The Firebowl is an essential altar item and magical tool for any magician or shaman. Used primarily to cleanse people, areas,  sacred space and tools, the Firebowl can also be used for divination, finding lost people or objects, and meditation.

Although almost any bowl will do for a Firebowl, most traditional Firebowls are made of brass, ceramic, cast-iron or hardwood. Except for special bowls used for specific rituals, the bowl should be light enough and small enough that you can carry it in your hand.

To make a working Firebowl, put about two inches of fire clay (unscented cat litter will do), rice or beans in the bottom of the Firebowl to prevent the bowl from getting to hot. Put self-lighting mini-charcoal tablets on top of the fireclay, then add any resins or botanicals you want to burn.

Choose your resins and botanicals based on what you want to do with your Firebowl. For instance, if you want to meditate, use a Water element botanical to help you get in touch with Spirit. If you want to “see” a lost object, you might use an Air element botanical. Here’s a short list of resins and botanicals, listed by element, to get you started:

All Purpose: Sage, juniper, copal and frankincense.
Air: Sandalwood, sage, mint and sweetgrass.
Fire: Pine, juniper and frankincense.
Water: Gardenia, lotus and rose.
Earth: Musk, mosses and myrrh

If you have difficulty quieting your mind during meditation, you can use the Firebowl. Simply light the charcoal tablet with paper or wooden matches until it starts to spark, then put a Water element botanical on top. When the combination begins to smoke, focus on the column of smoke. Having a visual focus that is irregular and difficult for your mind to follow will occupy your mind while you meditate. Good luck!

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