The cauldron has always been a symbol of the witch. When Halloween approaches, you see them everywhere. Cauldrons often bring up images of Shakespeare’s three witches in Macbeth. Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble. And all that jazz…
Cauldrons are actually something we use everyday. They are Mamaw’s cooking pot. They are that bucket we keep near the door full of pocket change. In this way, they exist in the mundane but they also are used for deeper magic as well. They are alchemical or transformative in their very nature and use. We use them to cook up a pot of homemade chicken noodle soup. The whole time we are thinking about bringing health to our family and ourselves and lo and behold….it does the trick.
Some famous cauldrons of the ancient include…
those of Cerridwen and Dagda. Cerridwen is the Welsh goddess of grain and prophesy. Her cauldron has the power of inspiration and divine knowledge from the Invisible World. Dagda is the fertility god of the Tuatha De Danaan and his cauldron is one of plenty and abundant food. It will only feed someone according to their merit, however. It also has healing powers and is said to be the resting place of the Spear of Lugh.
I have a couple of small cauldrons that I keep in my kitchen for magical work. One of them has a bit of sand and a tealight in the bottom of it that I use for my kitchen altar. I occasionally add herbs, flowers, oils, stones, etc.. to the cauldron depending on my ritual need.
I also have another cauldron, so to speak, in my kitchen window. This is actually one of my Granny’s special tea cups that she drank from often. In that cauldron, I keep some salt and a couple of bay leaves. This is used to ward away all negativity and to protect my hearth.
If you have a cast iron cauldron, here are some tips on keeping it in tip-top shape:
- If you notice rust forming in it, take some steel wool and scrub the rust away. Follow that with some hot, soapy water.
- Next, you will want to season the cauldron inside and out with shortening or lard. Using cooking oil will just leave a sticky mess.
- Following that treatment, you will want to place the cauldron in an oven on a baking sheet set around 300F degrees.
- After 15 to 20 minutes, take the cauldron out (carefully) and wipe the excess lard off and out of the cauldron.
- Place the cauldron back in the oven for an hour. At the end of the hour, turn the oven off and vent the door. Allow the cauldron to cool in the oven