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 shining with possibility,
and I feel the call,
to tip them all into that bubbling vat
and see what She will steep me
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
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 Holy, Womanrunes, and the Goddess Devotional. She is the creator of the devotional experience #30DaysofGoddess and she loves savoring small magic and everyday enchantment.