In my personal view, the most important tool for transformation (both physical and spiritual) would have to be the Cauldron. Physically, the cauldron is a vessel that holds the ingredients of your potions, stews and other concoctions with a purpose of healing, nourishing or transforming. I've used my cauldron to hold candles, mash up herbs, and divination through scrying. The cauldron represents all the elements to me: metallic earth, heated by fire, cooled by air and tempered by water. But what about a cauldron for personal transformation?
Many times, I've been transformed mentally and spiritually by the events in my life, but what things have I done purposefully to transform myself with an outcome already predetermined? I've gone about life letting things happen and reacting to them, and I wondered what would happen if I actually set out to determine the steps and the method and the desired outcome, magically through visualization, meditation, ritual and writing. So, that is what I have set out to accomplish. I want to be a better me, all throughout my life. I want to live my life purposefully, and to shed the veils I hide behind.
I have had many 'chapters' in my life, all pretty much defined by relationships I have had in the past, my religious beliefs at the time, and the choices I made to survive and get along without causing too much turmoil for others. From a very early age, this was my conditioning. I learned not to discuss things that were personally damaging to me, and to bury it deep and try to forget. I adopted another "me", the one I presented to the world as the functioning, regular person. All the while I was a confused and lost soul, unsure of who to please and what to ask for myself. Being able to leave my former religion behind and start thinking for myself was the pivotal moment in my life. Ever since then, I have evolved into someone who is slowly learning to ask for what I need, not settle for what I can get. This has caused some strife and turmoil for others in my life, but I had to make a choice, live for others or live for me.
Recently, I was labeled a liar, a charlatan, and a phony. I had ended a relationship because I made a choice to do the least harm, even though I knew I would be causing some turmoil and tension by doing so. Ultimately it came down to being honest with myself and my own needs, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I just couldn't continue on, so I stopped. For this reason, I have been vilified by people I once held in high regard, and I have a desperate desire to defend myself to anyone who would listen. The thing is, no one has come to me to ask me any single question about what truly happened. So, I have to put myself through a reality check time and time again. This is my cauldron.
I conjure up all of the worst possibilities, all of the things that could have been said, or supposed, or outright imagined. Then I have to realistically and logically work through them all, determining the "what if's" of each scenario, until I can settle on just a couple of possible outcomes. In the end, it matters not what has been said, or imagined. It does not matter what one believes about my intentions, or my actions. The only thing that is real is that I know what my own thoughts and opinions are, I know what my own reasons were, and I do not have to justify them to anyone who believes I was a liar from the start. Nothing I say will have any effect on a stalwart opinion that draws me in the black ink of deceit. So, it is likely better to not say anything at all.
My problem is that I can't pretend as if everything is fine, it's all been worked out, and there is no reason for tension. I know it will be there, as long as others wish to carry it around with them, and not work through their own "cauldron". So, I have to wait it out and let the real me show through it all, not run and hide, not put on a front. Eventually, truth wins out, and my real nature will be evidence enough.
It's a difficult task. The cauldron bubbles and boils over at times. The process starts over again. But each time, it gets shorter, easier to deal with. And I have more opportunities to see myself as others see me, and more chances to change my perceptions of others as well.