Cauldron Tipping for Samhain

Samhain candles to the dead

Cauldron at Samhain in the Coven of the Catta’s temple covenstead with melted candles to the dead around it.

No, not “cow tipping” like the drunk farmer boys do on a Saturday night….

I saw this ritual technique mentioned in some blog about a week ago and for the life of me after much searching cannot find it again, so if it is from your blog please let me know and i will credit it.

I have a handful of old iron and brass cauldrons which i have used for various purposes over the years in Witchcraft rituals. At All Hallows Eve aka Samhain I have one in the center of the temple and we light out tea lights to the dead around it or even in it. My cauldrons are usually filled with large candles of various colours for the cycles of the moon and Wheel of the Year. I have a black candle for new moons, Samhain and Yule. This i call the “Mother Candle” based on a tradition from a very old coven from down in York, PA which one of our Priests used to attend. I have an orange candle for full moons, Beltaine and Autumn Equinox. In our coven this is called the “Crown of Success” candle and has nothing to do with the candle of the same name used in Vodoun. And i have a green candle for Lady Day of the Spring Equinox and also for May Day. At Candlemas i usually use white candles to represent the return of the Goddess from the underworld. (Witch Tip – if you put a little cooking oil in the cauldron under the candles the melted down wax will be easier to remove than heating up the whole cauldron which can lead to the wax catching fire.)

If you do not have an iron or stone mortar and pestle, the iron cauldron in conjunction with a smooth oblong river stone works well for grinding up herbs. But i digress….

Shawnus Witch Vodoun Altars (2)

Coloured candles in Cauldrons

So what that witch blogger i read shared was that during the bright half of the year she keeps her cauldron upright like the open fertile womb of Mother Nature, kinda of like a cornucopia. Then during her Samhain ritual she would symbolically turn the cauldron from right side up to up side down, thus turning the womb into a tomb, representing the return of the Goddess Persephone into the realm of Hades for the dark half of the year. I thought that was a damned good idea and powerful symbolic ritual act! Now what would i then put under that tipped cauldron? Well maybe some packets of seeds (drastically reduced in price this time of year) to represent the seeds of potential rebirth and regrowth for the coming year. I have never seen this written in any books or rituals, but thought it a great idea that came from the mind of a practical and intuitive witch.

Shawnus witch altar September 2012

Witch Altar

All photographs Copyright 2013 GLHoke

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