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In pre-historic Europe, the cremated remains of the deceased were often placed within a cauldron and buried. The cauldron is a symbol of the womb of the Goddess and is associated with the process of transformation. It is also used for more mundane chores such as brewing mead and ale, cooking food, or even making teas and potions. The things which are made within the cauldron are believed to be imbued with magical properties. The physical appearance of a cauldron varies in size and material, but they are often made of bronze, copper, or iron.

Numerous legends surround the lore of the cauldron. In Celtic mythology, the Dagda is said to have possessed the Undry cauldron which issued out food according to a man's merit, and Bran the Blessed was given the Cauldron of Rebirth which had the ability to resurrect slain warriors. A horned God, as depicted on the Gundestrup cauldron, was reborn after having been torn apart and boiled in a cauldron. The Babylonian goddess Siris stirred the mead of regeneration in the cauldron of the heavens. In Norse mythology, Odhin drank magical blood from a cauldron to obtain wisdom; and according to Greek mythos, Medea had the ability to restore a person's youth by using a cauldron.

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