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Cauldron and Candle
Issue #88 -- October 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 #88 -- October 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
[01] Cauldron News
   * Fall Story Contest Winner: A Harvest Home
[02] Interesting Recent Cauldron Discussions
   * Coven Experiences?
   * To Initiate or Not to Initiate?
   * Clergy (and Others) as Intercessors
   * Alex Sanders -- What Do You Think?
   * Ethics & The Use of Magic
   * Famous Curses from Fiction
   * Cleansing and consecrating sacred space
   * What Do You Wish You Hadn't Read?
   * Psychedelics and the Astral?
   * Animism and Fluffiness
[03] Articles
   * History of the Origin of the Tobas
   * Who Sings Now? II
   * Reading Tarot Cards - Accuracy
   * Spiritual Gardening
[04] Flamekeeping: Misfortune
[05] Software Gadgets: The Column
   * Eusing Free Registry Cleaner
   * ScholarCite - Create Standards Compliant Bibliographies
   * IcoFX — Powerful Freeware Icon Editor
[06] Grimoire: Job Interview Spell
[07] Recipe: Jack-o-Lantern Cheese Ball
[08] Support The Cauldron
[09] Newsletter Information
(Including How To Subscribe/Unsubscribe)

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Welcome to the October 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 editorial is extremely short this month because ragweed and
cedar are making my sinuses miserable. By next month, hopefully,
at least one of these two will no longer be in the air.

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

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

===== by Aisling

[This story is the winner in our Fall Story Contest. You can see
the other finalists here:


and congratulate Aisling on her winning story here:


but now, on with the winning story....]

Elizabeth Stephens gazed across the newly reaped fields and
silently observed the comings and goings of Liberty's annual
harvest festival. Even at a distance, she could still pick out
individual community members as they gathered in celebration.
Sally's long red hair glowed like burnished copper and fire and
Andrew's six foot five inch frame towered over everyone else.
Susanna, her stepdaughter, moved slowly and deliberately, the
final weeks of pregnancy taking their toll on her delicate frame.
Soon enough the new resident would join Liberty's small
population, giving cause for more celebrations.

Turning away from the festivities, Elizabeth let her gaze wander
over the small, tidy cemetery. She gathered tufts of bearded
grass as she slowly circled its perimeter, deftly weaving them
together as she went. Satisfied with her handiwork, she laid the
finished wreath on a small, unremarkable headstone engraved
simply "Michael James Stephens, 1831-1872." She picked up a wooly
worm that was making its way across the grey stone and deposited
it on a nearby oak tree, biding it luck in the coming winter.

"Hello Michael," she sighed, returning to the gravestone. She
passed a gentle kiss to her fingertips and touched the carved
name, which remained cold and unresponsive under the warmth of
her hand.

"I've come to say goodbye one last time, my dearest. Liberty was
your home, not mine. Now that you're gone, there's no reason for
me to remain. It's time for me to move on now."

Her own words startled her. It was the first time she'd given
voice to those thoughts. She'd often considered leaving since
that awful spring day when Michael had collapsed in the middle of
sowing the fields. There had been no warning signs that anything
might be amiss. Elizabeth had spent far too many hours mentally
reliving those last weeks together, looking for some indication
that all had not been well. Her knowledge of medicine and illness
was better than many country doctors thanks to a lifetime working
at the side of her father, a physician, and a few too brief years
learning herbal remedies from her mother. Still there was nothing
to be found, no warning signs that she'd find herself a widow.
Even if you'd known, could you change it, Eliza, she thought to
herself. This is why you need to move away from this place. You
need to get away from those memories.

"Where will you go?" a voice carried on the wind so softly she'd
scarcely heard it. "Would you return to your own family?"

Elizabeth laughed bitterly at the idea. The terrible war that had
brought Michael into her life had ripped apart her own family and
rendered it unrecognizable. The loving, peaceful home that her
father had strove so hard to create no longer existed. He lay
buried behind the family home, a victim of the stress and
emotional toll of wartime life. Denied a place beside their
parents, her younger brother Andrew rested only a few feet from
Michael. He'd chosen to ally himself with a Union company from
Kentucky when the war started and even in death, remained
unwelcome on his family's lands in the mountains of western North
Carolina. The house they'd grown up in now fell under the control
of their older brother, John, a stubborn, domineering Confederate
officer who had managed to keep the family's property intact
through various political maneuvers. The loving, peaceful home of
their childhood had been replaced by the ironclad authority of an
embittered man intent on destroying all those opposed to him,
including his own flesh and blood.

It wasn't just my family that was torn apart, she reminded
herself as her emotions wavered dangerously close to self-pity.
She recalled the first time she'd seen Michael as he emerged from
the woods behind her family's home, clad in a bloodied Union
officer's uniform and carrying the limp body of a young, rag-clad
Confederate soldier. Michael had risked his own freedom and life
to see the boy safely to the field hospital that was the
downstairs of Elizabeth's family home. Only later did Elizabeth
wrangle a confession from Michael that the boy was his own
younger brother. That moment epitomized the war for her more than
any other had. Conflicting political and social views waged their
own battles against family ties and loyalty in countless
households throughout the country. In her mind, too much had been
lost for either side to claim a true victory.

Elizabeth's own tenacity and stubbornness had convinced Michael
to remain at their home while he recovered from his own wounds.
As her father removed lead shot from Michael's shoulder, he
explained that they'd quietly helped many Union soldiers,
secreting them throughout hiding places in the house, just as
they'd hidden runaway slaves for so many years. When her father
remarked that he hoped his own sons would be shown the same
kindness if they found themselves victims of the conflict,
Elizabeth fought back tears. Even as he fought against his own
pain and cares, Michael had managed a smile of sympathy and gazed
at her compassionately. In spite of the surreal and bloody
circumstances of a field surgery in the fading twilight of a
hidden attic space, Elizabeth felt some small sense of normalcy
and humanity for the first time since the war had begun. She'd
never found the words to thank Michael for that.

She found other words in the following weeks as Michael recovered
first from his wounds and then a subsequent infection that left
him bedridden. As the fighting moved away from the area and the
wounded Confederate soldiers began to take their leave, she found
herself with more time to spend tending to him. Countless hours
passed as they shared stories of their childhoods and their
shared concerns for the future of their families and country.
Elizabeth explained away their time together as merely an act of
kindness, but when Michael had recovered sufficiently to leave,
she found herself tearfully pleading with him to remain.

"Hush," he'd whispered as they stood at the edge of the woods,
hidden in the deepening shadows of twilight. He brushed away her
tears and pressed his lips to her forehead. "I won't forget the
seeds of friendship sown here. I promise to return, but there are
other things I must tend to first."

Michael had been true to his word, returning a few weeks after
the surrender had been signed at Appomattox Court House. To
Elizabeth's delight, Andrew accompanied him, untouched by the
war. She closed her eyes tightly, trying to drive out the
memories. A day that had been filled with relief and joy had so
quickly turned horrific and haunting. Only moments after the two
men arrived, John stormed outside to where they stood, bellowing
hatefully that he would not abide having any Union sympathizer in
his home. Unable to contain his fury at his sibling's alleged
betrayals, John had turned on them with loaded pistols, killing
Andrew on the front steps of their childhood home. Unable "to
shoot a woman, even a stupid, disloyal one" as he described her,
John had thrown Elizabeth bodily from the porch, cursing her in
every manner he could muster and turning her out of the only home
she'd ever known.

Unable to act and numb from shock, Elizabeth silently submitted
to Michael's insistence that she accompany him to his home in
Ohio. While she had been rendered helpless for the first time in
her life, he arranged the transport of Andrew's body to Liberty
and saw to a proper funeral for the young man. He'd taken her
into his life and home without hesitation, just as Elizabeth's
family had taken him into their own.

"This is your home," the breeze whispered, tugging at strands of
her dark hair. "Tend to the seeds you've planted here."

"I have," she replied aloud, tears threatening to spill from her
eyes. "Michael and I… I've reaped my harvest, winter approaches."

The saying had been a favorite of Michael's, muttered whenever
something had been finished. She had reaped the seeds they'd
planted, living for seven years as his wife and raising his
daughter as her own. They'd never managed children of their own,
but Susanna was enough for Elizabeth, an endearing child who
grown up in front her eyes. Perhaps the common bond of losing a
mother at too young an age had brought them close initially, but
over the years, they'd grown to be a family. Now that Susanna was
grown and Michael gone, there was nothing left to hold her to

She looked across the fields as strains of music carried on the
wind intermingled with the dry rustling of leaves. In the winter
after she'd arrived in Liberty, she'd taught Michael's nephew to
play fiddle and it was his music that now drifted toward the
hushed cemetery. A new father himself, he'd asked her to teach
his children when they were old enough. Someone else will have to
do it, she thought firmly. They don't need me for something as
trivial as music lessons.

"Who will help take care of the Widow Adams if you go? Who will
bring her meals when her rheumatism leaves her unable to walk?"
the wind whispered insistently at her. "Who will teach Michael's
grandchildren poetry and art? Who will tell them about the kind
and gentle soul he was? Who will tend to this grave and to the
roses his own mother held so dear? Who else here can prepare
herbal remedies? Who will take care of the sick? Who will be the
community's midwife? Who pray to the gods every day for the
safety and happiness of this little community? Who else will
treat every citizen here with kindness and as an equal and
friend? Who else could face life with your courage, Eliza? Who
else could tend to all the seeds you've planted? What home is
there for you, if not this one?"

The questions tugged at her heartstrings and left a lump in her
throat. Without intending to do so, she'd sown countless seeds
since her arrival here. Every gesture and action that she'd taken
had meaning to someone else here. Simple kindnesses had become
deep and lasting friendships. Michael had not been the only one
here to show her love and she felt a sense of blessing as she
thought of all the people who had welcomed her into the
community. Michael's time had come and gone, but hers still
remained. Fresh tears fell as she thought of the way they'd
rallied around her when Michael died. Even months later, she
wanted for nothing, as there was always someone there to lend a
hand or support.

"Would you abandon all that you know and all those you love just
to avoid the pain of his memory?" the wind wailed as it scattered
leaves around her feet. "Would you leave this community to mourn
not only Michael but your own departure as well?"

No, no I won't, Elizabeth said firmly to herself as she pulled
two apples from her apron. She placed one gently on Michael's
headstone and took a bite out of the other. Savoring the lemony
tart flavor, she set out across the fields towards the harvest
celebration, leaving the dead to their peace. She began to hum
softly in time to the music, thinking of the impending birth of
Michael's first grandchild. So much still remained to do in
preparation, but it would wait until tomorrow. Today was reserved
for thanksgiving and celebration for all the gifts that had been
bestowed upon her and the community. There were many blessings to
be counted even in this year of sorrows and Elizabeth counted the
sense of Michael's presence beside her as the first.

"My harvest is not yet reaped and winter is still far away. Until
then, my home is here," she proclaimed to the wind which sighed
contentedly in answer.

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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

===== Coven Experiences?

Part of the reason I've wandered onto this forum is to try and
find more people to glean information from about the workings of
covens. I've been involved in an open circle for a couple of
years but recently one of my friends and I have decided to form a
small coven. We felt this was really the next logical step in our
paths, where we can learn and practice together, at our pace,
which is a bit faster than that of most of the people in our open

Some info I'm particularly interested in is on degree systems.
We've sort of laid out a degree system that will help us build a
nice solid foundation from which we can grow, and that will help
us stay on track and achieve some definite benchmarks that we've
set for ourselves. The degree system is mostly for that reason
(and I like the traditional aspect of a degree system), not so
much to work as a hierarchy amongst coven members. My biggest
question is, for anyone who has worked in a coven with degree
systems: what sort of criteria had to be met to officially go
onto the next degree? How did you know when you were ready to
move from a 1st degree to 2nd degree?

Any other practical tips for group work would also be

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

===== To Initiate or Not to Initiate?

I have been on a Pagan path nearly three decades now. Life events
and availablity of open covens have kept me in Solitary practice
or at best in the outer Court of covens whom I celebrated with.

I have found a coven willing to intiate me. They are an airplane
ride away, and the understanding is I am getting intiated for the
experience as opposed to becoming a member of their Tradition,
which although has a lot of similarities to my own practice, also
is missing major part of my path which are inherent to my

I do know that no matter the reasons for my being accepted for
initiation, I will have to confront and deal with my Shadow Side
as a result of follwoing this course of action. The idea of
dealing with the issues I have not dealt with so far in my shadow
work is to say the least a bit frightening for me. And acceptance
of this work wil be necessary if I am to progress forward with
this choice.

If I decide to move forward, the event will happen in about a

So, I waffle between yes, I want to do this; and no, what's the
point, I am way beyond first degree work anyway.

If you were in my place what would your choice be and why (or why

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

===== Clergy (and Others) as Intercessors

In the What is clergy? thread, an idea that came up a few times
is the rejection of the role of "clergy as intercessor" and
affirmation that we can talk to and experience the gods
ourselves, without need of a "priest" of any kind.

However, traditional cultures often have a place for spiritual
professionals (shamans and so forth) whose job is very much
intercessory, relaying messages from the spirits and interacting
with the spirits on behalf of others. In the pagan community,
people often consult respected diviners for guidance and
assistance in determining what course of action is likely to be
most spiritually appropriate or rewarding. While an intercessor
isn't seen as necessary in the Pagan community, it seems it is
often desired and perceived as useful. What is your take on this?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

===== Alex Sanders -- What Do You Think?

What does everyone think of Alex Sanders? Right after Gerald
Gardner he is probably the next most important name in Wicca, the
father of the Alexandrian Tradition which is the only other
tradition besides Gardner's that is accepted as "British
Traditional Wicca." Contrary to what some sites say, it was not
named for him, but rather the Library of Alexandria (Egypt),
which apparently was at one time a literal treasure trove of
esoteric knowledge.

I have done some reading and have more books on the way however I
did not know how he was viewed in general by the general pagan or
Wiccan communities. It seems like he was one of the first (or
THEE first) people to incorporate Wicca into the greater Western
Magickal Tradition by incorporating types of ceremonial magick
and Qabalah (among other things) into Wiccan practice. This is
something that it seems like a lot of modern covens do but by
most accounts it seems like he was the first to break the mold,
so to speak.

Of course, there is a bit of controversy surrounding him,
regarding claims he made about being a hereditary witch (from
what I understand he later admitted these were false), and also
how he obtained his Book of Shadows which was apparently pretty
similar to Gardner's.

Either way, from most accounts it seems like he was a genuine
clairvoyant and worked magick that was quite real, so I was
interested to hear your opinions on one of Wicca's more
controversial figures, though to be fair, most are a bit
controversial regardless. I am particularly interested since a
couple of my favorite books about Wicca are written by his
personal students (Stewart & Janet Farrar) and he did apparently
leave the Craft under uncertain circumstances, though from what I
understand his famous high-priestess Maxine Sanders still
practices and actually has her own book (her second?) coming out
in November.

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

===== Ethics & The Use of Magic

The Hex thread touches on ethics and the use of magic... what's
considered appropriate under what circumstances, what guidelines
we as individuals use in choosing to use magic, and what limits
we place on ourselves magically. It seems to me the subject
deserves its own thread, so here it is!

Let's look at this from the standpoint of teaching someone young
and new to magic.

* If you were the teacher, would you include ethics in your

* Do ethics even have a place in magical practice?

* What ethical principles, rules, and guidelines are important in

* What ideas are nice guidelines, but not really rules to live
by, in your opinion?

* What should be magically taboo, if anything? Are there
circumstances when a normally taboo spell might be acceptable?

* What words of wisdom would you give to a novice in helping them
make decisions about what is ethical and appropriate?

* Related but not directly about ethics, is there an appropriate
escalation of action or spells when dealing with a problem? Is
there a specific sequence of steps that you take when confronted
with a problem?

* If you are young and new to magic, what questions or concerns
do you have about ethics as they relate to magic use?

These are just a few questions to get everyone thinking. Please
add others to the thread as you think of them.

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

===== Famous Curses from Fiction

In honor of the late, great Luciano Pavarotti, I was listening to
a recording of my favorite opera, Verdi's Rigoletto, in which
Pavarotti sang the role of the Duke. (It's an amazing
performance, BTW.) A curse sets the action in motion for the
opera, and that (along with something I'm writing) got me

...In what other famous works (books, movies, art, opera,
whatever) do curses figure prominently?

Aside from the aforementioned Rigoletto, Tolkien's Silmarillion
has the Doom of Mandos that was pronounced on the Noldor. And
doesn't Alberich curse the ring in Das Rheingold? Is that just in
the opera, or is that part of Norse mythology?

And, in a separate but related category, there are famous curses
in religion. (It would be wrong to call it "fiction," since to
somebody somewhere it's truth...or else it wouldn't be religion.)
I'm not familiar enough with the Judeo-Christian bible to know
offhand, but I'm sure there are some major curses in there. And
all those Greek myths where someone is "cursed by the gods"!
(Sisyphus, Narcissus, and Prometheus qualify, I believe.)

I'm particularly interested in works where the curse isn't some
ambiguous condition, but rather something that someone actually
utters against someone else.

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

===== Cleansing and consecrating sacred space

I am disabled with a severe spine disease which at times leaves
me unable to move by myself for some time. Generally I can move
about on my own but have had to curtail many activities that I've
enjoyed all my life such as horseback riding and snowshoeing
amongst others. I have four grown daughters the youngest just
starting college this year.

I have a couple of questions which I hope someone can answer for
me. I have read 14 books which I am told are considered to be
very good amongst the mountains of them available. I will just
mention a few to give an idea of what knowledge I have so far
acquired. I have read Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler, The
Spiral Dance and The Earth Path by Starhawk,A Circle of Stones by
Erryn Rowan Laurie,Bucklands Complete Book of Withcraft, A
Witches Bible by the Farrars, and A Witch Alone by Marian Green.
I have gotten a great deal out of these and the rest I have read
but they have left me with many questions, two of which I need
answered, I feel, in order to go on. I will most likely remain
solitary due to personal preference and my disability. I feel it
might not be possible to due my rightful share in a group due to
my disabiltiy.

Question 1: Is there a set amount of time I should continue book
reading and studying before I can start to do small things such
as asking for help with things I don't understand as well;and
creating,cleansing, and consecrating sacred space and tools?

Question 2: I realize that some things will have to be adapted
because of my disability but I am unsure what and how to adapt.
Like in cleansing and consecrating sacred space. All the books
say that you need to throughly scrub the whole room where you
will be creating your space. Okay, I can do some, like windows
and vacuuming(maybe) but can not do the ceiling and walls as
suggested. If I did that I would be laid up for some time. How
can I get around this and still have it all be okay?

I am not just skimming these books I have been studying them and
continually going back and re-reading things I don't get so easy
until I do. I have never been in a rush to do anything in life
for the most part. I have always been more concerned with getting
something right over getting it done quick. I really feel I am
ready for more than just studying now although I will continue of
course to study and learn always. It's just a part of who I am to
study, I have all my life.

I would greatly appreciate any and all thoughts on this matter as
well as suggestions to more worthy reads. I have read most of
what I have and will be wanting to order soon.

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

===== What Do You Wish You Hadn't Read?

As inspired by the "What are you not reading" thread.

That thread is all well and good when you have advance notice of
a book's awfulness. But what if you were halfway through before
its awfulness became apparent?

... you were required to read it for work or school?

... you were lured by a deceptive cover or description?

... you read it to see if it really was that awful?

... you were deeply, horribly let down by the ending?

This is the thread for you.

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

===== Psychedelics and the Astral?

What are people's thoughts on using psychedelic drugs as way into
"astral" planes or divine experiences? There are tons of
religions/cults that have used hallucinogenic plants for ages. Is
this true divinity? And what about, for example, LSD, which is
not "natural" but made entirely in a lab? What about people who
practically worship these substances as the way to truth and god?

I have mixed feelings about using psychedelics for spiritual
purposes. For me, it seems like a cop out or short cut... and
therefore would not be as rewarding as the real thing. Also, the
matter of choice. You take a drug... and there's no options. Not
options like what your trip will be like, but option as to
whether or not you trip at all. If at any point you want to
*stop* and come back to reality, essentially you can't! That
bothers me a lot. People can do what they wish to. I'm sure
psychedelic experience is a powerful thing, and I believe they
take you into astral planes, but it is no substitute for for
producing the same reaction within yourself on your own.

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

===== Animism and Fluffiness

Animism in some form or another has been around in various
cultures for thousands of years right? The reason I ask is I got
up my nerve to post an answer on this mailing list. Stupid, I
know, and it was an animist response, and one of them basically
equated animism with fluffy bunny territory.

So my question is, animism isn't necessarily a fluffy bunny
category, is it? Not in my humble opinion. But I want to know you

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

========= ARTICLES

===== by Southern Goddess

According to the Toba mythology, women used to live in the sky
and shone with the light emanating from their bodies.  Men used
to live on Earth, but they were not human beings as we know them
today.  They were men-beasts, because they were not born from a
woman's womb.

Men had learned to build houses, cultivate the soil and hunt to
survive. One day, the women decided to come down to Earth, to
walk and taste its fruits collected by the men while the men were
away hunting. When the women lowered themselves down, they did it
using long silver cord.

When the men-beasts returned, they realized that somebody had
eaten all their food. On the next day, they tried to solve the
mystery, and left the man-rabbit so that he could watch the
village, but he fell asleep and he could not say who had taken
the food. Then, they left the man-parrot to watch, who saw the
women from a tree. But when he wanted to approach to see those
beautiful women, one of them threw a stone at him.  She broke the
tip of his beak, so he could not tell his brothers what had

On the next day, a man-bird was watching and saw the women, who
were coming down from the sky.  He flew and cut off the cords and
the women who were underneath the cut, fell down to the Earth and
those who were above, returned to the sky.  The man-bird called
his brothers, and when they saw the women from the sky, they were
fascinated by their beauty and the light and the fire of their
bodies. Then the man-fox took one of the women to mate with her,
but he returned after a short time, crying, shouting and touching
the lower part of his body. When his brothers asked what had
happened to him, the man-fox told them that the woman had bitten
him.  She had teeth in her vulva, so, she had hurt him.

Once again it was the man-bird who had the solution. He invited
the women to sit in a circle with crossed legs and their vulvas
with teeth down to the ground. Then he took some flames from the
women and made a bonfire with it and he and his brothers started
to dance for the women. All the man-beasts danced striking down
to the ground with their feet, shaking the Earth.  They danced
all night long until the next morning, when they got tired.  In
that moment, the women approached the men and went with them,
leaving all the teeth on the ground where the women had been
seated. Since then, the women of the sky and the men of the earth
could be together and have children, who were born like human
beings, just like us, because they were born from a woman's womb.

Those who were able to escape are still living beneath the stars.
But one of them remained near to the Earth to protect her
sisters.  She is Aquehua, the goddess-Sun who walks every day
trough the sky. Sometimes, her steps are fast and light, like a
maiden, then the days are shorter and not so warm. Sometimes, her
steps are slow as the walking of an old woman, and the days are
longer and warmer because Aquehua crosses the sky slower. And
like many other goddesses of the world and the universe. Aquehua
has a cycle during which she goes from young girl to old lady and
from old to young again, and she will continue doing this until
the end of times.

=== About the Author

Copyright (c) 2007 Southern Goddess

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===== By Entwife

The Waters singing their liquid, ever-rolling song
drip from every leaf,
drop along a darkening Stone, and
roll like rushing white arms
embracing the Shore.
carrying the Song...

A flash of color...
a quiet hum...
Keeping His own beat
upon a quicksilver drum.
Appearing like thought,
first here
then there...
Weaving in,
and drumming

"Is this Dream
...or Waking?
Which do you choose?
What does your heart follow...
and what do you loose? "
Thrumming wand of magic,
little flash of light,
"Look within my mirrored eyes
to set Thy World aright...
Every color of the rainbow is at thy command,
Physican heal thyself!"
Does this Singer demand.
"Change is the only constant..."
hums half-forgotten tunes,
"and Change comes from within!",
He intones...
..."All of this seems familiar?!
Well, then, where on Earth have you been?!"

Who Sings Now?


"We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams..."~
Arthur O'Shaughnessy

"We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts, we make the world." ~ Buddha

"Reality leaves a lot to the imagination." ~ John Lennon

Dragonfly would agree with all of these statements! When we
examine this Guardian of Dreamtime, we see that He lives in both
Air and Water and that he has mastered the art of Transformation
evident in his change from nymph to Dragonfly. He needs the
running Waters of the World to breed and survive, just as we need
to learn to navigate the deep waters of our own emotions. These
aspects make him very versatile, changeable, and aware of the
many needs of both Mind and Heart. He teaches us how to break
through the illusions of self and material world to reach the
Truth inside each of us, sometimes seen only in our Dreams.

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."
Albert Einstein

"No man will be found in whose mind airy notions do not sometimes
tyrannize, and force him to hope or fear beyond the limits of
sober probability." Samuel Johnson

"Did you ever wonder if the person in the puddle is real, and
you're just a reflection of him?" ~Calvin and Hobbes

If you are feeling overwhelmed by emotion and need to step back
to find some clarity, if you are struggling with transition or
addiction of any sort, if you have fooled yourself into thinking
something was "real" only to find it was wishful thinking...
Dragonfly can help you. He challenges us to look at ourselves
clearly, face what needs changed in our selves or lives, and then
impliment the change. He loves best for us to see clearly through
both Light and Shadow, Reality and Illusion to the illumination
Truth. "Things are seldom how they appear on the surface!" He
says, "Dip through the Veil." Dragonfly can help us make our
Dreams into Reality, but he cautions us to Know Thyself and
Accept Truth first.

This little Magician is like a living Wand as he flashes his
bright colors through the air. And like the Magician of the
Tarot, Dragonfly tells us that we already have all the tools we
need at our hands, we merely need to learn to recognize and
properly employ them. "Listen and learn from the World you are a
part of", hardly seems like advice. In fact, much of what
Dragonfly can say to us sounds so familiar that we wonder why we
are hearing something that we already knew. This is usually when
Dragonfly laughs at me and says, "Well then, if you already know
all this...why aren't you using that knowledge?" He especially
chastizes me when I look outside of myself for reasons why
something has gone wrong in my life. It is so easy to put
negative thoughts and feelings off on someone or something else
that this is an aspect I struggle against quite often. Gently
humming Dragonfly can help us to better navigate our emotions,
especially in times of stress or trauma.

"Let's not forget that the little emotions are the great captains
of our lives and we obey them without realizing it." Vincent Van

"The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keeps out
the joy." Jim Rohn

"When a wise man is advised of his errors, he will reflect on and
improve his conduct. When his misconduct is pointed out, a
foolish man will not only disregard the advice but rather repeat
the same error." Buddha

Do you wonder why you always seem to attract a certain kind of
person? Whether negative or positive, Dragonfly shows us that we
attract these people because they are reflecting back to us some
aspect of ourselves. As Carl Jung said, " Everything that
irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of
ourselves." Change especially from within, Enlightenment,
Recognizing Illusion whether it comes from within or without,
Realizing Dreams, Transforming Ourselves, Releasing Addiction,
Combining Emotion with Rational Thought, Avoid Blame and Accept
Responsibility are all Dragonfly Lessons.

"I think it ticks God off when you walk by the color purple in a
field somewhere and don't notice it." ~ Alice Walker

"Be though the rainbow in the storms of life. The evening beam
that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with prophetic
ray." Lord Byron

Ted Andrews, author of "Animal-Speak: The Spiritual and Magical
Powers of Creatures Great and Small", said, "Dragonflies remind
us that we are light and can reflect light in powerful ways if we
choose to do so. "Let there be light" is the divine prompting to
use the creative imagination as a force with your life." We are
what we believe, what we think and feel, and this reflects on
those around us. We can spread our feelings, thoughts, and
beliefs to others without even consciously choosing to do so!
Dragonfly asks us to be aware of this, to see clearly, and to
reflect gently back upon the World. Dragonfly also speaks to us
about the importance of color in our lives. It is prooven that
certain colors prompt specific emotions.

For example, Red is often seen as an angry aggressive color, but
pastel pink is very cool, soothing, and passive. Brown is earthy,
green is vibrantly healthy, and blue is calming. Different colors
can mean different things to any given individual, of course. Red
could symb olize passion and the blood of Life, but it could also
symbolize that same life lost in the red flood of Death and War.
Dragonfly recommends that you examine the Colors in your life.
Are you perhaps longing for new horizons and adventures, but
wearing very boring drab colors? Perhaps you don't long for those
changes as much as you think! It's a good idea to take a look at
what each color means to you and how you use it in your own life.
I know that when I am starting a new job, for example, I always
feel better if I am in clothing that is not only comfortable, but
in colors that soothe me and promote my confidence as well.

"Only in quiet waters do things mirror themselves undistorted.
Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world." ~ Hans

"There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart's
desire. The other is to get it." ~ George Bernard Shaw

"People spend too much time finding other people to blame, too
much energy finding excuses for not being what they are capable
of being, and not enough energy putting themselves on the line,
growing out of the past, and getting on with their lives." ~ J.
Michael Straczynski

In Buddhist philosophy Addiction/Desire/Clinging/Delusion are all
double edged swords. Even something good can become a negative
thing if we don't see it clearly or cling too hard to it. In
moderation, Love is beneficial for example, but if we are
allowing others to beat or abuse us simply because we don't want
to loose their "love"...we are addicted to our own illusions of
what Love is or should be. "What do you really loose by letting
go of those things you are Addicted to or Deluding yourself
over?" He asks. Dragonfly teaches us to break through our self-
imposed Illusions and make our best Dreams a reality. By looking
into His mirrored eyes, we can see more deeply into ourselves.
How does Dragonfly appear in your life?

"There is a fine line between dreams and reality, it's up to you
to draw it. " B. Quilliam

"An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied
propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it."
~ Mahatma Gandhi

"Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible. I
think it's in my basement... let me go upstairs and check." ~
M.C. Escher

=== About the Author

Entwife has posted a number of these Animal Teacher poems on our
message board. Members try to guess who the teacher is from the
poem. When someone successfully guesses, Entwife adds the
commentary. Entwife hopes to publish the entire collection in an
expanded form in a book in the future.

===== by Marilyn

People expect certain things of a tarot reading, accuracy being
the most important. The problem is there are different levels of
accuracy achievable, according to the question, the spread, and
the situation.

Most people are familiar with self-fulfilling and self-negating
prophecies. These are predictions that can be fulfilled or
negated simply as a consequence of being made. Being aware of
certain possibilities allows one to take control of the situation
and change the outcome. While this does not invalidate the
reading, and indeed is an example of its usefulness in practical
terms, taking control and changing things does make the outcome
of the reading retroactively inaccurate.

Most readings have a certain amount of such changeability built
in, especially when they are done on a purely personal level. The
future predicted in the cards is essentially the future of what
is already in motion, the trend or pattern the querent is
following in their life. The knowledge gained by doing the
reading (or having it done) allows the querent to change the
pattern and alter what would have been the outcome if not

Not all futures are so easily affected, however. The above
example, while common, is really only that clear-cut in a
completely personal reading, where the situation is affected and
controlled by the querent alone. Most of the time situations
being read involve more factors and variables than that. While
this makes for more complicated readings, it also makes for more
accurate and less alterable predictions. This shifts the focus
from changing the future to preparing for it.

When there is a third party involved in a reading, the level of
accuracy will change. The third party's trend or pattern is
unlikely to change simply because the querent is made aware of
it, therefore short-term future predictions are likely to remain
accurate. If the third party is brought in on the reading, or the
querent discusses the reading with him/her, then we are back to
alterable events. Similarly, if the querent allows the new
knowledge to change the way they interact with the third party,
events can be changed or at least influenced.

What it comes down to, essentially, is the querent's level of
control in any given situation. Personal actions and
relationships shift and take new forms, 'creating' new futures on
the spot. Things that will go a certain way if unexamined become
malleable and subject to change and, hopefully, improvement once
examined through the cards. The great majority of readings I do
are of this nature, and the spreads are guides to understanding
and influence, rather than outright predictions.

The larger and less controllable the situation being read, the
more stable the predictions. While an analysis of personal
relationships tends to bring up many possibilities for change, an
analysis of, say, employment possibilities, does not. The trends
are larger; what is 'in motion' in the job market has more
inertia behind it. A reading can give advice about skills to
encourage, geographical area to search in, even specific
businesses to apply to. What it will not do is change the market.
Predictions in this kind of reading can be worked with and
prepared for. The querent can add a skill or re-write a resume,
they can shift their focus to a different branch of their
preferred profession - they cannot, usually, create an opening
that does not exist. Accuracy on this level can be frustrating
because it doesn't give the querent what he or she wants, but it
is also useful in marking a path that the querent can follow for
the most beneficial result.

Health readings tend to fall somewhere in between these two
categories of readings. While many things are under the querent's
control, there are larger forces at work as well. Genetic or
environmental pre-dispositions to certain diseases can be read
accurately, but the way the querent deals with the information
can change the outcome. A health reading that brings up bone
problems, for example, can cause a querent to pay more attention
to their calcium levels. In some cases this can prevent some of
the problems, and in others it can delay them. If the problems
show up in the reading, however, they are already in motion in
some sense and will manifest eventually. The degree of severity
can often be affected by having the reading, which is, again,
where the usefulness lies.

Death is another in-between subject. Warnings of accidental death
will almost always become self-negating prophecies, but
predictions as to the cause of one's eventual demise have more
inertia. If heart problems run in your family, a prediction that
you will die of a heart attack will come as no surprise. Taking
pre-cautions can prevent this prediction from coming true, but
taking care of one-self is a life-long commitment, and therefore
the 'trend' of heart healthy living acquires as much weight as
the trend of genetic pre-disposition to heart trouble. The
strength of the prediction must be matched by the strength of the
will to change it. Such a large event, in motion basically from
the moment of birth, is subject to accurate prediction, but the
personal control of the querent also comes into play. In the case
of the prediction of the death of a third party, however, the
amount of control that can be exerted by the querent is much,
much less.

It becomes important, when doing readings for others, to be able
to recognize the level of accuracy one can expect. As a general
rule of thumb, the more control the querent has over the
situation being read, the less 'cut-and-dried' any predictions
are. The less control he/she has, the more objectively accurate
the predictions. The future is being written constantly, and the
patterns and trends of it can be changed to greater and lesser
degrees. Awareness can make a great deal of difference in the
pattern of one's personal future, but the further away or larger
the situation, the less changeable the patterns become.

To know the difference between a changeable situation, and one
that should be prepared for, is very important in guiding a
querent. To be able to explain this difference is equally
important. After all, the goal is to help. A reputation for
accuracy is good, but a reputation for usefulness will take you
much further. To achieve both often requires a willingness to re-
do a reading after discussion, to see if the querent's new
direction will lead to where they want to go. Acknowledging that
the future can be both predicted and changed, and understanding
why, is essential to being able to read accurately.

=== About the Author

Marilyn is a professional Tarot Reader and a member of the
Message Board staff at The Cauldron.

===== by Bob Makransky
===== (excerpted from the author's book Magical Living)

The time when humankind decided to move from silent knowledge to
reason was the same time it moved from hunting and gathering to
agriculture.  Agriculture was not undertaken because big game had
died off, or any such reason, but rather because humanity wanted
to experiment with thinking, social organization, etc.  The human
and grain gods made a deal at that point to help each other out.
A similar deal was struck with e.g. the bovine god.  Cows, in
return for the loss of a certain measure of freedom (reduction to
the status of property, having their children taken away from
them, etc.), received in return freedom from random predators and
the condition of something to be protected and defended by some
pretty intense little monkey-like creatures.

Similarly, the way back to silent knowledge is through hunting.
However it is possible to apply much silent knowledge to the
practice of agriculture - hence these lessons.  What follows are
some samples of notes I've channeled regarding agriculture.

Q:  How should I control insects and diseases in my garden?

A:  Put three pieces of copal (or any acrid incense, such as
patchouli) in your censer, and waft the smoke towards each
infected plant as you walk down the row.  At the same time, ask
the afflicting agent to please leave your plants alone because
you need them.  You should feel as though the incense smoke is
carrying your thought towards the plants.   It's a good idea to
leave a plant or two (maybe the one or ones at the end of each
row, so you remember) for the insects or disease.  Don't waft
incense at these plants.  Tell the insects or disease that these
plants are for them.  Be nice about it.  Be sincere.  Mean what
you say.  Say it out loud.

Frankincense (or any light, happy incense such as sandalwood) is
used to prevent disease and insect infestations (where copal is
used to cure infected plants).  Waft the incense towards each
plant in turn, sending that plant the wish that it will grow well
and be fruitful.  It is best to be naked when you do this (or any
gardening), simply because that is the most joyous way of doing
it.  This means gardening at night, in the moonlight, so the
neighbors won't see you.

Q:  Will this method work for anyone?

A:  It will work for anyone who believes in it and means what
they are telling the animals or plants.  Actually, the incense is
completely unnecessary.  That's just for you, to help you pay
attention to what you're doing and give you the sense that you're
doing something "magical".  It's the thoughts and desires that
you have and express that are the gist of the matter.

Q:  What do I do about gophers?

A:  Dig out the gophers' burrow and put a trap in it, to trap one
gopher.  It must be a trap which catches the gopher alive and
unhurt.  Take the captured gopher to a cage in a dark, protected
place, and give it food and water every day.  Talk to it gently
when you bring its food and water.  Tell it you won't hurt it -
in fact, you'll let it go - but it must take a message back to
its brothers.

Keep this up (talking gently to the gopher when you feed it)
until you have gained its trust.  This doesn't mean friendship or
petting it, but rather until it knows it has nothing to fear from
you.  How long this takes will depend upon you and the gopher.
When you sense that it is calm (unthreatened) in your presence,
tell it that it and all its brother gophers must leave your
garden and orchard.  Appoint some other place on your land where
you don't care if there are gophers, and tell the captured gopher
that it and its fellows must move to this other place.  If you
want to sweeten the deal, promise that you'll plant sweet
potatoes or beets at this other place just for them.  If you do
make a promise like this, you must keep it.

Then, after repeating this message to the captured gopher for
some days (until you feel it has "understood"), release the
gopher back into its tunnel, bidding it to take this message to
its fellows.

This same method will work for cutter ants.  Stand over their
trail while they are working (it won't work if they can't hear
you), and ask them to please find food in some other direction,
as you need these trees yourself.  Be polite.   One such
treatment should be enough.  If it isn't, repeat the next day,
but ask them why they didn't obey you the first time.  Write down
their answer as you are writing this (by automatic writing).  You
may have to work out some sort of compromise or make a deal with

Q:  What about planting our own bananas?

A:  Bananas are your angels.  Anything coming from them is love -
love - love, from the tenderness of young leaves to happy,
humorous browning splotched leaves, to the spongy, thick, soggy
stems.  And the tall, older leaves.  They all fully participate
in love.  Of all plants, these will give and receive love more
than any other.  Their blessings come down with a gentle, steady
flow of love droplets.

This is why you must always have bananas growing close to
wherever you live (preferably fruiting, not ornamental,
varieties).  If you ever go North at least grow one as a pot
plant.  There is no greater gift you can give to those in the
North than these plants.

Q:  What about Biodynamic techniques?

A:  Yes.  Steiner's techniques as enunciated in his lectures on
agriculture are excellent.  He was a genius, and in touch with
the spirit keepers of agricultural knowledge (as were also the
founders of Findhorn).  However, Steiner's techniques are no more
valid than the ones we are channeling to you; they are merely
more detailed, more specific, and more complex.  A professional
farmer would do well following Steiner.  And anyone who elects to
use Steiner's methods would do better making the formulations
themselves rather than buying them ready-made.  The important
thing is to put one's own, personal vibration into the soil and
plants.  Stirring plain water - joyously - for hours and then
spraying it on the soil or plants is better than using store-
bought formulations and not stirring long enough, or stirring
without a joyous heart.  Everything you do in agriculture should
be done with joy, or else you are better off not doing it at all.
Fortunately agriculture is innately a joyous occupation, so this
isn't hard to do.

Q:  Steiner had a lot of wacky techniques for dealing with weeds,
insects, and disease; but even Pfeiffer and his other followers
admit they don't work.  Why not?

A:  Because they doubt they'd work.  It is your (and Pfeiffer's)
doubt that keeps these techniques from working.  If you had no
doubt whatsoever that they'd work, they'd work.

That's the only reason your rationalist / materialistic world
"works" - that when you turn on a TV, it turns on - is because
you believe it.  If you believed in these techniques with the
same certainty that you believe turning a key in an ignition will
start a car, then they would work.

Q:  How should I graft?

A:  As usual.  However, fill the censer with frankincense (or
sandalwood).  Cense the tree from which the scions are to be
taken.  Tell it that you are sorry to hurt it, but that the twigs
you are taking will become new little trees.  Ask if this is

Cense the scions with the wish that they take and prosper.  Cense
the rootstocks and apologize for hurting them, and tell them they
will be getting new "heads" which are more productive, and that
they will soon be living in the actual earth.  If you feel that a
particular scion or rootstock objects, then don't graft that one.
It wouldn't take anyway.  Then graft as usual, but as you do each
graft talk to the stock and scion and wish them well, that they
may join and prosper and be fruitful.

After grafting, run your hand gently up the rootstock and scion,
and as you do so visualize in your mind's eye the graft taking
and healing, the tree growing from a sapling to a young tree to a
mature tree; and as your hand passes above the top of the scion,
look up and see the mature tree full of fruit.

Then bend down and kiss the graft, with the wish that it will
take and the tree prosper.  Do this with true love and good
feeling.  And then commend the tree to the earth.

=== About the Author

More of Bob Makransky's articles are posted at:

To subscribe to Bob Makransky's free monthly Astro-Magical
e-zine, send an e-mail to:


========= MISFORTUNE
========= 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:


===== Misfortune

Why do bad things happen? Is it karma, a learning experience,
cause and effect, blind chance? Do we deserve what happens to us,
and can we blame others for what happens to them? Religion
standardly tries to answer two questions about misfortune. "Why
does it happen to me," and "How do I deal with it when it happens
to others?"

They're basically the same question, of course. If karma happens,
it happens to everyone. If everything is random chance, then
perhaps there really is no difference between someone on Wall
Street in a business suit and the homeless man outside. The
reasons we believe why misfortune happen affect how we handle the
random chance in our lives, and understanding those reasons
changes everything as to how we deal with it.

We are all affected by the decisions of each other. Much
misfortune in our lives is the result of someone else's action,
whether or not it is meant to affect us. A layoff, a car
accident, relationship issues, all are because of other people's
actions and reactions to what is happening in their lives. We
cannot live unaffected by other people's actions, and to blame
human actions on Fate, or Karma, or Divine intervention of any
sort is to claim to rob all other people of their free will.
Whether or not certain actions are predisposed, at heart we all
are mutually responsible for all things that happen as the result
of human action, and individually responsible for those things we

And of those things that have no human agency? Sickness, genetic
miscues, random natural disasters? Why, we scream at the sky. Who
is at fault? Who can we blame? Unfortunately, there are no good
answers to that, either. Bad things happen through no fault of
anyone, God or Man. And when they happen, simply because of the
way the world works, someone must be affected by that. Good, bad,
or indifferent, when bad things happen, everyone around is
affected. No one can be specially protected or punished. A
perfect world does not exist, would not have created us even if
it did exist, and would never allow the growth that gives us
meaning. Which sentences us all to misfortune and pain, along
with good fortune and joy.

So how do we cope with these misfortunes? Are we merely subject
to the whims of chance, without control over our lives, unable to
plan ahead? Of course not. Our own acts have consequences and
cause changes, and how we act determines how people react to us.
While we cannot control how other people respond to us, we can
and should control how we interact with others, and how we affect
people. What we do returns to us, sooner or later. As we live, so
are we affected by others, trusted or not, loved or not, by how
we behave.

And we have the choice, at all times, to change our actions, to
be more like what we hope to gain. While we still need to reap
the results of previous actions, we are never forced to behave in
a way that has results we no longer want. We are the authors of
our own destinies, and we can change the predisposition of our
future at any time, if we so choose. It isn't easy, but it is
possible. And remembering the possibility removes us from the
role of victim, and gives us the role of author of our own lives.

===== Questions

  * How do you control the way people see you? Do your actions
    match your desired consequences?

  * How can you cope with misfortune with grace and dignity? Does
    that change how the problem feels?

  * Why is it important to realize that we control much of our
    destinies? To realise that we affect the destinies of those
    around us?

========= 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 ask me, the Windows Registry was one of the worst ideas
Microsoft ever had. Collect all the settings for the Windows
operating system and 99% of the the programs you have on your
computer in one huge database file. If anything goes majorly
wrong with the registry, chances are good you will need to
reinstall Windows and all your software. The registry also
collects all sorts of useless material left over from programs
you’ve uninstalled or moved or looked at wrong. (Okay, the
"looked at wrong" is probably a slight overstatement.)

There are many programs that will attempt to remove invalid and
obsolete information from the Windows Registry. Most cost $20 to
$50 — far too much for what they do. Eusing Free Registry Cleaner
is, as the name implies, free. It will scan your Windows registry
for invalid or obsolete information and provide a list of the
problems found and then fix them if you ask it to do so. For
maximum safety, the program makes a backup of the entries before
attempting to fix them. If any changes cause problems, you can
restore any changes made by choosing Restore registry backup.

Operating System: Windows 9X, 2000, XP, 2003, Vista
Price: Free
Web Site:


I probably would have killed for a program like this when I was
in high school and college. Of course, computers filled rooms
back then and I didn’t have one.

From the ScholarCite web site:

    ScholarCite is a free program that helps you write standards
    compliant literature references. ScholarCite is very
    intuitive. Simply fill out some fields, and press “Write”.
    The ScholarCite auto-generator then creates a  bibliography
    entry for your works cited list.

    With ScholarCite, you no longer need to spend time
    researching different standards such as APA, MLA, Chicago,
    Turabian and the Harvard System of Referencing. Furthermore,
    ScholarCite can automatically format the text, so you don’t
    have to remember which parts should be italic, bold or
    underlined. And just in case you need help on how to fill out
    the fields, a HelpBox provides valuable tips.

This is a tiny, fast, and free alternative to some of the
expensive citation programs out there. The install file for this
version is only about 300K. Only one caveat: this is a version
1.0 program.

Operating System: Windows 9X - XP
Price: Free
Web Site: http://www.hollmen.dk/content/view/80/31/


About a year ago, I reviewed SnIco Edit here at Software Gadgets.
It was a nice little icon editor, however, its web site has
disappeared and I’ve recently found an icon editor I like much
better: IcoFX.

From the IcoFX web site:

    IcoFX is an award winning freeware icon editor. It is an all-
    in-one solution for icon creation, extraction and editing. It
    is designed to work with Windows XP and Windows Vista icons
    supporting transparency.

    With a wealth of tools and more than 40 effects at your
    fingertips, there’s virtually no limit to the icons you can
    create. You can convert your favorite images into icons, or
    icons into images. With IcoFX you can extract icons from
    other files, including Windows Vista files. You can easily
    work with multiple files using the batch processing
    capability of IcoFX.

It has a large number of features, including many found only in
the more expensive commercial icon editor programs:

    * Support for Vista icons with PNG compression
    * Create icons for Windows 98 / ME / 2000 / XP / Vista
    * Support for alpha channel
    * Batch processing
    * More than 40 effects, including Drop Shadow
    * Create custom filters
    * Multiple language support (Available translations: Catalan,
      English, German, Hungarian, Japanese, Romanian and Spanish)
    * Resolutions up to 256×256
    * Data types: 2, 16, 256, True Color, True Color + Alpha
    * Extract icons (including Vista icons) from 32 bit exe and
    * Import / export images (transparency also)
    * Many useful drawing tools like brush, line, rectangle and
    * Transparent, Brighten/Darken, Blur/Sharpen tools for
    * Create icon from an image with a single click
    * Adjust the contrast, brightness, hue, saturation,
      transparency and color balance of icons
    * Change the dimension of images
    * Images can be faded using the fadeout dialog
    * Increase / decrease the opacity of an image
    * Easy shadow handling
    * RGB and HSB color modes
    * History of recently opened files
    * Window menu for easy window switching
    * Possibility to store favorite colors
    * Capture image from the desktop
    * Grid for precision work
    * Side bar for easy image switching
    * File Explorer window for easy import
    * Full drag and drop support
    * Sizable preview window
    * Multiple undo
    * Blur the edge of the brush
    * Rotate the image at any angle

Best of all, IcoFX just works — unlike several other freeware
icon editors I have recently tried which could not handle the
simple task of extracting an icon from an executable file and
letting me clean up the alpha-blending so I could have an icon
that looked better on an old button bar program.

Rating: 5.0
Operating System: Windows 98/ME/2K/XP/Vista
License: Freeware
Price: Free
Version: 1.5
Web Site: http://icofx.xhost.ro/

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


    * green candle
    * ten dollar bill
    * green paperclip
    * recent photograph of yourself


Cast your circle. Light the green candle and show both sides of
the ten dollar bill to the flame. Picture yourself impressing the
interviewer with your fitness for the job. Fasten the note to the
back of a photograph of yourself with the green paperclip. Blow
out the candle. Close the circle.

Carry this photo amulet, with the tenspot attached, in your
handbag or wallet during your interviews

=== 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 unknown

=== Ingredients

2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
4 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. solid pack pumpkin
1/2 c. pineapple preserves
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 pretzel rod, broken in half

Decorations: Dark rye bread, red pepper, black olive slices,
parsley sprigs

Assorted crackers

=== Directions

Beat cheeses, pumpkin, preserves and spices in a medium bowl
until smooth. Cover; refrigerate 2 to 3 hours or until cheese is
firm enough to shape. Shape mixture into a round pumpkin; place
on serving plate. Using knife, score vertical lines down pumpkin.
Place pretzel rod in top for stem. Cut 2 small triangles for the
eyes. Small triangle of red pepper for nose. Slice olives slices
in half for the mouth. Cover loosely; refrigerate until serving
time. Serve with crackers.

=== 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
site. If you are active in our message board and have friends who
might enjoy them or have information to contribute, please invite

===== Link To The Cauldron

If you have a web site where linking to The Cauldron: A Pagan
Forum would be appropriate, simply providing a link to this web
site is a big help. Our Link to this Site page explains how you
can do this if you need help or want some simple graphic buttons
to use: http://www.ecauldron.com/linktous.php

===== Donations

As The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum uses as many free services as
possible, our need for money to operate our site is currently
lower than our need for the many items we list above. However, if
you have a few dollars to spare, we would be honored to have your
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Donate via PayPal
Donate via Amazon.com

===== Amazon Purchases

The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum also receives a small percentage
(usually 5%) from most items purchased from Amazon.com when you
go to Amazon.com from one of the links to Amazon on our web site.
If you purchase a lot of books, CDs, and other items from
Amazon.com as many members do, going to Amazon.com through one of
our links when you are going to make a purchase there is a
painless way to help fund this web site.


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
your browser with the above link so that TC gets credit every
time you visit Amazon.com.

To do this in Internet Explorer or Firefox, find Amazon in your
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popup menu which will appear. A dialog box describing your
bookmark will appear. You'll see the standard Amazon url --
probably http://www.amazon.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.

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
bidder enters ebay from an affiliate link (some like how our
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
permission to reprint an article and the editors will do their
best to put you in touch with him or her. The opinions expressed
herein are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily
reflect the views of newsletter, The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum, or
its staff. Publication of an article in this newsletter is not an
endorsement of the authors position or any products and companies
mentioned therein. No one involved in producing this newsletter
has any money to speak of so suing us if you don't like something
we do is a waste of time and money.


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The Cauldron and Candle web site contains information on this
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If you have Pagan friends who you believe would be interested in
Cauldron and Candle please invite them to subscribe. You can
either drop them a note yourself or -- better yet -- send them
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You are also welcome to forward a copies of this newsletter to
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Don't forget that your suggestions for this newsletter are always
welcome, either posted on the message board or via email to
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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