[Cauldron and Candle Illo]


Cauldron and Candle
Issue #101 -- June 2009

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


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C A U L D R O N   A N D   C A N D L E #101 -- June 2009

           A Publication of The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum
                website: http://www.ecauldron.net/
          message board: http://www.ecauldron.net/forum/
         social network: http://ecauldron.ning.com/
             newsletter: http://www.ecauldron.net/cnc/

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In this Issue:

[00] Editorial Notes
[01] Cauldron News
   * TCN: The Cauldron Network Major Changes
   * Phyllis Vega's New Book: Erotic Astrology
[02] Interesting Recent Cauldron Discussions
   * Wicca and Witchcraft are NOT the same thing...
   * Human Nature?
   * The "when and why" of magick?
   * How do you find time for Spirituality?
   * Dealing with Resentment
   * Playing music during candle magick?
   * Your Balance of Elements
   * Ignorance
   * What is UPG?
   * Can Religion Lead You to Error?
[03] Phyllis Vega's Tarot Talk: Tarot Spells
[04] Flamekeeping: Ideals and Reality
[05] Articles
   * The Top 10 Ways To Improve Psychic Abilities
   * Transits by the Outer Planets-Your Windows for Growth
[06] Support The Cauldron with Donations
[07] Support The Cauldron with Assistance
[08] Newsletter Information
(Including How To Subscribe/Unsubscribe)

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Welcome to the May 2009 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 contains news of an important change for The Cauldron
community online. TCN (TC's relatively new social network) has
moved from Kickapps to Ning. Ning has better "social network"
stuff and lacks the spammers who ruined TCN on Kickapps over the
last few months. There's more info in the Cauldron News section.

I'd also like to congratulate Tarot Talk columnist Phyllis Vega.
Her latest book, Erotic Astrology: The Sex Secrets of Your
Horoscope Revealed, has just been published by Adams Media.
You'll find more infomation and a brief review later in this

As usual, I'd like to invite everyone reading this to come by our
message board when you get a chance. You can read our discussions
without registering, but if you want to post you will need to
register a member id. Those who haven't been by don't really know
what they are missing.


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

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

===== TCN: The Cauldron Network Major Changes

The current version of TCN: The Cauldron Network (TC's social
network) is being replaced by a new TCN. The old version on
Kickapps has been somewhat popular, but it has turned out to have
a couple of major disadvantages:

1) The Cauldron's Hosts selected it as a place to store member
pictures, not as a social network. It's a great place to store
pictures, but it is not much as a social Network.

2) It has become a spam magnet over the last couple of months
with random Spammers creating profiles to link spam their web
sites. The Hosts have been deleting an average of three spam
accounts a day there -- and have probably missed some.

The new TCN is set up on Ning and is much more like what you are
expected if you were expecting a social network. The members who
tried the beta love it -- as have members who have moved to the
new service since it was announced on our message board on June

The new TCN is a closed network. Only members of The Cauldron's
message board will be accepted as members. When you sign up, you
will have to give your TC membername and a staff member will have
to approve your membership before you can do anything but look
around. While this procedure is a bit of a pain for all
concerned, it will stop the spammers in their tracks.

You can reach the new TCN at http://ecauldron.ning.com/ -- it
will replace the link to TCN on the menu bar in the next day or
so. The old TCN will remain available (at
http://tcn.ecauldron.net) for a week or so current members can
grab anything off of it they wish to. It is closed to new members
as of now, but the new TCN is open now at:

  * http://ecauldron.ning.com/

You can add a "Latest Activity" feed to your feed reader with
this link:

  * http://ecauldron.ning.com/activity/log/list?fmt=rss

If you would like to discuss this or if you need more information
or if you have problems with the new social network, you can
discuss them in this thread on our message board.

  * http://www.ecauldron.net/forum/index.php?topic=9313.0

===== Phyllis Vega's New Book: Erotic Astrology

Long time friend of The Cauldron (and the Hosts thereof) and
author of this newletter's Tarot Talk column, Phyllis Vega has
just had a new book published by Adams Media:

Erotic Astrology: The Sex Secrets of Your Horoscope Revealed

Publisher's Description:
  Virgos are suckers for roleplaying fantasy games.

  Cancers crave good food and great sex -- but not necessarily in
  that order.

  No wimps need apply for the job of Scorpio's lover.

  In this wickedly informative book, noted astrologer and tarot
  card reader Phyllis Vega reveals how the moon, Mars, and Venus
  affect our heavenly human bodies -- in and out of bed. Part One
  is all about sex, and how the Sun and Mars together determine
  our sexual personalities and rule our sex drives -- for better
  or for worse. Part Two is all about love, and how the Moon and
  Venus influence and illuminate our love natures -- and what
  that means for us sexually. You’ll also learn how to:

      * Find true love and lasting passion by the light of the
      * Determine their Venus, Mars, and Moon signs
      * Please any and all lovers, sign by sign
      * Decide if they are sexually compatible with their partner
      * Experience sexual ecstasy day in and night out, no matter
      what their sign

  Thanks to this book, you will enjoy a sex life that’s out of
  this world!

Phyllis was kind enough to send me a copy of this book. It only
arrived yesterday so I haven't had a chance to do more than thumb
through it. However, this has been enough to discover that the
book is easy to use, easy to understand and, most importantly,
that the descriptions in the book are fairly accurate -- at least
for LyricFox and myself.

While a copy of your natal horoscope would be helpful for use
with this book, Erotic Astrology's tables will allow you to
determine the information you need without a full natal
horoscope. The tables produced the same information as my chart
does -- and should for most people, only those born on a day when
Venus, Mars, or the Moon is changing signs may need the more
accurate one gets from a well-prepared natal chart.

Erotic Astrology: The Sex Secrets of Your Horoscope Revealed
by Phyllis Vega
Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Adams Media, July 2009
ISBN-10: 1605500569
ISBN-13: 978-1605500560
List Price: $12.95
Amazon Link:

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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

===== Wicca and Witchcraft are NOT the same thing...

I'm just cruising around on the web reading various things, and I
keep seeing the terms "Wicca" and "witchcraft" being used
interchangeably. IT DRIVES ME NUTS. And "Witchcraft" being
referred to as a religion, even so far as to call Wicca a
DENOMINATION of the RELIGION of witchcraft. Are you freaking
kidding me??? Personally, the two are very separate paths.
Witchcraft is not a religion, its a magickal art that may or may
not include religion depending on the practitioner. Wicca, is a
religion, and may or may not include a magickal practice. Again,
depending on the practitioner. *sigh* I just want to take a 2x4
to some of these people who start websites dedicated to this
topic and feed people bad information.

Your thoughts?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

===== Human Nature?

What is Human Nature? I see many claims made about it, both
positive and negative (e.g. resentment, rationality, capacity for
love, etc.), but rarely a clear explanation of why or how
something is universally a component of the homo sapien makeup.
Part of this is probably that I parse 'xyz is just human nature'
as 'all homo sapiens share quality xyz (to some degree).

My question is what makes something 'human nature'? What sort of
things are included and why? Does saying that something is human
nature mean that all humans exhibit it? Are those that don't in
some way abnormal? (I'm sure you get the drift.)

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

===== The "when and why" of magick?

In wandering through this section, I noticed a recent post in
which someone who was looking for a magickal "fix" for a problem
got upset when responders also suggested some non-magickal ways
of dealing with it.

This got me thinking that, as we grow in our own practice, we
also begin to gradually evolve our own ways of deciding when to
use magickal means to get something done, when to use mundane
means, and when to use both.

I've seen similar issues pop up on many other sites and in many
other contexts. Sometimes it's just a "Why won't you just give me
what I asked for!!??" tantrum. But it also occurs because notions
of what magic is for, and how it works, differ greatly from
questioner to responder. And this is something newcomers
generally have to struggle with on their own. While it seems like
most beginners' resources (good or bad) make at least some
mention of the moral issue of using magick on a particular
problem, few of them address the pragmatic issues of when and
where magick is likely to be an effective approach to that

I'm sure this subject gets touched upon constantly over at the
advanced discussion board, in the back-and-forth of regular
conversation. But I'm wondering if this board might also be a
good place for a little specific discussion-and-sharing of how we
find our way around these kinds of questions. Such as:

Do you have a "practical philosophy" of when to use magick, or to
recommend that someone else use magick, versus focusing on taking
action in the mundane world?

Do you see magick as being separate from mundane action, or as
being inextricably intertwined with our everyday actions and

Do you see a danger in depending on magick to address any
particular type of issue, to the exclusion of mundane action
(say, for a problem involving health, personal safety, or

How do you figure out where your own most effective and useful
sphere of magickal practice lies? Do you feel that this varies
from person to person?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

===== How do you find time for Spirituality?

I am active duty military, married and have a 2 year old. We're
up at 5am, and are winding down around 8pm. Its very difficult to
find time for what I would LIKE to do in a daily practice. So
far, I'm good if I get to do my mediation, book reading,
journaling and nightly ritual maybe 3x a week. Those of you with
crazy schedules, how do you fit your spirituality into your daily

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

===== Dealing with Resentment

I've been thinking about resentment lately, and realized that I
have a fairly good running tally of everything I resent about
most people I know. I don't let it go...I remember it as evidence
of behavior patterns. It doesn't make me happy. I have recently
started looking toward my faith as a way to deal with this
resentment and nudge me towards forgiveness.

How does your your faith help you deal with your own resentments?
Is the model of a specific deity helpful to you? An aspect of the
life philosophy of your faith? The ever present other?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

===== Playing music during candle magick?

I read that it is bad to play any music while a charged candle is
burning, because it takes away from the energy of the spell.
However, I find that playing music while the candle is burning
brings a wonderful energy to the room and, if anything, would
help the spell.

Your thoughts and opinions?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

===== Your Balance of Elements

I've recently had some spirit journeys suggesting that I should
connect more with the element water. Fire seems to be dominant in
my psyche, so I'm looking for ways to balance them out.

Does anyone else feel that specific elements are dominant and
others are neglected/repressed?

Does anyone work to connect more to an element you have

Has anyone found a way to a balance of elements?

Or do you think one should rather be focused on one element than
have a balance?

Any practical suggestions to connect to elements you neglect?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

===== Ignorance

Something I keep encountering in discussions is a behaviour that
I am interested in Cauldron feedback and perspectives on.
Everyone is ignorant on at least some things. Some people are
what we commonly refer to as willfully ignorant on at least some
things. People's awareness of their ignorance on any given thing
may vary widely or be nonexistent (i.e. they may know they don't
know, suspect they don't know to some degree, or not know that
they don't know). There are a lot of possible combinations here
and a lot of possible ways of engaging them.

The one I see that strikes me as counterproductive and possibly
irrational is to assume that an ignorant person knows that they
are ignorant and that they are willfully so. Comments? Thoughts?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

===== What is UPG?

Unverified (Unverifiable) Personal Gnosis (UPG) is a basis of
many of the posts that are on TC and indeed of many of the
perspectives put by pagans in other settings. My question is what
do we mean by UPG? Is it the same as just saying 'this is my
opinion' with a twist of 'don't challenge me I don't really
understand what I'm saying'? Or, are there particular things that
we are talking about here (dreams, visitations, revelations,
manifestations, etc.)? Where do we draw the line and what do we
really mean.

This is important to me because if we are to grant UPG the place
that we currently do, then I think we need to understand its
limits if it's not to simply degenerate into a cheap way of
presenting unjustified personal opinion as divinely based fact.
To approach it in that way seems to lead to threads where there
is a long list of 'my UPG says...', but with very little critical
discussion or progress on the topic. Essentially it becomes not
so much a conversation or discussion as a group of individuals
stating positions with little reference to each other.

What do others think? What is it and does it actually matter? How
can we examine statements of UPG critically without causing
unwarranted offence (and should we)?

* Read (or join in) this discussion:

===== Can Religion Lead You to Error?

On another forum I frequent, one dedicated to, of all things,
text-based adventure games, a discussion arose in which thread
drift caused it to focus on whether or not religion was bad. Bits
of the Christian bible were quoted with the claim that such
passages seemed to encourage everything from rape to genocide,
and the statement was made that atheism, which has no beliefs,
cannot lead people to action.

The following is one of the responses, and with Crat's
permission, I'm re-posting it here. We've had some recent threads
on the subject of 'evil', but what I found interesting here was
the suggestion that religions, with their embedded systems of
ethics, provide "a necessary control layer on a population".

Do you believe Crat's premise? Does your religion provide ethical
guidance? If not, what guidelines do you use for moral behaviour?

    "Religion is bad"

    Religion is bad in the way that books and cars are bad.
    Thousands are killed as a result of their use, but in
    themselves they are just tools for a legitimate purpose.

    "Religioners are weak"

    My parents love Jesus. They're really smart people and I
    treat this Jesus thing as an amusing idiosyncrasy, like
    veganism or republicanism. Folks very often need to affirm
    the meaning of their lives by identifying with a thing larger
    than themselves. It's probably a positive trait. Tends to
    lead to survival. It doesn't make my parents weak, it just
    means they recognize a specific biological need and
    accommodate it in a relatively harmless way.

    "Religioners are crazys"

    Some people are crazy. Crazy people with religion are crazy
    with religion. If you're handling snakes or denying adults
    their civil rights, your opinion of invisible pink unicorns
    is irrelevant. You're now
    real life roleplaying where it's a hazard to you and/or
    others. That doesn't mean religion is at fault. It means you
    have difficulty distinguishing roleplaying and real life. We
    know a few people like that, don't we?

    I think that nobody knows what's going on, nor what, if
    anything, it means. It can be very very hard to establish
    your own set of principles for correct behavior. Generally
    speaking (unless you concentrate on the silly bits of their
    scripture), religions provide a convenient set of crib notes
    for what's ok and what's not. Overall I think it's not only a
    plus, but really a necessary control layer on a population.
    Without it, people without the skill to develop a socially
    assimilable ethics of their own would tend to generate a
    practical hazard to themselves and others through fairly
    subtle but long-term deeply destructive means.

    For more clever people, religion provides a right-shaped peg
    for an empty slot. It doesn't have to make sense. Making
    sense isn't the point. It's plugging that slot.

    The best example I can provide is my crazy cousin. He used to
    think he was a chicken, and would make a real nuisance of
    himself. Guests would ask us why we didn't have him
    institutionalized, but we'd wind up having to admit "We
    can't. We need the eggs."

    Religion is strange and nonsensical and sometimes scary, but
    we need the eggs.


* Read (or join in) this discussion:

========= Tarot Spells
========= by Phyllis Vega

[Editor's Note: To view these spell layout accurately, switch to
a monospaced font.]

Call them spells, prayers, affirmations, programs, rituals,
visualizations, or mediations. It matters not what name you give
to your magical machinations. The real magic comes from your
ability to focus your personal power, infuse it with your desire
and intent, and then release it out into the universe. When I
work spells I like to use the tools I know best: candles, quartz
crystals and tarot cards. I use the cards to represent the people
and circumstances involved in the situation that I wish to
create. I use the candles to help invoke the goddesses, gods,
entities, or guides that I will appeal to for help in reaching my
goals. I use the quartz crystals to augment my personal power and
direct it outwards.

In tarot divination, the beautiful artwork, rich symbolism, and
archetypal images portrayed on the cards help the reader bypass
the limitations of the individual conscious mind and dip deep
into the collective subconscious for impressions about the past,
present, and future. A similar principal holds true when the
tarot cards are used for spell work. Since the tarot is universal
in scope, the complete spectrum of reality is portrayed by the
symbols on the cards, with every conceivable scenario of
experience represented.

The first step, whether you are personalizing an existing tarot
spell or creating one of your own, is deciding exactly what it is
that you want to accomplish. Next, assemble the tools you’ll need
to complete the spell. Create a proper atmosphere for spellcraft
by preparing yourself and your altar or work area as you would
for any sacred ritual. Set out the various items for the spell.
Center and ground yourself with several deep breaths or a few
moments of quiet meditation. If your spell calls for candles and
incense, light them and then invoke your deities or guides. Study
the cards that represent your desired outcome.

Always speak the words of the spell clearly and with conviction.
Focus on the outcome as if it has already been accomplished, and
then release it out into the universe. As you snuff out the
candles and incense, thank the attending deities for their

The secret to success in spellcraft lies in your facility for
visualizing your goal as clearly as possible and directing your
energy toward it with total concentration. After choosing cards
that portray what you want to achieve, focus your attention on
the tarot’s images. Make up a story based on the scenes depicted
on the cards. Infuse your intent with desire and let it go. Trust
that it is working.

If you are using your tarot cards for divination, spellcraft, and
personal development exercises, you’ll definitely need to own
several different decks. Some spells specify that you should
leave the cards out where you can see them, place them in a spell
box, or carry them around with you for a period of time. Others
may require that you write on them, sew or bind them together, or
even burn, tear, or bury them. Moreover, you may not want to
perform readings with the same cards you’re using for your spell
work. Fortunately, most popular tarot decks are relatively
inexpensive. Also, you can usually find used tarot decks for sale
on eBay, at garage sales, or in used bookstores. Another idea is
to scan or photocopy your deck, and use the printouts or copies
instead of the actual cards in your spell work. The most
important thing to remember when performing any spell is that you
need to believe in what you are doing for it to work. Although
tarot cards and other tools are extremely helpful when performing
a spell, the real magick comes less from the spell’s elements
than from your own power and belief in a successful outcome.
Whenever possible, you should also take action in everyday life
to help your spell along.

=== Lost Pet Spell

Use this spell to help find a lost pet or entice a runaway to
return home.

In the following example “A” is the signifactor, a woman whose
pet cat has run off. The woman and her cat are represented by the
Queen of Wands. The cards used to bring the cat home are: 2) Six
of Cups – nostalgia, renewal of old ties; 3) Strength –
overcoming obstacles; 4) The Star – hope, healing, progress; 5)
Ten of Cups – home, family, happy reunion.

Candle #1 symbolizes attraction and is pink
Candle #2 symbolizes healing and is white
“B” is an herb – in this case catnip
The crystal is rose quartz for love

(candle #1) (candle #2)

=== About Phyllis Vega

Phyllis Vega is a professional astrologer and tarot reader. She
is the author of two popular tarot books, Romancing the Tarot and
Power Tarot (with Trish MacGregor), with a third book,
TarotCraft: How to Use the Cards for Divination, Creative
Visualization, and Meditation currently in the works. Contact
Phyllis via email at pvega@bellsouth.net or through her website
at http://phyllisvega.geocities.com/. Tarot Tarot columns and
other works by Phyllis are archived at

Phyllis Vega's Tarot Talk copyright (c) 2009 by Phyllis Vega. All
rights reserved.

========= 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:


===== Ideals and Reality

We all hold things in our mind as ideals. Things we want, ways we
view the world. It's how we think we see things. And then there's
reality, which frequently has nothing to do with these ideals.
The problem is not that ideals and reality don't match, though.
The problem is finding a way to have a good balance between them.

Ideals are how we think the world should work. They're necessary
for us to function in this world, to actually thrive instead of
just surviving. We look at the world and think of how we think it
should be instead of how it is. We imagine how we would change
things given unlimited power, what we'd remake reality into. And
while they often have nothing to do with reality, this kind of
imagining is not only not harmful, but actually helpful if done

However, one needs to take that ideal into the real world. And
while the actual end-state of the ideal may be impossible, and
certainly should remain up for revision, one should use that
ideal to try and do what one can to bring reality closer to that
ideal. Throwing up one's hands and choosing to do nothing because
the difference is too great is not an answer, it's an abrogation
of responsibility. If the ideal is not only impossible, but also
has no relation to reality, then there's a problem of ideology.

Reality changes in steps. We take our ideal and hold it up
against the choices we have available, and we take the best
option. With some choices, like a choice of mate, we choose that
none of our options are close enough to our ideal, and we choose
to take nothing. And that's good, because while reality never
holds up to fantasy, we must also accept that going with what is
available is sometimes a worse choice than staying with the
status quo.

We have the power to change reality around us. Not merely in the
simple things, like mate and job, but in the big picture. We
change reality by voting, by being activist, by writing letters
and speaking out. (Note: I do not speak here of being activist in
any particular direction. While I have my own ideals, I also
believe we all must question our own inner being to find what
those ideals are). When we do nothing, when we sit silent and let
things go in ways we do not like around us, that is also a
choice. It is saying that reality as it is is close enough to our
ideals that we're going to leave well enough alone. If that is
not what we want to say, then we have to act. And while we cannot
change everything everywhere, all change began in the mind of one
person that looked at a problem and said "I think I can make this

===== Questions:

  * Where does reality seem lacking to you? What would you
    change? What can you make better?
  * Where have you compromised on your ideals? Was it worth it?
  * Where have you stopped thinking in terms of ideals and just
    given up? What questions are you most afraid of asking and

========= ARTICLES

======= by Sharyce Arciaga

Psychic mediums all start off like everyone else because we all
have dormant psychic abilities waiting to be unleashed. The key
to developing psychic abilities is through training and
development of our psychic powers. This can be accomplished in
numerous ways.

This is contingent upon acquiring an ability to remain in a
comfortable, and most importantly, relaxed state of mind and body
that facilitates concentration on the subject or question at
hand. Psychic abilities are no less a skill to be honed than any
other skill or talent that we have to train for. Therefore in the
following paragraphs you will find 10 Ways To Improve Your
Psychic Abilities:

1. Meditation -- As mentioned earlier, a relaxed state of mind
and body is required. The first way to improve your psychic
ability is to implement the regular practice of meditation.
Psychic ability, at it's core, is attuning to the spirit. It is
important here to train yourself to reach your center without
much effort. This will increase your psychic contact with the

2. Take Psychic Classes -- Psychic abilities are not just for the
gifted ones. Psychic classes developed by Certified Professional
Psychics offer classes where you can train at home at your own
pace. There are a lot of psychic classes that are offered on-
line. They cover a myriad of subjects and with a little research
you will be able to find one that suits you.

3. Take Care Of Your Body -- Your diet, exercise, and overall
physical condition affect your psychic ability. Keeping in a good
state of health will help to improve your psychic ability. That
includes no smoking and no consumption of alcohol. Implementing
some type of exercise program would go a long way in helping to
improve your psychic ability.

4. Hypnosis -- Psychic ability is enhanced while in a hypnotic
state. Hypnosis is a powerful tool that can be used to release
ones full potential. It is a modified condition of consciousness
whereby the brain's activities are lowered. Hypnosis itself is a
very powerful technique and is extremely effective because it
doesn't rely on 'willpower'. It is a process of speaking to the
subconscious mind rather than the conscious mind, in order to
achieve a goal or change views on an idea.

5. Belief -- Psychic ability increases when you take chances with
your perceptions. Believing in them such that you boldly state
them. You can do this by using affirmations on a daily basis
until you feel that you have accepted the fact subconsciously
that you indeed have psychic abilities and are capable of
implementing them successfully.

6. Opening Your 7 Chakra Centers -- You can create a better
future for yourself by developing a spiritual understanding which
gets you close to your divine attributes. A part of developing
psychic ability is opening up your chakra's. Opening up your
third eye is very beneficial and can be accomplished with some
practice on opening up your chakra centers. If you encounter
problems opening up the fifth chakra it could indicate that you
may have problems with the thyroid gland, ears (hearing
included), sinuses, throat and teeth.

7. Train Yourself To See Auras -- Another beneficial extra would
be to train yourself to see auras. Especially if you are in the
healing profession of if you happen to work in the area of sales
and marketing and/or promotion. You don't have to be born with
the talent to see auras as with any other psychic phenomenon, but
this is another talent that can be developed with time and
patience. Some people after practicing a few days, may see auras
and colors right away and others may take months to see them.
Others may take years to see them or may not ever see them at
all. The most important particular to seeing aura's is keeping
your chakras clean.

8. Using Psychometry -- Implement the practice of psychometry
which is the practice of reading a persons energy by touching a
personal possession. Touch objects that belong to someone that
you know and try to see if you sense any impressions of that
person. This type of interaction will go a long way to help
increase or improve your psychic abilities. This is a practice
that can be implemented immediately and you may be surprised at
how fast you begin to receive impressions.

9. Dowsing -- Dowsing rods and pendulums are easy to learn and
help improve psychic abilities. Learn about the tools you'll use:
angle and divining rods, pendulums, wands - even your own hands
and body can be used as dowsing tools. When you dowse you are
involved in a dialog between your higher self and spirit guides
who are helping you get the information to a question that you
have asked.

10. Keep A Dream Journal -- Become aware of your dreams. Your
dreams are a doorway to the subconscious and you can keep a dream
book diary/journal that will lead you to answers that could
unlock the mysteries of your daily life or even future events.
Make sure that you pay attention to your dreams to see whether or
not your dreams come true.

Psychic abilities are one of the greatest gifts of nature. They
enable us to sense something beyond the realm of our existence.
They are abilities that everyone happens to possess to some
extent, although, most of us go through life not realizing the
vast potential that lies with us.

These abilities are more normal than the traditional modes of
communication that we attribute to the spirit and which are
limited through the five senses of the body. All of the methods
listed above, like any talent or skill, requires that you work on
them in the same vain that you would work to develop any other
talent or skill.

=== About the Author

Sharyce Arciaga from The Spiritual Arc
(http://www.thespiritualarc.com/)is the Author of this Article.
This is a discussion site for spiritual awareness and
transformation. Because each person's journey through
spirituality may take them on various paths we offer many varying
resources. Stop by and leave your free listing on our Business
Directory now.

======= by Donna Cunningham, MSW

Note: This is an excerpt from a longer exploration of transits in
      Donna Cunningham's ebook, An Astrological Guide to Self-
      Awareness, available at
      It appears here with permission of the author.

When you go for an astrology consultation, you're likely to hear
a great deal about your transits--that is, about how the current
positions of the planets affect those in your birth chart.
Transits by the slow-moving outer planets--Saturn, Uranus,
Neptune, and Pluto--are powerful ones with lasting effects.

They mark deeply meaningful periods in which we make profound
shifts in our surroundings and ourselves. Outer planet transits
represent truly significant connections with our universe, the
ones that lift us out of day-to-day routine and catalyze
personal, vocational, and spiritual development.

Astrologers of the old school generally had a gloomy, fearful
outlook on these transits, viewing the accompanying events or
conditions as done to us by power¬ful, malevolent external
forces. In the modern perspective, a transit by an outer planet
is a challenge and an opportunity to grow and evolve. It often
exaggerates patterns represented by the same planets in our natal
chart and brings the same old issues up for resolution all over
again, so that we have to deal with them in a new way.

By studying the birth chart, we can find out what the pattern
might be and work with the transit rather than against it.
Opposing change generally means having to learn the hard way,
which can be exhausting and needlessly painful.

The outer planets move very slowly, yet long exposure to their
energies is sometimes necessary because their lessons are
diffi¬cult to learn. Pluto and Neptune transits to a natal
position are the slowest--lasting as long as two years off and
on--and are also usually the most challenging.

Folks who follow astrology are fond of moaning, "I went through a
terrible time when Pluto crossed my Sun, but I'VE REALLY LEARNED
MY LESSON!" These avowals of spiritual progress used to impress
me, until I began to notice that many of the people who made such
claims hadn't changed at all. They might avoid the original
situation that caused them so much misery, but then they would
plunge into a similar one that was just as self-destructive. I
finally concluded that "I've really learned my lesson," was all
too often just a bit of karmic chic or a New Age way of saying,
"How I've suf¬fered!"

We make real progress in a long-standing and recurring pattern
only when we carefully evaluate our part in the situation--why we
got into it, what needs it met, where we made mistakes, and how
such difficulties can be avoided in the future. Our potential for
the future only truly changes when we learn from past mistakes.
Blaming others rather than seeing our own role is a sign that we
haven't really learned anything. Blaming the planets for our
problems is another way of not taking responsibility for
ourselves and the ways we contribute to our difficulties. We will
transcend the past when we learn from it.

The notion that we are being buffeted by Uranus or held back by
Saturn is shortsighted. We attract events, conditions and people
to ourselves because of our own inner conflicts, needs, beliefs,
and attitudes, whether they are conscious or unconscious.
Misguided patterns of thought and action are at the root of most
of our self-created troubles. Start examining your thoughts,
actions, and emotions in the more difficult areas of your life to
see how you provoke the "mistreatment" you get from the planets.

Suppose you hate your job and just can't pull yourself together
in the morning, so you keep getting to work later and later. Then
one fine day Uranus squares your Midheaven, and the boss lets you
go. Do you blame that awful Uranus? How about blaming yourself
for all the times you decided to sleep just fifteen minutes
later? Don't pass the buck to the transiting planets. The
responsibility for our lives as adults rests on our own
shoulders. Saturn is called "the Reaper," but to some extent all
the transiting planets indicate that you have to reap what you've
already sown. If you've sown diligently, you'll doubtlessly reap
the benefits.

During a transit to a difficult part of your birth chart, you may
be faced with an all-too-familiar situation related to that
aspect--perhaps the same types of gnarly difficulties that have
cropped up time and again over the years in that particular area
of life.

Let's say that you have Venus and Neptune standing together in
your birth chart, and a transiting planet is setting it off. One
pattern related to that combination might be that in the past,
you've gotten involved with one person after another who
"coincidentally" turned out to have an addiction problem. The new
transit might well bring another such heartbreaker into your
orbit or else might represent a crisis in longstanding
connections with one or more significant relationships that fit
the old, dysfunctional pattern.

With the added asset of astrological awareness, however, you do
now have the choice to stop relating in old ways by seizing the
opportunity to explore the neurotic appeal of codependent ties
and to heal the sources of such a painful pattern. Only then is
there the possibility of a healthier relationship in the future.
Without getting to the roots of the pattern, even if Prince or
Princess Charming did magically show up, you'd take yourself and
the same misguided strategies along as you entered a new
commitment. Before you knew it, that prince or princess would be
croaking just like all the frogs that went before.

Studying our transits is a great stimulus to growth. They are an
irreplaceable tool to help us become more conscious, insightful
and evolved, as well as more aware of our usual responses to
important challenges. Following transits intelligently and
responsibly can bring any situation into focus and help you to
analyze your part in it. A chart reading of current and upcoming
transits can help you discover the right windows for taking
action and can suggest sources of support and healing.

Rightfully, the chart should be used for study rather than
fortune telling. Transits can be understood as useful
information, rather than as disruptions by malevolent external

Would you like an in-depth interpretation of your own transits
and the range of possibilities and challenges they represent? If
so, ask for a session with an experienced professional
astrologer--preferably one who takes a psychological approach.

=== About the Author

Donna Cunningham, MSW, is internationally-respected for her many
books, articles, and columns on astrology, flower essences, and
other metaphysical topics. She teaches writing by teleseminar and
correspondence course, as well as a correspondence course and
seminars on astrology. Order her books at
http://www.moonmavenpublications.com/astrologybooks.html and
visit her award-winning blog at http://skywriter.wordpress.com.

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========= 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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