Abalone is a common name for any of a group of small to very large sea snails. 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. The Ocean symbolizes love, life, and flow, and Abalone Shell has the energy of the ocean inside. It is also used as an amulet for people who are involved in ocean or water. Abalone Shell has meaning and properties of enhancing its owner's imagination.
Abalone shells make excellent vessels for containing smoldering herbs and incense. It is wise to insulate the bottom of the shell with a minimum of 2 inches of sand or ash to protect the shell against high temperatures. These shells, used for traditional smudging, come from Mexico. They are ideal for burning sweetgrass and sage or indirect burning incense such as resin.
Place a few dried sage pieces or sweet grass in the bottom of the shell with the sand, ignite then blow out flame and the sage or grass will release a cloud of white, purifying smoke.