Many Americans have adopted the use of smudge sticks in their rituals, regardless of spiritual background. The Natives sometimes burned bound herbs in their ceremonies, and many people refer to it as “smudging.” However, many forget or simply do not know that fans were also used in various rituals, including smoke ceremonies. The fan was used to help move the smoke around, cleansing and purifying the area for ritual. At the end of the ritual, it was used to dispel any negative spirits that may have been attracted during the ceremony. Many cultures use smoke in purification rituals, and depending on the tribe or area, the herbs held sacred or taboo are different. (See a previous post covering smoke ceremonies here) Far too often, people make sweeping generalized statements about tradition. One must keep in mind that tradition is very different from tribe to tribe.
Some groups of people used fans made of paper, others cloth, and even thin strips of metal. Fans have been used in ceremony in many cultures, and are perfect to incorporate into magic rituals. From Orthodox to pagan traditions, a fan has been used to bless individuals and deter evil. Procession of royalty included flabellum to keep away small flying pests. Since some royalty were viewed as appointed by the gods, or a god made manifest, it became custom to many to have a fan to complete the altar to symbolize the divine. In some pagan traditions, fans are used to obscure the face so as to not be distracted or distract others during ritual. Using a fan this way would also obscure the vision, which would cause the mind to process information through other senses than the eyes, creating more depth and concentration for the ritual.
As discussed previously, there are multiple methods of having a ritual cleansing. Using smoke is one of them. When one conducts a cleansing ritual with smoke, using a fan would be a method of helping to control where the smoke goes and what it washes over. This gives the magician more control in the ritual, and therefore prepares the mind for the ability to conduct and manifest magic from the mind to the physical. Some believe blowing directly on the incense to an individual is considered rude and this is why a feather is sometimes used to move the smoke towards someone to bless them. (Some think that our breath may not be pure enough, and would contaminate the cleansing powers of the smoke.) Single feathers are rather delicate, but when grouped together as a fan or tethered to something, they are less fragile and can also control the smoke more. The object that the feathers are bound to (ex. sticks or bones) is its own ritual tool - a shaman stick. The feather also represents the ability for the message to be sent to the heavens – outwardly to the world. This is what the witch needs – for the will to be layered and able to move as needed to complete the ritual.
Help send your will out to the heavens, the universe, the abyss. Unlock the boundaries with the ritual fan.
The fans created from Lasabrjotur are custom ordered only. Due to the intent and details put into the fans, we will not have any sitting on stand-by. Please email us if you wish to have a ritual fan made specifically for your needs at firstname.lastname@example.org