Full Item Description
It starts with a two tiered worked brass base approximately 9” (23cms) long, 7” (17cms) wide, and 2” thick (5cms). Most frequently it has a nice beaten pattern in it, but some shrines have intricately etched designs on them. The base has a small knob to open it. This know also serves as a snubbed candle holder.
The base interior will hold one to three thin 5” (12cms) glass disks. Each glass piece is etched with a holy symbol, a mandala, or a wisdom glyph, as appropriate. In addition it will hold a curved piece that is inserted in to the top of the base when in use. This curved piece hold one glass disk in place.
This works best in a darkened room.
A tealight candle (or any other tiny or flat candle) rests upon the knob of the beautifully worked brass base. An appropriate disk glass is inserted in the holder rising up from the base. The mesmerizing flame is projected through, and in the reflective glass magnified. The dancing light creates an enchanting interplay of light and shadow, projecting the image etched in the glass (usually a holy symbol) upon the wall.
It is commonly used for meditation and prayer. Combined with a small ceremony of sanctification, it creates a temporary “holy space” suitable for religious workings.
The inspiration for these tiny portable shrines came from one famous shrine in the south western province. There, candles are lit and shine through sculpted glass to project holy glyphs into the murals behind. Some enterprising cleric took it one step farther and commissioned the first one. He took it on his travels to every temple and shrine he had to visit on his circuit. While he used it for evening devotion in inns along the way, he had to show it off to all the other priests. From this first circuit, the item (or the idea for the item) has spread across the land.
Of course the original brass worker makes more to sell to pilgrims to the shrine, so they can take the feel of the place home. That may have more to do with the spread of the item than the network of clerics.
Now these Shadow Shrines can be found for any number of religions. For some they are just switched out glass disks. For others, the shrine is made of silver or stone or wood, and sometimes shaped differently.
Any cleric who travels in their duty (or thinks they might) will probably have a shadow shrine. Those who are very devote will have one as well, used while travelling or kept as a personal shrine in their rooms.
None intrinsically. The shrine, when used properly, can provide bonus to prayer and meditation skills. It can be used IN magic, as a holy talisman or to create a temporary alter/ shrine.
Note: This idea has moved into the mystic community. They use it as a meditation focus and some even use it for empowered glyphs (as a casting aid).