When you see or hear the world "cauldron", what do you think of? Most people would probably picture a witch with warts on her nose, hovering over a large bubbling cauldron and mixing up a concoction made for black magic spells and wicked purposes.
Frankly for a long time this is what I thought about as well. Until I became pregnant and began to love and crave the company of women. From that day, the cauldron shifted from something wicked and perplexing to something very feminine, familiar and wholly benevolent.
The Cauldron has always been an ancient symbol of the cosmic womb- the place where life is created. Where creativity is created. It holds its unique place in history and mythology. It is not only the cosmic womb, but the womb inside every one of us- the divine vessel through which we bring new life into this world. The most popular myth about the Cauldron comes from paganism in which the Crone (keeper of the Cauldron) was a healer, seer, mystic and wise woman who was a natural herbalist and lived in harmony with nature. Unfortunately, the patriarchal church/state of the Middle Ages demonized paganism and transformed the power of the Goddess into something perverted. From then, the Crone became the ugly wicked witch stirring up trouble over a cauldron. Thus the burning of so many of its priestesses during the Inquisition and the witch hunts and so on.
None of this really meant anything to me until I read the book "The Witch of Portobello" by Paulo Coelho. This focused my thoughts on what it truly meant to be a powerful woman. Powerful in any respect- be it a spiritual power, a physical power, a communicative power, a healing power. I began to wonder how this narrow-minded patriarchy we currently live in came to be and how so many women were burned just for believing in Nature and fully understanding their divine connection to it. It opened up the can of worms that just kept letting out worm after worm after worm. From there, I went on to read "Women Who Run with the Wolves" by Dr. Clarisa Pinkola Estes and listening to her audiobooks- pretty much anything I could get my hands on authored by her. Dr. Estes tells beautiful stories that seem to remind women of their power just by being a witness to them. As if she chose the combination of words in her stories carefully to result in in the reader's transformation- as, I imagine, a Crone would choose the alchemical compositions of her mixtures. Then a psychic/seer friend and total Crone friend of mine recommended a book called "The Woman's Book of Dreams" by Connie Cockrell Kaplan which brought some new ideas to the table about our womb being our connection point to Nature- specifically to the Moon. Each of these books brought new experiences and women into my life that helped me on my journey to discovering the true Cauldron. It was dusty and long forgotten in the corner of a very remote cave...
For a long time I defined "woman" the way society did. Coiffed, thin, hairless in all the right places, voiceless, simple and fragile. When I began to open up the the universe of possibilities other than those placed upon me (and accepted by me) by society, I challenged every single one of them at one point or another. I have let the hair on my legs (and elsewhere) grow out, I have cut my hair as short as a man, I began to speak up about everything I stood for and as a consequence to this freedom of thought and action I allowed myself to no longer feel fragile. I was getting closer to the truth of what I now know to be fully a "woman".
I have always believe in the unseen things in life more than that which we can see. Those things are more easily felt by me than anything the 5 senses could perceive. And it is here where I truly began to understand the grandiosity of what it is to be a great Creatrix. When one studies Physics and one starts to delve into the space where the things one cannot see exist, one realizes they are in a much larger place. Break that down and the space gets even larger and larger as you break down whatever elements you are studying. This is what was occurring in my life. I could not see the immense universal forces working through me, but I could feel them as I was growing and changing within me. They can't be proven with an experiment or a microscope, but they are as real as the atom- an invisible minute particle with tremendous power.
Through all these experiences (in my dream and waking life) and women I met, I began to understand that I too was responsible for the cosmic womb (the Cauldron). Not only am I here to remember myself as a Goddess but to express it so much so as to remind other women of this truth we share as well. I believe every woman at this time carries that responsibility deep in their own cauldrons. There is a reason we are in the Kali Yuga. Kali (the Hindu goddess who removes the ego and liberates the soul from the cycle of birth and death) is known as the Gentle Mother and Fierce Warrior. The god Indra stole her power by drinking the elixir from her cauldron and shared it with the other gods. It's time to reclaim who we are and recognize our strength. What woman out of all of us does not yet know she is both gentle mother and fierce warrior? If there is still one out there, then we have some work to do.
And I'm not talking about the Cauldron so we can all aimlessly raise our fists to the air, ditch our men and our current responsibilities to go out bra-less and spell woman with a Y, wear flower garlands and sing along with the Indigo Girls at the Lilith Fair (although I have to say- my goodness, how I love those girls). None of that means anything if done for its own sake. And I am certainly not saying we have to take the world back from men. That is just a different side of the same problem. The purpose behind owning our womanhood and reconnecting with our own and the cosmic Cauldron is simply to remember. I'm not going to talk about what it is we all will remember or what we should remember because we will all have a different journey back to ourselves and then a different journey from that remembrance to who unfolds every day from that point on.
I am so in my cauldron right now. I am reconnecting to the she-wolf inside of me. To the alchemist that knows precisely what she needs every moment- be it an herbal remedy or the wisdom of a friend. I am fine tuning my intuition which is my most sacred wisdom and closest ally. I am feeling more graceful yet more fierce with every cell of my body that feels more free to be that which I was, AM and always will be.
The cauldron is bubbling, ladies... and it's a' callin!