Bad Neighbors?

We have all had bad neighbors at some time or other, and truth be told, they
can be a real nuisance. Sometimes they can be more than a nuisance though,
and even be a threat to you and your family. I personally had a neighbor who
gathered huge piles of deadfall gtree limbs and branches, then pour a ton of
gasoline on it, which when lit, made a large explosion and a huge fire.

His favorite place to do that was at the fence line between his property and
ours. He was at the back of our property. To top it off, he didn’t have a
garden hose, or any way to put the fire out when it got out of hand. He even
caught my yard on fire, and my side neighbor’s yard on fire once. Thank the
Gods I was home, and keeping an eye on him. I got my garden hose, which was
a very long one, and put out the fire in my yard, and then our next door
neighbor’s yard, since they weren’t home at the time.


After that little stunt, it was time for him to go. So I went along my back
fence line which divided our property from his, and sprinkled black salt,
while whispering that they were gone, and no longer lived there, etc. I let
the words come from my heart.

Within 2 weeks, he and his family moved. I had also used black salt in the
same way to get rid of a different set of neighbors to the other side of us,
because they were heavily into drugs and other criminal activity which made
me nervous. They left within a month.

These are just 2 examples of the wonders of black salt to remove bad
neighbors. I just focused my intent, while whispering my desire, and
sprinkling with my fingertips as I went along the property line.

Here’s another trick that works. A friend of mine lived in an apartment
complex, and a grown man in one of the other buildings was beginning to
flirt and get physically close to her 12 year old daughter in an
inapropriate manner. So we had our friend draw a stick figure of his
apartment, and a stick figure of him while she was visiting my hubby and I.
We all sent energy into the drawing that his apartment would be empty. We
sprinkled a pinch of black salt on it. Tore his pic off the page, and burned
it so that he wouldn’t exist in their world anymore. He was gone within a

We are talking about magical black salt, and not culinary black salt. This
salt is sometimes known as Witches’ Salt, or Drive Away Salt. It is made
with ordinary salt using any number of blakening agents. And whether it is
made with dye, ashes, coal, or soot, it seems to work equally well. You can
find recipes to make your own, or you can buy it ready-made from us at http://www.MysticCauldon.com/powders.

Black salt is well known for driving evil away. Another way to use it is if
you have a visitor that you don’t want to come around anymore. When the
visitor is leaving, throw a pinch of black salt after them when his/her back
is turned and they are outside your door, thinking of them never returning.

To protect your door, you can sprinkle a bit of black salt just outside your
door to keep bad people away, as well. Since used in this way, it may also
absorb negative energy, sweep it away from your home, and freshen as needed.

Whenever you do magic to remove something, it’s always good to do a bit of
magic to bring in what you want. So after a week of doing the black salt to
remove bad neighbors, I would suggest lighting a white candle with the
intent of bringing in new, good neighbor. Be it quiet neighbors, friendly
neighbors, etc.
You can add black salt to other protection or repelling herbs, and even use
it for hexing. But today I thought I would focus on how it can free you of
bad neighbors, since that is such a common problem in today’s world.

PLEASE NOTE! This or any other magic spell may or may not work for you. Magic comes from the practitioner. Your skills and beliefs play an important role in any magic you do.

Sharon M.



Today I want to talk about pendulums. Especially since getting them to work reliably has been a real challenge for me. In the event that you just discovered the wide world of magic, and don’t know what a pendulum is, it’s essentially an item with a bit of weight to it, which hangs from about 4″ – 6″ of string. My first one was a skeleton key on a cotton string, and since that pendulum, I have had lovely stone pendulums, brass pendulums, as well as a gorgeous gothic looking glass crystal one.

One common pendulum that used to be used, that isn’t used as much today, is a wedding band. This pendulum was mostly used to determine if a pregnant woman was going to have a boy or a girl. They would hold the ring, often the
pregnant woman’s ring, which was strung on a chain or string over the pregnant woman’s belly, and determine by the swing of the pendulum, whether is would be a girl or a boy.

Pendulums work through your subconscious, so there is no need to worry about  protection rituals. The nerve endings on your fingers move minutely, which is what causes the pendulum to move. Our subconscious is linked in, so to
speak, and knows answers to many questions. We are all psychic to one degree or other, and the pendulum allows us to get answers that we can recognize. With use, our psychic abilites can grow stronger, and the pendulum is one of
many tools that can aid you in that. But practice is the key, as well, as I’ve discovered, training your pendulum.

So why would anyone have trouble getting reliable answers from it? Because we don’t have a connection to it yet. It’s like riding a bicycle. You don’t just hop on a 2 wheel bike, never having ridden before in your life, and ride without falling. You need to train yourself, get the feel of balancing on 2 wheels, etc., to where it becomes almost automatic. It’s similar (but easier) with a pendulum. You need to stick to the meanings you’ve chosen for the various motions of it for clear answers every time. If you have a vertical swing mean “yes” one day, then change the same swing to “no” another day, you are confusing things within the deep recesses of your mind, and will not get consistent answers.

I’m going to give you the bare bones of instruction here. If you discover that you like using a pendulum, there are books on the subject, or you may find more advanced things that you can do with them online. But for starters, we’ll be dealing with simple “yes” and “no”.



Select a pendulum. We sell a large variety at Mystic Cauldron, but you can use a key, a pendant, or anything with a little weight to it, and string it on a piece of string or jewelry chain. Hold the string about 4″ to 6″ from the weighted item using your index finger and thumb, so that the “bob” (the weighted item) hangs freely.

For our purposes, I’m going to say that a swing that goes back and forth in front of you is “yes”. You can easily remember this motion as a “yes” if you think of it in terms of up and down, like someone nodding their head in

We’ll call the side to side swing as a “no”, because it’s like someone shaking their head “no”. There are angular movements, and circular movements, but for this blog, we’re just getting you started with the basics.

So once you know what “yes” and “no” swings are, swing it in those directions on purpose, but with as little movement of your hand as possible, while speaking “yes” and “no” (depending on which swing you’re doing) aloud. Do it a few times, allowing your pendulum to go still in between, then allow your pendulum to be still. Now, while holding it still, ask it to show you a “yes”, then ask it to show you a “no”. It should move in the direction that you trained it. If not, repeat the training.

Now ask a question that has a “yes” answer and make the pendulum swing up and down. Ask another question that’s a “no” answer, and purposefully make it move side to side. Mix it up a bit, too. Such as you can follow a “yes” with another “yes” or however you wish to mix it up.

Now to get practice, have a friend ask a question that you do not know the answer to, and hold the pendulum still while you focus on the question, and allow the pendulum to move on it’s own. Check whether the answer is correct or not. If not, work on training your pendulum further.

When you get advanced, you can print out a pendulum chart, which has the alphabet and numbers on it. Then you can let the pendulm swing over the alphabet to spell answers out, or over numbers, if the answer would require specific numbers.

Pendulums can be used to find things, too. The chambered ones are generally used for that. For instance, if you were looking for a lost person, you could put a bit of their hair in the chamber, and hold the pendulum over a

A fun way to exercise your pendulum in finding lost objects is to have a friend scatter a few pennies on the floor, then cover it with a blanket while you are not in the room. No cheating! Then while focusing your mind on finding pennies, slowly walk in a grid fashion, and see where the pendulum swings. You could lay a piece of paper on top of the spot, and when you’re done, slowly lift the blanket, so you can see how accurate you were. If you were a little off, it’s ok, this requires practice.

That’s all it takes to get you started. If you think about it, most questions that we have in life require a simple “yes” or “no” answer. A pendulum can be used to get clarity in tarot or oracle readings as well.

I am an animist, so I train each pendulum that I’m going to use. I don’t use mine as often as I should, so when I’m about to use it, I go through a short  training of it before actual use, as a quick refresher course.

A book that is supposed to be one of the best books on the subject is “A Letter to Robin”. I need to read that one myself, when I find the time. Another tip is to have fun with it. The subconscious is childlike, and does better when something is fun. It doesn’t care for grueling tasks.

You can find our pendulums on this page. http://www.mysticcauldron.com/pendulums.html

Happy Dowsing!

Sharon Marlin


But I’m Hungry!

This is in reference to pagan and Wiccan rituals. I have not attended any ATR rituals, nor Ceremonial rituals. I do not know how they do things, or the reasoning behind anything they do.


I have noticed a trend in the past 10 years or so where people want to serve the feast prior to the ritual because everyone is hungry. After all, why should they follow these antiquated ritual guidelines when tummies are growling? I am a proponent of understanding why things are done the way they are done. If you want to eat prior to your ritual, that is your business. But I will present here why it is traditionally done after rather than before. Then you can make an educated decision of how you want to do it at your future rituals. This information is handy even if you work solitary.

Having been a member of a few covens, been a guest at other’s rituals, and having attended a number of pagan gatherings, I have time and time again seen where some of the people complain about being hungry from the time of their arrival. Sometimes it is brought on by the sight and smells of all the delicious foods that everyone is contributing, and some people are just plain cheap, and don’t feed themselves, expecting to pig out at the feast.

Prior to ritual, it was customary to eat light during the day, or even fast for the day. Eating light consisted of eating things like fruit and vegetables, as well as small to medium servings. Carbs and red meat, can really bog people down, so these foods would be avoided.

The reason for this is during ritual you are working with spirits, be it nature spirits, ancestors, Gods, or all of the above. When your energy is lighter, it is easier for you to connect with the spirits. Your energy body is lighter and able to be more active. This also makes it easier to channel energy, and do magic. When your body is trying to digest heavy foods or a large meal, your energy is grounded in your body while it goes through the digestive process.

If you are in a tradition that includes possession, and even drawing down the moon is a possession when done correctly, it will not happen on a freshly full belly. You are too grounded to be open to spirit.

On the other hand, when you do spirit work or possession, you often will need to eat afterwards, so that you aren’t standing with one foot on earth, and the other in spirit. Because food grounds you, it brings you fully back into your own body.

For many covens, the feast also includes drinking. Drinking is not recommended before ritual either, because you want to have all your wits about you. And if you drank too much, you would likely be disruptive during the ritual.

This is why the feast is after the work. You do all your spirit work first, and show proper respect and reverence to the spirits. Then you ground, relax, and socialize once it’s over. If you are one of the people who can’t wait for the ritual to be over, so you can get to the ‘fun stuff’ like eating and/or drinking, you may want to rethink your reasons for being in the group you’re in. Maybe you would be happier in a group whose focus is community. I will explain.

There seems to be two different types of covens or rituals these days. You have the kind who’s main focus is on the work and interaction with the spirit world, and you have the kind that is more about socializing and community. The latter are often public rituals as well, allowing anyone who wants to join in the celebration of the Sabbats or Esbats to join in. These groups tend to be more relaxed rules-wise, and although they do good things for the community, they usually are not trying to do any real ‘poop your pants’ spirit work.

If your interest does lay in spirit work, and you have been eating before the ritual, you may want to try eating after, and noticing the difference. You may be surprised. Like I said, it is ultimately your choice, but at least now you can understand why the ritual formats are the way they are. JK Rowling was on to something with eating chocolate frogs after a dementor attack. They pulled a part of your spirit out of you, but the chocolate frogs grounded you again.

By Sharon


All things for your rituals, except the food.

How to Use Skull Candles

Skull candles are used in a similar way to poppets, except that they are used to influence someone’s mind. They come in black, white, red, and green. The black is used for hexing, the white can be used for healing, blessing,
or like white candles in general, can be all purpose. The red skull candles are used for love, and the green are used for money matters. Especially if someone owes you money, and you want them to pay you back.

As with any candle, choose the color according to what you want to accomplish, as well as a suitable oil and appropriate herbs. Herbs used for commanding in addition to love herbs, or money herbs are good to use. A couple of good commanding herbs are licorice, and calamus root.

Some herbs good for love are rose, damiana, lavender.

For money, fenugreek, dragon’s blood, parsley, and/or patchouli, among others.

For cursing someone, you could use poppy seed to cause confusion, or vandal root, black pepper, etc, to hex them.

If you are aiding someone in healing work, althaea, angelica root, and coriander seeds are all good choices. Do not do magic as a substitute for medical treatment. Do it in addition to actual medical treatment by a qualified doctor.

To begin, I like to cleanse my candles. This can be done by putting a bit of holy water on your hands, and then rubbing your hands over the candle saying something to the effect of “You are now cleansed of energies that you may have picked up along the way. You are now a clean slate.” Then allow it to totally dry. Or you could cleanse it by holding it over some purifying incense, such as frankincense.

Next you can dress it with oil. So put a bit of the oil you’ll be using to purpose in your hand, rub your hands together to get it on both palms, then stroke it onto the skull. If you are doing work to bring something in, stroke in an upwards motion. If hexing, or getting rid of something, go in a downwards motion.

skull candle

At this point, some people carve their intentions onto the candle, using a sharp pencil, pin, or knife. Other people will load it. Loading requires making a hole at the base of the skull, and inserting some herbs, and even you petition paper, then sealing the hole back up with wax. To create a hole, you will need to heat your carving tool, otherwise you may crack your candle. Some people even use a drill (won’t need to be heated), or a soldering iron. If using a soldering iron, do this outside, because they release toxic fumes. You could also heat up a small knife to carve out the hole, or a small metal melon baller may even work. I just now thought of that, and now I’ll have to buy one and see how it does.

Be aware that herbs and paper are flammable, so you will want to use small amounts of herbs, and a small petition paper. Fill the hole back up with wax. Preferably by melting the wax that you scooped out of the candle (in a double boiler), then pouring it back in the hole. I use an empty and clean coffee can to hold the wax shavings, then place that in a pan of low boiling water. You could also light a taper, and allow the wax from that to drip into the hole until the hole is filled.

If you are not loading the candle, you can carve the name of the person the candle represents into the base, and carve your petition onto the skull wherever you please. Keep it short, like “heal”, “good health”, “love me”, or “pay me”, or “suffer”, “bad luck”, you get the idea.

If you are using herbs or powders but not loading them into the candle, you can sprinkle some onto the candle (not too many, since they are flammable), or you can grind them into a powder, then sprinkle or blow them onto the candle.

You can put a hot pin (so it goes into the candle easily) into each eye stating that your target cannot see what you are doing. Or to not see that it is you doing it.

You can also make holes in various orifices, such as the mouth, and fill it with alum to stop gossip, or stop the person talking about you. Use your imagination to creatively obtain your goal in the matter.

Now name the candle, by stating that this candle now represents the mind of so and so. And that he/she will hear and obey your commands. If you are using it to hex someone, you may want to stick hot pins into it to make them suffer.

Put your candle on a dish to catch the wax drippings. Skull candles to tend to be drippy. Light your candle, and talk to your candle, as if you were talking to the person. Let it burn for awhile, and then put it out using a snuffer, not blowing. You don’t want to leave this kind of candle burning continuously without supervision. If the wax pools too much, and is drowning your wick, you can put some holes or grooves at the edge to allow the wax to flow out.

The best time to light and talk to your candle is when you think your target is asleep. The mind is more receptive at that time, because during waking hours, people have so much on their minds, that it’s difficult to influence them.

Work the candle nightly until it’s burned up. There will be wax remaining, which you can burn in a bonfire, bury, or mold a poppet of the person out of, so that you can continue working on them.

We have a nice selection of skull candles at http://www.mysticcauldron.com/figure_candles2.html

By Draiga Wolfsong


Witches and Community

When you mention the word witch, you have 1 of 2 images that generally pop into people’s minds. If you are talking to a non-magical practitioner, they usually equate it with a Satan worshipper, and someone who is doing evil works. Not that anything is wrong with Satan worshippers. Or at least the ones I’ve met, have been good, stand-up people. They are not sitting in a dark corner wringing their hands planning people’s demise any more than anyone else does.

If you are talking to a magical practitioner, they will tend to think that you are a neo-Wiccan or neo-pagan doing group rituals, etc. By now we all pretty much know that there are pagan communities, and other magical communities that other occultists may be a part of. But other than these communities, where does the witch fit in, in their local community?

Many years ago, the “witch” served his or her community in ways of local doctoring such as wart removal, or tonics to help with a health problem, midwifery, potions for matters of love, psychics who could read omens and fortell things to come, etc. The witches were not generally called witches’, and the name would change depending on their location. Pellar, cunningfolk, wise-woman, are just a few names for these people, who the village townsfolk would come to with certain problems. These witches were also paid for their services. They may or may not have been paid with cash, but were given a chicken, or something of value. Being a witch in this situation was a trade, plain and simple.

Not all witches could do all things, and there may have been more than one witch in a community with different skill sets. Even these days, where we have exposure to so many magical things, most witches have an expertise. They may be adequate with certain things, and simply horrible at others. We all just have natural talents in certain areas, even though we have the access to learn other things.

To understand the small town witch, I can’t help but notice that the Conjure and Hoodoo community work in very similar ways to the old village witch. They too, will do “work” for members of their local community and are paid for
their services. When I was living in the South, a friend of mine came from a family of witchy practitioners. But they would never call what they did “witchcraft”. They were good Christian folk, and just did what they did. It was just a family tradition. If a neighbor needed help with certain matters, they would come to her family. And there were matters that her family didn’t handle, but another local woman did. So when her family felt hexed, for instance, they would go get Miss Amy, (as an example) because Miss Amy knew how to handle it, and get their luck back.

I like seeing that people are rediscovering their role as village witches. There will always be those who remain incognito in their general community for various reasons, but it’s nice that some are now making themselves available to the general public. When people call on a witch to help them, it is usually their last resort. They feel the only thing left is magic or a miracle, and they’re hoping the witch can make that happen for them.

As is human nature, there will always be fakes out in the world, who will take a person’s money, and not do any real work on the client’s behalf. I wish these sorts of people would grow a conscience, but it’s not likely. So if you were to look for services from a witch, you may want to stay away from the ones who charge extremely high rates, and ones who claim 100% success. There are a lot of variables involved in magic, and I don’t know of one person who has had a 100% success rate, and I’ve known a lot of magical practitioners throughout the years. Communicate with them before hiring them, and notice whether they seem like they are truly trying to help, or whether they are giving you a hard sales pitch. Contacting past clients would be ideal, but due to the nature of the work, people tend to want anonymity, so
that usually isn’t an option.

If you are thinking of making your self available as a witch, reader, or even spiritual consultant, please keep in mind that you are dealing with people’s lives, and be honorable with it, and tactful.

And here comes my shameless plug. If you wish to be a reader or scryer, we have crystal balls, and black mirrors. We also have a large selection of Tarot and Oracle cards, Runes, and Pendulums. We also carry oils,candles, herbs, and just about anything you’d need for spell casting. Good Luck!



The Great Curse Debate

I’ve noticed in the magical community that some people think curses are rarer than a blue moon on Sunday, and difficult to do, while others believe people are cursed more than often you change your bedding. I say that both sides are actually correct. And to make matters even worse, people who have never studied magic can even direct a curse at someone.

Allow me to explain how this can be. For starters, everything is energy; everything from our thoughts to what we perceive as physical matter. If someone is envious, angry or jealous of you, they have negative thoughts towards you. When they see you, or you are on their mind, they are sending their negative feelings towards you. Unless you are well shielded, some of this hatred is going to effect you negatively. This is often what is called the evil eye, although there is also an intentional evil eye that some people use to curse you which is a lot stronger. The intentional one is more difficult to remove than the accidental evil eye.

Accidental curses are easy to do, often without the person having any magical knowledge. The good part is that they don’t last long, and are usually mild. The bad part is that it can effect something that will cost lots of money or take time to fix. Let me tell you a story of one of these experiences that I had. There was a co-worker at my day job who was trying to get me to do something which would be to her advantage, but my disadvantage. We both liked each other, but she was apparently getting greedy, and I can only assume she thought I would not be aware of the fact that I would be getting screwed. So I politely told her thanks, but no thanks. She left fuming. I forgot all about it, and went about my business. When I was in my car leaving, I saw her coming from the opposite way. She saw me, and was shooting daggers my way, so I immediately shielded myself and my car with a mirror shield. Within 10 minutes of that encounter, her car broke down with her transmission having gone out. Many of you may think this was only coincidence, but I can tell you that I’ve seen this happen time and time again with not only myself, but other magical practitioners who know how to shield themselves. And if they failed to shield, they will often be hit by something bad happening. And of course other non-practitioners are hitting each other all the time. It may manifest as nothing more than minor annoyances, or could manifest as something more serious. There are other factors involved such as resonance and a strong vs weak aura, but we don’t have time to get into all sorts of specifics in this blog.

Focused curses and hexes are a different matter, and these generally need to be maintained. These are the ones where a magical practitioner has gathered the herbs, oils, candles, and other supplies that they will put together to lay the curse. Depending on the tradition, they may even sacrifice an animal to hasten the demise of their target. These curses hit really hard, and are the ones that require knowledge and talent. These generally manifest in really bad ways, including injury, disease, severe financial problems, and even death.

I guess I should also mention the ongoing argument that there is no such things as curses, but people just curse themselves by the belief there is a curse on them. Number one – curses are real. Number two – yes, there are paranoid people who continuously think someone has seriously cursed them, when no one has. They are magical hypochondriacs. By their belief that they are cursed, they are in effect cursing themselves by always looking for the next bad thing to happen to them.

This brings to mind yet one more debate on the subject of curses, and that is that a person must be told there is a curse upon them in order for it to work. This statement isn’t true. Most practitioners don’t want to warn their victim, so that they can catch them unaware. If you tell the person, they may indeed basically curse themselves with the knowledge or magnify the effects. Or they may protect themselves instead, making it more difficult to hit them.

A basic thing you can do if you think you may have been cursed is to cleanse yourself. We carry some cleansing baths, protection baths and more on our site http://www.mysticcauldron.com/bath.html

If you have a more serious curse on you, you will either want to research methods of removing curses, or find a practitioner who can help you. We offer such services on our site http://www.rootandbone.mysticcauldron.com/services.html

By Sharon Marlin

Why do ouija boards have such a bad reputation for spirit communication while other tools such as digital or tape recorders to capture EVPs (electronic voice phenomena) seem fine? After all, a tool is a tool, and a spirit is a spirit, right?

To better understand the bad rap that the ouija board gets, we need to take a look at the users and how it’s used. Ouija boards, which are also known as spirit boards or talking boards have been used as parlor games for kicks and giggles for quite some time. Having these boards being sold in the toy department has not helped it become a tool for serious use either, with kids all over the country trying to get in touch with some tragic or frightening character in order to scare themselves and their friends silly. I remember visiting a friend as a child, and she brought out the family ouija board and tried to call up Sharon Tate who was killed brutally by members of the Charles Manson cult. Of course as kids, we didn’t know about setting up protection first, and amongst all the silliness and giggling, what serious spirit would even attempt communication? We had gotten messages of the threatening kind, which is quite normal when kids play with a spirit board, especially since questions about when one or the other would die was among the questions. This type of use definitely invites trickster spirits to come join the party.

With this in mind, many people, not just kids, simply do not sit down with a talking board in order to get serious communication with the other side, but to get their kicks. If they would stop to think about it, it’s kind of like throwing the front doors of your house wide open and shouting “does anyone want to come in and play? Any bad boys out there who want to scare my friends, and give us a thrill?” Depending on the neighborhood you live in, you could end up with drug addicts, thieves, rapists, and even killers.

But the majority of us not only have enough sense not to do that, but for added insurance against any “bad guys” getting in, we have locks on our windows and doors, and maybe even an alarm system. So why are we so frivolous when it comes to inviting spirits? Many spirits, just like the physical people who we don’t want in our homes, are now in spirit. It’s probably because we think nothing at all will happen. But the reality is, that it usually does. Spirit realms are closer than we think.

It’s interesting that there weren’t many stories of people getting demons come through talking boards until after the movie “The Exorcist”. It’s as if the public at large now has this fear buried in their subconscious that if they use the board, they may open some portal to hell where the demonic can come through and set up housekeeping. And if they are anything like the demon in the movie “The Exorcist” they can be on the messey side.

So, if you want to attempt spirit communication with a spirit board, but get the heebee jeebees just looking at one, why not try one that has a more positive look, one that doesn’t conjure up visions of demons with spinning heads, levitating beds and pea soup? Psychic Circle and the Enchanted Spellboard (pictured) are two that come to mind that have a different, more uplifting look and feel to them.


Also, if you decide to attempt spirit communication with a talking board, it’s best to make an appointment with your dear, departed loved one a few days in advance, rather than just invite whoever happens to be around and wants to talk. Tell your loved one what time you would like to have a session with them. Think of them often between the time you set the appointment, to the time of the appointment. Look at pictures of them, or look at objects that once belonged to them, if you have any.

You can cleanse your board and planchette by fumigating it through some higher vibration incense smoke such as sandalwood, frankincense and myrrh, or white sage. Just pass it through the smoke a few times with your intention of cleansing the board.

When you are ready to sit for your session, it’s a good idea to visualize white light around you, the other participants, and the board. Say a little prayer stating that you are all protected and that only spirits of a higher vibration may come through. It doesn’t hurt to wear some protective oils and/or jewelry as well, but attitude is probably the most important thing in doing this type of work. Be respectful, and ask for the person you knew and loved. Whatever the spirit says, always be aware to use your own common sense. Trickster spirits may come in, and lie about who they are. Never do something simply because a spirit told you to. And if you do ever feel like a naughty spirit has stumbled upon your session, simply put your foot down. Tell them they are not welcome, and that they must go now. Close your session by visualizing bright white light all around you and the board again, thank the spirits that did come to speak with you, and mentally close the portal. Put the board away.

Spirit boards are available here – http://www.mysticcauldron.com/spirit_boards.html

S. Marlin

Ethics in Magic

This topic was inspired by a recent Pagan discussion that I attended. The speaker was trying to drill her ethics into the attendees. And by doing so, offending others who attended who follow similar, yet different paths than her. If she had said something to the effect of “I do/don’t do this, because…” it would have been less offensive. But stating that “X,Y,Z is wrong” was a bit insulting to anyone with different ethics than her.

Ethics is a word that’s bantered about the magical community quite a bit, and is quite a controversial subject. Some people feel you can do love spells on a specific person, while other’s view it as magical rape. Some people believe in a 3-fold law, while others think the idea of it is foolishness, and magically limiting.

But what are ethics? And why should anyone care if ours does not match theirs?

The short definition from Merrian-Webster dictionary states “rules of behavior based on ideas about what is morally good and bad

ethics : an area of study that deals with ideas about what is good and bad behavior : a branch of philosophy dealing with what is morally right or wrong

But what is good and bad behavior? We’ll use healing magic as an example. Some people believe that you should only do healing with the patient’s permission, but the waters get muddy. Life is gray, not black and white. For instance, restricting healing to only those who you ask permission from, can be viewed similarly to not helping someone who is passed out. For instance, if someone passed out and cut themselves on the way down. Would you at the very least try to awaken them? Or staunch the bleeding? Call an ambulance? But wait! You didn’t ask if this is what they wanted first. So do you sit there until they wake up? What if they never wake up without the aid of a doctor? Or if the cut were bad enough, what if they bleed to death? In a physical event like this, most people don’t think twice about helping another, with or without their permission.

I guess I should address some reasons why someone would not ask permission before sending healing to a sick person. For starters, the patient may be a devout Christian that rejects any form of witchcraft. Or maybe you love the person, but have been on the outs with them, and don’t want to get into any arguments at this time. Or maybe they’re in a coma, and you can’t ask. Maybe it’s a friend of a friend that you don’t know personally, but your friend asked that you help. It could be any number of things.

People on the “get permission first” side of the fence believe that you may be interfering with the person’s destiny. By getting permission, then it must be in the person’s fate to receive the healing since they agreed to receive the help.

On the other side of the fence where one doesn’t bother with getting permission before sending healing energy, there is the school of thought that the healing will be accepted by the person’s subconscious if they truly wish to be well. Otherwise, the healing will be rejected.

Some people also look at it this way – if the person sought medical help, they must want to get well, so why not attempt to help it along with spell work or energy work? Others will do a short reading on the situation before doing magic for anyone. That tells them whether to proceed or leave it alone.

But why is this such a hot button issue with so many in the magical community? We as humans are basically control freaks. When we perceive that someone has done something wrong, we want justice and even revenge. When we perceive someone as doing the wrong thing, or being purposefully “bad”, we don’t want to see them get away with it. It may be, because we feel we are following the “rules”, so they should have to as well. And if not, hellfire should rain down upon them. People say things like “what goes around, comes around”, or “Karma will get him/her”, or “I hope he/she roasts in hell for that”. There are others, but you get the gist. In our culture, we seem to focus on the punishment of people more than the rewards of others who may be doing heroic good deeds. We like seeing bad people get what’s coming to them (whatever that may be in our opinion).

Many in the Wiccan community will publicly state the three fold law, which is stating that they are harmless since anything they do will return to them not once, but three-fold by the powers that be. So if they do something “wrong”, they will be punished severely for it. In reality, I have seen some of these same people justify reasons to curse others, and sometimes for offenses that are only creations of their own minds. My point here is that you can’t always believe what someone preaches, because they will bend the “rules” when it suits them. People are people.

Then there is the term “paying the coin”. This is actually what Karma means too, but here in the West, we mistranslated it to mean reward and punishment. What both of these mean is action and reaction. By doing anything in life, magical or mundane, our actions create reactions in the world. This is simply nature, like the ripples that form after throwing a pebble in a pond. An action as small as smiling at someone will cause a reaction within them. It could even change their behavior for a little while, which will change something else, etc. It’s a ripple effect.

By the same token, if someone broke into your home in the middle of the night carrying a gun, and you shot them, you are also causing a reaction. You took an action that you felt was needed to protect you and your family. The reaction could possibly be a punishment, depending on the laws in your area. But you were willing to take the risk because you felt it was the right thing to do in that moment. That is what paying the coin is. You are willing to deal with the reactions of your action. It is not about punishment and rewards, but simply living with the results of your actions.

Then there is the “An it harm none” quote. This statement is too open to interpretation. Just by being alive, we are hurting others. We eat, which kills those life forms. If we get sick, we actively seek to kill those bacteria or viruses. We often put ourselves in harm’s way, such as driving a car, or crossing the street. We can innocently harm another by a casual statement that they carry as a burden for the rest of their lives. People condense it down to what it means to them, but as it is, it can be a confusing guideline.

There are yet other people who don’t believe in any of the above. They just go through life doing what they please, and don’t worry about repurcussions in any form.

When in a coven or other magical group, it only makes sense for the people in the group to share the same ethics. In that situation, you want everyone to be on the same page, so that you can work as a harmonic unit.

But otherwise, we should leave magical folk to discover their own ethics for themselves. There is not a problem with being presented with various beliefs, but there is a problem, and you could even say it’s unethical, to push your personal ethics and morals on another.

This post is not about telling anyone what ethics to follow or not to follow, but to choose them for themselves. We shouldn’t let others frighten or badger us into following their ethics, but in each situation, listen to our own guts. If it’s something that you feel you shouldn’t be doing, you will feel resistence. But if it feels right, you’ll get a warm open feeling in your gut. This is a personal area that everyone needs to explore for themselves.

S. Marlin

The Witch’s Familiar


I may manage to piss off some people with today’s blog. Please bear in mind that I am expressing my views on this matter, and that you are free to believe what you wish. I wanted to talk about familiars because I think they are generally misunderstood creatures in today’s society.


The purpose of a familiar is to help a witch accomplish certain goals. That goal could be to aid in her/his spellwork, or to perform other tasks such as going forth and spying on people or places for the witch and reporting back what was found. Familiars could take any form, including birds and toads. In a rural setting, no one is apt to notice a little toad hiding among the foliage.


Now a familiar is different from a pet. Unless the witch spoke the language of the animals, she would not know what information a pet retrieved for her, if it even bothered to retrieve anything at all. So it is more likely that the animal’s body is actually a vessel for a familiar spirit, which would not be the natural spirit of the animal, but an invoked spirit to perform the tasks assigned it. Animal spirits, although intelligent, and often loving are not capable of understanding let alone undertake complex assignments for the practitioner. If you told your pet cat to go to town and see if the villagers are plotting your demise, you will be up a creek without a paddle if they really are plotting against you.


The cat would most likely dig in your neighbor’s flower bed, kill a bird or rodent, and come on home for dinner, often bringing it’s dead little trophy with it.


A familiar is a different creature. It can be daemon or a fetch. Daemons are non-human spirits that could and can often be invoked or coaxed to work with humans. They were later “demonized” as evil creatures by the church. Familiars and fetches are not limited to being in animals, but can be in a piece of jewelry, etc, or remain invisible.


A fetch is a thoughtform created by the witch, and once again it is to perform certain tasks. Fetches are usually invisible to most people. Those with psychic sight can generally see them when they are around. Because these spirits are linked to the witch, the witch can have communication with them.


Then there are the accidental invoked spirits that have qualities similar to a familiar or a fetch. As an example, I will share my first experience with this. In 1972 I had bought my first athame at The Warlock Shop which was located in Brooklyn, New York. When the time was right, I charged it following the directions from Paul Huson’s book “Mastering Witchcraft” carefully. I was on the 6th story of an apartment building and was facing the window which had a good view of the sky. While I was charging it, a thunderstorm erupted out of nowhere. I found the storm exciting and invigorating. As it turned out, that particular athame didn’t function so much as an athame, instead, it functioned as a storm-bringer. I noticed that every time I used it, a storm would come no matter what the weather forecast was. In the last couple of decades, it seems to have mellowed to just bring rain rather than full storms. I rarely use it, because I figure Mother Nature knows best as far as what weather should be occurring at any given time, so the spirit that brought the storms may have weakened with the lack of use. But my point is that spirits can be invoked, even ones you didn’t mean to invoke. So to invoke a spirit into the body of an animal when done on purpose is how I believe animal familiars are actually made. Since I am an avid animal lover, I personally don’t use living animals as the vessel for a familiar. As stated earlier, inanimate objects work just as well to house a familiar spirit.


One more alternative to animal familiars would be that the fetch or daemon remain in a spirit form, and take the shape of an animal. Spirit can appear like a solid being at times.

By Sharon Marlin


Our New Adventure

I am terrible with keeping up with blogging. I guess I have difficulties with monologues, even though you’d never guess it if you heard me, because I tend to talk to myself often. There have been some big changes since my last blog. The biggest one is that we have moved from Georgia to Oregon. We drove that distance with our 2 dogs and cat in our back seat. Getting the dogs to stay in the back seat was a challenge the first day. I had figured out a way to hook their leashes to the back headrests to keep them from coming up front with us. They are both too big to try to ride in our laps, especially the driver’s lap! It was a 5 day trip, that was tiring for all of us, but it is definitely worth it. It’s beautiful here, with snow capped mountains.

We went from hot and humid to cool, with not much humidity at all. I really look forward to the Summers here. The highs in our area are supposed to be in the 80’s as opposed to over a hundred as it often is in Middle GA. And no more palmetto bugs! It’s so nice to not have to see those disgusting things anymore.

The call of the spirits here is strong. We are surrounded by mountains with a crystal clear rushing creek a few yards out our back door. I feel the call of the ocean too. Not nice white sand beaches, but the untamed roaring waves washing over craggy rocks. This is indeed a magical place.

Although I am still working on changing the look of the Mystic Cauldron throughout the site, I am also putting more focus on the Root and Bone Apothecary. Especially in the “services” area. We are now accepting clients for spellwork. I also have more oils to add, but my empty bottles are hiding in a box somewhere in my storage unit, so I have more on the way. Once I have the bottles, I will add the additional oils to the site.

I’ve also added new products here and there throughout the Mystic Cauldron, the latest being Orion Foxwood’s new book “Candle and the Crossroads”. We also have some gorgeous new coffee and travel mugs, and new t-shirts!

I wish you all a blessed and prosperous year ahead!