A Smudging Fan
The purpose of a fan is to spread and direct the smoke from a smudge stick or bowl of herbs around the person, object or place to be cleansed. If you prefer, you can use your hand or a leaf brush made, for example, of pine needles. Use your hand only if you are writing in smoke with your stick.
Feathers and wing fans are traditional and are believed to assist in cleansing the human aura or psychic energy field as well as adding the qualities of the particular bird to the magick.
You can buy feather fans or use a single large feather you have bought or found.
For burning pre-dried herbs without charcoal you need a heatproof dish as the heat is very fierce. It should be flat enough to allow the air to circulate. You can put a layer of sand or dry soil in the bottom as insulation. In the Native North American Indian tradition as abalone shell is used. This has natural perforations to let out the heat and ensure that the air is distributed evenly all around to give a regular streams of smoke. Shells are symbolic of the Mother Goddess.
A popular smudging bowl to use is ceramic, broad and flat with a shallow rim and wide lip that remains cool even when herbs are heated and broad feet so that it can be placed on a table or on the floor without the risk of scorching. You could make your own bowl, thus endowing it with your personal energies.
You also need a deep bowl for sand or earth in which you can extinguish smudge sticks when you want to end a ritual and they have not gone out naturally. You can also catch the ash or any sparks from your smudge stick in the bowl. Some people extinguish a smudge stick by tapping it on the edge of the bowl. Water is not used, except in an emergency.