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.
As a Wiccan and Gypsy, I’ve found ways to combine these two cultures into my life and faith. I enjoy using spells when I’m in need and have baskets full of colored candles, amulets, herbs, eye of newt and incense. Yes, I just threw that in to see if you were listening, I don’t recall any of my families spells from the Book of Shadows requiring the eye of a newt. Though, I have come across strange ingredients from time to time, and very easy ingredients as well.
My lifestyle as an author and freelance writer is filled with hurry, hurry, hurry, so my spells need to be quick and easy–like a microwaved meal on occasion. I’ve taken very intricate spells and reduced them down to the bare minimum, for ease of use anywhere you happen to be. Let’s face it, having a full ceremony with candles and incense burning as you chant for an hour is not always viable. In the world of fast-food, satisfying your need to connect with the Goddess may need to be in ten minutes.
So here are a couple of my favorite spells that can be done on the run! For more visit,
I found this old charming spell on a piece of paper, slipped into my families Book of Shadows. I believe it was written by my great grandmother, it looks like her handwriting. Helping her children and grandchildren to make wishes was one of Roselyn’s favorite pastimes. We would gather in the unruly garden during the spring and summer after gathering our necessary implements.
1. Green paper
2. Pen or pencil
3. Glass bowl (small)
4. Bird Seed
Roselyn believed in making “the good wish”, not for profit or fame, but for our family of loved ones. Our wishes were for one another, so I would ask beforehand what my cousins wanted that fit the criteria of a “good wish” and held that in my mind. Each of us chose from a jar, the name of the person we would wish for until the jar was empty. Sometimes I would have two or three names and make separate wishes.
As a sole practitioner, choosing a “good wish” can be for anyone, including yourself. First write the wish on the green paper, then fold the paper three times and place the written wish into the glass bowl. Now cover the paper with bird seed as you visualize what the wish could mean for you or the one you have chosen to receive the “good wish”.
Set the bowl outside for the birds in a dry, covered area from the elements and you’re wish should come true within two weeks. If you feel the wish needs more power, fill the bowl with bird seed and wait another two weeks. Difficult wishes take time and love, remember to allow for both.
When you feel a good friend slipping away from a misunderstanding or your lack of attention, here’s a spell to recapture their good friendship.
1. Put an acorn in your friends hand, create a necklace by gluing the acorn onto a rawhide tie or leave have them carry the acorn in their pocket. The important thing is for the acorn to be on their person, close to them.
My honor to the mighty Oak, I planted your seed
on my dear friend (name), through thought and deed
that our friendship still be heartfelt and strong
Let (name) return to me not take long
so mote it be.
This spell must be chanted thrice every day for three days. The longer your friend wears or carries the acorn, the stronger the bond between you will grow.
The word “Solstice” comes from the Latin words, sol sistere – “sun stand still”. Indeed the sun does seem to stand still as the sun reaches it’s furthest point from the equator. Summer Solstice harkens the longest day of the year, when warmth spills upon the land and fruitful bounties are enjoyed by all creatures. In the northern hemisphere of our planet, the summer solstice occurs during June. This year it is June 21st and many pagans will be celebrating this one day with reverence and celebration.
Long ago, pagans didn’t denote “midsummer” as the first day of summer—for it wasn’t then and isn’t now—save for our modern society deemed the day so. How ironic that after this longest day the daylight gets shorter! So our ancestors realized Summer Solstice is the beginning of the END of summer.
Our ancestors were not ruled by convention or committee—no, they were ruled by the seasons of harvest, sexual awareness in the Spring of all living creatures and the need to store for the winter months ahead. Survival depended on their sensitivity to abnormal weather patterns, bad harvest years, the swelling and receding ocean waves for good fishing days.
The summer solstice is often the time of the first harvest and hence a celebration of this bounty has been held for hundreds of years. The day lasts so long, the gaiety lasted well into night, with dancing, food, mead, wine and merriment. The sun, Sol, brings life to growing crops in the field and warmth to the bones of the workers who harvested. This is reflected in the midsummer rituals or plucking herbs, for this special day brings added vigor, potency to the herbs for medicine and spells.
When night approaches, the pagan fires will burn brightly in honor of the sun. This is a time to strengthen the bonds between the participants as they chant to Sol’s continued service to the earth and it’s creatures. Some sacred sites, around the world will draw huge crowds as the Summer Solstice is honored. Stonehenge has an entrance-way that was aligned with the solstice sunrise and is a popular gathering place for modern druids and others enthusiasts on midsummer’s day.
For Wiccans, Midsummer is one of the four “Lesser Sabbats” or “Low Holidays”. Some now call this day Litha, the day of the Lord of Light, the Oak King who sits solidly on a greenwood throne. Across the world, many pagans will throw off the hooded robes and bath skyclad under the sun while honoring Sol. Gypsies will also honor this day in similar abandon to their hard work during harvest and their respect for Gaia.
So as the Celts & Slavs celebrate with dancing & bonfires to help increase the sun’s energy, the Chinese honor Li, the Chinese Goddess of Light. One of the most enduring rituals of the Summer Solstice is were the Druids’ celebrate of the “wedding of Heaven and Earth”, that brought about our present day belief of a “lucky” wedding in June.
Pagan spirit gatherings or festivals are very common in June and I will festival, eat and drink all day with pagans. Women will wear braided circlets of clover and flowers on their hair, wrists and ankles. Men will wear chaplets of oak leaves and flowers around their heads in honor of the Oak King. On Midsummer’s Eve, I will join the group, assembling to light a sacred fire, then stay up all night to welcome the moon and the dawn. For this year’s “Honey Moon” I will drink the mead made from fermented honey, leap through the edge of the bonfire flames and pick herbs to use in white magick throughout the remaining year. I will wear the protective garland made of herbs and flowers and little else as I bath in the moon’s glow, skyclad. Being Irish I will place yarrow under my pillow to dream of my next lover.
Life comes from Sol, we are all dependent on this magnificent ball of gas, and for one day I will be pagan and in awe. I will give respect and honor as would a child, bearing witness to the beginning of “dream-time” as visions of future events will unfold at nightfall. I will throw nine different types of herbs on the balefire. Just picked-Mistletoe, vervain, St. John’s Wort, heartsease, lavender, and others chosen from herbs typical of this season such as fresh yarrow.
I will swim in the lake as water is an important part of the Midsummer pagan ritual. Like in times past we will swim in waters, flowing toward the rising sun as it climbs in the Summer Solstice morning sky. This is healing, cleansing and protective. Gathering the dew of Midsummer bestows health to whoever drinks the elixir. Fetch running water of Midsummer morn and mix it with ashes from the bonfire that night. On the next day at home, sprinkled the mixture around the house, yard and on loved ones to bestow protection and luck.
May you have wonderful dreams, a fruitful harvest and find the love you search during this Summer Solstice.