For as long as abalone have been nourishing human appetites, their mother-of-pearl bearing shells have been used in ritual ceremonies to replenish our souls as well. Abalone are a type of mollusk, like clams and oysters, except inside their flat, one-sided, ear-shaped shells, abalone have tentacles and feet. These sea snails cling to rocks near to shore, and are often consumed by other marine species. The shell of abalone is extremely durable. Microscopic calcium carbonate stack like bricks stuck together by a layer of protein. The protein absorbs blows to the shell, while the brick formation of the calcium carbonate keeps the shells from shattering. Animals like otters have to get creative when harvesting abalone. Otters have learned to use rocks to pry the muscular mollusks from their tidal homes and scoop them out of their shells. Many native cultures have sustained themselves for centuries by consuming raw and cooked abalone. Tribes native to the North American west coast used abalone shells as currency. Today in South Africa, abalone is still highly sought after, and their shells, which are known to have an especially colourful iridescence, are very valuable. While the North American west coast and South Africa are the two main sources for abalone, they can also be found along the coasts of New Zealand, Australia and Japan.
Abalone jewellery, masks and decorative bowls have been used by many ancient cultures due to abalone meaning and properties. In Native American cultures, the abalone shell is used as a smudge bowl to burn sage in. They believed that the abalone and sage together will carry their messages up to heaven. In the Apache culture, abalone is used in The Sunrise Ceremony, a ritual that marks a girl’s passage into womanhood. According to Apache myth, The Sunrise Ceremony celebrates the White Painted Woman who survived the great flood in an abalone shell, and came to land to be impregnated by the Sun and the Rain. The son born from her communion with rain, creates water. The son born from her communion with Sun, is the Killer of Enemies who defeats the White Painted Woman’s enemies. Victorious, she bestows a puberty rite upon all Apache women. This is why the journey into puberty honors the White Painted Woman in the abalone disc worn on the forehead of Apache girls as they perform the ritual. Abalone meaning is one of solace, a connection to the ocean, the cycle of life, protection and ancient travel.
Abalone Healing Properties
The believed abalone healing properties of today are very similar to ancient beliefs of the shell. Abalone healing carries energies of protection and emotional balance. It brings with it a natural shielding that blesses the person holding it with tranquility. Abalone healing is especially helpful for those going through emotional turmoil or those having a hard time dealing with a situation in a relationship. Through it’s soothing energy, it provides a layer of protection that perches the spirit up with the confidence necessary to view situations from a new, more understanding perspective. If you think of abalone as representative of water, like many cultures do, it is the water that will tame the flames of one’s emotional strife.
Abalone properties connect a being to their highest chakras. Abalone chakras are primarily the crown, third eye and heart chakras. The mother-of-pearl that lines the abalone shell, in tandem with the shell itself, are said to activate intuitive qualities like clarity in regards to situations, sensitivity and imagination. Holding abalone during cleansing rituals lends to a feeling of purity. Abalone is thought to have a divine energy, and using it with sage in the act of space clearing invokes the spirit of the ocean and uses your highest chakras as a conduit to the divine realm. To perform a cleansing ritual, you’ll need a wand or bundle of dried white sage or dried loose leaf sage, and an abalone shell. You can practice this ritual at anytime, but it is keenly helpful to rid negative energy after an argument, when moving into a new home, returning home from travels or places where there were crowds, when you begin a new job, after guests leave your space and after a healing or exercise practice. To begin, light the sage and allow the abalone to catch the falling ash. Use a feather or your hand to send the smoke over your body, from your feet to your head and back down to your feet again. Visualise your spirit being cleansed of all the toxic energy clinging to it. Then move toward the areas of your space that receive a lot of traffic, being cautious not to forget areas like corners, doorways, windows and closets. As you do this, repeat the mantra: “I invoke the spirits of Air, Earth, Fire and Water to cleanse this space and bless it with positive light.”