In Native American cultures, birds are highly symbolic. It is believed that the feather possesses the spirit qualities of a creature in flight, that it is the breath of life as well as a connection between the heavens and mother earth. Because of the way feathers are naturally constructed, they have, mystics say, the ability to comb through a person’s energy blockages, literally fanning them away. Bird feathers, especially large ones, such as those from a turkey, are traditionally used in smudging rituals, the ancient ritual cleansing of the mind, body and spirit. During a smudging ceremony, the smoke is typically fanned over the person or the space that is being cleansed or blessed.