Abalone shells are commonly used as a tool for smudging. They have a practical use as a bowl to catch hot cinders from the smudging stick of choice. You can use White Sage sticks, Palo Santo Holy Wood sticks, Sweetgrass, Lavender, Cedar, Mugwort, Juniper and Rosemary. See below for additional properties of each.
Smudging is a sacred tradition practiced throughout history and across many cultures. The “Sacred Smoke Bowl Ritual” is typically performed at the beginning of a ceremony to clear out negative energy and create space for healing.
Abalone shells are also a gift from the sea and, thus, symbolically represent the water element while the unlit herbs represent earth, the lit herb represents fire and the smoke represents air. In this way, the act of smudging invites Mama Gaia into the center of the ceremony to hold space for any transformations that will occur.
Smoke is known as an ally that attaches itself to negative energy and carries it to another place. It’s also seen to carry prayers out into the Universe
Sagebrush (confusingly, the “sage” used in most smudge sticks, is not culinary sage but sagebrush): transforms energy and brings change.
Sage (the culinary herb): brings wisdom and is calming and healing.
Sweetgrass: attracts positive energy.
Lavender: restores balance and creates a peaceful atmosphere. Lavender also attracts loving energy and spirits.
Cedar: deeply purifying, especially for clearing negative emotions and for healing and as a way to attract positive energy. Also used to bless a home before taking residence there, a tradition dating back to the Northwest and Western Canadian Native Americans, and believed to aid clairvoyance, revive the tired mind, body, and spirit, and stimulate contact with other worlds.
Mugwort: stimulates psychic awareness and prophetic dreams. It also banishes evil spirits.
Juniper: used to purify and create a safe and sacred space.
Rosemary: a powerful healer that brings clarity to problems.