For thousands of years, Native Americans and other cultures throughout Central and South America have used features as sacred objects in rituals.
The main reason for smudging with feathers, is due to the fact that birds are revered by native people because of their closeness with The Divine. The spirit of the bird is believed to come through using their feathers in the fans thus connecting the Divine Spirit with Mother Earth during the cleansing ceremony. The feathers actually move the energies from the Aura Body through the sweeping motion, much like that of a bird in flight. This representation is so beautiful and very inspiring as one learns to connect with all of Mother Earth through ancient ways.
Using the feather, spread the smoke all around yourself first, then over what it is you are cleansing. Next, walk about the area, person or object you are smudging, fanning the smoke. This clears negativity, cleanses, focuses and purifies that which is being smudged.
Quick short movements with the feather breaks up blocked or stagnant energy, long flowing movements smooth out energy, creating a calm, balanced and harmonious energy flow.