If there is one botanical everyone should have it’s Palo Santo. It has both spiritual and scientific uses. The first time I experienced the exotic and powerful scent was over two decades ago. The room was dimly lit, my breathing was slow and relaxed. My friend, an accomplished shamanic practitioner lit the sacred smoke. It was unusual, like nothing I was familiar with. She told me this was a standard practice in Central and South American Shamanism, she had learned it’s secrets from her teachers. Now she used it almost daily in her healing practice. Over the years I gratefully became more acquainted with this marvelous plant.
In Santeria, more properly known as La Regla Lucumi, Palo Santo sticks are used almost as frequently as Florida Water cologne and for many of the same purposes- blessing, removal of negativity, attention to the divine. It is required as a specific offering for many different Orisha or deities. I often recommend it to people of all Spiritual traditions who are using sage for group rituals and blessings because it does not cause the same issues for pregnant or nursing mothers. This is the smoke of our ancestors, and we would be wise to keep using it today.
The smoke is known to turn darker when it encounters negativity. When lighting walk slowly throughout the space. Move through corners, around windows and doorways. Pay attention to the color of the smoke, this can be a signal that you may need to perform extra cleansings, such as lighting a white candle or using a blessing floorwash.
It always makes me smile when science proves traditional botanicals as genuine. Palo Santo’s great powers of protection and banishing also have been proven to include repelling mosquitoes, ticks, bed bugs and moths. The botanical species (Bursera graveolens) is related to the sacred herb Frankincense, but it is native to Peru and Ecuador. Is there anyone who doesn’t know about this yet…, even Fox News is writing about Palo Santo and it’s possible use in cancer treatment.
From the standpoint of aromatherapy the scent is known to remove pain and re-balance one’s emotional state. Burning the dried herb is the most popular method of use, but Palo Santo is also available as an oil. Consider adding this to a cleansing bath or sacred floorwash. If you haven’t used this yet, I highly recommend trying it soon. It adds another level of psychic blessing to your space, it elevates the vibrations of the user, and brings you closer to the divine.