Unlike our current dominant mainstream religious ideology, in witchcraft, the soul is most often seen and worked with as plural and not singular. Most commonly there are three main soul aspects that compose a person’s soul. These three are most commonly referred to as the “Three Souls”, “Three Minds”, “Three Selves” or “Three Walkers”, though the division of the soul into three parts spans various other religious, shamanic, and spiritual traditions around the world. These three souls are considered to be the first aspects of our multidimensional biology and understanding them is extremely beneficial for both magick and psychic ability.
The three souls are also often compared to various chakras and thus auric fields of the individual. While I think they serve some similar functions and that they interact and intersect with these concepts, I still believe that they are different concepts. The three souls are often commonly referred to as the “Three Cauldrons” within Pagan traditions. The concept of the “Three Cauldrons” a concept deriving from the 16th-century sacred Irish poem called “The Cauldron of Poesy”. It is believed that the poem refers to a secret Celtic oral teaching of three energy centers that have either been lost or closely guarded.
“…three “internal” cauldrons found within the human body: the Cauldron of Warming, the Cauldron of Motion, and the Cauldron of Wisdom. […] Each cauldron is positioned in a different part of the human body, somewhat reminiscent of the Indian concept of chakras—specific energy wheels situated throughout the body that guide its functions and processes.
[…] The Cauldron of Warming is located within the pelvic region, below the navel. It starts in the upright position, containing the basic energy and wisdom we need to live, breathe, and grow.
[…] The Cauldron of Motion is located in the center of the chest near the heart and lungs, and the poem indicates that we are born with it on its side. […] This cauldron could be succinctly described as “what moves us, makes us.
[…] The Cauldron of Wisdom can be found within or on top of the head, and when we are born, it’s resting “on its lips,” which means it’s upside down—empty! This cauldron rules our spiritual development, helping us to see connections between ourselves, our paths, the gods, and one another.
– Laura Tempest Zakroff
The Witch’s Cauldron: The Craft, Lore & Magick of Ritual Vessels
While I’m not saying definitively that they are all the same thing, this concept is similar to the idea of chakras in Hindu traditions or the dantians of Chinese traditions, which are also referred to as cauldrons, treasures, or parts of a tree. Just as chakras and the aura can be imbalanced and exhibit negative traits, the three souls can offer its own challenges when we are out of alignment with them. Each of these three components are ever present within a different level of reality; the three realms of the Witch’s Tree and the World Tree and relate to different aspects of a witch’s consciousness. As such they have different levels of perception, understanding, and experience.
By bringing these three selves into conscious alignment, the witch then becomes a channel of different levels of information and energy. Since each soul exists within a different realm, the witch also creates a crossroads when in alignment whereby the three realms merge together as one. The soul self can also be seen as somewhat of an emissary of that realm and the entities that exist within it. As such, that soul-self has access to each of the four elements existing within that realm and resides within the element of Spirit. Through alignment of the three souls one is fully present, fully engaged and tapping into all parts of their being simultaneously. Ivo Dominguez Jr. brilliantly explores this subject of the three souls and the three realms in his book Spirit Speak. These three souls are most commonly referred to as the “Higher Self”, “Middle Self” and “Lower Self”.