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The Bewitching Cauldron - It's Uses In and Out of Ritual

Updated on July 21, 2011

Gundestrup cauldron

Gundestrup cauldron found in Denmark in 1891
Gundestrup cauldron found in Denmark in 1891 | Source

Ancient Cauldrons

Olympic Flames Cauldrons

History of the Cauldron

Cauldrons have been used throughout history for magickal and mundane purposes alike.

There was a silver cauldron found in Denmark in 1891 that was determined to date back to the 1st century BCE. Many believe that it was made by Thracians, but people remain confused on the issue because it does contain Celtic pictures on the plates.

There is the Welsh tale of the Cauldron of Dyrnwch the Giant. In this tale, the cauldron is said to be able to tell the difference between brave men and cowards. The cauldron would not boil the meat of a coward, but would boil quickly if the meat belonged to a brave man.

In Norse mythology Odin was said to have received wisdom and intuitiveness from a cauldron.

The cauldron has a very rich and varied history within the Celtic legends. It has been called the Cup or Cauldron of Cerridwen, and was used in rituals as an emblem of Divine inspiration and abundance. Celts also saw the cauldron as a magickal tool of regeneration for the Gods, was considered to be a sacred door to Summerland, was seen as a way of thanking the Gods for the abundant crops that they had in the fields, the abundance of water and numerous flocks in the area, and was a way to ensure honorable passage to reincarnation or Summerland. They saw the cauldron as representing change, renewal, dedication, resurrection, reincarnation, inspiration, transmutation, transformation, and abundance.

Even today, you can see a cauldron in use at the Olympic Games...it is what has been used to burn the Olympic Flames in since 1936.

Different Styles of Cauldrons

About the Cauldron

Cauldrons are typically a pot-bellied shape (rounded with the opening smaller than the widest part of the pot) and have 3 legs on the bottom to support it.

The three legs are thought to be important to the cauldron because they are representative of the three aspects of the Triple Goddess (the Maiden, Mother, and Crone) and are believed to aid in the magickal workings of whatever the cauldron is used for.

Traditionally the cauldron was either made out of cast iron or clay. Today, however, you can also find cauldrons that are made out of brass, bronze, copper, steel, and stone.

Many people prefer to use the cast iron because of its resilience to fire, durability, and if kept clean and dry when stored, it can last for a very long time.

Many pagans and witch's believe that using a bronze cauldron is better because the bronze is more fitting to represent the feminine aspects of the Goddess rather than the cast iron which is typically seen as a male type metal.

Then, of course, there are people that believe that the cauldron is unnecessary because they have a chalice to represent the womb of the Goddess.

Cauldrons come in a wide variety of sizes and materials. Depending on what you plan on using it for, will help you to determine what size, color, and material will best suit your needs. This is, of course, dependant on the fact of whether you will even find a cauldron necessary. If not, I would not worry about having one.

Symbology of the Cauldron

The cauldron symbolizes a lot of things for the many different people that use it. It is seen as representing Water and the West. It is viewed as the womb of the Goddess which is the vessel in which all life is said to begin, which is why it is considered such a sacred vessel to the Goddess and many pagans and witch's. The cauldron is also seen as a symbol of renewal, artistic inspiration, a source of infinite sustenance (both physically and spiritually), and rebirth and purification through Fire.

The cauldron can be a respected, loved, and well-used tool that embodies the very soul of the femininity of the Goddess, for the people who use it.

Uses of the Cauldron

It can be used for:

  • Brewing potions and herbal remedies in

  • Cooking magickal and/or ritual foods in

  • To put candles in during rituals and magickal workings

  • Mixing herbs in (for incense)

  • Burning incense during meditation, yoga, magickal workings, and rituals

  • Holding water and/or beverages in (for during or after the ritual)

  • Holding herbs and/or flowers for the ritual

  • Small fires (such as in the winter to symbolize the return of the Sun God)

  • Burning paper and other items in rituals or magickal workings (such as to rid yourself of unwanted energies or habits)

  • Consecration of other tools

  • Scrying with when filled with water (if using a cast iron or other dark metal)

  • Simmering herbs in water over low heat on the stove (for protection, purification, or just to smell good)

As you can see, the cauldron can easily be a valuable and adaptable tool that can be used for an assortment of things. I'm sure that if you do decide to invest in a cauldron that you will surely consider it to be an important tool that you will use for many different things in the years to come.

Buying a Cauldron

Checking junk stores, antique stores, garage sales, and flea markets might be your best sources of finding a cauldron.

You can also check your local metaphysical store and the many options that are available to you online.

New E-Book

I have spent some time lately creating an e-book for my fellow Wiccans, Witch's, and Pagans.

It has all of the common tools that we use along with history, lore, where to buy, how to make (if possible), and correspondences.

I have created this because I know how convenient it is to have all of the information available and easily accessible. I even find myself using this all the time simply for the correspondences.

Tools of Witchcraft

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    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Goddess, I totally love my cauldrons, lol. They are an excellent tool for so many purposes, and even for cooking up meals for the family with a little touch of magic. Great job on this hub.

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