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This will help you properly use a cauldron

How to Make Fire in a Cauldron
Elemental Cauldrons
The Couldron
Cerridwen: Keeper of the Cauldron
Using a Cauldron

How to Make Fire in a Cauldron

You Will Need:
1 cast-iron cauldron
epsom salts
rubbing alcohol (70% isopropyl, safer – 90% isopropyl, hotter)fire proof surface, preferably not heat conductivelong wooden matches (fireplace matches)

Procedure:
It is best to use a cast iron cauldron because they are easy to find and able to withstand the heat. Do Not use aluminum! Never make an indoor fire in a cauldron that is painted, since burning or even very hot point will produce dangerous fumes.  Some practitioners recommend half Epsom salts, half rubbing alcohol by volume (not by weight), for example, 1 cup of each (depending on the size of your cauldron, adjust accordingly). 70% isopropyl alcohol will burn, and it doesn’t burn as hot as 90% isopropyl, which can be a very important consideration when indoors, for both comfort and safety. Cover the bottom of the cauldron with a layer of Epsom salts, about 1-1/2 inches deep, pour in the alcohol so that it’s a little deeper than the salt (so that it cover the salt by ¼ - ½ inch).

To ignite, light a long match, and hold it just above the surface of the alcohol. The fire will burn brightly, at first, then, the flames will seem to skim the surface of the liquid. This fire is safest for indoor use, than one made from charcoal. Its byproducts are carbon dioxide and water vapor, where as charcoal produces smoke and dangerous carbon monoxide. Nonetheless, it is important to make sure the room is adequately ventilated –crack a door or window. Always put the cauldron on a fireproof surface (such as a hearth, tiled surface, hot-plate, or trivet). Make sure that there are no flammable objects nearby and that the only nearby objects are reasonably heat-resistant. Taper candles will bend or even melt, if too close.  Votives and other kinds of candles in glass holders are ok.

You can burn small pieces of paper in the cauldron, if you toss them in one at a time. Larger pieces or several at once often won’t burn, or won’t burn completely. If the fire is really hot, however, you might get pieces of glowing ash floating around the room, so use caution.  Be sure to keep a large box of baking soda handy, as well as a lid large enough to completely cover the cauldron. If the fire should get too hot, or flare dangerously, dump in the baking soda and slap down the lid. Don’t touch the cauldron with your bare hands. Leather all-purpose work gloves or an oven-mitt would be good to have nearby. It is also a good idea to have a bucket of water handy, just in case. Let the cauldron burn itself out. How long this will take will depend on how much fuel you have put into it. Wait until it’s cool, and then fill the inside with water to loosen the grayish mass of salts that have been fused together by the fire. If you put the water in soon after it is cool enough to handle, and let it soak overnight, it won’t be too hard to clean.

Elemental Cauldrons

Using a cauldron, symbol of inspiration and rebirth, has brought new dimensions to both group and solitary work. A cauldron decorates the center of the Circle during Lesser Sabbats. An air cauldron at a spring rite creates a misty, magical quality for the ceremony. In summer, the cauldron will flash and spark. A blue flame burns mysteriously within the Water cauldron during the autumn festival. Throughout Yule, the Earth cauldron burns steadfast and constant. During moon rites, when magick is done, we write the purpose of our working on flash papers and toss them into the burning cauldron while chanting. 

A working cauldron should be of cast iron, with a tight-fitting lid, three sturdy legs, and a strong handle. Season your cauldron before using it for the first time. Pour in generous helping of salt and lighter fluid, slosh it up to the rim and wipe dry. For indoor use it MUST have a fireproof base or your workings will summon up yellow-coated salamander spirits from the fire department. 

EARTH Cauldron 
Layer salt, wax shavings, three powered or ground herbs, fighter fluid and ivy leaves in the cauldron while focus and chanting. Use a candle to light it. When the smoke starts to roll, extinguish the cauldron by putting the lid on. 

AIR Cauldron 
Using tongs, put a chunk of dry ice is a small glass or ceramic bowl and place the bowl on a cloth in the bottom of the cauldron. Allow the cauldron to smoke as long as the ice lasts. The mists create excellent images for scrying. 

FIRE Cauldron 
Cover theinside bottom with dirtor sand to dissipateheat. Light incense charcoal and add either salt petter for flame and spark or flash powder for a different but spectacular effect. To assist in releasing or firing off peak energy, try using flash "bombs". Make a small pocket in a piece of flash paper, fill with flash powder and tie with thread. The "bomb" should be about the size of your smallest fingernail. The results are spectacularly bright, so use the powder sparingly. Don't look directly at the flash as you drop the "bomb" in the cauldron. 

WATER Cauldron 
At least seven days before the ritual, place equal quantities of three appropriate herbs in a pint glass jar. Fill the rest of the jar with Everclear (200 proof alcohol), cap tightly, and shake gently while concentrating on the purpose of the ritual. Add a chant if its feels right. Let the jar rest in a dark, warm spot and shake twice daily, charging with purpose. Before the ritual, place a fireproof ceramic or glass bowl in the cauldron. Pour in the herb mixture, being careful none spills into the cauldron. Light with a candle to produce a beautiful blue flame. 

The cauldron, as the fifth elemental spirit, symbolizes inspiration, rebirth, illumination and rejuvenation. Use a Fire cauldron with salt petter to cast a Circle. Use the mists of an Air cauldron for an initiation. Burn away hate, prejudice and negative self-images, with a Water cauldron. The Earth cauldron is ideal for indoor Beltane rites. 
Remember to place a burning cauldron on a fireproof surface. Practice safety when using any volatile materials and you will enjoy your cauldron for many rites.

The Couldron

The cauldron is a symbol of rebirth, the hearth, of abundance and of well being. Ancient Celtic tales tell of cauldrons that that no one ever went away from hungry and cauldrons that, when the dead were thrown into them, would bring the dead back to life. These days, cauldrons represent the female aspect of divinity, the womb, and are used thusly in conjunction with rods, wands, swords and athames (depending on their size and the tradition) in symbolic representation of The Great Rite.

Greek Myth and Legend:
Tantalus cooked his son Pelops in a cauldron. (And he was reborn.)  The Titans cut up Dionysus and cooked him in a cauldron. (And he was reborn)  Medea used a cauldron throughout her story.

Celtic Myth and Legend:
Cerridwen has Taliesin stir her cauldron for a year and a day and drops from it gives him his talents.  The Dagda's cauldron was one of the four treasures of the Tuatha de Dannan The Caudlron of Dyrnwch the Giant, one of the Thirteen treasures of Britain, will not boil meat for a coward.

Symbolism and Mythology:
Cauldrons have largely fallen out of use in the developed world as cooking vessels. While still used for practical purposes, a more common association in Western culture is the cauldron's use in witchcraft—a cliché popularized by various works of fiction, such as Shakespeare's play Macbeth. In fiction, witches often prepare their potions in a cauldron. Also, in Irish folklore, a cauldron is purported to be where leprechauns keep their treasure.

In some forms of Wicca which incorporate aspects of Celtic mythology, the cauldron is associated with the goddess Cerridwen. Celtic legend also tells of a cauldron that was useful to warring armies: dead warriors could be put into the cauldron and would be returned to life, save that they lacked the power of speech. It was suspected that they lacked souls. These warriors could go back into battle until they were killed again.

The holy grail of Arthurian legend is sometimes referred to as a "cauldron", although traditionally the grail is thought of as a hand-held cup rather than the large pot that the word "cauldron" usually is used to mean. This may have resulted from the combination of the grail legend with earlier Celtic myths of magical cauldrons.

Real symbolic cauldrons include:
The Gundestrup cauldron, made in the second or first century BC, found at Gundestrup, Denmark A Bronze Age cauldron found at Hassle, Sweden The cauldron where the Olympic Flame burns for the duration of the Olympic Games

Cerridwen: Keeper of the Cauldron

Crone of Wisdom:
In Welsh legend, Cerridwen represents the crone, which is the darker aspect of the goddess. She has powers of prophecy, and is the keeper of the cauldron of knowledge and inspiration in the Underworld. As typical of Celtic goddesses, she has two children: daughter Crearwy is fair and light, but son Afagddu (also called Morfran) is dark, ugly and malevolent.

The Legend of Gwion:
In one part of the Mabinogion, which is the cycle of myths found in Welsh legend, Cerridwen brews up a potion in her magical cauldron to give to her son Afagddu (Morfran). She puts young Gwion in charge of guarding the cauldron, but three drops of the brew fall upon his finger, blessing him with the knowledge held within. Cerridwen pursues Gwion through a cycle of seasons until, in the form of a hen, she swallows Gwion, disguised as an ear of corn. Nine months later, she gives birth to Taliesen, the greatest of all the Welsh poets.

The Symbols of Cerridwen:
The legend of Cerridwen is heavy with instances of transformation: when she is chasing Gwion, the two of them change into any number of animal and plant shapes. Following the birth of Taliesen, Cerridwen contemplates killing the infant but changes her mind; instead she throws him into the sea, where he is rescued by a Celtic prince, Elffin. Because of these stories, change and rebirth and transformation are all under the control of this powerful Celtic goddess.

The Cauldron of Knowledge:
Cerridwen’s magical cauldron held a potion that granted knowledge and inspiration — however, it had to be brewed for a year and a day to reach its potency. Because of her wisdom, Cerridwen is often granted the status of Crone, which in turn equates her with the darker aspect of the Triple Goddess.
As a goddess of the Underworld, Cerridwen is often symbolized by a white sow, which represents both her fecundity and fertility and her strength as a mother. She is both the Mother and the Crone; many modern Pagans honor Cerridwen for her close association to the full moon.

Cerridwen and the Arthur Legend:
The stories of Cerridwen found within the Mabinogion are actually the basis for the cycle of Arthurian legend. Her son Taliesin became a bard in the court of Elffin, the Celtic prince who rescued him from the sea. Later on, when Elffin is captured by the Welsh king Maelgwn, Taliesen challenges Maelgwn’s bards to a contest of words. It is Taliesen’s eloquence that ultimately frees Elffin from his chains. Through a mysterious power, he renders Maelgwn’s bards incapable of speech, and frees Elphin from his chains. Taliesen becomes associated with Merlin the magician in the Arthurian cycle.

In the Celtic legend of Bran the Blessed, the cauldron appears as a vessel of wisdom and rebirth. Bran, mighty warrior-god, obtains a magical cauldron from Cerridwen (in disguise as a giantess) who had been expelled from a lake in Ireland, which represents the Otherworld of Celtic lore. The cauldron can resurrect the corpse of dead warriors placed inside it (this scene is believed to be depicted on the Gundestrup Cauldron). Bran gives his sister Branwen and her new husband Math — the King of Ireland — the cauldron as a wedding gift, but when war breaks out Bran sets out to take the valuable gift back. He is accompanied by a band of a loyal knights with him, but only seven return home.

Bran himself is wounded in the foot by a poisoned spear, another theme that recurs in the Arthur legend — found in the guardian of the Holy Grail, the Fisher King. In fact, in some Welsh stories, Bran marries Anna, the daughter of Joseph of Arimathea. Also like Arthur, only seven of Bran’s men return home. Bran travels after his death to the otherworld, and Arthur makes his way to Avalon. There are theories among some scholars that Cerridwen’s cauldron — the cauldron of knowledge and rebirth — in in fact the Holy Grail for which Arthur spent his life searching.

Using a Cauldron

Using a cauldron, symbol of inspiration and rebirth, has brought new dimensions to both group and solitary work. A cauldron decorates the center of the Circle during Lesser Sabbats. An air cauldron at a spring rite creates a misty, magical quality for the ceremony. In summer, the cauldron will flash and spark. A blue flame burns mysteriously within the Water cauldron during the autumn festival. Throughout Yule, the Earth cauldron burns steadfast and constant. During moon rites, when magick is done, we write the purpose of our working on flash papers and toss them into the burning cauldron while chanting. 

A working cauldron should be of cast iron, with a tight-fitting lid, three sturdy legs, and a strong handle. Season your cauldron before using it for the first time. Pour in generous helping of salt and lighter fluid, slosh it up to the rim and wipe dry. For indoor use it MUST have a fireproof base or your workings will summon up yellow-coated salamander spirits from the fire department. 

EARTH Cauldron 
Layer salt, wax shavings, three powdered or ground herbs, lighter fluid and ivy leaves in the cauldron while focus and chanting. Use a candle to light it. When the smoke starts to roll, extinguish the cauldron by putting the lid on. 

AIR Cauldron 
Using tongs, put a chunk of dry ice is a small glass or ceramic bowl and place the bowl on a cloth in the bottom of the cauldron. Allow the cauldron to smoke as long as the ice lasts. The mists create excellent images for scrying. 

FIRE Cauldron 
Cover the inside bottom with dirt or sand to dissipate heat. Light incense charcoal and add either salt-peter for flame and spark or flash powder for a different but spectacular effect. To assist in releasing or firing off peak energy, try using flash "bombs". Make a small pocket in a piece of flash paper, fill with flash powder and tie with thread. The "bomb" should be about the size of your smallest fingernail. The results are spectacularly bright, so use the powder sparingly. Don't look directly at the flash as you drop the "bomb" in the cauldron. 

WATER Cauldron 
At least seven days before the ritual, place equal quantities of three appropriate herbs in a pint glass jar. Fill the rest of the jar with Everclear (200 proof alcohol), cap tightly, and shake gently while concentrating on the purpose of the ritual. Add a chant if its feels right. Let the jar rest in a dark, warm spot and shake twice daily, charging with purpose. Before the ritual, place a fireproof ceramic or glass bowl in the cauldron. Pour in the herb mixture, being careful none spills into the cauldron. Light with a candle to produce a beautiful blue flame. 

The cauldron, as the fifth elemental spirit, symbolizes inspiration, rebirth, illumination and rejuvenation. Use a Fire cauldron with salt-peter to cast a Circle. Use the mists of an Air cauldron for an initiation. Burn away hate, prejudice and negative self-images, with a Water cauldron. The Earth cauldron is ideal for indoor Beltane rites. 

Remember to place a burning cauldron on a fireproof surface. Practice safety when using any volatile materials and you will enjoy your cauldron for many rites.

Remember to harm none!!!!

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