and the First Harvest
Summer is currently in complete control. I’ve always thought of July as the Weed, Water, and Wait month. I’ve been weeding, watering, and waiting, and the Harvest is coming to fruition. We are fast approaching the celebration of the First Harvest, Lughnasa. In truth, harvesting has already begun. As I write this I have herbal tinctures brewing away. There are herbs all over 4Winds that will be harvested over the next week. And my elderberry harvesting adventures have just begun. Aside from those types of harvests, my next book will be launched right around Lughnasa. This time of the First Harvest is a very busy time.
So, what’s all that got to do with the Witch’s Cauldron? One of my greatest joys in my practice of Witchcraft is when the very practical meets the magickal. In our modern times we think of and use that Cauldron as the Center where the witch combines magickal things to create a desired reality. It is often made of cast iron, so the magick doesn’t escape. Not much has changed over the centuries. People have been hanging that Cauldron over a fire to cook up magick for a very long time. Only, in the past it wasn’t considered magick. It was the place where you created the necessities of life, food and medicine. Into that Cauldron that hung over the fire in the cottage you threw vegetables and meats and if lucky, maybe some spices. Out of that brewcame food! Hanging from the rafters of the cottage were drying herbs, partly to flavor the food; partly to heal the ailing folk. Once again, if someone got sick, into that Cauldron you threw herbs mixed with water and pulled out life-saving medicines. You nourished the body with the brews that came out of that Cauldron. If that isn’t magick, I don’t know what is. The Cauldron was usually made of iron because iron could withstand the heat of the fire, simple as that. Families continued to use the Cauldron until the early 20thcentury. Cast iron cookware did change shape a little over time. Dutch ovens and frying pans are still popular among many cooks, but the big pot of goodness hanging over the fire didn’t go away as a basic kitchen item until the 20thcentury. The Wise Women and Wise Men continued to brew up life saving medicines until Big Pharma completely took over that part of our reality after World War II. That Cauldron, long associated with what the Wise Ones were doing, became associated with the witches alone in the 20thcentury.
In our modern times I create magick on my stove as I throw food into pots and make dinner. I mix all those herbs and create magick in my kitchen, too, the magick of good health for myself and for my family. My primary Cauldron sits on my primary Altar and I create magick in it, too. All kinds of esoteric and mystical things come out of that Cauldron. However, the practical magick of that Cauldron is what it has always been, because in the end the greatest desire of most witches is a happy, well-fed, healthy family. All that magick from one simple cast iron Cauldron, the witch’s Cauldron, brewing up the fruits of the First Harvest.