Sage + Palo Santo + Stone
Burning herbs and resins (aromatic tree sap) is one of the oldest form of incense. Long before there were sticks and cones, people would add fragrant botanicals to fire to create beautiful smelling smoke to entice their deities or to please themselves. It is believed this is one of the most powerful means of working with herbs to imbue a space, an object or a person with holy qualities.
The name Palo Santo means "Holy Wood", and what a fitting name that is. The magic of Palo Santo is in the alchemical process that happens after the death of a limb or a tree. You see, in order for the Palo Santo to gain its magical and medicinal properties it must die, but not just any death only a natural death of a wise old limb or tree. The Palo Santo trees live for 80 to 90 years. After this death the tree must remain in its natural habitat for 4 to 10 years to complete its metamorphosis. Only then do its sacred, medicinal and mystical properties come alive.
Palo Santo has been used for thousands of years in Peru and Ecuador by shamans and healers. Travel today through the Andes Mountains you still find shamans, curanderos, and healers using Palo Santo as part of their ceremonies and healing rituals, evidence that its use more alive than ever in their culture. Increasingly the healing properties of Palo Santo are finding its way into the rest of the world as one of the truly great resins of Mother Earth. It has capacities in both physical and metaphysical realms. Palo Santo has even caught the attention of western scientific researchers for it chemical properties which include limonene and monterpenes that are being studied for their anti cancer effects. It is truly amazing that this Holy Wood can at once, through its healing scent and sacred smoke, provide energetic protection, remove bad energy, uplift the spirit and bring good luck as well as ethno-botanical uses.
Aroma Description: warm, delicately sweet,rosy-woodsy
Element Association: Air
Magical Associations: Luck, Protection
Astrological Association: Gemini, Virgo, Aquarius
Planetary Association: Mercury
Mixes Well With: benzoin, copal-black, copal-gold, copal-white, frankincense, iris root, lavender, myrrh, oakmoss, sandalwood, tolu balsam, tonka beans, vanilla, etc.
Burning sage — also known as smudging — is an ancient spiritual ritual.
Smudging has been well established as a Native American cultural or tribal practice, although it isn’t practiced by all groups. We have the traditions of many Native American peoples to thank for its use. This includes the Lakota, Chumash, Cahuilla, among others.
Many other cultures around the world share similar rituals. Smudge incense sticks are used for purifying the atmosphere, dispersing negativity, protection. Smudges put out a lot of soothing smoke. Very refreshing, relaxing, clearing ... like traveling through the clouds...Potent and purifying. To burn a smudge stick -just light the tip, blow it out and either waft in air with a feather or place in a glass or metal container (one that will not burn) with sand or salt placed therein to hold the smudge upright. To extinguish, invert smudge into the sand or salt to smother.
Smudge Ritual Blessing
Place the dried herbs in the container or bundle them together. You may already have a prepared "smudge stick", or bundle of herbs which can be used for multiple ceremonies. Otherwise, place a small handful of the dried plant material into a natural container, such as a clay, stone, or abalone shell bowl.
Burn the herbs to produce smoke, not fire. You can light the plants with any source of fire, although some people feel more in touch with the ceremony if they use matches rather than a lighter or torch. Let the fire catch hold for about 30 seconds, then blow it out so the herbs are only producing smoke.
Walk around the perimeter of the house or room, wafting the smoke to each corner and outside. Use a feather to push the smoke to each place in the house, or use your hands. As you pass by an open door or window, you may use the feather to push the smoke outside, carrying with it the negative energies.
Let the ashes cool, then return them to the earth. Thank the earth for providing a sacrifice of plants for you to use, and thank the plants and fire as well. Ashes will provide nutrients back to the soil. This act has a different interpretation in some traditions: the Anishinaabe place the ashes outside to symbolize leaving negative feelings outside the door.