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 in smudging rituals, not only because they are a practical vessel for catching the ashes and embers of smudging, but also because they are a beautiful representation of Mother Ocean.
The ocean symbolizes love, life, the flow of the Universe, and the Abalone shell has the energy of the ocean inside. The Abalone shell is said to enhance feelings of peace, compassion and love.
By including the Abalone shell in your smudging ritual means you are incorporating all four of the earth’s elements during your practice. The shell represents water, the unlit herbs or sticks represent the earth and once lit, they represent fire and the smoke represents the air.
Set your intention and/or have your smudging prayer ready. Now hold the smudge stick in your free hand and with a match, let the fire catch hold for about 30 seconds or so. With your other hand, hold your Abalone or Smudging bowl underneath the lit herbs and walk around the room you want to cleanse. Go from corner to corner and let the smoke fill the room. You can also rest the smudge stick in the bowl during your ceremony.
Here is a simple smudging "prayer" that I use: I would love to give credit for this prayer but have forgotten where I received it from. I've used it since I can remember.
"May the sage cleanse my hands, my feet, my heart, my throat, my eyes, my mind and my soul. Thus, enabling me to see, feel, touch and hear all the beauty of this world. May this space be cleansed by the smoke of sage in a way that the smoke carries my prayers and intention to and throughout the Universe."
I then give thanks for all of the wonderful things in my life and say Amen.