth century onwards. Most attribute its origins to
the word convene or a covenant; a similar Middle English word is
covin, "a group of confederates", or else a covine in Old French,
"a band or group with a single purpose". All these words relate
to the Latin convenire - "to agree".

In the case of "covens", it is a unique element found in one
woman's confession, but which has come to be a standard feature
of modern practice, purely by accident of preservation of a few
modern authors like Margaret Murray.

In reality, trial records show that where Sabbats were practiced
(mainly on continental Europe) - where witches would join
together in worship of their devil, according to the historical
records - there was usually no limit to the number of people that
could attend.

The famous seventeenth century witch hunter Pierre de Lancre
mentions that in one part of France, Labourd, the practice of
witchcraft was so endemic that the area was "a hive of witches",
with Sabbats having an average attendance of 12,000. Difficult
though this might be to believe, it does show that there was no
common or general precedent to limit the number of attendees to a
Sabbat in trial records.

So if it had not been for Issobell s detailed description of her
practices, it is unlikely that the word coven would have been
taken up by more modern scholars and practitioners of witchcraft.
Writers like Sir Walter Scott and Margaret Murray relied heavily
on the Scottish trial records in forming their ideas of
historical witchcraft, and these works influenced other writers
and people like Gerald Gardner, who used them as a source to
recreate - or augment - his own witchcraft practice.

Throughout her work, Margaret Murray picked on certain facts -
whether unique or otherwise - and applied it to her picture of
witchcraft in universal terms. She also tended to ignore any
contradictory evidence that didn't fit her views. This is deemed
to be bad scholarship these days, but her work came to be
extremely influential in the revival of modern witchcraft.
Without Issobell or Margaret Murray, it's safe to say that we
wouldn't have what we have today.

=========   October 31 - November 2, 2004
========= by spiritualshe@aol.com

=== Who?

Witches, Wiccans, Pagans, Druids, Root-Workers, Magickians,
Hoodooist, Conjurors, and Earth-Based Practitioners of all
Traditions We Wish to Invite You to Join Us in the National
Witches Days of Prayer.

=== When?

Starting October 31, 2004 through November 2, 2004 

=== What?

"A Rolling Spell" that Spiritualists can participate in.
The spell will be performed on specific days and at specific
times a day. Spiritual Practitioners will choose from seven
specific times a day so that somewhere in the nation
Practitioners will be performing spells at the same time and
conjuring energy for the national prayer.

=== Why?

This is a dark time in our nation's history. There are forces in
the U.S. that are negatively affecting our civil liberties, peace
from wars, our rights to choose, our rights to vote, the
environment of our Mother Earth, our economic health, our choices
in life partners, health care, foreign relations and diplomacy,
education of our children, our religious choices and so much
more. This is a chance for us to make a difference. As things are
going, we may not have another chance.

On August 28th and 29th marches began in New York against the
Republican Convention. We are asking that you join us to begin
our own "Spiritual March" to release the negative forces that are
darkening our nation, and to help us find balance once again.

Our goal is to pray for "Divine Spiritual Guidance" so that we
choose "the right person to be President of the United States" on
November 2, 2004. This choice will not only affect the people of
the U.S. but it will also affect the people of the world. The
leader we choose here will also be the world leader. All nations
will depend on the choice that we make in November.

=== How?

Those who wish to participate in the prayer will start on the
date(s) of their choice between October 31st (Samhain) through
November 2nd (Voting Day). Then they can choose the time period
that is convenient for them. They can choose between the seven
time periods of: 6:15am; 8:30am; 12:30pm; 3:00pm; 7:00pm; 9:00pm
or 12:00 midnight.

This will allow participants to be in sync with others in prayer
and allow the prayers to be in a continuous "rolling" sequence,
time after time and day after day. Practitioners can participate
as often as they wish. In other words: they may pray multiple
times a day, and as many of the three days that they wish.

=== Tools to Be Used?

The given chant is all that is necessary to participate. However,
any Practical Magick such as: Root- workings, Circles, Candle-
workings(white for hope, green for prosperity, brown for
grounding the nation, gold for success, candles are highly
recommended), rituals, ritual tools of Practitioner's tradition
are welcome.

We only ask that: 

1) The spell work is positive. 
2) The spell will not be directed toward any specific individual
   or group.
3) If a Practitioner truly knows who is best for the country it
   is not necessary for a name to be mentioned. Give way to the
   judgment of the Divine.
4) Participants will repeat the following chant at least 3 times
   as a cohesive binder to make potent all spells casted:

   On This Hour We Call Upon The Universal Power 
   As Many We Speak in One True Voice 
   United We Pray for the Nation's Choice. 
   Earth Rain Fire Wind 
   Take Evil From Our Country, Let Peace and Prosperity In. 
   Distinguish Between He Who is Man and Mouse 
   Only The Best for Our Country May Reign Our Nation's House. 
   So Mote It Be 
We sincerely hope that you join us in our first National Witches
Days of Prayer.

Please send this to as many of your Pagan friends as possible. 

If you have any questions feel free to email us at:

========= SAMHAIN
========= (Chapter III of The Book of Hallowe'en
========= by Ruth Edna Kelley [1919])

On November first was Samhain ("summer's end").

  "Take my tidings:
  Stags contend;
  Snows descend--
  Summer's end!

  "A chill wind raging,
  The sun low keeping,
  Swift to set
  O'er seas high sweeping.

  "Dull red the fern;
  Shapes are shadows;
  Wild geese mourn
  O'er misty meadows.

  "Keen cold limes each weaker wing,
  Icy times--
  Such I sing!
  Take my tidings."

  --GRAVES: First Winter Song.

Then the flocks were driven in, and men first had leisure after
harvest toil. Fires were built as a thanksgiving to Baal for
harvest. The old fire on the altar was quenched before the night
of October 31st, and the new one made, as were all sacred fires,
by friction. It was called "forced-fire." A wheel and a spindle
were used: the wheel, the sun symbol, was turned from east to
west, sunwise. The sparks were caught in tow, blazed upon the
altar, and were passed on to light the hilltop fires. The new
fire was given next morning, New Year's Day, by the priests to
the people to light their hearths, where all fires had been
extinguished. The blessed fire was thought to protect the year
through the home it warmed. In Ireland the altar was Tlactga, on
the hill of Ward in Meath, where sacrifices, especially black
sheep, were burnt in the new fire. From the death struggles and
look of the creatures omens for the future year were taken.

The year was over, and the sun's life of a year was done. The
Celts thought that at this time the sun fell a victim for six
months to the powers of winter darkness. In Egyptian mythology
one of the sun-gods, Osiris, was lsain at a banquet by his
brother Sitou, the god of darkness. On the anniversary of the
murder, the first day of winter, no Egyptian would begin any new
business for fear of bad luck, since the spirit of evil was then
in power.

From the idea that the sun suffered from his enemies on this day
grew the association of Samhain with death.

  "The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year,
  Of wailing winds, and naked woods, and meadows brown and sere.
  Heaped in the hollows of the grove, the wither'd leaves lie dead;
  They rustle to the eddying gust, and to the rabbit's tread.
  The robin and the wren are flown, and from the shrub the jay
  And from the wood-top calls the crow, through all the gloomy day.

  "The wind-flower and the violet, they perished long ago,
  And the wild rose and the orchis died amid the summer glow:
  But on the hill the golden-rod, and the aster in the wood,
  And the yellow sun-flower by the brook in autumn beauty stood,
  Till fell the frost from the cold clear heaven, as falls the plague on men,
  And the brightness of their smile was gone from upland, glade, and glen."

  --BRYANT: Death of the Flowers.

In the same state as those who are dead, are those who have never
lived, dwelling right in the world, but invisible to most mortals
at most times. Seers could see them at any time, and if very many
were abroad at once others might get a chance to watch them too.

  "There is a world in which we dwell,
  And yet a world invisible.
  And do not think that naught can be
  Save only what with eyes ye see:
  I tell ye that, this very hour,
  Had but your sight a spirit's power,
  Ye would be looking, eye to eye,
  At a terrific company."

  --COXE: Hallowe'en.

These supernatural spirits ruled the dead. There were two
classes: the Tuatha De Danann, "the people of the goddess Danu,"
gods of light and life; and spirits of darkness and evil. The
Tuatha had their chief seat on the Isle of Man, in the middle of
the Irish Sea, and brought under their power the islands about
them. On a Midsummer Day they vanquished the Fir Bolgs and gained
most of Ireland, by the battle of Moytura.

A long time afterwards -- perhaps 1000 B.C. -- the Fomor, sea-
demons, after destroying nearly all their enemies by plagues,
exacted from those remaining, as tribute, "a third part of their
corn, a third part of their milk, and a third part of their
children." This tax was paid on Samhain. It was on the week
before Samhain that the Fomor landed upon Ireland. On the eve of
Samhain the gods met them in the second battle of Moytura, and
they were driven back into the ocean.

As Tigernmas, a mythical king of Ireland, was sacrificing "the
firstlings of every issue, and the scions of every clan" to Crom
Croich, the king idol, and lay prostrate before the image, he and
three-fourths of his men mysteriously disappeared.

  "Then came
  Tigernmas, the prince of Tara yonder
  On Hallowe'en with many hosts.
  A cause of grief to them was the deed.
  Dead were the men
  Of Bamba's host, without happy strength
  Around Tigernmas, the destructive man of the north,
  From the worship of Crom Cruaich. 'Twas no luck for them.
  For I have learnt,
  Except one-fourth of the keen Gaels,
  Not a man alive--lasting the snare!
  Escaped without death in his mouth."
  --Dinnsenchus of Mag Slecht (Meyer trans.).

This was direct invocation, but the fire rites which were
continued so long afterwards were really only worshipping the sun
by proxy, in his nearest likeness, fire.

Samhain was then a day sacred to the death of the sun, on which
had been paid a sacrifice of death to evil powers. Though
overcome at Moytura evil was ascendant at Samhain. Methods of
finding out the will of spirits and the future naturally worked
better then, charms and invocations had more power, for the
spirits were near to help, if care was taken not to anger them,
and due honors paid.


                        PAGAN SHOPPING

       Earth Spirit Emporium has a diverse selection of
       magickal and ritual supplies,  including athames,
       books, candles, incense,  essential oils, jewelry,
       spell kits, wind chimes, smudge sticks, tarot
       cards and boxes, wands, staffs, and a lot more.
       They have a large  selection of Pagan-oriented
       merchandise. They've been in business for a number
       of years and have many satisfied customers. When
       you visit Earth Spirit Emporium from a link on our
       web site, a percentage any purchases you make
       while you are there comes back to The Cauldron to
       help support our web site.



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

========= Raven's Rules for (Very) Proper Pagans
========= Author Unknown

(1) Keep your pinky straight when holding the chalice. 

(2) Pass the serving dishes (and salt, pepper, etc.) deosil, not

(3) Do NOT butter bread (cut meat, etc.) with the athame! (Use
the bolline.)

(4) Ask the altar's owner before using it as a cutting board. 

(5) Do NOT hog all the cakes and ale for yourself; share nicely. 

(6) When invoking, issue kind invitations, rather than summary

(7) Do NOT invoke storm gods during an outdoor picnic. 

(8) If you violate (7), prepare to volunteer as the lightning

(9) Following your True Will does not require trampling on other

(10) Always be polite: saying "please" and "thank you" is as
important during an orgy as at any other time; put your weight on
your elbows.

========= Cheap Web Hosting Report: October 2004
========= by Gridspace

With thousands of web hosts to choose from, it can be hard to
find cheap web hosting with the quality and dependability you
want. Many web hosts now advertise extremely low prices and
promise more features than anyone could ever want. Unfortunately,
many cheap web hosting offers turn out to be too good to be true.
Either the service is poor or the fine print in the terms of
service make many of the features effectively useless. Low cost
web hosting with excellent service, reliability and features does
exist -- if you are willing to spend many hours researching
offers and user experiences.

Many offer to help you select cheap web hosting by listing 10, 20
or even more cheap web hosting companies with offers they
consider good. However, that's still a lot of cheap web hosting
companies and plans to research. We are more selective in our
Cheap Web Hosting Report. We check out the sites and the user
comments and list what we believe are the current top five
general purpose cheap web hosting plans. We also list several
additional plans that provide special features (such as "root"
access or a Windows server with ASP and an Access database). This
means less work for you.

===== Top Five General Purpose Cheap Web Hosts for September 2004

These are the top five general purpose cheap web hosts selected
for September 2004. All of the following hosting plans include a web
control panel, a cgi-bin directory, php4, perl, and at least 1
mysql database. Many offer a number of additional features. The
prices listed are the monthly price based on the shortest
prepayment period offered (1m = one month, 3m = three months, 6m
= six months) and for annual pre-payment (1y = annual rate). The
setup fees we list are for the shortest prepayment period offered
and for the annual pre-payment plan.

=== #1 iPowerWeb

Price: 3m: $9.95 1y: $7.95
Setup: 3m: $30.00 1y: Free
Bandwidth: 40 GB 
Disk Space: 1000 MB  
Mailboxes: 500

Comments: iPowerWeb is only a few years old, but it already hosts
over 200,000 web sites, has won numerous awards for its service,
and has successfully managed rapid growth with only a few visible
customer service hiccups. The company and its offerings are not
perfect, but they provide featureful, reliable, low cost web
hosting -- and do so very well from the point-of-view of the
average customer.

More Information: http://www.ecauldron.com/zipowerweb.php

=== #2 midPhase

Price: 3m: $11.95 1y: $7.95
Setup: 3m: Free 1y: Free
Bandwidth: unlimited
Disk Space: 1500 MB
Mailboxes: unlimited

Comments: midPhase is a young hosting company (launched in late
2002). They offer a strong hosting package with many features at
a reasonable, although not super-low, price. It has grown quickly
-- and, thus far, without a lot of complaints from their
customers over service. If they can continue to provide good
service, expect them to rise on our list in the future. At the
end of August, they switched to unmetered bandwidth for most
sites (60 gig limit for download sites and image galleries).
While unmetered bandwidth sometimes causes hosting companies
problems, midPhase says that they have been planning this switch
for months and do not expect any problems.

More Information: http://www.ecauldron.com/zmidphase.php

=== #3 Lunarpages

Price: 3m: $9.95 1y: $7.95
Setup: 3m: $30.00 1y: Free
Bandwidth: 40 GB
Disk Space: 1000 MB
Mailboxes: Unlimited

Comments: Lunarpages has over 5 years experience in shared web
hosting and hosts over 50,000 web pages. While they have not
pushed for the huge growth of some of the other low cost web
hosting companies, Lunarpages customers seem generally very happy
with their service and appear to this reviewer to be more loyal
to their hosting company than the customers of other hosting
companies. This speaks well for Lunarpages.

More Information: http://www.ecauldron.com/zlunarpages.php

=== #4 PowWeb

Price: 3m: $7.77 1y: $7.77
Setup: 3m: $20.00 1y: Free
Bandwidth: 5 GB /day
Disk Space: 1000 MB
Mailboxes: 650

Comments: PowWeb has been in the low cost web hosting business
since 1999. They are best known for their one-size fits all web
hosting plan. They have recently raised their bandwidth limits
from 45 gigs a month to a whopping 5 gigs a day (but you get an
email warning at 4 gigs in a day according to their policy). We
have seen a few more customer complaints over performance and
customer service recently, which has caused this web host to drop
a bit in our rating, but they are still a good choice for many.

More Information: http://www.ecauldron.com/zpowweb.php

=== #5 Dreamhost

Price: 1m: $9.95 2y: $7.95
Setup: 1m: $24.95 2y: Free
Bandwidth: 40 GB
Disk Space: 800 MB
Mailboxes: 60

Comments: Dreamhost has long been -- and still is -- listed as
the best affordable web host for unusual content (as they will
host just about anything legal) in the Special Needs Hosting
section of this report. Recent improvements in their plans have
made them very competitive in terms of bandwidth, web space, and
features offered for the price, so they have moved into our "Top
Five" list. If you are looking for low cost, high quality web
hosting with truly excellent tech support and very friendly
people, check out Dreamhost. (This site hosts with Dreamhost.)

More Information: http://www.ecauldron.com/zdreamhost.php

=== Honorable Mention Dot5Hosting

Price: 3m: $8.00 1y: $5.00
Setup: 3m: Free 1y: Free
Bandwidth: 50 GB
Disk Space: 750 MB
Mailboxes: unlimited

Comments: In late July, one of our readers suggested we look at
Dot5Hosting. We looked and are very impressed with what they
offer for the price. For $60 a year, you can get a fairly
powerful web site. For $120 a year, you can get 1500 megs of
storage and 80 gigs of bandwidth. Although this web host has won
a number of best hosting awards, we need to track it more closely
for a few months before we can add it to our "Top 5" list.
However, it looks like a good enough deal that we are listing
Dot5Hosting as an "Honorable Mention." If you are on a very tight
budget, this might be a host to strongly consider.

More Information: http://www.ecauldron.com/zdot5hosting.php

===== Special Needs Cheap Web Hosting

If you have special hosting needs, one of the following cheap web
hosting solutions may meet those needs better than one of the
above plans. While the following companies generally do not offer
as much bandwidth and disk space as the Top Five Cheap Web Hosts
listed above, they provide more than enough of both for most
sites and their special features, if you need them, will more
than make up the difference.

=== Fewer Content Restrictions

Price: 1m:  $9.95 2y: $7.95
Setup: 1m: $24.95 2y: Free
Bandwidth: 40 GB
Disk Space: 800 MB
Mailboxes: 60

Comments: In an effort to avoid arguments and complaints, most
web hosting companies are fairly restrictive on questionable
content -- to the point that some will terminate a site for
displaying a picture of a classical (but bare breasted) statue
from ancient Greece. Dreamhost not only has an excellent, cheap
web hosting package but is far more liberal than most web hosts
on acceptable site content. Basically, if your content is legal
in the US, Dreamhost will probably have no problems hosting it.

More Information: http://www.ecauldron.com/zdreamhost.php

=== Windows Hosting

Easy CGI
Price: 1m: $9.95 1y: $7.96
Setup: 1m: Free 1y: Free
Bandwidth: 50 GB
Disk Space: 3000 MB
Mailboxes: 50

Comments: Easy CGI provides Windows 2000 servers instead of the
standard Unix servers. Their accounts come with ASP and one
Access Database. They are one of the most affordable and most
popular Windows hosting providers. Customer service reports are
spotty, however. Most people report excellent service but
minority report major problems.

More Information: http://www.ecauldron.com/zeasycgi.php

=== Virtual Dedicated Server Hosting (Root Access)

Price: 1y: $9.95	
Setup: 1y: Free
Bandwidth: 5 GB
Disk Space: 500 MB
Mailboxes: 75

Comments: Jumpline uses special technology to provide each
account with its own virtual server. You have your own Apache web
server, your own email servers, your own database server, etc.
and you have root access to the virtual machine running them.
These types of accounts can be more stable and provide better
control, but are best used by Unix experts who understand the ins
and outs of running servers. 

More Information: http://www.ecauldron.com/zjumpline.php

=== Dedicated Server Hosting

Price: 1m: $29.95	
Setup: $149.00	
Bandwidth: 40 GB	
Disk Space: 200 GB
Mailboxes: unlimited	

A dedicated server gives your site its own physical computer as a
server. The upside is that you have full root access so you can
install whatever software you want on it and have very few
restrictions on scripts (even if they hog CPU time). The downside
is that you have to maintain the system yourself. ServerPronto
has some of the most affordable dedicated server prices we have
seen, although there are many options that can increase the
monthly price or the setup fee. Windows and Windows 2003
dedicated servers are also available at higher prices.  In mid-
September, ServerPronto started a special offer of $80 off the
above listed setup fees on several plans. The length of this
offer is unknown, so check their website for more information.

More Information: http://www.ecauldron.com/zserverpronto.php

=== Notes

The information in this report was checked for accuracy on
September 30, 2004. Web hosting companies, however, can change
their pricing and plans at any time so the information may no
longer be accurate when you read this report. Gridspace is not
responsible for errors nor for what use you may make of this

Looking for even more hosting options or more information on web
hosting? See the Cheap Web Hosting Report web site at


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

========= 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 www.USEC.com

========= Teaching Kids the Importance of Voting

In the 2000 presidential election, only 37 percent of Americans
made it to the polls to cast a vote. Equally as dire is the voter
turnout for congressional and local elections. As presidential
and local election campaigns heat up, we could all be reminded
how much each voice, through voting, has an impact. There's no
better time to instill the value of voting in our youngsters.

According to data from the non-profit, non-partisan educational
group Kids Voting USA, an early education on voting makes a
great difference. In fact, the voting rate for registered 18-
year-olds is 14 percent higher in communities that teach civic
responsibility in the classroom, such as voting, than in those
that do not. Now, one hotel company is stepping up, helping kids
put their voice toward community service, educating children on
the significance of voting in their communities. Doubletree
Hotels, with assistance from Kids Voting USA, has developed a
voting-focused lesson plan and is providing tools to hundreds of
elementary school students in the U.S. this year.

The voting education initiative is an extension of Teaching Kids
to CARE, a community outreach program which pairs the hotels
with elementary schools and youth groups to educate children
about making conscious decisions, including caring for their
local community. This year, Teaching Kids to CARE students will
cast their ballots in more than 100 cities to determine who, in
their communities, deserves a caring gesture-2,004 Doubletree
cookies -as part of the Great Community Cookie Election.

Outside the classroom, parents can also teach children about the
importance of voting. According to Chris Heller, Kids Voting USA
president and chief executive officer, "Parents who talk with
their kids about community service, social issues and show they
care for their community by voting in elections raise children
with higher levels of political knowledge and engagement."

For those parents wanting to get involved in a voting activity
with their children, following are a few tips:

1. Create a family album with newspaper and magazine clippings
about an election-local or presidential-and the candidates.
Consider including photographs, advertisements, bumper stickers
or other election-related collateral. Sit down as a family and
discuss the kind of articles (objective versus editorial), tones
and issues each clipping addresses.

2. Organize a family political discussion about voting,
encouraging questions. Some questions and discussion topics might

a. Why do you think voting is important?

b. Why do you think some people don't vote?

c. What characteristics do you think a candidate should have?

d. Which candidate do you like? Why?

e. What are some problems in our community? How will this
candidate solve these problems?

f. What can we do as a family to help our community?

3. As a family, research how the voting process works. Look up
"popular vote" and "electoral vote" to learn more about the
American democratic voting process.

4. Challenge kids to take on a reporter's role, writing a brief
story about community service, democracy, elections or voting.

5. Volunteer to help voting programs by distributing voter
registration information to friends and family. For information
on voting sites and registration, visit http://www.us.gov/ or
call 1-800-FED-INFO.

Remember, even one vote can make a difference. In 2000, just five
electoral votes and 540,520 popular votes-about the same as the
population of Wichita, Kansas-separated the presidential

Learn more about Teaching Kids to CARE at

========= A Familiar Symbol Of Good Works Gets A New Look

A well-known symbol of charitable giving is getting a makeover.

For 54 years, this orange box has stood for the ability of
children to promote change-by collecting change.

The change collected by children during the month of October for
the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign has improved the lives of
millions of children around the world by funding immunization,
education, health care, nutrition, clean water and sanitation

Over the years, children have helped to raise $123 million to
help support UNICEF programs around the world. Kids enjoy
participating in Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF because it allows them
to take action and make a global impact right from their own

With an eye on emphasizing the impact produced by students,
parents and teachers, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF has unveiled a
newly designed Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF box. The 2004 box will
continue with its traditional orange color and will be joined on
the front panel by an image of a jack-o'-lantern in UNICEF's
signature blue.

To help support the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign this year,
retailers Pier 1 Imports and IKEA will serve as box distributors.
Throughout October, Pier 1 will distribute boxes at over 1,000
locations and IKEA will once again make boxes available through
all its U.S. stores.

It has also been announced that actress and UNICEF Ambassador
Alyssa Milano will serve as the national spokesperson for the
2004 Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign. Throughout October, she
will be raising awareness for the time-honored Trick-or-Treat for
UNICEF program.

In addition to the new look, Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF is rolling
out enhanced educational resources-including a video, posters,
information on the campaign, and an online program-to support
continued success in the classroom.

"Children continue to express an interest in the world outside
their local communities," said Charles J. Lyons, president of the
U.S. Fund for UNICEF. "By reinventing the Trick-or-Treat for
UNICEF campaign for a new generation, we are engaging children
who have the power to become revolutionaries behind effecting
positive change in the lives of millions of their peers around
the world."

The new boxes and free educational materials are now available
and can be ordered by calling:

or by visiting 


Trick-or-Treaters can make a direct donation to the U.S. Fund for
UNICEF by depositing their coins into a Coinstar machine at
their local supermarkets. Coinstar makes it easy to give to the
Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF program by accepting donations through
its network of supermarket-based machines 365 days a year.

To learn more, visit the Web site at http://www.unicefusa.org/

========= Young Americans Help Children Around the World

America's teens are tackling the challenge of bringing help and
hope to the world's poor children-and they're being honored for
their efforts.

* Sarah Cayia, 15, of Hampden, Maine, recently launched a school-
wide campaign that collected ten large boxes of school supplies
for needy children attending a rural school in Bosnia, where her
father was serving with the National Guard. Sarah recruited
volunteers to help her make collection boxes decorated with
pictures and information about Bosnian children. She then placed
the boxes in classrooms at their school, and promoted the
collection drive with posters, speeches and an advertisement on
the school's television station.

* Pedro Lizama, 13, of Washington, D.C., set his sights on
helping the poor children of Central America after a visit to El
Salvador. When he returned home, Pedro began soliciting donations
of gently used clothing, school supplies and other necessities
for young Salvadorans. Pedro personally delivered the supplies to
more than 30 children during a return visit to the Central
American country.

* Hannah Lee, 18, of Missoula, Mont., volunteered for six summers
at orphanages in Kenya and a school for underprivileged children
in South Africa. She visited an orphanage in Nairobi in 1998 for
children afflicted with HIV/AIDS and spent the following summer
there feeding, bathing and playing with the children. Hannah
returned to Africa over the next few years to help make life a
little better for its youngest and most vulnerable residents.

For their desire to make a difference in the lives of others-and
not letting even thousands of miles stand in their way-Sarah,
Pedro and Hannah were honored with this year's Prudential Spirit
of Community Awards.

Each year, Prudential Financial, in partnership with the National
Association of Secondary School Principals, presents the
Prudential Spirit of Community Awards to youngsters in grades
5-12 who have distinguished themselves through volunteer work.
For more information, visit http://www.prudential.com/spirit.

========= A New Law Changes The Way Checks Clear

Check it out. A new law is changing the way banks clear checks.

The legislation-known as the Check Clearing for the 21st Century
Act, or Check 21-will benefit consumers through faster check
clearing, decreased fraud, less paper and increased security.

The law makes it possible for banks to send-and accept for
clearing purposes-digital images of checks electronically. This
eliminates the need to physically transport checks between banks.

As an added benefit, Check 21 will reduce uncontrollable delays
in transporting checks caused by weather or natural disasters.

According to the American Bankers Association, the law does not
eliminate paper checks, nor does it change the way consumers
write checks. It simply requires banks and customers to accept
paper copies of original checks, called "substitute checks."

A "substitute check" is a paper copy of the original check,
including the front, back and all endorsements.

Supporters of this law say that consumers will benefit. Here's

* They'll have earlier access to their funds and more convenient
access to information online about the status of their checks,

* Check fraud will be reduced because faster processing will mean
faster detection and faster resolution of problems,

* Consumers receive special recrediting rights if a problem
arises due to a "substitute check."

One caution: with faster processing, consumers must ensure they
have enough money in their account to cover their checks.

In addition to the changes brought on by Check 21, a growing
number of retailers are now converting paper checks into
electronic automated clearinghouse (ACH) payments on the spot.
This means that if a consumer has written a check for a purchase,
the check is returned immediately at the point of purchase, after
it is converted into an ACH payment.

Regular billers, such as utilities or credit card providers, are
also converting checks to ACH payments. Once the check is
converted, a consumer will not receive a copy of the original.
However, the check will be reflected in the consumer's bank
statement, which will be accepted as proof of payment.

To learn more, visit the America Bankers Association at
http://www.aba.com/ and click on "Consumer Connection."

========= 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.

Return to Cauldron and Candle Archive

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

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