Often used magically to hold and empower herbs or spell ingredients much like a cauldron, or to represent water or the feminine on the altar. Abalone shells have a shallow spiral structure with several 'holes' that are respiration pores in a row near their edges.
The interior is iridescent mother-of-pearl, a.k.a. nacre and the shells have the same magical properties as mother-of-pearl. Some traditions use the shells as part of the smudging ceremony where a bundle of herbs (usually a type of sage or a blend) is lit and allowed to smoke while the shell catches ashes and sparks. Used for love, cooperation, exploring emotions, creativity, adaptation to change, changing luck, good fortune. It is often used to represent the sacred womb, water or the feminine.