IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: Changing the Guard at The Cauldron

On December 13, 1997 — after three frustrating days when only Elspeth Sapphire, Ann Wilson, and myself could post — The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum opened its doors to the general public on the Delphi online service. The forum was an instant success with 60 or 70 messages posted that December and hitting 1000 messages within six months or so. That’s 1000 messages total, not 1000 messages a month.

The Cauldron was started as a Yule gift from me to Elspeth — you had to pay Delphi for forums back then (six months in advance). It was staffed by Elspeth, Ann, and myself with an able assist from our friends from the dying GEnie Online Service. We started a web site for the forum in the web space I got with my Delphi account in January of 1998, although we did not get domain name for a couple of years.

LyricFox was added as a fourth Co-Host a few years later as Elspeth’s health and Ann’s real life meant that they were not always available. LyricFox and I shouldered most of the hosting duties up until 2014 when Lyric’s mom passed away, Lyric’s health worsened, and Lyric’s decided to focus her remaining spoons on her animal rescue work. While she was still a Co-Host and had input on just about every TC decision I made, she was no longer active on the board.

It’s been almost 22 years since TC started. I was 40 back then. I’m now 62 and Lyric’s health issues (now including MS) are demanding more and more of my time. If The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum is to have any chance of surviving another 20 years, it is time for Lyric and myself to step down from our host duties and let others run The Cauldron. Effective today, SunflowerP is The Cauldron’s Host with almost all the powers Lyric and I held as Co-Hosts. I am now Site Administrator. That means I will handle all the server-side background stuff that keeps The Cauldron on the Internet and that’s about it. I also have to approve any promotions to Senior Staff or Host (as those positions have limited server powers). Sunflower as Host will have full control of just about everything else. Basically, as Site Admin I “hire” Hosts and let them do their job. I will not be disappearing completely, of course, but you will probably see much less of me than you do now — and you haven’t seen that much of me recently.

I would like to thank Sunflower for agreeing to accept the position of Host and all the headaches that come with the position. Lyric and I believe we are leaving The Cauldron in good hands. I’d also like to thank the staff of The Cauldron — present and past — for all their hard work over the years. It’s been our pleasure to work with all of you. Finally, I’d like to thank the members of The Cauldron as without active members the The Cauldron would be just another forum killed by social media. May the Gods bless you all.

And with that Lyric and I formally turn the hosting duties over to Sunflower.

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I need help….evil spirit

Hi members, I am new to the forum and to my path and I didnt know who else to turn to.

I have something evil following me. I have for a few years now. I first discovered it about 4 years ago when a friend told me the spirit that stood outside of my room was actually a demon. I was suffering with depression at the time and she said this was being brought in by the demon feeding off me. She is Christian and prayed for me and it went away temporarily. It returned a year later when my emotions were at a low. She prayed again.

I moved ut of the house and city and have recently taken on my own flat or rent. Over the last few weeks I have been emotional and stressed but also looking further into wicca. I believe this demon is back. My dogs sense it and go balistic.I have placed a protection chant on my dog and also a chant to remove it from my home. I have charged my Crystal’s in the full moon last night and  placed small bottles of salt in all the windows but I’m worried I may trap it in the house.

Can anyone help me. I’m scared if this thing that seems to want me. Have I brought it back in by researching magick?

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Resources for mediation of disputes

This might be one of my, by now, fairly frequent long shots but here goes (and I think they pay off as often as they don’t pay off, so why wouldn’t I?)

Also, putting this here as it pertains to things like social media.

Anyone know of any readily accessible* ‘mediation’ resources online?  (*Read: free.)  Even more of a long shot, is there any such thing which can be used online, e.g. in a social media type context?

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If the 4 Elements, What Do Your Symbols Look Like?

This question is aimed squarely at those pagans like myself who acknowledge the four elements of the classical Western tradition: earth, air, fire, and water.

What symbols do you use for them?

I can’t explain why, but using the right symbols for something is very important to me. Somehow the right graphic symbol bypasses all the clutter of words and sums up the essence of something.

The images here might be a good starting point for discussion.

I favor the symbols from alchemy (first image, triangles of the bottom row), because–
–They are of old esoteric provenance
–It’s tidy: a set of 4 shapes that echo and oppose each other, suggesting a coherent system of things that relate to one another
–(For those of us comfortable with gender polarity) The up-pointing triangles for fire and air tag them as “masculine” elements, while the down-pointing triangles for water and earth indicate their “feminine” nature

BUT they’re somewhat arbitrary; there’s little that inherently links any one symbol to that particular element.

In search of another set of symbols–one in which each symbol has a visual connection to the element it represents–I really like the line drawings of the top line of the first image:
–A simple pictorial reduced to the absolute minimum
–As with the alchemical symbols, a set of 4 shapes that echo and oppose each other, suggesting a coherent system of things that relate to one another
–The lines of fire are the only ones that are oriented vertically, appropriate for an element that stands apart from the others as a transitional state

BUT I’m indifferent to the symbol for air; it’s the least intuitively connected to its element. It makes sense in the context of the others, but when I think of air visually, I think more of spirals with long tails (like in those old-time drawings of wind: the swirling lines coming from the pursed lips of blowing clouds). But that would destroy the conceptual symmetry of the line images.

Does anyone know where those line symbols come from? (At first I thought they might be poached from pop culture–the movie The Fifth Element–but I looked those up, and while similar, they’re not nearly as clearly delineated, one element from the other.) Are there other symbols that you use for the elements?

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I think a deity may be trying to contact me, help!

Hi everyone, I’m super new to this. I’ll start with a bit about myself. I was raised Christian but always felt like I was in a club that I didn’t know the rules to and I was always messing up. Recently after years of telling myself I’d explore other religions I finally had the chance. My husband and I went to the bookstore to get him a cookbook and there was a display set up with the cookbooks with Wiccan books. I bought 2 of them to read and immediately felt like I was home. I’ve been researching and reading for the past few weeks now and recently I’ve started to dream. I normally only dream 2-3 times a month but this week I’ve dreamed every night.

I haven’t been able to remember them either. So while on our normal walk I told my husband about my dreams and how I couldn’t remember them. I did a quick search thinking maybe a deity was trying to contact me via my dreams. I thought maybe it was Morpheus. When I looked over a saw a monarch butterfly land on a goal post. I told my husband who said it was kind of odd since its starting to get cold around here. I felt like maybe Morpheus was wanting to work with me. I said that if I had a dream and remembered it I would know Morpheus wanted to work with me. We get home and a moth with the same coloring as the butterfly from earlier lands about two feet from our house.

On the way to work I quietly said in my head if I see another butterfly its a sign that Morpheus wants to work with me. As I was going to my first break I noticed a blue butterfly printed skirt. Went to sleep that night and dreamed, and I remembered it. I’ve been seeing butterflies now it seems wherever I go and I remembered last nights dream. I’ve been struggling with trying to figure out if Morpheus wants to work with me and how to contact him if he is. I’ve never worked with a deity and I’m not sure how to go about it. But the weirdest part is last night I dreamed of a man who told me I had 7 days to kill Diana or I would die. I don’t know any Diana’s and this dream has really freaked me out. I guess some help or advice would be wonderful. Thanks for anything.

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Historical periods

Hi,

I hope you don’t mind me posting on this section, not being a Recon.

I’ve been reading some of these threads with interest as it gives me more of a feel for things I’m looking into. This has led me to become curious about the whole aspect of Celtic Recon.

Now I understand that the term Celtic is a wide umbrella ( although I presume there are some aspect which tie together the various cultures, much as the Roman Empire was made up of many different local countries and cultures but tied by the rules imposed from the core [ although probably in a more subtle way ]). What I’m curious about is how you choose which time period of your particular Celtic culture to focus on?

To clarify, the way I see it cultures ( and even pantheons ) are living, growing, changing things so I’d imagine looking back in detail different periods would have many small and also significant differences ( such as laying out the dead in the open, building cairns, lake burials etc. ). Am I right on this and how do you choose?

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A Cauldron Tradition Is Coming…Let’s Brainstorm!

Every year for over a decade now, we here at The Cauldron have had an online party on the December solstice (winter solstice in the northern hemisphere, summer solstice in the southern). “Up All Night” is a once-a-year, come-one-come-all, truly global all-night event that is open to any Cauldron member…and of course, since Cauldron membership is free and easy, that means anybody can participate, once they become a member!

What does it involve? That’s up to all of us to decide, which is why I’m launching this thread well in advance of Saturday, December 21 (and yes, UAN falls on a Saturday night this year, which means participation should be quite robust, since many folks can sleep it off the next day). Let’s kick around ideas for how we can add to the fun this year. Here’s some of what typically transpires during the night:

A special dedicated thread in this forum, where folks can touch base, share their experiences, and write just about any damn thing (within forum guidelines, of course), from recipes that keep them fed through the night, to music for the solstice, photos of the sunset where they are…you name it.

We choose a non-theme every year–a very loose idea that folks can hang posts on, or completely ignore (hence the “non” part). Last year’s non-theme was “Rise and Shine.”

For this year’s non-theme, what should we choose that’s broadly relevant and topical and could stimulate all kinds of conversation?

Chat! And lots of it. It’s typically the best chat night of the year, because so many people are on simultaneously. So if you haven’t discovered our Discord board, don’t wait until UAN to try it–do a test run now in the weeks running up to UAN, so you’re familiar with it beforehand.

The Great Global Group Meditation: Cauldronites from around the world “gather” in a Zoom meeting for a nondenominational, professionally guided meditation session. Feel the calming connection crisscross the planet…but don’t fall asleep!

That’s just some of what’s possible. So how about it, folks? What would you like to see happen for UAN 2019?

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Belonging in Paganism – Friendly Advice Sought

Hi all,

It feels odd posting in the Beginners board, as I’ve been Pagan for almost three years now (though, given the journey in total, I suppose that’s almost nothing). But this concern has brought me back to a beginning of sorts, and it’s been troubling me enough that I felt like I should discuss it somewhere.

Over the last few years I’ve explored a lot of Paganism and finally feel comfortable focusing in on Druidry, especially through OBOD (though I’m still very new in this). However, as of late I’ve found myself moving away from the more traditional* ideas that I started with (such as energy, spirits and pantheonic deities) into something ranging from spiritual/philosophical to metaphorical in nature. That’s not to say I don’t believe in my gods or Spirit anymore, and I definitely believe in them as tangible, real forces in my life. But I’ve felt myself moving away from crystals or high ritual practice, and more into meditations or long religious walks and prayers.

 * I’m aware that using the word “traditional” has its problems. I only mean the trends I noticed in the Paganism I was first introduced to starting out (partly, Wicca, witchcraft practice, English folk traditions, and polytheism – identifying my practice as eclectic.).

The main reason I find this difficult to process is that it constrasts with the beliefs of the pagans in my friendship/moot group, who have more literal, folkloric tendencies (which I respect, and enjoy too, though my personal beliefs seem to be shifting.) While variety is to be expected (and celebrated) in most moot groups, I feel very self-conscious and unusual (weird?) being unable to chime in with discussion. I’ve started to worry that I just don’t belong as a pagan anymore (given that I haven’t had a proper discussion about this with anyone in my personal life, from fear/doubt mostly, I haven’t really anything to contextualise all this in).

I’ve considered if I should convert to a different religion, but my beliefs and gods are still very much pagan – perhaps, in places, less literal, but with that same core I’ve developed over the last three years. I have been considering connecting with the Christo-Pagan part of the Druid community, if only to have that conversation (though I’m not looking to debate Christo-Paganism here).

Maybe I’ve just made too many assumptions up to this point on what Neopaganism is?
Apologies for the splurge. Blessed be.

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ADMIN: Please welcome PerditaPickle to Message Board Staff

She’s not on the masthead yet (that will have to wait until Randall has another chance to edit it, which might not be immediately), but we’ve another new staff member. Please join me in welcoming PerditaPickle to Message Board Staff here at The Cauldron. The Hosts and Senior Staff are very happy to have her join us.

Thank you, Perdita, for accepting this position and all the (generally thankless) work that goes with it.

(This might not be the last one; there’s one more person we’ve offered a staff position to who is still considering whether they want to accept.)

Sunflower
TC Host

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