[Cauldron and Candle Illo]

 

 
Cauldron and Candle
Issue #60 -- June 2005

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  #60 -- June 2005

           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
              http://www.ecauldron.com/doxysbazaar.php

In this Issue:

[01] Editorial Notes
     * This is the Last Issue of Cauldron and Candle
[02] Cauldron Challenge: June
[03] Cauldron News
     * MUX Week Festival June 12-18
[04] Cauldron Discussions
[05] Reviews
     [05-1] Silver is for Secrets
     [05-2] Baqca
     [05-3] 2005 Wicca Almanac
     [05-4] The Burning Pendulum
     [05-5] The Lost Colony of the Templars
     [05-6] Magic of the Celtic Gods and Goddesses
     [05-7] Faery Healing
     [05-8] A Witch's Notebook
     [05-9] Witch Child
     [05-10] Wicca Demystified
[06] Articles:
     [06-1] 10 Ways your Dreams can Enhance your Life
     [06-2] Essential Oils for Psychic Work
     [06-3] June -- The Month of Juno
[07] Columns
     [07-1] Humor: Top 20 Signs You Are a Wiccan Warrior
[08] Pagan Webcrafting
     [08-1] 5 Website Design Tips
     [08-2] Website Usability
     [08-3] Web Designing: Color It Right
     [08-4] Cheap Web Hosting Report: June 2005
[09] Support The Cauldron by Volunteering to Help
[10] Newsletter Information
              (Including How To Subscribe/Unsubscribe)


[01]
=========
========= EDITORIAL NOTES
========= by Randall Sapphire
=========

I regret to announce that this will be the last issue of Cauldron
and Candle for the near future (and perhaps forever). After sixty
monthly issues, I have simply burned out on producing this
newsletter. I'm to the point where I don't even want to think
about the next issue. That's not a good sign. As the feeling has
been getting worse every month for the last 6 to 8 months, I have
come to the conclusion that it is time to take a break.

Unfortunately, while Cauldron and Candle has always been blessed
with a large subscriber base and regular publication schedule, we
have always had a problem getting enough material to fill our
issues. Each time I have devoted an editorial to the problem,
submissions pick up for the next month or so, then quickly return
to their standard level -- which is not enough to sustain this
newsletter. Trying to beg for, hunt up, or write enough material
to fill an issue month after month will wear you down after a
while, no matter how much you enjoy doing newsletters. It has
definitely been a major factor in my burnout.

Will Cauldron and Candle return? I honestly do not know. If it
returns it will probably be at least a few months from now and
the newsletter will be changed to make it less work to edit and
publish. Right now, I can't see a way to do this. Perhaps after a
break I will be able to see a way to do so. An announcement will
be made on this list and on The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum's web
site and on its message board when and if publication resumes.
(Note: If Yahoo threatens to close our mailing list, I will have
to occasionally send out an email to keep it open.)

I'd like to thank everyone for reading Cauldron and Candle over
the past five years. I'd like to especially thank those who have
written articles or reviews for Cauldron and Candle (or allowed
your articles to be reprinted here) -- without you this
newsletter would have died long ago.

Randall Sapphire
Editor and Publisher, Cauldron and Candle
Co-Host, The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum


       ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

                      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.

       ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


[02]
=========
========= CAULDRON CHALLENGE: JUNE
========= by Star
=========

Maybe it's just me, but I feel like there's been a lot of
negativity floating around lately. I know I get irritated and
depressed easily, and it seems like I've seen a lot of the same
thing going on with other people too. So this month's Challenge
is designed to help combat that.

Your Challenge for June is to notice one good thing that happens
to you every single day. No matter how bad the day is, find some
tiny spark of goodness or beauty or happiness. It doesn't have to
be anything big; it could be something as simple as having seen a
beautiful flower, or having heard a coworker say something that
made you smile. Perhaps you found a stray coin on the floor. The
point here is simply to recognize that even when things get bad,
there's still beauty and goodness in this world. And hopefully to
improve your mood some by taking the focus away from the bad
stuff. :)

(I also encourage you not to stop at one thing. One thing is all
it takes to fulfill the Challenge--but why stop there? If you
find yourself thinking about many good things that have happened
in your day, so much the better. Or if you feel like just one
thing will be too easy, you could set your own personal Challenge
a little higher, say three things a day.)

Thanks for this month's Challenge idea goes to Loreley!

  http://www.ecauldron.net/cncboard.php?m=5347.1


       ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

             LOOKING FOR A PAGAN FRIENDLY WEB HOST?

       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.

     http://www.dreamhost.com/rewards.cgi?27905/shared/

       ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


[03]
=========
========= CAULDRON NEWS
========= by The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum Staff
=========

=====
===== MUX Week Festival June 12-18
=====

The Cauldron's MUX staff is planning a lot of activities in our
CauldronMUX chat area from June 12 to June 18. If you have been
interested in our MUX but have not tried it out or if you just
haven't been by in a while, this will be a good time to drop in.
For more information about the MUX Week Festival, see this
thread:

   http://www.ecauldron.net/cncboard.php?m=5485.1

For more information about CauldronMUX, see this web page:

   http://www.ecauldron.com/cmmux.php


       ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

                 CAULDRON AND CANDLE WEB SITE

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

                 http://www.ecauldron.com/cnc/

       ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


[04]
=========
========= CAULDRON DISCUSSIONS
========= 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.

===
=== Empathy Amuck
===

I have to say that in some ways - in my life - empathy can be
horrible. Ever since I was a young child, I have been aware of
peoples "energy". My parents just explained it as I was an
emotional child. But when I walked into a room, I picked up not
so much on what people were thinking - but what they were
feeling. And it wasn't all happy in my house. And at school. And
on the bus. As I got older, I found myself seriously limiting
myself as to the number of people I could handle being around.
The more people, the harder for me to shield myself from their
feelings. Especially around very emotional or angry people.

I formed my life around this. I have a very limited group of
friends, in fact, I live with about the only people I am
comfortable hanging out with, where I can let my shields down
completely. But I have never gotten any good at "shielding"
myself from other people's feelings or energy. I still have a
very hard time dealing with all of the emotions from others
assaulting me in public.

I don't want to be anti-social. I generally like being with
people. However, I wish I could find a way to block out more of
this so I could be more comfortable in public and in social
situations. Is there anyone out here that can help me learn how
to do this? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

* Read (or join in) this discussion:
  http://www.ecauldron.net/cncboard.php?m=5410.1

===
=== Divine Punishment?
===

Do you believe that the Gods punish us when we do wrong? If so,
how is that punishment carried out? Is there a minimum level of
badness one must reach before one gets punished? Have you ever
personally felt like you were being punished by the Gods for
something you did? (Not asking for details on that last one,
unless you just want to give them; I recognize that the details
might be a bit personal.)

* Read (or join in) this discussion:
  http://www.ecauldron.net/cncboard.php?m=5349.1

===
=== Divisive 'Neo-Pagan' Concepts
===

I wanted to address something I see come up on pagan forums A
LOT. I used the term 'neo-pagan' in the title deliberately.
Perhaps because of the plethora of 'witch in a box' and 'the
great big book of Pagan everything' types of literature out
there, an homogenization of various paths has become a 'writ in
stone' doctrine, IMO. This is a relatively recent phenomenon.
Before all the publishers discovered 'bun-bucks', a person could
garner their information from a diverse body of literature and
hence get different perspectives. Now, it is made to appear as if
there are definitive constructs that go with each path that must
not vary : a shaman is a shaman is a shaman who follows the same
ideas everywhere on earth and don't contradict me with facts!
Witches wear black and do magic all the time (the Inquisition
would be spoiled for choice if it were still about!). Oh, and
witches are Wiccans, or is it, Wiccans are witches? And everyone
is Celtic. Except the Northern Trads., who all wear fur, embrace
their inner broadsword and drink mead at all hours. And we know
everything about Druids, inspite of the fact that the only things
we actually know come from Roman and Christianized Welsh
writings. Etc.

What got me thinking about his was the thread on MMC ideas. For
obvious reasons, these almost inevitably veer off into political
fem. fests : 'MMC Hammer Time'. And yet, what is it? It's not a
'fact' - the moon has variations of cycles depending on your
perspective -3, 4, 27 and one half in a month. It's not an
'actual' thing, it's a symbolic 'shorthand'. But one would think
from reading various sources, that to disagree is to diss a
goddess herself, or that the idea's of 'Maiden, Mother, Crone
have some resonant reality that applies to all women and that
'pagan' women in particular must follow this. Many people have in
fact, turned a descriptive phrase, sometimes with some religious
history attached to it, into another 'neo-pagan TRUTH!'.

Well, it's not. It rates up there with the man or woman in the
moon, IMO. A lovely description ,an idealized pictorial of a
natural object. And yet it has become divisive.

As also has been pointed out, there is the 'neo-pagan' 'wheel of
the year' 'ideal'. This one is VERY divisive. The idea of the
'wheel of the year' stems mostly from the U.K. The U.K. has a
relative rarity: a Maritime Temperate climate which lends itself
to four seasons. This usually occurs on the Western side of
continents in the Temperate zone. Most of the Northern Hemisphere
has a 'Continental' climate, which gives areas cold winters, hot
summers with two quite short intervals between. And it can be
easily followed that the further south you go, the more changes
there will be until you hit the tropics. And yet people will wail
and feel left out because they cannot celebrate all the festivals
in the so-called 'Wheel of the Year' in the 'prescribed manner'
because of inclement (or Southern Hemisphere or Tropical etc.)
weather.

Why do we take our 'pattern' from the U.K. ? It would make more
sense to buy (which I do) 'The Old Farmers Almanac' for North
America (if that's where you are) to assess ones' 'seasons' and
celebrate accordingly. No joke, the Farmers Almanac is one of the
longest running periodicals of North American folk lore and
agricultural beliefs, yet many would rather have frequently
mythologicaly and historically inaccurate British Belief system
'markers'.

Well, glossy book covers have it over paper covers, I guess.

Thing is, the 'Wheel of the year' celebrations are also loaded
down with symbolism that has become inexorably intertwined with
the 'homogenized' pagan path. One can hardly be giving thanks for
the recent harvest if the harvest is long over and your standing
in 3 feet of snow. You can, but brrrrrrr. And one is showing
disrespect for the earth or deities or whatever if one doesn't.
Or so the books would have one feel. And let's face it, the
majority of people are urban. But what 'the books' won't
encourage you to do is bake a pumpkin pie (with tinned pumpkin if
you bloody well want!) in your warm city apartment and blow
dancing around the bon-fire (which city permits are required for
anyway). Or whatever way , at whatever time, you feel moved to
throw a pagan paaarrrtayy!

So people feel like 'failed pagans'. BAH!

There are many other examples, but I don't want to tread on too
many toes. After all, I AM a 'pagan heretic' and unsentimental to
boot.

I keep hoping we have grown past these things. Have we?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:
  http://www.ecauldron.net/cncboard.php?m=5345.1

===
=== Sex, Magick, and Religion?
===

Sex. Western culture, primarily, represses it. We're taught it's
dirty, intensely private, secret, nasty, and a variety of
interesting adjectives for it. We are taught throughout our
childhood and young-adulthood that we have roles in sex, that
there is a way sex happens, and that there is good sex and that
there is bad sex. Not everyone gets the same lesson, a lot of
people 'rebel' from these teachings, and a lot were never taught
it. But it's still there in our society.

One of the very interesting concepts that I have yet to see
really discussed in a good book is the link between BDSM
(Bondage, Dominance, Sadism, Masochism) and magic or initiation.
The concept that both sex and religion can be, from one
perspective, about control. Occasionally you'll see someone
suggest using sexual fluids or menstrual fluids in a spell - but
it's nearly always followed or preceded with a 'I know you might
find this gross'.

Why are we so afraid of this concept of exchange of power in our
magical or religious paths? How do you use or consider sex in
your path? What about sex that is considered, by some, to be less
traditional? Do you feel there is a correlation between our
inability to honestly talk about different kinds of sex and
different kinds of spirituality? Do you think that the
embarrassment some face over the concept of a fairly
straightforward sexual rite such as Wicca's 'Great Rite' means
that it is more difficult for us to discuss rites that may be
considered off the beaten path?

In short - what do you think about Sex?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:
  http://www.ecauldron.net/cncboard.php?m=5326.1

===
=== Informed Consent?
===

In our Dedication ritual, we have the (fairly standard line) of
"The Goddess changes everything she touches, and everything she
touches changes. Are you ready for those changes?" Other groups
and traditions have similar things. Initiation rituals in many
Wiccan or Wiccan-influenced paths include deliberate triggers for
change, often with at least some specifics that weren't
necessarily explicitly laid out as a choice in advance. Other
paths do similar things.

Recently, one of our Dedicants, whose had lots of changes even
before she actually started classes, was goodnaturedly griping at
me that I hadn't quite made that clear enough in Seeker classes.

What I'd said was along the lines of "We're not just saying that
stuff will change. Sometimes that change is unpredictable. We've
had people make career changes, come out of the closet about
sexuality, make significant changes to relationships or plans, or
whatever else. Sometimes the changes are less obvious in
physical/real world ways, but are significant shifts in how you
think or function.

Before you ask to be considered as a Dedicant, we really
encourage you to think about that, and what it might mean to you.
People do often find that the changes are really great once they
get to the other side, but it can be rocky getting there."
(Similar stuff is also said in the interview everyone does, and
then finally in ritual in a shorter form)

When I've talked to people about this (how do we give better
warning labels), a friend pointed out that in some ways, the
warning labels are their own mystery: people have to be open to
hearing them before they make much impact. However, if they make
certain sets of choices (such as Dedicating, and saying in ritual
space that yes, they want to pursue this particular path), that
can trigger change whether they've really thought about it or
not.

How do we decide if someone's ready for that? How should people
decide if another adult is ready for that? Should there be
further warnings? How do you do those without revealing detailed
specifics of other people's lives? How long is 'long enough for
someone to seriously consider a commitment'? How do we decide
someone is giving (reasonably) informed consent? If you were a
Seeker in such a group, what would you want to see? How would you
want to be treated?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:
  http://www.ecauldron.net/cncboard.php?m=5310.1

===
=== Covens, Fellowships, Churches?
===

I was reading a couple of interesting articles in Pan Gia
magazine that kind of hit a sensitive spot for me. One was on
being part of or joining a pagan community or not. The other was
groups growing into covens, fellowships, or churches.

Once again I had to ask myself why aren't there many Pagan
churches out there? The article states that as always getting a
group of pagans together is like herding cats (I thought the
comment serious yet funny). It's true though, pagans seem to only
get along only if there individuality is not threatened or heard.

I come from a family of pagans growing up, and found it tough to
relate to other kids when it came to spiritual matters. I ended
up becoming "born again" for 13 years for lack of having a
spiritual community (yes speaking in tongues, spiritual warfare
all the good stuff that comes with it). One thing I do miss is
the fellowship. A group of people coming together and helping
each other, doing things together, helping the community in one
way or another. And there where many differences in the church as
far as beliefs as well (that could be a whole other thread).
Members came and went the churches ebbed and flowed; I even
helped out with other churches functions as well.

So why can't pagans get it together for more that a month or two?
One of the articles said that most of the local pagan community
web sites were not updated and or did not respond to the author's
emails.

This has always been a passion of mine for many years now and yet
no one has the answers, except to give an opinion on how bad
other pagan groups are doing. We as pagans are growing too fast
in numbers to remain totally solitary (mind you, I am practicing
solitary), and covens that remain small will not cut it.

Give me your thoughts on this, read that article if you can get
your hands on it, I would like to discuss them more with you
guys.

* Read (or join in) this discussion:
  http://www.ecauldron.net/cncboard.php?m=5245.1

===
=== What Are The Limits To Magic?
===

We've all seen in the media or read in books about amazing spells
that could take out entire towns, summons forces the likes no
mortal has ever seen, or a magician with near deity powers. They
make for awesome reading but obviously that's fiction at it's
finest.

But it has made me wonder what are the limits to magical power,
spells, and curses?

At one point, if you had told a human that he could talk to
someone half the world over from the convenience of his living
room, he might have laughed. Or said that travel outside of this
world was possible and might one day be commonplace you might
have find yourself committed and under treatment.

So like physical technology, could magic one day aspire to
fantasies of J.K. Rowling and other such fantasy writers? Or is
magic something else entirely?

I've heard it described as force of will. So does that imply that
magic is limited only by the will of the wielder or the physical
limitation of the wielder. So theoretically, the skies can be the
limits and one day we could become thunderbolt tossing, meteor
summoning demigods if we have the strength of will to do it?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:
  http://www.ecauldron.net/cncboard.php?m=5240.1

===
=== Don't Tread On Me (But I'll Step All Over You)
===

What is it about people that they must scream and yell when
people (or so they claim) attempt to define their religion (even
if these 'people' aren't.) What is it about people that demands
that they constantly say things like "Wicca is whatever you feel
it to be" and deny that there could be
definitions/requirements/basics for these religions?

What then causes these people to think it's OK to turn around and
attempt to define everyone else's religion (with a grossly
incorrect definition might I add)?

I'm reading Starhawk's "Dreaming the Darkness" and while it is a
very interesting book there are parts where I just want to throw
it. "Don't chain me down with definitions" she all but screams.
"Wicca is what I feel it is, it is fluid and has no laws" she
shouts. And THEN she freaking turns around and not 10 pages or so
later proudly states that all pagans are actually believing in
and worshipping the same gods. "Oh all the gods are as one, One
part of a whole, not separate, ad nauseam."

Christ on a pogo stick. It's the same elsewhere. Someone actually
tried to tell me that Christianity is not one religion but rather
is more fragmented then Paganism, and then they try to turn
around and claim that Paganism is a cohesive religion that shares
base tenets and is all one big happy religion(!)

What is with the disparity between the two? Why do you think that
pagans are so afraid of others defining them but so ready to
define others?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:
  http://www.ecauldron.net/cncboard.php?m=5213.1

===
=== Effectiveness of Cleansing Rituals?
===

I'm reading a book (the Magick Toolbox) which is an interesting
bit of fluff (thought it has some wonderful points in places). At
one point, fairly early in the book, it just sort of made me
pause.

Now this is a question/sentiment I've seen in other books - but
this is the first time I've seen it written so clearly.

Essentially it says - "If you have any concerns over inheriting
any negative energies along with the good you can perform a
cleansing before you use the tool." The implied comment in that
statement (which is even further implied and nearly explicitly
said in the surrounding paragraphs) is that if you do a cleaning
on that tool then the bad energies will go away and the good
energies will remain.

Is that how you think it works? Or how does your path feel about
selective cleansing? What do you think cleansing
rituals/spells/whatever do?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:
  http://www.ecauldron.net/cncboard.php?m=5153.1

===
=== Make a Path Fit?
===

Have you ever encountered a path or way that you really wanted to
include in your spiritual practices, but for whatever reason the
chosen path refuses to fit with you?

Let me explain.... I had tried a protection spell in the past,
but because I was full of doubt for my ability to make it work,
it backfired on me big time. Using magic has its appeal for me,
but because of that mishap, I decided to hang up my 'wand' before
I screwed anything else up.

When I first found myself on a pagan path, I really, Really
wanted to go the Celtic route...being part Irish I just felt it
was the right way to go. Read some books, got a huge copy of
Celtic gods and goddesses to pour through and see who jumped out
at me, and nothing. Zero. Nada. Couldn't even get the door to
open a crack much less get my foot in there.

Guess what I'm asking is, if you tried to include something that
just fizzled out on you, did you keep at it, making it work for
you no matter how long it took, or did you decide that it was the
cosmos' way of telling you to move along, there's nothing to see
here?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:
  http://www.ecauldron.net/cncboard.php?m=5145.1

===
=== Religious Path-Mates with Bad Ideas
===

What is your reaction when someone of your
faith/path/religion/coven/whatever has personal beliefs and/or
prejudices that you do not agree with...vehemently...

I am Asatru and there are quite a few skinheads and neo-nazi
types that claim Asatru as their path, but I do not share their
beliefs in that particular idea. I try to avoid such people. I
know people that have left covens that they were quite dedicated
to when the high priestess decided to go down a branch of the
path that did not set well with them (for instance, performing
sex magic rituals and insisting all participate).

What do you do when someone that may share the same path as you
do starts spouting off about beliefs that you cannot tolerate?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:
  http://www.ecauldron.net/cncboard.php?m=5115.1


       ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

         DONATE TO HELP SUPPORT THE CAULDRON'S WEB SITE

       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
           http://www.ecauldron.com/donatepaypal.php
                     Donate via Amazon.com
          http://www.amazon.com/paypage/P3903JRFVQVDN

       ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


[05]
===============
============    BOOK AND DECK REVIEWS
=========

Most of The Cauldron's book reviews are now written by Mike
Gleason. If you would like to contact Mike with comments about
his reviews (or about books you would like to have reviewed), you
can email Mike at:

   gleason.mike@ecauldron.GETRIDOFME.com


[05-1]
=========
========= REVIEW: SILVER IS FOR SECRETS
========= Reviewed by Mike Gleason
=========

Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz
Trade Paperback, 312 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: 2005
Ages: Young Adult
List: US$8.95, C$11.95
ISBN: 0738706310
Amazon Link:
  http://www.ecauldron.com/cncbook.php?asin=0738706310

The third book in this series (intended for ages 12 and up) finds
the heroine (Stacey) recently graduated and looking forward to
spending the summer at the beach. Oceans, new boyfriend, and lazy
summer days should be a recipe for happiness. Oh, did I forget to
mention nightmares, nosebleeds, and a dire sense of foreboding?
Silly me.

Once again Stacey's dreams begin to shift to nightmares. Who is
the girl in her dreams, and why is she targeted for death? Can
she be helped? Should she be helped?

The girl is identified. Her name is Clara and she is a few years
younger and on her own for a week or so. Naturally Stacey and her
girlfriends (and their boyfriends) want to help protect her from
the danger. But who will protect them from her divisive effects?

As is normal for Tracey, her dreams become clearer over time, but
never so clear that the answers are obvious. The suspense is
maintained throughout the book. The only complaint I have (and it
is one that I have all too often nowadays) is in the number of
typographical errors I found as I read the book. I know how easy
it is for them to slip through the author's editing process, but
the publisher's editors should catch them, I would expect.

The final twist came as a shock to me. Okay, I had anticipated
one part of it, but I was still flattened by the remainder of it.
The more I read of Ms. Stolarz's work, the better I like it. This
series is going places.

           This review is available on our web site at
             http://www.ecauldron.com/mg/bksifs.php


[05-2]
=========
========= REVIEW: BAQCA
========= Reviewed by Mike Gleason
=========

Baqca
Author: Alan Breck Stewart
Trade Paperback, 254 pages
Publisher: G.A. Publishing
Publication date: 2004
List: US$13.95
ISBN: 0975394606
Amazon Link:
  http://www.ecauldron.com/cncbook.php?asin=0975394606

As soon as I started reading this book, I was hooked. I can
sympathize with Colin Campbell's attitude. I have been inundated
with books about, and references to, the Priory of Sion and the
concept of the continuing sacred bloodline of Jesus Christ.

While reading this book, especially the chapter entitled "Nicea,"
it would help to know a bit about the Church Council of Nicea in
325 C.E. It is no absolutely essential, but it gives slightly
better understanding of the actions and motivations involved.

Before I finished this book I knew I was going to be disappointed
- that it is only the first third of a trilogy. Sure there is
conflict; sure there are unexpected twists; and the characters
come alive. There simply isn't enough of it. At 254 pages, it is
short enough to be read fairly quickly. It could easily have been
400 pages or so and would still leave the reader wanting more.

Book Two: The Own and the Wolf should be about the same length (I
expect), since it is also composed of three chapters. Book Three:
Deathwalker, brings the conclusion, and may be a bit longer since
it has to tie together all the threads.

I look forward, eagerly, to reading the remaining books. This
book demonstrates a profound ability to tell a story as well as
being able to incorporate sensuality (a very minor part of the
story), mysticism, and an understanding of humanity's
relationship to the universe.

This particular book is a very compelling read. I normally try to
pace myself when reading fiction so that I can savor it. The pace
and writing style exhibited by Mr. Stewart drew me along as
compellingly as the dance of Tengri (the baqca of the title) upon
the fibers of the universe. Less than three days after starting
it, I was (reluctantly) closing it at the conclusion of the first
book of this trilogy.

Please be aware that this is adult fiction; not because of
sexuality (there is little of that); not because of nightmare
inspiring images (although there are a few of those); but because
it deals with topics which require a mature attitude to
understand.

It is far and away the most enjoyable work of fiction I have read
in a long time. You don't need to know the workings of shamanism,
or Christianity, or paganism to be able to enjoy this
exhilarating story.

Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy today. And keep your eyes
open for the remaining two books.

           This review is available on our web site at
            http://www.ecauldron.com/mg/bkb.php


[05-3]
=========
========= REVIEW: 2005 WICCA ALMANAC
========= Reviewed by Mike Gleason
=========

2005 Wicca Almanac
Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: 2005
List: US$8.99, C$11.95
ISBN: 0738703087
Amazon Link:
  http://www.ecauldron.com/cncbook.php?asin=0738703087

Each year Llewellyn produces a number of different date books and
almanacs, aimed at various target audiences. As with all of
Llewellyn's almanac series, the astrological and calendar
information are only a part of the reason for buying it. After
all, a few keystrokes on the keyboard of your computer can give
you all the astrological/cultural references you want for any day
of the year.

It also contains articles on a wide variety of topics, by writers
who are, at the very least competent in their fields - some are
recognized authorities. There are multiple viewpoints presented,
from near-scholarly works to simple bits of fluff. Another plus
is the convenient size - being a paperback it is easy to toss in
a purse, backpack, briefcase, etc.

Once again there are more than two dozen articles in sections
ranging from "Lifestyles of the Witch and Famous" to the Wicca
Wide Web, as well as "eye of Toad, Ear of Newt" (a consumer
guide). The range of topics is par for the course with this
annual publication. The authors are not all well-known, which is
one of the things I really like about this publication. One of
the real strengths of this almanac is the diversity of topics.
You can never tell what you are likely to encounter until you
open the cover. This year you can find everything from teaching
your children to how to handle divorce; from Pagan erotic to
yoga; and from traveling the world to traveling the world-wide
web. You can pick and choose what to read and when to read it.

The Almanac section includes all the standards we have come to
expect: birthdays, ritual observances, festivals; as well as the
moon sign and phase, and a color associated with it. There are
some news items included in the Almanac section, more to serve as
breaks and page fillers than for their newsworthiness.

If you feel that Llewellyn is all about fluff, this annual
probably won't change your mind. The topics are NOT heavy-duty
articles. They do, however, frequently make one stop and think
about their own belief system. If you want serious astrological
data, you'll need a different almanac, but for general usefulness
it is hard to beat this particular annual publication.

           This review is available on our web site at
              http://www.ecauldron.com/mg/bk2005wa.php


[05-4]
=========
========= REVIEW: THE BURNING PENDULUM
========= Reviewed by Mike Gleason
=========

The Burning Pendulum
Author: Dotti Enderle
Trade Paperback, 144 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: 2005
Ages: 8-12
List: US$4.99, C$6.50
ISBN: 0738704350
Amazon Link:
  http://www.ecauldron.com/cncbook.php?asin=0738704350

This is the seventh book in the "Fortune Teller's Club" series by
Dotti Enderle (aimed at the 8 to 12 age group). Juniper, Gena and
Anne once again find themselves in a bind (actually, this time it
is almost all on Juniper). This misadventure starts out so
innocently. The middle school is looking for donations for their
library and Juniper wants to donate her favorite series of books.
The series deals with a group of psychic teenagers who solve
mysteries (gee, I wonder where that idea came from?). In the
course of giving a book report on the series, she demonstrates
how to use a pendulum.

The mother of one of her classmates feels a need to protect
children from "wicked literature," and goes so far as accusing
Juniper of devil worship and demanding that she be expelled from
school. When the principal does not act quickly enough for her,
she starts a petition drive, and brings the subject up to the
school board.

Juniper's mother is incensed -- not by the fact that Juniper
wants to donate the books (she's fine with that), but by the fact
that the Principal has "asked" (required) Juniper to select a
different book for the library so the problem will go away. The
entire concept of book banning offends her.

Juniper's life is thrown into turmoil. Her mother is fuming, her
classmates are split, her younger brother is being harassed. And
all of this happens because of a book. She has an ally in the
librarian, who refuses to allow the principal to remove the books
from the shelves until the school board can make a ruling. She
supports Juniper so much that she assigns a research project on
banned books to her.

The offended parent not only wants the books removed and Juniper
suspended, she would like to see the entire family out of town,
for the "safety" of the children. Her agenda boils over into the
community as she starts her petition drive. Juniper, in the
meantime, would just like for it all to go away, but she knows
that nothing will happen until the next school board meeting.

While using a newly created divinatory system (one of the on-
going themes in this series is that divinatory systems should be
individualized and personalized), she gets a clue to an
unexpected answer. She tells no one about the answer, but then
uses it to save the day - and her own school career.

           This review is available on our web site at
              http://www.ecauldron.com/mg/bktbp.php


[05-5]
=========
========= REVIEW: THE LOST COLONY OF THE TEMPLARS
========= Reviewed by Mike Gleason
=========

The Lost Colony of the Templars:
   Verrazano's Secret Mission To America
Author: Frank Joseph
Author: Steven Sora
Trade Paperback, 273 pages
Publisher: Destiny Books
Publication date: 2004
List: US$16.95, C$24.95
ISBN: 1594770190
Amazon Link:
  http://www.ecauldron.com/cncbook.php?asin=1594770190
Warning: Speculative History

Once again, Steven Sora returns to the connections between the
Knights Templar, the Sinclair family of Scotland, and pre-
Columbian explorations of North America. He began exploring these
topics in The Lost Treasure of the Knights Templar (see my
earlier review). This book, however, looks at the attempt in 1542
(i.e., a mere 50 years after the "official" discovery of America)
to contact the colony planted by Henry Sinclair (in 1398 C.E.).

Mr. Sora makes some assumptions that may raise eyebrows. He cites
evidence which is not necessarily accepted by the entire
scientific community (but what is accepted by the community
without dispute, in this day and age?).

Regardless of whether you accept all of his evidence, and the
assumptions he derives from it, you will find this book
informative, well-written, and easy to understand. To my way of
thinking that makes it a good book. It is not necessarily an
excellent book; nor need it be "true" and "accurate" in all
things. It may be wrong. It may be only partly accurate. In any
case, it is worth reading.

There are editing glitches in this book, almost all of which are
simple spelling errors and of no real significance. It is all too
easy, as I well know, to read what you meant to write rather than
what you actually wrote while preparing a manuscript. Don't let
these minor errors detract from your enjoyment of this book.

The first 200 or so pages of this book set the background of
Verrazano's reasons for voyaging to North America. Depending upon
how familiar you are with the history of Christian heresies, the
Knights Templar, the Crusades, and assorted topics you may find
these introductory chapters either fascinating or only marginally
interesting. Nonetheless, they are important to the understanding
of Verrazano's mission.

Mr. Sora states as givens some things which are, at best,
conjectures. But then, Mr. Sora is not a historian in the strict
sense, so far as I know. He writes on the topic of historical
enigmas, which is an altogether different category.

           This review is available on our web site at
            http://www.ecauldron.com/mg/bktlcott.php


[05-6]
=========
========= REVIEW: MAGIC OF THE CELTIC GODS AND GODDESSES
========= Reviewed by Mike Gleason
=========

Magic of the Celtic Gods and Goddesses
Author: Carl McColman and Kathryn Hinds
Trade Paperback, 203 pages
Publisher: New Page Books
Publication date: 2005
List: US$14.99
ISBN: 1564147835
Amazon Link:
  http://www.ecauldron.com/cncbook.php?asin=1564147835

I've read several other books by Carl McColman previously, and
have always found them to be extremely readable and informative.
This book does nothing to change that opinion. Carl and his co-
author take the time to state quite clearly what they are, and
are not, trying to do in this book.

This book isn't filled with rituals (there isn't much really
known about Celtic rituals); nor is it filled with
correspondences and/or attributes (there are lots of other
sources available for that); and it does not pretend to be a
scholarly work. It is filled with stories of some of the Celtic
deities (over 400 have been catalogued by the scholars and less
than 10% of them are represented in this book. It is written with
the intent of giving the reader a "feel" fore the deities and
their relationship to the world we inhabit.

The authors provide some suggestions for how and when to honor
the deities. These are very generic (i.e., there are no rituals
suggested, but there are suggestions for behavior which is
appropriate) which makes them capable of being accomplished by
anyone.

This is a very nice introduction to Celtic mythology. It contains
enough information to convey the basics, while inspiring further
reading for those who want to know more. It is light without
being fluffy, and thorough without being exhaustive. In other
words, it is a balanced presentation.

           This review is available on our web site at
            http://www.ecauldron.com/mg/bkmotcgag.php


[05-7]
=========
========= REVIEW: FAERY HEALING
========= Reviewed by Mike Gleason
=========

Faery Healing
Author: Margie McArthur
Trade Paperback, 384 pages
Publisher: New Brighton Books
Publication date: 2003
List: US$20.95
ISBN: 0971837759
Amazon Link:
  http://www.ecauldron.com/cncbook.php?asin=0971837759

As much as I enjoy getting books from the large publishing
houses, I am often more impressed by the offerings I get from
lesser-known sources. There is never any way of telling what will
turn up. This is one of those gems.

You won't find lots of cute little fairy illustrations in this
book (although the cover is one of the most striking I have seen
in quite a while). You won't find "fairy tales," although you
will find tales dealing with the faery folk. You won't find a
bunch of incantations, although you will find a few invocations.

What you will find are sections dealing with both the medicinal
and magical uses of herbs and stones; background on some of the
Celtic deities; and instructions for working in the faery realms,
empowering yourself to heal, "yesterday's healing," and how to
heal in today's world.

This is a book to be taken seriously. As such it requires a small
investment of money (to purchase it) and a larger investment of
time and energy to make use of the information contained within
the covers. I would not recommend borrowing this book. To make
full use of it, it should be accessible when and where needed.

Almost the entire first half of this book (158 pages out of 356)
is devoted to an overview of the history of Faery Healing - the
herbs, trees and stones; their magical as well as their medicinal
properties; and an explanation of the origins of Faery Healing.
The second half moves us out of theoretical and into the
practical field.

Margie suggests exercises to reacquaint ourselves with other
levels of existence; exercises which our ancestors never used
because they didn't need them. They lived in a world with far
fewer distractions, and much less information coming at them.
They didn't have movies and videos, the Internet or television.
The "news" consisted of whatever stories were shared by visitors.
You couldn't see the events, but you could visualize them as they
were related. Stories were passed by word of mouth - you couldn't
wait for the movie to come out. You used your mind constantly.
Because of that use, you saw far more than we do today.

Once you get yourself in tune with the world and begin to use
your mind you will be able to begin to heal yourself and others.
Margie concentrates on the magical side of healing, since herbal
healing is a much more specialized format.

Her exercises and training techniques should be familiar to any
of the more experienced readers out there, since they are based
on methods which have been successfully used by various groups
for many years. For the inexperienced readers, they are simply
and clearly written and easy to understand. They will help you to
reach the appropriate places for you to access the healing power.

           This review is available on our web site at
              http://www.ecauldron.com/mg/bkfh.php


[05-8]
=========
========= REVIEW: A WITCH'S NOTEBOOK
========= Reviewed by Mike Gleason
=========

A Witch's Notebook
Author: Silver RavenWolf
Trade Paperback, 264 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: 2005
List: US$12.50, C$17.50
ISBN: 0738706620
Amazon Link:
  http://www.ecauldron.com/cncbook.php?asin=0738706620

Now I know that a lot of people don't like Silver's writing
style; or maybe it's her attitude; or maybe it's that she is a
successful author; or maybe. Hey, I don't always agree with what
she has to say (we were trained, I suspect, in very different
traditions), but I am willing to see what she has to say. A lot
of people consider her to be too "New-Agey" or "fluffy". To be
honest, I have shared that opinion from time to time. Fortunately
for me, I have learned not to prejudge a book by who the author
is. I have been surprised too many times in the past.

This time around Silver has not attempted to put together a
"Wicca 101" class book. She has made no attempt to provide an
entire year's worth of work. Instead she has provided five
lessons which should be well learned in about one month per
lesson. The lessons are useable by anyone from the rawest new-
comer to the most jaded, overworked elder.

The major shortfalls of this book in this form (Uncorrected
Proof) are the lack of illustrations and a useable index. Neither
of these will be a problem in the final edition, so I mention
them only in passing. The typographical errors will also be
caught before the final print copy is ready.

She includes an herbal section listing over 100 herbs. While it
is not the most extensive herbal, covering about 65 pages, it is
a valuable addition to the book. She also adds in a few simple
spells.

If you are one of those readers who absolutely detest everything
you have heard about Silver's writings, especially if you haven't
taken the time to actually read her books, this might be a good
one for you to start with. Her style isn't for everyone, but that
doesn't necessarily make it bad. Read this book with an open
mind.

           This review is available on our web site at
              http://www.ecauldron.com/mg/bkawn.php


[05-9]
=========
========= REVIEW: WITCH CHILD
========= Reviewed by Mike Gleason
=========

Witch Child
Author: Celia Rees
Trade Paperback, 304 pages
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication date: 2000
List: US$17.95, C$24.50
Reading level: Young Adult
ISBN: 0763618292
Amazon Link:
  http://www.ecauldron.com/cncbook.php?asin=0763618292

What must it have been like to have lived in the mid-1600s? This
novel addresses that question and adds a few more variables for
good measure. Imagine yourself female, parents unknown,
grandmother (who raised you) accused of (and executed for) being
a witch. Then, just to further complicate matters, imagine
yourself being sent from the only home you have ever known (a
small English village), to be sent across the ocean to America -
to live with a group of Puritans. Oh, and did I forget to mention
that you are a Witch? Just a minor complication, I am sure.

The bulk of the book occurs in Massachusetts, prior to the
outbreak of the hysteria of 1692. Ms. Rees obviously knows her
history and her locations. There is a feel of authenticity in her
writing.

This is not a book about witchcraft and witches. It is a
historical novel which incorporates a great deal of folk wisdom
and superstition. It is a thoroughly enjoyable story which is
both entertaining and informative.

Ms. Rees seems to have a real understanding and feel for the
times and an ability to convey that to the reader. Her imagery
comes alive and draws the reader ever deeper into the story.

This book ends in a completely unexpected way, which, in turn,
sets up the sequel (Sorceress), which I hope to have the pleasure
to review at a later date.

           This review is available on our web site at
              http://www.ecauldron.com/mg/bkwc.php


[05-10]
=========
========= REVIEW: WICCA DEMYSTIFIED
========= Reviewed by Mike Gleason
=========

Wicca Demystified:
   A Guide for Practitioners, Their Family and Friends
Author: Bryan Lankford
Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Publisher: Marlowe and Company
Publication date: 2005
List: US$15.95
ISBN: 1569243808
Amazon Link:
  http://www.ecauldron.com/cncbook.php?asin=1569243808

No, this is not a "Wicca 101" book, although it shares certain
characteristics with that type of book. It covers a lot of the
basics of what Wicca is, and is not. However, this book is aimed
at the outsider; the one whose family member, best friend. Lover,
co-worker, etc. has just dropped the bombshell by saying "I'm
learning Wicca," or "I am Wiccan."

The first half of the book provides a broad overview while the
second half, in a question and answer format, goes into greater
detail. This book, like When Someone You Love is Wiccan (Carl
McColman, New Page Press, 2004) doesn't contain details of
rituals, invocations or theological debates. It does contain an
admittedly personal view of what Wicca is and why someone might
choose it as their religion of choice.

Whether you agree or disagree with Mr. Lankford's definitions and
positions, I really feel that you need to admire his willingness
to put his views out in front of the public. Mr. Lankford has
functioned as an officer of the Covenant of the Goddess, lectured
at various universities, and been frequently interviewed by the
media.

Bryan has written a book which is informative and fun to read. It
is pleasant, answers many questions, and provides an excellent
overview of Wicca.

He doesn't pretend that he has all the answers. Nor does he
pretend that Wicca is for everyone. He presents several ideas
which may be different from the mainstream opinions, but is
adamant about telling the reader that no one opinion will be
shared by all Wiccans.

The religion could use more books like this one. It is well
written and honest. If you are anticipating "coming out of the
broom closet" to someone, it would be a good idea to have a copy
of this book to loan them.

           This review is available on our web site at
              http://www.ecauldron.com/mg/bkwd.php


       ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

                SHOP ONLINE AT THE CAULDRON MALL

        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.

                http://www.ecauldron.com/mall.php

       ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


[06]
===============
============    ARTICLES
=========

[06-1]
=========
========= 10 WAYS YOUR DREAMS CAN ENHANCE YOUR LIFE
========= by Diane de Villiers
=========

The ultimate purpose of dreaming is to provide you with daily
guidance in your Life Journey ... to help you find the best way
to solve problems and open your eyes to new opportunities so that
you can be happy and feel complete. In fact, dreams most often
relate to your circumstances of the past 24 to 48 hours and can
assist you in the immediate future.

Here are ten ways your dreams can enhance your life.

1. Dreams tell you whatís really going on in your life

Dreams give you big, audacious, unmistakable clues as to whatís
wrong in your life, whatís really going on. You may be grappling
with the same problem over and over and never seem to find the
solution. You'll be astounded when you discover what your dreams
can tell you about whatís really going on in your life.

2. Dreams tell you stuff you DON'T already know

Dreams usually bring up issues and information that are not in
your waking thoughts. Your dreams will give you fresh
information, gob-smacking "aha!" moments and open your eyes to
new insights, possibilities and opportunities!

Your dreams put you in direct contact and communication with your
all-knowing, powerful inner self and allow you to see your
magical inner world with your dream eyes. Your incredible dream
visions and symbols give you the inside track on your inner
secret world ... some of which you're not aware of in your waking
moments.

3. Dreams prioritize your problems

Your dream world is like a great big problem-sorting-out,
prioritization machine. Your sub-conscious knows exactly which
problem is more important and should get your attention first to
make the most profound difference in your life right away. So
when you get a message in your dreams relating to a specific
problem, you know what to concentrate on first, where you'll get
the biggest return on your time and energy investment.

4. Dreams tell you what makes you tick

You can find out all about yourself in your dreams ... itís like
having the best personal therapist or life coach in the world at
your beck and call 24*7. How do your beliefs and values affect
your daily life? How do your emotions and fears trip you up? Why
is your relationship failing? Why can't you earn more money?

You'll discover some amazing, life-changing things about yourself
in your dreams. Find out about your "real" self Ė what makes you
tick. Your dream world doesn't lie ... it just brings the
important things you need to know about yourself to your
attention so you can be happier, healthier and wealthier.

5. Dreams uncover your flair and your flaws

Your dream journey is all about respecting your own sacredness
and internal divinity, about self-understanding and acceptance
... not self improvement. You're already perfect right now; you
are already enough, you already have everything you need to
realize your intended destiny. The only variable is how you
choose to get there. And your dreams can guide you.

Do you have a hidden talent that you're not using? You may have a
string of strengths that could be used together to achieve
exactly what you want in life. Are you persisting with a flawed
approach to something? What are your weaknesses, the chinks in
your armour? Ours is a world of duality ... light and dark, joy
and sorrow, strength and weakness ... power and fragility. Do you
know how to best use your unique flair and how to bolster your
flaws to achieve your personal goals? The good news is that the
answers are in your dreams.

6. Dreams give you clear direction

Dreams present you with options and choices ... point out the
opportunities and potential obstacles ... give you a chance to
re-evaluate the direction you are taking with a particular issue
and alter your course for a smoother ride. Your dreams are of
full of symbolism relating to DIRECTION ... look out for symbols
like:
- Up or down
- Left or right
- Forwards or backwards
- Exits and entrances
- Ascending or descending
- Open or closed
- Light or dark
- Crossroads, forks in the road
- Bridges
- Stairways and ladders

When you evaluate these direction finders within the context of
your dream you'll find some crystal clear messages and solutions.

7. Dreams are a dialogue, a two-way conversation

Dreams are a dialogue between your inner self and your waking
self ... your sub-conscious and your conscious self. And itís a
two-way street. You receive messages and answers and you can ask
for guidance and assistance in solving problems that you have
right now. You can create your own Dream Meditation to explore a
different aspect of yourself or issue you may be dealing with
right now that you're looking for guidance on.

8. Dreams are great problem solvers

Would you like to know if one of your dreams is providing you
with a crystal clear solution? I had a dream recently which
clearly showed me that taking on a certain work project would be
disastrous. So I didn't. I discovered later that the work was not
quite what it seemed and that I would have been pretty miserable
had I taken it on.

You'll find that your dreams can provide you with amazing
solutions to your current life situations and problems too.

9. Dreams remind you of important issues in your life

When you are avoiding something important ... or putting it off
... or are really stuck with something in your life ... your
dreams are just itching to show you a possible answer or a better
way. Your dreams will hassle and harass you by sending recurring
messages or you'll have dreams with a recurring theme until you
take notice. Itís like having your own personal Alert System.

10. Dreams give you the edge

You can be totally "in the know" with regard to any circumstance
in your life right now. Is somebody around you not being totally
honest or giving you the true picture? What is really going on?
What outcomes could you expect and what opportunities and
obstacles are there ahead of you? If you really take the time to
write your dreams down and interpret them you'll have the edge
over others who don't have this powerful information. And you'll
be able to better navigate your journey and solve your problems
to give you the best possible outcome.

=====
===== About the Author
=====

Diane de Villiers is author of the Dream Journey Guide -- a step-
by-step, teach-yourself dream interpretation e-course. You can
learn to make sense of your dreams yourself in minutes with the
Dream Journey Guide. For more information and a FREE Preview copy
of the guide go to:
http://www.secrets-of-dream-interpretation.com/


[06-2]
=========
========= ESSENTIAL OILS FOR PSYCHIC WORK
========= by Avalon De Witt
=========

Essential oils are essences derived from various plants. They can
be used to beautify your environment, raise your vibration and
enhance your psychic experiences.

You can put them in your bath, rub them on candles, use them in a
diffuser, or anoint yourself with them. The most traditional
areas to anoint are the center of the forehead and the crown. But
you can also benefit from anointing your psychic centers, your
chakras, your wrists, throat, ankles and the back of your neck.

Here are some of the most "essential" essential oils and their
psychic and spiritual properties:

Cinnamon: Purifying, healing, empowering, protective. Stimulates
visions, strengthens focus, attracts wealth, love and harmony.
Opens root chakra, aids in connecting with guides. Associated
with the Element of Fire. Can be an irritant.

Frankincense: Uplifting, balancing, purifying, protective. Good
for meditation and connecting with guides. Promotes
enlightenment, multidimensional awareness, transcendence. Dispels
negativity. Associated with the Element of Fire.

Jasmine: Balancing, inspiring, sensual. Attracts love, romance
and sex. Stimulates psychic dreams, astral projection, creativity
and visions. Encourages compassion and transcendence. Aids
meditation. Associated with the Element of Water.

Lavender: Integrating, balancing, healing, protective, purifying.
Aids meditation, stimulates dream recall and clairvoyance. Opens
third-eye chakra. Associated with the element of Air. Can be
toxic in large doses.

Mugwort: Psychic stimulant. Opens root chakra. Promotes visions,
prophetic dreams, astral projection. Can be an irritant.

Myrrh: Grounding, healing, protective, purifying. Clears blocks.
Encourages enlightenment, transcendence. Good for meditation and
blessings. Can be an irritant.

Patchouli: Grounding. Attracts money, love and sex. Dispels
negativity, stimulates spiritual growth. Great for divination and
self-hypnosis.

Rose: Cleansing, healing, balancing, protective. Opens heart
chakra, attracts love. Stimulates creativity, assists in letting
go. Use for divination and blessings.

Rosemary: Protective, cleansing, psychic stimulant. Opens heart
chakra and third-eye chakra. Promotes visions, creativity and
past life-recall. Dispels negativity. Can be an irritant.

Sandalwood: Purifying, protective, healing. Opens sacral chakra.
Good for meditation, astral projection, manifesting, blessings,
house cleansings and releasing the past. Dispels negativity.

Use precaution with essential oils. Read labels and heed any
warnings. Be sure oils are properly diluted before using them on
your skin and keep away from eyes. Never ingest essential oils.
Keep all essential oils out of the reach of children. If you are
pregnant, please check with your doctor before using essential
oils. Some essential oils can adversely affect certain medical
conditions, such as asthma, epilepsy. If you need medical
attention, please contact a health care professional.

=====
===== About the Author
=====

Article by Avalon De Witt. Visit http://www.AskAvalon.com for
more original content like this. Reprint permission granted with
this footer included. Avalon De Witt is an authentic psychic by
birth and a survivor of a near-death experience. Her gifts
include clairvoyance, clairaudience, empathic ability, dream
interpretation and healing. She has studied the Tarot and other
forms of divination for over 23 years. Avalon has practiced as a
professional psychic and spiritual counselor for over 12 years.
She has worked successfully with thousands of clients world-wide.


[06-3]
=========
========= JUNE -- THE MONTH OF JUNO
========= (Chapter VI of The Stories of the Months and Days
========= by Reginald C. Couzens [1923])
=========

The month of June is probably named after Juno, the wife of
Jupiter, and queen of the gods. It was held sacred to her, and
was thought by the Romans to be the luckiest month for marriage,
since Juno was the Goddess of Marriage. Wherever the goddess went
she was attended by her messenger Iris (the Rainbow), who
journeyed so quickly through the air that she was seldom seen,
but after she had passed there was often left in the sky the
radiant trail of her highly-coloured robe.

Juno is always represented as a tall, beautiful woman, wearing a
crown and bearing a sceptre in her hand, and often she is shown
with a peacock at her side, since that bird was sacred to her.

A story is told of one of her servants, Argus, who had a hundred
eyes, only a few of which he closed at a time. Juno set him to
watch over a cow which Jupiter wished to steal, for it was really
a beautiful girl named Io, whom Jupiter had transformed. Mercury
was sent by Jupiter to carry off Io, and by telling long and
wearisome stories to Argus at last succeeded in lulling him into
so deep a sleep that he closed all his eyes. The god then seized
Argus's own sword and cut off his head. Juno was very sad at the
loss of her servant, and gathering up his hundred eyes scattered
them over the tail of the peacock, her favourite bird.

Juno was of a very jealous disposition, and when angered brought
all the misfortune she possibly could on the one who had offended
her. At a wedding-feast at which the gods and goddesses were
present, Eris, the Goddess of Discord, or Quarrelling, suddenly
appeared. She had not been invited because of her evil nature,
and in order to have her revenge, she threw on to the table a
golden apple bearing the inscription, "To the fairest". A quarrel
at once arose as to whom the apple should be given, for it was
claimed by Juno, the Queen of Heaven, Minerva, the Goddess of
Wisdom, and Venus, the Goddess of Beauty. Being unable to decide
among themselves, they determined to appoint as judge a shepherd
named Paris, who was really the son of the King of Troy. The
three goddesses appeared before him on a mountain top, and each
in turn tried to persuade him by the promise of a great reward.
Minerva offered him wisdom and knowledge, Juno offered him wealth
and power, while Venus

        "drawing nigh,
        Half-whispered in his ear, 'I promise thee
        The fairest and most loving wife in Greece'".

Paris at once gave the apple to Venus, and thus angered Juno and
Minerva, who determined to punish him whenever all opportunity
occurred. This they were soon able to do, for Paris, prompted by
Venus, carried off Helen, the most beautiful woman in all Greece,
and brought her to his own city of Troy. This led to the Trojan
War, which we have mentioned. The Trojans who made their escape
from the city were persecuted by Juno, who brought them into many
terrible dangers.

Juno, though jealous and unforgiving, gave ungrudging help to
those whom she favoured, and an example of this is seen in the
story of Jason and the Golden Fleece. When Jason was a child, his
father Aeson, had been driven from his kingdom by his brother
Pelias, and Jason, as soon as he reached manhood, determined to
avenge his father. Accordingly he set out for the court of
Pelias, and soon came to a stream much swollen by floods. Knowing
no fear, he was about to try to ford the stream, when he saw an
old woman on the bank gazing in despair at the foaming waters. He
at once offered to help her by taking her on his back, and in
spite of the swift stream and his heavy load, succeeded in
getting safely across. He lowered the old woman gently to the
ground, and was greatly annoyed to find that he had lost one of
his sandals in the stream. He turned to bid farewell to the old
woman, when she was suddenly transformed into the goddess Juno.
Jason begged for her help and protection, which Juno at once
promised, and the goddess then vanished. Jason then resumed his
journey in all haste, and entering his native city, found Pelias
in a temple sacrificing to the gods. He pressed forward through
the crowd until he stood close to Pelias, who at length caught
sight of this stranger who seemed anxious to speak to him. Fear
at once filled his heart, for he remembered that it had been
foretold that he should be overthrown by a man who came to him
wearing only one sandal. Jason stepped forward and boldly claimed
the throne for his father, and Pelias, disguising his fear and
anger, invited him to his palace, where they could decide the
matter. During the banquet which followed, Jason heard the story
of Phrixus and Helle, two children who had escaped from their
cruel stepmother on a winged ram with a golden fleece, which bore
them far away from their home. As they passed over the sea, the
girl Helle fell from the ram's back into a part of the sea ever
since known as the Hellespont (now the Dardanelles). Phrixus
reached Colchis, at the eastern end of the Black Sea, in safety,
and there sacrificed the ram to the gods and hung its golden
fleece on a tree which stood in a poisonous wood and was guarded
by a serpent. The cunning Pelias dared Jason to try to win the
Golden Fleece, hoping that thus he would be rid of him for ever.
Jason in his excitement forgot the crime which he had come to
avenge, and recklessly promised to bring the fleece to Pelias.
With the help of Juno, he gathered together a number of heroes,
and this famous band, called the Argonauts from the name of their
ship the Argo, set out for Colchis. Arriving there after many
adventures, they sought the king and told him of their errand.
The king, however, was unwilliiig to part with the fleece, and
said that Jason must first catch two wild bulls, which breathed
fire and had hoofs of brass, harness them to a plough, and make
them plough a field; then he was to sow the field with serpents'
teeth, from which would spring up armed men whom he must conquer,
and finally he was to kill the serpent which guarded the fleece.
Jason did not lose heart when he heard these terrible conditions,
but returned to his ship to think out how he might, fulfil them.
On his way to the shore he met the king's daughter Medea, who
possessed magic powers. She had fallen in love with Jason, and
she told him how he could perform the tasks her father had set.
The next day Jason, relying on Medea's help, faced the bulls
without fear, seized them by the horns, and, after a great
struggle, harnessed them to a plough. As soon as he had ploughed
the field he sowed the serpents' teeth, and when the armed men
sprang up on all sides he threw his helmet amongst them. The
warriors thought that they had been struck by one of their own
number, with the result that they fell upon each other and fought
until they all lay dead on the ground. Medea then led Jason to
the tree to which the fleece was fastened, and soothing the
terrible serpent by her magic, enabled Jason to cut off its head.
He quickly snatched the Golden Fleece from the tree, and with
Medea hastened to the shore, whence they set sail in triumph.
They wandered far and suffered many misfortunes, but through
Juno's help they at last reached their native land. Jason
compelled Pelias to give up the kingdom to Aeson, who was now an
old man. Medea, however, in some strange way was able to restore
Aeson to his youth and strength, and Pelius' daughters, when they
heard of this, asked her how they might do the same for their
father. Medea, seeing her opportunity, gave them false
instructions, which they followed, only to find that instead of
making their father young again they had killed him.

This month of June was called by the Angles and Saxons the "dry
month", and sometimes the "earlier mild month" -- July being the
second mild month.


[07]
===============
============    COLUMNS
=========

[07-1]
=========
========= HUMOR: TOP 20 SIGNS YOU ARE A WICCAN WARRIOR
========= Author Unknown
=========

 1. You use a flame-thrower to light the altar candles.
 2. Your athame has a bayonet attachment to fit on your M-16.
 3. Your robe is made of camouflage material.
 4. Your cakes & wine come from MREs.
 5. Your book of shadows contains plans on defusing bombs, poison
    antidotes and basic survival techniques.
 6. Your circle is marked by barbed-wire.
 7. You have to take an ATV or HumVee to get to the Covenstead.
 8. You use an artillery shell casing for your God symbol.
 9. You use a hand grenade for a God symbol (if there isn't an
    artillery shell available).
10. You take down a tent to move the Covenstead.
11. Your familiar is an attack-trained Doberman, Rottweiler or
    German Shepherd.
12. You use a hubcap for a scrying dish.
13. You use teargas to smudge when doing banishings.
14. Your goddess symbol is Tank Girl.
15. Your tradition's 1st degree training includes Ninjitsu or
    other forms of martial arts.
16. Your circle name is Spike, Slash, Ripcord, Hawkeye, Bubba, or
    anything that ends with 'ster'.
17. You use machine gun fire to cast your circle.
18. You use a compass for a divination tool.
19. You use a bullet on a string for a pendulum.
20. You call your High Priest "Commander", and your High
    Priestess "General".


[08]
===============
============    PAGAN WEBCRAFTING
=========

Many Pagans have or would like to have a Pagan oriented web site.
Unfortunately, many of the thousands of Pagan web sites are
poorly designed and/or very hard to read. (Hint: A black
background makes even white text hard to read, but a black
background with a dark text is almost impossible to read.) This
section of Cauldron and Candle is devoted to articles about web
sites and web design. Some are written specifically for Pagans,
but most will be more general and anyone interested in putting up
a web site may find them useful.

Please note that each article is written from the author's point
of view and goals, and therefore even completely opposite advice
can be sound -- in different situations, of course. These
articles should not be taken as "law" but rather as things to
think about and consider while you are creating and maintaining
your web site. Some articles have a "business" slant, but the
information they contain really applies to all types of web
sites.

For more information and articles on web crafting, see the Pagan
Webcrafting section of The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum's web site.

  http://www.ecauldron.com/web/index.php

[08-1]
=========
========= 5 Website Design Tips to Make Your Site More Attractive
========= by Ladan Lashkari
=========

The question that I most frequently hear from people is "How can
I attract thousands of visitors to my site each month?" Well,
driving high traffic to your site is important, but what's even
more important, is designing a website that makes them stay.

After all, what's the use of spending all your time and money on
creating a unique product that many people want, building a 100-
page site, winning top rankings on search engines, and spending
$5,000 in advertising if visitors don't stay once they arrive?

In this article, you're going to learn 5 important website design
tips to make your site more attractive. So not only your website
will attract many visitors, but it will also motivate them to
stay for a while, which is your only chance to let them know
about your offers and turn them into newsletter subscribers or
even paying customers.

===
=== #1. Your Site Should Be Fast Loading
===

One of the biggest problems you see on the Internet is that some
websites are slow loading. There are many sites out there that
take more than 20 seconds to load -- a lifetime on the Internet.
People just don't have time and patience to wait that long.

The best way to make your site fast-loading is to use more text
and fewer graphic. Wild graphics and animations are "traffic
killers" so don't use them unless you really need to. If it takes
more than 10 seconds for your web pages to load, chances are
you're losing as much as half of your site's traffic!

Don't assume all visitors have fast connections. Many people
still use slow connections like 36.6 kbps or 28.8 kbps, so design
your website the way everyone can view it quickly -- not just the
few who have high-speed connections.

To make sure your website loads fast, view your site with slow
connections. If it doesn't load in 10 seconds, reduce the number
and the size of graphics. WebGraphics Optimizer is a great
software that helps you reduce graphic size while the quality
doesn't really change and it looks almost the same.

===
=== #2. Make Your Website Easy to Navigate
===

People should easily and quickly find what they're looking for.
Don't make your visitors click on 10 links, scroll down each
page, and click on the "back" button several times to finally
find the page they're looking for.

Statistics show that we lose up to 50% of visitors each time we
make them click on a link. That's why all the pages of your site
shouldn't be more than five clicks away from your home page. Make
your visitors enjoy surfing your site. It should be easy for them
to find the information that they want.

Also remember not everyone enters your website from the home
page, especially if they find your site through search engines.
So make sure each page should have a title so they always know
where they are at, and a link to the most important pages of your
website (e.g. home page, order page, contact page and so on).

Another way to make your site easy-to-navigate is using clear
link texts. Visitors must know where each link will take them at
a glance. For example, if you want to create a link to your order
page, "Sale" is not a good name because it's unclear and
confusing. Use "Order" instead because it's common.

The key is making it easy for them to find what they want, so
make your site easy to navigate.

===
=== #3. Use Suitable Colors
===

Your copy is the most important part of your website, so it's
essential that you make it easy to read, and nothing is easier to
read than black text on white background.

The easier it is to read your copy, the more effective it will
be. If you use inappropriate colors that make your copy difficult
to read, few people will bother reading it, and if no one reads
your copy how are you going to make sales?

===
=== #4. Don't Overuse Pop-ups
===

What's a pop-up? It's a window -- usually a small window -- that
is opened when you click on a link and open or close a window.
Unfortunately many webmasters go overboard with pop-ups which
only results in annoying visitors.

They think if a pop-up appears and asks to order each time a
visitor closes a window, he's more likely to make a purchase...
but they're completely wrong. Not only will they not make any
sales, but they'll also lose a potential customer forever.

Don't get me wrong! Using pop-ups can be an effective way to get
a higher response to your offer. What I'm saying is that you
shouldn't overuse and abuse them. They're good marketing tools if
you use them wisely.

Pop-ups are best used to offer something of high value to your
site visitors... something that you know they're very interested
in. Make an offer that they can't resist!

===
=== #5. Remember Your Purpose
===

Why are you creating your website? Do you want to sell your
products and services? What do you expect from your site? Decide
on your purpose before you start designing your site. This is
extremely important.

Each part of your website should lead to your purpose. All the
links, graphics, titles, and the colors you choose should lead to
what you want from your site.

Sometimes people are so wrapped up in being a website owner that
they forget their site is to sell. Instead of designing a sale-
oriented website, all they're trying to do is designing a "thing
of beauty". But there's a problem here: beauty won't sell.

It doesn't matter if your visitors are impressed by professional
Flash animations and graphics on your site. You should ask
yourself: Does your website sell or just impress people? Do
people say,"Wow! How beautiful!" and then close the window and go
to another site, without even noticing your sales letter at the
bottom of the page?

Keep your purpose in mind all the time. If you expect your
website to sell, then design it the way it makes visitors
interested in your offer and motivates them to buy.

=====
===== About the Author
=====

Ladan Lashkari is a respected Internet marketing expert, and the
owner of http://www.FreeNewsletterIdeas.com/ where you'll find
creative email marketing ideas and helpful resources to start
your own highly profitable email marketing campaign.


[08-2]
=========
========= WEBSITE USABILITY:
=========   HOW TO MAKE YOUR WEBSITE USER-FRIENDLY
========= by Regina Stevens
=========

In this article we'll cover some basics of website usability, in
other words, making your website user-friendly. This article in
no way covers everything you should keep in mind prior to
designing your website - there is much more. I have listed five
questions you should initially consider. I will be brief with
each question just to give you a few tips to get you started.
Keep in mind that testing is the most important task and should
be conducted frequently.

===
=== A. Do visitors know which page they are viewing?
===

The best way to ensure your visitors don't get lost on your
website is if you title your pages. Make sure this title is the
title in your navigation area too. On your home page, or the one
that is your "index.html" or "index.htm", you don't have to title
the page "HOME PAGE". It could be titled "About Us" or a page you
want your visitors to see as soon as they open your website. If
your "index.html" page is your "About Us" page, then put the
header/title "About Us" at the top of the page. In other words,
every page should have a heading so that your visitors will know
what page they are currently viewing.

===
=== B. Can your visitor easily get to other pages using your
===    navigational area?
===

Make sure that if you have 5 main pages in your website, there
are 5 links in your navigation area with the exact titles as the
titles on your pages. With this in mind, don't make your titles
too long. If you have articles on your website, make one link
titled "Articles" in your navigation area. On the "Articles"
page, list your article titles in the body of that particular
page because the article titles will be longer.

===
=== C. Does my background color and text color make a good
===    combination?
===

You will need to take this into serious consideration. If your
color scheme is unappealing, visitors will leave no matter how
good your subject matter may be. If the combination causes eye
strain or headache, your visitors will leave your website and may
not return. Examples: blue background with red text, lime green
background with yellow text, red background with yellow text,
etc. One other background I would like to mention:
patterned/tiled backgrounds. These can be overwhelming to the
eye. No text will be readable on these types of backgrounds - at
least not without difficulty. If you must have a patterned/tiled
background, make it look like a watermark - full color
patterned/tiled backgrounds will send your visitors away quicker
than ice cream melts on a hot stove.

===
=== D. Are my photos too big or do I have too many on a page?
===

If it takes longer than a few seconds for your webpage to load,
then your images are too big or you have too many on a page. It
is not necessary for a photo to take up the space of an entire
browser window. Too many photos, without a doubt, will slow your
website down to a crawl, even on a high-speed connection. Most
people will leave your website before the images finish
downloading. You can make the images small enough for a slideshow
or create thumbnails so that your visitors can select which
images they want to see. Once your visitors click on the image to
see a larger view, make even that image small enough to see all
the details, but not big enough to slow down your website. There
are quite a few image editors out there to use - some are even
free. I use Macromedia's Fireworks to optimize my images. They
have a tool where I can make my images smaller without losing
clarity.

===
=== E. How do I test my pages for errors and user-friendliness?
===

Have a few other people look at your website. If you don't think
that friends and family will want to hurt your feelings, find a
site with your color scheme; tell them that this website is not
your website, but you would like their opinion on the color
scheme and if it is difficult to read. You can also post your URL
to various forums to ask them for a critique of your website. If
this is your first time testing, you can ask for feedback so that
you can get a variety of comments. Keep a copy of the answers you
get so that in the future you can refer back to what people have
said about certain features. Later on, you can put together a
checklist to go by for every website you design. I wouldn't use
just one checklist to check all websites, but a checklist would
be a good start. Whether you are a beginner or expert website
designer, you will always need to test multiple times. You have a
great deal of choices to check for errors on your site. I like to
use W3C's validators to check for errors and to bring my websites
up to standard.

Making your website user-friendly is one of the best things you
can accomplish for yourself and your visitors. Taking the time to
ensure usability is nothing compared to how many visitors you
will lose if you have a not-so-friendly website. Ensuring
readability, fast downloading, and performing multiple tests will
get you started in the right direction of designing user-friendly
websites. Good Luck! Send me a link if you want me to critique
your website.

=====
===== About the Author
=====

This article was written by Regina Stevens, owner of Keep It
Simple Websites ( http://keepitsimplewebsites.com/ ). If you
would like to send comments, email the name of the article and
where you found the article to articles[@]itjsatlanta.com. Take
the brackets out before sending me an email.


[08-3]
=========
========= WEB DESIGNING: COLOR IT RIGHT
========= by Kay Zetkin
=========

Color choices for your web design is, in a way, choosing not what
color you feel like but choosing what's appropriate, applicable
and interesting for your potential users/audiences. You don't
want your users feeling pathetic of your web site's color choices
and patterns, do you?

Planning and organizing your color usage as you go about
designing your web sites should not be overlooked. Don't just go
about it with a trial-and-error attitude. Here are some of the
best practices with regards to applying color in web design. Read
this and get a head-start in capturing the eyes (if not yet their
hearts and minds) of your prospective users!

===
=== Regarding the Use of Color and Pattern
===

Make it a point that your color choices are flexible enough that
they can be easily replaced depending on your user's browser
settings and assistive technology. It is good to establish a
strong contrast between the background color and the text color,
however, lest you intentionally want your users to get dizzy,
don't use patterned or textured backgrounds behind the texts.
Solid and plain text backgrounds are well and good. On-screen
patterns need to be put in the center.

Do not rely heavily on color connotations in guiding your users
about important information. Color coding as an additional way to
identify different elements and site navigation can be fun and
amusing. But avoid using too many different colors
simultaneously. Be consistent and have limitations in the number
of colors you're your color coding.

===
=== Regarding Choices in Color
===

The safest, more legible and professional - looking combination
is black text on a white background. For maximum visibility
according to average human eye's capabilities - red and green
turns out good when in center of the screen; black, white, yellow
and blue are very useful on periphery. If your intent is to
identify two groups of content, do not use red and green
combination, always consider that the most common color blindness
is that of red/green blindness. This precaution also applies with
the blue and yellow combination. Keep in mind that 1 - 2% of men
have blue-yellow color blindness.

In drawing fully sighted user's attention, red and other vivid
colors may serve for your purpose. Other brighter colors are also
very good for screen based interface that will be viewed for a
long period. These colors are also applicable for older users.
When you want the colors to be distinct from each other, darker
shades of blue, red and purple and paler shades of green, yellow
and orange are good choices.

Use the colors to say something about your Website or company.
Brighter colors like yellow as a background color can be used to
highlight low prices and bargains. Colors that are good for
businesses are beige, blue, burgundy and dark green against a
white or very light background. Do not make it a habit of using
grey texts, greyscales for important diagrams. It is also not
healthy to use different shades of blue simultaneously. Do not
make your design look amateur by using flourescent type colors to
highlight something.

In pairing colors together, be sure to consult the color wheel
chart first. Combining two colors from the opposite ends of the
color chart and high chroma colors may result to user's headaches
rather than their appreciation.

===
=== Regarding Different Viewing Environments
===

When you're in low light viewing conditions, use light text, thin
lines, and small shapes in white yellow or red. Have a medium-
dark background like blue, green, red or grey. Prepare lower
chroma for video displays, too. If you're working in bright
conditions, then apply dark text, thin lines and small shapes in
blue or black. White and pale yellow, magenta, green or blue are
preferable backgrounds.

These are guidelines based in practical experiences...Still, you
must get wind of your users' reactions and comments for it is the
ultimate test. If these guidelines appear to be inapplicable
already...then it's time to find other information or learn from
your very own experiences and act upon it.

=====
===== About the Author
=====

Kay Zetkin discovered the pleasure of writing through her daily
journals as a teen-ager. Writing in it helped sort out her
thoughts, relieve her feelings and record what she observes of
the world.

For her, writing is an effective tool to express your
viewpoints... To write is already to choose, thus, writing should
be done along with a critical mind and a caring soul. She hopes
to become more professional, skilled and mature in her craft.

For comments and inquiries about the article visit
http://www.colorprintingwholesale.com/


[08-4]
=========
========= Cheap Web Hosting Report: June 2005
========= 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 June 2005
=====

These are the top five general purpose cheap web hosts selected
for June 2005. 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.

Customer Rating: Beginning with the April 2005 report, The Cheap
Web Hosting Report rankings factor in customer ratings --
weighted heavily toward customer opinions of the web hosts'
reliability and customer support. Customer ratings are listed in
the description and range from a low of 1 to a high of 30. A
customer rating of NR means not enough customers responded for a
statistically meaningful rating.

CWHR Ranking: This number (from a low of 0 to a high of 100) is
determined by taking the customer rating, multiplying it by
three, adding the result of the staff evaluation of the web host
(which can add or subtract up to 10 points) and rounding the
result down to the nearest integer. This CWHR Ranking determines
the sites we list each month.

===
=== #1 Dreamhost
===

Price: 1m: $9.95 2y: $7.95
Setup: 1m: $49.95 2y: Free
Bandwidth: 120 GB
Disk Space: 2400 MB
Mailboxes: 600
Customer Rating: 29.0 (out of 30)
CWHR Ranking: 95%

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. Improvements in their plans in the last
year have made them very competitive in terms of bandwidth, web
space, and features offered for the price, and they are extremely
well-rated by their customers. New and improved features are
announced in the Dreamhost newsletter almost every month. Their
customer support is the best we've seen in the low cost hosting
industry. If you are looking for low cost, high quality web
hosting with truly excellent tech support and very friendly
people, check out Dreamhost. Dreamhost offers a 97-day money back
guarantee, see their web site for details. (The Cheap Web Hosting
Report hosts with Dreamhost.)

More Information:
     http://www.ecauldron.com/web/goto.php?id=dreamhost

===
=== #2 NetFirms
===

Price: 1y: $9.95
Setup: 1y: Free
Bandwidth: 100 GB
Disk Space: 2000 MB
Mailboxes: 100
Customer Rating: 25.9 (out of 30)
CWHR Ranking: 82%

Comments: Founded in 1998, Netfirms rapidly acquired a reputation
for affordable, reliable web hosting. Although aimed at business
hosting, Netfirms hosts sites of all types" personal, hobby,
business, weblog, and more. Their Netfirms Advantage plan is full
of useful features and should handle almost any personal or small
business web site. Netfirms offers a 30-day money back guarantee,
see their terms of service for details.

More Information:
     http://www.ecauldron.com/web/goto.php?id=netfirms

===
=== #3 HostRocket
===

Price: 3m: $11.95 1y: $7.95
Setup: 3m: Free 1y: Free
Bandwidth: 50 GB
Disk Space: 1000 MB
Mailboxes: unlimited
Customer Rating: 24.4 (out of 30)
CWHR Ranking: 74%

Comments: Founded in 1999, HostRocket is a popular web hosting
company that is well-rated by its customers. They greatly
expanded their offerings in 1994 and are now very competitive in
bandwidth, disk space, and features. HostRocket often runs very
nice short-term specials, check their web site for details.
HostRocket offers a 30-day money back guarantee, see their terms
of service for details.

More Information:
     http://www.ecauldron.com/web/goto.php?id=hostrocket

===
=== #4 PowWeb
===

Price: 3m: $7.77 1y: $7.77
Setup: 3m: $20.00 1y: Free
Bandwidth: 10 GB /day
Disk Space: 5000 MB
Mailboxes: 650
Customer Rating: 22.6 (out of 30)
CWHR Ranking: 69%

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. In mid-2004, PowWeb 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) and
in late 2004 they doubled their disk space to 2 gigs. PowWeb
often run specials (usually extra months free if you prepay for
one or two years). PowWeb offers a 30-day money back guarantee,
see their terms of service for details. PowWeb often has special
offers offering extra months free with one and two year
prepayment.

More Information:
     http://www.ecauldron.com/web/goto.php?id=powweb

===
=== #5 Lunarpages
===

Price: 3m: $9.95 1y: $7.95
Setup: 3m: $30.00 1y: Free
Bandwidth: 40 GB
Disk Space: 1000 MB
Mailboxes: Unlimited
Customer Rating: 24.6 (out of 30)
CWHR Ranking: 68%

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. Disk Space Note:
Lunar Pages is now advertising up to 3000 megs of web space,
however, if you read the fine print in their Acceptable Use
Policy all you initially receive is what we list here. There are
a number of restrictions and hoops to jump through to get more.
Lunarpages offers a 30-day money back guarantee, see their web
site for details.

More Information:
     http://www.ecauldron.com/web/goto.php?id=lunarpages


=====
===== 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
===

Dreamhost
Price: 1m:  $9.95 2y: $7.95
Setup: 1m: $49.95 2y: Free
Bandwidth: 120 GB
Disk Space: 2400 MB
Mailboxes: 600
Customer Rating: 29.0 (out of 30)

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.
The even have a 97 day money back guarantee. (The Cheap Web
Hosting Report hosts with Dreamhost.)

More Information:
     http://www.ecauldron.com/web/goto.php?id=dreamhost

===
=== 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
Customer Rating: NR

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/web/goto.php?id=easycgi

===
=== Virtual Dedicated Server Hosting (Root Access)
===

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

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/web/goto.php?id=jumpline

===
=== Dedicated Server Hosting
===

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

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.

More Information:
     http://www.ecauldron.com/web/goto.php?id=serverpronto

=== Notes

The information in this report was checked for accuracy on
May 31, 2005. 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
information.

Looking for even more hosting options (such as our five
"Honorable Mention" web hosts) or more information on web
hosting? See the Cheap Web Hosting Report web site at
http://www.cheapwebhostingreport.com/


[09]
=========
========= Cauldron Info
========= SUPPORT THE CAULDRON BY VOLUNTEERING TO HELP
=========

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.

http://www.ecauldron.net/

=====
===== 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
  holidays

* 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/bnbarticleform.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/bnbbkreviewform.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
them.

=====
===== 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
  http://www.ecauldron.com/donatepaypal.php
Donate via Amazon.com
  http://www.amazon.com/paypage/P3903JRFVQVDN

=====
===== 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.

http://www.ecauldron.com/amazon.php

=====
===== 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.)


[10]
=========
========= NEWSLETTER INFORMATION
========= (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.

=====
===== HOW TO SUBSCRIBE OR UNSUBSCRIBE OR CHANGE EMAIL ADDRESS
=====

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:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cauldronandcandle/join

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

cauldronandcandle-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

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.

=====
===== NEWSLETTER WEB SITE AND BACK ISSUE ARCHIVE
=====

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

http://www.ecauldron.com/cnc/

=====
===== PLEASE INVITE YOUR FRIENDS TO SUBSCRIBE
=====

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
newsletter.

=====
===== SUGGESTIONS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME
=====

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