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Cleansing and Smudging

What Kind of Feather is Used for Smudging?

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Written by: Tina Caro

Smudging is an ancient, powerful tool to cleanse our spaces and ourselves from negative energies, we all know that.

At this point, if you are into smudging, you might know that in the shamanic tradition, feathers are used for smudging.

Let’s see all we need to know about this practice, what feathers we should use, where to find them, how to smudge with them, and how to store them to protect and boost their energy even after using them.


Feathers used for smudging are typically from birds associated with spirituality and higher realms, such as eagles, hawks, owls, or turkey feathers.

These feathers are considered to have a strong connection to the spirit world and are believed to aid in carrying the smoke and intentions of the smudging ritual.

It’s important to source feathers ethically and ensure they are obtained without harm to the birds, as many feathers are protected by laws.

Cleansing and consecrating the feather before use is also a common practice to ensure it carries pure energy during the smudging ceremony.

Why do we use feathers in magic and smudging?

Feather TypeDescription
Turkey FeatherTurkey feathers are commonly used for smudging due to their large size and softness. They create a gentle and even airflow when smudging.
Hawk FeatherHawk feathers are known for their strength and agility. They are believed to carry strong protective energy, making them suitable for smudging rituals.
Owl FeatherOwl feathers are associated with wisdom and intuition. They can be used for smudging to enhance spiritual connections and insights.
Goose FeatherGoose feathers are often used for smudging due to their size and versatility. They provide a good balance of airflow and control during smudging.
Table 1: Feather Types for Smudging

Birds, who have always been considered messengers of the gods, are more connected to the magical world than you can imagine. Their feathers, therefore, are a personal message. Immediate.


  • Smudging with feathers is a Native American practice to cleanse negative energy and to create a connection with the spiritual realm.
  • Feathers are associated with the element of air.
  • The different colors of feathers can help you to work spiritually with the energy you want to channel and the gifts you want to manifest.

Feathers are associated with the element of air. In fact, if the smell of incense bothers you, or you are unable to use it because you live with other people or you are traveling, you can replace incense with a feather to represent air.

Additionally, its fall makes you think of angels’ wings, right?

It is often said like this, and perhaps it is true, but there is more: feathers have a magic of their own, and they arrive at particular moments, perhaps when you are struggling with a problem or when you think about a dear person who is gone.

Well, feathers are really “messages” from someone who wants you to understand that you are not alone, who is there near you, and who wants you to understand that “there is”. Not only that, seeing a certain color of a feather is a very specific message:

Feather selection guide

SizeChoose a feather size that feels comfortable and practical for your smudging ritual. Smaller feathers offer more precision, while larger feathers provide a broader airflow.
IntentionConsider the symbolic meanings associated with different feather types and colors. Select a feather that aligns with your specific smudging intention or purpose.
Personal ConnectionTrust your intuition and personal connection with the feather. Choose a feather that resonates with you and feels energetically aligned with your smudging practice.
Ethical SourcingEnsure that the feathers you use are ethically sourced and obtained legally. Consider using naturally molted feathers or feathers obtained from reputable sources.

Where to find them?

If a feather shows up to you is even better! Maybe you are out for a walk and a feather appears from nowhere. You can bring it home and make it yours!

In any case, seeing a feather is always a good sign, it makes us feel part of the whole as if someone was taking care of us.


What can you do with the feathers you find?

Keep them on your altar; you will realize how much the universe considers you special and you will feel less alone on the journey of life.

If you cannot find them naturally, you can buy them online. Just rely on true, natural feathers and on certified stores.

How to smudge with feathers?

Feathers are often used to cleanse people’s auras. The human aura is the energy field that surrounds the human body and expands in every direction. It includes many forms of energy, with a strong electromagnetic component. This means that we continuously emit and absorb energy.

Until we become aware of this exchange, we can accumulate a lot of “energy debris” throughout the day.

Aura duvets can be effectively used before or after any therapeutic activity and are very effective if used every day to get rid of the energy debris accumulated during daily activities.

  1. Since the aura expands in all directions, the operation must be performed in front, behind, on the sides, and around the head and feet.
  2. Do not touch the body with the feathers, but just make a light and wide movement five or six centimeters away.
  3. Start at the head and work your way down. Visualize yourself literally wiping out all negativity from your body. Remember, energy follows thought, and birds and feathers are connected to the thought process.
  4. Also dust the front and back, focusing on the areas that inspire you particularly.
  5. Incense can also be used to increase the effect.

This is a Native American process that involves sprinkling the scent and smoke of incense all over the body, to further cleanse and purify.

Often incense is burned in a bowl, and when the smoke rises, it is spread with feathers over and around the person’s body. It is a means to immerse yourself in the purifying fragrance. Sage, cedar, and Palo Santo are the most commonly used, but olibanum and myrrh can also be great for this purification.

You can also use feathers when cleansing your space with sage or Palo Santo to direct the cleansing smoke everywhere, including corners and small tiny spaces for a deep, complete cleanse.

A feather is considered to be a fetish, an object that is often believed to be endowed with mystical or magical powers. In reality, it is simply a means of stimulating the energies with which one connects. Each feather is a fetish and can become a sacred object.

How to store them?

Feathers can be quite fragile, and it’s important to handle them gently. Here are some tips to protect them, store them, and boost their energy.

  • When not in use, wrap them in silk or a soft cloth to protect them, especially if you don’t keep them in a fetish bowl.
  • It is beneficial for feathers to be kept together with sage twigs, as this plant keeps them vibrant and prevents them from deteriorating.
  • Occasionally, incense all of your feathers by burning sage or a combination of sage and another herb. While the herb is smoking, simply pass the feather over it, turning it constantly: this will keep the feathers purified and ready to use.
  • Learn to use sound with your feathers. Sing to them, whisper, and chant mantras. Sound is part of the power of air, a dynamic means of enhancing the energy of the feather. Know that when you chant or recite mantras, the feather carries that sound with it and is honored by it. It always approves of this action.

You can even wear feathers

There are several methods of activating the energies of the feathers (or of your totem bird and connecting to it); one is to use a fetish bowl, another is to wear them. The latter is a direct way to honor your totem and also serves to continually remind you of the intervention of its energy in your life.

There are many ways to wear feathers, and none of them can be considered more correct than another.

The following list offers just some of the more decorative and creative ways.

Experiment, invent…

  • Braid them in your hair.
  • Stick them in a bracelet.
  • Hang them on the buttons of your blouse or shirt.
  • Tie them to your ankles (very effective method for small feathers. Be careful they are not too long, or you will end up stepping on them).
  • Make them into a necklace.
  • Tie them to your belt loops.
  • Attach them to wallets or purses.
  • Make them into earrings.
  • Attach them to personal items you use or usually carry with you.

If you think your home needs some clearing but you are not comfortable doing it yourself, don’t forget you can let me do the witchy work for you! My home clearing spell is the right option to cleanse your space and bring harmony and balance back again!

Tina Caro

Tina Caro is a witch with more than 10 years of experience, a yogi, an astrologer, and a passionate supporter of all things holistic! She’s also an owner of the website Magickal Spot where she discusses a variety of her favorite topics.

Magickal Spot has helped thousands of readers worldwide, and she’s personally worked with hundreds of clients and helped them manifest desires to have a happier and more abundant life.

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