Many practitioners use their magical altar for healing work and because each piece of work is related, this adds to the positive energies already concentrated there. However, if you have room, you might like to set aside a corner specifically for healing.
You can use a table or any flat surface for your altar. On it, you should keep a single, pure beeswax or white candle; this is a symbol of the unity of all life and the one divine source that flows through every natural being, whether it is male or female, god or goddess, animal, bird, fish, tree, plant or stone. You will also need your special healing crystals, perhaps arranged in a circle around the candle and a clear crystal sphere or crystal pendulum for directing sunlight and moonlight.
The crystals could include gentle rose quartz and amethyst for healing all ills and bringing harmony, moonstone for female and hormonal disorders and for fertility, citrine for energy and lifting depression, and agates for balancing energies. Later in this section I have listed some healing crystals I use under their different colours, as these are related to healing properties. You can also refer to the list of crystals in the previous chapter on psychic protection.
You can also keep here pots of healing herbs, seasonal fruit, flowers, nuts and seeds that will be empowered by the healing energies. These can regularly be given to anyone feeling tired or anxious -not forgetting yourself.
A covered jar of empowered salt and a bottle of sacred water are also important. However, you might like to bless them before use, in the name of the Goddess, a healing deity or simply the powers of goodness and light, by passing them three times over the healing candle flame.
You will also need somewhere to keep all you need for your healing work that you can also use in more general magical work with a healing focus. You might have a box at the side of the altar, or, if you adapt a cupboard for your altar, you could use the space inside it. In this place you would have your dried herbs, healing oils and incenses, favourite flower essences, coloured bottles containing empowered water and small crystals or glass nuggets. You could also collect twigs or small carved artefacts from healing trees, such as ash, olive, rowan, palm and aspen. (See page 139 for details of incenses and page 128 for information on oils.)
On the table in front of the candle you could keep a special healing book in which you could write the names of people or places you know who need healing. These could include pets, a hospital or hospice with which you have connections, sanctuaries for injured creatures, threatened species and places. It is better to have this separate, rather than as part of your Book of Shadows, but if you prefer you can use your Book of Shadows for both areas of work.
You might also like to keep a special 'Loving Connections' section for the names of friends or family members who are away from home and may be feeling lonely, and also anyone from whom you are estranged.
A bound journal with blank pages is good for this kind of work or you could buy a leather loose-leaf binder and insert blank pages with dates. If you work in a group, one member can be responsible for regularly updating the book.
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