Using the Chalice of Light in Spiritual Practice
These Chalices were brought from India several years ago by our dear friend “Bhakti Fred”. It was his dream to share the beautiful eastern spiritual tradition of Aarti (or Arati) and the altar oil lamp with us in the west.
Mermade now offers these shining brass double chalices.
They can be used as a traditional wick oil lamp for use upon an altar, as a Censer, a Thurible chalice or a Camphor (Aarti) lamp. The Chalice is hourglass shaped and both cups can be used. One cup has the wick holder and wick installed ready for use. The other is open for use as a meditation fire, camphor lamp or incense holder. The double bowl design insures stability and safety.
You will discover many ways in which the Thurible Chalice can be used. After feeling its effects, you will probably think of other uses on your own, but here are a few ideas to try.
Use Chalice for Aarti (or as a Camphor Lamp)
Aarti is the Hindu ceremony of lighting a sacred lamp to illuminate the image of a Diety or person to be honored and to bring a realization of light and spiritual essence. While the flame burns, its dancing light reveals the beauty of the beloved deity upon the altar and the deity then blesses the lamp.
Aarti is often performed with camphor. This holds great spiritual symbolism.Camphor when lit, burns itself out completely without leaving a trace of itself. Camphor represents our material nature. When lit by the fire of wisdom which illuminates the truth, our lower natures are “burned” away, leaving no trace of the ego. (The ego creates in us a sense of separation from Spirit.) Also, we receive the gift of a clean pleasant smell even while the camphor sacrifices itself. In our spiritual progress, we should willingly sacrifice, to spread the perfume of love to all.
Using the Special Camphor tablets are available from Mermade
During Arati (Hindu ritual) , burning camphor is waved as an offering before the deity to symbolize the dissolution of the ego. Camphor is considered highly purifying and very sacred, and it is used to represent the dissolution of the ego since it burns without leaving any trace. When burned it emits a sweet, strong fragrance, which symbolizes how we too should sacrifice ourselves to serve society and in the process spread the perfume of love and happiness to all.
Puja is a form of worship which is performed to purify the mind, to express devotion, and to connect with the sacred energies of the gods and goddesses themselves.
It can be used by all to purify and bless with light and scent.Camphor pellets are sometimes lit and set to float still burning upon the surface of a vessel of water, thus creating "holy water" or water that has been purified for sacred use in ceremony.
Also see an excellent video of Ammachi blessing Holy Water with lit camphor and performing Arati
“We often wait with patience to see the illuminated Diety brought to life by the light but when the aarti is actually performed, the eye may close automatically as if to look within. This signifies that each of us is the temple, we hold the divinity within.“
At the end of the Aarti, the hands are placed above the flame and then touched to the eyes and top of the head. It means:
“May the light that illuminated the Divine, light up my vision. May my vision be divine and my thoughts noble and beautiful.”
The Chalice of Light as a Thurible Fire Chalice
- To charge and cleanse ritual tools and sacred objects
- As an offering to Spirit, or to symbolize a Deity’s presence in a ritual
- To release tension and stress after a hard day
- Before bed to clear away the days worries and inspire true dreaming
- Before study, or beginning a new project to bring clarity and focus
- To prepare a chamber for love and intimacy
- To clear a room before or after guests
- For meditation for inner harmony
- For group rituals, the Thurible Chalice is a great way to purify and create a sacred space, much like censing or smudging. The fire becomes a focal point for meditation. It combines the four elements...Fire and Air, the Salts and resins of Earth, all contained in a chalice, symbol of Water.
Thurible Chalice or “Chalice of Light” is a method of clearing energy and creating sacred space. The Thurible Chalice method adds the energizing/purifying properties of fire and the grounding/drawing power of crystalline mineral and Sea Salts. Negative or unwanted energies are drawn into the Sea Salts and grounded, while the Fire empowers the space with vital force and energy. Traditional magickal principles come together in this natural and effective technique.
The use of the Chalice of Light becomes a wonderful meditation in itself, watching the dance of the flame and awaiting the release of its fragrance...excellent for all types of Ritual and Spiritual work.
Instructions for Thurible fire:
You will need:
- The Chalice of Light
- Wooden base or heat proof plate to protect table surface from heat
- Frankincense or a piece of “Ancient Temple” incense .
They say that frankincense was brought from the world of the spirits so that we humans can benefit from its deep spiritual properties. Frankincense has been known to drive away negative forces and ensure a peaceful, spiritual atmosphere. Frankincense can be placed in the thurible chalice to release its properties.
- Sea Salt and/or Epsom Salts
- Isopropyl or high proof grain Alcohol - 91% Alcohol (can be purchased inexpensively from any drug store or pharmacy)
- Matches, or lighter, and Time-to give your full attention
- To be safe, a plate that can be placed over the top of the chalice to extinguish the flame if you need to do so before it burns out naturally (about 5 minutes). You can also keep a damp cloth nearby
When ready to begin…
- Place Thurible Chalice upon wooden base, damp cloth or heat proof plate
- Put about 1 teaspoon of Frankincense and Sea Salt blend into the Chalice
- On top of this place about 2 tablespoons of isopropyl alcohol
- Light the Chalice fire with match or lighter
Now watch and experience…
The alcohol will now burn brightly and rapidly for about 5 minutes. Do not worry, the flames will reach a height of about 5” or so above the Chalice. (It is a good idea to have a damp towel within reach in case of an accident, although the alcohol fire is easily extinguished.) Now watch the flame as it charges the room with energy and light, grounding unwanted influences into the salt and charging the space with the energy of fire. Be sure to watch the fire as it burns until it goes out completely. This is most important, not only for safety but also to empower the work of the Thurible Fire.
The fire will burn for several minutes and then a sizzling sound may be heard. This is the sound of the salts absorbing negative energies and the resins of the incense coming to life. After the flame dies away a cleansing fragrance will be released into the room, filled with your inspiration and intent. The bowl will be hot after this, do not touch it for awhile or use a damp cloth to move it.
Know that after creating Thurible Fire the atmosphere is cleansed and empowered with your intent.
Flame Alchemy Meditation
After preparing the area and lighting the Thurible Fire it is very beneficial to meditate upon the flame and its intent. This brings power and purpose to the fire. Sit before the flame in a comfortable position and let the eyes relax and gaze into it. See the light and heat permeating the entire area. Feel the energy change within and around you. All that you do not need is being burned away, it is transformed by the fire - the salts then absorb the dross.
Visualize exactly what you want this transformation to be. Hear the Thurible Fire sizzle and crackle, this is the sound of change and vital force- know the fire and salt are working a transmutation of matter into spirit. As you await the fragrance, breathe deeply and slowly. Let the dancing flame relax you and put you into a light trance. Be one with the light and its purpose.
As the fire dies down, know the change has been accomplished and that the scent released means new energy. Thank the elements for their work and awaken again to a fresh, transformed atmosphere.
Using the Chalice of Light as an Oil Lamp
The Oil Lamp symbolizes the soul, The flame reaching up for enlightenment, The Lamp is the Body, The Oil is Faith,
The Flame is Spirit, The Light is the Divine
“They say that an oil lamp upon our altar or place of meditation is one of the simplest ways of inviting the Gods into our homes.”
To use as an oil lamp thread the wick through the holder in the center of the chalice. Be sure to let the wick soak up the oil for 1 hour or so before using for the first time. You can burn Ghee or sesame oil as they do in India, but we recommend pure indoor lamp oil. Fill the chalice half full. If it should smoke, trim (cut or shorten) the wick. Don’t let the oil run empty, otherwise, it will start burning the wick.
Adding essential oils to the lamp oil will not scent the flame, but you can apply oil to the rim of lamp and the aroma will be released simply by being exposed to the air and the warmth of the lamp.
Never leave the lamp unattended...burn it during your times of meditation and devotion only.
Which else shall beautify a home But the flame of a lovely lamp? Which else shall adorn the mind But the light of wisdom deep?
Lights of the Four Quarters and Elements
Another way to use these golden lamps is to fill them as oil lamps and in the oil place objects that represent the elements.
Your four lamps might illuminate:
- Sea shells for Water and West
- Red Glass or volcanic rock for Fire in the South
- Crystals or stones for Earth and the North
- Fresh flower or herbs for Air and the East
- Pieces of Frankincense and Myrrh for Spirit at the center
We hope that the Chalice of Light will enrich your spiritual practice
and serve the rituals of life.