[Cauldron and Candle Illo]


Cauldron and Candle
Issue #84 -- June 2007

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


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C A U L D R O N   A N D   C A N D L E #84 -- June 2007

           A Publication of The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum
                website: http://www.ecauldron.com/
          message board: http://www.ecauldron.net/forum/
             newsletter: http://www.ecauldron.com/cnc/
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In this Issue:

[00] Editorial Notes: Better Late Than Never
[01] Cauldron News
   * NEW Full Membership Requirements
   * Quoting Guidelines
   * New Staff Members: Marilyn
[02] Interesting Recent Cauldron Discussions
   * Close Encounters of the Fundy Kind
   * Are Your Gods from a Familiar Pantheon?
   * Spell Craft and Children
   * Why the Numbers Agenda?
   * Pagan Homeschooling?
   * The Whole of All
   * Healthy Body Healthy Mind
   * Druid Organizations: ADF and FoDLA?
   * Mountain Biking Meditations -- Deity in Unusual Places
   * Just Going through the Religious Motions?
[03] Articles
   * How to Keep Your Coven from Being Destroyed: Part IV
   * Where Was I When The Magick Changed?
   * The Craft - A Movie Review Through The Eyes Of A Witch
   * Review: Ascension Magick
   * Review: How It Is
   * Review: Footprints in the Snow
   * Review: Autumn Equinox
[04] Flamekeeping: Dichotomies of Pleasure and Happiness
[05] Software Gadgets: The Column
   * YouTube Downloader
   * IE Pro -- Ultimate Addon for IE
   * SideSlide -- Dockable Desktop Extender
[06] Grimoire: To Ease Pain and Renew Hope
[07] Recipe: Szechwan Shrimp
[08] Support The Cauldron
[09] Newsletter Information
(Including How To Subscribe/Unsubscribe)

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Welcome to the June 2007 issue of Cauldron and Candle. You
are receiving this issue because you subscribed. To learn how to
unsubscribe, see the last section of this newsletter.

It's June. In fact it is almost mid-June. As you can tell, this
issue is a few days late. Unlike April, at least, it isn't so
late that we just skipped the month.

The Cauldron's message board move has had some hiccups -- like
the problem with quoting -- but it has gone well considering the
format is completely different than what we used for nine years.
After about three months of use, the new board has over 700
members and over 21,000 posts in over 1400 topics. If you haven't
out new SMF board, please consider joining us. We've even reduced
the minimun number of posts you have to make to apply for Full

This issue has the usual articles and major features. We hope you
enjoy them.

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

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

===== Cauldron Message Board Info:

When you register for The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum's message
board, you become a what SMF board software calls a "Regular
Member." Regular members on The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum have
limited posting rights: they can only post messages on boards in
the About the Cauldron and Cauldron Basics categories. Regular
membership gives full posting access to those areas of our board
specifically designed for newcomers. This gives new members a
chance to show that they understand and will follow our rules and
guidelines while giving them a chance to get used to this board's
style and attitude in fairly "safe" areas of the board.

The default regular membership may satisfy many members --
especially those new to Pagan religions and magic. There is no
requirement to qualify for Full Membership.  However, doing so
will open up the all the public areas of the board for posting
and provide access to many additional features of our community
areas. See the Standard Membersgroups and their Privileges
message for a list.

To be eligible to apply for a Full Membership you must:

* Be at least 18 years old (if you are 16 or 17 and very mature,
you may be able to qualify for an exception, see below).

* Fill out at least the following fields in your profile: Bio,
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* Show by your posts that you are willing and able to follow the
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* Show by your posts that you are not a clueless newbie with
respect to Pagan religions and magic. We have nothing against
complete newcomers (and have several boards set up just for
newcomers that any member can post in), but this forum is aimed
at those who are no longer complete newcomers. Once you have
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parts of our board.

* Have a post count of at least 10 posts -- good solid posts. (So
don't post just to increase your post count, your request will
just be rejected.) OR have made at least 25 posts on the Main
Board of our old Beehive Forum.

* Have been an active member of The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum's
message board for at least one week.

Please read the this message to find out how to apply for Full
Member status.



If you are 16 or 17 and wish to apply for full membership even
though you are under 18, you need to do the following:

Warning about "Teen Exception" Full Membership Applications:
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* Be sure you meet all the qualifications for adults listed above
(other than age), however, more posts are required to evaluate
possible teen exceptions so will need to have been very active
outside of the Teen board for a longer period of time: At least
30 posts outside the Teen board spread over at least a one-two
month period will be needed.

The senior staff and hosts will carefully consider and discuss
teen requests and they may take a week or two to consider.

Please read the this message to find out how to apply for Full
Member under the Teen Exception (Note: join to form a single line
before pasting into your browser):


===== Cauldron Message Board Info:

Quoting, and quoting correctly, is considered very important here
at the Cauldron to help others follow the flow of conversation
through a thread.  There has been much confusion in the past over
exactly what the staff expect of posters as regards quoting.
Hopefully this guideline, in combination with the May 2007
removal of certain features in the SMF software that made it too
easy to forget to quote from our message board, will clarify how
to quote properly.

Under most circumstances, the proper way to start a reply is to
click on the "Reply/Quote" button on the specific post you are
replying to, this will but a copy of the message being replyed to
in special quote bbcode in your reply (or into the Quick Reply
area if you use Quick Reply).  Quoted text that is not relevant
to your reply may and should be removed, just be sure to leave
the opening and closing special quote bbcode intact.  If you are
making a general reply, though, you may remove the quote bbcode
and the quoted text entirely.  Here are examples of general
replies that do not need a quote:

    * "Thanks, guys" or similar posts that are clearly aimed at
      everyone who's responded.

    * New stories in a general news thread, new jokes in a post a
      joke thread, or similar.

    * Replies to the general shape of the thread, where there's
      something you want to say about the topic but there's
      genuinely nothing you can quote that your reply would make
      sense in response to.  (You may want to start out the post
      with a statement indicating this, to be sure those not
      following along closely understand what you're doing.) Note
      that replies to the first message of the thread are not
      replies to the general shape of the thread and must quote a
      few sentences of that first message in the thread.

If in any doubt about whether or not a message needs a quote,
include a small quote.


Many people think is it silly to have to quote the message they
just read as they believe that it should be obvious to later
readers what message they are replying to. Unfortunately, what
seems "obvious" to the the poster is not necessarily "obvious" to
someone reading the thread at a different time. For example, if
someone who read part of the thread a day ago comes back into the
thread and the first new message they see they is your post,
without rereading the rest of the thread would they be able to
tell what you were talking about without a quote? In most
situations, the answer is "no", because they won't necessarily
have the context of the post you're replying to immediately at
hand. (Even if it's the one right before yours, or the first one
in the thread.) That's part of why we require so much quoting.
(The other part is that if one wants to go back and trace the
context of the conversation through the thread, it can be time-
consuming and confusing without the link-backs the special quote
bbcode the Reply/Quote button inserts provides. These linkbacks
are especially important to the staff when moderating problem

The hosts and staff are aware that our quoting rules are
significantly different from the way other message boards do
things. Nevertheless, they have decided that this is what we need
posters to do in order for our particular forum to function
properly. Please do not complain that our quoting rules are
different than other boards. When you are posting at The
Cauldron, you need to do it The Cauldron way, and that way is not
going to change just because "everyone else" does it differently.


Marilyn (Absent-Minded) has joined our Message Board staff and
will be helping to ride herd on the thousands of messages posted
on our board every month.

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========= Recent Discussion Topics on our Message Board

In an average month, over 200 new discussion topics are started
on The Cauldron's message board. Here are a few of the more
interesting recent discussions. It's not too late to join in.

Thanks to Feedburner, 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 Feedburner's free news delivery via the form at the end of
the site "News and Updates" section of The Cauldron's main web

===== Close Encounters of the Fundy Kind

Have you ever matched wits with a fundamentalist (of any
religion)? Lived to tell about it?

I met my first one quite recently. We're both students at the
same university and we even have some courses in common but I
never really talked to her until one morning, we just started
chatting on the bus. I was reading something for class and she
whipped out her Bible.

When we got off to transfer routes, she started asking me
questions about what I believe. At first, I skirted the issue and
said Protestant, born and raised but then decided to be honest
and identified as a polytheist. As we got on our way, she whipped
out her Bible again and tried to make me read certain underlined
passages aloud, on a crowded bus, and could not accept that I
found that vastly inappropriate. So, she put it away and we got
to the trick questions portion of the event. "How do pagans get
saved?" "What do you think will happen when you die?" and all
that Sneaky Deep crap. I was too surprised to be offended and I
answered the best I could.

Eventually, we went our separate ways for different classes and
that was the last time I talked to her. In hindsight, it was
probably Someone's influence that kept me as surprised as I was.
Looking back on it now, I'm really irritated with her and
anything I say now is probably going to reinforce her negative
view of non-Christians. Oh well, I have until September to get
past the urge to taunt.

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

===== Are Your Gods from a Familiar Pantheon?

For those of you who have had contact with gods in some way: Did
your gods come from a pantheon you were already familiar with, or
did they come from a completely unexpected direction?

I am much more familiar with the Greek pantheon than any other.
Part of this may be that exposure to Greek myth in school might
have been more common than exposure to the mythology of another
culture. Yet I have always been interested in Greek religion,
even before I identified as pagan, from a historical perspective.
It?s possible that I just happened to retain the Greek stuff, but
I don?t remember learning too much about myth from other

I?m wondering if my perceived nudges from gods appear to be from
the Greek direction because it is the pantheon I am most familiar
with, or if I became familiar with Greek religion over the past
several years as a result of unrecognized nudges.

Did your exposure to a particular pantheon from an early age push
you in the direction of the gods you work with, or did you come
across a less familiar pantheon as a result of later contact from
a certain god?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

===== Spell Craft and Children

I was flipping around the internet and stumbled onto a discussion
between a couple gals who were looking to start working with
their young (4-6) children on spell craft.

While this is a pretty common happening as pagan parents go, it
got me thinking of some things.

Magic is the art and science of causing change in conformity with

We as adults and young adults go through huge amounts of
background work to get our will and our visualization on track to
increase our possibilities and effectiveness.

With this in mind, is is recommendable, or even possible to teach
a child spellwork without a solid background in associations, and
the process of raising energy?

I've considered and in the past have let the boys (4/6)
participate in some minor workings one was a banishing, and the
other a cleansing; but for the most part don't feel that they
have the ability to focus for the time frame that I see as
required for magical intent. (ten-15 minutes or more of intense
purpose related focus)

Is it ethical then, to direct their energy in your own workings
that you choose for them? For example one of the suggestions that
the gals were going to make use of was making a dream catcher as
a spell against bad dreams, or a wish spell that involved the
releasing of a balloon.

For me, without putting intention into each stitch, the dream
catcher would not be a spell. It would be a craft masquerading as
a spell. Same with the balloon. There is no 'process' being

While I believe in starting small, and breaking things down into
simple concepts, I don't see much of a break down of concepts at
all. Just 'ask' and 'get'.

What parts of spell work would you see as necessary before
starting to teach a child? What kinds of checks and balances
would you put in place to give a child a feeling of security
against others who might use magical thought against them, or
times when they have used their words or directed energy in anger
or haste?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

===== Why the Numbers Agenda?

In the ADF and FoDLA thread, Gothicdruid said:

   "FoDLA is built largely on face-to-face instruction and
   worship (though there is a distance learning component to its
   Druid clergy training program). This is intentional and is a
   response to the issue I've experienced over more than a decade
   in practice of the Internet serving as a vehicle for would-be
   leaders to inflate their abilities (and backgrounds) by being
   rather different people online than IRL. Consequently, my
   expectation is that FoDLA is going to be a long time in
   developing. One of my intentions, frankly, was to avoid the
   "numbers agenda" that plagues many organizations and focus on
   appeal to sincere polytheists."

Gothicdruid brings up something I have never understood in
Paganism: the "Numbers Agenda" and I'd like to discuss it here.

Many of the Pagans I know seem almost obsessed with the numbers
game: how many Pagans there are; which Pagan religion is biggest,
which local group is largest, etc. I've never understood this,
especially as many of the Pagans with this numbers obsession come
from religions that don't actively proselytize. Some of the most
numbers-obsessed Pagans I've met come from religions that simple
do not allow proselytization.

In its extreme form the Numbers Agenda leads some Pagans to
complain about the large number of Pagan religions and loudly
wish that all the non-Wiccan Pagan religionss would just come to
their senses and become part of Wicca so Wicca would be larger
and Paganism would be united. (Note: one gets the impression that
if Nose-Picking Paganism were currently the largest Pagan
religion, these folks would be demanding that all other Pagans
unify as Nose-Picking Pagans instead of Wiccans.)

We had one person come on our old Delphi Board (or maybe it was
on The Thicket?) who wanted every Pagan to convert one person to
"Paganism" every year so "Paganism" would double in size each
year until it would become the largest religion in the US.

In less extreme forms, it the Numbers Agenda leads Numbers Agenda
Pagans to judge the "success" of even local Pagan groups mainly
(if not solely) by their size: Coven A with 10 members is better
in their eyes than Coven B with 7 members even though coven B has
been working together for 6 years and coven A formed 3 months ago
and has that four changes of leadership in that time. I've known
Pagans who were obviously drawn to a smaller non-Wiccan religion
decide to become Wiccan instead because it was the biggest Pagan
religion and all those people can't be wrong.

Why the Numbers Agenda? Biggest doesn't mean best. Even if all
Pagans were members of nice cleaned up form of Wicca designed no
to offend conservatives with things like nudity or any hint of
sex and there were several million Wiccans, folks like Pat
Robertson would still proclaim Pagans as evil followers of Satan.
A larger group does not mean better -- the Southern Baptist
Convention, for example, is the largest Protestant group in the
US, but a few outside that group think that means it is the best.

So please clue me in on the Numbers Agenda and why it is stressed
by so many Pagans.

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

===== Pagan Homeschooling?

I don't have children, but hope to one day have at the very
least, a child. I would reeeally like to homeschool this future
child and am curious if anyone on his board homeschools their
children and how they do it? Are there Pagan places to get
homeschooling supplies? ((I have no idea how homeschool really
works either! so some of what I say may not even make sense))

I would like to also avoid raising children with the Christian
holidays.....I mean I don't mind taking them to grandparents and
whathaveyou who do celebrate those holidays during those
times....and I want my child to go on their own path.....but I
would still like to instill the holidays which I celebrate with
them and for them to not think that Christian holidays are the
"only" or the "main" holidays and whatnot.

me having a child is way off in the distance, past the
horizon.....but I often think of homeschool, as it is the only
option I would even want to delve into with concerns to schooling

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

===== The Whole of All

I've recently been struggling with the reconciliation of the
understanding of "All is One" with the actual physicality of
reality that we are presented with through sensory experience
(sorry, if this sounds technical, I've been reading Mircea Eliade
all night.).

Although I realize that "All is One" can be seen as true on a
biological level -- being that all known DNA is inherently made
up of the same four base pairs --, and can be seen as true on a
Quantum Physical level -- in the sense of non-locality --, and in
the sense of Alchemy and Yin-Yang -- in the sense that we are all
but one part of the Whole, which is the All of Creation ( and I'm
sure that the concept has many other understandings that I've not
even come close to uncovering yet), I've not yet figured out how
to reconcile that understanding with the fact that it seems
reality is divided and classified.

If one takes an image, and creates a grid over that image, and
then works out a classification within that grid to explain what
is in each little box, no matter how complex that classification
system is to explain each individual segment of the grid,
underneath the grid still remains "the whole picture". I find
this synonymous with the "All" in relation to physical reality,
yet I'm not sure if those classifications and divisions exist
because we approach the world in a conscious way which creates
these divisions, or whether there is something inherent in the
process of passing into physicality that creates those divisions.

Any answers or thoughts from others is greatly appreciated.

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

===== Healthy Body Healthy Mind

This is an interesting one for me, and I have been discussing it
at length on another forum I belong to. It started off as a
discussion about how should a christian tenet of "your body is
your temple" apply to a pagan path. It was posted by a 1st BTW
whose HPS suggested they might like to sort themselves out a bit
more before they were admitted to 2nd.

Now a few years ago I might have shrugged it off, used the "but
it's christian" excuse, but of late I have become totally
addicted to "crossfit" see www.crossfit.com and have the luxury
of having one of the first UK crossfit gyms a short jog from my
front doorstep.

And all of sudden I have more time for life, for research, for
family, for magic. Lol I'm almost evangelical about it as it
changed my life profoundly and I'm not talkng just the stone in
weight and the 2 clothes size drop I have incurred as a nice side
benefit. I still drink, I still smoke although not the the extent
I used to do; but what I have done is become very profoundly
aware of me.

So I suppose I am interested in hearing other people point of
view, does your physical wellbeing affect your spiritual and/or
magical practises or do you think it doesn't make a jot's worth
of difference?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

===== Druid Organizations: ADF and FoDLA?

Of these two NeoDruid organizations, does anyone have experience
in either? What do you think of them?

I find myself more and more drawn to a NeoDruidic path. I read
Bonewits a very very long time ago and so am going to
refamiliarize myself with his works since he is respected by so
many in the Druid community.

My main problem right now is that I want to attend an ADF grove
here in my town but I am ridiculously shy and they seem to be in
private homes a lot and I just can't do that. So I want to
explore more on my own about NeoDruid societies before stepping
out, waaaay out, of my comfort zone.

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

===== Mountain Biking Meditations -- Deity in Unusual Places

Mountain biking is an incredible sort of 'communion' for me. I
get out on the trails, and am amazed by the whirl of butterflies
that seem to spin up from the grass to float and tumble along
next to me, the deer crashing through the brush and the hawks
that soar above, seemingly racing me as I struggle to remain
upright and speeding over the ground often at rates that leave me
thinking how badly it would hurt were I to be unseated. An
occasional wild turkey startles and confounds.

I hear my Ladys voice the most clearly at these moments, and
direct questions are usually answered in animal omens, or through
other signs on the trail.

What kinds of unusual places do you find yourself close to your

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

===== Just Going through the Religious Motions?

What do you do when religious ritual feels like going through the
motions and there's no real point to it?

Have you ever had a "long night of the soul", and what happened
when you came out the other side?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

========= ARTICLES

===== Part 4 (of 7): Why Trolls Like Covens
===== by Eran

This series explores how to deal with destructive people within
your Coven or Pagan group. There is a class of people who are
driven to tear down things which others have built. Sometimes
such people can get into, or come into contact with, your Coven.
I've called these people "trolls", making use of the very
powerful and very old European image of forces which are
destructive and chaotic - yet easily outwitted, if you know a
little about their ways.

The problem of trolls has been endemic in Paganism for decades.
Looking back at tales and correspondence and other evidence from
as early as the 1950's, one can detect the peculiar scent of
trolls wafting up even then. What is it about Paganism and the
Craft which seems to attract trolls so irresistibly?

=== Vulnerabilities

Trolls look for particular traits and situations which they can
use to their advantage. There are common aspects to Pagan groups
which make them attractive targets for trolls, and which make it
difficult for such groups to respond to troll attacks.

For one thing, as discussed in the previous article, there are
aspects of Pagan philosophy which trolls find it easy to
manipulate in their favor. If uncovered, trolls will defend
themselves with inappropriate recourse to concepts such as
subjective realities, the Wiccan Rede, running one's own
recovery, constructing one's own ethical code, counter-
accusations of authoritarianism, and so on. The previous article
discussed ways of dealing with these misapplications of Pagan
principles. Here are some more weak points which Paganism
presents to trolls:

* Small groups. Trolls like small groups. It's relatively easy to
  become a big fish in a little pond. Since trolls are driven to
  feel important, a group of a dozen or so people is ideal.

* Anti-authoritarian. Pagans have a natural distrust of
  authority, and a great deal of independence. Trolls can use
  this to breed suspicion of a group's leaders, suspicion which a
  troll can feed and nurture.

* No bureaucracy. Often, there are no checks and balances within
  a Coven structure, and very few within larger Pagan
  organizations. For example, there often are no formalized rules
  of evidence or fairness. This means trolls can start
  unsubstantiated rumors, and can often be believed without ever
  being asked for any kind of proof.

* No ethical standards. There are very few Pagan elders' councils
  or ethics committees. There is no centralized place to whom to
  bring complaints about trolls. There is no body with the power
  to stop, or even impede, their activities. And, since Pagans
  dislike authority, if there was such a body, most Pagans would
  go somewhere else!

* Tolerance. A tolerance of differences is one of the hallmarks
  of Paganism (or at least, that's one of its goals). Trolls can
  present themselves as simply being "different" from other
  people. They can present themselves as being "picked on"
  because of those differences. They can accuse others of being
  inflexible for holding to opinions which differ from theirs.
  They can generate a great deal of sympathy this way.

* Self-help. Many Covens are set up to assist the personal growth
  of their members. If caught in their dishonest and destructive
  actions, trolls can pretend to acknowledge personal problems,
  commit to dealing with them, and then simply continue doing
  what they've been doing. After all, you wouldn't kick someone
  out who had promised to try to do better, would you?

These are some of the points which make Pagan groups vulnerable
and attractive to trolls. These are things which are very deeply
embedded in Pagan culture and the structure of Pagan groups.
We're not likely to change most of these: Pagan groups are not
suddenly going to become ten or twenty times larger, we're not
going to start trusting authority, no one is going to construct a
PanPagan Ethics Council in the foreseeable future - and if any of
these things did happen, Paganism wouldn't be Paganism any more.
So we have to find ways of dealing with trolls in spite of the
weak points. What would be better still is to turn these weak
points into advantages, and use them to strengthen a Coven rather
than make it vulnerable.

=== Some Helpful Features

Paganism also has some strengths which make it possible to
respond effectively to trolls. In fact, many of the aspects
mentioned above also make it easier to deal with them:

* Small groups. Working in a small group make it more difficult
  for trolls to stay hidden for long periods of time, especially
  if the people in a Coven work together closely and often. In
  larger organizations, it's easier for trolls to get lost in the
  crowd, or to hide their true nature, and so to spread rumors

* Anti-authoritarian. Though a Pagan distrust of authority often
  makes for a receptive audience for trollish attacks on Elders,
  this also makes it a bit more difficult for trolls to gain the
  power they crave for themselves. Even becoming a Coven Leader
  is seldom very satisfying for a troll.

* No bureaucracy or ethical standards. Though the lack of checks
  and balances or ethics councils means you can't call upon wider
  authorities to help deal with a troll, this also means you as a
  Coven Leader have much more of a free hand. You don't need
  anyone else's permission to take the steps you feel are needed,
  and you don't need to deal with any red tape or formal
  procedures. Trolls tend to burn their bridges and then move on
  fairly rapidly.

* Tolerance. Though trolls can use Pagan tolerance to defend
  themselves, this goes both ways. The unjustified slanders which
  trolls level at other people really won't generate as much
  hatred toward their targets as the trolls like to think. Few
  people will really care, writing it off as "differences," even
  if they believe the trollish tales.

* Self-help. If a troll tries to use a Coven's "self-help"
  orientation as an excuse to avoid changing, the Coven's Leaders
  can just as easily call upon the concept of "tough love." You
  don't condemn an addict for backsliding; but you also don't
  enable the addiction.

And in dealing with trolls, there is at least one aspect of Pagan
theology which gives us a great advantage over some other
religious paths. Pagans do not feel there is any need for
"salvation," and we feel no requirement whatever to see to the
"health" of other peoples' souls. Some other religions discourage
ministers from ejecting parishioners, believing that people who
don't follow their sect will go to Hell - or will be subject to
some other impediment. They also feel that a person ejected is a
soul lost, and kicking someone out marks a failure on the part of
the minister. It is a very serious thing to be separated from
such a church, and it may be nearly as serious for a minister to
resort to these steps. Excommunication is really much less common
than one might think.

Pagans, however, don't have this handicap. There is no doctrinal
reason to avoid getting rid of troublemakers. Pagans do not
believe you have to belong to any particular sect or Coven in
order to be "saved," nor do we believe there is any particular
advantage in associating with people who want to harm you.
Ejecting someone from your Coven does not count against you in
the Race to Save Souls, since we don't run in that race. And
being ejected from a Coven does not condemn a person to the
Christian Hell. It merely gives them the opportunity to find a
path elsewhere which is more suited to their own goals and
temperament. This is a Good Thing.

=== Oathbound Aspects

In general, I've been dealing with general Pagan groups and Pagan
topics, and not with topics specifically connected to Oathbound
traditions. That's because the problem of trolls is a general
Pagan problem. Most of the features of trolls, most of the ways
they cause damage, and most of the techniques for handling
trolls, are common throughout Paganism. The concerns and patterns
apply in nearly any Pagan environment, and that includes the
Oathbound trads. There are some specific problems and
opportunities, however, within tightly-knit and Oathbound
Traditions. Here are a few thoughts on that.

One of the things which draws trolls to Oathbound groups in
general is a trollish love of secrecy. The game of "I know
something you don't know!" is almost irresistible to a troll. It
may well be that Oathbound trads get more than their fair share
of trolls for this reason alone. Add to that the mystique which
some of the big-name Oathbound trads seem to have among the
general Pagan populous, and it's probable that established Covens
in these Traditions become targets of trolls more often than most
any other Pagan path.

A fear in kicking someone out is that the person may no longer
feel bound by Oath. Members of Oathbound traditions are very
protective of their Secrets, and the idea that a former Covener
might publish or otherwise spread sensitive material around is a
very real fear. But in general, the tendencies of a troll are to
hurt people, not institutions. Few trolls see any advantage to
Oathbreaking, especially since revealing Oathbound material means
they can't play their secrecy games anymore. Besides, most
traditions have ways of handling Oathbreakers; if yours does,
don't let the fear of someone saying too much prevent you from
ridding yourself of a troll.

One advantage the larger and longer-lived Traditions have today
is their stability, which allows them the luxury of being
cautious. There was a time, not so long ago, when the Craft was
hard to find, and seemed on the verge of dying out. No more;
today, the number of Covens and active Elders is great enough
that there need be very little fear of Witchcraft dying out any
time soon.

These long-lived Trdaitions can begin to be a lot more picky
about whom they train and how they train them, and they can take
a lot more time in assessing someone's suitability for their
Path. If it's made plain that someone has to wait years before
they can even think about being a Coven Leader, a lot of trolls
will get bored and move on - the power they crave won't be handed
to them for a long time. And if Coven Leaders move people along
slowly and take the time to get to know them well, a troll will
find it very difficult to keep his or her trollish features

On the downside, this very stability makes the established trads
into attractive targets in another sense. Trolls are forces of
chaos. They instinctively hate and fear anything which looks firm
and stable, and they'll examine such a structure closely for any
possible weaknesses. A Tradition's Elders who have been around
for a while are particularly juicy tidbits, and a troll would
consider it quite a coup to bring such people down. Remember,
troll attacks are generally directed against people, not groups.
The groups end up being hurt because Pagan and Craft Covens are
usually built around the Coven Leaders. But the trolls set their
sights on the Elders and Leaders, and their hatred of authority
figures means that if someone has been active long enough to be
respected, that's exactly the sort of person a troll would want
to hurt.

This means Craft Elders are people against whom trolls often
direct their attention. This means it's vital for Elders to learn
how to handle trolls. Learn to recognize trolls for what they
are; learn to respond to trollish activities with decisiveness
and surety. Your confidence will shake the troll's confidence.
Trolls like impressive targets, but only ones which they think
they can hurt. Throwing themselves against a brick wall makes
them look silly, and that robs them of all their power. That's a
death knell for a troll; most of their strength comes from
intimidation, and it's hard for someone who looks silly to seem

Large and established Traditions have another potential
advantage. They tend to be close-knit and clannish, they gossip
and talk amongst themselves. They have the potential to allow
Elders to lend each other confidence and advice. When someone is
being targeted by a troll, it's an incredibly painful and
draining experience, in ways which someone who hasn't been
targeted may find it difficult to understand. It would be very
useful to form a Society of Survivors of Trolls (SSoT) to give
aid and comfort to those in need. The support of one's peers is
the best source for the confidence which is needed to handle a

Such a group could also help to inform others in the Tradition
about the dangers of trolls, and the techniques for handling
them. This sort of general education in the theory of
trollhandling would be of enormous value. According to legend,
sunlight turns trolls into harmless lumps of rock. Throwing light
on trolls renders them powerless. Knowledge and forewarning is
the light which robs trolls of their ability to cause damage.

A few years back, our Coven had the misfortune of having to deal
with a troll, but without the benefit of knowing very much about
them. As experience is by far the best teacher, the lessons we
learned are etched deeply. From that perspective, it was a
valuable thing to live through. Still, there were people who had
dealt with this particular troll before, and it would have been
nice to have had a strong warning. Another possible function of a
SSoT would be to warn others about specific trolls.

There's a danger here, though. Trolls become very skilled at
manipulating the rules of any organization to their advantage.
They are very good at causing factionalization and argument, very
good at getting people to stop communicating with each other, and
very, very good at making spurious accusations against their
targets. Any group such as our theoretical SSoT might well itself
fall prey to trollish attacks. Trolls would be only too happy to
use such a group to savage one of that group's own members. That
is, a troll would eagerly join any SSoT and use it to start
rumors about other people.

This is part of a more general problem of handling trolls in
Pagan organizations larger than a single Coven - legal Pagan
churches, umbrella organizations, festival committees, even
trolls who go public on the Internet or in published books. I'll
explore some of those issues in the next installment.

=== About the Author

Copyright (c) 2002 David Petterson
May be recirculated as long as this information is included

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===== by Alan Sapphire

That question insists on creeping in my mind -- usually at the
worst of moments, the darkness of spirit. It mars the stillness
of the quiet times. It tumbles through my activities, distracting
my focus.

I seems like only yesterday I stood in the sunlight, tall and
strong -- oh, so young! My magicks hummed through my every hour.
They were woven through my words and I shone!

Now I prefer the shadows, the fringes where the webs dwell. My
body, once so straight and tall, now moves painfully through the
dark. My magick, instead of running through me, now surrounds me
-- clouds of power that is both greater and different than
anything I've known.

Where was the line I crossed? The one that took me from youth to
age in a blink of the eye. It truly bewilders me.

Still --

I went from strength to a even greater strength. For to my
surprise not only swollen joints come with age. With the years
come wisdom. Despite twisted limbs and failing eyesight, I can
reach farther and see clearer than I ever had been able.

Sometimes what I see leaves me sad, the people hurt in body and
mind. But I also see hope for the future in the small children
and people working for change. That knowledge makes me happy.

When you get older, one can hear this faint song. It takes time
to realize that you are hearing the clash of the past hitting the
present. They blend to carry on and help form the ebbs and tides
that become our future.

However, just like the silver strands of a spider's web, there
are many ways for the notes to combine. Are we going to be lost
on the edges, the final strands? Or are we working our way to the
middle and the spider's lair?

Only time will tell....

Meanwhile, I think I will sit in that wooden rocker, a warm shawl
across my shoulder. As I rock, I will think on all the changes
and what good I still can do.

=== About the Author

Alan is Elspeth's husband. Unfortunately, he does not have time
for message boards, but he makes up for it by occasionally
writing an article like this one.

===== by Xander Trotter

It was 1996 when I first saw the preview to this film. I remember
sitting in front of my television at the young age of 13 and
wanting to see it badly, but my Christian conservative parents
wouldn't allow me to. They called the film "devilry" which in my
case wanted to make me see it quicker. When I did eventually see
it I didn't see it for what it was but instead I saw it as
nothing more than another horror film. It wasn't until I became a
Witch in 2004 that I saw this film for what it is.

Now some of you might be wondering why I am writing a review of
this film almost 12 years after it was released. Well, I am
writing a review, in hopes of opening up some eyes about this
film. I have many Pagan friends who haven't seen this because
they are afraid its going to make Pagans look nothing more than
evil doers. I want to share to the world of Witchcraft that this
film is a Pagan wonder disguised as a horror film.

The story is simple: A young girl named Sarah, played by Robin
Tunney (who by the way was bald when shooting this film and was
wearing a red wig due to the fact she was shooting another movie
on the side) moves to a new city and begins school in a
completely different environment. She is warned to stay away from
three young girls because people claim they are witches. Like in
every movie when your warned against something it means it'll
happen. She begins to befriend these girls and does find out they
are truly witches, something that scares her at first. Sarah
begins to embrace it and the three of them start performing
magick, not knowing the consequences that lead with the stuff
they do.

As a movie critic I want to say its a brilliant film, scary and
engrossing. I like the way one critic put it, "It's Clueless
meets Carrie". But to me it seems that most critics didn't see
the point to this film. Some people just go to movies to enjoy
them and don't come out with a positive message. One might ask
themselves, "How can a horror film have a positive message?"
Well, around the time this film was released was around the same
time that teenagers began to dabble in the arts of Witchcraft.
They didn't see it as a religion as much as they saw it as a way
to curse people who angered them: ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends,
teachers, parents, bullies. And who are we to determine their

This film, all the while entertaining us and scaring us, is
warning those teenagers about the dangers of curses. Throughout
the film you can see three-fold taking its course. The characters
even mention it, yet the audience seems to just let that slide.
Like I stated earlier, when I first saw it I saw it as a horror
film but now that I am a Pagan I can see the brilliance in this
film. The lesson it teaches on karma is amazing. Yeah the magick
might be a little outrageous, but that doesn't take away from
anything amazing about this film.

As a Pagan I think its a positive film and highly recommend it!!!

===== by Mike Gleason

Ascension Magick: Ritual, Myth & Healing for the New Aeon
by Christopher Penczak
published 2002 by Llewellyn
Paperback 561 pages
ISBN: 0738710474
See this book on Amazon:

I need to be complete honest at the start of this review (I am
writing this introductory paragraph before I get beyond the first
couple of pages). I got this book, not because of an interest in
ascension magick, but because of the author. I have read a bunch
of Christopher's earlier books (although not all of them). I
don't always agree with them, but I have learned something from
each of them. I got this book to see what I would learn from it.

The first section of this book deals with the roots and
underpinnings of the Ascension movement. If you know noting about
the precedents of modern magick, this will be a revelation to
you. If you know those precedents, this will serve as a simple
reminder. In any case, it is a must-read to bring you up to speed
for the rest of the book.

Normally I can get through a book of this length in a bit over a
week. I didn't even try to stick to that thinking with this work.
The concepts contained in this book need careful reading,
thoughtful reflection, and a sharp intellect. If, while reading
this book, you find your attention waning - STOP, put the book
down and divert yourself for a while.  This is NOT a book to read
at the end of a long day, although the ideas contained within may
slip more easily past your conscious censors.

If you are only mildly interested in the subject of ascensionism,
you may find Mr. Penczak's work to be overly long and daunting.
If, on the other hand, ascensionism and light working are ideas
which call to you, this book will be an invaluable aid.

I am not sure, on a personal level, whether I should recommend
this book whole-heartedly.  There is no doubt that I would
recommend it to the serious seeker but, not having read a lot of
ascensionist literature, and being shaky (due to passage of the
years) on Theosophical writings, I'm not sure how Chris' take on
the subject fits into the general overview of the subject; hence
my personal reservations.

Even though 500+ pages is long for an introductory work, the
subject covers such a diversity of topics and details that it
does not seem, to me, to be overly lengthy.  Christopher has made
no attempt, in my opinion, to "pad" this book.  It serves as a
good, basic text to provide an understanding of the subject and a
foundation for further personal work.

Christopher covers topic ranging from sacred calendars to secret
histories; from Theosophy to Left hand Initiations; and from
individual progress to planetary (and galactic and cosmic)
ascension.  It is the story of his journey to arrive at who and
what he is today.  It is not so much a guide book as a
travelogue.  It may resonate with you; it may inspire you; but it
is not intended to stifle your own experiments.  You can compare
your results to his but you need to be constantly aware that, as
some folks remind us, "Your mileage may vary."  You need to find
what is right for you.

Is this an essential book for the average reader?  No, but it is
a valuable resource for those who are looking for certain
answers. It won't provide those answers, but it will help to
guide you on your search for them.

===== by Mike Gleason

How It Is
by George D. Stewart
published 2007 by BookSurge
Paperback 114 pages
ISBN: 1424324068
See This Book at Amazon:

How do you relate to a book which states on its second page:
"This is not a religious book, but one of science and reality. It
neither raises nor lowers any religion or set of beliefs." And
then states, three pages later; "Slightly less than 14 billion
years ago, all matter, and energy came into existence. In that
beginning, the universe was confined to a sphere slightly more
than 62 centimeters in diameter, with a mass in excess of
5.925x10 to the 70th power kilograms.It had consciousness. This
was God." I am sure that there are large numbers of folks who
might feel that statement is more religious than scientific. How
does the author know that the sphere was slightly more than 62
centimeters in diameter? How does he know it had consciousness?
These statements smack of dogma, and religious dogma at that.

How does the author know that the contents of his book are
reality? In a footnote on page 8 he writes: "As I wrote these
words, God spoke to me saying.", so he has his knowledge as a
result of direct revelation from the Universal Source. For those
with a Gnostic approach to divinity that is an unimpeachable
source of reality; for those with other approaches questions

Thanks to the author we now know that "God learned more than 99%
of what there was to learn in the first 20 hours of His
existence." After about 50 hours of existence God became very
bored (short attention span?). It then took God ".close to 300
million years to formulate a plan for what God would do next."
"Within a few moments of when God felt that planning was
completed, He spun up to nearly 160 revolutions per second, and
used the resulting angular momentum to assist in greatly
expanding His own size. Then, He collapsed to subatomic size,
which resulted in the greatest explosion ever known. The entire
expansion-compression maneuver lasted less than two seconds. Ever
since that moment, the universe has been expanding." Although
that may be an attractive theory, I have not seen any proof
offered other than personal revolution.

Additionally, the statement (on page 13): "We are like pets to
Him." will undoubtedly offend a great many people. I have to
admit that before I progressed very far into this book, I had
already begun to dismiss the author and his conclusions. I am
sure that there are readers for whom this work will resonate. I
am not, however, one of them. By the time he stated that a brain
is not ".for any other purpose than the download/upload of
information to/from the organism's spirit." I was ready to put
the book aside and move on to other reading. However, in fairness
to the author, I finished the book. I did not change my opinions
or feelings in the least.

Personally, I did not find this book to be beneficial. For a book
of science and reality, it is far to involved with sin, time
spent in hell, and other topics more suited to a religious work.
Statements are made which appear to be scientific but which are
inherently unproveable (e.g., ".all the spirit life combined has
a mass no greater than 50kg (in effect nothing). God's spirit
mass slightly exceeds 21,000kg, a small amount when considering
the mass of the rest of the universe.") How can you prove a
statement like that?

===== by Mike Gleason

Footprints in the Snow: True Stories of Haunted Russia
by James L. Choron
Published 2007 by Zumaya
Paperback 268 pages
ISBN 1934135062
See this book at Amazon:

Okay, here is a head's up for the potential reader. IF you are of
the few people who actually read the copyright page, disregard
the fiction disclaimer on the top of the page. It slipped by the
publisher's notice until it was brought to their attention. This
book is NOT fiction. This is a collection of local ghost stories
("Tales of Haunted Russia" as the subtitle explains).

The author is an American who has resided in Mother Russia for
nearly two decades and who has become familiar with the people
and their attitudes towards the paranormal. The stories he has
collected for this book are not "big name" stories - no Tsars or
royal families, no high Party officials, just men and women (and
occasional children) living their lives - or perhaps outliving
their lives. They are not scary, but they certainly qualify as

Being a production of a smaller publisher, I wasn't surprised by
a few errors, but one which stood out was on page 84: "If at
first glance this story does not seem paranormal, please see the
photo section." Oops, there are no photos in this book. The story
itself has no paranormal elements, so I must assume that there
should have been a photo which showed a ghostly figure.

There are a few accounts in this book which deal with individuals
who were "silent powers" during the Soviet regime; a few men
whose names were the cause of feelings of dread; but they form a
very small part of this collection. In most cases, however, it is
not those individuals who are the subject of the stories. More
often it is their deeds which are recounted.

Most of the accounts in this book are the sort of family "ghost"
stories almost everyone has heard at one time or another. That is
what makes them ring so true. They are everyday occurrences.
Okay, maybe not "everyday," but often enough that they are not
threatening. Many of them are of individuals looking out for
their descendants, or for those they were charged with caring for
before their death, or for a particular location. There are no
chain rattlers in this collection of stories.

I do not hesitate to recommend this to all readers. You don't
need an over-riding interest in ghostly phenomena to enjoy these
stories. And enjoyment is the keynote here. These stories will
not frighten you, nor will they overwhelm you. If you want some
enjoyable stories about "Haunted Russia", this book is for you.

===== by Mike Gleason

Autumn Equinox: The Enchantment of Mabon
by Ellen Dugan
Published 2005 by Llewellyn
Paperback 208 pages
ISBN 0738706248
See this book at Amazon:

I hadn't planned to get this book for review.  In fact, I had
reviewed a similar book several years ago (Mabon, reviewed in
2003).  I made the mistake of loaning that book out, however, and
it never came back, so I decided to replace it.  That book was
out of print, so I decided to get this one to replace it.  Then,
it only seemed fair to review the replacement book.

This wonderful book is easy to read and appreciate.  Ms. Dugan
has arranged things in an easy to use format and has included
spells, charms, and rituals throughout.  Most importantly, to my
way of thinking, a large amount of this book is not Pagan-
specific.  It is family-friendly, so it is applicable whether
used for your coven-mates or your more conventionally oriented
"mundane" family members.

She gives ideas for decorations (many of them easy enough to make
that children can help), as well as the background on the deities
associated with the season.  She gives suggestions for gardening,
as well as uses for fruits and grains in the celebrations.

She includes almost twenty pages of delicious recipes that will
have family and guests enjoying your meals and talking about them
long after the table is cleared.

She ends the book with lists (and details) of deities, stones,
and plants associated with the season.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and it will definitely be well-
used over the years.  There are other books out there with a lot
of the same data, but this one was real pleasure to read.  It may
not be the best book on the topic, but it definitely in the top
five or six.

========= by HeartShadow

HeartShadow is following her own religious path. She calls it
FlameKeeping. This regular column will present articles on
FlameKeeping, many taken from HeartShadow's FlameKeeping blog at:


===== Dichotomies of Pleasure and Happiness

Humanity has always had a love-hate relationship with pleasure,
especially "fleshy" pleasures, or pleasures of the body. On the
one hand, pleasure is enjoyable and sought after, and for good
reason. Every pleasure that the human body has comes with
advantages, within reason. On the other hand, though, is the
problem that pleasure, in and of itself, does nothing. It is an
end, as opposed to happiness, which is more often a product of

Pleasure and happiness are often confused, considered similar if
not the same thing. But pleasure is like a paper: thrown into our
Flame, it gives a great flash of warmth, but is then gone,
leaving us colder than before. Happiness is a log, placed
carefully in our Flame. No great heat, no moment of astonished
warmth, but a long growth of warmth that lasts as long as it is

Of course, the flash of pleasure is more dramatic, more
noticeable. It's much easier to seek, and indeed a search for
pleasure may well be genetic, as well as the desire for
happiness. But pleasure is easy, too easy. When sweets were hard
to come by, sugar was a pleasure that could be safely indulged
in, were there enough money to afford it. But over-saturation
cheapens pleasure, like taking an occasional piece of chocolate
and making it a daily habit makes that chocolate taste not nearly
as good. As one becomes accustomed to pleasure, old pleasures
become boring, no longer enough. So one must seek new pleasures,
casting old ones aside in the heedless search for stimulation.

One might ask, so what? What difference does it make if we need
to seek new pleasures? If it makes us happy, what's the problem?
The problem is, pleasure doesn't lead to happiness. Pleasure
leads to desire, and desire leads more often to sorrow than
happiness, because everything is wanted and not had. Pleasure and
desire are not wrong, but they must be understood for what they
are, and weighed against long-term happiness, when one desires
what is not had.

In many ways, happiness is learning to desire what it is we
already have, as opposed to focusing on that which is out of
reach. We consider ourselves happy when we have what we desire,
and unhappy when our minds are occupied by thoughts of those
things we lack.

Isn't happiness selfish, one might ask? By what right do I have
to seek happiness, when I could be doing things, making things,
creating wealth, whatever the excuse is. In truth, however,
happiness is our gift to the Divine, as well as our gift from the
Divine, if we are capable of simply grasping it. What we do and
who we are reflects and changes the Divine. When we are happy,
when we live simply, having good relations to those around us and
the world we live on, we better the world around us and the
Divine. Instead of happiness being selfish, it can be the most
unselfish thing one can do.

Happiness is not easy, however. It must be maintained, must be
nurtured, must be cared for. It is easy for desire to blow
through the mind, a mental wind that carries beliefs of
inadequacy and false needs, and such winds are hard to dispel. As
long as we hold to happiness, however, as our goal, we can help
ourselves, and slowly bring this concept to those around us as
well, bettering their lives.

=====  Questions

  * How does pleasure differ from happiness? How can the desire
    for both be balanced?
  * How do we overcome our desire for pleasure?
  * Why is happiness unselfish? How would you define being truly

========= Interesting Items From The Software Gadgets Blog
========= http://softwaregadgets.gridspace.net/

The Software Gadgets Blog aims to present a different "software
gadget" every weekday. A software gadget is a program or addon
that is both interesting and useful -- and often free. This
column highlights three of the programs listed recently. Many
more were listed and you'll find more gadgets like these added
every week at the Software Gadgets Blog at:



This single function program lets you plug in a youtube video url
and it downloads the video to the folder of your choice in an
.avi or .mpeg format that can be played in Windows Media Player.
No need for a special player.

From the YouTube Downloader web site:

    YouTube Downloader is a free tool that downloads videos from
    youtube and saves it as Avi file to your local computer.
    Simply paste the URL of a video into the program, press
    Start, and the AVI or MPEG file will be downloaded into the
    selected folder.

Operating System: Windows
Price: Free
Web Site: http://youtube-d.com/


If you use Internet Explorer 7, but would like some of the many
features in popular addons for Firefox (like adblocking,
greasemonkey scripting, etc.), give IE Pro a try. It is still in
beta, but already adds a lot of features to IE as this feature
list from the IE Pro web site demonstrates:

    * Easier Tab Management
    * AD Blocker
    * Super Drag and Drop
    * Mouse Gesture
    * Save Page to Image
    * Proxy Switcher
    * Crash Recovery
    * Greasymonkey alike User Script

This may work on Vista, but I can't find whether it does or not
on the web site.

Operating System: Windows XP and IE 7
Price: Free
Web Site: http://www.ie7pro.com/


SideSlide looks interesting. It is like an extra desktop that you
dock to the side of your screen that can hold shortcuts, notes,
etc. that stay out of your ways until you need them.

From the Sideslide web site:

    Dock SideSlide to any screen edge; keep shortcuts to files,
    folders and URLs you frequently visit; execute various
    commands quicker than ever; add multiple notes; multiple,
    sizable, pictures; schedule reminders; save web snippets and
    more... Customize it to emphasize the things you use the most
    and make more information accessible without occupying
    precious screen space. By using containers you can shrink and
    fold, linking containers to actual folders on disk, launch
    groups that allow you to start multiple programs at once,
    shortcut tags, zooming in and out of shortcuts, keyboard
    navigation, different skins, different size pictures, picture
    containers and colored notes; SideSlide is designed to make a
    great deal of content instantly accessible

Operating System: Windows 2000/XP/Vista
Price: Free
Web Site: http://www.northglide.com/sideslide.html

========= From the Spell Grimoire:

Draw a picture of the target with the disease, wound or
condition. Clearly point out the problem in the picture: a large
hammer against the head to represent a headache, black worms for
a virus, a broken limb, a sore, etc.

Charge a red candle with healing energy. light the candle's
flame. Hold the tip of the picture in the flame. After the paper
is lit, drop it into a heat proof container.

Now, with the red candle still burning, draw another picture of
target without the headache, free of the virus or sore, or with a
healed limb. Place this picture under the red candle and let the
candle burn itself out.

=== About This Spell

This spell is taken from The Cauldron's Spell Grimoire, a
collection of basic spells available on The Cauldron: A Pagan
Forum's web site. You'll find more spells at:


========= From the Cauldron Cookbook:
========= submitted by Texas Red

=== Ingredients

1 1/4 pounds fresh or frozen medium-size shrimp
4 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
4 teaspoons grated fresh ginger or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon dry sherry or water
1 tablespoon Oriental chili sauce with garlic
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
4 teaspoons canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 1/2 teaspoons minced)
2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cups fresh pea pods, trimmed
6 cups shredded Chinese (Napa) cabbage
1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons sliced green onions (scallions)

=== Directions

 Thaw shrimp, if frozen. Peel, devein, and rinse shrimp; pat dry
 with paper towels. For sauce, in a small bowl combine the 4
 teaspoons soy sauce, ginger, dry sherry or water, Oriental chili
 sauce, the 1 teaspoon cornstarch, sesame oil, and the 1/8
 teaspoon kosher salt. Set aside.

Place shrimp in a medium bowl; sprinkle lightly with additional
kosher salt and black pepper. Stir in the 1 1/2 teaspoons soy
sauce and the 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch; set aside.

In a wok or 12-inch skillet heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over
medium-high heat. Add garlic; stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add
mushrooms; stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add bell pepper; stir-fry for
1 minute. Add pea pods; stir-fry for 2 minutes. Remove vegetables
from wok.

Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to wok or skillet. Add shrimp
mixture; stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp turn opaque.
Stir sauce; add to wok. Cook and stir until boiling; cook and
stir for 2 minutes more. Add mushroom mixture and Chinese
cabbage. Toss to coat.

To serve, sprinkle with peanuts and green onions.

=== About This Recipe

This recipe is taken from the Cauldron Cookbook, a growing
collection of recipes submitted by members of The Cauldron: A
Pagan Forum. You'll find more recipes at:


========= Cauldron Info

The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum was founded in December 1997 to
provide a friendly but serious discussion area for Pagans on the
Internet. We've grown a bit over the years. We now have an active
message area, a large web site with around 700 pages of
information (including over 300 book and divination deck
reviews), and a monthly email newsletter. To continue to provide
and expand these services, The Cauldron needs lots of volunteer
help from our members and supporters.

Here are some of the things members and supporters can do to help
The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum thrive:

===== Actively Participate In Our Message Board

While our new message board welcomes readers, we encourage
members to actively participate by posting their comments and
views in our discussions. One of the easiest ways to help The
Cauldron is to actively participate in our message board. The
staff especially appreciates members who start new topics for
discussion based on their own questions, opinions, or interests.


===== Articles! Essays! Tutorials!

We are in constant need of original, well-written and accurate
articles, essays, tutorials, and other written items for both our
web site and for our Cauldron and Candle newsletter. There's no
real limit on length for web site articles. Here are a few areas
in which we always need articles:

* information on the beliefs and theology of the various Pagan
  religions, especially non-Wiccan religions

* information on holidays and festivals of the various Pagan
  religions, especially non-Wiccan religions

* recipes for oils, incenses, and food for the various Pagan

* magick, spells, and ritual information

* herbal information

* positive articles on dealing with other faiths

* information on historical pagan cultures

* editorial/opinion pieces

Non-Wiccan material is stressed not because we don't want Wiccan
material but because good non-Wiccan material has been hard to
find. We have a web form you can use to submit an article for
consideration: http://www.ecauldron.com/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
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===== Link To The Cauldron

If you have a web site where linking to The Cauldron: A Pagan
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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
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Donate via PayPal
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===== Amazon Purchases

The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum also receives a small percentage
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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.


If you are a regular user of the US version of Amazon, you can
help The Cauldron by replacing the URL of your ebay bookmark in
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time you visit Amazon.com.

To do this in Internet Explorer or Firefox, find Amazon in your
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If you use Amazon UK, you can use this address


If you use Amazon Canada, you can use this addess:


===== Ebay Purchases

Are you an Ebay user? Ebay has a new program that pays
affiliates a small percent of the winning bid if the winning
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Amazon.com affiliate program works). So if you visit the US
version ebay via the following link, the Cauldron will get credit
for your bids:


If you are a regular user of the US version of ebay, you can help
The Cauldron by replacing the URL of your ebay bookmark in your
browser with the above link so that TC gets credit every time you
visit ebay.

To do this in Internet Explorer or Firefox, find ebay in your
bookmark list. RIGHT click on it and select Properties from the
popup menu which will appear. A dialog box describing your
bookmark will appear. You'll see the standard ebay url --
probably http://www.ebay.com/ -- in an edit box (labeled
"Location" in FireFox and "URL" in IE). Erase that url completely
and replace with one listed above, then click on OK.

===== Have Questions or Suggestions?

If you have specific questions, proposals or other ideas we
haven't mentioned here, please email them to
rssapphire00@ecauldron.GETRIDOFEME.com. (Unfortunately, Randall
has to answer general "Tell me more?" type questions with a
request for a more specific question. He's not trying to be rude,
he just can't think of anything general and useful to say that
isn't said here.)

========= (Including how to subscribe and unsubscribe)

Cauldron and Candle is a free publication of The Cauldron: A
Pagan Forum. The Cauldron intends to publish this newsletter once
a month and often actually succeeds in doing so. We tried to
publish it twice a month for a while, but real life interfered
too often.

This issue of Cauldron and Candle as a whole is copyright (c)
2007 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
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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
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If you have Pagan friends who you believe would be interested in
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Don't forget that your suggestions for this newsletter are always
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LyricFox (lyricfox01@ecauldron.GETRIDOFME.com) or Randall
Sapphire (rssapphire01@.ecauldron.GETRIDOFME.com). Typos are, as
usual, courtesy of the Goddess Eris.
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