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Cauldrons

40:44
 
Chia sẻ
 

Manage episode 342897896 series 2634748
Thông tin tác giả The Wonder Podcast được phát hiện bởi Player FM và cộng đồng của chúng tôi - bản quyền thuộc sở hữu của nhà sản xuất (publisher), không thuộc về Player FM, và audio được phát trực tiếp từ máy chủ của họ. Bạn chỉ cần nhấn nút Theo dõi (Subscribe) để nhận thông tin cập nhật từ Player FM, hoặc dán URL feed vào các ứng dụng podcast khác.

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S3E34 TRANSCRIPT:----more----

Yucca: Welcome back to the Wonder Science-based Paganism. I'm one of your hosts, Yucca,

Mark: And I'm the other one. Mark.

Yucca: and today we are talking about Cauldrons.

Mark: Yeah.

Yucca: yes, and welcome to October. We're here all in. The wonderful aut month, the our kind of spooky hollows is coming and here we are. So we're gonna have some great episodes this, this month.

Mark: Yeah, I'm really excited about it. We've got a lot of cool stuff to talk about for the witchy month and can't wait to get started.

Yucca: Yeah. So speaking of witchy, there's probably three symbols which are most associated with witch broomstick, pointy hat and cauldron.

Mark: Right.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: No one will make any mistake about what you are trying to represent. If you've got those three things with you

Yucca: Yep. And oh please.

Mark: Well, I was gonna say, we don't have enough to say about a pointy hat to turn it into an episode, but there's plenty to talk about with a caldron.

Yucca: there is, Yes. So I think a good place to start would probably be, you know, the history. What is a coldron, what's the history and why? Why it really matters, why we're interested in this symbol.

Mark: Mm-hmm. well. From my standpoint, I, I think you, you really identified the main reason why we're interested in it. I mean, for those of us that gravitate towards Paganism and it's aesthetic and it's iconography in our ritual practice, those. Those standard symbols, like the cauldron become very potent.

They become very influential when, when you're, when you're brewing something over a cauldron, there is very much this sense that you're doing magic, right.

Yucca: Yeah. Well, and I, and I think that the association with the witch, a witch is a powerful figure. Right. And they're, they can be represented in different ways in terms of the morality of them in stories, right? Depending on who's telling the story, whether they're, you know, the good guy or the bad guy. But they're always powerful, right?

They're always, they have agency. But that agency also usually is coming from them and the home. And the cauldron has this association with the home because it's a tool of the. , whether that's an outdoor kitchen around the fire or whether that was your kitchen in the home at the Hearth.

Mark: Right. Yeah. I mean, Among the very earliest implementations of of any kind of cooking equipment that we're familiar with are ceramic pots that were used for cooking. Things in hot stones would be put inside a ceramic pot. And then Cereals or meat or and water or whatever. It could be stirred in that and it would boil which would sterilize it of course, but would also break down proteins in the food to make it easier to digest.

And we have evidence of that going back thousands and thousands of years.

Yucca: Right. Well, because there's a lot of foods that, There's a lot of plants that you might be digging up that you can't eat.

Mark: right.

Yucca: Right. It's not gonna, you have to cook them. And so if we were gonna be doing that, then we needed to cook them.

Mark: Right, and we've had. Thousands of generations to do the experimentation to figure those things out. I mean, people talk about, you know, indigenous knowledge and indigenous healing. Well, think about all the trial and error that went into figuring that stuff out. It's like, all right, who's gonna eat the mushroom?

All right, Bob's gonna eat. Oh, Bob's gone.

Yucca: Okay. Let's remember that measure.

Mark: Right, But how did they ever get to the point of feeding the mushroom to reindeer and then gathering their urine?

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: I mean, it's just

Yucca: Well, I, We

Mark: scale of

Yucca: time, Yeah. The time we've been around. On the one hand, if you compare us to, Crocodiles, we've barely been around. Right. But compared to an individual human or an individual culture's memory, the, it's so, so long.

Mark: Right. Yeah. 200,000 years since we really started developing culture

Yucca: Or well human, at least our gen, our genius is older and you could quite, there's a lot of argument to be made that that other humans, not just homo sapiens had. Quite a bit of culture as well,

Mark: Well, sure. They had the domestication of fire, which in many cases there are a lot of strong arguments to be made that the domestication of fire was. Kind of the, the launching pad for human culture. In many ways it also coincided with a rapid evolution of our brains because we were getting a lot more food value out of our food once we started cooking it.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: This is a tangent, but

Yucca: Well, but we can relate it back though, because Fire and Cauldrons is that right? So we, This was planned, This was planned tangent. We can say

Mark: So, yeah, the, the hearth, the, the home fire and the cooking pot sitting over it are very, very ancient symbols of of power of transformation. You know, you put those ingredients in and they, they, they come out different. They come out edible food, they come. Tasting different

Yucca: smelling good.

Mark: smelling good.

There's, there's just all kinds of wonderful things that happen in the, the alchemy of that, that caldron. So historically, and, you know, we know that this has been a symbol for a very long time because it was already a trope when Shakespeare was writing about it. Right. You know, with, with the three witches and the double, double toil and trouble and all that.

So now we inherit it today and it's become sort of a stereotype, but at the same time, a caldron is a really useful ritual implement, and we're gonna talk about ways that it, that it is useful for us.

Yucca: Right, and we should say, The image that usually comes to mind when you think of a cauldron that rounded three-legged black, you know, big Iron Pot. That's one version of a Coran, right? This is, that's, we're looking at, that's coming from recent European history, but Qurans are much older and there's, you know, they're always kind of a pot shape, but we don't always see them as that round.

Belly kind of shape. Sometimes we see other shapes involved. We're talking about that because that's what we associate with the witches and a lot of the kind of witch aesthetic is coming from a European aesthetic, but remembering that cultures all over the world had versions of this.

Mark: Yes. Yes. And we should talk about some some variations that exist for the kinds of formats that people might. Experience as a part of you know, selecting a cauldron for themselves. We're in no way saying you need to go out and spend a couple hundred dollars on, on, you know, a pot beed, three-legged iron cauldron.

They're out there, they're really cool, but

Yucca: if you're into that, we're not gonna judge you on that, but yeah, you certainly don't need to.

Mark: Yeah. And if we, and if we do a ritual with you and there it is, we'll go, Hey, wow. Cool. Caldron,

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: But my caldron actually is not one of those, It is a Dutch oven that probably dates from the turn of the 20th century. It's got a lot of rust on it that I've never cleaned off because it's.

Yucca: Mm-hmm.

Mark: And it has a wire bale that I can pick up and a lid.

And I've used it in lots of caldron rituals and it's, it still, it still communicates that sense of antiquity. There's something that's lovely about having a lid for it because it's sort of mysterious. You know, you put the lid on and then some, something magical happens inside it. You take the lid off and things have changed.

Yucca: I think that's really interesting because I, mine are also Dutch ovens. So mine are very used dutch ovens because I have a wood stove in the home and, and yeah, I have a little propane burner as well for cooking on, but as long as we've got, cuz we do heat with wood in the winter, as long as we've got that going.

I love having things up on top of it and you can also stick it into the ashes of the fire. So we've got several different sizes and kind of different shapes there for them. And there's just something about that cast iron, right? Ours are probably are new Dutch ovens. They're probably made within the last few years, but they feel like something that could be around for a very long.

Mark: Right,

Yucca: They, you know, they could be passed on. My grandkids or great-grandkids could literally be using these. Yeah.

Mark: that is the great thing about cast iron is that. It simply doesn't wear out. We use cast iron frying pans in my house and some of them come from thrift chops where they looked hideous. I mean, they're covered with rust and conclusions and just in the worst possible shape. But you get going on, taking all that stuff off, and then

Yucca: take that top layer. Yeah.

Mark: And it is a perfectly good frying pan once again, and it will be for decades, if not centuries, as long as you keep it from being eaten up by oxidation.

Yucca: Yeah. That's what we use all of our, our pans in the kitchen, our, our cast iron, we've got. A couple of stainless steel for boiling, like a pot or kettle stainless steel. But that's, you know, they're just beautiful. And, and some people get very snobby about the exact correct way to treat them and wash them.

And, but I think that they're just super forgiving and if you mess up, then you just it, right? You just re season it again. It's great. And enjoy the things you're eating that you're seasoning it with, you know.

Mark: Right. And there are some things that you make that will take the seasoning off. Like if you cook a tomato pasta sauce, for example, the, the acids in that may very well take some of the seasoning off the pan. So you put a little oil on, stick it in the oven, heat it up for a while, and you've gotta see some pan.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: So, and, and ode to to cast iron. We're big fans.

Yucca: Right. Well, and so going back though to the cauldron, so we were saying that we use our, our cast iron Dutch ovens but there's a lot of Dutch ovens that are not iron. Right. And there's other things that, that would, that serve the same function that we use today. As a coulter would traditionally, So your big crock pots, right?

Or your stockpot, right. We've got like this several gallon stockpot that, you know, is what I used to heat up the bath water with. And it's just, it's, it, it has that same vibe, right? And it, it's modern. It was made within the last 20 years probably, but it still does that same function and looks beautiful at the same.

Mark: Mm-hmm. One of the things that is great about using a Dutch oven actually be is because they do have a lid. And what that means is that you have a little bit more control over temperature. Gradients. For example, if you've got a Dutch oven that is sitting on the fire or in the coals, the bottom of that is gonna get really hot.

But the lid, you could put herbs on that to create a fragrance in your home. Or a little drop of essential oil to do the same thing. There are, if you just want to warm things, I mean, I know you can, you can warm bread and stuff like that on the, on the top of, of a dutch oven as well. So it's a very versatile tool for for a variety of uses.

Yucca: and you can also put a fire right into it. Right? You could have your candle or something in that, and then. When you put your lid on afterwards, you can feel pretty secure that you're not, that you're not creating a fire hazard with that.

Mark: Right,

Yucca: So now it will, your lid will heat up too. So you need to be, be aware of that if you're, you are using it on the stove and, you know, not, not touch that with your bare hands, but it just, it, you could just use it in so many different ways.

Mark: right. Right. And there is something about just the sight of that Dutch oven or caldron heating in a fireplace or over a stove that kind of says home and comfort and warmth and and magic, you know, the magic of the kitchen. We were talking before we were recording and I was mentioning that, you know, one of the things about about older times is that, you know, you, your, your medicines didn't come from a factory.

They came from your kitchen, you know, and the caldron was a, a key. Tool for creating them. You know, you'd, you'd gather the proper herbs, you'd mash them up in a mortar and pestle, which is another classic alchemical sort of witchy, magical set of tools, and then you would brew them.

Yucca: today too,

Mark: Oh yeah, yeah. We, we use ours all the time.

Yucca: Mm-hmm.

Mark: And then, you know, brew them or toast them or, you know, whatever it is in that hot pot. So it's, It's not an accident that a, that domestic tools like the broom and the cauldron are associated with the power of the witch because that kind of ritual magic, if you will, was really the purview of the home.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: That's where it happened.

Yucca: Mm-hmm.

Mark: Very different than, Oh, go ahead.

Yucca: I was gonna say, I still think that, I think that's still where a lot of it does, but in our very busy lives, we kind of forget about that sometimes. We're off running around, but when we come back, back home, back to center, then we go, Oh, I actually do have a lot of power from this place.

Mark: Mm-hmm. . Yes. So, We've established that this is something that has been a symbol for a very long time, and it's been a, a useful tool for humans even going back into very, very ancient times. I'm sure we were heating things on hot stones long before we, you know, invented pottery or any of that kind of stuff.

Yucca: Right. But as long as we've been in the neolithic. We've had something of the sort, right? Every, everybody who's doing that, who's doing the, the whole staying in one place thing, and even nomadic peoples as well could have things that they were, you know, packing up and bringing with them. Yeah.

Mark: right. And we've established that cast iron is good.

Yucca: yes. Yay for cast iron.

Mark: Big fans of cast iron. Why don't we talk a little bit about the kinds of ritual things that you can do with a caldron

Yucca: Hmm. Okay. Well I think we could start with the incorporating what you would be doing with it to begin with, just on a mundane level and adding some ritual and meaning into that. So in this case it, it might be your Dutch oven, but it also might be your stockpot on the stove. Right. What are you doing and why are you doing that?

Right? So can you add something, Can you have a, a moment when you add in that salt or whatever it is that you're adding in, that you, that you take a moment and have just set an intention with that, right?

Mark: Yeah, the adding of seasoning and spices I think is a great opportunity for metaphorically adding magic into whatever it is that you're cooking. Spices are. Spices are kind of magical substances when you think about it. I mean, they are the unique pesticides that various plants have evolved in order to defend themselves from insects mostly. And in some cases from fungal infections and stuff like that.

Yucca: and small mammals and

Mark: Sure, yeah. If they,

Yucca: And us too. It's just, we're so big , right? They're, they're technically poisons, right? They're toxins that they produce because they don't wanna be eaten every, everybody wants to survive and reproduce and they can't get up and run, run away the way an animal can or bite you, but they can make themselves poisonous.

Mark: Yes. And they can make themselves taste bad, but

Yucca: But we ended up liking

Mark: amounts, yes. In small amounts. You're, you're a regno and your terragon and your sage and your onions, and.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: All those wonderful things. Garlic, I mean, they, they give us wonderful, good feelings and very complex flavors that give us a lot of pleasure.

So when casting those things into a cooking pot, we can be setting intentions, we can be stirring them in as meaning, you know,

Yucca: It would be lovely if you made your own labels and added them to the spice jars. Maybe not covering up what they are. If you need to know which is, which is your cayenne and which is your cinnamon, you wanna know the difference, right? But if you put your label on that, you know, Oh, well this one is love, right?

And this one is creativity. You know, when you're putting in your love and creativity and all of those things that you see that every time. Reach for that spice jar.

Mark: I love that idea. That's a great idea. And it would be a really fun project actually, to do with kids to create the labels.

Yucca: Yeah. And you could do, You could put them on in ritual too.

Mark: Right? Right.

Yucca: And even, No even grown up kids. Right.

Mark: Oh yeah. I.

Yucca: kids of whatever ages.

Mark: I would want to be a part of it for sure.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: So we can do caldron magic in the course of just using the caldron for the purpose, for an ordinary cooking purpose.

Yucca: Mm-hmm.

Mark: We can also dispense with anything in the cauldron except fire. We can, we can burn. We can burn fire, burn wood, or you know, whatever it is that don't burn anything toxic because then you're not gonna want to use it for cooking ever again.

Yucca: and you wanna be able to be around. You don't wanna breathe and smoke in general, but you wanna be really careful about what it is that you're burning. So you don't wanna be burning like synthetic fabrics or something like that, that really could be very toxic to you. If you get a little wolf of whiff of wood smoke, it's not great, but you know, it's, it's not gonna be quite as much of an issue as burning plastics.

Mark: Right, right. Yeah. So, a flaming caldron is something that we, I've used many times in rituals and you can, you can feed stuff that you want to destroy or dispense with in the form of. Little pieces of wood that you've invested your intention on or written the message on what you mean. You can do that with slips of paper.

You can do that with Little symbols that are flammable of, of some kind. So that's sort of the destructive approach to a flaming cauldron. But you can also do it with wishes. You can inscribe something hope hoped for, that you want to, The smoke will go up into the sky and inform whatever powers are up there and, and they'll put in an order for you.

Yucca: Or thinking of it as this is fuel, right? This is, this is the fuel for the fire. That, that whatever it is burning inside of you, right? What is it that you want to feed into your fire to, for you to continue to grow and do all of these, you know, passionate, wonderful things, whatever it is that you are focused on.

Mark: Right, And in the case of a ritual like that, I really encourage people to use low tech methods of actually lighting the fire. So that it, it takes a little effort, right? You know, whether that's a flint and steel or I, I don't recommend lighting a fire with a bow because it's an incredible amount of work.

And it, you can have disappointing results while you're trying to light your inspiration. Fire.

Yucca: Yeah. Well if, if you do, you might wanna practice that ahead of time and be, and get really good at it. Right. Just knowing that it is a skill that takes a lot of work.

Mark: Yes.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: But there is, there is something to be said to something more than just flicking a lighter and . Suddenly there is flame.

Yucca: Yeah. Well, and it, and you know, if you don't have access to one of those matches, right? There's something more, I, I find there's something very satisfying about striking the match as opposed to just the lighter. Although there are some really cool lighters. We were given one of those arc lighters.

Mark: I have one I use it for, for my alter, my focus all the time.

Yucca: Yeah, I feel so sci-fi, whenever I use

Mark: Yeah.

Yucca: like, yeah. It's just really nice and it's USB chargeable, so we just like plug it in and don't have to, I've got lots of lighters and matches all over the place because I don't wanna ever. Want to be lighting a fire and be shivering and being like, Where are my matches?

Where are my lighters? But those are fun, but you know, there's matches. And there's also, I don't know what they're actually called, but you know, the ones we'd use in lab class for bunsen burners? The,

Mark: Oh, those little pizza, electric things that,

Yucca: Yeah, there's silver and you

Mark: spark.

Yucca: Yeah. Those are, you know, when you have a more. Just an out of the ordinary or kind of fun way of starting the fire.

There's a little something extra to it.

Mark: Right, right. There are these striker, they're, they're sort of like flint and steel. They're these sort of striker sticks that you scrape sparks off of onto like cotton or something, which will light on fire. And those are pretty neat for starting a fire too. I don't know what they're called exactly either, but they're you can get them in camping stores.

Yucca: Okay.

Mark: add to a survival

Yucca: Oh, I think I've seen them and they, You can like put them on a key chain or something like that. Yeah, Yeah. Now you gotta be patient with anything like that that doesn't have a sustained flame because you're trying to catch that. Spark,

Mark: Yeah.

Yucca: like if you have like a little cotton swab from the bathroom, like those are really good and you maybe half of it, you dip into olive oil and the other half you leave open so that then it starts to burn the oil.

And there's a lot of, that's another thing that you could do fire related is little fat lamps, little fat, an oil lamps. Those are really fun.

Mark: Right.

Yucca: This year the kids and I So they're, they're softa. So my stepmother lives up on our, where we do as well and is really into finding the, the clay here and fire making things and firing it.

So they made little oil lamps. Yeah, so they made little oil lamps and we've been using lard in them and they worked remarkably well and doesn't smell like a fast food restaurant. I was very happy for that.

Mark: That's amazing. Yeah, we've used NAEA uses Tao quite a bit in cooking and

Yucca: how,

Mark: Yeah, so we've, we've, I've used that sometimes as sort of an accelerant for a fire to get started, but, okay, so that's the fire inside the cauldron. That's one whole set of things you can do.

Yucca: Mm-hmm.

Mark: Then there's the adding ingredients into the cauldron kind of. The, the classic example of that is stone soup, where everybody brings an ingredient and you start with water or stock. Could be vegetable stock, could be chicken,

Yucca: Mm-hmm. , b flam, whatever you have

Mark: Whatever you

Yucca: and whatever matches your, your dietary approaches. Yeah.

Mark: Right. And then people add ingredients and the whole thing becomes soup. Which. Is a lot more satisfying than it sounds. There is, there is really something wonderful about the kind of ceremonial, adding by a whole lot of different people of what they in particular have brought to add to a given dish.

And then it's all put together, it's cooked, and then it's distributed out to everyone to enjoy. There's something very poetic about that, that process.

Yucca: Yeah. Hmm.

Mark: And then you can also do sort of magical potions, which aren't meant to be ingested,

Yucca: Right.

Mark: With whatever ingredients you feel are necessary. Now, bear in mind, cast iron is a little bit porous,

Yucca: Yeah. So if you're gonna eat from it again, you don't wanna be putting non edible things in there,

Mark: right? Right. You know, no Mercury

Yucca: Yeah. Or I, I don't know why this one's coming to mind, but shampoo. Right, because shampoo, like there's really good smelling shampoos that'll bubble up really nicely. Like you could do some really kind of fun smelling and looking things with, with soap shampoos and soaps and stuff like that.

But you don't want, you don't want that in your mouth.

Mark: No.

Yucca: And that's gonna spoil whatever you try and cook in there next. Right? If you get it out cuz you, you're not feeling well and you need that good soup, you know, And then, Oh, shampoo soup.

Mark: it's, this is Lemon Sented shampoo. Oh, dear.

Yucca: Yeah. But if it's one that you are using only for ritual and decorative purposes, that's very different.

Mark: Right?

Yucca: Right.

Mark: Yeah.

Yucca: I suppose you could put line it with foil or something like that, but it's kind of taken a risk.

Mark: You know, if you really want a sort of bubbly, frosty effect I would just go for the dry ice, you know, put a little little layer of water in the bottom of the cauldron set in a block of dry ice. You'll get abundant fog pouring out of it. It'll look really cool. If you want to change the color, you can break a light stick and drop it in there.

So that you've got like a green fog coming out or,

Yucca: but that you cannot use for food again.

Mark: Oh, I.

Yucca: a light stick.

Mark: I didn't mean to

Yucca: Oh, good. Okay. You mean snap it so it activates?

Mark: it so it activates Yeah. And drop it in there.

Yucca: Well, and with the dry ice, there's nothing to clean up afterwards, which is really nice. Right. If when it come, it billows out, you know, might get things, you know, little damp, but not, you know, you're not gonna have to be mopping anything or cleaning anything up.

Mark: right. Be sure you've got good ventilation.

Yucca: Yes.

Mark: Dry ice is co2. CO2 is poisonous. That's why we breathe it out because we don't use it.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: you just wanna make sure that you've got good ventilation in the room so that you don't get overcome by CO2 and pass out.

Yucca: Right, Because if we, I mean, we breathe CO2 in and breathe it back out, but the problem is it's not oxygen. It isn't the same as carbon monoxide, which is really problematic for us because our bodies confuses that with oxygen and then it basically makes us suffocate. But co2, Yeah. That sort of thing you might wanna be doing either outside or with making sure you have the windows open, but yeah. And also when you're doing, going back to the fire, one being mindful about what size is your flame going to be, Right. If you're lighting a little candle inside of your little cauldron, The kitchen, you're probably fine, but if you're pouring something in Mark, you have a, Don't you have a story about a

Mark: Oh yes,

Yucca: flame that came out

Mark: the flame vortex.

Yucca: Yeah.

That you wanna be outside for, with, you know, appropriate fire or safety equipment. Yeah. Go. So what happens with your

Mark: Well, what What happened was we did a ritual where we burned some intentions for the coming year, and the caldron was sitting on top of. Coals and there was still some flame there. So the bottom of the, the cauldron was very warm. And what we did was afterwards we poured in two bottles simultaneously, two bottles of cheap red wine.

And it was hot enough that the wine boiled on contact with the bottom of the pan, which we assumed was going to happen for the first little bit that we poured in. And then,

Yucca: you gonna make mold wine or something? Is the Okay?

Mark: Yes. And, and mold wide, which included the ashes of the

Yucca: beautiful. Mm-hmm.

Mark: had, you know, been. Been burning there, and then we could all have a sip.

Well, what ended up happening was that the entire pot boiled, it boiled off the alcohol and the alcohol lit on fire, and created this sort of fire tornado that extended up maybe three feet above the, the lid of the, or the edge of the cauldron. And it did that for about 20 seconds. So what we ended up drinking had no alcohol in it for one thing, and it wasn't particularly tasty because it had been boiled also.

But it's a pretty cool effect if you, if you wanna do that again, it just don't do it indoors.

Yucca: Do it outdoors to have all of your, you know, your fire extinguisher or whatever you need Yeah. To put it out. Right. And maybe not, you know. Not near a bunch of, you know, brush and all of that.

Mark: Yeah. Or overhanging branches, which is the thing that people often forget because the picture in their mind is of a fire that is, you know, a nice contained fire that only leaps up about a foot above whatever the container is. But sometimes fires get a mind of their own and they, they get bigger than that and then they can start to.

The, the tree branches that are over the top. So you need to be, you need to be careful with fire,

Yucca: Yeah. And you know, whatever the safety is in your area, check, check with your county regulations. Is there a fire ban on at the moment and all of that because you don't wanna burn your, your neighborhood down. So yeah,

Mark: Yeah.

Yucca: of those, those interesting. We have this lovely, beautiful relationship with it spanning back literally millions of years, but it's also extremely destructive.

Mark: It's very dangerous. The fact that we were able to domesticate this incredibly dangerous chemical process is really a testament to courage in our, in our ancestry, honestly, because when we first got it, it was probably burning trees that have been struck by lightning

Yucca: Mm-hmm.

Mark: and you know, I would think you probably wouldn't wanna go near a tree that had been struck by lightning in case it got struck again.

Right.

Yucca: Yeah, and it's still, you know, can still be hot. The, the kids and I are reading some Greek mythology right now and we actually just were reading about Prometheus and my oldest asked, Well, mom, why was Sue so mad about fire? What's the big deal about giving humans fire? When we had to go through all the things that fire can do, how powerful

Mark: Mm-hmm.

Yucca: it made people, they went, Oh, okay.

Still doesn't seem like a fair consequence.

Mark: Well, yeah, e Eternal torment never seems like a fair consequence. . So, yeah.

Yucca: they were very sympathetic to poor Prometheus, so yeah.

Mark: So, the last kind of ritual that I can think of is the kind of potion making where. Where you're, you're mixing something up, which you're then going to pour off into jars or into, you know, like if you're making spell jars for example, and there's particular ingredients that you want in all of them.

So you mix up sort of a, a formula of what all those different elements are, and then you can pour them off into jars and maybe add material items before closing them and sealing them.

Yucca: What would be an example of a type of, of ritual that you would do with one of these s.

Mark: I haven't done a whole lot of spell jar rituals myself, but I know of people that have done like spell jar protection symbols for their, for their land,

Yucca: So they would bury it in the four corners or.

Mark: Right. Yeah. Bury those, you know, at the boundaries in order to, well, realistically speaking in order to help them feel more protected.

Yucca: Well, that's the point of the ritual, right?

Mark: that's the point of the ritual. Exactly. I mean, many of the magical rituals that have been implemented over human history have been to try to get control over stuff that we don't have control.

Yucca: Mm-hmm.

Mark: It just helps us feel better and that's fine. There's, there's nothing wrong with that.

There's, it's absolutely a great thing to do. So, for example, if you had You know, water from a particular well and maybe some river water and some ocean water and some wine and some, I don't know. I'm trying to think of, you know, a few drops of blood. Whatever you wanted to put in there. You could stir all that up together.

Add in whatever other. Miscellaneous ingredients felt like the right thing to do and then could decant out of the caldron. But you, you get to do that big stirring motion on the caldron, right? That, that wonderful double, double toil and trouble kind of thing. And so you can chant over it, you can sing over it, you can you can do that solo or you can do that with a group.

Everybody can get a turn to do the stirring. I've seen that before. And then you pour off into the jars and put in items. I, I know that historically spell jars have been found that are full of nails,

Yucca: Okay.

Mark: that are sort of meant to protect against stuff, right? Put these sharp objects in to protect people from from what they don't want to contend with.

Yucca: Well, brainstorming as, as you were talking about that everybody putting something in. Maybe one thing you could do is if you're with a group or you could do it on your own, having a, a jar that you're preparing for later when you're having a hard time,

Mark: Mm-hmm.

Yucca: the, oh, you know, here's the, all the, the friendship and joy and, and sense of connection and, you know, there's gonna be a day when I'm feeling alone and I need to, to open that up.

To remember that, you know, I have this connection and this appreciation for the community or, or a day where, where you put patients into the jar. So when you're all out of patience, you can, you have a jar, patience stored on that back shelf that you can open up, right?

Mark: Mm-hmm.

Yucca: Things like that.

Mark: Yeah. You could pour what's in there as a libation for a, a plant or just onto the earth as a way of releasing its power. And then you have a jar that you can refill again and do another spell with, I have patients in knots.

Yucca: Ah

Mark: so when I really need it, I can untie one of the knots on my patient's string and let some patients out.

Yucca: hm.

Mark: It at least gives me something to do other than reacting angrily in the, in the immediate term, cuz the knots are pretty tight, so it takes a while to get 'em undone.

Yucca: Mm-hmm. . And do you have a time when you go back through and retie everything

Mark: I haven't had to do that yet. I think I've got four or five knots left on my, on my patient's string. But yeah, we did that in the, in a ritual of the Saturday morning mixer, Atheopagan mixer that we do on Zoom. So. I found it useful. I've actually used it twice but I'm sure there will come a time when it's empty and I've gotta refill it.

Yucca: Yeah. Hmm. Well, these have been, these have been fun to think about different ideas to do with Colton, and of course there's, you know, there's so many more that we didn't mention.

Mark: Right. Yeah. The, the wonderful thing about having a, a ritual practice is that it's re it's everything that your imagination can come up with.

Yucca: Mm-hmm.

Mark: And of course, we like to swap our ideas so that we can take advantage of others imagination as well. And I hope that some of the ideas that we've talked about here today are helpful to you.

But if you don't have some kind of a. Big cooking receptacle really encourage you to, to consider adding that to your magical tools. It's it, it really is a, a very useful thing both for individual work and for group rituals.

Yucca: Right. And beautiful.

Mark: Mm-hmm.

Yucca: Right? Depending on your style, I know some people like to. Put their, their ritual tools away and wrap them in the beautiful cloths and things like that. And, and some people like to have them out on display because they like looking at them and they make them feel good when they see it.

So it's both completely valid approaches. It just depends on what, what works for you.

Mark: Right, Right. Yeah. So there you have. Caldron in non FIAs pagan practice. Pretty cool.

Yucca: Yeah,

Mark: I'm so glad it's October.

Yucca: me too. Well, thank you for another great discussion and we will be back to see or talk with all of you next week

Mark: Yeah, thanks everybody.

Yucca: I believe.

Mark: Oh yes. Talking about death.

Yucca: Yes, it's October,

Mark: Gotta do it.

Yucca: All right. Thanks everyone.

Mark: Bye bye.

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Cauldrons

THE WONDER: Science-Based Paganism

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S3E34 TRANSCRIPT:----more----

Yucca: Welcome back to the Wonder Science-based Paganism. I'm one of your hosts, Yucca,

Mark: And I'm the other one. Mark.

Yucca: and today we are talking about Cauldrons.

Mark: Yeah.

Yucca: yes, and welcome to October. We're here all in. The wonderful aut month, the our kind of spooky hollows is coming and here we are. So we're gonna have some great episodes this, this month.

Mark: Yeah, I'm really excited about it. We've got a lot of cool stuff to talk about for the witchy month and can't wait to get started.

Yucca: Yeah. So speaking of witchy, there's probably three symbols which are most associated with witch broomstick, pointy hat and cauldron.

Mark: Right.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: No one will make any mistake about what you are trying to represent. If you've got those three things with you

Yucca: Yep. And oh please.

Mark: Well, I was gonna say, we don't have enough to say about a pointy hat to turn it into an episode, but there's plenty to talk about with a caldron.

Yucca: there is, Yes. So I think a good place to start would probably be, you know, the history. What is a coldron, what's the history and why? Why it really matters, why we're interested in this symbol.

Mark: Mm-hmm. well. From my standpoint, I, I think you, you really identified the main reason why we're interested in it. I mean, for those of us that gravitate towards Paganism and it's aesthetic and it's iconography in our ritual practice, those. Those standard symbols, like the cauldron become very potent.

They become very influential when, when you're, when you're brewing something over a cauldron, there is very much this sense that you're doing magic, right.

Yucca: Yeah. Well, and I, and I think that the association with the witch, a witch is a powerful figure. Right. And they're, they can be represented in different ways in terms of the morality of them in stories, right? Depending on who's telling the story, whether they're, you know, the good guy or the bad guy. But they're always powerful, right?

They're always, they have agency. But that agency also usually is coming from them and the home. And the cauldron has this association with the home because it's a tool of the. , whether that's an outdoor kitchen around the fire or whether that was your kitchen in the home at the Hearth.

Mark: Right. Yeah. I mean, Among the very earliest implementations of of any kind of cooking equipment that we're familiar with are ceramic pots that were used for cooking. Things in hot stones would be put inside a ceramic pot. And then Cereals or meat or and water or whatever. It could be stirred in that and it would boil which would sterilize it of course, but would also break down proteins in the food to make it easier to digest.

And we have evidence of that going back thousands and thousands of years.

Yucca: Right. Well, because there's a lot of foods that, There's a lot of plants that you might be digging up that you can't eat.

Mark: right.

Yucca: Right. It's not gonna, you have to cook them. And so if we were gonna be doing that, then we needed to cook them.

Mark: Right, and we've had. Thousands of generations to do the experimentation to figure those things out. I mean, people talk about, you know, indigenous knowledge and indigenous healing. Well, think about all the trial and error that went into figuring that stuff out. It's like, all right, who's gonna eat the mushroom?

All right, Bob's gonna eat. Oh, Bob's gone.

Yucca: Okay. Let's remember that measure.

Mark: Right, But how did they ever get to the point of feeding the mushroom to reindeer and then gathering their urine?

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: I mean, it's just

Yucca: Well, I, We

Mark: scale of

Yucca: time, Yeah. The time we've been around. On the one hand, if you compare us to, Crocodiles, we've barely been around. Right. But compared to an individual human or an individual culture's memory, the, it's so, so long.

Mark: Right. Yeah. 200,000 years since we really started developing culture

Yucca: Or well human, at least our gen, our genius is older and you could quite, there's a lot of argument to be made that that other humans, not just homo sapiens had. Quite a bit of culture as well,

Mark: Well, sure. They had the domestication of fire, which in many cases there are a lot of strong arguments to be made that the domestication of fire was. Kind of the, the launching pad for human culture. In many ways it also coincided with a rapid evolution of our brains because we were getting a lot more food value out of our food once we started cooking it.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: This is a tangent, but

Yucca: Well, but we can relate it back though, because Fire and Cauldrons is that right? So we, This was planned, This was planned tangent. We can say

Mark: So, yeah, the, the hearth, the, the home fire and the cooking pot sitting over it are very, very ancient symbols of of power of transformation. You know, you put those ingredients in and they, they, they come out different. They come out edible food, they come. Tasting different

Yucca: smelling good.

Mark: smelling good.

There's, there's just all kinds of wonderful things that happen in the, the alchemy of that, that caldron. So historically, and, you know, we know that this has been a symbol for a very long time because it was already a trope when Shakespeare was writing about it. Right. You know, with, with the three witches and the double, double toil and trouble and all that.

So now we inherit it today and it's become sort of a stereotype, but at the same time, a caldron is a really useful ritual implement, and we're gonna talk about ways that it, that it is useful for us.

Yucca: Right, and we should say, The image that usually comes to mind when you think of a cauldron that rounded three-legged black, you know, big Iron Pot. That's one version of a Coran, right? This is, that's, we're looking at, that's coming from recent European history, but Qurans are much older and there's, you know, they're always kind of a pot shape, but we don't always see them as that round.

Belly kind of shape. Sometimes we see other shapes involved. We're talking about that because that's what we associate with the witches and a lot of the kind of witch aesthetic is coming from a European aesthetic, but remembering that cultures all over the world had versions of this.

Mark: Yes. Yes. And we should talk about some some variations that exist for the kinds of formats that people might. Experience as a part of you know, selecting a cauldron for themselves. We're in no way saying you need to go out and spend a couple hundred dollars on, on, you know, a pot beed, three-legged iron cauldron.

They're out there, they're really cool, but

Yucca: if you're into that, we're not gonna judge you on that, but yeah, you certainly don't need to.

Mark: Yeah. And if we, and if we do a ritual with you and there it is, we'll go, Hey, wow. Cool. Caldron,

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: But my caldron actually is not one of those, It is a Dutch oven that probably dates from the turn of the 20th century. It's got a lot of rust on it that I've never cleaned off because it's.

Yucca: Mm-hmm.

Mark: And it has a wire bale that I can pick up and a lid.

And I've used it in lots of caldron rituals and it's, it still, it still communicates that sense of antiquity. There's something that's lovely about having a lid for it because it's sort of mysterious. You know, you put the lid on and then some, something magical happens inside it. You take the lid off and things have changed.

Yucca: I think that's really interesting because I, mine are also Dutch ovens. So mine are very used dutch ovens because I have a wood stove in the home and, and yeah, I have a little propane burner as well for cooking on, but as long as we've got, cuz we do heat with wood in the winter, as long as we've got that going.

I love having things up on top of it and you can also stick it into the ashes of the fire. So we've got several different sizes and kind of different shapes there for them. And there's just something about that cast iron, right? Ours are probably are new Dutch ovens. They're probably made within the last few years, but they feel like something that could be around for a very long.

Mark: Right,

Yucca: They, you know, they could be passed on. My grandkids or great-grandkids could literally be using these. Yeah.

Mark: that is the great thing about cast iron is that. It simply doesn't wear out. We use cast iron frying pans in my house and some of them come from thrift chops where they looked hideous. I mean, they're covered with rust and conclusions and just in the worst possible shape. But you get going on, taking all that stuff off, and then

Yucca: take that top layer. Yeah.

Mark: And it is a perfectly good frying pan once again, and it will be for decades, if not centuries, as long as you keep it from being eaten up by oxidation.

Yucca: Yeah. That's what we use all of our, our pans in the kitchen, our, our cast iron, we've got. A couple of stainless steel for boiling, like a pot or kettle stainless steel. But that's, you know, they're just beautiful. And, and some people get very snobby about the exact correct way to treat them and wash them.

And, but I think that they're just super forgiving and if you mess up, then you just it, right? You just re season it again. It's great. And enjoy the things you're eating that you're seasoning it with, you know.

Mark: Right. And there are some things that you make that will take the seasoning off. Like if you cook a tomato pasta sauce, for example, the, the acids in that may very well take some of the seasoning off the pan. So you put a little oil on, stick it in the oven, heat it up for a while, and you've gotta see some pan.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: So, and, and ode to to cast iron. We're big fans.

Yucca: Right. Well, and so going back though to the cauldron, so we were saying that we use our, our cast iron Dutch ovens but there's a lot of Dutch ovens that are not iron. Right. And there's other things that, that would, that serve the same function that we use today. As a coulter would traditionally, So your big crock pots, right?

Or your stockpot, right. We've got like this several gallon stockpot that, you know, is what I used to heat up the bath water with. And it's just, it's, it, it has that same vibe, right? And it, it's modern. It was made within the last 20 years probably, but it still does that same function and looks beautiful at the same.

Mark: Mm-hmm. One of the things that is great about using a Dutch oven actually be is because they do have a lid. And what that means is that you have a little bit more control over temperature. Gradients. For example, if you've got a Dutch oven that is sitting on the fire or in the coals, the bottom of that is gonna get really hot.

But the lid, you could put herbs on that to create a fragrance in your home. Or a little drop of essential oil to do the same thing. There are, if you just want to warm things, I mean, I know you can, you can warm bread and stuff like that on the, on the top of, of a dutch oven as well. So it's a very versatile tool for for a variety of uses.

Yucca: and you can also put a fire right into it. Right? You could have your candle or something in that, and then. When you put your lid on afterwards, you can feel pretty secure that you're not, that you're not creating a fire hazard with that.

Mark: Right,

Yucca: So now it will, your lid will heat up too. So you need to be, be aware of that if you're, you are using it on the stove and, you know, not, not touch that with your bare hands, but it just, it, you could just use it in so many different ways.

Mark: right. Right. And there is something about just the sight of that Dutch oven or caldron heating in a fireplace or over a stove that kind of says home and comfort and warmth and and magic, you know, the magic of the kitchen. We were talking before we were recording and I was mentioning that, you know, one of the things about about older times is that, you know, you, your, your medicines didn't come from a factory.

They came from your kitchen, you know, and the caldron was a, a key. Tool for creating them. You know, you'd, you'd gather the proper herbs, you'd mash them up in a mortar and pestle, which is another classic alchemical sort of witchy, magical set of tools, and then you would brew them.

Yucca: today too,

Mark: Oh yeah, yeah. We, we use ours all the time.

Yucca: Mm-hmm.

Mark: And then, you know, brew them or toast them or, you know, whatever it is in that hot pot. So it's, It's not an accident that a, that domestic tools like the broom and the cauldron are associated with the power of the witch because that kind of ritual magic, if you will, was really the purview of the home.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: That's where it happened.

Yucca: Mm-hmm.

Mark: Very different than, Oh, go ahead.

Yucca: I was gonna say, I still think that, I think that's still where a lot of it does, but in our very busy lives, we kind of forget about that sometimes. We're off running around, but when we come back, back home, back to center, then we go, Oh, I actually do have a lot of power from this place.

Mark: Mm-hmm. . Yes. So, We've established that this is something that has been a symbol for a very long time, and it's been a, a useful tool for humans even going back into very, very ancient times. I'm sure we were heating things on hot stones long before we, you know, invented pottery or any of that kind of stuff.

Yucca: Right. But as long as we've been in the neolithic. We've had something of the sort, right? Every, everybody who's doing that, who's doing the, the whole staying in one place thing, and even nomadic peoples as well could have things that they were, you know, packing up and bringing with them. Yeah.

Mark: right. And we've established that cast iron is good.

Yucca: yes. Yay for cast iron.

Mark: Big fans of cast iron. Why don't we talk a little bit about the kinds of ritual things that you can do with a caldron

Yucca: Hmm. Okay. Well I think we could start with the incorporating what you would be doing with it to begin with, just on a mundane level and adding some ritual and meaning into that. So in this case it, it might be your Dutch oven, but it also might be your stockpot on the stove. Right. What are you doing and why are you doing that?

Right? So can you add something, Can you have a, a moment when you add in that salt or whatever it is that you're adding in, that you, that you take a moment and have just set an intention with that, right?

Mark: Yeah, the adding of seasoning and spices I think is a great opportunity for metaphorically adding magic into whatever it is that you're cooking. Spices are. Spices are kind of magical substances when you think about it. I mean, they are the unique pesticides that various plants have evolved in order to defend themselves from insects mostly. And in some cases from fungal infections and stuff like that.

Yucca: and small mammals and

Mark: Sure, yeah. If they,

Yucca: And us too. It's just, we're so big , right? They're, they're technically poisons, right? They're toxins that they produce because they don't wanna be eaten every, everybody wants to survive and reproduce and they can't get up and run, run away the way an animal can or bite you, but they can make themselves poisonous.

Mark: Yes. And they can make themselves taste bad, but

Yucca: But we ended up liking

Mark: amounts, yes. In small amounts. You're, you're a regno and your terragon and your sage and your onions, and.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: All those wonderful things. Garlic, I mean, they, they give us wonderful, good feelings and very complex flavors that give us a lot of pleasure.

So when casting those things into a cooking pot, we can be setting intentions, we can be stirring them in as meaning, you know,

Yucca: It would be lovely if you made your own labels and added them to the spice jars. Maybe not covering up what they are. If you need to know which is, which is your cayenne and which is your cinnamon, you wanna know the difference, right? But if you put your label on that, you know, Oh, well this one is love, right?

And this one is creativity. You know, when you're putting in your love and creativity and all of those things that you see that every time. Reach for that spice jar.

Mark: I love that idea. That's a great idea. And it would be a really fun project actually, to do with kids to create the labels.

Yucca: Yeah. And you could do, You could put them on in ritual too.

Mark: Right? Right.

Yucca: And even, No even grown up kids. Right.

Mark: Oh yeah. I.

Yucca: kids of whatever ages.

Mark: I would want to be a part of it for sure.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: So we can do caldron magic in the course of just using the caldron for the purpose, for an ordinary cooking purpose.

Yucca: Mm-hmm.

Mark: We can also dispense with anything in the cauldron except fire. We can, we can burn. We can burn fire, burn wood, or you know, whatever it is that don't burn anything toxic because then you're not gonna want to use it for cooking ever again.

Yucca: and you wanna be able to be around. You don't wanna breathe and smoke in general, but you wanna be really careful about what it is that you're burning. So you don't wanna be burning like synthetic fabrics or something like that, that really could be very toxic to you. If you get a little wolf of whiff of wood smoke, it's not great, but you know, it's, it's not gonna be quite as much of an issue as burning plastics.

Mark: Right, right. Yeah. So, a flaming caldron is something that we, I've used many times in rituals and you can, you can feed stuff that you want to destroy or dispense with in the form of. Little pieces of wood that you've invested your intention on or written the message on what you mean. You can do that with slips of paper.

You can do that with Little symbols that are flammable of, of some kind. So that's sort of the destructive approach to a flaming cauldron. But you can also do it with wishes. You can inscribe something hope hoped for, that you want to, The smoke will go up into the sky and inform whatever powers are up there and, and they'll put in an order for you.

Yucca: Or thinking of it as this is fuel, right? This is, this is the fuel for the fire. That, that whatever it is burning inside of you, right? What is it that you want to feed into your fire to, for you to continue to grow and do all of these, you know, passionate, wonderful things, whatever it is that you are focused on.

Mark: Right, And in the case of a ritual like that, I really encourage people to use low tech methods of actually lighting the fire. So that it, it takes a little effort, right? You know, whether that's a flint and steel or I, I don't recommend lighting a fire with a bow because it's an incredible amount of work.

And it, you can have disappointing results while you're trying to light your inspiration. Fire.

Yucca: Yeah. Well if, if you do, you might wanna practice that ahead of time and be, and get really good at it. Right. Just knowing that it is a skill that takes a lot of work.

Mark: Yes.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: But there is, there is something to be said to something more than just flicking a lighter and . Suddenly there is flame.

Yucca: Yeah. Well, and it, and you know, if you don't have access to one of those matches, right? There's something more, I, I find there's something very satisfying about striking the match as opposed to just the lighter. Although there are some really cool lighters. We were given one of those arc lighters.

Mark: I have one I use it for, for my alter, my focus all the time.

Yucca: Yeah, I feel so sci-fi, whenever I use

Mark: Yeah.

Yucca: like, yeah. It's just really nice and it's USB chargeable, so we just like plug it in and don't have to, I've got lots of lighters and matches all over the place because I don't wanna ever. Want to be lighting a fire and be shivering and being like, Where are my matches?

Where are my lighters? But those are fun, but you know, there's matches. And there's also, I don't know what they're actually called, but you know, the ones we'd use in lab class for bunsen burners? The,

Mark: Oh, those little pizza, electric things that,

Yucca: Yeah, there's silver and you

Mark: spark.

Yucca: Yeah. Those are, you know, when you have a more. Just an out of the ordinary or kind of fun way of starting the fire.

There's a little something extra to it.

Mark: Right, right. There are these striker, they're, they're sort of like flint and steel. They're these sort of striker sticks that you scrape sparks off of onto like cotton or something, which will light on fire. And those are pretty neat for starting a fire too. I don't know what they're called exactly either, but they're you can get them in camping stores.

Yucca: Okay.

Mark: add to a survival

Yucca: Oh, I think I've seen them and they, You can like put them on a key chain or something like that. Yeah, Yeah. Now you gotta be patient with anything like that that doesn't have a sustained flame because you're trying to catch that. Spark,

Mark: Yeah.

Yucca: like if you have like a little cotton swab from the bathroom, like those are really good and you maybe half of it, you dip into olive oil and the other half you leave open so that then it starts to burn the oil.

And there's a lot of, that's another thing that you could do fire related is little fat lamps, little fat, an oil lamps. Those are really fun.

Mark: Right.

Yucca: This year the kids and I So they're, they're softa. So my stepmother lives up on our, where we do as well and is really into finding the, the clay here and fire making things and firing it.

So they made little oil lamps. Yeah, so they made little oil lamps and we've been using lard in them and they worked remarkably well and doesn't smell like a fast food restaurant. I was very happy for that.

Mark: That's amazing. Yeah, we've used NAEA uses Tao quite a bit in cooking and

Yucca: how,

Mark: Yeah, so we've, we've, I've used that sometimes as sort of an accelerant for a fire to get started, but, okay, so that's the fire inside the cauldron. That's one whole set of things you can do.

Yucca: Mm-hmm.

Mark: Then there's the adding ingredients into the cauldron kind of. The, the classic example of that is stone soup, where everybody brings an ingredient and you start with water or stock. Could be vegetable stock, could be chicken,

Yucca: Mm-hmm. , b flam, whatever you have

Mark: Whatever you

Yucca: and whatever matches your, your dietary approaches. Yeah.

Mark: Right. And then people add ingredients and the whole thing becomes soup. Which. Is a lot more satisfying than it sounds. There is, there is really something wonderful about the kind of ceremonial, adding by a whole lot of different people of what they in particular have brought to add to a given dish.

And then it's all put together, it's cooked, and then it's distributed out to everyone to enjoy. There's something very poetic about that, that process.

Yucca: Yeah. Hmm.

Mark: And then you can also do sort of magical potions, which aren't meant to be ingested,

Yucca: Right.

Mark: With whatever ingredients you feel are necessary. Now, bear in mind, cast iron is a little bit porous,

Yucca: Yeah. So if you're gonna eat from it again, you don't wanna be putting non edible things in there,

Mark: right? Right. You know, no Mercury

Yucca: Yeah. Or I, I don't know why this one's coming to mind, but shampoo. Right, because shampoo, like there's really good smelling shampoos that'll bubble up really nicely. Like you could do some really kind of fun smelling and looking things with, with soap shampoos and soaps and stuff like that.

But you don't want, you don't want that in your mouth.

Mark: No.

Yucca: And that's gonna spoil whatever you try and cook in there next. Right? If you get it out cuz you, you're not feeling well and you need that good soup, you know, And then, Oh, shampoo soup.

Mark: it's, this is Lemon Sented shampoo. Oh, dear.

Yucca: Yeah. But if it's one that you are using only for ritual and decorative purposes, that's very different.

Mark: Right?

Yucca: Right.

Mark: Yeah.

Yucca: I suppose you could put line it with foil or something like that, but it's kind of taken a risk.

Mark: You know, if you really want a sort of bubbly, frosty effect I would just go for the dry ice, you know, put a little little layer of water in the bottom of the cauldron set in a block of dry ice. You'll get abundant fog pouring out of it. It'll look really cool. If you want to change the color, you can break a light stick and drop it in there.

So that you've got like a green fog coming out or,

Yucca: but that you cannot use for food again.

Mark: Oh, I.

Yucca: a light stick.

Mark: I didn't mean to

Yucca: Oh, good. Okay. You mean snap it so it activates?

Mark: it so it activates Yeah. And drop it in there.

Yucca: Well, and with the dry ice, there's nothing to clean up afterwards, which is really nice. Right. If when it come, it billows out, you know, might get things, you know, little damp, but not, you know, you're not gonna have to be mopping anything or cleaning anything up.

Mark: right. Be sure you've got good ventilation.

Yucca: Yes.

Mark: Dry ice is co2. CO2 is poisonous. That's why we breathe it out because we don't use it.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: you just wanna make sure that you've got good ventilation in the room so that you don't get overcome by CO2 and pass out.

Yucca: Right, Because if we, I mean, we breathe CO2 in and breathe it back out, but the problem is it's not oxygen. It isn't the same as carbon monoxide, which is really problematic for us because our bodies confuses that with oxygen and then it basically makes us suffocate. But co2, Yeah. That sort of thing you might wanna be doing either outside or with making sure you have the windows open, but yeah. And also when you're doing, going back to the fire, one being mindful about what size is your flame going to be, Right. If you're lighting a little candle inside of your little cauldron, The kitchen, you're probably fine, but if you're pouring something in Mark, you have a, Don't you have a story about a

Mark: Oh yes,

Yucca: flame that came out

Mark: the flame vortex.

Yucca: Yeah.

That you wanna be outside for, with, you know, appropriate fire or safety equipment. Yeah. Go. So what happens with your

Mark: Well, what What happened was we did a ritual where we burned some intentions for the coming year, and the caldron was sitting on top of. Coals and there was still some flame there. So the bottom of the, the cauldron was very warm. And what we did was afterwards we poured in two bottles simultaneously, two bottles of cheap red wine.

And it was hot enough that the wine boiled on contact with the bottom of the pan, which we assumed was going to happen for the first little bit that we poured in. And then,

Yucca: you gonna make mold wine or something? Is the Okay?

Mark: Yes. And, and mold wide, which included the ashes of the

Yucca: beautiful. Mm-hmm.

Mark: had, you know, been. Been burning there, and then we could all have a sip.

Well, what ended up happening was that the entire pot boiled, it boiled off the alcohol and the alcohol lit on fire, and created this sort of fire tornado that extended up maybe three feet above the, the lid of the, or the edge of the cauldron. And it did that for about 20 seconds. So what we ended up drinking had no alcohol in it for one thing, and it wasn't particularly tasty because it had been boiled also.

But it's a pretty cool effect if you, if you wanna do that again, it just don't do it indoors.

Yucca: Do it outdoors to have all of your, you know, your fire extinguisher or whatever you need Yeah. To put it out. Right. And maybe not, you know. Not near a bunch of, you know, brush and all of that.

Mark: Yeah. Or overhanging branches, which is the thing that people often forget because the picture in their mind is of a fire that is, you know, a nice contained fire that only leaps up about a foot above whatever the container is. But sometimes fires get a mind of their own and they, they get bigger than that and then they can start to.

The, the tree branches that are over the top. So you need to be, you need to be careful with fire,

Yucca: Yeah. And you know, whatever the safety is in your area, check, check with your county regulations. Is there a fire ban on at the moment and all of that because you don't wanna burn your, your neighborhood down. So yeah,

Mark: Yeah.

Yucca: of those, those interesting. We have this lovely, beautiful relationship with it spanning back literally millions of years, but it's also extremely destructive.

Mark: It's very dangerous. The fact that we were able to domesticate this incredibly dangerous chemical process is really a testament to courage in our, in our ancestry, honestly, because when we first got it, it was probably burning trees that have been struck by lightning

Yucca: Mm-hmm.

Mark: and you know, I would think you probably wouldn't wanna go near a tree that had been struck by lightning in case it got struck again.

Right.

Yucca: Yeah, and it's still, you know, can still be hot. The, the kids and I are reading some Greek mythology right now and we actually just were reading about Prometheus and my oldest asked, Well, mom, why was Sue so mad about fire? What's the big deal about giving humans fire? When we had to go through all the things that fire can do, how powerful

Mark: Mm-hmm.

Yucca: it made people, they went, Oh, okay.

Still doesn't seem like a fair consequence.

Mark: Well, yeah, e Eternal torment never seems like a fair consequence. . So, yeah.

Yucca: they were very sympathetic to poor Prometheus, so yeah.

Mark: So, the last kind of ritual that I can think of is the kind of potion making where. Where you're, you're mixing something up, which you're then going to pour off into jars or into, you know, like if you're making spell jars for example, and there's particular ingredients that you want in all of them.

So you mix up sort of a, a formula of what all those different elements are, and then you can pour them off into jars and maybe add material items before closing them and sealing them.

Yucca: What would be an example of a type of, of ritual that you would do with one of these s.

Mark: I haven't done a whole lot of spell jar rituals myself, but I know of people that have done like spell jar protection symbols for their, for their land,

Yucca: So they would bury it in the four corners or.

Mark: Right. Yeah. Bury those, you know, at the boundaries in order to, well, realistically speaking in order to help them feel more protected.

Yucca: Well, that's the point of the ritual, right?

Mark: that's the point of the ritual. Exactly. I mean, many of the magical rituals that have been implemented over human history have been to try to get control over stuff that we don't have control.

Yucca: Mm-hmm.

Mark: It just helps us feel better and that's fine. There's, there's nothing wrong with that.

There's, it's absolutely a great thing to do. So, for example, if you had You know, water from a particular well and maybe some river water and some ocean water and some wine and some, I don't know. I'm trying to think of, you know, a few drops of blood. Whatever you wanted to put in there. You could stir all that up together.

Add in whatever other. Miscellaneous ingredients felt like the right thing to do and then could decant out of the caldron. But you, you get to do that big stirring motion on the caldron, right? That, that wonderful double, double toil and trouble kind of thing. And so you can chant over it, you can sing over it, you can you can do that solo or you can do that with a group.

Everybody can get a turn to do the stirring. I've seen that before. And then you pour off into the jars and put in items. I, I know that historically spell jars have been found that are full of nails,

Yucca: Okay.

Mark: that are sort of meant to protect against stuff, right? Put these sharp objects in to protect people from from what they don't want to contend with.

Yucca: Well, brainstorming as, as you were talking about that everybody putting something in. Maybe one thing you could do is if you're with a group or you could do it on your own, having a, a jar that you're preparing for later when you're having a hard time,

Mark: Mm-hmm.

Yucca: the, oh, you know, here's the, all the, the friendship and joy and, and sense of connection and, you know, there's gonna be a day when I'm feeling alone and I need to, to open that up.

To remember that, you know, I have this connection and this appreciation for the community or, or a day where, where you put patients into the jar. So when you're all out of patience, you can, you have a jar, patience stored on that back shelf that you can open up, right?

Mark: Mm-hmm.

Yucca: Things like that.

Mark: Yeah. You could pour what's in there as a libation for a, a plant or just onto the earth as a way of releasing its power. And then you have a jar that you can refill again and do another spell with, I have patients in knots.

Yucca: Ah

Mark: so when I really need it, I can untie one of the knots on my patient's string and let some patients out.

Yucca: hm.

Mark: It at least gives me something to do other than reacting angrily in the, in the immediate term, cuz the knots are pretty tight, so it takes a while to get 'em undone.

Yucca: Mm-hmm. . And do you have a time when you go back through and retie everything

Mark: I haven't had to do that yet. I think I've got four or five knots left on my, on my patient's string. But yeah, we did that in the, in a ritual of the Saturday morning mixer, Atheopagan mixer that we do on Zoom. So. I found it useful. I've actually used it twice but I'm sure there will come a time when it's empty and I've gotta refill it.

Yucca: Yeah. Hmm. Well, these have been, these have been fun to think about different ideas to do with Colton, and of course there's, you know, there's so many more that we didn't mention.

Mark: Right. Yeah. The, the wonderful thing about having a, a ritual practice is that it's re it's everything that your imagination can come up with.

Yucca: Mm-hmm.

Mark: And of course, we like to swap our ideas so that we can take advantage of others imagination as well. And I hope that some of the ideas that we've talked about here today are helpful to you.

But if you don't have some kind of a. Big cooking receptacle really encourage you to, to consider adding that to your magical tools. It's it, it really is a, a very useful thing both for individual work and for group rituals.

Yucca: Right. And beautiful.

Mark: Mm-hmm.

Yucca: Right? Depending on your style, I know some people like to. Put their, their ritual tools away and wrap them in the beautiful cloths and things like that. And, and some people like to have them out on display because they like looking at them and they make them feel good when they see it.

So it's both completely valid approaches. It just depends on what, what works for you.

Mark: Right, Right. Yeah. So there you have. Caldron in non FIAs pagan practice. Pretty cool.

Yucca: Yeah,

Mark: I'm so glad it's October.

Yucca: me too. Well, thank you for another great discussion and we will be back to see or talk with all of you next week

Mark: Yeah, thanks everybody.

Yucca: I believe.

Mark: Oh yes. Talking about death.

Yucca: Yes, it's October,

Mark: Gotta do it.

Yucca: All right. Thanks everyone.

Mark: Bye bye.

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