How to make a feather smudge wand

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Smudging is the process of burning sage bundles and other herbs for cleansing of the home or person. Smudging is a spiritual and sacred act performed by people of many religious affiliations as a means of cleansing negativity from a space, possessions, yourself or others with smoke. A feather smudge wand is a ritual tool used to fan, or direct, the smoke from the burning herb over the area or person that needs cleansing. You can make your own feather smudge wand with power tools and items found in nature.

Take a walk in the woods and locate a tree branch to use as the handle for your smudge wand. Look for a size and diameter of branch that feels comfortable to grip with your hands. Collect a fallen branch on the ground, or cut a branch from a tree using a handsaw. Only cut as much branch as you will need from the tree to make a 13-cm (5-inch) handle.

Cut the branch, if needed, to about 13 cm (5 inches) in length using a handsaw. Place the branch on the edge of a table and hold it firmly in place with one hand, and saw through the wood using back and forth motion.

Drill a hole in the widest end of the branch. Use a drill bit that is half the diameter of the tree branch, and drill about 13 to 25 mm (1/2 to 1 inch) deep.

Collect or purchase feathers for your wand. Feathers that are 10 to 20 cm (4 to 8 inches) long will work best. Use feathers in various sizes and colours for interest. Traditional feather wands are made from natural-coloured feathers such as turkey or pheasant feathers, but you can choose to make your wand in any colours that have personal meaning to you.

Group your feathers together at the quills in an attractive arrangement. Add a drop of hot glue into the drilled hole in the branch, and place the quill end of the group of feathers into the hole. Hold the feathers in place for at least 20 seconds until the glue dries.

Wrap leather lacing around the handle, starting at the centre and wrapping to meet the edge with the feathers. This allows some of the wood to show. Add a drop of glue to each end of the ribbon to attach to the wood handle. Plan it so the ends will meet on the back of the wand. Alternatively, wrap the entire length of the handle with leather lacing.

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