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The Witch's Cauldron
If you look at items associated with witches today, one of the most popular ones is the cauldron. During Halloween especially you are likely to see lots of art depicting witches brewing their potions in the cauldron, cackling as some crazy color goes sparkling into the night sky to deliver the spell that they have just cast.....
Have you ever really given much thought to why witches are shown like this so frequently?
Sure we've all seen the movies with the stereotypical witches portrayed circling around a bubbling cauldron on a fire, but where did this association originally come from?
Back before we all had these modern stoves in every kitchen, the hearth was the center of the home. What was on the hearth? In almost every home you would find a large cast iron pot that hung over the fire to cook pretty much everything.
So my question is then, how did a every day cooking pan come to be associated with witches?
Perhaps it's because most of us love to cook, and may have carried our cauldron's a little further in life. After all they are amazing to cook in. There is nothing better during the winter then a stew in a cast iron pot that's been simmering over a fire all day. My parents live in a log cabin on top of a mountain. :)) They only use cast iron pots to cook in. They've actually gotten me started on my own collection for birthdays and Christmas over the past year. I absolutely adore the look of them, but I love the way the cook too. :))))) I don't have to worry about strange things chipping off in my food, and they always heat things amazingly. :)))))
In the days of old those cauldrons were also used to prepare herbal remedies over the fire. It wasn't uncommon to find soups, tinctures, and teas, simmering in various sized cauldrons over the fire. I know a few of you carry those traditions forward today. I will use a smaller one I have from time to time on my stove to simmer water to add humidity to the air and smell. :))))) I usually use my mini-crockpot though as it's safer than leaving the stove on.
Today we use it as witches for traditional reasons but also for many symbolic reasons. Many of the rituals we do you will find the cauldron used. Many of us keep small cauldrons on our alters. I am among them. It is the symbolic womb of the Great Mother Goddess. I actually use mine quite frequently when working with magick. I will use it often to burn herbs safely in during my ritual or spell work. It can also be used for divination purposes by scrying in the water or the smoke from the cauldron.
One day I would love to have a home with a large hearth that I can keep a cauldron or several over the fire for teas, soups, and other magickal things. There's something just amazingly soothing about it to me. :))))
On my birthday last year I actually found an old cauldron. I believe it to be a gift from my Grandfather and it hangs in my kitchen today. I don't use it for cooking as it's quite old, but I keep things in it like flowers, fruits, nuts, etc. :))))) I have used it in a couple rituals, but very specific work to do with my ancestors. That's what the energy on it feels appropriate to me for. :))))) It reminds me of my Grandfather as he always had one over the fire when we went camping. :))))) I wrote an article about it here: http://wiccanmoonsong.blogspot.com/2012/09/old-cauldron.html
The picture of it is below :))
Much Love and Many Blessings,
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