Saturday, November 13, 2010

In or Out (of the Broom Closet)?

A thread in another subject got me thinking and I am wondering how many people on here are "out of the broom closet" so to speak, IRL?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

1st Annual TC WInter Holiday Card Exchange

As has been suggested by a couple of members in the Holidays thread, The Cauldron will be doing a Winter Holiday Card Exchange for the first time this year.

Here's how it works:

Anyone interested in participating should PM or email me by midnight (US Eastern Time), November 30.

Include your mailing address, and tell me if you are willing to be paired with someone in a different country (which will mean you'll have to spend more in postage).

Then I'd take all the names and do a random draw to set each participant up with a recipient. Nobody would receive a card from the same person they're assigned to send to. I will PM the name and address of your recipient to you by December 6.

Cards can be handmade or store bought. They must be sent in time to arrive at their destination by December 18.

If anyone wants to include a small, inexpensive, handmade gift, that is OK, but not required. Enclosures must be something that could fit inside the card and it's normal envelope, and not require any extra packaging. Nothing breakable or perishable. (I'm envisioning something along the lines of origami, pipe cleaner decorations, drawings, poetry, a postcard, a photo, a pressed flower, or something like that. It's important that nobody feels pressured to spend more than a few dollars on this exchange.)

Participation in the card exchange is strictly voluntary. By contacting me with your address, you are acknowledging that The Cauldron is not responsible for any problems that might result from participation in the exchange.

(Forum membership required for participation)

The Cauldron's Annual Winter Solstice Celebration--2010 Edition?

I think it may actually have become a tradition: the annual "Up All Night: A Technopagan Winter Solstice" celebration here at the Cauldron! With Randall's blessing (thanks, Randall, for giving us a home), it's time to start planning ahead for this cyberfest's 2010 edition.

For those who don't know, a bunch of us try to stay awake all night to mark the winter solstice, the longest night of the year...and we use a special thread at the Cauldron to touch base with others all over the world doing the same thing. We share thoughts, recipes (most infamously Folksymama's chocolate microwave mug cake), encouragement,...just about whatever pops into our heads.

Via posts from Cauldronites scattered across the globe, we watch the spread of darkness as it marches across the Northern Hemisphere, or bask vicariously in the sun and warmth of members in the Southern Hemisphere marking their summer solstice. The celebration is, quite simply, whatever we make it.

So what do we want to make it this year? Last year we had a loose, optional theme of sharing recipes. Any ideas for a new "non-theme"?

And whose up for it this year? As last year, the solstice falls midweek, which will make it tough for some to make the all-night commitment (unless they plan to call in sick to work the next day, like me!)...but note that everyone is welcome, even those who don't plan to stay up all night. (Those of us in it for the long haul are eager for as many folks to distract us from our pillows as we can get!)

So mark the evening beginning at sunset on Tuesday, December 21, on your calendars. Here's further info on the astronomical event (from

In the Northern Hemisphere, the next Winter Solstice occurs on December 21, 2010 at 6:38 PM ET and 23:38 UTC (Universal Time).

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Your SO and Your Religion?

My SO has no belief whatsoever. He's an atheistic agnostic, as he says. I've been slowly teaching our son about the gods and I just bought my son a bunch of various creation myths, as well as historical (children's) books to start him with. My SO thinks I'm being ridiculous since our son is only three. In fact, he doesn't seem very... well, he's not very supportive. Honestly, this never bothered me before but now that I think it's time to start teaching my son, it's starting to bother me.

How many of you have an SO who does not practice the same faith as you? Is it problematic when it comes to discussing faith/religion? Do you think it's harder to have an SO with a Christian background or someone who purports to be an atheist? Is your SO supportive if your choice in religion?

And the last question: For those of you with children and in similar predicaments as me, how do you handle the less than supportive nature of an SO while trying to teach your child about various religions so that (s)he's prepared for the big, wide world?

Monday, November 08, 2010

Worship On Hold: Dividing Time Between Multiple Deities?

I've been a dedicant to Sekhmet for quite some time now. Recently, she introduced me to Hethert and told me that she would assist me, as well. Hethert was at first quite happy and excited, but I'm finding it difficult to divide myself between the two goddesses. I thought about putting Hethert on hold until I am better able to figure out how to do the juggling act, much to Hethert's chagrin. I was wondering if this is common...? Do other find it difficult (especially with it still being new) to divide the time between (multiple) deities?

Monday, November 01, 2010

The Cauldron's Web Site: Is It Time to Just Start Over?

About this time last year, I started talking about how I really needed to update The Cauldron's web site which was hand coded over 5 or 6 years starting in 1998. With no base page design, each of the thousands of pages are just a bit different, so to update the site in any major way requires going though and recoding each page (by hand again). Even setting up a new standard template (which I did) does not help much. The content from each old page has to be manually taken from the old page, it's 2000-era HTML manually cleaned up and recoded, and then made to fit the new standard format. Most pages take about 30 to 90 minutes to convert. Needless to say, I did not get more than 10% of the pages out there converted this year. At this rate, the conversion would be done in 2019 or so -- and little new material would be added during those years as all my "wotk on the TC site" time would be taken up with converting old pages.

A couple of months ago, I decided that it would be better to redo the site as a CMS and convert pages by manually putting them into the new CMS. At least with a CMS, others could add new material while I was spending all my time convering the old material. I set up a CMS and converted the front page. I never got beyond that due to lack of time to convert pages. I reverted to the non-CMS "new" front page I did earlier in the year. Doing a CMS has the advantage of allowing others to add new material to the site, but converting old pages to new CMS pages takes almost as much time as converting pages without a CMS.

I've reluctantly come to the conclusion that it is time to simply freeze the current TC web site (at and restart The Cauldron with a brand new site (at The current web site is hard to update and nearly impossible to convert to a more modern form given the limitations of my time, but it still has lots of useful info on it. This would let us keep all this info as is, but let us create a much more modern (and closer to standards) TC web site to put new material on -- a site that others could help maintain and improve without having to sit at my computer to do so.

I've floated similar ideas in the past to a few people and they have always been shot down by those who do not like the fact that, for example, the spells section of the new TC web site would be completely separate from the spells section of the old web site. Sure there would be a pointer to the spells section on the old site in the new site, but there would be two separate areas to check. I'm sorry to say that I can no longer allow this argument to stop this idea. I've spent a year trying to modernize the current site so we could avoid this issue. It is not working. Unless someone wants to cough up many thousands of dollars to pay some company to convert our thousands of pages to modern HTML web standards and a better site design, it never will work because I don't have the time to do it myself. I've tried.

So unless someone cane come up with a better idea, that's what I intend to do. Freeze the web site portion of and create a new, modern Cauldron site on It will be CMS based so that staff members can post articles and updates -- instead of everything depending on me to find time to do it.

I would really like to see what others think, however. Even if someone does not have a better idea, there are many ways to implement my current plans. Note that to be a better idea it has to take no more time effort for me than this idea would. As I said, I've tried to do it the other way and have discovered that there isn't enough time in the day for me to do it.

Template by - Abdul Munir | Daya Earth Blogger Template