Smudging is traditionally a ceremony for purifying or cleansing the soul of negative thoughts of a person or place. There are four elements involved in a smudge:
The container, traditionally a shell representing water, is the first element.
The four sacred plants (cedar, sage, sweetgrass, tobacco), gifts from mother earth, represent the second element.
The fire produced from lighting the sacred plants represents the third element.
The smoke produced from the fire represents air, the fourth element.