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Cleansing and Smudging

Here’s How to Use Palo Santo Smudge Sticks [Tips & Tricks]

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Written by: Tina Caro

Palo Santo smudge sticks are widely used in both magic and daily life. But it might be very interesting to learn more about this practice when it comes to smudging and cleansing our spaces and bodies from negativity.

As Palo Santo can be used in different ways and has some special properties, it’s mandatory to know how to use it properly to truly let its magic happen!

Let’s see how to use Palo Santo smudge sticks, an amazing natural tool, to cleanse negativity and embrace positivity and light.


Palo Santo smudge sticks are used for spiritual and energy cleansing.

To use them, start by gathering your materials, including a Palo Santo stick and a heat-resistant dish.

Light the Palo Santo stick, let it smolder, and set your intention for the smudging ceremony.

Walk through your space, waving the smoldering stick to disperse the smoke and visualize negative energy being cleared.

Afterward, extinguish the Palo Santo, thank the spiritual forces, and close the ceremony.

Be cautious with fire and handle Palo Santo with care during the process.

Palo Santo: a great resource with old origins

The discovery of the Americas gave us more than just tomatoes, corn, potatoes, cocoa, and tobacco. It is true that “Man does not live by bread alone”—we are not only biological machines that aim at the survival of the body by centering all existence on obtaining food and reproducing.

Another dimension dwells in us, deeper, emancipated from the laws of matter and life. Consequently, with discovering the soul and realizing that we are not only our body, other products of Mother Earth have also begun to attract the attention of the conquistadors.

Bursera GraveolensKnown as “true” Palo Santo, it is the most common and widely used variety.
Bursera aff. GraveolensSimilar to Bursera Graveolens, it is often referred to as a close substitute.
Other SpeciesThere are different species of Palo Santo used in various regions, each with its unique properties.
Table 1: Palo Santo Varieties

The origins of the Palo Santo

Palo Santo is one of the products for ceremonial, esoteric, or spiritual use. This Spanish name that means “Sacred Wood”, the tree that responds to the scientific name of Bursera graveolens, is recognized in all languages.

Known to Europeans for at least two centuries, especially for extracting its precious essential oil, it grows spontaneously in Central America and parts of South America, up to the border between Peru and Bolivia. In its native lands, Palo Santo is not used to extract oil but mostly in the form of incense and to manufacture ritual objects.

Palo Santo usages and properties

Like the myrrh offered to the baby Jesus together with oil and gold, Palo Santo is now used in the world of alternative health practices, especially hatha yoga and the like, as a tool for cleaning the energy of the individual.

Adoration of the Magi, Andrea Mantegna, 1500

The procedure is simple and follows the method used by the Central American tribes known by the first explorers: it is burned, and the space is exposed to its fumes.

The mental and emotional calm that comes from its inhalations is said to be due to the power of smoke to drive away the negative energies that surround us. Palo Santo smudge sticks are also used often in some propitiatory rites, which according to European mental schemes we could define as “white magic“.

Energy CleansingPalo Santo is believed to clear stagnant or negative energies, creating a harmonious and positive environment.
Meditation AidThe aroma of Palo Santo is known to enhance meditation practices, promoting relaxation and mental clarity.
Spiritual ConnectionPalo Santo is often used to connect with higher realms, spirits, or guides during rituals or spiritual ceremonies.
Stress ReliefThe calming properties of Palo Santo can help alleviate stress, anxiety, and promote a sense of peace and tranquility.
Table 2: Palo Santo Benefits

Palo Santo smudge sticks are used above all to attract luck and love and to give a positive change to one’s life, leaving behind what does not really belong to us or represent us, to begin a life more in conformity with one’s soul.

Rituals with Palo Santo

The very pleasant fragrance of Palo Santo is very often used in rituals that involve the use of entheogens. So, let’s talk about Ayahuasca, psychedelic mushrooms, mescaline cacti, and salvia divinorum.

The effect of Palo Santo oils that enter us through its fumes would have a function similar to that of sacred music, that is, to connect us to the inner source of all harmonies and all healings. In fact, in the Mesoamerican esoteric heritage, as well as in the East and in ancient Europe, the Divine is within us.

Best tips to use Palo Santo smudge sticks properly

We too can exploit the potential of this natural incense.

  • The use of Palo Santo smudge sticks is simple: you have to light them with the help of a match or a gas lighter and let them do their job for the necessary time.
  • Unlike the most common incenses, Palo Santo tends to go out more easily. So, it would be good to relight it every now and then by keeping the fire close to the stick for a few seconds (not too long, to prevent the flame from staying lit), extinguishing it, and relighting it again 4 or 5 times by shaking the stick a little. This prevents it from blackening too quickly, which also compromises its aroma.
  • The lit Palo Santo can be kept on a special incense rest or more homemade solutions to ensure that the ash and residues do not end up on tables, furniture, or shelves.
  • In a few seconds, the room will soak up the characteristic aroma and energies and they will keep negative energies away.
  • The Native Americans used Palo Santo to cleanse the air of all negativity and, even today, especially for those who believe in its supernatural properties, the use is the same.
  • Through specific ritual gestures (such as holding a crystal or a stone on one’s chest as soon as it comes into contact with smoke), it is also possible to free the mind from negative thoughts, stress, fatigue, and migraines in order to face everything with greater safety.
  • It is possible to use the Palo Santo with a lighted stick, held in your hands and carried around the room, in order to impregnate the environment as much as possible with its smoke.
  • To start the combustion, do not keep the flame (for example, that of the lighter) lit for a long time, it is better to keep it near the stick for a few seconds and then extinguish it by repeating the operation for 4 or 5 times, shaking the stick as you would to put a match out.Only with this ignition method can you avoid burning and excessively blackening the wood itself and, in this way, not compromise the scent and the successful purification of the environment. Since it is the resin that gives the particular aroma to the smoke emitted by the stick, when it is altered by incorrect combustion, the environment takes on an unpleasant odor.
  • A Palo Santo smudge stick can be reused several times.
  • It is recommended to keep the Palo Santo in an airtight container so that it does not lose its essence!

Also read:
What is the Purpose of Smudging? [Finding the Right Herbs]
Can Smudging Make Things Worse? Can it be Dangerous?

If you used Palo Santo smudge sticks to cleanse your space and yourself but nothing happened, maybe you need to try something different! Why not rely on my spell casting service? It’s easy, effective, and convenient!

Check out my shop and choose the right spell for you! If you want to learn more about a situation and gain insight into your life, order a tarot reading from Mystic Amber! We are here to help!

Tina Caro

Tina Caro is a witch with more than 10 years of experience, a yogi, an astrologer, and a passionate supporter of all things holistic! She’s also an owner of the website Magickal Spot where she discusses a variety of her favorite topics.

Magickal Spot has helped thousands of readers worldwide, and she’s personally worked with hundreds of clients and helped them manifest desires to have a happier and more abundant life.

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