Cleansing yourself, your crystals, and your home are very important rituals. Many people develop their own method of cleansing, whether it includes sage, Palo Santo, or incense. All three of these are tools that can be used in your cleansing ritual. While some people create an everyday ritual, you can choose to repeat yours at whichever rate works best for you and your space. What is important to keep in mind within your ritual’s setting is your intention. While lighting the tool you choose to incorporate, and while walking around the space you are clearing or fanning yourself, you must keep your intention in your mind.
Your intention can be anything you feel you would like the space to bring to you, whether it be patience, protection, abundance, forgiveness, peace, love, happiness, etc. When you choose your intention, keep it clear in your mind. You can even say it out loud during your ritual if you would prefer that. One of the most important things to note about your ritual is that you are the one seeing what you and your space need and creating a ritual from that. It can change when you need it to, it is normal for our rituals to change as our needs do.
As for which tool to use, sage and Palo Santo are used to cleanse the negative energies present, whereas incense alters your personal mood and energy. Incense is helpful during meditation, which can be incorporated into your cleansing ritual if you choose so. Certain incenses, such as Palo Santo, sage, Nag Champa, or sandalwood, can be used for cleansing energies. Unfortunately, they are not as powerful as Palo Santo or sage in its natural state. Incense can be used after your ritual to set your energy and mood. While smudging, you can open the windows to your space to let the negative energy out. That is especially helpful to people and animals who have respiratory problems, such as asthma or bronchitis.
Sage and Palo Santo are most commonly used for a process called “smudging”, which is the process of banishing negative energies from yourself or from a space. You can use either one for this, although they have different smells. It’s important to remember to use a heatproof vessel for your Palo Santo or sage, as it is burning, it could also burn your hands or what it is being held in. A plant pot, an Abalone Shell, or a bowl will normally work.
If using sage, place it in its vessel and light it for a few seconds. With Palo Santo, it is easier to use a candle, because you need to try and keep it in the fire for around 30 seconds. Then extinguish the flame (blow it out), and you have begun your smudging session! Use your intuition to guide you, you know what needs more or less cleansing. There is no need to use an excessive amount of smoke or to inhale it. Now, begin to walk around the space slowly, take the smoke to all areas in need of cleansing. If you’re cleansing yourself, fan the smoke towards each part of you, concentrating on problem areas. In a space, concentrate on the corners of the room, windows, doors, hallways, and closets. If smoke isn’t being emitted from your sage or Palo Santo anymore, take a moment to light it again. After your cleansing session, you can try sound healing techniques or lighting incense.
Cleansing pets is also worth trying, as long as it is done with moderation and you don’t let them inhale the smoke. Instead of cleansing the pet itself, you can try to focus on its bed or where it spends most of its time. Smudging your animals can help them feel more comfortable in the space, and stop unwanted behaviours.
White Sage is an herb that has been used for smudging since the time of the ancient Celtic druids for smudging and for medicinal purposes. It is still used by Native American people today for the same benefits.
Palo Santo is also known as Holy Wood, comes from a sacred type of tree in South America. The Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon still practice smudging ceremonies with Palo Santo today, yet its beginning was with the ancient Incas.
“From the moment we are born, people tell us that the world is like this and like that, this way, that way. It is natural that – for a certain period of time – we end up believing what we are told. But we must soon push these ideas aside and discover our own way of living reality.”
― Paulo Coelho, Warrior of the Light