As a House Reader at Crone's Hollow, I have developed various spreads and techniques for doing personal readings which seem to click in their turn as the new client and I begin to connect. Today I woke up thinking of one of them that has various applications to many situations, so today we are going to explore the "Three Legs Of The Cauldron." As you know if you have ever gone camping or played SCA, cauldrons/dutch ovens are three-legged iron receptacles into which various items are placed and to which fire is applied for the purpose of cooking, brewing, dyemaking, or other such activities--all of which equate to changing the actual nature of the raw ingredients placed therein and producing for the maker something brand-new and much desired; food, mead, coloring for new garb, and many other created items which cannot be obtained without mingling in the cauldron and the application of heat and, sometimes, pressure. Therefore, the cauldron, magically and symbolically, is the perfect representation of seminal change. And so--what are the three legs, and how can we use them to transform ourselves today?
Card 1: The First Leg--Main Ingredients; What Must I Actually Change?
From the Tarot of the Old Path, we have drawn the Queen of Swords, standing with an expression of disdain upon her face, or is that guardedness and caution? She holds her sword at the ready, which, along with the expression on her face, seems to denote a distrustful and cautionary demeanor, rather implying, "Don't even TRY to mess with me!" Her eyes are fixed in the distance, not encountering whomever or whatever she is standing in front of; even the points of her earrings, crown and hairnet resemble thorns or nettles, another symbol of caution, guardedness, and wary warning. And yet, immediately recognizable in her hand because it is the only thing on the card not created in the yellow 'suit color' is a bunch of lavender, the herb of healing and love, devotion and steadfastness--but in ancient herblore, also of distrust. So this card is telling us that what must be changed is either that mistrustful and cynical negative view of the world, or the circumstances and surroundings that have caused us to feel that way.
Card 2: The Second Leg--The Recipe: What Is My Tool Of Change?
I admit I was surprised (but probably shouldn't have been) that our second card for the day is another Queen, with almost diametrically opposite qualities to our first card. The Queen of Cauldrons is portrayed as an attractive,
gentle person with expressive eyes and a generous mouth. On
her lap is a peach, implying that she possess good qualities of
character. The peaks of the design on her crown are not as spiky as those of the Queen of Swords, and the shape of them almost reminds one of a flower; the three in the front are not as large in comparison to the remainder of the crown, suggesting less focus on the self and more of a sense of community. Notice the reflection on the cauldron in her hand, which almost resembles a smiley-face; and then, look at the expression on her face. Not one of haughty disdain like the Queen of Swords, but instead an intent gaze directly at the person in front of her, a gentle look which almost says, "I see you. I hear you. Speak to me." The card is telling us that the 'recipe for change' is to be less mistrustful and more willing to engage in, and care about, the interactions we have with others, knowing that we are going to be safe and may even be able to give some sense of comfort and peace to others.
Card 3: The Third Leg--The Final Brew: What Transformation Awaits Me?
The card, at first glance, with the title "Illusion" (which in traditional Tarot is the Moon) might actually seem like a slap in the face. So--I take down my guard, and begin to be more accessible and empathetic, and people begin to fool me? Not so much. The "transformation" from the Cauldron is exemplified here by the deeper meanings of "Illusion"--the ability to see things for what they really are, and the ability to understand the magical and arcane meaning behind many of the illusory experiences of life. Nuit, the Egyptian Goddess of the Moon, stretches her starry body across the dark sky, symbolizing light in darkness and the haven of dreams. Below her, a woman raises her arms in worship and supplication to the Goddess, while the man behind her bows his head in respect and humility, representing, when read together, as the human need both to give thanks and honor to the High Ones (including the High Self) and to be authentic in acknowledging where we are not 'in charge' but are suppliant. And the entire landscape of the card is a vision of possibility, evoking remembrances of the "starry, starry night" in which the dreamworld is created and the deep inner vision which gives to us absolute truth for our Selves.
So--place your mistrust and overconfidence in the cauldron of possibility, season it with some empathy, trust, and love, and healing and insight will be yours.
May it be so, for all of us!
Aisling the Bard.