A Middle Iron Age cauldron, dating from around 200 BC. Only the rim is original and it was found in a ditch at the Iron Age settlement at Blackhorse Road in Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire.
Almost every story that came from the ancient roots of European witchcraft, a cauldron was used for brewing potions, casting spells and as a holy vessel to the powers of the Night. The cauldron produces change and transformations, physically, spiritually and mentally. All cauldrons are a powerful symbol of the Great Goddess for her womb and rebirth. The vessel made with bronze, iron or steel, can bestow wisdom, inspiration and knowledge to the witch and coven.
Place a cauldron in the sacred circle and burn items that will be set alight during a ritual. Place water in a cauldron for scrying (a method of divining the future, see article on this website) or it can hold the ingredients necessary for a spell or incantation.
To understand The Mystery Teachings of Wiccans, you must go back to 500-600 A.D. to the Cauldron of Cerridwen. Cerridwen created a potion that was brewed for one year and a day before drinking. (This coincides with the tradition of training a witch by degrees of one year and a day). This brew was poisonous, but when ingested by initiates of Wicca, their bodies would fight the poison and each could retrieve the memories of their ancestors.
Generations ago, Wiccans understood without knowing about DNA, that the memories of our grandparents and far beyond was within our grasp. The elixir conferred Inspiration, like the nine Muses who gave inspiration to humans as early as 800 B.C. By subjecting the human body to intense stress, physical or mental, it was believed that greater psychic powers would be bestowed to the survivors.
Within many of us today, there lies an ancient Pagan with knowledge of the old ways. Some of us search and open ourselves to collect and activate these memories. Those of us who are lucky enough to trace our lineage for generations, or have the family Book of Shadows full of the old knowledge, protect our faith. The cauldron is an integral part of the blood mysteries and Pagan rites with Wiccan's today.