The Mystery of the Cauldron

A Middle Iron Age cauldron, dating from around 200 BC. Only the rim is original and it was found in a ditch at the Iron Age settlement at Blackhorse Road in Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire.

Almost every story that came from the ancient roots of European witchcraft, a cauldron was used for brewing potions, casting spells and as a holy vessel to the powers of the Night. The cauldron produces change and transformations, physically, spiritually and mentally. All cauldrons are a powerful symbol of the Great Goddess for her womb and rebirth. The vessel made with bronze, iron or steel, can bestow wisdom, inspiration and knowledge to the witch and coven.

Place a cauldron in the sacred circle and burn items that will be set alight during a ritual. Place water in a cauldron for scrying (a method of divining the future, see article on this website) or it can hold the ingredients necessary for a spell or incantation.

To understand The Mystery Teachings of Wiccans, you must go back to 500-600 A.D. to the Cauldron of Cerridwen. Cerridwen created a potion that was brewed for one year and a day before drinking. (This coincides with the tradition of training a witch by degrees of one year and a day). This brew was poisonous, but when ingested by initiates of Wicca, their bodies would fight the poison and each could retrieve the memories of their ancestors.

Generations ago, Wiccans understood without knowing about DNA, that the memories of our grandparents and far beyond was within our grasp. The elixir conferred Inspiration, like the nine Muses who gave inspiration to humans as early as 800 B.C. By subjecting the human body to intense stress, physical or mental, it was believed that greater psychic powers would be bestowed to the survivors.

Within many of us today, there lies an ancient Pagan with knowledge of the old ways. Some of us search and open ourselves to collect and activate these memories. Those of us who are lucky enough to trace our lineage for generations, or have the family Book of Shadows full of the old knowledge, protect our faith. The cauldron is an integral part of the blood mysteries and Pagan rites with Wiccan’s today.

Blessed Be.

Chérie De Sues

Oak Man

I intend to do a brief resume of the plot-so-far of my new novel “Oak Man” that I’m currently writing. I hope this update will go out about once a week on a free-for-all day :-).

Here is the first …

Tumulus Dawn

The accompanying picture is by a super artist-friend of mine, Wendy Davies. The story also uses (with her permission) her teenage adventure of finding three 4000 yr old gold torcs on the farm – again in the Wels Marches – where she grew up.

The story is a mystery/magic/romance … as usual for me 🙂 – and set here  in the Welsh Marches, based around the legend of the place where I live.

Elen Sentier

writer artist gardener shaman

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Celtic shaman – Elen Sentier Oak Man … the beginnings of the plot

Global Warming

Half the battle lies in the language. ‘Warm’ is not a scary concept. ‘Warm’ is a word we use to describe positive emotions. ‘Warming’ means heartwarming, snugly and pleasing. It is not a description to inspire concern, much less fear. Global warming. It’s like wrapping the world in a nice woolly jumper.

Climate change is at least a broader description, and may be more accurate, because we don’t really know what effects we’re going to have on the planet. ‘Change’ isn’t a scary word either. Ok, most people find change a bit unsettling, but we also know that ‘a change is as good as a rest’ and that change is part of life. Nothing to be afraid of there.

How different would the debate be if we couched it in more dramatic terms? We should be talking about global disaster, total climatic uncertainty, radical change to weather systems, and the potential for terrible impact on human life, the destruction of habits and cultures, and the small window we have in which to avoid this.

Governments and business squeal about the costs and squirm over the inconvenience. It’s painfully short term. And really, if we push our species to the edge, people are not going to be devoting their wealth to turning the wheels of business, are they? The cost of getting this wrong, or doing too little, too late, doesn’t seem to be crossing enough minds just yet. The cost in terms of human lives lost or blighted isn’t on the agenda to anything like the degree it should be. The ice caps are melting, fact. The sea will rise due to this, and water expands when it’s warm, and this means the sea takes up more space – the water levels go up. How much land can we afford to lose? What value do we place on the great god that is economic growth, when we compare it to the devastation we are going to face if we get this wrong?

Let’s turn this around for a moment and imagine that the minority of climate sceptics out there are entirely right, and that the world is able to soak up what we do, and that as a species we aren’t committing collective suicide right now by this particular method. We are still destroying species and habitats. We are still filling the air, water and soil with pollution, and that isn’t doing us any good at all. We still have finite resources and one day the oil is going to run out. No amount of saying climate change doesn’t exist makes these other issues go away. There are not plenty more fish in the sea. We are not in a position to ship everyone off to some other planet and start over. If we start figuring out how to live within our means, how to be sustainable, then surely, medium to long term, business, governments, individuals benefits. If we’re really clever, we might get to keep this affluent, indulgent way of life. We might even be able to do more.

So, whether or not a person, or government, or business thinks climate change is a real threat, there are plenty of other things that definitely are, and that are going to need dealing with. Doesn’t it make more sense to fix things before they become more dangerous to us? Or are we going to need to push ourselves as a species, right to the edge of what is viable, before we shake off our collective apathy and take our own futures seriously. And in the meantime, let’s stop messing about with this unthreatening not-a-real-problem language. Climate disaster. Lethal pollution. Unsustainable growth. Economic madness. Mass suicide. Let’s call it what it is, and do something about it while we still can.