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Author Topic: Titles and Labels  (Read 3649 times)

Castus

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Re: Titles and Labels
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2012, 07:49:51 pm »
Quote from: Agonistes;45551
So, my question, what does the forum think of labels and titles?[1] People assuming a title that you, perhaps, have worked hard to obtain[2] and people coming out of the blue and wanting to assume that title with little work and/or effort[3]. Or those who seek a path, but are met with opposition from the people you believed would help you.[3]


1. I'm very fond of labels and titles both. I think labels are a valuable and important way to assess and categorize ourselves, others, and the world around us; while I think titles are extremely important in organising ourselves and our society in a desired and hierarchical manner.

2. Seeing as how I myself strive to attaining priesthood within NR, I have nothing but respect for those who earn their titles through work.

3. I have no respect whatsoever for such persons.

4. Find out why they won't help; and use any constructive criticism.

Owl

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Re: Titles and Labels
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2012, 07:59:14 pm »
Quote from: nbdy;45661
I resonate -- except I have had the experience of them not even asking, just assuming that because they are a high-whatever-grand-poobah in some tradition or other that whatever they decide is right will be most appreciated by the uninitiated. So, as one example, a highly titled person who starts crunching up branches to burn in what I consider sacred woods, making no offering of even a whispered "Thank You" and ignoring me saying several times to not do that. Just one example. No respect. Not to mention that someone carrying such a title should have damned well FELT the place, and clueless that I was looking upon him as a rapist.


Not all spiritual groups have any way of telling if the high-whatever-grand-poobah has any abilities for sensing beyond the standard 5.  And many people are not willing to let themselves feel these other senses.  I agree that the title should have the requirement of certain abilities, but it generally doesn't.  It requires learning and testing, but not inborn abilities.
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Re: Titles and Labels
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2012, 08:34:06 pm »
Quote from: nbdy;45661
I resonate -- except I have had the experience of them not even asking, just assuming that because they are a high-whatever-grand-poobah in some tradition or other that whatever they decide is right will be most appreciated by the uninitiated. So, as one example, a highly titled person who starts crunching up branches to burn in what I consider sacred woods, making no offering of even a whispered "Thank You" and ignoring me saying several times to not do that. Just one example. No respect. Not to mention that someone carrying such a title should have damned well FELT the place, and clueless that I was looking upon him as a rapist.

 
Hmm... so was this high-ranking person high-ranking in a tradition that a) considers those woods sacred, b) requires thanking of trees, and c) includes the ability to "feel" a place as a prerequisite for advancement?  If not, all you're doing there is expecting a tradition that you're not part of to follow your values.  OTOH, since you're not part of the tradition, they have no more authority over you than you do over them - they can't tell you to appreciate their actions any more than you can forbid them doing those actions.

Also - can we lose the "rape" metaphor?  It's pretty erasing to survivors of actual rape when the word is used as a metaphor for any and every sort of violation (to say nothing of how common it seems to be these days for people to use it as a metaphor for things that aren't violations).  Seems to me that the correct word here - especially since the sacredness the wood has for you appears to be a pivotal factor - is desecrator.

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monsnoleedra

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Re: Titles and Labels
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2012, 09:02:34 pm »
Quote from: Owl;45669
Not all spiritual groups have any way of telling if the high-whatever-grand-poobah has any abilities for sensing beyond the standard 5.  And many people are not willing to let themselves feel these other senses.  I agree that the title should have the requirement of certain abilities, but it generally doesn't.  It requires learning and testing, but not inborn abilities.

That reminds me of a situation I encountered in the military.  I suggested a change and a higher up stated that if it had been a good change someone senior to me would have though of it already.  This person by senority had implied authority and knowledge based upon title, label, rank and experience.  Yet another senior person was also listening, who was senior to the original person, and told me to explain what I though.

Needless to say not all of it was implamented as there were some major issues, yet parts of it were implamented.

I learnt a few things that day that have always stuck with me.  The foremost being those who wear thier titles and labels upon their shoulders & sleeves usually do so in a hap-hazard manner.  Normally not having the full support of those above them and trying to force it upon those beneath them to give them a sense of superiority.  Those that have them but don't push them usually have implied authority and worth bestowed upon them without asking or desiring it.

It didn't matter what the field of endeavor was for the actions usually were the same.  The results from both junior and senior were normally the same as well.  Even the sense of legitimacy that they held and was felt by those outside of the system was apparent.

For me titles are important as are lables that are used to identify them.  Yet in my experience those most deseriving of those titles are the ones who never claim them and are bestowed upon them by thier peers, juniors and seniors.  Even then its not trully a title or label that is bestowed upon them but a sense of worth and experience that is seen in application by them.

One of the greatest recognazitions I ever had was not from anything I wore upon me, awarded to me or claimed by me.  It was the echo of a juniors words as she said "He's a Chief!" as I walked by, another from juniors that were not even mine who told my wife I was the kind of Chief Petty Officer they wanted to be and wanted to have authority over them.

In my spirituality it has been the same.  I've titles that were bestowed upon me that I never claimed nor desired, many times from simply feeling I was unworthy of them.  Recognizations that I will never use but can not stop others from using them to describe me.  It's like I say I am a shamanic type practitioner yet I have friends who refuse to say I am anything but a Shaman.  Drives me nuts actually for I do not feel qualified to hold such a title.  Yet that didn't or doesn't stop others from using those titles to identify me.  

Yet another facet that is also important is that a title or label is only as strong as those who are willing to stand up for what it implies.  That is where many get upset in the Pagan community for they think they can claim a thing but do not want it tested or called.   Titles and Labels have to be tested and some what re-awarded over and over for the group that bestowed them upon you is in constant flux.  Even the criteria for determining how they are awarded and what it takes to award them changes.

As a military person I knew every time I changed duty stations I had to re-earn and be re-awarded those things.  Yes what I came in with had some standing but I also had to prove myself before those who would come to know me at this duty assignment not the last one or word from that one.

In that regard every message board, grouping or anything else I may experience is a new place and those titles and labels must be re-awarded in the sense by each grouping.  I can not and must not expect to be seen or recognized as a ______ becuase of what I say I am but by what I do and how I present myself before them.  Yes, even going so far as to spend countless hours and words trying to rediscover what a word or phrase means at the new place and how the majority there understand it.

But to me that is all part and parcle of being a titled or labeled person in any community.  To think my honors, titles or labels from somewhere will apply to me elsewhere is the truest form and presentation that I did not earn them nor trully understood them.  That all they are are hollow words as were the actions I exhabited in assuming others should or would accept them blindly.

Now I don't know whether I answered this or just muddied the waters even more.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2012, 09:03:59 pm by monsnoleedra »

Valentine

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Re: Titles and Labels
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2012, 09:18:06 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;45670
Also - can we lose the "rape" metaphor?  It's pretty erasing to survivors of actual rape when the word is used as a metaphor for any and every sort of violation (to say nothing of how common it seems to be these days for people to use it as a metaphor for things that aren't violations).  Seems to me that the correct word here - especially since the sacredness the wood has for you appears to be a pivotal factor - is desecrator.

 
Thank you, thank you, thank you.  There are so many words for violation, rupture, profanation, descration, without exploiting and trivializing the emotional impact of a real situation that happens to real people for rhetorical effect.  Let an abhorrent act be abhorrent on its own, thanks.
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Agonistes

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Re: Titles and Labels
« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2012, 11:21:29 pm »
Quote from: Castus;45668
4. Find out why they won't help; and use any constructive criticism.


Very moving advice from some, and interesting input from others. I enjoyed hearing many sides on the issue, and many have drawn the same conclusions about labels that I have, more-so a necessary evil, if you will, than something many people want to clump themselves apart of. Necessary because if you use the label, "pagan" and a Wiccan and a Hellenic emerge from such an umbrella, they have two different ideas on many issues. Evil, although not truly evil in nature, because many do not want to box themselves around a notion that they are not an individual and just another Wiccan/Druid/Hellenic/Heathen etc...

I quoted Castus because I did find out why they said such hateful things, and in my opinion it's a rather bland statement. They said, "You're not a real Wiccan." No context in that sentence, very stagnant. When I continued to ask why, all they had to say was pitiful self-reassuring statements and nothing very helpful to me. So, I don't know--nor will I probably ever know, but I'm staying away from that group, many of my other pagan buddies said they were arrogant anyhow.

I'm not sure where I will go from here, I assume no label and will just keep along my continued path--if someone wants to know what I do, I will just explain myself.

Also, I agree that titles are earned, not taken my oneself for mere aesthetics.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2012, 11:23:39 pm by Agonistes »

monsnoleedra

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Re: Titles and Labels
« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2012, 12:39:07 am »
Quote from: Agonistes;45688
..

I quoted Castus because I did find out why they said such hateful things, and in my opinion it's a rather bland statement. They said, "You're not a real Wiccan." No context in that sentence, very stagnant. When I continued to ask why, all they had to say was pitiful self-reassuring statements and nothing very helpful to me. So, I don't know--nor will I probably ever know, but I'm staying away from that group, many of my other pagan buddies said they were arrogant anyhow.

..


That sounds like the lineage and initiation argument.  I can't argue against it because in many ways I hold the same idea's but for Stregia which I was initiated into in my youth and my own families traditions which I was born into.  Yet I also realize that Stregia and my own family traditions are more a folkish practice than the more structure and lineaged Wicca practices.
 
Yet it is a hard camp many times when it comes to initiated / lineaged Wiccan within a Wicca coven and a non-lineaged / initiated Wiccan who falls into a Neo-Wiccan perspective.  I do not use Neo-Wicca that often as I find the practice of Wicca and the Neo-Wiccans who practice it still differ greatly from Wicca but are mostly individual practices though they may gather in a loose based group arrangement.  Even the very notions of self dedication and self initiation being very critical flash points in many discussions.

nbdy

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Re: Titles and Labels
« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2012, 10:13:46 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;45670
Hmm... so was this high-ranking person high-ranking in a tradition that a) considers those woods sacred, b) requires thanking of trees, and c) includes the ability to "feel" a place as a prerequisite for advancement?  If not, all you're doing there is expecting a tradition that you're not part of to follow your values.  OTOH, since you're not part of the tradition, they have no more authority over you than you do over them - they can't tell you to appreciate their actions any more than you can forbid them doing those actions.


The woods were part of my property. It would be common guest courtesy to respect my wishes regardless of spirituality or tradition, but BECAUSE of the title he did not feel this was necessary. Instead of respecting my multiple request to stop, he nonchalantly quipped how fortunate I was to have him gathering wood because he was a hoodeedoo. This is only one example, and I have no intention of revisiting every instance of disrespect from the entrenched and/or titled Pagans who will rant for hours about how intolerant, hypocritical, and arrogant Christians are and then act the same way, just using a different dogma. I certainly would not have gone into his coven and disregarded the behavior requested of me.

Quote from: SunflowerP;45670
Also - can we lose the "rape" metaphor?  It's pretty erasing to survivors of actual rape when the word is used as a metaphor for any and every sort of violation (to say nothing of how common it seems to be these days for people to use it as a metaphor for things that aren't violations).  Seems to me that the correct word here - especially since the sacredness the wood has for you appears to be a pivotal factor - is desecrator.

Sunflower


I agree that it is word often misused because it is used to describe attacks on non-living things. I understand that you may see this forest as a non-living thing. I reported how I felt, and don't assume that you know this better than I do.

It is rare for me to speak this way, and I am fighting the urge to apologize because I don't think I have said anything that requires apology, it is just the easy way to make peace. I guess this thread just struck a chord I have heard too often and find unpleasant. I am generally a non-confrontational person.

nbdy

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Re: Titles and Labels
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2012, 10:17:28 am »
Quote from: monsnoleedra;45673

But to me that is all part and parcle of being a titled or labeled person in any community.  To think my honors, titles or labels from somewhere will apply to me elsewhere is the truest form and presentation that I did not earn them nor trully understood them.  That all they are are hollow words as were the actions I exhabited in assuming others should or would accept them blindly.

 
Humility. I think I like you very much, but you probably get that a lot.

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Re: Titles and Labels
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2012, 12:20:57 pm »
Quote from: Agonistes;45551
So, my question, what does the forum think of labels and titles? People assuming a title that you, perhaps, have worked hard to obtain and people coming out of the blue and wanting to assume that title with little work and/or effort. Or those who seek a path, but are met with opposition from the people you believed would help you.

 
I have a lot of labels. ^_^

I'm Kemetic, i.e., a practitioner of a tradition based on ancient Egyptian religion. This is helpful to distinguish what I do from Asatru,Celtic Reconstructionism, Wicca, Voudon, eclectic paths, and so on. There's no judgment involved here; there's just a very specific set of Gods, worldview, and practices that set off this tradition from the others.

Specifically, I'm Kemetic Orthodox, which is a particular denomination of Kemetic religion. Not as helpful to people outside the overall Kemetic bailwick, but within it, this label is highly informative. Also comes with baggage, unfortunately. But it is what it is. This label means that I've gone through the House of Netjer's beginners' course and have chosen to remain a member of the community afterward. (It also implies that I generally accept Rev. Siuda's teachings and consider her my spiritual guide and mentor.)

Within Kemetic Orthodoxy, I'm a Shemsu-Ankh. This means that, in addition to choosing to honor my Kemetic Gods before all others and being named in the Kemetic Orthodox faith, I've undergone a certain ritual, and as part of that ritual I've vowed a commitment to serve the Kemetic Orthodox community. It's a promise of service and close involvement, not a rank, and it doesn't some with any elite powers. (In other words, I'm not a level 20 Shemsu.)

I'm also a Kemetic Orthodox W'ab priest. This is a lay priesthood (no Rev. title); it requires Shemsu-Ankh status and at least two years of active community involvement before one will even be considered for training, and keeping the title is contingent on performing one's duties regularly.

At one point, I was an Imy-set'a, a priest in training for ordination, but I had to step back due to personal issues. I hope to pick this up again sometime in the future.

All of these labels mean very specific things. My identity isn't defined by them per se, but they do provide helpful information that helps to frame who I am and what I do. They have meaning within my religion, and to a certain extent to people outside it. And with the exception of "Kemetic," they can't just be picked up or assumed by anyone who wants them. (Well, I'd tend to say that "Kemetic" requires that one practice some form of worship of the Kemetic Gods that's at least vaguely inspired by ancient Egyptian practices. But that's a pretty low hurdle to clear.)

My tradition has a very strongly defined framework, as you might be able to tell. For more freewheeling traditions or people working outside a tradition, your mileage will certainly vary.

-Shefyt
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Shefyt

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Re: Titles and Labels
« Reply #25 on: March 13, 2012, 12:32:29 pm »
Quote from: nbdy;45727
The woods were part of my property. It would be common guest courtesy to respect my wishes regardless of spirituality or tradition, but BECAUSE of the title he did not feel this was necessary.


I agree that this was very disrespectful. Regardless of whether or not he considered your woods sacred or could feel its energies: your home, your rules. And totally aside from that, I'd be extremely disappointed (to say the least) in anyone who overrode and dismissed your concerns using title or reputation as justification. I can't speak for anyone else's tradition, but in mine, priests are supposed to set an example for courtesy and respect.

Did he (or someone else) let you know in advance that fire was going to be part of the event? If not, bad to assume that you'd be prepared for it and have burnable wood on hand.

-Shefyt
I have not taken time away from the day;
I have done no damage to a beautiful hour.
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yewberry

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Re: Titles and Labels
« Reply #26 on: March 13, 2012, 12:46:55 pm »
Quote from: nbdy;45727
I agree that it is word often misused because it is used to describe attacks on non-living things. I understand that you may see this forest as a non-living thing. I reported how I felt, and don't assume that you know this better than I do.


You're welcome to equate the two in your mind.  You can't, however, expect to use such a loaded term to describe simple rudeness in a public forum without comment.
 
Quote
It is rare for me to speak this way, and I am fighting the urge to apologize because I don't think I have said anything that requires apology, it is just the easy way to make peace. I guess this thread just struck a chord I have heard too often and find unpleasant. I am generally a non-confrontational person.


You weren't asked to apologize.  You were asked to quit using a heated trigger word...you know, out of politeness...which you seem to value in others.

Brina

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Re: Titles and Labels
« Reply #27 on: March 13, 2012, 03:29:09 pm »
Quote from: yewberry;45738
You're welcome to equate the two in your mind.  You can't, however, expect to use such a loaded term to describe simple rudeness in a public forum without comment.


You weren't asked to apologize.  You were asked to quit using a heated trigger word...you know, out of politeness...which you seem to value in others.

Brina

 
Agreed. The definition of rape has changed these days to mean a very specific act of sexual violence and assault. Please don't use the word, nbdy, if that's not what you're referring to. Especially in a public forum where survivors should be able to feel safe.

Micheál

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Re: Titles and Labels
« Reply #28 on: March 13, 2012, 04:02:51 pm »
Quote from: Agonistes;45551

So, my question, what does the forum think of labels and titles? People assuming a title that you, perhaps, have worked hard to obtain and people coming out of the blue and wanting to assume that title with little work and/or effort. Or those who seek a path, but are met with opposition from the people you believed would help you.

Labels and titles are good for distinguishing things, especially in regards to specifics, and narrowing things down to possibly get a better understanding. I consider that a good thing, but at the same time dislike over labeling&categorising things because I do believe many things can exist out there in the open being grey, and not having to be forced into either a black or white box.

In regards to religious labels, like I said useful in distinguishing some paths, from others. The term 'Pagan' to me works on its own, but is very very broad and an umbrella term, which we saw in the likes of last year's Irish&UK Census campaigns where people where encouraged to write in 'Pagan,' plus what 'type' of pagan they were.

The whole 'Wiccan' debate is a very old, and continual one that you'll encounter almost everywhere, and does leave people questioning labels. Traditionally it's a specific initiatory orthopraxic mystery tradition, so using the term would be describing the traditions that fall under them, otherwise  it would be describing something else, which is why the prefixes 'Traditional', or 'Eclectic', 'Neo', 'Un-lineaged, 'Solitary' ,e.t.c. are added, as distinguishing labels. Some are fine with that, and others aren't. A lot of the time people that bang on about having proper lineage&initiation in Wicca are those that don't have it themselves, so it's a debate that will be encountered.

At the end of the day, it's how you think about it, and where you think you fit. I don't believe labels can be bent to fit certain needs, so if one doesn't fit under a label's description, they probably don't belong under it. It's a personal thing in how one reacts to their use. Someone who may have altered their life, worked hard, and sacrificed to be initiated into Traditional Wicca for ex. might take offence to someone using the label, similar to say someone who hasn't been initiated into Freemasonry, or graduated U.S Marine Bootcamp calling themselves a Mason or Marine. Anyone can have an affinity for them, and identify with their codes&symbols, but only certain people can claim the title. If, however, groups were started inspired by, or involving members of such, say Co-Masonry for example, then that's something elese. Many groups have had schisms, and in our Wiccan ex. for instance, Solitary, or Eclectic Wicca would be implying their different path, and at the end of the day there's Eclectic Paganism, Pagan or Religious Witchcraft, Dedicatory Religious Witchcraft, e.t.c. that is similar, but different, and a label that could suit many.

Now being let down, or faced with opposition with those that you believed would help? I think that's unfortunate. Individuals act differently, and there are some out there dead set against spoon feeding, or have chips on their shoulder, but I believe it would be decent, helpful, and general good manners to help those who are in the position of seeking, therefore in need of aid from someone who may have a little more experience. Of course that's not always the case, and people believe differently, so in those situations, it's better to look solely at the person, than what path they may be representing. It's a shame if one is turned off of a certain path because of a bad experience with one individual or group representing it, which is why second opinions would be handy there.

nbdy

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Re: Titles and Labels
« Reply #29 on: March 13, 2012, 06:03:12 pm »
Quote from: Shefyt;45736

Did he (or someone else) let you know in advance that fire was going to be part of the event? If not, bad to assume that you'd be prepared for it and have burnable wood on hand.

-Shefyt


There was no event. He was a guest at my home and got the notion all on his own. I did not burn the wood, but I won't get into that. I really didn't want to parse this one thing, I just threw it out as an example because it was way over the top for me.

My spirituality has been an extremely private matter for most of my life and about 15 months ago when I began looking for others I kept running up against people with status/power issues or a bad case of true believerism. Not all, mind you, I have also met some very wonderful people who have never belittled or disrespected me, but also much that reminds of politics at your typical Southern Baptist church.

So, to be on topic for the thread, which I never meant to side-swipe, I think any organized religion will have this issue. Identifiers cut through a lot of repeated introductory material if you've got one that fits well enough, but as far as titles, I've known brilliant high school drop-outs and doctors I would never let treat my family.

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Allaya, Chatelaine, EclecticWheel, HarpingHawke, Kylara, PerditaPickle, rocquelaire

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