What is a witch without her cauldron? Among our most popular items at the shop, cast-iron cauldrons serve innumerable purposes in the magickal realm. Not only do they make a statement as decor, but they can also be put to great use as burners, vessels and in ritual.
You may find you want to have multiple cauldrons, with each serving a specific purpose, especially if you intend to use a food-safe cauldron for creating something you ingest, like a tea or potion. Right now, I have three: one for burning, one I bring to readings, and one for kitchen witchery. I personally use a glass cauldron for all of my ingestible creations, just to be on the safe side.
Here are my top five favorite ways to use a cauldron.
1. Altar Piece
Probably the easiest and most common way to use a cauldron is just to have one, sit it atop your altar and perhaps use it for storage. Cauldrons are a great addition to any altar, especially for women, given the symbolism of the cauldron and its relation to fertility and the womb.
I like to think the cauldron I bring to readings as my own little melting pot. I put stones inside of it that resonate with the vibration I would like to set within my space, along with my trusty fruit bat skull, a vial of kunzite and kyanite to foster love and clear communication, and a few of my business cards. I keep it and its contents separate from my at-home altar, almost to "season it" the way you would a cast-iron skillet, to let it know its purpose.
So, if you brought home a cauldron and now you are not sure what to do with it, the simplest starting place is to put it on display, and fill it with trinkets that are meaningful to you. Are you seeking love and prosperity? Perhaps combine rose quartz, pyrite and kambaba jasper in your cauldron, put the lid on, and let the vibrations stew a while! You could also write an intention on a slip of paper, and add that into the mix if you so choose.
2. Burning Ritual
Another sensible way to use your cauldron is for burning incense, herbs and resins, as it is fire safe. I use a mini cauldron as my burning cauldron, because it is the perfect size of the charcoal tabs. If you are using your cauldron for any sort of burning, you will want to make sure you are either using a fire-safe cauldron stand or the pegs of the cauldron itself are sitting on top of something that is not sensitive to heat, otherwise, you may leave burn marks on your beloved furniture.
If you are like me and burn incense all day every day, burning it in a cauldron not only makes the whole thing feel other worldly, but it also evokes the energy of the divine feminine. I like to light a charcoal tab and throw intuitive mixtures on top. Sometimes I will simply place a stick of sage or palo santo right on the tab, and walk around the house with the cauldron when I need to do a hefty energy clearing, that way I am not constantly having to blow on the sticks or re-light them – the charcoal tab takes care of it for me!
3. Fire Magick
When I was just a tiny witch, my cousin and I would only get to see each other around the holidays, which in our family meant a large gathering, presents, and a bonfire. After opening our gifts, we would write our wishes on little scraps of wrapping paper, gather them up, take them down to the fire and dance around it singing about fireflies. If that is not the witchiest thing I could have possibly been doing at 8 years old, I do not know what is.
Following my 8-year-old self's lead, I still do a lot of fire magick, and it is practically the same. (Except maybe now, I am calling in things like a sense of groundedness and security, instead of a dapple gray horse or to grow my hair long...wait, who am I kidding. Definitely still manifesting that!)
Possibly my favorite thing to do with cauldrons is to build a mini campfire inside of it, feeding it as you would a regular outdoor fire. For this, you can use twigs, shavings of palo santo, various herbs, etc. My favorite kindling is dried rosemary branches. Instead of writing my intentions wrapping paper, I now use tissue paper when available, because it burns quick and clean, but any sort of paper will do as long as it is not lined with plastic. As you toss your intention into the flame, imagine it being transmuted into pure light energy, waiting for the perfect moment to be manifested into the material realm.
4. Making Black Salt
After your burning ritual, your cauldron will be left with quite an ashy mess inside. This is the perfect time to make your own black salt! Black salts are commonly used for breaking hexes, warding off negative energy and creating both psychic and physical boundaries that shall not be broken. It is important to note black salts are not meant to be ingested.
The only rule to follow here is 2 parts sea salt to 1 part black ash, and if I am being totally honest, I eyeball it every time.
Some black salt recipes call for you to add oils, or to put the cauldron in the oven, or both. I simply strike while the cauldron's hot. After a burning ritual, I loosen the ash that is left at the bottom of the bowl, and start to stir in salt. Once I feel I have hit the 2:1 ratio, I continue to stir while thinking of any intentions I may have for the salt. You can bottle the salt or use it in ritual immediately. If you choose to bottle it, I find it is nice to write down what the ash consists of, so when you use it, you are calling back on those plant spirits who helped you create it.
5. Create Moon Water
This is a scenario where you would likely want to have a designated cauldron, and personally, I use my glass cauldron to avoid potential rusting. But never fear! It is possible to create moon water with your handy cast-iron cauldron; it just takes a little extra care.
Moon water is most commonly created on the night of a major moon phase, a new or full moon. However, you can make it any night you feel called to create it, and the best part is its simplicity. Fill your cauldron with living water and set it outside in view of the moonlight. Add gemstones if you so choose, but be sure not to use any that are toxic or water soluble. Even though you will not be drinking this liquid, you still would not want to use something potentially hazardous.
After the night is over, bottle your moon water and label it with the date and phase of the moon, along with any gems you may have used. This water can be used to anoint sacred tools, rub onto your skin, pour into bath water, water plants and more. Once you have bottled your water, put your cast-iron cauldron in the oven on the "warming" setting, or your oven's lowest setting, until all the water is evaporated to prevent rusting.
An alternate – and to me, preferable – way to create moon water is to set your cauldron outside on a rainy evening, and allow it to fill with the rain water. This is a great method here in Asheville, since we border a temperate rain forest, but in areas where rain is inconsistent, it is a less dependable method of creation. This method also does not lend itself entirely to a planned, moon phase ritual. For example, you may not be able to create full moon water specifically because it may not rain that night.
How do you use your cauldron?
Connect with us on Instagram and let us know: @earth.magick.asheville