Someone asked me the other day if I could blog about witchy tools. They had enjoyed the articles on that subject matter in my online newsletter, FLIGHT: A Living, Breathing Document of Consciousness, but could not access the issues that the articles had been in as it was quite a while ago. So I said that I would do that, and here is the first of the series.
To begin with, the most important tool that a witch can have is confidence in his or her own witchy abilities. That confidence cannot be created with any tool. It comes from within. So know that all of the following blogs regarding this are about tools that simply augment what is already right there inside of you.
The first of the witchy tools that I would like to discuss is the Cauldron. There are many styles of cauldrons, but I do find that the traditional cast iron cauldron is the best and most versatile, not to mention the most bullet proof. Ceramic, pottery, and wooden cauldrons definitely have their weak spots and drawbacks in terms of how you can safely use them. But with cast iron the only thing you have to be careful of is leaving liquid in it as that can cause rust.
It is important to cure your cauldron before ever putting it into any use. You would do that the same way as you would cure any cast iron pot or pan, in the oven at the highest possible heat after coating it with cooking oil inside and out and setting it on a cookie sheet so excess oil can gather in the sheet insted of on the floor of your oven. Bake it until there is nothing but a very small drop of oil at the bottom of the cauldron. Then take it out and set it aside to cool it down. Once cool, take a paper towel and absorb any remaining oil, and rub the entire cauldron down. Make sure that you also do the lid of the cauldron. And if you don’t have a lid, get a cauldron that has one, as this is a safety feature.
The cauldron itself represents the womb of the Great Mother. The iron from which it is made is from deep inside the earth. Its durability is incredible. The three legs on the caudlron (if it does not have three legs, it is a pot, not a cauldron) represent the Divine Feminine in the three stages of Maiden, Mother and Crone, as well as the Divine Masculine of Father, Son and Sage. The tripod effect of the three legs also is an insurance policy against accidental tipping. Unless someone actually knocks it over, it is pretty much fail safe there.
Cauldrons can be used for simply cooking, although with the abundance of available pots and pans these days, I don’t know why anyone would use it for that. The cauldron’s intended purpose upon creation is that of working magic. There are several ways in which to do that:
- You can place earth, sand or crystals into it to enhance the vibration of any earth magic that you are doing.
- You can place water into it to enhance any water magic that you are doing.
- You can place herbs and medicine plants into it to enhance herbal magic that you are doing.
- You can burn incense in it to enhance air magic that you are doing.
- You can place fire in it to enhance any fire magic you are doing.
Do know that whatever intent you place into the cauldron (the womb of the Great Mother) is what will be manifested in the physical realm. Thus, it is important to not place anything into the cauldron that you do not want in your life. For example, if you are manifesting a better job, you do not want to place into the cauldron anything along the lines of “nothing like the crappy job that I currently have” because you have actually just manifested a crappy job like the one you currently have.
Whatever the element is that I am utilizing with my cauldron, I like to sprinkle an offering into the cauldron while creating my spell (a magical recipe). I create this offering from various herbs, spices and grains etc. that I gather throughout the year. In addition to that, I also like to include fine glitter, which I have the fairies bless. This gives all of the spells an extra little boost. Whatever you are using as an offering, place that offering into the cauldron BEFORE you light the fire. Once the fire is lit, if offerings are made into the flames, the offerings will often go up in flames and land elsewhere, thus creating a fire hazzard.
If you are doing water magic, be sure to pour the water out at the end of the spell. Do not let the water sit in the cauldron. If you feel that the water must sit (so that the evaporation process spreads the spell work through the air) then pour it into another concecrated vessel such as a bowl or cup. Be sure to dry out the cauldron after doing water magic.
If you are placing earth or sand into the cauldron, be sure that it is dry. Then you can, if you desire, let it sit for awhile. But if it is damp soil or sand it will have the same rusting effect on your cauldron as would water. Also make sure that any herbs going into the cauldron are dry for the same reason.
When doing fire magic you can use a tealight candle, a votive candle a small pillar candle, or you can use fire water (99% Isopropyl Alcohol) that, once lit, will burn clean. Always have the cauldron on a fire safe surface during a fire spell. The cauldron will, being cast iron, get extremely hot and will burn the surface of whatever it is sitting on. So I always have the caudron on a trivet that is used for setting hot plates and pots on. Also be sure to allow the cauldron to cool before trying to touch or move it.
You can combine elements, such as herbs and stones and sand and water and fire if you like. Using fire water, add just drops of water, which will not dilute it too much. Sprinkle herbs and sand and such into the fire water. Once the caudron has cooled down, you can offer the ashes to the earth. This is the original meaning behind the term “burnt offerings.” If you are adding something like corn kernels, please be sure that you are NOT using popping corn. This will create explosions that are uncontrolable and be a possible fire hazzard.
Some practitioners insist that a cauldron must be lit using only a fire stick (match). I am not one of those folks. First off, if you are lighting fire water, there is a big flash, the likes of which you will only see in a Harry Potter movie. That flash will burn you. You can drop the match in and quickly withdraw your hand, but you also risk missing the cauldron when throwing the match in its direction. I use a barbeque lighter. Quick, easy, dependable and long enough to allow me safety from being scortched.
So there you have it. Cauldron work 101 is complete. Treat your cauldron with the utmost respect and it will treat you likewise.