Taking it to the Cauldron, by Molly Remer

If I squint,
I can almost see steam lifting
from a cauldron in the forest
and smell change
drifting through the air.
I am looking at the shards
of the year,
some new-broken,
some re-collected,
some shining with possibility,
and I feel the call,
the urge,
the promise,
to tip them all into that bubbling vat
and see what She will steep me
into next.

Each year, in August, I honor what I call a “Cauldron Month” for myself. This is a month in which I “take it all to the cauldron” and let it bubble and brew and stew and percolate. I pull my energy further inward to let myself listen and be and to see what wants to emerge. It is a month in which I delete my social media apps and mindfully, intentionally draw my scattered attention inward in order to listen to my inner wisdom, to take all of my bubbling ideas to the metaphorical cauldron of my own being and see what is brewing, what is stewing, and what is ready to be dished up. I clarify goals for the remainder of the year, my next word of the year usually finds me, and I take time to consciously “steep” in my own flavor. It is a time of clarity and renewal for me, a time when I withdraw from outer life and re-collect my energy in order to determine where to put my focus for the remainder of the year.

It may seem strange to withdraw energetically at such a ripe and burgeoning time of the year, when life is bursting with things to harvest and ideas to share, but that is exactly why I do it—because when life feels the most full, is when I known I most need some dedicated time of discernment. August, I find, is always a crucible of change and choice for me. It is when big projects are birthed, when new doors open, and when I reach metaphorical crossroads of change—crossroads in which I decide what to harvest, see what has withered, and come to understand what to sacrifice.

We are held between
summer’s fatigue
and summer’s fire,
there has been a blooming
and a ripening,
and now a harvesting and a fading,
as the time comes
to turn the page.

Cauldron Month dates back to 2016, a year in which my pace of living became unsustainable and I experienced a persistent and inexplicable cough that lasted for six full months. After this experience, I came to clearly see a pattern in myself, of speeding up and revving harder and harder through the spring and summer, until I reach an annual point of having taken on too much, in which I must make choices about what to let go of and what to pursue. It helps to know it, to name it, to say to myself: oh, yes, this. Cauldron time is here again. The understanding of this pattern has helped me to prepare for it, when I feel the familiar tension, the drive to push and speed, I step back instead. I sit down. I shut things off. I get still and I listen.

That first year, feeling overwhelmed by commitments and at my physical and temporal limits. I did a guided meditation called the Moon Goddess Ally Journey. During the meditation, in the temple in which I met the moon goddess, right as the meditation was coming to a close, the Cauldron from the Womanrunes oracle card system appeared quite clearly etched on the floor of the temple–it was very large, covering the whole floor, and felt like a dramatic and powerful wake-up call. I knew in this moment: I need to take my life into the Cauldron. I need to see what is brewing. I need to steep in my own magic. August has never been the same since.

Future Cauldron Months after have held varying experiences—some rich and powerful and some painful and challenging, what they all hold in common is that they illuminate the next steps and invite me into the next chapter. Some years I’ve joked with friends have been “Slow Cooker Months” instead and some years—like 2020—have felt like Cauldron Years, in that the whole year is a process of transformation and re-emergence. I have written some more about these experiences in a past post for FAR here.

Each year, I do what I can to honor the call of the Cauldron—persistent and insistent—and in so doing I remember that it is often in the mess that the story lives. What sometimes bubbles up from the Cauldron during this period of incubation isn’t particularly pretty, it can even be hard to confront, and yet, we continue to let it bubble, we continue to breathe and bear witness to our own interior lives, beyond the clamor and confusion of so many other voices that may fill our lives and days.

The Cauldron is a rune of alchemy and change, but also of centering of containment and contemplation—a marrying of what might seem like opposites, but that which really co-exist. During this month or another one that feels right to you (a lot of people choose December or January), consider taking it all to the metaphorical Cauldron of your life…what are you cooking? What flavors do you want to add? What do you want to create? What needs time and focus to bubble and brew? Can you allow yourself to steep in your own flavors? The Cauldron asks us what we’re cooking, but it also offer boundaries, containment, a safe space in which to stew up our truest magic.

May you be inspired by some time in cauldron,
may you be inspired by time with yourself,
may you be inspired by that which surrounds you,
connected to Goddess,
connected to the earth,
connected to the animals, plants,
the wisdom of the wind,
the song of branches,
and the symphony
of river, stone,
leaf, and breath.

Take it to the Cauldron and listen to the deep within.

Last year, I also made a free toolkit for sacred pauses which has lots more Cauldron Month info in it for you.

Sending you all love. Glad to share some of the miracle of being here with you.

There are days when the sky
holds its breath
and dreams seep up
from the skin of the world
and into my feet.  

Molly Remer, MSW, D.Min, is a priestess, mystic, and poet facilitating sacred circles, seasonal rituals, and family ceremonies in central Missouri. Molly and her husband Mark co-create Story Goddesses at Brigid’s Grove. Molly is the author of nine books, including Walking with Persephone, Whole and HolyWomanrunes, and the Goddess Devotional. She is the creator of the devotional experience #30DaysofGoddess and she loves savoring small magic and everyday enchantment.

Categories: Embodiment, Goddess Spirituality, Goddess Spirituality, Healing, mindfulness, Mother Earth, Sacred Space, Seasons, Spiritual Journey, Spirituality, thriving

12 replies

  1. Lovely post… August is the Turning month in every sense of the word – the time of abundance has passed (especially with climate change) – it is for me the time of letting go – the birds are starting to migrate, the apples are already falling and shriveling leaves are drifting to the ground. I haven’t quite adjusted to this speeding up of the seasons – signs of fall are everywhere –

    But like you I see this time as the beginning of the gathering in – even the shorter nights bring comfort – too much light for too long. Give me some cloudy rainy days (especially since most of my wood is under cover). I think this is a rich fertile time that often goes unnoticed by many.

    I personally have a body that has never thrived on running in the speed lane, so there is visceral relief that I also experience… just now I am listening to the cuckoo who has been singing for over an hour -morning delight!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a good idea for organizing your year and your life each year. Yes, take advantage of this fertile time. Bright blessings to your cauldron, your work, and yourself.


  3. My late husband always took the Jewish month of Elul, which starts in August and leads into the month of Tishrei and the High Holy Days, as a time of introspection. He re-read his journals from the previous year and meditated on the upcoming one.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You’ve put into words exactly what I’ve been feeling the past week or so. We’ve had a heat wave that has just broken and I have been feeling like summer has been pushed over the top of the hill and is now sliding into fall, and the energy has taken a definitely more peaceful, flowing turn. This is a wonderful tradition and one that is so very needed in these times when everyone is expected to be at full speed all the time. Thanks for sharing it!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Molly,
    you live in the country in Nature on land. My husband and I would kill to have land in the country. And yet until a few years ago your pace of life was totally frenetic like you were living in LA. It seems to have slowed down some with no College teaching but you’re still doing more than any three people that I know of. I do think that doing and being creative is really a part of your personality. Before I got chronic fatigue syndrome / fibromyalgia I did a lot of doing. I’m very glad you do take some time for yourself. I know it’s hard to let go of the social media. And it was especially hard during the lockdown.
    I want you to know that every resource, every prayerbook, every seasonal little book, every new set of cards, all the new things in your store are so lovely. I appreciate you for everything you do. But go to the beach a lot!!!!!🌊🪣💙🤣


    • I do love where I live and appreciate it every day. :) I also love what I do and am super passionate about my work, which enlivens me and nourishes me and lights my fire every day–sometimes I do feel a little “too small” for my own flow of constant inspiration. That said, I actually have more self-directed time, free time and down time as well as more opportunities to travel that anyone else I know. (I haven’t woken up to an alarm in ten years, for example.) It is part of my personality and character to create and generate and share. I love to do it. I’m brimming with inspiration at almost all times. And, I’m very “all in” on my life as a whole, which includes my work, because it is very much integrated into who I am. That said, while, yes I am somewhat “superhuman” in my creative ability, I think you might forget that this is my job–literally it is my full time work to write poems and make little books and post to Patreon, etc. I don’t have another job or anywhere else I have to go or anyone else I have to work for. And, Mark works full time for our business as well. So, it isn’t all me, all the time, doing everything. It is two full-time, all-in humans (who also share taking care of our four kids). Not only that, we also have four other people who work for us (5 to 21 hours a week each). So, if it seems like I do the work of three people, it is because there actually ARE four other people doing parts of it + Mark too!


  6. Thank you so much for this, Molly! When I first heard about cauldron time in your Facebook group, it inspired me to plan my own cauldron time, which I did for about two weeks at each of the Solstices. But it wasn’t until this year, when I took May as a cauldron month that I saw the power of taking a whole month. It deepened the experience in ways I hadn’t imagined. I will definitely plan for a full month in future! And thanks for all the great links in the post!


  7. Hi Molly, I read this when I was on vacation and couldn’t comment (because, you know WordPress and all). I love your concept of the cauldron month. It really does work perfectly. Yes, August is still a month of summer and celebrations and all. But it is also the month, at least here in the northern hemisphere when we become aware of the light starting to diminish each day as they grow shorter and we slide towards the equinox. It is a time of true balancing and recognizing how we can live and work with paradoxes and the various energies that swirl in our lives. I think I may take August as my cauldron month as well. Thank you for that.


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