There are lots of ways of dealing with negative vibes: mediation, crystal grinding, a long hot bath – but we love Palo Santo because it’s one of the simplest and most versatile remedies. Burning can be done in conjunction with meditation, as part of a smudging ritual (more on this later) or throughout the day using an incense burner.
Spanish for “holy wood”, Palo Santo is a sacred tree which grows in select parts of South America. It has been used for centuries by shamans in ritual prayer, ceremonies and healing. Tracing back to the Incan Empire, it had a prevalent place in native ritualistic medicine, preferred by shamans and healers for it’s metaphysical properties of purification and clearing negative energies.
Rich in brain-oxygenating terpenes such as limonene and a-terpineol, Palo Santo has an uplifting and positive effect. It’s believed to cleanse to a person’s energy field, thereby enhancing their ability to deflect and repel negative energies as well as raising your positive vibrations in preparation for meditation. It’s also been known for it’s grounding and focusing effect which can enhance creativity, productivity and increase good fortune.
Going away from the energy side of things, Palo Santo’s also proven to be an effective natural alternative to insect repellant. Additionally it smells incredible, and can be used instead of scented candles or essential oils.
So whatever your beleif, Palo Santo definitely helps to create a positive and soothing atmosphere.
How to use it
Use a candle, match or lighter to ignite your stick. Then hold it at a 45 degree angle pointing the tip down towards the flame. Allow the stick to burn for 30 seconds to a minute and then blow it out. From there you can either place the stick in an incense burner and leave to smoulder, or you can use it for smudging. If left to rest the stick will smoulder and release smoke for approx 5 mins. If used for smudging, or you are waiving it around a space, it will smoulder for longer.
If you have a meditation ritual, you can burn some Palo Santo in an incense burner before your practice. This will help prepare your energy and mind for meditation and allow you to more easily connect with your practice.
Steps for Smudging
Smudging is the ritual of cleaning the energy of a physical space, object or person. First you start with a clear and simple intention of focusing on clearing the negative energy out of your space and mind. Once you have your intention clearly in mind, light the Palo Santo stick as per instructions above.
Then walk around the room, space, object or person, fanning the smoke over it’s entirety, whilst focusing on cleansing and clearing negative energy. Palo Santo will smoulder and release smoke for a few minutes and may need to be re-light a few times throughout the ritual, depending on the size of the area area you are cleansing.
Once you’ve finished smudging and removed the negative energy, you must push positive energy into the space to maintain balance. To do this, declare your intention out loud or silently in your head.