The practice of burning incense, herbs, resins or dried herbs, can be traced back centuries.
The Indigenous North American populations have some of the first recorded uses of spiritual rituals through the practice of smudging. The use of feathers and abalone shells are also attributed to ritual smudging practices.
Smoke cleansing has more recently become a staple in the spiritual and metaphysical communities for the use of cleansing and removing negative energies.
It is important to be mindful of the practice, origins and terminology used when discussing smoke cleansing. To clarify smudging refers specifically to the traditional ceremonial practice practiced by the Indigenous North American population. Whereas, smoke cleansing is not inherently spiritual. The new age practice of smoke cleansing focuses on removal of or attraction of specific energy through burning some variety of incense, resins or bundled dried herbs and often lacks the education, connection to or awareness of proper ritualistic smudging.
This is particularly important to understand the origins and your role/responsibility in not perpetuating cultural appropriation. To help ground you in why the respect and awareness here is so critical - the Indigenous population in the U.S. wasn't legally protected in their practices until just 1978.
In an effort to apply our own learnings here at Sage and Aura, we'll be ceasing further purchasing of smoke cleansing products, feathers and abalone shells. The products we currently have in stock we will seek to donate or sell and donate 100% of the profits to the Native American Rights Fund.