What is a Cauldron?

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

 

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Ancient Magic and The Cairo Serapeum

The Library of Alexandria and The Cairo Serapeum were ancient storehouses of the ancient knowledge. Everyone knows about the Library of Alexandria and its destruction by fire, but they know little or nothing of the Cairo Serapeum.

The Library of Alexandria actually suffered many fires but it finally was sacked around 390AD once Paganism was outlawed. However, its first real brush with possible destruction was during Ceasar’s civil war. After this event, the scribes began moving the most important works to a sister library located in the Serapeum in modern day Cairo. Many have confused the Serapeum in Alexandria (much younger) with the one in Cairo as the sister library.

The Curious Life of Auguste Mariette

The Cairo Serapeum has an extensive catacomb system under it and was sealed and hidden until Auguste Mariette found it in 1850. Mariette’s life was a very interesting one. In his 30’s he discovered the Serapeum and because of his success there, the French government secured a sweetheart deal with the Egyptian government allowing Mariette to have the green light for further excavations.

His findings follow a path that only recently raises eyebrows. It is as if he had a roadmap showing the hiding places of ancient knowledge. Did he discover that the ancient Greeks were correct when they claimed that Khaemwaset possessed the famous Emerald Tablet of Thoth-Tehuti-Hermes? It has been confirmed that he discovered Prince Khaemwaset’s sarcophagus at the Serapeum and Khaemwaset was known by the Greeks and Egyptians as the King of Magicians.

Mariette rarely left Egypt after his first discoveries. He rose to a level of prominence in Egypt and while most of the artifacts he found went to museums in France and Egypt, the scrolls and tablets stayed with him. History states that his museum along with all of his notes and drawings were destroyed by a flood shortly before his passing but this can’t be proven. He did however, handpick his replacement. A linguist from France…not an archaeologist such as himself. He died at the age of 59, prematurely aged and mostly blind.

Control vs. Balance

Did the draw of the power he found in those scrolls and tablets drive him to an early grave? We must always respect nature and the power of the Universe. It is very easy to get lost in a desire to control all that is around us but it may not be for us to control; only to find balance. Once balance with the Universe is achieved then we can begin to produce magical music by plucking on the harp strings of the Universe.

Please understand that there is more to the Ancient Arts than just the Medieval European traditions that so many try to revive.

Beyond the Old Magic

There was a time and place beyond the Old Magic…one of Ancient Magic that is still all around us.

This post and the one to follow were originally posted on my previous blog.  My grandparents were instrumental in who I am today and I feel it is important to share with you some of the teachings I received from them. The stories may seem fantastical and unreal but as you peel away the onion skins, you will see that much of the truth has been buried or encrypted in the past. This may seem like a long post but it only scratches the surface.

The family I grew up in was steeped in ancient knowledge. Many stories were told of magical occurrences in my own family tree but I also was taught the ancient roots of our beliefs. My family background is a mixture of Irish, Black Welsh, and Native American. The deepest magical roots that are in our family stretch back to our Black Welsh / Basque ties.

 

As I have said before, my family believes that magic, science, medicine, religion, art, math and philosophy were all joined together in the time before modern memory. We also believe there were technologically advanced civilizations on this world long before the Egyptians and Mesopotamians. There were those who rose to power and effectively separated the ancient arts. Driving them to oppose each other; thereby breaking the connection between mankind and the Divine.

Fusion of the Ancient Arts

In ancient times, great power was held by those who understood the fusion of the Ancient Arts and how they worked together. Imhotep is a prime example of this power. Many today recognize him as the architect of the Pyramid of Zozer (Djoser). However, Imhotep, circa 2660 BC, wore many hats: doctor, a high priest, Grand Magus, scribe, sage, astrologer, and vizier. He held knowledge that seemed to come from the gods and as centuries passed, after his death he became a demigod in the eyes of the Egyptians. Many throughout history have debated whether Imhotep was a disciple or descendant of Thoth-Tehuti.

Over a thousand years later, the Greeks had a legendary Renaissance man by the name of Asclepius (circa 1260 BC). His legend shows him healing the hopelessly sick and raising the dead with his magical knowledge. By the time Hippocrates was born (460 BC), Asclepius had also ascended to demigod status.

“King of Magicians”

Around the time of Asclepius, there was another man in Egypt by the name of Prince Khaemweset (1290-1224 BC), who was a son of the pharaoh Ramses II. Several thousand years after his death, this man is still considered one of the greatest magicians of all time. He spent his lifetime preserving the knowledge of the Great Ancestors. Who these Great Ancestors were is not clear. Khaemweset built a massive library of sacred and magical texts that drew envy in the ancient world. His Ramesseum in Western Thebes contained only papyri about magic. The Greeks claimed that Khaemwaset possessed the famous Emerald Tablet of Thoth-Tehuti-Hermes and they always called him the “King of Magicians”.

Men have spent aeons searching for the old papyri and texts that hold the ancient knowledge. When many of the Egyptian tombs were found in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, there was a rush to grab the contents. At a time when Egyptologists could easily keep their findings, why did they hand over all of the valuable artifacts found in the tombs? Was it because they already had what they had come for? The ancient knowledge….’ He, who holds the knowledge, has the power’. I would be interested to know how many ancient Egyptian texts are held in the Vatican library.

Why does the Vatican have an obelisk and a pine cone statue on the grounds of the Holy City?

Another well known historical figure who seemed to have a wealth of ancient knowledge was Leonardo da Vinci. He also protected his greatest works with his own encryption systems. (Some of which have never been broken.) He knew what danger came with holding ancient knowledge.

The Burning Times

Why are there not any well known women from history who seemed to possess the knowledge and power that these before mentioned men had? Women have spent a majority of recent history as the fairer sex or even worse, as chattel. A woman that held ancient knowledge was deemed as dangerous or suspect. In an act of protection, women kept the ancient knowledge committed to memory. They passed that knowledge orally or they kept secret grimoires that were usually encrypted just as da Vinci kept his knowledge secret. Mother passed down to daughter or when there was no daughter or student to pass the knowledge onto; then, the wise woman’s flame flickered out. When the church began to notice the amount of ancient knowledge that was still loose in the wild with these wise women, it began a campaign to stamp out these traditions. This was one face of the Burning Times, the other was one of pettiness and greed of neighbor against neighbor.

Next: The Cairo Serapeum and its significance.