Zanzibar’s abalaone shells are farm raised in Mexico and are not collected from the wild.
Smudging is a sacred tradition that has been practiced throughout history and across many cultures. The “Sacred Smoke Bowl Ritual” is typically performed at the beginning of a ceremony to clear out negativity, welcome in positive energy and create space for healing, comfort and peace.
Abalone shells are often used in smudging rituals. Their very practical use is as a bowl to catch ash and hold what remains of the smudging stick after it’s burnt as well as to snuff out the finished smudge.
Abalone shells are a gift from the ocean and 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. Some herbs such as California White Sage are also known to produce negatively charged ions when burning, attaching to impurities (bacteria, dust, pollen, etc.) in the air and drop it to the ground (so always vacuum 20 minutes after Smudging!) It’s also seen to carry prayers out into the Universe.
When smudging always use safe practices. Never leave burning herbs or resins unattended. Feathers and abalone shells are flammable (just like your hair) so please do not let them come near or in direct contact with fire or smoldering herbs or resins.
Always use a fire safe container. Abalone shells are only for catching ash from a burning smudge of herbs (leaned against abalone to allow ash to fall in) or for snuffing out smoldering herbs. Never leave any burning herbs or resin or candle unattended.
Allow plenty of ventilation when burning any herbs or resins.
Safety Tips When using an Abalone Shell for Smudging:
- To protect its beautiful rainbow shimmer from hot embers, add a layer of sand or dirt to the inside of the shell.
- 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 and do not blow out the flame with your breath as this is said to “contaminate” your herb or incense.
- For various benefits, try smudging with different herbs like white sage (pushes out negative energy and clears energy), mugwort (pushes our very negative energies), lavender (welcomes in positive energies and is calming) and rosemary (cleansing), cedar (protection) and flowers (meditation).
- 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.
- To bless a person, space or object with the cleansing energy, use the underside of a bird’s feather or your hand to brush the smoke around them.
- Be mindful when handling hot embers and sand because abalone shells naturally have holes in them.
- Use caution when handling the shell because heat can transfer to the shell