Censer and Cauldron
The censer is an incense burner. It can be a complex, swinging
metal censer like those used in the Catholic church, or a simple seashell.
The censer holds the smoldering incense during Wiccan rites.
If you cannot find a suitable censer, make one. Any bowl or cup
half filled with sand or salt will serve well. The salt or sand absorbs
the heat from the charcoal or incense and prevents the bowl
from cracking. Incense sticks can also be pushed into the salt, or
cones placed upon its surface.
Incense use in ritual and magic is an art in and of itself. When
no specific incense is called for in rituals and spells, use your own intuition
and creativity in determining which blend to use.
Stick, cone or black incense can be used, but most Wiccans favor the
raw or granulated incense, the type which must be burned on self-igniting
charcoal briquettes available from occult suppliers. Either is
In ceremonial magic, "spirits" are sometimes commanded to appear in
visible form in the smoke rising from the censer. While this isn't
a part of Wicca, the Goddess and God can sometimes be seen in the curling,
twisting smoke. Sitting while breathing slowly and watching the smoke
can be an entrancing act, and you might slip into an alternate state of
Wiccan ritual, when performed indoors, isn't complete without incense.
Outdoors a fire often substitutes, or stick type incense is stuck into
the ground. Thus, the censer is an important tool for indoor rites.
To some of the Wicca, the censer represents the element of Air. It
is often placed before the images of the Deities on the altar, if
The cauldron the Witch's tool par excellence. It
is an ancient vessel of cooking and brew making, steeped in magical tradition
and mystery. The cauldron is the container in which magical transformations
occur; the sacred grail, the holy spring, the sea of Primeval
The Wicca see the cauldron as a symbol of the Goddess, the manifested
essence of femininity and fertility. It is also symbolic of the
element of Water, reincarnation, immortality and inspiration. Celtic
legends concerning Cerridwen's cauldron have has a strong impact on contemporary
The cauldron is often a focal point of ritual. During spring
rites it is sometimes filled with fresh water and flowers; during winter
a fire may be kindled within the cauldron to represent the returning heat
and light of the Sun (the God) from the cauldron (the Goddess). This
links in agricultural myths wherein the God is born in winter, reaches maturity
in summer and dies after the last harvest.
Ideally speaking, the cauldron should be of iron, resting on three
legs, with its opening smaller than its widest part. cauldrons can
be difficult to find, even small ones, but a thorough search usually produces
some type of cauldron. A few mail-order houses stick cauldrons, but
not regularly. You may wish to research these sources.
The cauldron can be an instrument of scrying (gazing) by filling it
with water and staring into its inky depths. It can also serve as a
container in which to brew up those infamous Wicca brews, but bear in mind
that a large fire and plenty of patience are required to make liquids boil
in larger cauldrons. Most Wiccans use stoves and cooking pots
If you have difficulty finding a cauldron, persevere and one will
eventually materialize. It certainly can't hurt to ask the Goddess
and God to send one your way.
Taken from "Wicca A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner" by Scott