[Cauldron and Candle Illo]


Cauldron and Candle
Issue #82 -- March 2007

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


Return to Cauldron and Candle Archive

C A U L D R O N   A N D   C A N D L E #82 -- March 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/
            shopping: http://www.ecauldron.com/mall.php

In this Issue:

[00] Editorial Notes: Moving to a New Board!
[01] Cauldron News
   * Retiring Staff Members: Osthein and Mari
[02] All About The New Message Board
   * The Basics: Finding the Board and Registering
   * Intro to SMF: The Bare Bones
   * New Non-Board Features
   * Cauldron Community Rules and Policies
   * Cauldron Netiquette Guide
[03] Articles
   * How to Keep Your Coven from Being Destroyed: Part II
[04] Flamekeeping: Dichotomies of Order and Chaos
[05] Software Gadgets: The Column
   * Close All Windows -- With Just One Click
   * Net Profiles -- Change Laptop Network Settings Easily
   * Asterisk Logger -- Reveal Passwords Behind Asterisks
[06] Grimoire: Broom House Purification
[07] Recipe: Lemony Lentils with Black Olives and Tomato
[08] Support The Cauldron
[09] Newsletter Information
(Including How To Subscribe/Unsubscribe)

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Welcome to the March 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.

This issue is a special "Moving to SMF" issue with a lot of
information about out new Simple Machines message board. Moving
took a couple of weeks longer than we planned, but by the time
this newsletter reaches your Inbox our old Beehive Forum should
be closed for posting and our new SMF message board should be
fully open for business.

This issue is full of information on our new board as we hope to
see many of you there.

We also have 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


As of March 5, 2007, the Cauldron's Beehive Board at


has been closed to new posts. Old posts are still readable, of
course. Our new SMF message board is now open for business at


See the special section on the new board in this newsletter for
more information. We hope to see you on our new SMF message board


Two members of Cauldron Council have decided to retire completely
from staff duties: Osthein and Mari. We'd like to thank them for
their years of helping The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum. Without their
help, The Cauldron would not be nearly as good a board as it is.

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You will find our new message board at the following URL:


Just as can on our old Beehive Boards, you can look around and
read messages in most of the board (all the public areas) as a
guest. If all you want to do is read our board, all you need to
do is point your browser to it and enjoy.

If you want to participate, however, you will need to register.
Registration is easy. There are a few mandatory fields you have
to fill out. You will want to pay particular attention to the
email field as our new board sends out an activation email which
you have to receive, read, and act on to activate your account.
Be sure to:

  a) use a real email address

  b) use an email address without a lot of server-end
     spam-blocking as if mail from ecauldron.net is blocked or
     forced through some silly challenge/response system, you
     will never get the email and will not be able to activate
     your account. Warning: Some free webmail places apparently
     have very aggressive server-side spam filters and filter out
     our activation emails.

  c) if you do not find the activation email in your inbox, be
     sure to check junk mail folder or other folders where mail
     sorting rules might have mistakenly sent it.

Once your account is activated, you will be a regular member. You
will be able to read messages in all public areas of the message
board, post messages in the "About the Cauldron" and "Cauldron
Basics" categories. This limitation will keep you in areas
designed for newcomers (to the board and/or to Pagan religions
and Magic) where you can learn the ropes with less risk of being
raked over the coals for misinformation or for not knowing board
culture. There will soon be a message in the Rules and
Regulations section of our new board telling you how to apply for
a full membership if you want one.

===== by Star

   [You can read this info as a post on the new message board --
   complete with graphic images of some of the buttons mentioned
   in the text to help you find them.

   http://www.ecauldron.net/forum/index.php?topic=38.0 -- RSS]

I know that many of us are so completely used to Beehive, or
another system, that we'll find some things difficult to find or
understand here on the new SMF forum. I thought I'd post this
announcement in an attempt to give you a brief overview of some
of the very basics. This isn't intended to be comprehensive; it's
just a few pointers. If you need more information, I strongly
suggest you check out the Help section. Unlike Beehive's, it's...
actually helpful. Smiley You may also find even more detailed
help on the SMF web site.

=== Some Terms

SMF talks about things in a little different way from Beehive.
"Boards" here are the equivalent of folders. "Topics" are

There are also a few things SMF has that Beehive didn't. "Child
Boards", for example, might best be thought of as sub-folders,
folders within folders. "Avatars" are the small personalized
pictures in the user info section to the left of each message, as
opposed to signature graphics that appear at the bottom of your

=== Finding New/Unread Messages

There are two ways to find topics containing messages that you
haven't read yet.

First, you can browse to them. Any board with a dark blue icon
has at least one topic with new messages in it. If you click on
the board, it will open up the topic list for that board. Threads
with new messages will be on top, just as they are in Beehive
folders. If you click on the dark blue icon rather than on the
board name, you should get a topic list that shows only topics
with new posts rather than all topics.

Second, if you look at the very top of the page, in the box that
says hello to you and displays your avatar (if you have one),
you'll see a link that says "Show unread posts since last visit."
If you click on that, you'll get a list of all topics that have
new posts in them, regardless of what board they're in.

Either way you go, you'll notice this icon to the right of titles
of topics that have new posts: If you click on that icon, you
will be taken to the first unread post in the thread.

=== Starting a New Message

At the top and bottom of each page of topic titles on every
board, over to the right-hand side, is a small menu. In this
menu, the second button from the right is "New Topic". Click this
to start a new topic/thread. (If you don't have a "New Topic"
button, you probably don't have permission to post on the board
you're in.)

=== Polls

To start a new poll, click the "Post New Poll" button in the menu
to the right of the "New Topic" button (described above). You
will then be allowed to enter your thread title, poll question,
possible answers, and a message to kick off the poll thread as
well as set some poll options. If you need more than five
answers, click the "(Add Option)" link to the right of the final
answer to increase how many answers are available. If you need
less than five, only enter the answers you want to use; just like
in Beehive, blank answers will be ignored.

Voting in a poll where you can only choose one option is pretty
much the same as on Beehive. However, if you are allowed more
than one option, you will notice that the answers have square
checkboxes instead of round radio buttons. (The poll should also
contain a message telling you how many options you may choose.)
Check all of the answers you want to vote for at once and then
click the "Submit Vote" button.

=== Formatting Messages

Beehive used HTML for formatting. SMF uses BBcode; HTML won't
work here. For messages, the easiest thing to do is just to use
the toolbar above the area where you type in your message. It
will automatically insert the right BBcode for you.

The following BBcodes are available to use here:


(Nope, no font colors, faces, sizes, etc. So many of our members
find text outside of the default difficult to read that we've
disabled that functionality.)

The "amazon" code is a special BBcode that can be used to link to
items on Amazon using the Cauldron's book browser. When someone
buys from Amazon using one of these links, the Cauldron receives
a small donation. The code is as follows, with the number being
the ISBN of the book:
[amazon=1234567890]Item Title[/amazon]

=== Attachments

When writing a message, you should see the text "Additional
Options" with a plus sign next to it below the area where you
type. If you click this, you will get a few more options,
including a place to add attachments. Currently you are allowed
four attachments per post with a maximum of 128KB. Important:
Image attachments will display as part of your post, so if your
image is particularly large, consider uploading it to something
like PhotoBucket and linking to it instead of attaching it.

=== Replying to Messages

There are two ways to reply to a message.

The one we really prefer you use is to click the "Quote" button
at the top of the specific post you're replying to: This will
quote what you're replying to (you can delete anything not
relevant to your reply before posting) and automatically insert a
link back to the post it came from. These links are the closest
we can get to Beehive's "2331.52 in reply to 2331.49" link-back
system, and they will be of great help to anyone who is trying to
trace the thread of the conversation backward through the topic.

If you're just making a general reply, the sort of thing you
would address to ALL at the Beehive forum, you can also use the
"Reply" button for the topic. It's at the top and bottom of the
topic, in the same menu bar where the "New Topic" and "Post New
Poll" buttons were back on the board view. It's the furthest left
in that menu. However, remember that this gives no indication of
who or what you are replying to, meaning we will have no specific
context for your words, so please only do this if your message
really is a very general reply. This is a lot more important on
SMF than it was on Beehive because without a quote there is no
"in reply to" link and no "To" line, so if you make a general
reply with no quote we will not be able to tell who you are
talking to or what they said to prompt your reply at all.

If you don't have "Quote" or "Reply" buttons on a particular
topic, you probably don't have permission to post on the board
you're in.

=== After Posting a Message

By default, SMF will return you to the message index after
posting (whether you're starting a new topic or posting a reply).
If you prefer to return to the topic you were reading, like
Beehive does currently, you can change this from your profile. To
get to it, click on your name next to any post you've made, or
"Profile" in the menu attached to the bottom of the box at the
very top of the page (the one that greets you and shows your
avatar and gives you the link to see new messages since your last
visit). Once you're in your profile, go to "Look and Layout
Preferences" under "Modify Profile" in the menu to the left. On
this screen, you'll want to check the box that says "Return to
topics after posting by default". Then click the "Change profile"
button at the bottom to save the change.

=== Canceling a Message

If you decide you don't want to post something after all (after
you start writing, but before you hit the Post button), simply
navigate away from the page. Hit the Back button on your browser,
or click on a menu option somewhere else, anything like that.
There is no real Cancel button in SMF, but if you just go away
from the page it has the same effect as canceling.

=== PMs and Email From the Board

To the left of each message is a space with a little information
about the person who posted it. In that space you may see two
icons, one like an envelope: and one like a speech bubble: (The
speech bubble may have a sort of pale dot on it. The icon still
functions the same way in that case; it's just telling you the
user is currently online.) Clicking the envelope will allow you
to send the user an e-mail. Clicking the speech bubble will allow
you to send them a PM.

To check your PMs, go to "PM" in the menu attached to the bottom
of the box at the very top of the page (the one that greets you
and shows your avatar and gives you the link to see new messages
since your last visit). It's maybe halfway over, between
"Profile" and "Calendar".

=== Ignoring Users or Boards

You can control which boards you are ignoring by going to your
profile. Click on "Profile" in the same menu bar you use to
access your PMs. (You can also access your profile by clicking on
your name next to any message you've posted.) Under "Modify
Profile" in the menu on the left, you should see "Ignore Boards
Preferences" at the bottom of the list, and "Ignore user options"
a couple of items up from that. User these sections to ignore
other users (except for staff!) or boards that you don't want to
read. You can also stop ignore them here if you change your mind.

In addition, you can put non-staff posters on ignore directly
from their posts. Under the user information on each post, you
should see a button like this: Click it to ignore the poster.
Their posts will be replaced with "This user is currently
ignored" and the image will change to this: Click the unignore
button to stop ignoring the user.

=== Avatars and Signatures

Avatars are a new thing for TC. They give you a way to express or
represent yourself in a graphic, much the way a sig does, but in
a way that doesn't take a lot of screen space away from your
messages. Since we have this option now, we are encouraging (but
not requiring) members to make use of avatars rather than having
graphics-heavy signatures.

Signatures, like messages, use BBcode for formatting. There's no
handy toolbar to help you out here the way there is on a message,
though. The simplest way to get around this if you don't know
BBcode is to start a new message and use the toolbar there to
work out your formatting. Copy the code, cancel the message, and
then paste the code into the signature area. (If you use Firefox,
you can also get extensions that will help you write BBcode.)

Avatar and Signature settings can both be edited through your
profile, which can be accessed as described above in the
information about ignoring users and boards. They're under the
"Forum Profile Information" section. (Full rules and guidelines
concerning signatures and avatars can be found on the Rules
board; please read them before setting up either item.)

On that page, Avatars can be set in the first section at the top
of the page. You have two options: to use one of the avatars we
provide, or to use an avatar you have elsewhere on the Web. If
you're using one of ours, click the circle next to "Personalized
Picture" at the top to make sure that option is selected. Then
choose a category from the list, and a list of specific pictures
will appear beside it for you to choose from. If you're using an
avatar that's stored somewhere on the Web, you'll want to choose
the option below all that marked "I have my own pic" and enter
the address of your avatar in the box provided. When you've
chosen your image or entered its address, scroll down to the
bottom of the page and click the "Change profile" button.

You can edit your signature on the same page, about halfway down.
(It's in the fourth section of options.) Simply enter the text
and/or BBcode for your signature, and then scroll down to the
bottom of the page and click the "Change profile" button. Then
you can go check it out in the Testing Signature thread on the
"Test Board" board.

I hope this helps get people started! If you have any questions,
as I said, I suggest you check the Help section and SMF web site
first. If you still can't find the answer, please feel free to
post in the "Board Questions, Suggestions and Feedback" folder.
The staff will be happy to help you.

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===== by Randall

SMF not only gives us a new board with a lot of new features for
both members and staff, it provides a framework on which other
can add features. We have added a number of new features.

=== Article Features

We've added Tinyportal to our board. This finally gives up a much
needed feature -- we can allow selected users to write articles
which appear directly on our web site without having to wait for
the webmaster to find time to manually create a new page for the
article and upload t to the web site. Tinyportal also adds a
number of other minor features like a Portal Page somewhat like
the Start Page of a Beehive forum.

=== Arcade Games

We have a small selection of flash-based games that members can
play. High scores are recorded so that you can compete with
other members for the high score in a game.

=== Blogs

Full Members (and above) can start a blog from their Profile page
that other members (including regular members) can comment on.
It's not a fancy blog with lots of features, but it has all the
basic features a blog needs. Members can use their blog as normal
blog, a sub-community of Cauldron members around a special
interest, etc. Of course, no member has to use their blog. All
member blog are subject to the same general behavior rules as the
message board. Cauldron Supporters get extra control features on
their blogs.

=== Flashchat Rooms

We've installed an updated version of Flashchat. Any member can
use our Flashchat chat rooms. Doing so is easier than ever before
as once you are logged on to the message board, the system
automatically logs you into Flashchat when you activate the
Flashchat interface.

=== Member Links

We have a usable link area where members can propose links that
staff can add to an organized list.

=== Tags

Staff members can tag important and/or very interesting threads
with tags so these messages can be easily found from the Tag
index area. It should make older, but interesting, threads much
easier to find on the new board.


The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum's community area (message board,
flashchat, portal, CauldronMUX, user blogs, etc.) is not a
democracy, at best it is a benevolent dictatorship. The Cauldron:
A Pagan Forum's site hosts have set the rules below for The
Cauldron's community areas. Make sure you are familiar with them.
Read them daily to remind yourself of them if you have to,
because the hosts have given the community's staff the power to
limit or deny access to those who insist on violating them.


* DO NOT make personal attacks (name calling, hostile remarks,
  accusations, etc.). In discussion, attack ideas and opinions,
  not the people who hold them.

* DO NOT make blanket condemnations of peoples, cultures, or

* DO NOT post or attach content that is libelous, defamatory,
  pornographic, harassing, threatening, or hateful (racially,
  ethnically, or religiously).

* DO NOT post advertisements or event announcements (commercial
  or non-commercial) without obtaining prior approval for the
  specific item from a Host or Senior Staff member. (See our
  Advertising Guidelines for more details)

* DO NOT post more than a sentence or two of copyrighted material
  without obtaining specific permission from the current
  copyright owner to post the material on The Cauldron: A Pagan
  Forum and posting that permission with the copyrighted
  material. Link to the material instead. (See our Copyright
  Guidelines for more information).

* DO NOT argue with, comment on, complain about, criticize, or
  otherwise discuss staff decisions on rules issues in public in
  Cauldron community areas. If you think a decision that directly
  affects you is incorrect, you may make an appeal in private in
  accordance with our Moderation Appeal Guidelines.

* DO NOT attempt to moderate other members. Leave the moderating
  to the forum staff and hosts. If you believe a forum post
  violates the rules in a major way, you may bring that post to
  the attention of the forum staff by reporting that message with
  the "Report to moderator" link. You can bring non-forum
  problems to the attention of staff by emailing a staff member
  via their profile.

* DO NOT tell others members not to post to you. You can put
  non-staff members on "ignore" if you do not wish to read their

* DO NOT register multiple accounts without permission from the

* DO NOT impersonate other members or otherwise pretend to be
  someone you are not.

* DO NOT use community facilities of The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum
  to violate US criminal or civil law.


* DO reply to specific messages on our message board using the
  "Quote" button in that message whenever possible (instead of
  replying to the topic as a whole or using quick reply) as using
  the "Quote" button inserts links and text that helps others
  follow the flow of conversation.

* DO edit quoted material in your replies to the minimum needed.

* DO write in a "normal writing" style. Capitalize the first word
  of your sentences. Use proper punctuation. Write in short
  paragraphs and place a blank line between paragraphs (hit
  return twice). Please do not WRITE IN ALL CAPITALS, in eLiTe
  LeTtErS, or in odd fonts and colors. Please do not use
  "Netspeak" (e.g. R U Wiccan) as our community areas are not a
  cell phone. See our Message Posting Guidelines for more

* DO be tolerant of religions and opinions that differ from your
  own. You do not have to agree with them or support them, but
  you must be tolerant of those who express them. Others have as
  much right to hold and express their views as you do to hold
  and express yours.

* DO follow our Avatar and Signature Guidelines.

* DO try to post new topics on the correct board.

* DO remember that other members of The Cauldron are real people
  just like you with rights and feelings -- treat them as real
  people even when engaged in heated debate.

* DO remember that you are not your opinions and beliefs. An
  attack on your opinions and beliefs in debate is not an attack
  on you. If attacks on your opinions and beliefs seem like
  personal attacks to you, you will probably want to bow out of
  topics that turn into heated discussions or debates.

* DO try to avoid posting already posted information in
  "pile-ons." If you see a thread where someone has posted
  obvious incorrect information on hot button issues and there
  are a lot of posts after that message, please read ahead before
  posting to avoid posting the 20th reply with basically the same
  information (as this tends to make the member with the
  incorrect information think people are ganging up on them).

* DO realize that some boards have special rules that apply only
  to that board and follow those rules when posting on that board
  -- such rules will be in a clearly labeled sticky post on the
  board they apply to.

* DO expect to be asked for sources to support any unusual
  factual claims you may make. If you chose to back those claims
  with poor sources (wikipedia and other encyclopedias,
  dictionaries, popular press books written by non-experts, out-
  of-date academic books, etc.), do not be surprised where they
  are not considered convincing, let alone authoritative.


Please do not engage in annoying or excessively rude behavior in
the community areas. Annoying and rude behavior includes (but is
not limited to):

* Editing your messages to significantly change the content after
  a message can reasonably be assumed to have been read by others
  (which is 2 or 3 minutes after posting). This is particularly
  true if the message has already been replied to.

* Posting the same message to multiple topics or boards.

* Trolling (posting material just to stir up trouble or start
  flame wars)

* Proselytizing for any religion (whether Pagan or not).

* Making overly broad "All Pagans believe..." or "All Pagans
  do..." type statements. Except in the most trivial cases (e.g.
  "All Living Pagans need to drink water"), such claims are
  almost always false.

* Demanding that others prove your claims wrong instead of
  supporting those claims with evidence they are correct.

* Attacking a post based on typos, poor spelling, or poor
  grammar, instead of debating its content. Our message board is
  more akin to a spoken conversation with people from many
  countries than it is to a term paper.

* Oversharing personal details -- posting the intimate details of
  your life in inappropriate threads.

* Use of gratuitous offensive language. We are a PG-13 forum.

* Using a offensive or inappropriate username, name, custom
  title, avatar, signature, etc.

* Failing to properly attribute quoted sources.

* Having your account set to a false or out of date email

* Hacking or attempting to hack any part of The Cauldron: A Pagan


* The Hosts reserve the right to act arbitrarily (i.e. without
  obvious cause or explanation) if they consider it necessary.
  This includes deleting any topic or post, editing any message,
  imposing new or special rules, changing any member's
  membergroup or otherwise limiting/expanding any member's
  privileges within the community, or banning any member. There
  is no appeal from a Host decision.

* The Senior Staff and Hosts reserve the right to moderate
  discussions even if there are no rules violations to preserve
  the quality of the discussion -- this includes imposing special
  rules on the discussion or asking unduly upset (or unruly)
  members to leave the discussion.

* Overlooked rules violations do not set a precedent. The fact
  that a violation was accidentally overlooked does not mean it
  is suddenly okay to violate that rule.

* We do not delete accounts, so please do not ask to have your
  account deleted. Accounts are never deleted as doing so would
  completely disrupt every topic the account holder ever
  participated in. If you wish to leave the board, just go to
  your profile and turn off all your board and topic
  subscriptions and set your account to block email from users
  and announcements.


By posting content to The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum's message board
or other community areas (or by submitting material directly by
email or other means for the Cauldron's web site or newsletter),
you are irrevocably authorizing the royalty-free use of that
content (or edited material taken from that content) in The
Cauldron's web sites, community areas, newsletters, mailing
lists, announcement areas, blogs, ebooks, and other online


Standard consequences for violating community rules include:

* Public "Mod Hat On" Warning issued by a Staff Member
* Editing or deletion of the offending post
* Being put on "post moderation" (a staff member has to approve
  each of your posts before they appear on the board)
* Being gagged (unable to post) for a period of time
* Being banned from community areas for a period of time
* Loss of privileges to use certain community areas or features
* Permanent ban

With the approval of a Host, other consequences are possible in
specific situations.

===== by Star

These tips were originally posted long, long ago on Beehive.
(Technical details have been modified to suit SMF.)  The idea is
to help you get a feel for how to make the most of interacting on
this board by giving an idea of how we usually work around here.
It should be most helpful for new posters, but long-time members
may find it helpful to review from time to time as well.  Enjoy!

=== New Posts

We encourage our posters--whether new to the forum or old hands--
to not only jump into whatever conversations interest them, but
also post new threads if they want to talk about something not
currently under discussion. Here are some tips to help you make
the most of new threads.

Tip #1: Take a moment to review the archives. While we like new
threads, having too many about the same subject at one time can
be confusing. You don't have to do a thorough search of
everything that's ever been posted, but it does pay to look
around and make sure there aren't any recent threads about the
topic you want to discuss. You can do this by browsing through
the folders to see what discussions are currently active, or you
can use the search function to look for a specific term. (There's
a search box near the top of each page on the right-hand side.)
You may find that someone has recently asked the same question
you were going to--and possibly gotten answers.

Tip #2: Be specific with the title. We get a lot of threads with
titles like "need info" or "Help me please" which don't really
give a good idea of what the thread is about. You're far more
likely to get the help you need if instead of vague request for
information you indicate what you need help with. Not everyone
reads every thread, so having a specific title will help attract
the people who can help you or answer your questions to your
thread. For example, someone reading the forum might pass over a
thread called "need info" because they don't know what it's
about, so it doesn't catch their interest. If they see "Need Info
About Candle Magic" and they know a lot about candle magic,
though, they would be more likely to read the thread and maybe
provide some of the requested information.

Tip #3: Be sure to put the new thread on the right board. Again,
this helps people find the thread more easily. Think of the forum
as a big library. You remember reading a book about a particular
subject, but don't immediately see it when you return to the
library later. If it was about pet care, but it gets filed under
history, you probably won't be able to find it. Similarly, if you
post that thread about candle magic on the Non-Pagan Religions
board, someone who stumbles across some helpful information when
surfing the Web would have a difficult time finding your thread
again so that they can pass the information on to you. This is
not an exact science, as often a thread could fit into multiple
folders easily. It's best to try to make sure that it does fit
into the folder it's posted in, though, and that if there's one
folder it fits into best it gets posted in that folder.

=== Legibility

Whether you're posting something new or replying to an existing
thread, it's important--and in your own best interest--to make
sure that your messages can be read easily without eyestrain or
confusion. After all, if your posts are difficult to read, people
will simply skip over them without reading. These tips will help
you understand what you can do to make your posts as easy as
possible to read.

Tip #4: Put white space (blank lines) in longer posts. In long
blocks of text, the lines start to run together and become
difficult to follow, so it's a good idea to put in a blank line
between paragraphs to break it up a little. If you have a really
long paragraph and can't find a logical break point, just put a
blank line in after every three or four sentences. Our
interaction here is much more like a spoken conversation than
like a term paper, so we don't really mind if the structure of
the post isn't, strictly speaking, correct. It's more important
to be able to read what you're saying than to have it formatted

Tip #5: Don't use Netspeak. Using "u" for "you", "r" for "are", 2
for "too" or "to", and so forth might look cool and mean less
typing, but most of our posters are not used to it. Since we're
not used to it, we don't read it very well. Many people complain
that trying to decipher it gives them headaches. In addition, we
are an international community. While many of our members for
whom English is a second language read and write it very well,
not everyone is so fluent. For those who aren't, the meanings of
the Netspeak abbreviations or words in 133t-speak might not be
immediately apparent. For that matter, even those of us who do
speak English as a first language often find that trying to read
Netspeak or 133t is very much like trying to read a foreign
language we're only half-fluent in.

=== Replying to Messages

Conversations can move quickly, and it's easy to lose the thread
of who said what to whom--especially if you come along hours
after the fact instead of getting the posts one or two at a time
as they go up.  Here are a couple of things you can do to help
make things less confusing for everyone.

Tip #6:  Use the Quote button.  If you just hit "Reply", your
reply is posted with no indication of what specifically you're
replying to or who you're "talking" to.  That can make keeping
track of a conversation difficult.  If you use the Quote button,
though, SMF will automatically insert a link back to the post
you're replying to and quote it for you so that we can all see
what exactly you're talking about.  If you don't want to quote
the whole post, just delete what isn't relevant to your reply.

Tip #7:  In the absence of a quote, give context.  The Quote
button is the preferred method of replying here.  But if, for
whatever reason, you just can't make yourself use it, please at
least give some idea of the context of your reply.  For example,
instead of just saying, "That sounds like a good idea," you might
say, "Lyric's idea of looking at Resource X sounds good."
Remember that we're not in your head; you may know what you're
replying to, but that doesn't mean the rest of us do.  On Beehive
we had links back to the post you were replying to that we could
click on for context.  Here we don't have that (unless you use
the Quote button or put in links manually), so it's very
important to give some kind of context.

Tip #8: Take note of what board the thread is on.  Mostly this
doesn't make a great deal of difference, but there are some
boards on which it might. One big one is the humour board.
Occasionally, someone will post something there that looks like
it might be serious--until you realize what category it's in, and
then it usually becomes obvious that the post is satire or
something similar. There are also special boards like the 101
folders and the Prayer and Energy Request board on which there
are specific things that are appropriate or inappropriate to put
into a reply.  On any board like these which has special rules,
read the special rules (stickied to the top of the folder) before
replying to find out what's expected.

=== Misc Posting Stuff

There are a few important points that don't really fit anywhere
else. So--here they are.

Tip #9: Don't make major edits to your posts or delete them,
especially after they have been replied to. There's no problem
with correcting a typo, of course, but when considering major
revisions, remember that we are a very busy board. Chances are
that if more than a couple of minutes have passed, someone has
already read your post and may be composing a reply to it.
Editing it at that point means that different people will see
different versions of what you said. This can cause a lot of
confusion about what you did or didn't say and throw the
conversation off-track. It's usually better just to make a new
post with the new or revised information in it. Don't worry about
having to correct yourself--the rest of us do it too! We'd rather
be able to follow discussions properly than pretend that all of
us are infallible and get everything right on the first try.  (If
you do need to correct a typo, be sure to make a note letting us
all know that's all you were doing, so we know we're still all
having the same conversation.)

Tip #10: Use the ignore feature if necessary. Sometimes someone
gets so annoying and so irritating that just reading their posts
makes your blood boil. If another poster is stressing you out
that much, or if you aren't sure you can follow the rules when
posting to them, put them on ignore.  You can do this by clicking
the "Ignore" button under their user info on any post they've
made, or by managing your ignored users through your own profile.
(If you don't see an "Ignore" button for a user, chances are good
that they are staff; the ability to ignore staff has been

Tip #11: Preview your work before posting. This provides you a
chance to proofread, and it will also let you make sure you've
done any BBcode in your post correctly. Also, sometimes if you
write your post in another program and copy/paste it into the
forum, some formatting will disappear. Previewing lets you notice
and correct that before the post goes up for everyone to see.

Tip #12: Be patient. Online as in real life, you will run into
situations that are somewhat frustrating. A little bit of
patience will go a long way in these situations. In particular:

  * Communicating in text is hard. Without the cues of body
    language, facial expression, tone of voice, and so forth, it
    becomes easy to misunderstand the subtext of a message.
    Emoticons help, but they're not foolproof. If someone
    misconstrues something you've said, chances are they don't
    mean it personally; it's just a misunderstanding. The best
    course of action is to try to re-word what you said rather
    than get too upset with the person who misunderstood you.  In
    order to avoid this problem, it's also usually a good idea to
    think about what you're posting and consider whether it could
    be misread easily.  If so, you probably want to re-word it so
    that your meaning is more clear.

  * People often reply to messages mid-thread without reading the
    whole thread. For some people, this is the most logical way
    to read a thread, because it means they don't have to worry
    about remembering which messages they wanted to reply to so
    that they can go back and do so after finishing the thread.
    This means that you might get the same response several times
    from different people. Generally it's best to just reply to
    one of those messages and not worry about the rest of them.

I hope these tips help!  If you have any questions, please feel
free to ask on the Board Questions board or contact me privately.
(Just click on the little envelope or speech bubble underneath my
user info to the left.)

========= ARTICLES

===== Part 2 (of 7): Trollspotting
===== by Eran

In the previous article, I described some of the attributes of
destructive people, the kind who are driven to tear Covens apart,
and to break the spirit of people in leadership positions. Really
destructive conflict is caused by people who are have a need to
engage others in unwinnable contests. Such people generally have
very low self-esteem, little regard for those around them, often
a rather loose grip on consensual reality, and frequently possess
a fair measure of paranoia. Such people are not healthy, they
won't get healthy, they don't want to get healthy, and keeping
them near you will eventually let them harm you. Treating them as
if they were healthy just makes matters worse. For instance, if
you respond to such a person's destructive acts with patience and
understanding, he or she will learn you respond to destructive
acts with patience and understanding, and this will encourage
more destructive acts.

I've called such people "trolls," using the mythic and folkloric
image of chaotic forces which are natural, but often destructive.
It's an image well-rooted in European symbolism. The word conveys
some of the sense of danger, but also carries a comic side, as
depicted in Tolkein's "The Hobbit" and in a myriad of children's
stories. Most of the power which destructive people wield comes
from the fear and hesitation they can inspire in others. If their
comic side is kept in sight, much of this power can be nullified.

The proper way to deal with a troll is to simply eject such a
person from your group. Small Pagan groups, such as covens or
groves, are fortunate in this way. The typical coven or grove is
run by one person, or by a couple, who are empowered to make such
decisions as who can and who can't be a member. This is in
contrast to larger religious organizations - churches or synods
or even Pagan umbrella organizations. Once a Coven Leader
realizes there's a troll in the midst of the coven, all that
needs to be done to get rid of the troll is to tell him or her to
go away. There doesn't need to be any red tape or formal hearings
or anything of that sort. Trolls love red tape, and can usually
tie up a whole organization in such a proceeding for months, or
even years. Trolls need conflict the way healthy people need
food, and a formal hearing - even one whose purpose is an attempt
to eject the troll - is exactly the arena in which they thrive.

So, in a nutshell, that's the best way for covens to handle
trolls. Just kick them out. All things in nature should be
handled in the way appropriate to each kind of thing. You
wouldn't allow a tarantula or scorpion to wander about in your
sock drawer. This doesn't mean the tarantula is "evil"; it just
means that humans don't find a sock drawer to be a convenient
place to allow a tarantula to live. Similarly, you want a troll
to take his or her destructive tendencies somewhere else, and
keep them away from you and your group. The way to do that is to
tell such a person to be gone. Don't bother with ceremony or
explanations. Such things only provide more opportunities for the
troll to engage you in further conflict. They also tell the troll
exactly what worked to cause you damage, and what didn't. There's
no reason to help trolls improve their trollish skills.

But you wouldn't kick a pet hamster out into the woods, and you
wouldn't want to treat a healthy and helpful person the way you'd
treat a troll. This means it's important to be able to tell the
difference between a healthy person and a troll, just as it's
wise to know the difference between a hamster and a tarantula.

Recognizing the Wild Troll
Here are some common characteristics of trolls. Use this list as
a guide and as warning signs. But be a little bit cautious. Even
healthy people will display some of these traits some of the
time. Being Pagans, we're not dualist absolutists here. (As the
Books of Raoul say, "Dualism is bad!") If someone displays a
couple of these traits every now and then, it could just be a
fairly reasonable person on a bad hair day. Use some common

Conversely, there are very few trolls who will display all of
these traits, or even a majority of them. One or two bad days,
every now and then, does not a troll make. Nor does the absence
of several traits necessarily mean the person is really a hamster
(or even a wise and productive Covener!) What you're looking for
in a person is a pattern. If someone reveals several of these
traits, and shows them consistently - or if the person shows only
three or four, but shows them to excess - then you're dealing
with a troll.

* Amazingly Likeable.
  Trolls often have the ability to be liked almost immediately.
  They can be very ingratiating, and seem incredibly open and
  friendly. It isn't necessary to be suspicious of someone who
  gives a very positive first impression. Some wonderful people
  also have a great deal of personal charisma. Instant, karmic
  connections can happen (and, in Paganism often do); but coupled
  with other warning signs, this could indicate an attempt at
  manipulation. Trolls tend to be likeable - it's what keeps them
  from being immediately recognized. It probably kept them from
  being beheaded at a young age.

* Gushing Praise.
  This is related to being Amazingly Likeable. Does the person
  seem to be trying to butter you up, to identify your
  insecurities (everybody has some) and to play on them to give
  you strokes and lull you into acceptance? Does the person give
  gifts out of proportion to your level of intimacy and

* Gotcha.
  Does the person seem to find joy in pointing out other people's
  errors or slips, mistakes and goofs, faults and bad habits?
  Does the person seem to imply these mean he or she is smarter
  or better suited to be a leader than is the one who goofed?
  Does the person sometimes ask questions he or she already knows
  the answers to, just to see if you know?

* Coven Hopper.
  Does this person have a history of moving from Coven to Coven,
  usually (or always) leaving on bad terms? Does he or she have
  nothing but negative things to say about the leader(s) of
  previous groups? Does the person exhibit a dislike of Pagan
  Leaders in general?

* Name Droppers/Initiation Collectors.
  Does the person expect you to be impressed by the people he or
  she has met, or the number of groups or Traditions he or she
  has worked with? Is there frequent reference to his or her
  marvelous and unmatchable experiences, skills, and knowledge?
  (Real sages can let their light shine without constant

* Excessive Rulehating.
  Many Pagans are very independent people. However, if someone is
  going to work within an established group, they need to be
  willing to follow whatever guidelines that group has, however
  loose or restrictive those guidelines might be. Trolls hate
  such restrictions. Healthy people who dislike a given group's
  rules are willing to admit that particular group may not be
  right for them, and to look elsewhere without animosity. Trolls
  will be angry at you personally for running a group which does
  not suit them.

* Echoes and Re-runs.
  Is this person frequently involved in arguments and destructive
  conflicts? Do conflicts seem always to occur and re-occur when
  this person is around? Does the person accept responsibility
  for his or her role in previous disagreements, or are these
  problems always blamed on someone else?

* Unnamed "Others".
  Are "others" always to blame for this person's problems? Do
  "others" always agree with this person's concern? Does the
  person carry tales told to him or her by "others"? Is this
  person always vague about just exactly who these "others" are?

* Living One's Religion.
  Does this person exhibit unethical or dishonest and destructive
  behavior in other areas of his or her life? A destructive
  person won't stop being destructive in Circle, and trolls
  object to having you look at other areas of their lives.
  Someone who is destructive or dishonest in their personal lives
  will be equally destructive and dishonest in their Craft lives.

* Liar.
  Is the person often caught in outright lies? Are there excuses
  and slick explanations always at the ready? Excuses can get
  pretty imaginative. A common technique is to frequently claim
  to have misunderstood or misremembered the conversations in
  question. One troll even invented the condition of "aural
  dyslexia" to "explain" his frequent false statements.

* Note Takers and Journal Keepers.
  Trolls like to write things down - slanting the record, of
  course, to make themselves look good, and to make everyone else
  look bad. They'll pull out their journals from time to time to
  "prove" how mean someone else was, or to back up their own
  incredible claims. Of course, even healthy Pagans often keep
  magical workbooks and notebooks, so simply keeping a journal -
  even a highly subjective journal - doesn't make one a troll.
  But does the person sometimes use these subjective personal
  accounts to back up a claim? Are these accounts filled with
  extreme adjectives and intimations of others' imagined states
  of mind? Does the person seem unable to realize that their
  journal is subjective testimony, and not an objective and
  accurate, proven account?

* Excessive Sarcasm.
  A ready wit is a good thing. A consistently sarcastic and
  caustic wit, which constantly belittles others, is not. Does
  the person seem unable to comprehend the painful and
  destructive effects of his or her own sarcastic statements?

* Pests.
  Is the person constantly calling with questions, suggestions,
  personal problems? Does he or she expect you to be willing to
  drop everything to deal with any and all concerns? Is he or she
  offended and angry if you can't?

* Causes.
  A social conscience is a Good Thing, and many Pagans are very
  active politically. But great social causes can also be a mask
  for selfish demands, or for a desire for personal power. Does
  the person heap scorn on those who don't have an equal zeal for
  the same causes? Does the person use these causes as excuses to
  start fights - even when it's time to settle down to other

* Bad Losers/Bad Winners.
  In arguments or disagreements - or in games and leisure
  activities - does the person react well to resolutions? What
  kind of impression does the person give about past conflicts?
  Is there excessive gloating when the person wins, or harping
  and whining when he or she loses? Are personal disagreements
  often depicted in terms of winning and losing, rather than as
  attempts to resolve differences? Does a loss provoke
  retaliation? Does the person use various forms of intimidation,
  or passive-aggressive techniques, to get what he or she wants?

* Excessive Privacy or Secrecy.
  Information management is one of the most powerful tools of a
  troll. Be wary of anyone who tells you too many things "in
  confidence," or who warns you away from talking to people he or
  she knew formerly, or people involved in his or her tales. Of
  course, this does not apply to legitimate Oaths taken in a
  religious context. Many paths require Oaths of secrecy, and
  respect for the privacy of others. However:

* Oathbreakers/Braggarts.
  Is the person only too happy to tell you all the secrets of
  some other group or tradition? He or she will also treat your
  privacy with just as much contempt. Is the person inordinately
  proud of knowing Secrets which other people are not privy to?

* Projection and Inconsistency.
  "When you complain about something, it's malicious gossip; but
  when I do, it's just sharing feelings, or warning someone about
  something." "When I call you nasty names, it's just an accurate
  description; when you talk about me behind my back, it's
  slander." Trolls are unable or unwilling to apply the same
  standards to themselves which they apply to other people. They
  will violently criticize others for actions they engage in
  themselves. Does the person seem to have an inability or
  unwillingness to consider other viewpoints?

* Change Your Focus.
  If a new person joins your group, does he or she insist on
  having a better way to do things? Does the person always want
  to bend the rules of your group, or do away with them?
  Remember: Paganism is big, and you have no responsibility to
  provide for the needs of everyone who comes to you. If your
  group isn't to the liking of a potential member or a new
  member, there's nothing in the least wrong with insisting that
  person seek fulfillment elsewhere.

* Inappropriate Application of Pagan principles, such as the
  value of love and trust, or the Rede, subjective realities and
  creating your own realities, "going with my feelings,"
  following one's own sense of ethics, 12-step "recovery," and so
  on. Does the person use Pagan ideals and Newage jargon as
  excuses and covers for unethical behavior?

This last point is a particularly important one. Trolls love to
use vital Pagan principles inappropriately to cover their own
destructive actions. This technique is often quite effective,
because it can make their actions sound reasonable, even to their
victims. This makes it harder to justify ejecting a troll from
your group, even when the troll is blatantly tearing everything
apart. These problems are particularly troublesome in larger
umbrella organizations, where you have to use formal procedures
to kick out a troll. A troll can manipulate Pagan principles to
get a few people actually defending the troll's actions, and
cause dissention and outright warfare within the group of people
who are trying to figure out what to do.

Because this particular trollish technique is so important, I'll
devote the entire next article to it. This will also illustrate
some of the reasons why Pagan groups are such attractive targets
for trolls. Understanding our vulnerabilities will lead to being
able to construct effective defenses. There are ways of making
your group less attractive to a troll, and there are was of
making a troll's impact less damaging. But it's necessary to
first understand where our weak points are.

=== About the Author

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

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========= 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 Order and Chaos

A perfect world, a perfect heaven. The aspiration of so many
people, for a perfect life, one without sickness, without death,
without chaos. And that is a cruel lie, and a cruel hope, for
there is no life without chaos, no order without change. Only
nothingness is static, and even that lies full of possibility.

So what do we hope for, if not a perfect world to come? Growth
can only come out of chaos, although understanding that growth
comes from times of order. Our goal, our purpose, is growth and
understanding of the world around us and ourselves. To find a
static world, or to change to one, would make us useless and our
purpose unreachable. Instead, we should hope for learning, for
growth, for becoming more than we currently are, as painful as
that can be sometimes.

That doesn't mean all chaos is good, any more than all order is
good. Every change holds within it seeds both of growth and pain,
of advantage and disadvantage. And times of order degrade over
time, taking what had been good to simply what is, and often what
is bad. Chaos and order are both good and bad, depending on what
is done with the opportunities, not the fact of order or chaos

Order however, is much more comfortable than chaos. We crave
order, security, comfort. Even when the order is obviously not
serving the people involved, it is still quite difficult to take
the risk of chaos and make changes. When we cannot find order, we
find ways to force order, see patterns, create comfort out of
confusion. We call upon Gods to create order or explain what is,
blaming chaos on divine disfavor. We deny growth because it
scares us, because the potential for growth is always the same
potential as loss.

We must learn to embrace chaos as we embrace order, to accept
that our lives cannot remain pleasantly constant. To understand
that how we deal with change and chaos are the things that truly
define us as people. And to accept that our lives are short, and
not constant, and that to embrace anything in life is to embrace
the fact that it is impermanent.

=====  Questions

  * What are the limits of order?
  * What are the limits of chaos?
  * How do we balance our desire for security with our need for

========= 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:



If you use a lot of programs at once and have to shut them all
down in a hurry, you know what a pain this can be. Click on a
window, click on the close button. Repeat for each window of each
program you are using. Close All Windows is a simple, single
purpose tool that allows you to close all your open programs with
one mouse click. Create a shortcut to the Close All Windows
program in your quicklaunch bar and all you have to do is click
on the Close All Windows icon to shut down all your open windows.

This small utility program works by sending a close message to
each open window, the same message the window would get if you
clicked on its close button. You will still have to deal with any
"Are you sure" or "Do you want to save" dialog boxes that a
program might toss at you when you tell it to close, but Close
All Windows can save quite a bit of time and clicking if you
regularly have 5 or 10 applications open when it is time to pack
it in for the day.

Rating: 4.5
Operating System: Windows
License: Freeware
Price: Free
Version: 1.0
Web Site: http://www.ntwind.com/software/utilities/close-all.html


I received email a few days ago asking if I knew of a program
that would allow one to define groups of network settings to make
it easy to move a laptop between home and office without having
to reconfigure the network settings every time. I donít have a
laptop, so Iíve never experienced this special hell first hand,
but with a bit of searching, I discovered a freeware program, Net
Profiles, that looks like it should turn network hell into
network heaven.

The program description from the Net Profiles web site describes
the program well: "Net Profiles allows you to create profiles of
your network settings, including mapped network drives and
default printers, and lets you easily apply those settings. It
eliminates the need to manually reconfigure your network settings
when you move your desktop/laptop computer to another location
and want to connect to another network."

Net Profiles has the following features:

    * Save you network settings as profiles.
    * Change IP Address, Subnet Mask, Default Gateway, DNS
      Server, WINS Server, etc. with a click of a button.
    * Specify different mapped drives for each profile.
    * Change your default printer based on which profile you're
      currently using.
    * Automatically change you profile via shortcuts created with
      Net Profiles.
    * Quick List window, a compact interface for selecting
    * Change Internet Explorer proxy settings.
    * Change the default homepage for Internet Explorer.

As far as I can tell, this small program only has a couple of
drawbacks. This program is apparently Windows XP only and
changing the default home page for Internet Explorer did not work
on my system. This might because of changes made in IE 7 or it
might because I have my XP system locked down tightly against
just such changes -- as they are usually made by malware or rogue
websites. The program hasn't been updated since 2004, but that
doesn't mean much as it does its job well.

Rating: 4.5
Operating System: Windows XP
License: Freeware
Price: Free
Version: 1.2
Web Site: http://netprofiles.danielmilner.com/index.php


Many Windows programs (e.g. CuteFTP, CoffeeCup Free FTP, VNC,
IncrediMail, Outlook Express, etc.) require passwords and will
save them so you donít have to enter them every time. Of course,
if you entered them last six months ago, you probably do not
remember them now. There are a number of programs that will
reveal these passwords, but Asterisk Logger is one of the most
useful if you need to record a lot of stored password (before you
reformat the machine, for example) as Asterisk Logger will
automatically store the information it finds on a
program/password combination in a log file. All you have to do is
use your password protected programs and it will log every hidden
password it sees and will allow you to save this information as
an HTML file or a text file.

While this program will reveal most program passwords, not all
programs hide their password in a standard way -- Asterisk Logger
cannot see passwords from those programs (some examples: Netscape
6.x and Internet Explorer (Passwords in the Web page), dialup and
network passwords in Windows 2000, Windows NT/2000/XP user
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========= From the Spell Grimoire:
========= Broom House Purification


    * tree branch
    * brightly colored long-stemmed flowers
    * string or thread


Before dawn, take a branch from any tree. Thank the tree for its
gift and leave a coin or semi-precious stone at its base in
payment. Next, obtain several brightly colored flowers on long
stalks. Tie these flowers to the branch to fashion a sort of
broom, then sweep the floor in every room of the house,
visualizing the flowers of the broom absorbing negativity and
"evil" as you work. Then, still before sunrise, leave the broom
at the crossroads. Traditionally this ritual is repeated at the
first of each month.

=== 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 LyricFox

 Adapted from Cooking Light

=== Ingredients


2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced


3 cups water
1 cup dried green or brown lentils
1/2 cup chopped carrot
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 thyme sprig
1 rosemary sprig
1/2 cup canned tomatoes, drained, rinsed and chopped
1/3 cup chopped pitted black olives
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped green onions (white and green parts)

=== Directions:

To prepare dressing, combine first 8 ingredients, stirring with a

To prepare lentils, combine water and next 5 ingredients (water
through rosemary) in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover,
reduce heat, and simmer 18 minutes or until lentils are tender.
Drain; discard thyme and rosemary. Place lentil mixture in a
large bowl; stir in tomato, olives, parsley, and onions. Pour
dressing over lentil mixture; toss to coat.

Yield: 6 servings

=== 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

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===== Have Questions or Suggestions?

If you have specific questions, proposals or other ideas we
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isn't said here.)

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

Cauldron and Candle is a free publication of The Cauldron: A
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