The History of Smudging with Abalone Shells

Smudging is a sacred tradition that has been practiced throughout history and across cultures. The “Sacred Smoke Bowl Ritual” is typically performed at the beginning of a ceremony to clear out negativity and create space for healing.

Abalone shells are often used as tools to perform smudging rituals. Their very practical use is as a bowl to catch hot cinders and hold what remains of the smudging stick after it’s burnt.

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.

A post shared by laryssa (@laryssaadame) on

For your sacred ceremonies, we included a smudging kit with an abalone shell and white sage in the March 2016 Goddess Provisions Box (SOLD OUT) and the August 2016 Ready to Retrograde Kit.

Once you've got your supplies, here are a few tips for performing your own smudging ritual:

8 Tips When Smudging with an Abalone Shell:

  1. To protect its beautiful rainbow shimmer from hot embers, add a layer of sand to the inside of the shell.
  2. In honor of the natural world, use a match made of wood from the earth to light the herbs instead of a man-made lighter.
  3. For various benefits, try smudging with different herbs like white sage (release and clear energy), mugwort (stimulate dreams), lavender (calming) and rosemary (mental clarity), cedar (protection) and flowers (meditation).
  4. For a longer smudging session, use the abalone shell as a bowl and a hot charcoal tablet to light the herbs burning.
  5. To enhance the energetics of your smudge blend, try adding resins like copal (connection to spirit realm), amber (protection) and frankincense (purification) into your smudge bowl.
  6. To bless a person, space or object with the cleansing energy, use the underside of a bird’s feather to brush the smoke around them.
  7. Be mindful when handling hot embers and sand because abalone shells naturally have holes in them.
  8. Use caution when handling the shell because heat can transfer to the shell.

We hope you enjoy your abalone shell + sage and would love to see photos on Instagram. Tag us in photos using @goddessprovisions or #goddessprovisions.