The Powerful Cleansing Properties of Palo Santo
Have you heard of Palo Santo? I’m in LOVE with it!
I first learned about Palo Santo when I was working at a small crystal and metaphysical shop in Lake Tahoe. We sold these wonderful little sacred sticks there and I was immediately drawn to them.
Fascinated, I looked up the properties and discovered the incredible magic that these simple looking little sticks of wood held.
I immediately started burning palo santo in the morning before opening the shop and found it to be a wonderfully effective way to energetically cleanse the shop and quickly raise the vibration at the start of the day.
Today, I regularly burn Palo Santo and White Sage together to cleanse my space, uplift the energy and draw in positive energy.
Palo Santo is also available in essential oil form too!
So What is Palo Santo?
Palo santo is a type of wood that comes from the tree of the same name. It is indigenous to South America, and its name means “holy wood” thanks to the many healing and spiritual properties it carries.
Much like sage, the smoke of palo santo is so powerfully cleansing that almost every shamanic ritual in South America incorporates burning it. It has a piney, mint and citrus like smell that’s really quite unique – so unique that it’s hard to believe that you’re burning wood when you smell it.
For generations, medicine people, Incas, and other tribal people in the Andes have used palo santo wood for healing.
The spiritual properties come during the death of the tree. Each tree lives for up to 90 years and then lies dead for at least four years before any wood is harvested for rituals. It’s during this time, when the living tree transforms, that it gains its sacred properties.
The Many Benefits of Palo Santo
- It’s pungent fragrance relieve stress and anxiety
- Palo Santo can help to eliminate headaches and symptoms of the common cold
- Reduces inflammation, asthma, and allergies
- Eases emotional or mental trauma like depression
- You can use it in conjunction with other healing modalities like crystal healing or Reiki
- Deepen your spiritual connection
- Raises your energetic vibration
- Enhances creativity
- Use in massage therapy to relieve pain in the joints and muscles
- Relieve difficult skin conditions and promote healthy skin
- Potential anti-cancer effects
- Calms the immune system
How to Use It
Palo Santo is most commonly used for purifying energy, cleansing people and objects, healing illness, inspiring creativity, protection, attracting good fortune and love, and clearing negativity. If you have a meditation practice, consider burning a little Palo Santo during before and during your practice. Whenever you burn it, not only does it raise your vibration, but it helps to connect you to the divine source as well as Mother Earth.
Many people enjoy using it as an energizer to lift their spirits or prepare for a task or project as well.
Steps for Cleansing with Palo Santo
This process for using Palo Santo to cleanse your space is similar to smudging with sage, so if you’re familiar with that process, you can simply add a stick of palo santo to your sage bundle and have at it.
If you’re new to all of this… Here’s the process.
First you obviously need to obtain some Palo Santo.
You can find Palo Santo in many local crystal and metaphysical shops, or natural food stores… Alternately, you can find it online from Amazon and other online retailers.
Hold one stick of Palo Santo in your hand, and move the end furthest from your hand into a flame to light it on fire.
Palo Santo doesn’t light nearly as easily as say, White Sage… So when you light the palo santo, be sure to let the open flame burn for about 30 seconds before you blow it out so the flame properly catches.
Next, hold the stick (and sage bundle, if using) and set your intentions or say a prayer. This can be for the day ahead, the day that’s finished, or any period of time or life event you wish to focus on.
Ask that the cleansing smoke of the Palo Santo cleanse your space, raise the vibration and draw in positive energy.
Now, allow the sacred smoke to fill the room you’re in.
Walk methodically around the room, being sure to wafting the smoke up toward the ceiling and down toward the floor.
Move through your house until you’ve entered each room. When cleansing yourself, begin down near your feet, wafting smoke all around you until you end at the crown of your head.
You can also use Palo Santo to cleanse crystals, oracle card decks, pendulums, or any other magical or sacred objects.
Be aware that, unlike standard incense, palo santo may relight itself several times while you use it, or you may have to hold it in the flame for quite a while before it lights at all.
I find the scent and power of Palo Santo to be quite strong so that a little goes a long way.
When you’re finished with your particular cleansing ritual, if the stick is still burning, you can place it in a fire-safe metal or ceramic bowl in order to let the ember die out naturally on its own.
Palo Santo also pairs wonderfully with white sage, sweetgrass, juniper, or cedar. Personally, white sage and palo santo are my favorite combo!
Personally, white sage and palo santo are my favorite smudging combo!
Smudging Prayer With White Sage and Palo Santo
Click here to read the Smudging Prayer!
With love and light,