The three cauldrons form one of the foundations of my work. Holding the energies of our physical well being and groundedness, our emotional depth and resilience, and our creative and spiritual inspiration, the cauldrons become an ancient Irish touchstone still vital into today’s chaotic world.
I’ve worked with the three cauldrons for many years now. Choosing Three Cauldrons as the name for my shamanic practice represents who I am ancestrally and who I am today shamanically.
This opening to my article in the Spring 2012 issue of the Journal of Shamanic Practice will, I hope, convey a bit of my excitement about the three cauldrons and finding Irish traditions that are fruitful starting places for shamanic practice:
Part of the excitement of learning shamanic practices is realizing that all cultures throughout history participated in these traditions. We all share in this birthright, individually and as members of cultural traditions and lineages. Seeking guidance and support from ancestors is integral to shamanic work. It is reassuring to know that each of us, however distanced from shamanic traditions in our own history, can reach back through time in a search for our roots.
My question was this: How can we of European descent connect with authentic ancestral traditions? One way is to journey on it. Another is to work with ancient sources, a path described in Tom Cowan’s Fire in the Head: Shamanism and the Celtic Spirit. Myth, legend, and history, when explored through the lens of shamanic tradition, take on deeper meanings and lead to renewed forms of practice.
One avenue for exploration in the Celtic tradition is The Cauldrons of Poesy, a medieval Irish manuscript that describes three cauldrons we carry within us, containers of life energy whose condition and contents indicate our current health, energy levels, and connection to spirit.Sources of nourishment, objects of quest, and containers of transformation, cauldrons simmer at the heart of Celtic spiritual tradition. They are sought after but out of reach, redemptive yet threatening, holding mysteries that few ever plumb. Yet the Cauldrons manuscript says we each have three cauldrons born within us.
The three cauldrons each have a role, a place within the body, and a position or orientation. Each cauldron holds a particular kind of energy important to our growth and development, helping maintain and transform our health, life’s work, and wisdom.