The thought of a fire burning under a bubbly cauldron of potato soup is particularly appealing this morning. I heard on the radio, before the sun poked his head up, that this is the coldest morning in Central Virginia since 1912. By my thermometer it was 3 degrees Fahrenheit (-16 C) at 5:00 a.m. and the wind was blowing. I don't want to know what the wind chill was.

The Irish text The Cauldron of Poesy speaks to the three cauldrons that reside within us all. They are called the Coire Goiriath (The Cauldron of Warming and Incubation), Coire Érmai (The Cauldron of Movement, Vocation, Aptitude) and Coire Sofhís (The Cauldron of Wisdom and Spiritual Knowledge). The three Cauldrons are related to the three worlds. (If you have read some of my previous blogs about shamanism then you should be familiar with the concept of three levels or worlds.) The three worlds in the Celtic tradition are the World of Land, the World of the Sea, and the Skyworld.

Before we go on, please consider the state of your cauldrons. Are they upright and able to contain their fill? Are they turned on their sides so that their contents start to run out? Or, are one or more of you cauldrons turned upside down so that no matter how hard you try nothing can enter?

The Cauldron of Warming is the source of life in each of us. This cauldron is placed upright at birth and remains that way throughout our lives. However, I believe that traumatic events can tip the cauldron and that causes us to spill some of our life force. This cauldron represents the fires of emotion, vitality and power that sustain all of our activity within the Three Worlds. The Coire Goiriath represents the connection between the self and World of the Sea, the world of existence and emotions. To better understand the World of the Sea think of the power and action of waves crashing on the shore and the different emotions expressed by the sea from a calm and tranquil sea to one that is raging in fury.

The Cauldron of Movement is tipped on its side when we are born and we, through our efforts or lack thereof either invert the cauldron or place it upright. When a person becomes aware of their gift they begin to turn this cauldron upright. With training and perseverance the cauldron becomes fully upright and then starts to fill. The Coire Érmai represents the connection between the self and the Middleworld of Land, the realm of most of our actions.

The Cauldron of Wisdom and Knowledge was said to be upside down at birth because most of us forget our previous lives from the shock of passing through the Otherworld. Some spend an entire lifetime refilling and changing the position of this particular cauldron in their search for wisdom and knowledge. In the celtic tradition it was thought that the cauldron would stand upright after a strong major emotional event, like extreme sorrow or extreme joy. Once upright the Cauldron of Wisdom and Knowledge is capable of holding much more knowledge and wisdom.The Coire Sofhís is emblematic of the connection between the Skyworld of the Gods and the spiritual and mental aspects of life.

The Three Cauldrons at Birth

I hope that your cauldrons are upright and full, that the rain of heaven continues day-by-day to fill them to overflowing.

The Three Cauldrons Upright

May you find peace and may your cauldrons be full,

Dr. Dave

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Comment by Rev. Vivian Dewey on January 10, 2014 at 1:36pm

I enjoyed your post. Thank you.

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