Smudging with Palo Santo

Smudging is the sacred art of clearing a space by burning bundles of herbs (usually sage or cedar) to clear and create a sacred space. For years, sage bundles were my first choice. While effective, they triggered my asthma and allergies in a bad way! I would have to medicate before I could even use it. While I loved the energetic after-effect of a freshly smudged space, I began to dread smudging with sage, only using it when I absolutely had to.

A fellow colleague had introduced me to Palo Santo and had given me a piece to take home to try. It did not trigger my allergies and asthma the way sage did. On top of that, the smoke smelled divine! The delightful scent lingered long after I burned it. I was hooked!

Palo Santo (“Holy Wood”)  tree belongs to the Burseraceae family which also includes Frankincense, Myrrh, and Copal. Palo Santo is often used by Amazonian shamans in sacred  ceremonies; the smoke of the lit sticks is believed to enter the aura of participants to clear negativity, bad luck and to chase away evil spirits.

Smudging with Palo Santo can be done the same way that one smudges with Sage. The only difference is  with Palo Santo, the stick can be extinguished and used again. Traditionally with Sage, the stick must burn down.

To smudge, simply light the end of the Palo Santo wood and blow out when the tip glows red. Use an ashtray or fireproof container to catch any falling ash. In a clockwise direction slowly allow the space to fill with the fragrant smoke. Pay extra attention to corners, closets, the attic and basement. If the stick goes our simply re-light it. When you finished, place the the stick in the ashtray and it will go out on it’s own.

Crack open a window to let the energy clear and to invite the good vibes in.

To clear your divination tools, crystals, prayer beads or anything that you choose, simply pass the item through the smoke several times.

Palo Santo wood can be purchased at metaphysical stores, expos and online at these following websites:

Happy Smudging!


February 2016





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