When you think of magic, and specifically when you think of a witch, one of the first images that probably comes to mind is the witch standing over the bubbling cauldron. Cauldrons are synonymous with witchcraft and magic, and for good reason.
We have all seen a cauldron, but what exactly is a cauldron? Put simply, a cauldron is a cooking pot (I know, not quite as magickal as it seems). Traditionally cauldrons were made of cast iron or metal. They usually have a lid and handles and are placed over a fire for cooking.
Cauldrons are vessels that allow us to transform mundane ingredients into magickal tinctures and brews. They can take something that is poisonous and break it down, so it is non-poisonous and vice versa- if that is not magic, then what is?
How the cauldron became so intertwined with witches probably is due to the fact that every house would have had one. It is a tool that one could not do without, same as a chef could not cook without a pot. Cauldrons were often the centre of large gatherings in the same way that a BBQ could be seen these days. Cauldrons were so intertwined in cultures around the world that it has been said that the leprechauns used to hide their treasure and gold within them (hence the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow)
Modern Uses of Cauldrons
In more recent times, the cauldron has come to symbolise the goddess & rebirth. It is also a representation of the womb as it
holds, transforms & brings life to objects.
Within the world of witchcraft, the cauldron is seen as a tool of
transformation. In a cauldron, ingredients for a spell are taken & transformed, either through combining or burning them to release their specific energies.
Uses for your cauldron:
- Cauldrons can be used as a vessel to create potions/ magickal concoctions with raw ingredients such as herbs.
- They can be used for scrying by filling with water and adding a drop of black food dye, creating a dark surface for which to scry.
- A cauldron can be used to charge water during the full moon.
- They can be used to burn items used in spells such as petition papers and herbs (I like to use mine as a safe vessel in which to burn my bay leaves for my bay leaf manifestation spell).
- A popular use for a cauldron is to use them as a charcoal incense burner by placing a lit charcoal disc in them and adding your herbs or resins on top.
- You can add water and essential oils to your cauldron as a witchy oil burner. Simply place some water and your favourite essential oils in your cauldron and set it over a small flame such as a candle or low burning fire (or you can buy one of these cauldron oil burners here)
- They are also used in the making of black salt, a type of salt that is used in banishing rituals.
- They can be used in fertility spells (remember, the cauldron represents the womb)
- Depending on the size of your cauldron, it can also be used to cook celebratory meals during solstices etc.
How to choose the perfect cauldron
In order to figure out which cauldron is best for your personal practice, there are a few things you need to consider:
How it will be used:
If you are using a cauldron traditionally over a heat source, you will want one that has a handle so that it can be hung over the fire. The cauldron will need to be made from a fireproof metal such as cast iron.
If you plan on travelling with your cauldron, you will need one that is small enough that it is not too heavy. Also, you may want to consider a lighter material than the traditional cast iron cauldron such as one made from aluminium. These cauldrons are fine for burning petitions etc in, however they are not suitable for cooking purposes.
If you plan to cook with your cauldron or make potions, consider the size of the meals/potions you will be making. If you are simply infusing some herbs into a bit of oil to produce an herbal infusion, a small cauldron may be all that is necessary, however if you are planning on cooking in it for a coven, you may need a very large one!
Where it will be used:
If your cauldron is going to be set on an altar to be used as a representation of the goddess, or as a representation of the water element for example, you need to take into consideration the size of your altar. These mini cauldrons containing candles are the perfect size for representing a cauldron and can be used to place your burning petitions into (if they are small) or burning a charcoal disc and herbs on an altar.
Whilst aesthetics is not the primary consideration when purchasing your magickal tools, we cannot pretend that to a lot of us, they do not matter.
Most of us love things to look a certain way, and with the numerous different cauldrons available these days, there is a lot to choose from. If your cauldron has satisfied all of the practical considerations, the hardest part may actually be deciding on which is the most aesthetically pleasing. Many cauldrons, such as the ones that we sell here have symbols cast into the face of them such as the pentacle, pentagram, tree of life and triquetra. Each symbol can add an additional magickal or protective layer to your witchcraft practice, whilst also serving to increase the witch aesthetic of your altar (and who doesn’t love that).
What to do if you do not have a cauldron
Whilst cauldrons are a great tool to have, they are not necessary. Sure, they can add to the witch aesthetic that we all love, but if you simply do not have the money for one, or you do not have the space for one, you can always use any food safe, nontoxic, fireproof
container or cooking pot that you have on hand. Some people still prefer to use their cauldron over a fire and if you are one of these people, look for a cooking pot that will handle this type of cooking method, otherwise use what you have on hand, remembering that the witches of old did not come up with the cauldron as a magickal tool, they simply used the one thing they had which was their cooking pot and there is no reason as to why you cannot do the same.
At the end of the day, whilst cauldrons are considered an important part of the concept of natural magick and witchcraft, you can get away with using other things. If, like me, you find yourself being drawn to the practicality and aesthetic of having your very own cauldron, choose one that most suits your needs and reserve it for the purpose of your witchcraft practice.
*If you are looking to purchase a cauldron, check out our range here
Wikipedia contributors. (2023, November 10). Cauldron. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 05:27, November 24, 2023, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cauldron&oldid=1184441421